View Full Version : What about Glo-Fish??

01-06-2007, 05:13 AM
I have seen all the horrors of dyed fish. What is everyone's opinion on the Glo-Fish?? Although these are nothing more than Zebra Danios, they have been genetically altered to be bright red, orange and green. The first batch were injected with the fluorescent gene found in nature but the spawn are fluorescent from birth.

The purpose was noble enough: to detect pollutants. The fish who were fluorescent would start to glow when certain polluntants were detected. Even now, there are proceeds from the sale of the fish (approximately $5 per) that goes to more environmental research.

Just thought I'd stir the pot and get some opinions :)


01-06-2007, 05:54 AM
I personally think the glofish look awesome. Such a bright fish, especially for freshwater. As for their genetics... that is highly debatabe because they are born like that...

01-06-2007, 05:54 AM
Maybe they should spend the money they make on it to stop these dyed fish.
But then again, I have to agree with 100gw, they were born that way.

01-06-2007, 06:21 AM
I personally have no problem with this kind of genetic research. It is a moral/ethical/religious issue for some people; a similar thing to peoples opinions on abortion except to a lesser degree as it involves fish instead of people, so opinions are less strong about it. Asking people if they're against glo-fish is more along the lines of asking people if they are against genetic research/experimentation than the fish themselves. I don't have a problem with glofish as there are no health side effects. Perhaps if the fish were created for the sole purpose of marketing to people instead of as a environmentally safe tool to determine pollutants in the water my opinion would be different. I don't think that demand for bright colored fish warrants genetic experimentation/research. I personally think the story behind glo-fish adds to thier intrigue however. I'm against injecting fish with dyes. Those procedures poison and ultimately kill the fish.

01-06-2007, 01:53 PM
I think thay are great fish, I have seven and will be adding more. A side-effect of environmental research, than I'm all for it.

01-06-2007, 02:39 PM
Does anyone now if they are available in Canada yet? I know there was a temporary ban on them.

01-06-2007, 03:46 PM
Why are they banning them?

01-06-2007, 04:25 PM
Environmental and ethical reasons. Anything imports coming into Canada need to be approved. I know there are some glo-fish here. There is a guy in the town of Tweed who got some before the ban. He breeds them, but isn't allowed to sell them till the ban is lifted. The ban was back in 2004.
Article from CBC (http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/health/glofish/)

It's now 2007 and I haven't heard anything since.

01-06-2007, 05:05 PM
Hopefully they dont ban them forever. you dont want to miss out on such a cool fish.

01-06-2007, 07:08 PM
Yup. Still banned here...and Australia...and everywhere else except the US where they were developed. I did put up the link to their site for info on them. I really like them personally. All the health, hardiness, etc of a regular zebra fish. And yes...the offspring are born with the fluorescent gene :)

The reason that Canada is so against them is this: they are concerned about them being released into the wild and are unsure of the effect it would have on the ecosystem. The research company who supplies them has assured everyone (and it was a good enough explanation to the US government so I'm unsure why it isn't for others!! :( ) that they ARE Zebra Danios, a tropical fish, and they can't survive in our waters. If there was going to be any effects from these fish being let loose in Canadian streams, etc, we would have seen it decades ago with the regular Zebras. They are absolutely no different in any way except their colour.

I live in Windsor, ON right across the bridge from Detroit and I'm seriously contemplating having my in-laws (yup...that American husband :) drag a small school over for me. I don't intend on breeding, selling, etc any of them and I would NEVER release ANY fish into the Detroit River!!!!!! Heck..I won't even let my kids go swimming on our beaches and they aren't BREATHING those waters!!

01-06-2007, 07:52 PM
I wonder what the penalty for smuggling fish across the border is?

01-06-2007, 08:13 PM
Other than moral/ethical reasons behind banning these fish I think the fact they are sort of 'unknown quantities' at this point also contributes to their banning. It's the same with GM food, after years of modifying, testing and growing certain crops, only now are serious issues being discovered/identified.

Here are some very interesting links regarding GM crops and animals if you feel like a bit of a read:


The scienticst that 'created' glofish by introducing the jellyfish gene was initially quite suprised by the result, and it's stands to reason that there might be some as yet unforseen complications with this species if it were to be shipped around the world and accindently released into different envirions.

There are two main things that scare me about genetic modification. Firstly, where do we draw the line? It started with GM food, to feed our worlds ever growing demand, then came GM and cloned animals. Now GM and recently cloned animals are being sold on a mass basis. Take a step back 20 years and there's no way people would have accepted that. Now I ask myself what's next? We have GM food to suit our needs, GM and cloned animals to suit our aesthetics, when are we going to have GM/cloned babies to fit our dreams of what kind of family we want?

The second thing that scares me about where GM/Cloning trends have been going, is how utterly arrogant scientists have been with regards to what they're 'creating'. We don't even completely understand how the human body works, 90% of our human brains and how they function is a complete mystery to us, and yet we think we can re-create foods and animals as we please.

01-06-2007, 08:54 PM
Well..I checked into the whole "what would happen if" scenario. It would be a confiscation of the fish and up to a $450 fine.

People who already purchased the fish are fine. You are not supposed to sell them in Canada but I can't find any updates on that since 2004 either. There was supposed to be a decision within a couple of months. On the glo-fish website, they determined that at this time they were not applying for the paperwork necessary to ship out of the US so it may have been a dead issue??

