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myths about live bearing fish

Discussion in 'Livebearers' started by fish48, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. fish48

    fish48 Member

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    There are many myths about inbreeding live bearing fish
    a few problems that is often mentioned
    guppies keep on dying, guppy has given birth and died, Baby fish are born deformed or die.
    recently mentioned about guppies so inbred and genetically weak
    that breeders are now Crossing Guppies and endlers to get a stronger fish
    and the list just goes on. surely not all of the above problems are caused by genetics.
    how about some of you fish keepers to Post about the success you've had with Guppies

     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Adult Guppies dying is usually diseases caused by overcrowding and diseased fish being brought into the country. These fish are kept in large numbers in small tanks because they are popular fish. Because they sell readily, shops usually get in new shipments each week and they normally mix the new stock with the old stock. Any diseases on the new fish are quickly given to the other fish.

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    Guppies giving birth and dying is quite often stress related. The same with baby fish being born deformed or dying shortly after birth. A lot of people put the females into breeding nets/ traps when heavily pregnant and the stress of being caught, lifted out of the water, and put into a small confined environment can cause premature labour and the undeveloped fry are born and subsequently die. The premature birth can also damage the females and cause them to die.

    If you were to chase a heavily pregnant woman around with a net, grab her, dunk her under water for a minute, then stick her in a small cage with nothing in it, she would probably go into labour too.

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    For best results with livebearers, they should be kept in a well planted tank and left alone when they are pregnant. The less stress you put the females under, the less likelihood of the females having health issues or going into labour prematurely.

    I had good success with Mollies & Swordtails. I had a 2ft long tank with white gravel, lots of Water Sprite plants growing in the gravel and floating on the surface, and a trio of Black Lyretail Mollies. The contrasting colours was spectacular but the fish also bred prolifically with the 2 females producing between 100 & 150 fry each batch.

    One of the guys in fish club bought his kids a fish tank each and they had Guppies in them. The tanks were 2ft long and well planted and the Guppies bred prolifically. There were so many fry, the guy from fish club use to wait until the kids went to school, then go into their rooms and catch the fry out to and feed them to his other fish :)
     
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  3. fish48

    fish48 Member

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    So the inbreeding of fish has very little to do with the problems that have been mentioned and when it comes to breeding inbred fish there are not many more problems that can occur. Therefore livebearers are not as genetically weak As many people believe.
     
  4. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    Inbreeding is definitely a factor when it comes to guppies and endlers as well as other livebearer simply due to fact they are immensely popular and many if not all LFS have guppies in stock constantly.

    So do not rule out inbreeding at all, but as ColinT mentions there are other factors which may well explain deaths and deformed fry in guppies and other livebearers.
     
  5. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Livebearers are definitely weak from a genetic perspective. Line breeding by the fish farmers in Asia is the main cause. Line breeding is simply breeding the same bloodline of fish over and over again without adding new bloodlines. This causes problems in any animal or fish.

    This all goes back to the 1950s when Livebearers started to be made available to the market. The fish in shops today look nothing like their wild counterparts so to get more colour many fish were hybridised. Guppies were crossed with Endler's Livebearers, different species of platy were crossed with each other and with swordtails, different species of swordtail were crossed with each other and with platies, and different species of molly were crossed with each other. This was all done to add colour to the otherwise dull looking fishes.

    Once a nicely coloured fish appeared, the fish farmers inbred the colourful fish to each other and got more colours. Once they had the colours they stopped hybridising species and simply inbred parents with offspring and brothers with sisters to keep increasing colour and patterns.

    If a new colour or pattern emerged then that fish and any of its relatives that looked similar, were used to create and establish that colour or pattern. Again this was done by inbreeding brothers with sisters and parents with young.

    About 20 years ago livebearers had deteriorated to such a degree, a number of Australian importers were thinking about dropping them because they had so many health issues, primarily caused by inbreeding. The fish farmers were told to shape up or we would buy our fish from somewhere else. Because of this the fish farmers in Asia have been adding wild caught bloodlines to try and fix the problems. Unfortunately for them most livebearers were protected and it is illegal to collect many of them. Some people were given permits and others just went out and caught them and smuggled them out of the country. Eventually new bloodlines were added to established colour forms and the fish are better than they have been, but they are still nowhere near as strong (from a genetic perspective) as they use to be or should be.

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    Combining the genetic issues caused by 50+ years of inbreeding with breeding in the same ponds in Asia that have been incorrectly medicated for 50+ years, (causing drug resistant organisms and leaving chemical residue in the ponds to weaken the fish), and major overstocking issues in fish farms, importers and retail tanks, and you have a group of fish that really don't get a very good chance to do anything except die before their time.

    If you can get locally bred stock they are usually much healthier and better quality than imported stock. And if you breed your own, the fry will usually be healthier than the parents especially if you cross the different colour forms of the same species.

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    I must point out that inbreeding and genetically weak fish is not restricted to livebearers. Goldfish are extremely inbred and are just as crap when it comes to health issues and defects. The original goldfish is a long slender dark bronze coloured fish with a single short tail. Today's goldfish still throw out a portion of the fry as bronze. These bronze fish get sold as feeder goldfish because they aren't colourful. However, they grow faster and have few health issues than the more colourful fish with weird body shapes.

    Fantail goldfish and fish with short fat bodies have numerous health issues and most of them are caused by shortening the fish's body to create short high bodied fish. Unfortunately when you take a fish and squish it up, you not only damage the spine and cause deformities to the back, but you also squish up the intestines & stomach, the swim bladder, liver and the kidneys. These organs then have more trouble working and the fish have more internal problems. And the organs being squished up can put more pressure on the heart.

