Wild-cross Koi Project Update

Wild-cross Koi Project Update

We occasionally get requests from people who would like to see an update on a project.  Wild-cross projects tend to be some that are most often asked about.  I should do these updates more often.  It’s not the writing that gets me. It’s the photography. I used to think that I would love it. Just give me a high quality camera, which I have, and I will really enjoy taking all sorts of photos. I guess that’s not the case. Apparently I just don’t have the patience for it. Probably sounds strange coming from someone who has been raising angelfish for 40 years, but if the pictures don’t look as good as the subject I will work at it for a while then I hear that little voice in my head saying “Well, enough of that”. I just got done wasting an hour on some angels that didn’t want to cooperate, so… I’m going to do the update and go with what I got. Fortunately I got a few decent shots the other day so they aren’t all bad : ) You may remember that we took a large wild Peruvian Scalare male and bred it to a high quality veil Koi female. All wild crosses are interesting and unique. Body shape, color, and temperament make each cross well worth the effort, however, the F1 generation creates a somewhat bland looking silver gold marble ghost. The Gold Marble gene from the Koi is co-dominant with a bit of marbling showing through, but not much color. The stripeless gene that creates the blushing trait tends to break up the bars on...
Longfin Confusion

Longfin Confusion

For years I have watched people offer standard fin bristlenose for sale to people, stating that these fish carried a gene for longfin. I felt very bad for the people wasting their money and worse wasting the next year or two raising and breeding these standard bristlenose just to findout that all of the babies would look just like mom and dad. As recently as last week we received a call from a customer wanting to place an order for some standard fin, or “normal” super-red bristlenose that carry the longfin gene. It is an understandable mistake to think that the gene that is responsible for the longfin trait might be recessive, but this misunderstanding has been going on far too long now. We are primarily known for our work with angelfish since we have worked with the longfins or veiltails in angels since the 1970’s. It is well known, and has been for years, that the gene responsible for veiltail in angelfish is dominant. In other words, if the fish carries a gene for longfin, it will be a longfin.  An article written in 1982 for FAMA magazine by. Joanne Norton described the veiltail gene as follows: Veiltail in angelfish is due to an autosomal (not on a sex chromosome) dominant gene (Sterba). A double dose of the gene for veiltail results in a very long, droopy tail. The double-dose veiltail is smaller and less vigorous than the single-dose veiltail and is not a prolific breeder. A mating in which both parents are single-dose veiltail is unsatisfactory because this produces 25% normal, 50% single-dose veiltail, and 25% double-dose veiltail. You...
Angelfish Fry at Feeding Time

Angelfish Fry at Feeding Time

This is a feeding of live artemia given to angelfish fry that are a few weeks old.   The lighter colored fish are the koi from a Koi/Wildcross mating. Our procedure for feeding artemia is to feed once, maybe twice per day for the first week after free-swimming.  Then, twice per day for the next few weeks, when we then transition them to dry foods.  To transition, we feed artemia in the morning, and then no artemia in the evening.  Instead, we put in a very small amount of fry-sized dry food – but not nearly enough to feed them all even a little bit.  After a 2-3 days of this, they are vigorously seeking the dry food and we then start adding a bit more each time.  Within a week, we can completely remove them from live feedings of brine shrimp if we choose to. As always, comments are encouraged....
Creating Longfin Super Red Bristlenose

Creating Longfin Super Red Bristlenose

In 2009 we acquired an ornamental Ancistrus labeled as Super Red Bristlenose. Throughout 2009 and 2010 we raised many standard fin Super Reds in substantial numbers. We also continued to keep Brown, Albino, and Blue-Eye, in Longfin and Standard (wild-type). I remember having a few discussions with Steve concerning putting longfin into the Super Red but we knew we were at least two years behind the curve on creating them. We expected the longfins to show up any day from Germany or from one of the US breeders that were working with Reds. Some of the early stock we were working with: Early in 2011 we had plenty of standard Super Red in the hatcheries but for some reason we were still not seeing them being offered by anyone in Longfin. I had conversations with Steve about how to start the project. It was unclear which of the Bristlenose would make the best cross into the Reds. The wrong cross could mean many additional generations getting them to a good clean intense color. Calico Red would have probably been the best choice but we the ones we acquired two years earlier had died in quarantine so that wasn’t an option. Steve felt that Longfin Albino X Standard Red would work. I was leaning toward Longfin Blue-Eye X Standard Red. We setup both crosses and got spawns from the Albino X Red fairly quick, but not the Blue-Eye X Red. The Blue Eye seem to be quite a bit more difficult to get spawning, which proved to be true here, so these are lagging behind the Albino/Red cross. To complicate...
Using Wild Fish to Improve a Line

Using Wild Fish to Improve a Line

I would like to describe a few of the many breeding projects that we are currently working on. A little history will be necessary due to the fact that making changes to the genotype and phenotype of animals obviously takes time. My focus is, and always has been, working to improve the Koi angelfish. Some of the work is contained in an old web page that I put together many years ago. Here’s a link to my angelfish website .  Although Steve and I have collaborated on breeding projects a number of times over the years, a few years ago we made the decision to combine our facilities. It was obvious to both of us that it would be far easier to accomplish many of our goals if we worked together. This would allow us to keep a number of different lines for each variety. It would also give us many more varieties to choose for outcrosses. Once the decision was made to combine stock, we sat down and made a list of projects that would be interesting and fun. We knew that these might take “a while” to accomplish but that is part of the enjoyment, I suppose. In any case, these are some of the breeding goals that we decided upon (I am only including the Koi angelfish projects. Other angelfish, livebearers, bristlenose, etc will be discussed in other blog entries): Albino Koi Pearlscale Koi – Extended fin color (ventrals, caudal, dorsal and anal fins) Platinum Koi – We are into the third generation. Jury is still out on whether we will continue with these. We are still watching...