When the features of the Short Tail Dragon Eye Pearlscale was more or less stable in late 2008, Stage 2 of the project plan was kick-started to add in the Pompoms (Narial Bouquets). My idea is to create 2 cute and obvious pompoms but not too large that it will put too much weight on the head of the fish.
In the best practices of out-crossing, the breeder selects two stable lines to propagate their desirable traits into the new line. I borrowed a rare male Dragon Eyes Fantail Pompom from Alvin to cross with my all-white Short Tail Dragon Eyes Pearlscale. The Dragon Eyes Fantail Pompom is a very stable ancient bloodline with long slender body and having a pronounced nasal growth like a pair of Chinese Pompoms. I selected a few females from my most stable and consistent line of Blue Berry Dragon Eyes Pearlscales to pair with this male. The F1 of this combination produced 100% long tail Sakura Dragon Eye Pompoms. There were also about 50% metallic scales and 50% nacreous Sakura.
The most interesting thing to observe in this major out-cross is the lack of pearl-scaling in all 7000+ fries. This contradicts the prior findings from out-crossing the Chinese Short Tail Dragon Eyes with the Pearlscales, where there was a small percentage of fries having pearl-like scalings. It seems to suggest that genetic co-dominance is dependent on the types of varieties in the out-cross.
Usually, we do not expect the hybrids from a far out-cross of different varieties to yield good results because the desire traits in each variety are often weakened from incomplete dominance or co-dominance. Though I was disappointed that there were no progeny with pearl-like scales, I was lucky to get a few show-grade hybrids with Pompoms. These Pompom hybrids displayed a deeper body and Sakura colouration rarely found in the paternal lineage. The pompom, though obviously present, is also much smaller than the parent male due to "trait dilution" in the out-cross. In fact, one of this F1 hybrid had also won the second prize in the Aquarama 2009 OPEN category.
Now with the genetic codes scrambled once more, the plan for the next iteration is to back-cross the F1 hybrid to the pure line of Dragon Eyes Pearlscales and inbreed the F1. In the course of this project, I have to stay very focus with my original goal instead of being distracted by these interesting hybrids. Most of these hybrids are culled or given away, leaving only a few to propagate in the subsequent iterations. Time, space, cost and energy are the limits in this game of unlimited outcomes.
Stay tune to this track in my future postings.
Pictures and Videos:
1) A traditional art of Chinese Lions and Pompoms.
2) Alvin's Dragon Eyes Fantail Pompom with strong variety characteristics - firm, round Pompoms
3) Far out-crossing - the lucky Pompom fantail and his concubines.
4) Blue Berry Dragon Eyes Pearlscales from the stable line #1.
5) Some of my stable line #1 of with consistent features.
6) F1 Sakura Pompom #1 @ 4 months old
7) F1 Sakura Pompom #2 @ 4 months old
1) The F1 Sakura Pompom @ 4 months old. This fish won the CATEGORY B OPEN class in Aquarama 2009.