Hey to everyone on this website...im a VERY proud owner of 4 parrot fish....why dose everyone seem to have a problem with parrots?!...i love them sooo much...there funny little feesh with lovely personalities...i dont get it...i dont see the difference of cross breeding a dog and cross breeding fish?...everyone seems to be ok with like cute little maltese poodles or a golden doodle(retreiver cross poodle)...whats the difference?...
I don't agree with overly inbred dogs either. When a fish is inbred so badly that it has deformities that shorten its lifespan just to make it look prettier then to me that is crossing the line of animal cruelty. It's personal choice but I would never keep these fish nor recommend them to anyone else. I guess our views of them here in the UK are very different because not many shops sell them any more and they get reviews like this- http://www.practicalfishkeeping.co.uk ... rticle.php?article_id=331
Yeah its an ever present problem, hybridisation per se , is neither necessarily immoral or cruel, though it is foolish generally to create gene mixes because of numerous health resons, and because of aberrant behaviour that make life difficult for the animal throughout its life. Also a hybrid species is untested in terms of having hybrid vigour and indeed its possible to create superspecies that once released, no matter how accidentally, will massively outcompete native species and change ecosystems around them.
The first generation flowerhorns for example were relatively healthy, but as time has passed the more unscrupulous breeders are refining them into increasingly less healthy body forms, purely out of human vanity.
I'll run some stats past you, and you can up your own mind about whether or not promoting parrats cichlids to mainstream is acceptable culture.
An average 50% of parrot cichlids are culled from the neonatal shoal because of deformities too severe to live through, or too ugly to the eye to tolerate. People are birthing severely deformed fry out there. I personally have seen a few specimens with heads on a 45 degree tilt, their lives will be short and agonising. I have seen lips that cross so badly, feeding eventually becomes impossible. I have seen spines recurved so badly the fish is essentially paralysed from the midpoint of the spine and its motility badly effected. Such a fish will never find a partner, so obvious is it affliction, and its life is a sadnees of lonliness, rejection and persecution from other fish. Sooner or later it will succumb to constipation, maldigestion, exhaustion and nervous exhaustion and suboordinate stress.
Most male parrot cichlids, often more vigourously hit by developmental deformity, suffer malformation of the gill gcover edge. Its generally not aligned perfectly, and the older and more keratinised it gets the more the gill cover tends to have gill lamellae extrude beyond it and wrap around it, and the more the aperture become inefficient for the fishs respiration. Abraded gill lamellae are of course more prone to infection.
The spinal curvature also dictates the shape of the ribs, and the intercostal muscles, these in a parrot cichlid are hopelessly compressed. This lends itself to compression on the GI tract, the kidney, the liver and the swim bladder. Due to constant organ compression the larger percentage of parrot cichlids suffer symptoms common to gaseous maldigetion, renal failure, constipation, all commonly misconstrued as tradional dropsy. Their genetically predermined weight gain compounds these symptoms by clogging the liver with fat from even a suprisingly lean diet, thus impeding renal function further. Fat reserves will build up in numerous cavity areas unaturally, further giving even less room for normal organ growth. The result is that the vast majority of parrot cichlids, perhaps some 95% or so, die before their fourth birthday, a stark contrast to most of the progenitor species, that typically make 10 years plus.
This isnt a life, this is a period of sufferring before death. This is like owning a puppy that is so deformed it would not make 5 years. Or birthing a child that will never see past its 30's. We are doing all this, for vanity. Its not good enough. It is not like a dog breed, it is nothing like a dog breed, if a dog died age 5 there would be uproar, and also, your lack of genetics knowledge is showing. Domestic dogs are not hybrids, they are one species. They are breeds. Breeds and species are entirely different things.
But thats not the end of it. Parrot cichlids are bred largely under protected copyright in singapore, thailand, japan and others. Thats is why their exact gene mix is hard to come by, its a trade protected secret. In thailand for example they discovered a viable line of parrot cichlids that could breed without hormone therapy. So what did they do about it? To conform with trade export agreements, and to protect the lineage from being redistributed and copied globally, they sterilize the fish withexposures to low frequency radiation, much as you might sterilise mosquitos for release to reduce problem populations. Healthy eh?
What next, I could detail on the problems of transporting fish all over the world that often have reduced gill function. Needless to say, they dont tend to do too well in cases and bags. Yes, the deathrates will be as you imagine, your talking an average 40% loss at least from transport alone.
Then of course we have an ethical problem with supporting people who breed them. First, breeding a parrot cichlid is obviously a horribly blinkered and morally corrupt thing to do, because many of the fish themselves suffer, and only a supremely selfish person unaware of animal sufferring would wish to see such a bloodline exist (hey , people might love the downs syndrome kids they have, im sure people adore stephen hawking, but do you really want to breed an entire race of people who may suffer by that degree? Methinks not) but also because many of these breeders also perform the dyeing procedure.
