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Not for Purists, but...

Discussion in 'Goldfish Breeds' started by Ranchutoo, Feb 24, 2015.

  1. Ranchutoo

    Ranchutoo Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia USA
    I've noticed on this site and on some FB threads that people are crossing breeds, in some cases intentionally. One breeder is crossing azumanishikis with broadtails; another is crossing ranchus with pearlscales. These have all been described as purposeful breedings and not mistakes.

    For those who are doing these crosses, are you doing it to improve or enhance one of the features on the target breed? Or are you trying to create a new breed? And if you are trying to enhance the characteristics on the target breed, what is your breeding strategy? Are you planning to breed back to the same line, either through inbreeding or linebreeding? And, if you're trying to create a new breed, do you have a picture in mind of what you'd like it to look like?

    My reading of some of the old textbooks indicates that there historically has been a bit of cross-breeding to bring different colors to another breed, to extend finnage, to add headgrowth or telescopic eyes, or to change scalation.

    I'm just wondering if other people are working on this in the background and what they hope to accomplish.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Virginia ranchu

    Virginia ranchu Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Arlington, Virginia
    In the case of the Azuma BTM cross, I think both parent strains are already pretty decent, so it isn't my intention to change those strains. I just wanted to see if I could breed a calico fish with a veil tail. I was also curious to know how crossing to a black fish would affect the calico color. I can't really say that I have a particular result in mind at this point. I'll have to wait and see what they look like, and if anything looks interesting to me, then potentially I could "work with" those individuals and try to breed them to my own tastes.

    I know that there has been a lot of advice about not crossing fish strains, but I think the point is that it is generally not going to improve an established strain to start outcrossing to another variety. Doing crosses just to satisfy your curiosity is fine, but you don't want to lose your pure strains in the process.


    Cheers,
    Rob
     
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  3. chocky

    chocky Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2014
    Location:
    WA, Australia
    I'm currently raising a telescope butterfly x SVR

    Why?

    Umm I figured why not hahaha

    I just want to see what happens :D
     
  4. TVRfan

    TVRfan Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Location:
    Coastal Plain of Va
    I encourage "testing the waters" so to speak, but also encourage good record keeping! What if there were no curious Chinese or Japanese breeders in the days gone by? How many breeds that we know today were "Happy Accidents" either by someone's hand in crossing, or noticing a "different" fish in a pond that was the result of a wild and unsanctioned "cross" between a couple of amorous fish?
    I am a big believer in keeping historic strains alive, but give kudos to anyone that wants to try to come up with something different, especially if they keep it going for several generations to truly see "how things shake out" and if they keep good records.
     
  5. Ranchutoo

    Ranchutoo Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia USA
    While I'm still learning the basics about grooming and breeding, I remain fascinated with the many interesting combinations and permutations that are possible with the goldfish. There's some sort of beauty in almost all of the different attributes and seeking harmony and balance among these attributes is the artful part. I'm still having difficulty appreciating the reverse gill plates, but to each his own.
     
  6. Ununique

    Ununique Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Location:
    Lancaster, Pa

    But on the same token, if you are working with a small sample of (imported) quality fish in a particular strain you are at a dead end as far as genetics are concerned.

    I know very little about how a champion Ranchu breeder in japan manages their line, but I assume it the culmination of many years and many many fish. Just to maintain some genetic diversity and not lose the desired traits which may reside is many different fish in any given generation. I guess hundreds is closer to the mark than dozens (which is what a hobby breeder may manage).


    Now to establish a new line I'd say that number would be considerably larger. Just in that first outcross if none of the offspring are expected to display the desired traits you would have to keep a large number of them to the next generation.
    Then you would want to do enough F1 crosses that your F2 shows the desired traits.

    Distantly I would also probably cross (with F1) or line breed the parents to keep those desired genetics. Which you could use as outcrosses down the road to set desired traits with compatible fish.
     
  7. nolaveils

    nolaveils Breeder

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    New Orleans
    You are making a HUGE leap in assuming the import you have purchased is of a pure strain and not a cross that will not immediately reproduce itself.
     
  8. Ichthius

    Ichthius Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2008
    Location:
    Eugene Oregon
    Sometimes it's done just see what happens and to have a little fun.
     
  9. TVRfan

    TVRfan Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Location:
    Coastal Plain of Va
    Fun for the keeper, fun for the fish.
    It's a fun, fun situation! :bounce:
    Well except for the culls...:exact:
     
  10. fantail1

    fantail1 Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    I confess, I am a purist. However, please let me explain why.

    There are two reasons - one for the good of the hobbyist, the other for the good of the hobby.

    The average hobbyist (and I include myself in that category), doesn't breed fish for profit nor do they have the time, facilities or money to develop a new variety. Therefore they breed fish for pleasure at their own expense. If I am lucky I may be able to trade a few late culls in for food, sell a few fish and keep a few each year. It does, for certain, cost me money. Therefore, I am looking to breed fish to the highest quality that I can. To do that I need to know what I am breeding and what I am aiming for. That is hard enough with established strains. There is no mileage for me in breeding mongrels. It achieves nothing and realises me nothing. I can understand novices trying to raise their first spawning from their collection but when they have no idea which fish are the parents or even if they know, the fish are two different varieties, there is nothing to aim for, nothing to cull for, everything is unknown and unknowable so the task is very much harder than breeding known fish for the first time and little is learned. Anyone who has money to burn, good luck to them, but I see no benefit. Which brings me to my second point.

    Such fish have no place in the hobby. They look like one thing, and breed like something else. How does that help the want to be breeder. It causes frustration and wastes time and money. That is assuming they are not disposed of for what they are, rubbish. If they are sold as mongrels then fine, but don't pass them off for what they are not.