Soooooooooooo....I just emailed CBSA (Canada Border Service Agency) to see what they had to say on the issue. From the website I was directed to a list of endangered species tropical fish that we can't import but there was nothing at all listed about Glo-Fish. I'll keep checking though :)

01-06-2007, 09:15 PM
GloFish have continued to be successfully marketed throughout the United States. After more than three years of availability, there are no reports of any ecological concerns associated with their sale.

In addition to the red fluorescent zebrafish, trademarked as "Starfire Red", Yorktown Technologies released a green fluorescent zebrafish and an orange fluorescent zebrafish in mid-2006. The new lines of fish are trademarked as "Electric Green" and "Sunburst Orange", and incorporate genes from sea coral.[3] Despite the speculation of aquarium enthusiasts, it has been found GloFish are indeed fertile and will reproduce in a captive environment. However, the sale of any such offspring is restricted by US Patent number 7,135,613.

Sale or possession of GloFish is illegal in the state of California as it falls within a law against genetically modified fish that had been passed largely out of concern about GM modified Salmon in aquaculture. The Fish and Game Commission declined to grant an exception largely on ethical grounds. It felt that this use of science was frivolous. Its mandate includes ethical as well as environmental considerations because these have traditionally been applied to hunting and fishing regulations. The commission further required a full environmental impact study, which the company argued would cost $100,000; too much for what is a small niche product in a single state.

Canada also prohibits import or sale of the fish because there has been no safety study to its standards. Despite the cold Canadian climate, a scientist there has speculated that the fish could survive in warm springs. However, the media reports that enforcement is spotty.

The import, sale and possesion of these fish is not permitted within the European Union. On November 9, 2006, however, the Dutch Environmentel Inspection found 1400 glowfish. Sale of the fish took place in various aquarium shops.

Well...so much for a school of 6 :(

01-06-2007, 09:31 PM
I'm sorry to hear the glofish are only legally available in the US. I keep a school of 6 red/pink ones in my tank which I keep with a school of 6 neon tetras in my 10 gallon. The color contrast is very beautiful. From my observations, I always seem to see the largest of the glo-fish establishing dominance over the smaller glo-fish. At least thats what it looks like. I got my glo-fish at wal-mart, which special orders them. I also got my tetras there. The unfortunate side-effect of getting fish there is you have to kill the parasites and diseases that come with wal-mart fish.

01-07-2007, 03:04 AM
I have family in the area of the guy who breeds them. If he "gave" me some, who would be the wiser?

01-07-2007, 04:22 AM
i'm totally against genetic research- the cloning aspect of it that is. who made us GOD?

01-07-2007, 02:08 PM
Even cloning isn't playing God, not that glofish have anything to do with cloning.

01-07-2007, 05:17 PM
I am personally for genetic research. I think with enough time they could not only cure some cancers and terminal diseases, but also prevent them. People who are genetic carriers of this like Huntington's disease and many others could stop the passing of the diseases to the next generation by removing a fragment of DNA from a embryo.

01-07-2007, 05:28 PM
Genome research has its advantages, such as isolating and eventually destroying the gene that controls huntingtons disease, and it has its disadvantages, such as playing god. Eventually, parents will be able to pick and choose what they want their kid to look like, which is not natural by any means.

01-07-2007, 05:53 PM
If you can get them, get them :) No one would be the wiser because they're already HERE! I'm still gonna wait for the reply from Canada Customs. I live in Windsor, right across from Detroit. If they say they don't care, then I'm shipping a school of 6 over as soon as the tank cycles.

PS - I haven't even put anything IN the tank yet. Have the gravel, have the bio-wheel filter, have the lights....still have to grab the Master test kit, heater and thermometer and ammonia (fishless cycling)...then the real terror starts. We definitely need an emoticon for TERRIFIED! :)

01-07-2007, 09:02 PM
The first time you setup any tank is scary. Tanks do best when aged (like wine), but you can also run into "old tank syndrome", where everything is fine, till you add a new fish :)
I wish you luck :), it is certainly worth it, even if the first months are hard.

01-07-2007, 09:10 PM
Even cloning isn't playing God, not that glofish have anything to do with cloning.

i didn't say it was! thanks for you concern though:rolleyes: . what gives us the right to "make" a duplicate human or animal etc.?

01-07-2007, 10:32 PM
Who says we shouldn't? We already screw them up and make them much less healthy than their natural form, such as chihuahuas whose skull isn't complete until 6 months old or more, or goldfish who can barely swim, see, or eat. How is duplicating an animal any worse? We already 'play God' and I personally think that a lot of the selective breeding we already do is much worse than cloning in and of itself. We already decide who gets to breed and who doesn't based on OUR standards, so I don't see something like cloning in and of itself wrong. However I cannot argue that people should not be able to custom order children like you are talking about. Please keep in mind I am not disagreeing or arguing, just expressing a slightly different (or maybe similar) point of view. What I would love is some way to have all those awesome fish that are too big for the aquarium, like a healthy 'Insta-stunt' that keeps a South American redtial cat at 8" but still be healthy, thrive, and live a natural lifespan.

01-07-2007, 11:01 PM
insta-stunt. lol, yes, that would be very awesome. can you imagine, though, how many people would have dwarf oscars (I know I would!), dwarf sharks, dwarf moray eels, etc...

with technology these days, I'm sure insta-stunt is only a matter of time. You should probably patent the name. :)