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Utilitarian Fishkeeping

Hobbyists can breed the endangered Xiphophorus couchianus (and other threatened fish) and help educate fellow hobbyists while improving fish numbers.

By Gary Elson |

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What do you do when you become good at keeping fish? Our hobby offers us the opportunity to develop certain skills. How we use these skills is what's truly important.

One way you can use your skills as a fishkeeper is to help endangered aquatic species regain their numbers. I had the chance to breed some Xiphophorus couchianus, a critically endangered Mexican livebearer. You, too, can breed these fish in hopes of reestablishing their wild populations.

It all started a few years ago when a speaker came to my local aquarium club with a big Styrofoam box full of locally uncommon fish. The more experienced members went home with spectacular cichlids. As a newbie, I got the ugliest fish in the box. It was a fairly plain gray creature, small and nondescript.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the June 2011 issue of Aquarium Fish International today.

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