Thursday, May 28, 2009

Aquarama 2009 International Fish Competition Results

The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are the things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur. ~ Vince Lombardi

Finally, the judging results are out last evening! I am very happy to win 5 out of 7 entries I competed, out of which, 3 entries are own bred. I think I am lucky that not many people competed in the Pearlscale class.

I am also very proud that my fellow Vermillion Goldfish Club members have done very well in this Aquarama. We had won close to 30% of the top 3 prizes and the Grand Champion despite the very strong competition entries this year.

Together with this post are the archive photographs of some of my entries. I will try to capture some photographs to update the Vermillion Goldfish Club website over the next few days.

Dragon Eye Short Tail Pearlscale (own bred) 短尾龍珠 (自家產)

2) Sakura Jikin from China 櫻花地金(中國產)

3) Sakura high head Pompom (own bred) 櫻花高頭龍球 (自家產)

4) Crown Pearlscale from China 皇冠珍珠鱗 (中國產)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


A single tree makes no forest; a single string makes no music.
~ A Chinese proverb

Yesterday was benching-in day for the Aquarama International Ornamental Fish Competition and a very exciting moment where all the suspense and guess work about the competitors’ fishes were lifted. Even within the Vermillion Goldfish Club, some members engaged in healthy competition amongst each other and review only their entries in the very last moment. As the “secret weapons” were reviewed, the next excitement would be to speculate the winning entries.

As far as I can remember, since I took part in the Aquarama Fish Competition, it will almost always be a rainy day on benching-in day and we are always as wet as our fishes. However, teamwork and proper planning are distinct trademarks of the Vermillion Goldfish Club to ensure the smooth flow of any club events. It was nevertheless, a very busy day to pack our fishes for the competition and a day filled with great fun and pleasant surprises.

Although there are no monetary prizes for winning in the Aquarama Goldfish Competition, it has never failed to receive overwhelming responses. In fact, it is getting more and more competitive in recent years with many local and regional hobbyists importing very strong entries directly from China, Thailand and Indonesia.

Today will be the judging day and it is going to be very tough for the judges in some of the categories with more than 200 tanks to judge. To make the Aquarama Fish Competition even more exciting, the organizer, UBM Asia will be forecasting the live results of the finalist during judging:

My entries are :
Category A, Class 2 - Tanks 1,2,3
Category A, Class 7 - Tank 3
Category B, Class 2 - Tank 3
Category B, Class 7 - Tanks 4,5

Another reason to look forward this evening will be dinner with my foreign hobbyist friends :)

1) Braving the rain on benching-in day
2) Organised packing
3) Benching-in at exhibition venue
4) Blue Berry Eyes: Mirror mirror on the wall...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Preparing for Aquarama 2009 新加坡國際觀賞魚展2009


Strong opponents will make you stronger.
~Wee Yap, GoldfishArtQuatics

Aquarama 2009 is just less than 2 weeks away. It is time to add in the finishing touches to the fishes that I am fielding in the Aquarama Goldfish Competition. Feeding them a little more and being more vigilant on their health to ensure that they will be in top form for the few days of public exhibition.

Most of my entries are self-bred and raised in Singapore. I feel very honoured to showcase them in the international level and judged by some of the most renowned goldfish judges in the world. To my avid goldfish hobbyist friends and me, the Aquarama is like the Olympics Games where athletes train hard to prepare for the big day. Like the games, the timing of growth of the fish, finishing and the fielding strategy are all very important factors. In fact, it is a continual effort as we have already started to breed and groom the fishes in preparation for the next Aquarama 2011 and My Fancy Goldfish Competition 2010 (MYFC).

On the other hand, I feel that the Olympics is sometimes excessively competitive where the crucial few moments determine an athlete’s career. To witness some of them breaking down in tears or the whole nation mourn for a lose medal is stoically cold blooded for me. I hope the Goldfish Competition is not that cruel and participants would win with honour and to lose with dignity. Unlike sports where the athlete has limited years of prime performance, there is always another chance in another goldfish competition as long as one is passionate to stay focus in the goldfish hobby. After all, competition is the best way of improvement.