The colouring of parrot cichlids to any colour outside of the range of natural colour you would find in a midas cichlid (ie white cream, orange , warm red) is artificially administered via injection, on a production line, to thousands of fish, often from multiple locations, with no quarantine, in filthy conditions, by unskilled low paid workers. I doubt even handwashing is a priority.
The injection procedure itself involves a nice blunt preused needle, a filthy vial filled with mercury based paint, food colouring , commercial industrial dyes for the fabric industry. Anything really, to put no finer point on it, any old shit they can find to colour a fish that wont kill it in less than a month, (hopefully). They are not dipped, they are not fed colour, they are INJECTED. Above water, multiple times, its the equivalent of someone stabbing you underwater with a blunt pencil several hundred times, leaving you with a bruised body full of home kit hair colouring, and from a pencil thats been used on a hundred other people, aids, meningitis , hepatitus , whatever. Thats why many parrot cichlids show lymphocystic, mycobacterial, and protozoan parasites after aquisition. Nuff said on that subject.
So in essence when you buy a parrot cichlid, even an undyed one you are still supporting the same motley crew of animal abusing bastards that do the injections, to put no finer point on it. Its a bit like buying a ripoff dvd might not be the same league of offense as keeping a 9 year old child drugged on herion in a london flat for the sex trade, but the money often goes to the same crooks at the heart of both criminal activities.
Then of course theres the "love heart parrot" where basically you take young parrot cichlid, and clamp off or cut its til off to create a "cute" shape. Well im sorry, but thats akin to taking a dogs rear legs of with shears. IT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. To top off the humiliation, they will probably be dyed too. ----------------------------------------------------------
Because of these issues , perhaps you can now see why people dont exactly leap to join you in parrot cichlid fandom. Indeed if you proclaim to be an animal lover yourself, take a little journey with me through a parrot cichlids eyes. Empathy generally isnt your average parrot cichlid owners forte.
1) Parrot cichlids, if their mouths worked, would shear bits off plants and eat them, just like a severum. They do indeed try, they watch other fish eat, and are unable to themselves imbibe. Now that must be just frustrating as shit. Their instincts tell them to try and will never stop telling them. Thats a bit like being an amputee.
2) A parrot cichlid is a big fish, it has the genes of territorial cichlids, they want to hold territory, engage in liplocks as shows of strength, occassionally to aid bonds with mates, they want to clean nestsites. They cant defend their territories from fish which at their size they should be able to secure a territory against. They cant. They will never stop wanting to.
3) Cichlids live to breed, they spend most of their lives looking for mates, prepping territory, honing their instincts for the protection of young. Because the males are never fertile the eggs never hatch, even if you parrots breed, they will never see fry, never spend the period of their lives serving the natural imperative for fry raising, and they may doubt each other as partners because the eggs arent fertile. Females have abandoned males before now for fish that are fertile. Several acaras ahave successfully bred with female parrots outside of breeders and in the home. The male in this situ is unfairly abandoned to a life of loneliness. Under normal circumstances in a parrot pair ,get to watch their eggs rot about day 4or 5 and wander around looking for fry that have never hatched. I could cry for them.
How do I know this? Oh, Ive watched it about 12 times.
Pride can turn to shame very quickly when you own a parrot cichlid. Dont think youd like that if it was you in the same position. Im sure there isnt much more heartbreaking a thing for any animal, even a fish, than a stillborn.
Yet for all this, parrots are amiable creatures toward their human owner, they carry their ailments without complaint and with great fortitude, and in that pehaps the admiration for them comes, but also a sense of massive pity, that an animal with a mind so noble should ever be sd afflicted by handicap that need never have happened. How much better it would be to see that mind in a healthy undeformed cichlid, where it should be , in a proud midas, a gorgeous and perfect severum, a strident and powerful white convict. O reven in a viable hybrid with no lip deformity with no compression issues and the expectation of a long, full, and productive life.
We should not be doing this to them. To respect them, would be to let the line end.
So, as you can see, fandom of this particular hybrid is a naive self indulgence. I have two, they are as healthy as can be reasonably expected, though the male is showing increasing gill deformity of a level that will claim his life before much more time passes.
Mine were rescues, they were bought by a child who had no hope of keeping them alive, indulged by a naive parent,inspired by a naive american fan culture that has no conception of what it is to encourage ownership of these fish. They are not easy to keep, they are not healthy, and the industry that creates them is immoral , foul, blind, and deeply stupid.
