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http://indianaquariumhobbyist.com/community/ :: View topic - guppy for malaria control
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guppy for malaria control
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pdg50
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 9:55 am Post subject: guppy for malaria control Reply with quote

 Following  news  item  attracted  my  attention
 BBC  news
 Dr  VP  Sharma,  a  former  director  of  India's  Malaria  Research  Institute  who  now  works  with  the  Council  for  Medical  Research,  told  the  meeting  that  pilot  projects  in  four  states  have  met  with  remarkable  success.  Introducing  fish  like  guppies,  he  said,  reduced  incidence  of  malaria  in  those  areas.    The  World  Bank  has  a  program  in  100  districts  using  the  fish  and  it  will  take  another  five  years  before  the  real  impact  would  be  known.  Using  fish  in  this  way  used  to  be  a  standard  approach  to  malaria  control,  but  when  insecticides  like  DDT  were  introduced  during  the  last  century  with  apparently  magical  success,  it  fell  into  disuse.  Now  mosquitoes  have  become  resistant  to  many  of  these  chemicals  and  fish  are  back  on  the  menu.  The  other  attraction  is  cost.  Supplying  ponds  with  guppies  is  a  cheap  alternative  to  buying  insecticides.  
 After  viewing  this  I  did  some  net  search  and  found  out  about  this  fish  which  is  kept  in  household  aquariums  and  bought  from  local  fish  store  at  about  10  rupee  per  pair  and  it  is  brought  from  Kolkata  from  hatcheries.  I  was  told  that  they  are  difficult  to  breed  outside  hatcheries.  Still  I  bought    about    Rs.  500/-  worth  guppy  fish  for  experimentation  and  was  able  to  reproduce  them  here  in  my  house.  Now  I  want  your  permission  and  cooperation  for  introducing  them  in    fountains  ,  ponds  and  other  water  bodies  which  are  potential  sources  for  mosquito  breeding.  I  don’t  see  any  problem  in  experimenting  about  this  very  cheap  and  harmless  way  of  malaria  control  which  at  least  4  states  â€“Maharashtra,  Assam,  West  Bengal  and  Tamilnadu  are  adopting  now  officially.  As  many  as  390  guppy  fisheries  have  been  set  up  in  rural  areas  in  Pune  and  another  247  in  urban  areas.
 Any  other  person  interested  can  take  this  fish  from  me  FREE  OF  COST      for  releasing  it  in  mosquito  breeding  place.  I  will  be  eager    to    know    from  anyone  knowing  more  about  this  fish  and  its  breeding  .  I  am  planning  to  get  help  from  Rotary  and  Lions  club  in  this  project.
 -Dr.Gokhale
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vkv
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 11:33 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Hi  Dr.  Gokhale,
 
 Guppies  which  are  native  to  Central  and  South  America  are  one  of  the  easiest  fish  to  breed.  It  is  not  possible  to  stop  them  from  breeding  if  you  have  males  and  females  together.  Smile
 
 I  am  NOT  in  favor  of  releasing  store  bought  guppies  into  ponds  and  streams  in  large  numbers.
 
 My  concerns  are
 
 1)  Non-native  fish  can  very  easily  overwhelm  native  fish  populations  to  the  detriment  of  our  natural  fauna
 
 2)  The  aquarium  bred  fish  can  easily  carry  diseases  to  the  native  population  that  can  wipe  them  out.
 
 3)  Releasing  any  species  in  large  numbers  often  leads  to  high  incidence  of  predation  that  can  tip  the  balance  temporarily,  raise  the  predator  numbers  and  actually  reduce  the  number  of  native  fish  populations.
 
 4)  The  captive  bred  ornamental  species  are  not  really  tuned  for  survival  in  the  wild.  Especially  in  case  of  guppies,  if  you  have  the  common  large  finned  ones,  these  will  be  instant  fast  food  for  all  manner  of  predators.
 
 5)  Lastly,  release  of  non-natives  into  an  environment  can  lead  to  various  unforeseen  problems.
 
 Various  indian  native  fish  like  Danio  rerio  are  also  effective  in  Mosquito  control,  however  the  government  chose  guppy  and  gambusia  because  of  their  high  breeding  rates  and  general  hardiness.  Please  ntoe  that  these  strains  would  not  be  the  same  that  are  found  in  pet  stores.
 
 In  my  opinion,  breeding  and  releasing  native  fish  (for  each  specific  region  -  I  would  not  recommend  danio  to  be  released  in  Mumbai  for  example)  would  be  a  better  goal  for  individual  hobbyists  interested  in  Malaria  control.
 
