Friday, February 26, 2010

Sweet 16 ~ 吾家有魚初長成

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was.
~ An Irish Saying

It is important to push the BBRs to grow as much as possible before their colour changes. The risk of pushing too aggressively without good water quality management will result in sick fishes. Even if we can keep our BBRs healthy with an aggressive feeding regime and water quality in check, it does not mean we should feed our BBR like pigs.

Sweet 16 ~ 44 days after hatching

The technique of grooming the BBR is likened to that of a Sumo wrestler - they are nurtured to epitomise strength, power and agility. The Japanese technique of grooming BBRs and Sumo wrestlers entails high quality food and good exercise as well. It is no coincidence that the ranking of Ranchus in the AJRS takes after the ranking of the Sumo wrestlers.

Ask any Japanese Ranchu Master and they will say that the bloodline is the most important criteria to making good BBRs. Besides the bloodline factor, grooming is what we do by varying pond space, amount of feed, type of feed, stocking ratio, water change regime and environmental conditions.

BBRs just after feeding ~ 37 days after hatching

This year, I have some breakthrough in making the BBRs bigger than previous years before their colour change. But I got to watch out for obesity and the fats growing on the wrong parts of the body. It is still too early to tell the results and I am still learning how to make a Sumo Ranchu :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hidden Dragon Crouching Tiger ~ 藏龍伏虎

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth... Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.
~ Noela Evans

Some of the BBRs have started to change colour (虎剥げ disrobing the tiger). The foundation of the dragon head funtan (龍吻) is emerging, hopefully the head wen of this year's BBR will be better than those of last year's. I am quite happy to succeed in pushing most of the BBRs at least to 5cm before their colour started to change.

Colour changing - "tora hage" & dragon head funtan developing

39 days after hatching

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Knowing One's Limits ~ 自知之明

Never Bite Off More Than You Can Chew.
~ An English Idiom

4 healthy batches of BBRs are probably what I can cope for now. The small spawns allows me to focus on fine tuning techniques and to study the mistakes I made over the previous years. Time and space permitted, I may spawn one or two more batches in March/April with the seed fishes given by my Hong Kong friend.

36 days after hatching

The weather is showing signs of cooling down with occasional showers. More rain is expected to kick-start the spawning season in the next few weeks and it should be about time to be a bit more aggressive in feeding the seed females. I would likely be focusing on stabilising  and enhancing the traits of my new creation - The Short Tail Dragon Eye Pompom Pearlscale ~ 短尾龍睛珍珠球!.

Short Tail Dragon Eyes Pompom Pearlscales

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Five Fortunes at Your Door ~ 五福臨門

Prosperity Makes Friends; Adversity Tries Them.
~Publilius Syrus

The Chinese Lunar New Year coincides with Valentine's Day this year. Most Chinese all over the world will be celebrating the reunion dinner tonight. I had  mine too and my guests were awed with 5 big georgous Side View Ranchus that I imported recently.

Competition grade Side View Ranchus

"五福臨門" (5 Fortunes at your door steps) is one of the popular Chinese auspicious wishes for the Chinese Lunar New Year. These premier Ranchus are bred in the Chinese province of Fuzhou (福州), world famous for the Chinese Side View Ranchus. The Ranchus from Fuzhou are commonly referred as 福壽 (Fushou) which means Prosperity and Longevity.

Batch A at 31 days old after hatching

There wouldn't be any fresh supply of daphnia until the 4th day of the Chinese New Year. This allows me to taking a breather from my early morning chore of buying daphnia for the next few days. Though this year, I  am experimenting with controlled feeding and had fed relatively lesser than previous years, strangely the BBR seems to grow as fast. Maybe the Wolffia is doing wonders.

I would like to wish all my Chinese readers a very Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year and everyone Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Making the head ~ 頭を作る

The Heart Is Forever Making the Head Its Fool.
~ François de la Rochefoucauld 

The BBRs are growing fast and their colour change is imminent. This is a  very crucial stage to start "making the head" of the BBR as the foundation of good funtan growth lies before their colour change. The green carpet algae and bloodworms are essential for making nice Ranchu head.

This year, I am also experimenting with wolffia columbiana (common water meal) which is used by some Japanese breeders. Wolffia from other pond sources should be sterilized before feeding to the BBRs. It should be safer to culture them with plant fertilisers.

Wolffia columbiana

First meal of bloodworms

taken on 7 February - 25 days after hatching

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Picture Speaks A Thousand Words ~ 妙在不言中

Be Silent, Or Say Something Better Than Silence.
~ a German proverb

Too busy to pen down my thoughts these days. Since I couldn't engage my brain before I open my mouth, I don't wana talk too much.

Here are my updates of my 2010-A batch (spawned on 10 Jan 2010):

2010 Batch A

Video taken on 3rd February

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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