Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keep The Best, Forget The Rest ~ 取優捨劣

~ (拙園老人1904 《蟲魚雅集》)

Sieve out the best thousand from 10 thousands, then select the best hundred from the thousand to get the 10 outstanding specimens out of the hundred.
~ quote from a Chinese book published in 1904.

It was a great relief after culling the largest batch of Dragon Eyes Pearlscales last weekend. The inconsistent supply of daphnia in the rainy season, the cost of feeding such a big batch and the space constraints all signaled the time for urgent culling. Culling was slow and eye-straining, stretching from day time to night time because the fries were still a bit too small to review most of their flaws. Inevitably, I had to keep more fries than I normally do after the first culling.

The focus of Pearlscale breeding this year would be more on fine tuning the features by crossing in the main line of Dragon Eyes Pearlscale to the F2 of the Pompom Dragon Eyes Pearlscale (短尾龍珠球). A rare colouration I  want to breed more this year is the blue-brown (紫蘭花). Having only two precious specimens of seed males, it is paramount to propagate this unique colour before the line is lost.

With 5 big spawns of Pearlsales this year,  so I can afford to be very picky. I am not too worried about the large number of fries now as eventually not many will meet my expectations. Yeah! Keep the best and forget the rest - a slogan I learned from my old friend Ron. I hope one day, he will come back to this hobby again.


1. Short Tail Blue-brown Dragon Eyes Pearlscales (紫蘭花)
2. Day culling
3. Night culling

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Butterfly Dream ~ 莊周夢蝶


莊子: "知魚之樂"

Huizi : "You're not a fish — how do you know the fish is happy?"

Zhuangzi : "You're not me, so how do you know I don't know that the fish is happy?"

~ Excerpt "Happiness of a fish" by
the ancient Chinese Philosopher Zhuangzi

Inspiration from the show "How to train your dragon"

Stealing some free time in the Pearlscale breeding season to tease my shiny scale Dragon Eyes Butterfly. Isn't it a very happy fish? :)

For the next few weeks, I am bracing myself to cull two large spawns of Dragon Eyes Pearlscales (45k to 50k). The challenge then is to grow such a big brood healthily and big enough for culling.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What Drives Me Crazy? 玩魚也瘋狂

怎麼不可能 ? 關鍵在于你有多想要去做

~ 好友阿
英 (五花蘭壽狂想)

Why impossible? It depends on how much you really want to do it.
~ My very good friend Ying (

I haven't got much rest time after 3 intensive months of TVR breeding - 3 big spawns of Short Tail Dragon Eyes Pearlscales and 1 spawn of Calico/Sakura TVR are keeping me very busy. Quite a few people had asked me how I  managed to garner so much energy to juggle marathon goldfish breeding, a full time job and a young family. The long answer to what keeps me going is my penchant for creation, many good friends to enjoy the hobby together, and of course, a supportive family (actually they had totally given up on me :P ).

This year's Tosai fishes to groom for the OARS

Limitations are all in our minds right? Lest I sound like a inspiration speaker, I want to profess that everything has a price to pay. Frankly, the cost, time and effort to breed Goldfish in Singapore would put most people out of this feat. A Goldfish breeder is also nothing glamorous in our Metropolitan city. Rain or shine, weekday or weekend, there is no holiday for the Goldfish breeder. The highly menial tasks in water change and culling also mean much time away from friends and family too.

Dragon Eyes Pearlscale Spawn - Not for the fainthearted

Another of my motivations to breed Goldfish is for  the purpose of competition.  Nothing beats the joy of competing with own-bred fishes. I use competition as a benchmark on the success of my breeding projects.  Not on winning, but on how my entries pit against others'.

How not to give up on me? The mess at home
in the Pearlscale breeding season

By the time I wrap up the Pearlscale breeding near the end of the year, it will be time again to plan for the TVR breeding - this is the cyclical routine that I have been following for the pass few years. Life as a Goldfish breeder is very tough but I am enjoying every bit of it. So the very short answer to what keeps me going is just the word "madness". 

The MFGC is happening this May 27th ~ 30th, online entry form can be downloaded from the Vermillion Goldfish Club Website, Samgoldfish Website and the RafflesGold Forum. Closing date is 30th April.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cherish What We Have ~ 知足常樂


I have this desire to keep improving, so I find fault.

~ Heston Blumenthal

I often ponder if I am in the wrong part of the world to fall in love with goldfish breeding. I love the outdoors and nature, yet I live in a land of concrete jungles with  a very fast pace of life and limited space.

Batch A - 78 days after hatching

The TVR hobby taught me many things about life - Life is never perfect, just as there is no perfect Ranchu. The Japanese Ranchu Masters preach about "learning to see more of the beauty of a Ranchu than its flaws", so I should learn to appreciate what I have - health,  happy family, good friends and the time with my fishes. 

As I lament that breeding goldfish is much more difficult and expensive in tropical Singapore, I really have to feel very fortunate to be a Singaporean - without peace and prosperity for my country, I would be more worried about life's other basic needs than to fret over my Ranchus. After all, I am VERY proud to be a Singaporean, Singaporeans are passionate about striving to be World Class in all our endeavours.

Batch B 73 days after hatching

So I am on cloud nine, cherishing the brief early morning respite from the maddening crowds, amongst the chirping birds and the buzzing cicadas, I enjoy the company of my Ranchus :)

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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