View Full Version : Are breed colored discus preferred over the wild strains?
10-10-2006, 02:57 AM
A friend stopped by today and David asked:
I've felt the bred derived Discus with solid colors (say a blue diamond) etc where like the Glow in the dark Zebras, Parrot fish, painted glass fish and other abomnations to suit our own whims rather than a naturally appearing fish.
Adding a fish like that to a "nature aquarium", as many enjoy calling them seems counter to the entire idea..............
Why might I be wrong in my view?
10-10-2006, 03:38 AM
Because I agree. Many years ago I lusted after Cobalt Blues. I still enjoy Degen's Red Cobalts for their contrast, but I just can't say they are actually more attractive than great big ole Tefes, a nice Heckle, or truth be known...a grip of robust Altum Angels. The first fish I fell in love with as a boy were the Altums down at Pasquale's Pizzaria. These days they may very well be my last Tango ! :cool: The wife's been seeing a trio of German Cobalts on the sly...Women ???
10-10-2006, 04:30 AM
I would not put physically painted glass fish and genetically engineered GFP danios in the same category as artificially selected but still coming from natural gene pools breeds.
Moreover, "nature aquarium" concept coined by Amano and ADA, in my opinion, is a direct projection of traditional Japanese gardening into the glass confines of an aquarium. And to quote Japan National Tourist Organization: "The classic Japanese garden is an artificial garden that reproduces natural scenic beauty in a heightened intensity."
To achieve that "heightened intensity" we do use types of hardscape never found in natural waters, all sorts of not truly aquatic plants, cultivar plants, species of fish from different biotopes, etc.
So I guess it is a fair game to use breeds. As long as they look natural enough. In case of discuss, in my opinion, some breeds do not quite make it.
10-10-2006, 05:41 AM
Thanks for having me over, you had some nice rock collection going there. My favorite wood was the miniature tree you had at your side yard.
10-10-2006, 05:51 AM
Sorry about the initial confusion David.
The little trees are neat and they can make the scapes look cool later.
Have not seen anyone do things like that.
One of the main tenents of Zen and Japanese gardens has always been to achieve the art of being artlessness.
Such contrived animals that are selectively bred for gaudy colorations seems misappropreiate for a natural attermpt of any sort to me.
For myself, it's like adding plastic plants, no matter how real, they are not natural.
Naturally selected, hybrids, genetic engineering, really does matter that much to myself.
There is no right or wrong answer, it's very much the personal choice and aesthetics that play into this question.
Such is art, fish choice and scaping.
I had Diamond blues and breed them about 10 years ago, I liked them.
I just got them at the club meeting because no one else would pay more than 5$ for them and I ended up with 5:)
Never had them prior, never found them particularly interesting before.
But many certainly do.
10-10-2006, 09:31 PM
One of the main tenents of Zen and Japanese gardens has always been to achieve the art of being artlessness. Such contrived animals that are selectively bred for gaudy colorations seems misappropreiate for a natural attermpt of any sort to me.
Does that also apply to plants that have been selectively bred or hybridized to achieve certain characteristics? They look natural.
In my opinion there is nothing "natural" looking about a Japanese garden, any more than there is to my landscaped front yard. Nicely colored koi or goldfish enhance the garden by providing contrast and movement.
10-10-2006, 11:30 PM
I think bred lines of discus or even the glo-danios are fine. The point for most of us is not to replicate nature, but rather to create something similar to nature, but more attractive than nature. Obviously, which particular discus a person likes depends on a particular person's aestethic sense. Besides, with rare exception, none of us would know what "natural" discus or other tropical fish looked like, except by seeing them in books or aquariums. So, really, if your only opposition to an unnatural fish is that it looks unnatural, you're really saying it doesn't look like what you're used to seeing in certain unnatural settings.
As for "painted" fish, I think physically dyeing a fish is cruel and I try to avoid stores that sell them.
10-11-2006, 01:26 AM
Does a wolf better symbolize the wild and nature or does a pack of French Poodles? Do we see bred dogs and other pets as "natural"?
........the wild cows of Iowa......
I personally don't mind Blue bred etc discus for this FYI.
I'm just wondering more about the fish that are often added to a scape in this question.
Seems odd to call it a "Nature" aquarium.
More like the farm aquarium or Aqua culture, growing the weeds/breeding the fish.
Seems more like agriculture than Nature:p
10-11-2006, 01:54 AM
Well Tom, you have your opinions and you are entitled to them, they can't really be called "wrong":D
It's true that none of these fish are achieved in a natural way, but they vary from nature in different ways, and to me the methods is which they vary makes them acceptable or unacceptable.
Injecting them with an artificail dye that causes cancer in the fish is an abomination, and shouldn't be allowed. I bought some for my kids before I became better educated. Will never do again.
Crossing 2 fish that would not normally do so an achieveing a "blood parrot" is quesionable, and a fish I will not own. From what I have read, these fish are malformed, and some are unable to eat properly. IMO..also an abomination.
I am not familiar with the "glow in the dark" Zebras. If it's injected dye...you now know my opinion on that.
Now...I have just acquired some blue diamond discus. This is my first attempt at discus, and they were offered to me at a great price. I'm deriving from the dicsussion here that they must be selectively bred for the color, much as dogs are bred to fix "desired" traits. I was not aware of this when I got them.