    Most fish including normal wild bronze goldfish have a fairly straight digestive tract starting with the mouth and running almost straight along the body to the anus. When you make a short bodied goldfish you squash the guts up so the food no longer flows normally along a straight intestine and problems arise with air being trapped in pockets in the intestine, and kinks and bends occur causing major issues to the fish.

    Squishing up the swim bladder causes problems as well and 99% of goldfish that have swim bladder issues, are the short bodied varieties like fantails, moors, pearlscales and orandas.

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    Goldfish are not the only fish to have short deformed bodies. Balloon Mollies have the same issues as short bodied goldfish, and Dwarf Gouramis have numerous health issues caused by massive inbreeding to get more colourful fish.

    Off the fish topic for a moment and short snouted dogs like cavalier spaniels, bull dogs, pugs & boxers have breathing issues caused by being inbred and getting a shorter snout. And Persian cats have breathing problems too caused by shortening the nose/ snout area. People have screwed up lots of animals not just fish, and they claim it makes the breed better. I can't say what I want to about those breeders because I will get kicked from the forum. But basically, if an animal, bird of fish is inbred too many times, then problems will arise and the animal's life will normally be shortened due to the inbreeding for specific traits.
     
    #5 Colin_T, Jun 3, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
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  6. NickAu

    NickAu Member
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    Fish keepers are directly responsible for Endlers in their pure form being just about extinct in the wild.

    Slightly off topic.
    Fish keepers are directly responsible for Marimo moss balls being endangered in the wild.
     
  7. Ch4rlie

    Ch4rlie Unlicensed Moderating Moderator
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    Quite a sweeping statement implying it’s the fault of ALL fish keepers being responsible for those points.

    Not a statement I wholly agree with truth be told but responsibility equally lies with fish keepers, LFS as well as the suppliers.

    But this is an argument that should not arise as this is something that is so broad it’s unfair just to blame fishkeepers.
     
  8. fish48

    fish48 Member

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    I didn't rule out inbreeding l mentioned guppies are not as genetically weak as many fishkeppers believe .a ordenry pet shop guppy can be inbred for many years without addinga New blood line
     
  9. fish48

    fish48 Member

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    A friend of mine bought this strain of double sword guppy 17 years ago she is the only person to keep them up to date, they have been kept in a 3ft tank and allowed to flock breed meaning that they have been in- breeding and not adding new blood. Recently she has had a few problems one of them females producing very few young, she is concerned about losing them and not having many left she shipped to me 3 adult males and 3 small females in the hope that I can improve them. in a short period of time the females have almost doubled in size and soon will be producing Fry.

    i will keep you updated on the progress
     
  10. fish48

    fish48 Member

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    lost one male, females are coming into good condition main diet of mosquito larvae and white worms
     
  11. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    Wow! @fish48 those double swordtails are SWEET! I Dont think I've ever even seen a double swordtail picture, though I never actually searched for one. I love lyretail fish, though I doubt I'll ever have one, none of my guppies have that trait.

    But sweet looking fish! :)
     
  12. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Ask your local petshop if they can get you some in. They come in a range of colours including black, which looks really cool :)
     
  13. fish48

    fish48 Member

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    they are really nice looking double sword I will need to start getting fry from them soon to keep the strain going
     
  14. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Inbreeding definitely affects fish and this applies to egg layers as well as livebearers. Neon tetra for example are now known to be genetically much weaker and thus more susceptible to disease than wild neons. And this has been noticed with nearly every commercially bred species. Even if they do not contract disease, they often have shorter lifespans than wild counterparts.

    I am certainly not disputing the problems mentioned that would apply to any fish, and in many cases may be the actual issue. But I don't think we can overlook the fact that inbreeding has weakened the strains of fish which makes them more susceptible to disease, shorter lifespans, etc.
     
  15. Vengified

    Vengified Fish Fanatic

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    Inbreeding affects nearly anything with chromosomes in a negative way. I'm no biology expert, nor well versed in evolution, but it makes sense, if there is a weakness in a set of genomes and that same set is repeatedly bred, that weakness doesnt get purged like it would with fresh genes from an unrelated of its species. Even purebred dogs are an indicator of inherent problems based on breed, and tend to live shorter lives than a mutt.

    I do however recall reading about Cheetahs who inbred past the point of it causing ill effects, or too many ill effects or something of that sort. Again, not an expert, dont even remember the specific details of the cheetah thing.

    In either case, I'm sure it's not JUST inbreeding that causes the fish deaths, as there are many things most of us hobbyists cant see, control, or diagnose, even if we keep good parameters and feed right, some fish just dont make it. Humans are the same way, some illnesses really have no explanation, some cancers can strike otherwise healthy individuals. The difference being most humans get a diagnosis of the issue, where as spending thousands to diagnose fish is a much less common occurrence.

    On the topic of those swordtails, I'll have to ask the LFS here, any of the 3, if they have access to those types, or even lyretails. Only guppies I've ever seen at any of them, is round tail or fan tail. Maybe spade tails that were close to round tails. I like the pin tail type, that's like a round tail with a point sticking out too. I do see lyretail Mollie, and lyretail balloon molly quite often, but dont want too crossbreed and have "Muppies" or "Gollies" and I fear the balloon mollies, although they are cute and swim funny, probably aren't very hardy.
     

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