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Old 09-07-2010, 12:27 AM   #1 
rejohnson53
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Talking Responsible Fish Ownership

Hey guys,
I was working for the park service in Everglades this summer, and I was shocked to learn that there are THOUSANDS of different aquatic species that have taken up residence there but which are exotics and don't belong there. They are having a huge impact on the native ecosystems there and decimating native fish populations. I was also alarmed to find out that about 99% of these fish are aquarium releases or the descendants thereof. That means that people are dumping unwanted fish and snails into our waterways and those critters are finding their way into our natural areas. Snails are especially a problem, as they breed like crazy in some aquariums and the unwanted young are often thrown out, but survive to reproduce just as quickly.

I know that everyone here loves their fish, so I just wanted to send out an invitation for all of you to be responsible pet owners and not turn your fish or snails loose. It's cruel to them and detrimental to the environment. Also, some exotic fish are being banned from being sold because they have become such a problem, so I guess if we don't want to lose the ability to own certain fish, we need to play by the rules.

I know you people here on this forum probably aren't the problem, but perhaps you could help me spread the word? After all, that's how change happens, right?

Sorry for the rant guys I guess I'm just feeling passionate about this issue right now.

You guys are the best. Feedback is always welcome!
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Old 09-07-2010, 12:41 PM   #2 
Moldau
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I agree with you completely. I have heard of this sort of thing happening in many parts of the world. It can happen with plants, too. There are some species of plants that will completely choke out native plants if introduced.

Where I live, tropical fish let loose in the rivers and lakes wouldn't take over because they wouldn't survive the winter. It's still cruel to subject them to that, though.

It seems so obvious: If you don't want the fish anymore for some reason, take them back to the pet store if possible or give them to someone who will take care of them. I doubt anyone here needs to be told that though.
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:36 PM   #3 
nochoramet
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Yep, I agree 100%, not just with fish and snails, but any other sort of exotic pet. Florida has a horrible problem with all the pet constrictor snakes just being set loose in the Everglades and it's just getting worse and worse.
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:09 PM   #4 
rejohnson53
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Originally Posted by nochoramet View Post
Yep, I agree 100%, not just with fish and snails, but any other sort of exotic pet. Florida has a horrible problem with all the pet constrictor snakes just being set loose in the Everglades and it's just getting worse and worse.
Tell me about it... I've seen said constrictors out in the Everglades (I'm a herp-lover) and it's scary how many of them are out there. They think there are several thousand of them. Also there are pet shops that I've heard of that release unattractive or unhealthy specimens instead of trying to sell them. Poor things, most of them wind up starving or as roadkill, and those that survive become part of the problem. ;(
I wonder if aquarium stores practice the same thing...
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Old 09-07-2010, 03:17 PM   #5 
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Oh man, that's horrible! Those poor things! I'm a herp-lover too, I just only have space/time for my fishies right now. I've seen a lot of shows about it, and on the internet too. It's just... I don't even know the right word for it!
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:01 PM   #6 
Oldfishlady
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So, so, true.....most areas it is illegal to dump tropical species into native water ways, and not only can the non-native species hurt the native species from either pathogens or out competing them in the native habitat.

You also have to look at native species that have been in contact with non-native species, for example, you put native plants or animals in your tropical tank and then decide they are not working out.
You can't release these native items that have been in contact with tropical pathogens back into the native habitat....because-they now could have contacted a tropical pathogen that the native species have zero antibodies/resistant to and it can kill off that ecosystem


To do the right thing by our wonderful ecosystem and native habitats....you must destroy anything that was natural collected and not re-release it back to its native waters......its is more than the plant or animal itself-be it tropical or native....it is pathogens/disease that the ecosystem has NO defense against.........and this can often be what destroys the ecosystem.........a person with a kind heart and good intentions but with little understanding of how that good intention just killed the ecosystem.....

Please be responsible.................
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:11 PM   #7 
peaches3221
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by nochoramet View Post
Yep, I agree 100%, not just with fish and snails, but any other sort of exotic pet. Florida has a horrible problem with all the pet constrictor snakes just being set loose in the Everglades and it's just getting worse and worse.
yeah, the sad part is that people buy them as pets and don't do research first and they dont realize how big they get/how much work they are and they let them go.
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Old 09-07-2010, 06:38 PM   #8 
Alex09
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So true.

Still, I cant imagine fancy bettas ever being able to survive in the wild... maybe plakats, but definitely not the long finned variety.

I cant remember but there is a city somewhere in the US that has a big problem with budgerigars (those little parakeets native to australia).
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Old 09-07-2010, 08:15 PM   #9 
Laurenie
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Originally Posted by Alex09 View Post
So true.

Still, I cant imagine fancy bettas ever being able to survive in the wild... maybe plakats, but definitely not the long finned variety.

I cant remember but there is a city somewhere in the US that has a big problem with budgerigars (those little parakeets native to australia).
You'd be surprised lol. I have a friend who was out at the park one day and her friend found a long-finned betta in the pond. She caught it and took it home. No way of knowing for sure how it got there or how long it had been there.

Also, I want to stress again what OFL said. Once you bring a plant or animal into captivity, even if it is a native species, you legally (at least where I live) release it back into the wild. Many people do this with animals like turtles and snakes, etc. This is dangerous to our ecosystem for all the reasons OFL listed. Wildlife rehabbers have special permits to release animals into the wild, I'm guessing most of us don't.
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Old 09-07-2010, 09:45 PM   #10 
dramaqueen
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I agree with everything that has been said. Thanks, rejohnson for bringing this to our attention.
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