Re: NANFA-- Natives should get TV exposure

Tony (
Thu, 21 Sep 2000 01:42:53 +0700

They are eye catching...for us but in some case what we see as gaudy may serve the
fishes themselves differently. In Southeast Asian peat forests many bright red
bettas, rasboras, and barbs are well camoflaged in their red-brown teawater streams
with red-brown leaf litter everywhere.
About worthless "natives" I can't agree more. Here in my area most freshwater
native "gaudyless" rasboras, barbs, "sharks", etc.fishes are viewed by "tropical
fish" keepers as worthless fish worthy only to the pot and to the stomach of
predator [Arowana, redtail cat, clownknife, Siamese tigerfish and the like]. Out
of 600+ species in my country only less than 20 has gaudy colors, less than 80 has
nice patterns that are used in aquarium trade. The rest never become commercially
use as aquarium fishes. Actually many are quite nice in their own way, and many
have some interesting traits like lots of interaction etc. Most look nice in their
natural habitat doing their business [flaring, feeding, courting, etc.] if the
water is clear enough for viewing. If more people have a chance or an interest
into fishwatching I guess they will appreciate even coloress fishes much more than


p.s. I wonder is the gaudy color of fish species are connected to the present of
clear water [at least sometime in the year] and lots of cover [rock, weed, grass,
tree, etc.] for retreat?

Robert Carillio wrote:

> Yeah! HA!... I have done my share of mixing too! I almost forgot to say that
> some people don't realize that mostly, only the colorful tropicals are
> collected for sale, from the wild, because they are eye catching. There are
> just as many "drab" tropicals as are there natives, here. I always thought
> that this left a distorted view on natives, however, in that the impression
> this creates is one of "All tropicals are colorful"... and "All natives are
> drab!!!" .... What do you think???
> >From:
> >Reply-To:
> >To:
> >Subject: Re: NANFA-- Natives should get TV exposure
> >Date: Wed, 20 Sep 2000 00:07:03 EDT
> >
> >Whoops, accidentally hit the SEND button (this ain't my night). What I was
> >going to say in reply to your message Rob, is that you are correct in your
> >statement that a lot of the people from the tropical regions from which
> >these
> >pet store fishes come from regard many of these fishes as either worthless
> >(I
> >read an account of a NANFA member's trip to South America; not sure of who
> >it
> >was right now, that said customs inspectors upon finding out that he was
> >taking some of their native fishes said "Let them have them; they are
> >worthless" or were wondering what he'd want with them) or game fishes (like
> >the Oscar).
> >
> > As far as keeping fishes in the same tank which aren't found in the wild
> >together, I am guilty of that myself (got some goodeids from central Mexico
> >with some darters, a minnow, and a stickleback from Michigan. In biotope
> >terms this would be blasphemy, but I didn't have enough aquariums and I had
> >to move some fish around due to some aggression between some other fish;
> >this
> >was the best arrangement I could make. I also like to "mix and match" to a
> >certain degree too, not in the particular way I just described since that
> >was
> >not by choice, but I think that certain groups of fishes like Mexican
> >cichlids and sunfishes look good together. I do like biotope setups too
> >though; I would sometime when I get the room, like maybe a central Mexican
> >biotope, or Michigan creek and ditch tanks ( the 2 habitats my Michigan
> >fish
> >come from).
> >
> >Re: man-made selectively bred fishes' colors- This is something I've
> >thought
> >about for a long time too- a lot of the popular tropical fishes' colors
> >are
> >through selective breeding, like the Oscars and many others. The same color
> >schemes keep coming up all of the time; xanthic and albino fishes kind of
> >lose their appeal when every basic fish type in the pet store has those
> >color schemes. It starts to make all of the different types of fishes look
> >sort of uniform after a while, regardless of how different they are in
> >basic
> >body shape. The few albino and xanthic fishes you do see in the wild are
> >cool when you find them because you know they weren't some man-made inbred
> >strain; they were naturally occurring. Most of those same man-made strains
> >of
> >xanthic tropical fishes wouldn't look like that in the wild; they'd never
> >survive! And if more people knew about that, I think that tropicals would
> >lose a lot their seeming superiority in the eyes of most people. Especially
> >when they see that a lot of natives have fantastic colors in the wild.
> >
> >Native fish enthusiasts definitely aren't your typical fish keeper, and
> >have
> >a different perspective on what constitutes a "legitimate" fish to keep, as
> >well as where you can get it (i.e. collecting) and are generally more DYI
> >than most people. We certainly aren't mainstream, and the only way we will
> >be
> >is if we were to make native fish interests mainstream as a result of our
> >efforts.
> >
> >
> ><< I agree completely with that, and I also will add to it and say, that
> >many
> >people don't realize that the fish they get in a pet store are "native" to
> >some part of the world, and to the locals there, could be percieved in much
> >the same fashion that our local people percieve our local fish. Also, I
> >want
> >to add, and say that often the tropical aquarium is a "mish mosh" of fishes
> >that don't even live together in the wild. Many are also "man made" fish
> >produced through different breeding methods. I will bet that if many of the
> >tropical fish enthusiasts saw many of their beloved fish as they are "in
> >the
> >raw", "un-plugged" in their native environment, and if they knew where they
> >came from, that they probably would not have the same appeal as they do
> >when
> >presented in the store. This is where I believe native fish enthusiasts
> >have
> >a much deeper thought perception, and have "graduated" beyond the realm of
> >mainstream thinking!!!!.... HA! >>

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