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Discussion Starter #1
I was at a Pet Supplies Plus yesterday and saw some mollies with extremely strange markings on them. I ask the fish guy what they were and he said they were "tattoo mollies". He said the fish were sedated and the markings were drawn on them with permanent, water-proof color. WHAT?? Has anyone ever heard of this? Is it safe? Is it cruel?




 

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Yes, I have seen this. It is considered extremely cruel and I believe it damages the fish, it is sometimes done to blood parrots and a couple other species of fish. Apparently the ink poisons the fish and as a result makes it have a shortened lifespan, I've never owned one but I would avoid them, it sounds dodgy and it sounds like the fish goes through a lot of suffering. In my opinion, if these claims are true, it sounds a bit cruel to the poor fish.
 

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From what I've read, the mortality rate for this is really high. One method I've read about involves someone using a caustic solution to remove the slime coat and then injecting them with dye. Even if they survive the tattooing, they are prone to disease and infections.
 

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Even if they do live, the colour usually fades in a few months as well.
Fish are best appreciated for their natural beauty, a shame that people see appeal in this... hopefully they don't sell so the store doesn't order more.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That sounds absolutely horrific. I can't believe people do that just to draw a stupid heart on a fish. And the worst part? They are selling... a guy bought one for each of his daughters while I was there looking at the bettas. That's just sick... I wish people didn't do this kind of crap. :(
 

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It doesn't even look that good... even ugly- they've ruined some beautiful fish.

I heard somewhere of fish that had their tails cut off so that their bodies would resemble hearts. It's done to Blood Parrot Cichlids. It's amazing that these mutilated fish can survive and swim into adulthood. Incredibly cruel though.
 

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Fruit Tetras, Jellybean Parrot Cichlids, Painted Botias, Painted Glassfish, Painted Corys and Blueberry Oscars are all fish who are tampered with.

Colored Food - Young fish are fed treated foods that will temporarily tint them. Once they are no longer fed the treated food, they eventually lose their color. Unfortunately the dye they consume can negatively affect their growth and development.

Dye Injection - Needles are used to inject dye under the skin. Because only a small area is affected, the fish must be subjected to many punctures to achieve the desired effect. The popular painted glassfish are dyed this way, using florescent colored paints. Another recent fad is to use dye injection to tattoo patterns, such as hearts, on the fish. Fish that are injected often contract infections from the puncture sites.

Dipping - As barbaric as dye injections seem, this practice is even worse. The fish are first put into a caustic solution that strips off their protective outer slime coating. They are then dipped in dye, or injected with dyes, after which they are dipped in another chemical that irritates the flesh to stimulate re-growth of the slime coat. This method is very stressful, and has a high mortality rate.
 
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