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Unethical reef keeping


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#1
JamesHL88

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In this hobby the general consensus on the web is that we care about the well being of our animals. But to what extent? Do you, for the most part, want a pretty box with colorfull moving things to look at? Or do you actually have an affection for these fish and corals the way you would a household pet? I believe nano-reef.com is the perfect place for this conversation, because by keeping nano sized tanks many of us are pushing the bounderies of what the majority of the reefing community considers to be humane to the fish in our glass prisons. So hopefully i might actually be able to uncover some like minded people as me with this thread.
Now im not saying that i am intentionally cruel to fish under my care but i have done things that would get me flammed. For instance, Ive flushed fish with parasites to keep them from spreading to my entire tank. Some people see that as cruel. I just see how i avoided infecting the rest of my fish and saved alot of time, effort, and money. How is that any more acceptable than buying feeder fish or shrimp with the intentions of them dieing for the good of your tank?Now would i shoot my dog if it was sick? No! The dog loves me and shows emotions. The fish is an animal of instinct. If there is a threat it hides, if there is food it comes out. Just because my fish is no longer scared of me doesnt mean it has affection for me. I try my best to keep the inviroment in my aquariums as well suited to my fish as possible so that they will be active, get fat, and live long, not so they will "be happy." If i did buy into the idea of a happy fish then i doubt there are any of them in aquariums.
I can say that i did recently discover that a had developed an emotional attatchment to a pair of clowns that i had for a year. I took two black and white occy clowns to the LFS to trade them in for some different fish i wanted. One of them being a regular occy. I told him they were paired and needed to be housed seperately from his other clowns to avoid fighting so he put them in the smallest tank there :( i felt bad about it untill i got home and the kids saw "Nemo" then i knew i had made the right decision.
What makes me bring this up is observing how the masses jump on someone and flame for bringing up things like tangs, and mandarin dragonettes in unsuitable tanks. Are we doing this because we love and care about the quality of life for fish? Or are we just flaming at them because we have more experience and want them to know that we are supperior reef keepers?
To me this is a an art/science hobby. Fish are not my friends. The are part of my aquatic ant farm, my sea life shadow box.
I dont expect to change anyones mind about this topic. I just would like to hear from both sides because we never get to hear from the unethical reef keepers.

#2
seabass

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You could have treated the fish in a hospital tank. :unsure: If not, instead of flushing, cutting its spinal cord at the base of the head is probably a more humane way to kill it.

Edited by seabass, 27 February 2012 - 01:03 PM.

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#3
nor_cal_nano

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Flame* Flamed* Flaming*

I keep fish to look at. I go elsewhere for companionship.

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#4
Daveg99

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I dont name my fish nor do I think of them as pets like a dog. But I do try and care for them so that they can be happy.

#5
Islandoftiki

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How to Humanely Euthanize a Fish

#6
JamesHL88

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If not, instead of flushing, cutting its spinal cord at the base of the head is probably a more humane way to kill it.


O.o your dangerous

#7
TinyGiant

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this might shed some light on things a little

I worked at a LFS for about 16 years and one thing always seemed kind of odd..

there are tons of rules and laws when it comes to keeping animals. space, cleaning wise.. etc when it comes to fish there are no rules. The only rules usually are geared more toward endangered protection or local laws to protect certain fishes from being kept and then released into the wild.

I think its because the general consensus is that fish dont feel pain.

I think instead of moral ethics, responsibility comes more into play.

#8
patback

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It is my pretty box to look at and noting more. I get more upset that I spent 5 bucks on a frag and it died than I care about it dieing, unless I thought It was unique in some way.

#9
altolamprologus

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I know my fish don't love me nor do I love them, but I respect the fact that they are living creatures and deserve to be treated with respect simply because of that fact. They depend on me for their health and their lives so I provide. When I flame people for keeping fish in unsuitable environments, I don't do it just to prove that I know more than that person, I do it so the fish doesn't die a premature death. Sure they don't get depressed or anything like that, but they sure as hell have adverse health effects from stress.

I pride myself on providing superior care to my animals and helping them live long, healthy lives. What's so wrong with that? And if I have to be a b!tch to people to get them to realize their ideas suck, so be it.

You're the type of man who passes by sports illustrated and grabs encyclopedia brittanica when you take a dump, huh?

Did someone mention Alto ???
Im GAGA for Alto !!

I'd give you a hug but you might stab me

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#10
BigRok

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As far as a humane environment, I don't believe any of us can really consider an aquarium a humane place to house fish. A single species of anyone's fish would have an entire house of water to itself in a reef. We are keeping an ongoing, collective science experiment; a small biotope constantly on the edge of collapse.

I personally feel there is a bit of contradiction out there amongst hobbiests who are so adamant about what they feel is the proper housing of a Tang or a Dragonette, but are willing to enclose their choice of specimens in what could be deemed an equally unsuitable environment.