 I  would  recommend  against  releasing  store  bought  guppy  strains  into  the  our  waters.  Instead  if  guppies  must  be  used  then  I  am  sure  the  strains  can  be  obtained  from  government  agencies.  these  have  been  proven  to  be  free  of  disease  and  can  be  used  although  releasing  large  numbers  wuld  still  not  be  recommended.
 
 Just  my  two  cents...
 
 Regards,
 Venkat
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 11:58 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 thanks  for  prompt  reply.
   1)i  agree  that  gambusia  have  created  havok  in  thialand  as  per  internet  reports  by  eliminating  native  species  but  i  have  not  read  anything  with  guppy
 2)  i  have  raised  guppy  which  i  bought  from  local  fish  store  and  put  it  in  dirty  water  in  cement  tank  in  my  garden  and  they  have  started  reproducing  and  real  test  will  come  only  when  they  are  released  in  ponds  or  wells.
 3)  danios  and  other  local  fish  in  theory  eat  about  20  lavae  as  against  guppy  80  and  gambusia  120.  mass  production  and  transport  is  also  difficult.
 4)  it  is  choosing  lesser  of  2  evils-insecticide  on  one  side  and  guppy  on  other  and  balance  will  tilt  towards  guppy
 i  will  love  to  have  more  comments  from  experts.
 dr.gokhale
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 12:29 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Dear  Dr.  Gokhale,  
 
 I  am  no  expert  but  my  point  is  that  the  government  agencies  are  already  doing  their  bit  towards  bio-control  (whether  right  or  wrong  is  a  different  question)and  any  individual  efforts  must  either  be  dovetailed  with  their  efforts  or  go  a  different  route.
 
 If  we  wish  to  release  fish  that  we  have  bred  ourselves,  they  must  either  be  from  the  strains  obtained  from  the  government  agencies  or  of  native  fish  NOT  store  brought  guppy  strains.
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
 i  have  raised  guppy  which  i  bought  from  local  fish  store  and  put  it  in  dirty  water  in  cement  tank  in  my  garden  and  they  have  started  reproducing  and  real  test  will  come  only  when  they  are  released  in  ponds  or  wells.  
                 

 The  fish  in  your  cement  tank  have  no  competition  or  predators.  Once  they  are  released  into  the  ponds  or  wells,  the  following  possibilities  exist.
 
 1)  They  will  be  gobbled  up  by  local  predators  because  their  long  captive-breeding  has  wiped  out  all  trace  of  survival  instinct  and  the  features  that  make  them  attractive  to  the  aquarium  trade  are  major  detriments  to  survival  in  the  wild.
 
 2)  They  may  transfer  diseases  and  pathogens  to  the  local  species  leading  to  them  being  wiped  out.  This  may  be  an  alarmist  point  of  view  but  there  are  sufficient  examples  to  avoid  taking  the  chance.
 
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
danios  and  other  local  fish  in  theory  eat  about  20  lavae  as  against  guppy  80  and  gambusia  120.  mass  production  and  transport  is  also  difficult.                

 
 As  per  MRCINDIA
 "During  laboratory  trials  in  Rourkela,  Orissa,  Danio  rerio  and  Oryzias  melastigma  showed  a  highpredatory  efficacy  against  the  mosquito  larvae.  A  single  tiny  Daniofish  (2.7–3.0  cm)  consumed  on  anaverage  52  IV  instar  anopheline  larvae  per  day,  whereas  Oryziassp.  (2.5  cm)  consumed  98  larvae  perday.  The  results  obtained  during  the  trials  in  rice  field  quadrates  showed  that  both  the  fish  are  highlyeffective  in  reducing  the  density  of  mosquito  immatures  in  rice  fields.  The  reduction  in  the  density  of  IIIand  IV  instars  and  pupae  became  evident  right  from  the  beginning.  On  Day  6  Danio  and  Oryziaslowered  the  densities  by  86.8  and  76.2%  respectively"
 
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
it  is  choosing  lesser  of  2  evils-insecticide  on  one  side  and  guppy  on  other  and  balance  will  tilt  towards  guppy                  

 
 True  but  "First  do  no  harm"  .  Much  harm  has  been  done  by  well-intentioned  efforts.  The  gambusia  situation  that  you  have  pointed  out  in  Thailand  is  a  case  in  point.  
 If  we  must  look  at  releasing  fish  then  there  are  options  to  choose  from
 1)  Insecticides
 2)  Exotic  larvivorous  fish  like  guppy
 3)  Native  larvivorous  fish
 The  third  option  has  the  least  impact  iwith  a  good  benefit.
 
