Saturday, June 18, 2011

Complacency Begets Calamities; Humility Reaps Benefits ~ 滿招損﹔謙受益。


Don’t let your victories go to your head, or your failures go to your heart.
~ unknown

To be honest, after 8 years breeding the TVR, I only begin to feel a little confident this year. It has been a tough journey to tackle the macro technicalities of breeding TVR, but there lies far greater challenges ahead as I delve into the micro details. My aim now is to achieve greater consistency and improving the yield of having more good fishes. 

It is also one of my wildest fantasies that one day, I could acquire the skills comparable to the the top Japanese breeders - a big dream that will probably take years to fulfill, or maybe not in my lifetime at all. Many pessimists don't believe we can achieve anything like this in Singapore... but that only makes me more motivated to prove them wrong :)

Few hobbyists really have the time to kill for real serious Goldfish breeding, i.e. going through years of painstaking efforts to improve and track their line of Goldfish for many filial generations. Be it Goldfish or even the relatively easy-to-breed Betta or Guppies, earnest breeding of livestock requires a very high level of passion and commitment. It can be a very depressing and lonely game in times of failures as most of our peers and dear ones cannot comprehend why are we doing our own fish breeding when it is much easier (and cheaper) to purchase from a good source. Hence, there is no coincidence that the avid breeders process the character traits of hard work, a strong sense of pride and the dogmatic will ("stubbornness") to realise their dreams against all odds.

Along the way as we push on, there will be a fair share of successes to boost our pride as well as failures to test our perseverance. Nevertheless, the line between pride and ego is very thin and a real threat to advancement. People with great pride and a stubborn character are also easy victims to their egos and become their very own enemies. Complacency and ego blind us as we fail to approach issues objectively; when we think that we are always right, and that we can no longer tolerate contradictory views, our minds are shut, learning stops and there is absolutely nothing to improve further.  

Just like many good things in life, the learning never stops in the dynamic art of Ranchu. We are always the students of Ranchu.

If circumstances allowed, I hope to try more TVR spawning again before the end of this year. The only way to learn is to make mistakes, acknowledge them and think of how to improve.

As requested by some keen readers, I have updated the pictures of some of the Tosais bred this year. They are about 4 to 4.5 months old and measuring 10 ~ 11.5 cm.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Uniquely Singapore ~ 非常新加坡


Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.
~ Greg Anderson

Category A 1st Prize

Finally, I realised one of my lifelong dreams to create the first new variety of Goldfish uniquely Singapore and showcase it officially in the New Varieties Category of the Aquarama International Ornamental Fish Competition. 

It has been an extremely backbreaking project going through numerous failures and persevering to breed and track my own bloodline of Pearlscale for nearly 7 years. Actually I have created two new varieties: the Short Tail Dragon Eyes Pearlscale and the Short Tail Dragon Eyes Pompom Pearlscale. Rightfully, I should be on cloud nine since my new varieties had also won a few prizes in the Goldfish Competition but I was rather disappointed. It was quite an anticlimax because the Pearlscale category in this Aquarama was not as heavily contended as do other categories like the Ranchu and the Oranda categories. I would prefer a strong showdown :(

Category A 2nd Prize
A consolation for me this Aquarama is my winnings in the Guppy competition with my new strain of "Moscow-Maroon-Brown" (Class 9 Open Group 1st Prize and Trio 2nd Prize). Yes, you have read correctly - Guppy. I love ornamental fishes as far as I could remember in my childhood days. Guppy breeding was supposed to be a small project with my younger son but I got a little carried away and decided to selective breed to create a new strain of Guppy instead. It took me almost 2 years, but it was an enriching journey making lots of mistakes and getting to know and learn from some of the best Guppy experts in Singapore. Though I must admit it has also been tough as I always give in my best to whatever I set my mind on doing.

Uniquely Singapore - Short Tail Dragon Eyes
Pompom Pearlscales
I am still contemplating about my game plan after the Aquarama. Surely, I would want to further improve on my bloodline of Pearlscales and I may also try to focus on another variety of Goldfish. Of course, there is also my beloved TVR ... Maybe it is time to slow down on Goldfish competitions and devote more of my time on breeding and painting Goldfish - I just couldn't resist the joy of creation :)

PS: I have updated the Aquarama Competition results in the Vermillion Goldfish Club Website.

Guppy Sidetrack :-p

My sweat and his pride :)
~ receiving the trophy from Mr John Dawes

Our new breed of Guppy

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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