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RE: spawning?

In my view there are many good reasons why we should avoid removing fry from
the parents. In the long term it is not just the parenting behaviour which
we may lose (I think it is inevitable that if the selection pressure for
effective parenting is removed, over a relatively small number of
generations we will observe poorer parents).

It is also possible that the breeding strategies of males and females may be
affected. Take, for example, the extreme case of obligatory monogomy and
biparental care of the young (and i know that few, if any apisto practise
this). If we start to remove the fry, then males that have a tendency to
leave the females to care for the young and start to dabble in polygamy,
will always produce more young than a diligent and faithful father. (In the
wild this may not the case, and the male may obtain a higher lifetime
reproductive output by helping to care for one brood at a time). Over time
we will artificially select for polygamy and no brood care.

A further result for this may be a change in the pressures acting on sexual
selection, which is likely the main reason for some of the stunning
colouration we observe in the males of many species. Any changes here, could
over time affect colouration. (Although I realise that by selecting for
polygamy we may in fact increase the intensity of sexual selection!).

Anyway, my main point is that if we hope to retain the behavioural and
morphological characteristics of wild caught fish, even after many
generations of captive breeding, then we have to exercise care in the
conditions in which we keep our fish. Their environment should be as natural
as possible and removing young is the antithesis of this! 


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