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...
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....
Sometimes you just wanna cry!

Sometimes you just wanna cry!

This fish may look great, but it’s dead.  Ouch! Not a great loss, because we have thousands of Koi, but when you walk into the hatchery and one the best young males you have in the room, is dead in it’s tank, your heart sinks a little bit.   Rarely does a fish die in our hatchery where it’s not obvious why, but this one is a mystery.  It was doing very well the day before, had no marks on it, no sign of disease, nothing, nada, zilch… We did a quick necropsy on it and again, not a hair out of place – no surprise in our super quarantined hatchery, but still something got it.   Did it get a piece of food lodged in the wrong place? Maybe a heart attack?  Can a fish have a stroke?  I don’t even know.  This was a fish we would not have sold right away.   We had a great pairing planned for it, and now it’s in the compost pile.   🙁 When you have as many fish as we do , you do not get attached to them personally, but any setback in your breeding program, leaves you in a bit of a funk for a few hours.  Personally, I’ll probably waste more than a little time thinking about how it might have happened, with little chance of ever knowing.   Sometimes, stuff just...
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...
Our Current Main Koi Pair

Our Current Main Koi Pair

This pair is producing most of the current Select Koi Juveniles we have for sale at this time.  Their offspring are superior  – we really like this pair.  Out of the 25-30 Koi pair we have going at this time, we rate this the best for all-around characteristics.  They look great, the fertility is high.  The fry are vigorous and fast growers and they are inheriting their parents ability to store carotenoids (what makes the color).  Sorry, they are not for sale. How do you like them?  ...
Albino Koi Pearlscale Project Update

Albino Koi Pearlscale Project Update

          The two fish on the left are a pair of Albino Koi Pearlscale.  The others in the photo are Albino Gold Marble Pearlscale (siblings).  It demonstrates how homozygous Stripeless allows the bright colors to show through the skin layers.  It is a very bright clear orange.  Often in non-albino Koi, the orange will have enough melanin in it to mute the brightness.  Our task now is to selectively breed these for more coverage and as much intensity as we can get....