 Waiting  for  others  point  of  view...
 
 Regards,
 Venkat
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 1:53 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Venkat,  I'm  all  with  you!  I'm  sure  the  post  is  out  of  good  intentions  but  i'm  really  not  a  fan  of  Gambusia  being  released  in  our  local  water  bodies!
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 3:38 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 hi
 
 i  dont  think  any  fish  that  has  ever  been  kept  in  captivity  should  be  released  into  water  bodies
 
 theres  a  pond  near  my  house  and  i  find  african  knifes,blue  gouramis,peacock  eels  etc  in  it.i  dont  think  these  are  the  native  species..only  these  species  are  abundant  in  the  pond..maybe  they  outcompeted  and  wiped  out  the  native  species  all  because  of  some  aquarist  who  could  no  longer  have  them  in  his  tank  and  dumped  them  in  the  local  pond
 
 just  an  example  to  show  what  happens  when  exotic  species  are  introduced....all  of  us  know  what  happened  in  africa  right?
 
 regards
 
 arvind
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 4:24 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 1)guppy  was  introduced  in  india  in  1920  so  the  strain  which  i  got  in  jamshedpur  is  really  "indian"  by  now  but  i  agree  that  it  may  have  lost  its  survival  instinct  by  now.
 2)I  am  planning  to  release  it  in  fountains  initially  so  they  are  not  going  to  have  rivals  and  atleast  in  this  case  no  danger  to  any  other  fish
 3)my  efforts  is  essentially  a  amauteur  and  unlikely  to  make  appreciable  difference  if  any.
 4)  whatever  results  i  will  keep  you  posted.Frankly  i  did  not  expect  so  much  good  feedback  so  fast
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 4:52 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Hi  Dr.  Gokhale,
 
 Please  note  that  I  am  not  being  rude  here  but  just  stating  the  facts...  Smile  
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
guppy  was  introduced  in  india  in  1920  so  the  strain  which  i  got  in  jamshedpur  is  really  "indian"  by  now  but  i  agree  that  it  may  have  lost  its  survival  instinct  by  now.  
                 

 
 The  strains  that  you  pick  up  in  the  stores  are  ornamental  strains  imported  regularly  fro  abroad  and  bred  here  based  on  demand  for  certain  types.  These  are  not  the  strains  that  were  introduced  in  1920  for  malaria  control.
 the  original  guppy  is  a  plain  drab  creature  with  small  fins  and  a  few  spots  of  colour.  Gupies  are  often  found  in  many  indian  waterways  now...
 
 
                                                 
Quote:                
 am  planning  to  release  it  in  fountains  initially  so  they  are  not  going  to  have  rivals  and  atleast  in  this  case  no  danger  to  any  other  fish                  

 
 Fish  have  a  way  of  finding  their  way  into  the  most  unlikely  places.  Also  if  the  water  in  the  fountain  is  chlorinated  or  treated  you  will  most  probably  be  subjecting  the  fish  to  a  death  sentence.  The  fish  in  the  pet  stores  are  designed  to  live  in  tanks  and  controlled  environments.
 If  you  put  them  in  fountains,  what  will  they  eat  once  they  have  eaten  the  mosquito  larvae?
 
 When  they  clean  the  fountains,  who  is  going  to  care  about  the  fish  in  them?  Will  somebody  catch  them,  store  them  and  then  reintroduce  them  after  cleaning?
 
 Please  remember  that  the  fish  are  also  living  creatures  and  need  to  be  thought  of  as  such.
 
 
                                                 
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my  efforts  is  essentially  a  amauteur  and  unlikely  to  make  appreciable  difference  if  any.  
 4)  whatever  results  i  will  keep  you  posted.Frankly  i  did  not  expect  so  much  good  feedback  so  fast                

 
 Believe  me,  I  appreciate  your  efforts  against  malaria  but  I  think  you  are  going  about  it  the  wrong  way.  Your  experiments  with  the  fish  in  your  cement  tank  will  possibly  cause  harm  to  those  fish.  Please  keep  in  mind  the  well  being  of  the  fish  as  well...
 
 I  think  you  should  not  release  any  fish  at  this  time.  If  you  MUST  RELEASE  fish  then  I  would  suggest  that  you  pick  up  some  fish  from  the  government  breeding  centers  and  release  those...  and  only  release  thenm  in  areas  where  they  can  survive...
 
 I  doubt  that  you  would  find  much  support  for  releasing  captive  exotic  fish  into  the  wild  here  on  the  forum  or  elsewhere.  
 
