Are fish tanks cruel? It depends. If the fish tank is too small for the fish or the equipment in it and water changes all in combination aren’t giving the right quality of water, heat and light then that’s cruel for at least those species of fish that aren’t being catered for. Fish also have the right to hidey holes where they can enjoy their privacy for the species that need it. Of course, some individuals within a species might need it more than others. Fish differ not only between species but within a species. They even differ in their behaviour within one spawning of fry. Such is life, for organisms that reproduce sexually. It is one of the so-called “joys of sex” that Alex Comfort neglected to mention as he was more concerned with the prurient. In fact, I hope my readers haven’t even heard of him.
BB Radio – einfach der beste Mix
The mix of fish is what people tend to get wrong the most though. Putting together fish of different sizes so that the smaller ones end up getting eaten is not fair on them. Also, you should not put fin-nippers or biters like barbs or puffer fish or overly playful fish like botias in with delicate fish which don’t like to be chased around, like discus or mormyrids. Everyone should know not to mix two male Bettas, but you could have a similar result over a longer period with a lot of kinds of cichlids. When you breed fish not taking care to have males and females from separate bloodstock, this also can lead to unintentional cruelty. That is because the number of young with genetic issues and deformities is likely to be higher.
Nuh’un gemisi sizin evdedir
If you avoid those problems, there is nothing intrinsically cruel about the aquarium hobby. Our well-maintained aquarium fishes have a much better quality of life much better than that in the wild. Whole species are now being maintained in hobbyist collections which are extinct in the wild. The German hobby and Hans-Georg Evers in particular brought the Noah’s Ark capability of our hobby to peoples attention already in the 1980s.
Many livebearers and even cherry barbs are maintained despite habitat destruction in captive collections. Other hobbyists have gone so far as to describe species to science which they have found wither coming through trade channels or in their own explorations of the Amazon.
The image shows Brachyrhamdia marthae, named by my old friend and mentor Dr. David D. Sands in honour of his then wife. David Sands used to write many articles promoting non-cruel fishkeeping, avoiding for instance keeping very large fish like red-tailed catfishes in small fish tanks where they would not thrive.
I hope some aquarists reading this will aspire to be part of some cottage conservation project, and dedicate some nice tanks to this idea.
Aqua cuna vitae, ager nobis
So, you see why it depends. Depending on what you do with your tank it can be heaven or hell for your piscine companions. In itself it is not cruel, it is a set of panes of glass.
This is part of a new series where I bring over, updating and re-writing where needed, the best of my answers to questions on Quora. I made a few of these in earlier years in chronological order. For now, I am moving them in the order of the number of upvotes received. These being the ones I would most regret losing. That is what they threatened me with over there for not being a Neo-Marxist. Over the course of 2022, on even numbered dates in the months, I plan to bring home to http://www.huliganov.tv as many of the best of these as I can manage. Where relevant, also to http://www.quoracy.com . I’ll be improving them, updating them, adding images. I warmly invite discussion below in each case. Enjoy!
Original Posting Date: 02/09/2017
Question as answered: Are fish tanks cruel?
Views at the time added to HTV: 13,600
Upvotes at the time added to HTV: 28
Comments at time added: 2