IMO...selective breeding is different that the examples of the dyed fish and the parrots, but still not "natural.
Of course...natural would mean no stocking tanks with any captive bred fish, right? Does that include only using plants that are harvested from the wild?
A lot of fish and plants in the hobby are bred/raised in fellow hobbist's tanks. You will have selective breeding because the gene pool is limited in the "captive" envrionment. Breeding the same stock, and the offspring of that stock ends up with the same results as breeding a discus for a certain color..fixing the traits of that stock.
Just my thoughts....
Personally...I'm not driven enough to be that picky. My goal is healthy fish and a tank that is pleasing in appearance :p
"wild cows of Iowa"....ROFLOL...haven't met any up close eh?
10-11-2006, 08:17 PM
I had Blue Diamond Discus from Jack Wattley for years ... while they were beautiful, when Discus get frightened, they often will loose their color and many of their natural colors or imperfections will show ...
My 180 gallon tank was in my office and my discus got quite accustomed to my movements and the movements of most of my co-workers. But when a "guest" would come in, their movements would sometimes startle my Discus. And then you would see what to me was a "dirty white" or "dingy grey" color.
So I personally am not a fan of the Blue Diamond variety ...
I also had the Hi-Fin Colbat discus and I also briefly had some Red Spotted Green discus from Jack Wattley. I liked both of these, but *personally* I really liked the Red Spotted Green ... I not only liked their coloration, but I also thought they were more natural ...
Traditionally in the hobby, we have gone through many different "fads" ... sometimes the hobby in general focuses on finage ... sometimes the hobby focuses on solid color ... sometimes the hobby focuses on color varieties (just take a look at what Bettas are popular right now) ...
And then there are some diehard fans that care about Species Maintenence and Preservation ... I often fall into this camp <grin> ... but when I am not in the species maintenence mindset, I usually then to have natural biases towards solid colors (that was what was popular when I was a child and thus was my first impression of what was "right") ...
Thus we all can have our personal opinions about what we personally "prefer" and I think that is what is important ...
Sometimes what we personally care about can change ... with swordtails, I prefer a more wild natural green heleri swordtail and care very much about the row of what I call red dots that is typical of many wild populations ...
However ... if we are talking about mollies, I prefer a Sailfin Black Molly that is pure black with a yellow/gold band on the top of the sailfin ...
Both of these are personal preferences of what I think is "right" <grin> ...
This year, our local aquarium club is having a breeding contest - and the fish is a gold fleck speckle molly (gee, that name means nothing to me <grin>) ... it is actually a very beautiful fish, but it is not what I would personally choose ... but I am excited about it for our club program ...
10-12-2006, 02:18 AM
We "artifically" select the traits. Whether it's done with molecular transformations or the slower breeding methods I still find it artificial, hybrid plants not found in nature etc as well.
Fancy Guppies etc.
Now I like these critters and all too........but I just don't think it's congruent with the nature concept and aesthetic either..........
Something about it does not jive.
Emulation of the nature is one thing, but these artifical elements are not bred/designed , created with that in mind.
I think that exceeding nature's plan and doctoring it up is sort of what we do with planted tanks, in this sense, such fish are agreeable.
I'm still on the fence about all this personally.
10-12-2006, 12:54 PM
I don't see this as a cut and dried issue...at least not as this 'stage" of my development.
If your intention is to have a natural tank...then you should research what is needed, and have the correct plants and fish. I'd even go so far as to say you should have the correct plants together with the correct fish, as in a biotope tank. How natural is tp have plants from Africa growing next to plants from Asia? Or Austrailian fish in with North American plants? Malaysisan driftwood in with African cichlids?
But as to what is right?? I can't say that. Someone who has clown loaches swimming with boesemani rainbows shouldn't be throwing stones:p
When I started keeping planted tanks, my intention was to keep a biotope tank. I have drifted from that based on what I found pleasing and what was available to me in the area. I am at the point that I view plants as to what plant contrasts with another, and will look good next to each other with view to color and leaf type, and what fishes provide a variety of colors.
I've got to say, I find the blue diamonds interesting. The color change they do is facinating to me. They go from black to blend in with the background, to an almost electric blue when they are happy, to a pale whitish blue when startled or stressed. I hope someday to go to a bigger discus tank with other varieties. but I don't see myself as wanting a wild fish taken out of it's enviroment. There are plenty of captive bred ones around.
10-12-2006, 04:35 PM
Here is a good link for those who wonder what a "natural" discus should look like.
Diskus Wildfänge (http://www.amazon-exotic-import.de/Gallerie/Diskuswildf%E4nge/INDEX.htm)
No high fin Blue Diamond nor perfectly round Pigeon Blood could be found in nature because if such strains exist; they would first to be eaten by piranhas. Those names were just the general locations where these fishes were found.
12-12-2006, 11:10 PM
Here is a pic of a couple of my Discus, this is my mated pair of Sunshine Discus and Snakeskin on the left.
These guys add such vibrant color to the tank, especially contrasting against the live plants. They also have never changed color even when stressed. I do have a couple wild Discus as well and they will turn a dull yellow/pale color when stressed.
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