 Regards,
 Venkat
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hayath_dyno
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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2006 5:30 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 @beta  and  Venkat
 Agree  with  both  of  you.  Introducing  fishes  not  native  to  the  a  given  ecosystem  can  cause  havoc.
 
 Case  in  point,  we  had  been  to  a  general  trip  last  week.  No  matter  where  we  went,  all  we  could  catch/see  were  Tilapia.
 
 They  seem  to  have  taken  over  all  of  the  water  bodies  and  have  assumed  plague  proportions.  It  took  us  quite  a  while,  even  in  the  rivers  to  find  a  fish  other  than  Tilapia    Sad  
 
 I  remember  as  a  kid,  seeing  loads  of  fishes  in  the  Arkavathi  river.  None  of  them  were  in  sight  Sad  
 
 Have  read  about  Tilapia  being  introduced  as  food  fish  by  WHO  in  large  numbers  (if  my  memory  and  the  source  serves  me  right).
 
 Although  the  thought  was  noble  of  providing  food  for  the  needy,  it  seems  to  have  a  drastic  effect  on  the  balance  of  water  bodies.
 
 Evolution  has  taken  its  own  course  and  species  have  developed  according  to  their  ecosystem(s).    Introducing  new  species,  almost  surely  have  a  huge  impact,  be  it  in  terms  of  predation  or  population  explosion  (Guppies/Gambusia)
 
 Tilapia  seem  to  fit  the  bill  for  both  the  cases  (Predation  and  sheer  numbers)
 
 Just  my  two  cents.
 
 I  guess  it'sabout  time  we  stopped  playing  god
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gopiqpp
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 2:17 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 Hello  Dr  Gokhale,  This  link  is  quite  illuminative  on  the  risks  of  introducing  non-indigenous  fish  for  mosquito  control.
 
 http://www.michigandnr.com/PUBLICATIONS/PDFS/ifr/ifrlibra/technical/reports/2003-2tr.pdf
 
 While  your  zeal  is  indeed  commendable,  I  am  sure  that  after  reading  this  article  you  will  appreciate  the  risks  of  introducing  alien  fish.
 
 regards
 Gopi
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pdg50
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 9:34 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 1)well,  this  discussion  has  brought  out  many  points  which  were  overlooked  by  me.  Let  me  think  about  it  and  come  back  to  you
 2)  does  anyone  know  where  one  gets  guppy  from  government?  In  jharkhand  where  i  stay  does  not  have  such  scheme  as  far  as  i  know.
 3)  has  anyone  tried  to  develope  indigenous  fish  for  same  purpose  with  any  success.
 4)  i  am  confining  guppies  to  my  tank  till  i  am  convinced  about  many  points  raised  in  this  discussion  are  looked  into  and  i  will  keep  ypu  posted  of  my  actions.
 5)  my  intentions  are  noble  but  it  should  create  other  problems  so  no  question  of  my  minding  any  suggestions  or  comments
 dr.gokhale
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pdg50
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 11:39 am Post subject:  Reply with quote

 1)i  went  through  various  articles  on  net  regarding  "damnusia"  but  i  did  not  find  any  reference  against  guppy  as  environmental  threat.Is  it  because  guppy  is  less  aggressive  or  any  other  reason.
 2)  are  strains  for  malaria  control  are  different    from  usual  guppy?  i  did  not  get  any  information  on  net.
 3)  has  anyone  tried  danios  for  malaria  control  anywhere  ?  if  yes  kindly  let  me  know  details.
 4)  in  the  meanwhile  i  am  raising  guppies  in  my  own  cement  tank
 dr.gokhale
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gopiqpp
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 12:26 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 http://www.gambusia.net
 Hi  Doc.  Here  is  a  link  on  Gambusia-  known  as  'damnbusia'  in  Australia  !  With  all  due  respect  you  are  flogging  a  dead  horse.  Governments  and  the  WHO  have  exhaustively  studied  this  method  of  vector  control  for  the  last  4  decades  and  the  final  conclusion  is  that  while  these  fish  are  admittedly  of  some  use  in  larva  control,  other  methods  such  as  waste  water  management,  public  education  regarding  stagnant  water,  etc  are  equally  effective.
 Gopi
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pdg50
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:38 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 sir
 question  is  about  guppy-  i  am  already  convinced  about  gambusia  -i  have  already  stated  that
 dr.gokhale
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gopiqpp
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 3:47 pm Post subject:  Reply with quote

 OK,This  link  will  answer  your  question  on  guppys.
 
 http://www.wis.cgiar.org/rwc/shared/asp/practices/PraOverview.asp?PracticeID=525
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