Frauley/Elson (
Fri, 05 Nov 1999 08:53:28 -0500 wrote:
> In a message dated 11/5/99 8:21:29 AM, writes:
> << I hold to the AKA style interest in
> local populations, avoidance of inbreeding etc., and I'm still
> maintaining my fish. >>
> This dichotomy of purpose still leave me somewhat confused. It is accepted by
> most people that a population (whatever that means) be kept "pure," yet
> genetic diversity is applauded. Isn't this a contradiction in terms? It seems
> to me that it is sort of like the difference between a mutt and a carefully
> selected hybrid. Certainly in the horticultural world, hybrids are supreme.
> In the guppy world, there certainly is selective breeding, not genetic
> diversity. Culling in nature is ruthless and extensive. In the aquarium,
> culling is less ruthless and different criteria are imposed -- color, size,
> finnage rather than speed, camouflage, reproductive capability, etc.
> Lee Harper

To me, that's the big failing in captive maintenance. I work my brain
around it two ways - I'm not sure how quickly this selection of
different criteria occurs, and I have no plans to put my fish back into
the wild anyway. I think they're interesting creatures who were predated
by being collected, and as aquarium fish, are part of the 'living dead'.
In a sense, all animals out of their habitat are the living dead, which
is a big part of my reticence about putting maintenance ahead of
habitat. If you eat 'em or look at them, they're still out of their
That's also where I thought it apt to inject an African killiekeeping
experience into a North American fish debate.
I'm speaking very subjectively here, but maintaining populations of a
species leaves me in wonder at the diversity within a single species,
which leaves me in wonder about the processes and habitats that produced
that diversity. I'm just a guy with no scientific training, a day job,
kids and a fascination with fish. I try to step lightly. If I maintain a
species and enjoy contemplating what produces 'population' differences,
then I'm either wasting my time pleasantly or maybe providing the same
possibility for future humans. I'm not doing anything for the fish
unless I take it to the next level and try to get involved in habitat

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