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... read more

Swordtail Project Evolution

I’ve enjoyed working with more types of fish than just angelfish since I was a small child. I’ve always had fancy livebearers of some type, usually guppies, but often other ornamental types.  There was a period about 25 years ago that I had some amazing swordtails.  They were huge, vigorous and prolific fish.  I hadn’t seen anything like them in years.  I was keeping my eye open for something similar, but never ran across any.  Finally, I decided to try to create my own.  I usually go back to wild when I want fish that look and act like they’re supposed to. My search for good wild stock led me to Select Aquatics, where I purchased a couple strains from Greg Sage a couple years ago.  I picked up some Xiphophorus alvarezi in albino form and some X. nezahualcoyotl.  It was the “nezzies” that really caught my eye – very thick bodies,  deep caudal peduncles, wide dorsals and a bold attitude. No matter where I get my fish, they all go through an extremely intensive quarantine and treatment period.  In fact, the original stock never leaves quarantine.  All in all, it takes me about 6 months to a year just to get newborn fry that I can move into a breeding room.  The albino alvarezi didn’t do too well in quarantine.  I put the last male in with some red Hi-fins before I ended up losing all of the alvarezi. Fortunately, two generations later I did get a couple albino offspring, so I know those fry contained some of alvarezi genetics.   The nezzies did well and since my... read more

Fish Food Shelf Life

One of the most frequent questions we get is, what is the shelf life of the fish food that you sell?  Well, the answer is not always easy to pinpoint.  It depends on whether the container has been opened and once opened, what conditions is it exposed to.  It’s different for everyone.   This video will discuss these points and give some tips for keeping it in the best nutritional condition possible.   If you have any questions or tips, please put them in the comments section below.... read more

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... read more

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?  ... read more

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.... read more

Koi Mutation?

Several months ago, Dave Hlasnick had this Koi show up in one of his spawns.  I was more intrigued with it than he was.  I had a Halfblack Koi project into the F2 generation, and he was more interested in continuing it than I was, so we swapped.  I came out on top of this deal, since I got a potential mutation and he got 20 adults that I didn’t want to make room for.  He also gets the challenge of getting a very difficult project to the end. Is this a mutation?  Orange on the chest, but not on the crown – I have never seen a Koi anything like it. The problem is, I have no females with color that is close to this.  This project will require a minimum of 2 more generations to even have a chance of seeing any of these in a spawn.  My goal will be to quickly raise the next generation, so I can cross a daughter back to this male. There is a risk that this trait is not heritable and I will waste a bunch of tank space for a few years, but I’ve been there- done that, and it won’t be the last time. There is not a lot of black on this fish (more on the other side), but that isn’t too difficult to change.  My biggest question is,  if I’m able to reproduce it, will people like it?  I do, but I might fill 30 tanks with them and find out that nobody wants any.   What do you think?... read more

The many uses for foam

There are some items that are used frequently in the average fishroom. We use lots of different nets for several things, various sieves for sorting food sizes, different tools for removing algae,  siphons of all types and lots of other useful tools to get our daily work done.  The thing we probably use most is scrap foam that we recover from our filter-making operation.  We use it for so many things, that I would probably rate it the item I would least want to do without.  This tutorial will demonstrate a few of the things we do with the foam.  Hopefully, you get a few useful ideas out of it.  If you are looking for it on our site, you can  find the foam pads here.Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download... read more

Feeding Time!

As much as I enjoy watching my fish interact, I think I like watching them feed most of all.  While in the hatchery this morning, I took a couple clips to show the vigor.  First some Streaked Blacks and then some wild Peruvians.... read more

Why quarantining new fish is so important

Many aquarists know that new fish should be quarantined, but most don’t really know what a truly effective quarantine consists of.  The video will go over what we consider the important reasons why you should quarantine and how to do a quarantine that really protects your existing stock.... read more