    I know all the varieties were developed by some previous breeders, but they have been developed over many years in a concerted effort - look at the breeders of Ranchu in Japan and you get the scale needed. One hobbyist breeder on their own is wasting their time. I also know there are people here who are semi / professional, they are not hobbyists in the sense I am talking about.

    There. Said it
     
  11. Ununique

    Ununique Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Location:
    Lancaster, Pa
    I wasn't suggesting anything of the sort. What I was assuming is that the fish has some desirable visual trait (i.e. this discussion is about creating a new variety) and not a fish that has part of some champion line that may not have the desired visual traits but have something of the desired traits in its background.

    But that is all besides the point, a single fish is still a single fish with a finite number of genes. Even if you were to get a fish from a champion line, its still just a single package of genes. :)
     
  12. TVRfan

    TVRfan Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Location:
    Coastal Plain of Va
    fantail, I think you should raise the fish you want, the way you want. Whatever works for you and brings joy to your life. But with fancy goldfish some of what you said needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
     
  13. fantail1

    fantail1 Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Bedfordshire, England
    Yup, you are right - nothing breeds true - otherwise culling would not be necessary. But don't make it harder for yourself than you need to. But hey, I don't have to buy the crap produced by these spawnings. As long as everyone knows then for what they are when they pay their money, no one is taken for a ride.

    And please tell me which hobbyist has developed a brand new variety on their own in their own backyard. Not common goldfish, London Shubunkins, Bristol Shubunkins, Comets, Fantails, Veiltails, Moors, Orandas, Pom-pons, Ryukin, Tosakin, Jikin, Ranchu, Celestials, Bubble-eyes or Pearlscales. Even the more recent varieties eg the Bristol Shu was developed by several breeders. What else is there that isn't a cross between two of them? Of course people develop strains of existing varieties. That isn't the same as crossing two unrelated varieties and developing a third.
     
  14. Virginia ranchu

    Virginia ranchu Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Location:
    Arlington, Virginia
    It is true that a line bred strain is a "closed system" with respect to genetic variation and new alleles, however, unless the fish are the result of sibling to sibling crosses for about 36 consecutive generations (almost perfect clones), there is still plenty of heterozygosity there, and many different gene combinations can be achieved. Reshuffling of existing genes can result in subtle and even drastic changes to the phenotype. So even with line bred strains, you can still improve or change them significantly without doing an outcross.
     
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  15. nolaveils

    nolaveils Breeder

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Location:
    New Orleans
    I agree with Rob. Problem is that most assume they are starting with a linebred strain when first purchasing their fish and it is nothing of the sort. Then the hobbyist gets discouraged after seeing the junk the fish produce. And then the problem is compounded should an immediate outcross is done.
    Always has seemed odd to me that most of the goldfish hobbyists I have observed over the years in this country practice outcrossing as the answer. Yet purebred dog breeders do not, commerical cattle breeders do not, thoroughbred horse breeders do not And as a result, these same goldfish breeders never cease in searching for a new quality strain to purchase since through their own methods, they can't produce quality on their own.
     
  16. harzan

    harzan Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Location:
    Hawaii
    Well Rob, I've had the Azumas for about 5 years and see they are pretty stable. I do believe there are two lines that came in the shipment as mine don't really look like the others there. Plus we have the black ones.

    I did not realize you were dong this too. Why not use a vt? If you are interested, lmk and we can work ont his together.

    I love the Azuma head from above and wanted to improve the dorsal on the azuma as they are kind of Bristol like. The finnage seems to be long like veils already but with a well forked tail.

    The UK seemed to have the nicest bt orandas in many pics so I figured this would be a nice long project to do.

    I think it's just tweaking what's out there to our own liking.

    I'll try to keep them going Asian find them very attractive.
     
  17. TVRfan

    TVRfan Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Location:
    Coastal Plain of Va
    I will give you two

    Pingu Guppy David Leibman
    Lightning Maroon Clown Matt Pederson
     
  18. bluebelly

    bluebelly Ambassador

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Location:
    chesterland,ohio,usa
    Comeils

     
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  19. TVRfan

    TVRfan Professional Breeder

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Location:
    Coastal Plain of Va
    Fantail, don't get me wrong, I agree with many of your statements, but am hesitant to make absolute statements. Personally I am glad we have purists like yourself (definitely needed), but am also glad we have people that want to explore the genetic depths of their fish. Frankly if someone buys two 8 inch tiger Orandas and expect all 10,000 fry from a spawn to have twin tails/anal fins and tiger color pattern, well then I don't think they did due diligence.
    I am a bit of a purist at times. When I fly fish I prefer to cast dry flies on a bamboo rod, and will ONLY use flies that I tied with my own two hands.
    And I do not know if you consider WEE Yap a hobbyist, but many people think his dragon eye short tail pearlscales are the bomb!
     
  20. Ununique

    Ununique Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    Location:
    Lancaster, Pa
    One man's trash is another man's treasure.

    Every one of those other animals are bred for productive qualities, and each of them have been domesticated 5-10 times longer than goldfish. But, many dog breeders outcross. Those that are trying to fix the problems of a society that still loves dogs but have no work for them to do are trying to get a breed that fits that lifestyle.

    And not to suggest that all pure dog breeders are doing it wrong, but there is clearly a problem with the methodology when you have a 2 yr old dog that needs a hip replacement. But, this is not a good analogy, as all of those animals birth barely a handful of offspring in a year. Completely different strategy in fish.

    In most inbreeding fish (mostly aquaculture) they see productivity drop very soon, as little as 5 generations. The fish's breeding strategy isn't the same as mammals.
     
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