I stepped in , because I am an experienced cichlid keeper, and crippled or not I will see them through as best I can with love and as many freedoms I can give them.
Its not the fish we hate, we merely pity them, its the people who breed them we hate. With a vengeance. Its the very antithesis of good fishkeeping.
Its not about personal choice, for no-one should be permitted to be blinkered to sufferring. The trade in parrot cichlids encourages animal abuse on masse in many nations across the globe, it spreads disease, and removes people via its crazy childish fandom to ignore sensible fishkeeping values.
You were removed from the caresheet group because your attitude was neither aware nor mature enough to be making recommmendations for fish such as these, the caresheets were also of low quality. When your aspect becomes one of a more mature fishkeeper I trust that decision might be recinded, but as yet, you are not ready. Working in a pet store barely gets you on the bottom rung round here im afraid. Most common fishstore culture needs to be stripped away before true fishkeeping skills come out.
I hope I have opened your eyes as to perhaps where the beginning of that process is. Its about taste, decorum, accuracy, skill and most of all - responsibility. This is not a fansite for the heavily explotative part of the fish industry, people care here. To care is to take personal account of the quality of information you give, both in regard to individuals and to the hobby as a whole.
I, like many others , do not believe the production of fish like parrot cichlids in any way enhances this hobby, quite the reverse, it brings fishkeepers as a whole into disrepute. The production of parrot cichlids is a mistake,and hugely self indulgent, irresponsible and abusive culture, produced from the minds of people who live in countries where the concept of animal abuse does not exist, where forms of life are nothing more than a commodity.
Im quite pleased, nay unexpectedly proud to say that UK nationals have had the common sense, where many others have not, to say "enough is enough, this has gone too far, and animals should not be exploited to this degree, we dont want this part of the fish trade".
Seriously, what sick fu**ing retard chops a fishs tail off?
Then for your viewing pleasure, a motley selection of freaks. Just take a moment to appreciate what lipid chunks, and level of spinal deformities some of these have. As far as im concerned any arsehole can give a fish a fancy name. A turd called nirvana is still brown and smelly.
Thats the tip of the iceberg. Parrot fish culture has some of the most naive, most morally corrupt, repulsive and disgusting fishkeepers on the planet involved in it. My advice to people , steer well clear. Like youd avoid a convicted rapist with ibola , aids, bubonic plague, leprosy and halitosis, and a stalkers streak, all at once.
I trust the point has been made sufficiently ?
THATS the difference. Its no little thing. That people choose to ignore all this for a "pretty fish" is a real problem, sign of a weak society IMHO. A real lack of morals and character.
..im not buying dyed parrots..thats horrible...and parrots can live a long and happy life...and deformaties happen randomly to 'pure' fish...like severums...or whatever...you all can think what you want...and i think what i want...PARROTS ARE AWSOME.
So in conclusion then, what you see when you look at a parrot cichlid is a fish designed specifically for exclusivity of profit. Its a salemans dream. In fact profit is the parrot cichlids designer, lets face it mama nature couldnt be that dumb.
Looks at the profits and sales points.
1) Its colourful, and if not, they will dye it to any colour you want. 2) They cannot be bred in the home, they have to be bought to be replaced. 3) The mouth is destroyed to increase the amount of communities in which people will be willing to house it. It cant do most other fish a great deal of damage, it unfortunately makes them vulnerable to other cichlids, but dont you worry, they will have more cichlids along these lines for you soon. Look how flowerhorns are going. 4) Theyre unhealthy, they are of standard cichlid water quality requirement - ergo most beginners will kill them en masse, and few have any potential for longevity. This increases sales.
If there is a person out there who falls for product marketing hook line and sinker, they will find them, the profits of parrots are huge. Stop the rot, dont take part in it.
Trust me, when someone first set out to create the perfect aquarium fish , this isnt what anyone had in mind, this is the corporate version, and a life should not become the pet equivalent of the the disposable lightbulb. If mama nature made lightbulbs , they would last 20 years and self reproduce. Edisons first light, still works incidentally.
This is trading lives for profit. Let the breeders of this hybrid know that this is not what we want from them or for the future of our hobby.
I think youve seen a reasonable example of parrot cichlid lover logic in this thread. Thats the culture you could be buying into. I dont think I could have made it any clearer.
The fishkeeper has to remain aware and informed. Its just the world we live in im afraid, if we want to change it, then we have to unite on these issues, and make sure the trade hears our voice.
I dont know about you, but I dont want my fish to be pay-per-view. I like breeding my own. These fish are bred, or perhaps the word is "made" specifically to dupe easily seduced people, beginners, uninitiates, and people who want their fish to be disposable, or people who never look deeply at anything, who perhaps trust a little too easily, who go into things a little flat footed.