As far as ethics go, I think it is unethical to needlessly slaughter fish. I don't feed any of my fish live feeders, but exclusively for nutritional value, I choose specific fresh cuts instead. Is it unethical either way? I don't think so. Either way I'm going to be feeding my fish at the expense of another fish. Something has to die to keep something else alive.

Ultimately I feel my goal is to keep a fish alive and healthy for as long or longer than the same specimen would survive in the wild. At any zoo, you will see the same principles. A pride of lions living in a cage not much bigger than a two story house. Grizzly bears roaming an enclosure just fractions of it's natural habitat. But in any accredited zoo, these animals typically have a lifespan of 10-25% longer in captivity than in the wild. If I can accomplish that in my aquarium, then I feel I have succeeded at provided my animals a full and "happy" life.

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#11
adinsxq

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i eat my fish when they die.

Long live the CM!


#12
JamesHL88

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Sure they don't get depressed or anything like that, but they sure as hell have adverse health effects from stress.

I pride myself on providing superior care to my animals and helping them live long, healthy lives. What's so wrong with that? And if I have to be a b!tch to people to get them to realize their ideas suck, so be it.


I like you

#13
altolamprologus

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I like you

:flower:

You're the type of man who passes by sports illustrated and grabs encyclopedia brittanica when you take a dump, huh?

Did someone mention Alto ???
Im GAGA for Alto !!

I'd give you a hug but you might stab me

29 gallon reef; 20 gallon angler lagoon

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#14
Islandoftiki

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I tend to get attached to my fish/inverts. I'm always bummed if there's a loss. My fiance really loves the critters in teh tank, her eyes got a little watery when one of the cleaner shrimp died. I'm pretty sure she'll cry if something happens to our sixline, and I would be uber bummed about that, too.

I can't say I'm sad when a coral doesn't fluorish, but I certainly don't ever want them to die. They aren't exactly cheap.

My goal is always to provide the best possible home for my critters and not to keep things that are inappropriate for my tank. I thoroughly research everything before putting it in the tank.

And my fiance named the sixline Maddy.

#15
JamesHL88

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Our kids name my fish. I have 26 fish nammed Sally and one named Nemo.

#16
jauld

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i eat my fish when they die.

This ^

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#17
metrokat

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I keep fish to look at. I go elsewhere for companionship.

I should quote you.

Our kids name my fish. I have 26 fish nammed Sally and one named Nemo.

:lol:

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#18
PwnMe

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I disagree with the notion that an aquarium is instantly an inhumane way of housing fish. Sure a fish can freely roam the entire reef, just as I can roam the entire world. But I don't because I am confined to a house with everything I need. Just as a fish is housed in an aquarium. I say as long as proper conditions are maintained, fish should be quite content. We are providing homes without predators and constant food.

This is just my opinion... as for humane treatment... I have done bad things in the past before I knew what I was doing. I flushed my catfish when I was 8. However I provide a clean environment and have never had a fish die of disease. Most just jump out :D

And my opinion for fish as pets? My lone clownfish is named Wiggles McSwimmingsworth and he's my bro. He headbutts my hand and swims in circles. As a poor college student... he means a fair amount to me. Probably because I can't afford amazing 90 reefs or anything.

#19
calveezzzy

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I enjoy your rant OP, and I agree with your views.

I am keeping up with this thread to hear everyone else's views.

#20
metrokat

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I know my fish don't love me nor do I love them,

Oh stop it, I can totally dig up some posts of your with hearts and shi# for the blob of doom.

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#21
Dnato

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Now would i shoot my dog if it was sick? No! The dog loves me and shows emotions. The fish is an animal of instinct. If there is a threat it hides, if there is food it comes out. Just because my fish is no longer scared of me doesnt mean it has affection for me.


Dog love?
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#22
altolamprologus

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Oh stop it, I can totally dig up some posts of your with hearts and shi# for the blob of doom.

Ok so maybe there's a bit of an attachment there. He is one bad@ss muthaf*cka

You're the type of man who passes by sports illustrated and grabs encyclopedia brittanica when you take a dump, huh?

Did someone mention Alto ???
Im GAGA for Alto !!

I'd give you a hug but you might stab me

29 gallon reef; 20 gallon angler lagoon

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#23
PwnMe

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Ok so maybe there's a bit of an attachment there. He is one bad@ss muthaf*cka


Completely off topic but I have Calvuses in my one tank. I adore the Tanganyika Cichlids.

#24
metrokat

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Ok so maybe there's a bit of an attachment there. He is one bad@ss muthaf*cka

:lol:

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#25
tinkerer

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i do become attached to some of my fish. for instance in my FW tank i have a 6yr old black and white angel that has enough personality to keep me entertained and a dwarf ram that hangs out right next to me in the tank when i am on the couch. the ram will leave the corner of the tank when i leave the couch and while i am sure this is just the fact it knows i feed it it is still an attachment. so far i have no attachment to the inhabitants of my BC, but i do freak out if something seems out of place.