Date: 19 Feb 2021
This year is the 21st year of my breeding activity. In accordance to my New Year resolution to “celebrate my potential”, I see the need to be more focus in the area of my goldfish breeding. Though breeding is just a hobby for me – an obsessive one, I must admit – I need a clear direction. So, in the beginning of January, I assessed my breeding situation and made plans. The most feasible thing for me to do turns out to be establishing my line of Oranda.
I have been working with color experiment for many years already. I played with the blue, brown, purple, and yellow color in metallic goldfish. Right now, I have the blue oranda, brown oranda, purple oranda, and yellow oranda. I used many different sources to create them. For example, to create brown oranda, I crossed the brown pompom goldfish with red oranda; to create yellow oranda, I crossed yellow commet with red oranda. These different sources resulted in different oranda shapes. Though they are oranda, my brown and yellow oranda look very different. To make things complicated, I sometimes used several different lines of oranda in the crossing. So, for each type of color, I might have more than one shape variation. It is a bit overwhelming to maintain all of those variation.
Now it is time to simplify things. I want one uniform shape in all my colorful oranda variety. It does not mean that I will not keep other shapes. It just means that I should have my primary shape for oranda. It will be my line: my signature.
In order to do that, I need a basic material to work with. This, I think, is very important. I will induce this basic material into my colorful oranda so that I will have the blue, brown, purple, and yellow oranda with the shape as close as the basic material. Of course, the real basic material is only an idealism in my imagination. It does not exist. In reality, I need to find one close to my idealism. Or at least, a satisfying one. This non-existence of my ideal oranda creates a possibility to continually improve the basic material in the future.
For the past several years, I had my eye on a certain red-white oranda shape developed by a breeder friend. I especially admired its body form. I acquired that line, and mixed it with my fishes. The offspring becomes my basic material right now. In today’s diary, I would like to talk in length about this basic material. Let me first show the picture:
Basically, if I can create blue, brown, purple, and yellow oranda with such shape quality, I will be quite satisfied. And that is my current goal. Don’t you agree that those fishes will be gorgeous? These projects might take one to two years to complete.
Now let me go deeper.
What I admire in these two basic materials is, first of all, their body shape. The body length is medium; it has a good thickness (especially in the peduncle area); and it has a good body width (measured vertically from the back to the stomach). The female is slightly longer than the male. If I must choose the body length, I will choose the female. This preference of medium body length differs from the current trend of a shorter oranda. I know I do not really follow the trend.
The back curve is also good enough. It has a good height: higher than the headgrowth as required by a good standard, yet not as high as the oranda-ryukin hybrid. The current trend in the market is a very high oranda hump, which is fine with me, but I do not follow it. If I compare the male and female here, the male has a slightly better height.
My first concern about the body shape is that the peduncle of the female is positioned a bit upward / high. It makes the fish looks slightly imbalance – but only slightly. Fortunately, the male does not show this weakness. I think this weakness might occur in the offspring once in a while.
The bigger concern is the shape of the abdomen. The male has a good egg-shaped abdomen, though if it can be stretched a bit further back will be nicer. Yet, the female does not have the egg-shaped abdomen. I do not know yet if the stomach can be fuller later on in its development. It is yet to observe. But it is reasonable that some of the offspring might carry this weakness, since I saw the same case with the original line (from my breeder friend).
The scalation looks beautiful. The red color is not deep red, but is more intense than just orange color. There is a possibility that the red can be improved using color enhancer food. But the color is not my concern here, since I do not intend to breed the red or the red-white color as my main oranda. I will need to breed them still just to have enough basic material for the next breeding, but my main purpose is to have the blue, brown, purple and yellow oranda.
Concerning the headgrowth, I have come to a realization that my line will be more of the goosehead type of headgrowth. Looking back to the past several years when I have not decided at what type of headgrowth will my line be, I was already working many times with the goosehead type. And now, I am settled with it. The pictures above were taken two months ago. Now, the fishes have developed the headgrowth more. They have a larger growth on the hat area. Beautiful. The headgrowth was not excessive as in my tricolor oranda line, but it is not small, either. I might want to have a little bit more, if possible, so that the main identity of the fish (the headgrowth) will catch more attention when one sees it. In this basic material, the headgrowth is also seen below the eyes. I think it is the gene from the original line. For my line, I do not desire it and wish to minimize it later on. For now, I must expect that this trait (headgrowth below the eyes) might still occur in the offspring.
Last but not least, I must talk about the tail. The tail is of medium length (or between medium and long). It is a good length for me. I do not want the medium short or even a short tail. The degree of erection of the tail is good enough. It is not very spectacular, but it is considered good. The thickness of the tail tissue is good enough, though I will welcome a thicker one. There are three concerns about the tail. First, the lower tail lobe is not round. So, the lower tail cannot cover the anal fins well. The anal fins are too exposed. I also see this in the original line. And this weakness is uniform in the line. So, I need to plan a long-term repair for this, which is not easy if I cannot find this trait in the existing market. I have made several efforts, though. Yet, it is still a long process. For now, I must accept this weakness. Second, the lower lobes of the female (and some of its sibling) have small folds. The male does not have this. I guess this defect might occur once in a while in the offspring. Third, it was examined that the left and right lower lobes sometimes become imbalance when one of the lobes curls inward when swimming. The curl is not symmetric between the left and right lobes. Not all the sibling develops this, and I certainly do hope that this is not a hereditary defect. It is also possible that this type of tail needs special care so that it does not developed into imbalance curl inward. Perhaps this type of tail is not suited to deep water or strong current. I still need to observe this.
Anyway, after analyzing the basic material and see that they are obviously not perfect, I must say that I will be satisfied to have the basic material shape exist with blue, brown, purple, and yellow color. It is feasible for me to do. I also want to incorporate the tricolor into this basic material shape, but the difficulty is greater. I will save it for later.