Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Backup Plan - 未雨稠缪 [wei yu chou mou]

It seems to me that everything that happens to us is a disconcerting mix of choice and contingency.
~Penelope Lively

As I relish the joy of creating my own bloodline of TVR and the new variety Pearlscale, I was soon living in constant fear that something untoward may happen to my seed fishes. A bad epidemic breakout or catastrophe could wipe out all the years of hard work. Soon, I was brainstorming about all wild ideas of incorporating contingency into my breeding plan.

In the game of serious livestock breeding, it is very important to have backups of the pure lineage every time we move on to the next iteration. A wrong track can be abandoned and a new track restarted only if the original bloodline is kept pure. Moreover, not all the fishes will spawn successfully. To make things more complicated, luck is a crucial element where different breeding pairs may result in very different results. As such, it is essential to keep many seed fishes to increase the odds of good breeding matches. All these just mean more time and space needed to prepare for contingency.
The best way to avoid the single point of failure is to spread them out into multiple locations. It would even be better if someone can help to breed them. In this way, the bloodline can be recalled if my own collections are wiped out without having to restart from square one again. I documented the bloodline of important spawns and distributed some fishes locally and abroad to my avid goldfish hobbyist friends for keeping.

Besides exchanging TVR seed fishes with my Hong Kong friend every year, I also help to backup and breed his Calico TVR while he backed me up on my new variety of Pearlscale. Though I have been prepared for the tedious journey of goldfish breeding, I had under-estimated the scale of the backup plans. It is very difficult to believe the extent with which we went through just to provide contingency plans. Even both of us agreed that we have gone bonkers.

1) New Pearlscale variety project: pure bloodline of the Calico Short Tail Dragon Eyes to backup the original line.

2) Breeding my Hong Kong friend's Calico TVR bloodline: 25 day-old F7 Calico TVR bred this year.


Breeding the TVR

Breeding the TVR
Breeding and maintaining a bloodline of the Japanese TVR since 2003.

Goldfish Artwork

Goldfish Artwork
Marriage of 2 of my passions - Goldfish and Art.

Creating a New Variety

Creating a New Variety
My dream of creating a new variety of goldfish in 2006 has proven to be more than just an impulsive fantasy.

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