Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Pursuit for Perfection ~ 精益求精

~ 埃及諺語

A Beautiful Thing is Never Perfect
~ An Egyptian Proverb

Back to continue on the Pompom Dragon Eyes Pearlscale - when the F1 Pompom hybrids attained sexual maturity in early part of 2009, I attempted inbreeding and back-crossing different breeder combination for F2.

F2 Male Pompom Dragon Eyes Pearlscale ~ Oct 2009

The three most important spawns are :

Spawn 2009-IA:
Inbreeding the F1 Pompom hybrid - 40% short tail specimens. Only some long tail fries inherited the pearl-scaling (poor quality scaling due to incomplete dominance). All short tail fries have normal scales. I kept a few long tail males with Pearl scaling as next generation breeders.

Spawn 2009-BA:
Back-crossing a F1 Pompom hybrid female to the stable line Dragon Eyes Pearlscale male - more than 80% short tail specimens with varied degrees of pearl-scaling traits. The best short tail female in the F2 was a red-white female with faint traces of pompom and big rounded eyes (pictured below).

Spawn 2009-BB:
Back-crossing a F1 Pompom hybrid male to the stable line female - more than 80% short tail specimens with varied degrees of pearl-scaling traits. An almost full red male fish with  slightly more obvious Pompoms, big balance eyes and pearl-scaling is the most important F2 breeder.

All the progenies from both the spawns are lacking in my desired features and structure. Specifically, they have longer peduncle joints, bad quality scaling and flatter back curves. The overall traits have all gone haywire after a major out-cross like a stack of scrambled poker cards - it will take a few generations to "tune" them back again. 

The next breeding plan for F3 will be to enhance and improve the desired features by crossing the best male from spawn 2009-BB with the best female from spawn 2009-BA. Since this F2 male has a stronger Pompom trait and  better quality pearl-like scaling amongst the F2, I would backcross it again with females of the stable Dragon Eyes Pearlscale line to improve the F3's scaling and structure. Hopefully, the Pompom trait will not become diluted in the F3.

I think I really got carried away talking about goldfish. With this last posting for year 2009, I would like to wish all my readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Thanks for all your kind support of this blog and the emails!

I would be busy with the Oozeki Annual Ranchu Show (OARS) on New Year's day. Look out for the Oozeki Ranchu Club website for the OARS 2010 updates soon.


1) Male fish from spawn BB

2) Side view of the same male fish from spawn BB.

3) Female from spawn BA.

4) Another female from spawn BA

5) Long tail progeny from spawn IA (inbreed)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Hope for the Best & Prepare for the Worst ~ 怀最好的希望,做最坏的打算。

子曰: 工欲善其事,必先利其器。

He that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools.
~ Confucius

Extreme hot and cool weather become more prevalent in Singapore now then ever. These drastic changes in atmospheric readings and temperature often trigger Goldfish to spawn. Though the sexes are segregated into different ponds, some of the female Pearlscales had started to spawn even without the courtship chasing of the males. As usual, it is much more difficult for the TVR to spawn than the Pearlscales. There are still no sign of the TVR breeders showing any interest to spawn as yet.

In retrospect of 2009's Goldfish breeding, I am quite happy with the progress of the new breed Dragon Eye Pearlscales. Three new colours - the black, the calico and the blue-brown have been created. Next year will be devoted to further fine-tuning the features and the development of the new line of Pompom Dragon Eyes Pearlscales. I could feel my adrenalin rush just by thinking of all the exciting combination next year :P

I wasn't as lucky for the TVR breeding this year compared to the Pearlscales. In fact, I have not done better than my previous 2 years. The Pearlscale and the TVR are groomed using totally different techniques from two distinct cultures - China and Japan. Actually, I am very curious to study the differences and appraise what could have gone wrong. From September, I had also earmarked the seed fishes and paying more attention to their dietary needs. I plan to spawn the TVR after the Ozeki Annual Ranchu Show 2010 (OARS 2010). For next year's TVR breeding, I have also planned an out-cross to a new bloodline from Japanand acquired a pair of female TVRs of related bloodline from my Hong Kong friend. Hopefully, these females conditioned in Hong Kong could produce better eggs this year.

In the pursuit to improve on Goldfish breeding, I know that I have to be prepared to be disappointed over and over again - Particularly so that the tropical climate is never the natural habitat of the Goldfish. There will be many more questions than answers to come along the way and numerous brainstorming to improve on techniques of Goldfish breeding in the tropical weather.

1) New colour this year - 3 months old calico and  blue-brown Short Tail Dragon Eyes Pearlscales.

2) Seed female #1 from Hong Kong.

3) Seed female #2 from Hong Kong.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Doing Nothing ~ 無為

Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.
~Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind

Finally I am back home from China again, this time round, I was in Beijing with my family. We missed the snow which was just a week before our arrival, much to the dismay of my kids who have yet to experience snowing. The trip had been wonderful - lugging two kids to scale the Great Wall of China, visiting must-go places like the Forbidden City, Summer Palace and our first skiing experience.

Having gotten used to the routine of rushing and juggling time with family, work and fish, I suddenly feel strange and restless not doing anything much. In fact, overseas traveling is becoming more and more stressful for me, particularly so when I almost always have some baby fishes at home.

Healthy adult Goldfish will do fine without food for a week or two, but not for the developing fries. The first few weeks are particularly important for the foundation of the fish. Nonetheless, nothing major happen for the 2 sessions of overseas trip, it merely slow down the development of the fishes. One major advantage about the green water is that it acts as a food supplement too. The water maintained with a healthy green provides both food and oxygen for the few days after all the food in the automatic food timer were dispensed.

Of course, being a Goldfish fanatic, I cannot forget about the Goldfish anywhere I go, especially so when I am in Goldfish country :) I managed to steal some time to visit the Goldfish display in the ZhongShan Garden (just beside the Forbidden City) and one of the nearby Ornamental fish market in Beijing Lady's Street. Taking quick snaps with my camera as my kids complained: "Hey pop... not Goldfish again please!"

China continues to fascinate me, I mean not only about the Goldfish, but the rich culture and historical heritage. I feel very proud to be part of the culture that created the Goldfish.


1) Great Wall of China - Mu Tianyu.

2) Calligraphy "Wu Wei" (doing nothing) by Emperor Kangxi.

3) Pagoda and Goldfish display tanks alongside the walls of ZhongShan Garden.

4) Close up of one of the Goldfish display in ZhongShan Garden.

5) A LFS setup in Beijing Lady's Street.

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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