Besides the Fish Competition, the Aquarama is also an excellent opportunity to get to know new goldfish hobbyists locally and abroad. If you wish to meet up with me, do drop me a mail so that I can try to make arrangements. In any way, do drop by the Vermillion Goldfish Club booth #232 to view the exhibits and speak to any of the fellow Vermillion members about the Goldfish hobby.

Some readers have asked about the updates of my TVR. Yes, I have not forgotten about them - my bigger batches of Tosai (yearlings) TVRs are growing fast after colour change. The last batch of BBR will also be weaning from daphnia soon but I am again overwhelmed by the next wave of ever-hungry Dragon Eye Pearlscales. It has been a very busy goldfish breeding season and a very happy year for the shop that sells me daphnia everyday.

1) Alvin taking fish measurements to plan entries for the Aquarama 2009
2) Close up of the pinky cheek blue berry eyes.
3) The batch of bigger tosais from batch#1, #2 and #6.

1) A tribute to Yang Wei, the triple Olympics gymnast champ.
2) Potential TVR tosais (yearlings) for 2009

Friday, May 8, 2009

Short Tail Dragon Eyes Pearlscale 短尾珍珠龍 / 出目パール

You Shall Reap What You Sow.

~ A well-known proverb

With the few F3 fries having dragon eyes and pearl scale features, the next step is to linebreed/inbreed them to enhance these features. However, I had one problem – most of these breeder candidates are fully white as they are related to a fully white female in F2. Though a full white fish is not usually favoured by most oriental hobbyists, these individuals are quite unique with pink cheeks and bluish black eyes which the Vermillionians coined the term “Blue Berry Eyes”. The pink cheeks are due to the colour of the gill filaments showing through their transluscent gill plates.

Since the best specimens in F3 are mostly white, I had no choice but to breed these fishes to enhance the breed characteristics I desire. This result in more than 90% fully white fishes with blushing cheeks and blue berry eyes! The pearlscale features are more stable now but still, the scale quality is not up to my expectation.

The breed standard I have in mind for stage #1 is a cute short tail fish with gorgeous dragon eyes, neat pearl scales, roundish body and balance swimming. In fact, there are still many more refine details to tune. The tail angle, tail size, body shape, and shape of the eyes are still unstable. I come to realize that stabilizing the line features is the next daunting task of the new variety project.

A sampling of various spawn combination shows that it is imperative to improve on the scale quality and add in more calico patterns before going on further. The best pearl-scaling comes from a line of Calico Crown Pearlscales from China. With this in plan, I waited for a few months for the opportunity to acquire some of these Calico Crown Pearlscales to cross with the F3.

In doing this, I am re-scrambling the genetic alleles again where I am back to the stage of getting long tail and normal-eye progenies. I know that if I inbreed these fishes, I will get back my short tail dragon eye pearlscales again. Would they have the crown like the Crown Pearlscales? Wouldn’t it be too heavy on the headset which is already heavy with the dragon eyes? I can only tell in another 4 to 5 months time…

Blushing Blueberry Dragon Eyes Pearlscale babes

Two of the seed Calico Crown Pearlscales

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Marathon Culling! 馬拉松篩選

The only remedy against hunger is reasonable birth control.
~ Friedrich Durrenmatt, Portrait of a Planet

The May Day long weekend is no rest day for me. I was fully engaged in marathon culling the Dragon Eyes Pearlscales. Culling 7 day-old fries took a long time and strained the eyes as their tail shapes were barely obvious. I had no choice as the spawn was too big and no amount of food could pacify their hunger for long. Pearlscales are also especially greedy amongst the varieties of goldfish and expensive to feed so much daphnia and brine shrimps everyday.

Although the bright outdoor sunlight made culling easier, the humidity makes one very drained and tired. The one problem with spawning Pearlscales is that they are too prolific. Average spawn size is about 10 thousand eggs per fish. The following video shows the 4th batch with the second largest spawn size. No prize to guess correctly on the number of fries in this batch because I also don’t know

How I wish my TVR are as prolific as the Pearlscales. My objective for TVR breeding 2010 will be to improve the fertility and number of eggs. The bigger batches of TVR have now completely changed colour. They are gaining more appetite and it is time to accelerate the feeding a little.

Video: culling the Dragon Eye Pearlscale

Picture: Coloured TVR babies

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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