Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Let the Fishes Do the Talking ~ 金魚物語

If skill can be gained by watching, then every dog would become a butcher.
~ A Turkish proverb

The beauty of the TVR can be appreciated in all 3 milestone stages in its lifespan: the youth of the Tosai, the vigour of the Nisai and the grace of the Oya. No doubt that every breeder should aim to improve his Ranchu breeding skills every year, it is also a very important skill to master the technique of keeping Ranchus as beautiful and as long as possible. Without keeping his fishes till they are matured, the breeder would not be able to see the potential of the bloodline he is working on. Some bloodlines of TVR are most beautiful in the Tosai but some bloodlines become more beautiful in the Nisai and Oya.

I have been breeding the TVR for 6 years but have not been particularly successful in it. Every year, I do not have many fishes with features that I want to propagate to the next progeny, so I often have to use my best fishes as breeders. However, everything has a price to pay - while breeding the best fishes has the advantage of passing on the best genes, it can be very stressful for them as well.

The care and maintenance of seed fishes is a profound skill as with any animal, healthy parents will give healthy babies that will develop well eventually. Although the stress and injuries to the TVR can be reduced by hand-spawning, they are often weakened after spawning. In the tropical weather, female Ranchus that had been spawned are also particularly prone to egg engorgement problems in the later part of the year. Many would deteriorate or perish eventually. By the time of the Oozeki Annual Ranchu Show (OARS) at the end of the year, I am mostly left with more Tosai (yearlings) to compete than with the Nisai (2nd year fish) or Oya (3rd year and above) fishes.

Inspired by many Japanese breeders who can keep their fishes big, beautiful and competition-ready for years. I was in a deep dilemma in the beginning of the year on whether I should breed my best fish that came in third in the Tosai class. On one hand, I was worried about not having better babies than the year before, on the other hand, I reconciled that the skill of keeping fishes big and beautiful should come even before attempting to breed them. Quote my good friend and mentor, Mr Geert Coppens who also keeps many big and beautiful Ranchus: "Do not worry about what others think about you; just do what you need to do and let the fishes do the talking." I think he helped me to decide on what I want to do with my best fish. I hope I can develop it well and it will be able to compete in the year end OARS again.

1) My best Ranchu bred in 2008 (Tosai)
2) Same fish in 2009 (Nisai)
3) Fish bred by Ying, my Hong Kong friend in 2008 (Tosai).
4) Same fish in 2009 (Nisai)


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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