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View Full Version : Breeding clownfish for personality


AkoAung
08/08/2015, 09:52 AM
Here's a shout in the dark. I am wondering if any of the professional or hobbyists are breeding clown fishes for personality. i.e. ones that are not too aggressive, nor too territorial. We breed dogs for personality. Why not fish? Discuss!

shifty51008
08/08/2015, 10:42 AM
I think they may have done that useing maroon and ocy clowns however i'm not sure if their intent was to make then less aggressive or just for a new type of clown

ichthyogeek
08/09/2015, 01:16 AM
When I took a tour of Ocean Rider's seahorse farm, they did say that they "domesticated" their seahorses by selecting for "friendly" seahorses. I'm not too certain how they did that within less than approximately 10 generations (a general guess due to approximately when the original pairs were collected as well as seahorse gestation time and rearing to adulthood).

This seems intriguing. By selecting for more "friendly" fish, we might be able to get incredibly shy species (swissguard basslet, assessors, etc.) to be more outgoing than their wild-type cousins. I assume this doesn't exist yet because we're still working on how to select based on "friendliness".

AkoAung
08/19/2015, 10:19 PM
When I took a tour of Ocean Rider's seahorse farm, they did say that they "domesticated" their seahorses by selecting for "friendly" seahorses. I'm not too certain how they did that within less than approximately 10 generations (a general guess due to approximately when the original pairs were collected as well as seahorse gestation time and rearing to adulthood).

This seems intriguing. By selecting for more "friendly" fish, we might be able to get incredibly shy species (swissguard basslet, assessors, etc.) to be more outgoing than their wild-type cousins. I assume this doesn't exist yet because we're still working on how to select based on "friendliness".

I'm glad to hear someone's breeding them for personality! I can tell the aggression level of individual fishes regardless of species by observing them. Typically larger ones exhibit dominance over smaller ones. That expression is more pronounced in some than others. I assume that breeders are able to tell this too and make mating selections accordingly? certainly it is more work but it would be nice to have a bunch of clowns who won't kill each other to death or bite your hand when its in the tank.

Code4
08/19/2015, 10:42 PM
Lol, my male clown loves to bite me when cleaning his area. But only when I have a toothbrush in hand. I find this very intriguing. Aggressive fish are not fun. IMO

Shelley

shifty51008
08/19/2015, 10:50 PM
Your always gonna have that domance with the bigger clowns over the smaller, thats just how their natural pecking order is in order to breed

AkoAung
08/20/2015, 09:49 PM
Your always gonna have that domance with the bigger clowns over the smaller, thats just how their natural pecking order is in order to breed

I understand dominance. pecking order is always there. I accept that. I have had fishes who express it in gentler ways. and I also have seen fishes who will peck those smaller till they die. It's the degree of aggression and how they show it. that one can select. I often do that when choosing fishes in a store. I find that it results in lesser behavioural problems in the tank.

ichthyogeek
08/20/2015, 10:08 PM
So...you're specifically breeding for friendliness to humans? How does one judge friendliness in a fish? Obviously all wild-caught fish are going to be rather shy/aggressive when it comes to their human keepers, and captive bred fish will be friendlier, but how does one keep selecting for friendly fish? The ones most willing to engage in sexual acts with one another when a breeder's present? The one's most willing to eat food in a person's presence?
Additionally...please note my skepticism when it comes to Ocean Rider. I think they judged friendliness by how quickly the seahorses rose to greet their keepers when approached...which is easily achieved by feeding the fish whenever they see you...

AkoAung
08/21/2015, 09:29 PM
I'm glad to hear someone's breeding them for personality! I can tell the aggression level of individual fishes regardless of species by observing them. Typically larger ones exhibit dominance over smaller ones. That expression is more pronounced in some than others. I assume that breeders are able to tell this too and make mating selections accordingly? certainly it is more work but it would be nice to have a bunch of clowns who won't kill each other to death or bite your hand when its in the tank.

I understand dominance. pecking order is always there. I accept that. I have had fishes who express it in gentler ways. and I also have seen fishes who will peck those smaller till they die. It's the degree of aggression and how they show it. that one can select. I often do that when choosing fishes in a store. I find that it results in lesser behavioural problems in the tank.

So...you're specifically breeding for friendliness to humans? How does one judge friendliness in a fish? Obviously all wild-caught fish are going to be rather shy/aggressive when it comes to their human keepers, and captive bred fish will be friendlier, but how does one keep selecting for friendly fish? The ones most willing to engage in sexual acts with one another when a breeder's present? The one's most willing to eat food in a person's presence?
Additionally...please note my skepticism when it comes to Ocean Rider. I think they judged friendliness by how quickly the seahorses rose to greet their keepers when approached...which is easily achieved by feeding the fish whenever they see you...

In the above quoted posts, just one or two about what you wrote, you will see that I'm speaking of friendliness towards other fishes and humans. I can pick out fish in stores based on personality and aggression. breeders who spend a ton more time with fishes than I do, can make that distinction far better than I can. Thus far, the breeders' emphasis is on coloration, not on personality. I think we can achieve both.