Thursday, July 16, 2009

Eye Opener 大開眼界


Many people take the limits of their own vision for the limits of the world.
~Arthur Schopenhauer

Harvesting an Oranda pond in GuangZhou, China (circa 2005)

I think it is important for the avid goldfish hobbyist to make at least a “goldfish pilgrimage” to China or Japan. No doubt it is easy nowadays to access pictures and videos of goldfish and the goldfish farming facilities with a few mouse clicks, visiting the farm personally would be an eye-opening learning experience. I have always known that goldfish farms in China are big but I could not imagine how big until I visited some of Southern China’s biggest goldfish farms.

Most of China’s goldfish farms produce in quantity and export many goldfish to the world. Not much attention is focus on refinement of quality as the revenue to produce low or medium range quality goldfish is lucrative in labour-cheap China. Of course, there are also Chinese farms producing high quality goldfish and in recent years, more Chinese farms are becoming more focus on quality and compete to produce new varieties to wow the consumers.

I was also fortunate to visit some of the Japanese hobbyists to see how they groom the TVR. With many goldfish competition throughout the year and high prestige endowed upon the winner, goldfish clubs sprouts in Japan and delve into the depth to improve existing breed standards. Most of the top grade goldfish are still produce by Japanese hobbyists owning just a few ponds in their compound. There are also some commercial breeders in Japan but the scale and size of their farm is much smaller than in China. The size of a big concrete pond in China can be a few times bigger than the Japanese farm!

Another interesting goldfish haven is the Land of Smiles - Thailand. The scale of goldfish farming is between China and Japan and although it is greatly influenced by both the Chinese and Japanese goldfish culture, it has also evolved its unique and beautiful strains of goldfish pertaining to the Thai aesthetic values.

I hope to complete my eye-opening tour of China with the visit to Northern China one of these days. The Northern farms are famous for the Pearlscales, the Dragon Eye Butterfly, the Bubble Eyes and Pompom varieties.

1) Big Round up in a oranda farm (note the sheer size of the mud pond)

2) Fishes trapped in the net after round up from video for selection

3) One of the biggest commercial ranchu farms owned by Mr Omatsu (Asumi Ranchu)

4) Chatuchak market in Bangkok


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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