Date: March 8, 2021
If I was occupied with Oranda breeding in January, I was busy with Tosakin breeding in February.
Tosakin is very rare in Indonesia. Over the past decade, several people tried to breed it, some with no success, some with a temporary success but then discontinue for unknown reason. I was among those who passionately try to breed tosakin with no long-term success. Somehow the original line that I bought eventually being wiped out, and I must wait for another opportunity to acquire tosakin again. This happened several times in my breeding history.
About five years ago, I bought five tosakin from Thailand through a friend. Four of them could not make it. I was left with one grey tosakin. It is a male, and indeed, a beautiful one. My friend and me call him Grey. I had no choice but to breed him with Butterfly goldfish. The offspring was unique with many tail variation in-between tosakin and butterfly. We called the offspring the Flysakin (Butterfly – Tosakin). I did two or three generation backcrossing of flysakin to Grey, since this guy lived a long time. The backcrossing ended up with low quality tosakin that I did not proud of. None was close to the quality of Grey. I knew I took a great risk to the genetics health by doing many backcrossing to a single fish for several generation. Then the Grey got very old and a friend cared for him well until his death. I was left with two lines: flysakin (mostly grey) and low-grade tosakin as the descendant of Grey. At this point, the tosakin project became a hopeless case for me. I got used to failure.
Then a new opportunity came two years ago.
My friends and I had the opportunity to buy several baby tosakin from Nagoya, Japan. We were so excited to see the prospect of reviving tosakin in Indonesia. We divided the babies among us and grow them till adulthood. Too bad, it was not easy to breed them. Unlike other goldfish type, it was hard to differentiate between male and female tosakin by examining their anal. And none of them laid eggs in the first year. I prepared my courage to accept the worst: they might be sterile. Fortunately, in the second year, one laid eggs. The sec became obvious at this stage. I had several females with me, but only one laid eggs. I quickly paired her with the siblings. It was a happy moment to have so many tosakin eggs at last. Yet, another disappointment awaited. Almost all of the offspring had defect dorsal fins! I tried to breed her the second time, with the same result. There was something wrong with the genetics. Suspicion mingled with disappointment. But I know anger could not change the situation. I threw all of the offspring and decided to start over. At that moment, I launched three sub projects altogether. I mated the Nagoya with my low grade tosakin (descendant of Grey); I also mated the female Nagoya with my male flyaskin, and my female flysakin with male Nagoya. After executing these projects, the female Nagoya stopped laying eggs forever. What a close call!
Surprisingly, the cross between the Nagoya and my own tosakin produced decent tosakin. They were not extraordinary, but good enough. There were only seven of them, but they made me happy. Concerning the offspring of Nagoya x flysakin, some of them became very close to tosakin: some with long and soft tail (perhaps it still carries the genetics of butterfly) and some with medium and hard tail. Some more had split tails and large flips; they were very beautiful in their own way – I sold them because I did not use them to improve my tosakin project anymore.
This February, these offsprings began to lay eggs.
From the seven tosakin offspring I had, there were four females but only one laid eggs!. My alarm rang aloud. She was not perfect. She had a defect in the dorsal fin. The dorsal fin only covered 80% of the backbone. Yet she was the best shot I had. I could not postpone her breeding since I had no confidence if she would have another breeding season.
So, I mated her with her siblings (two out of the three males from the seven set). I left one male out since its tail was ordinary. Then it occurred to me that pairing her up with his uncle (the male from the original Nagoya set) will be a good option, so I did this in the next occasion. A goldfish usually lays eggs every five days in my place. So, I can have many rounds of breeding in a season. I can pair a single fish with different males. The combinations above already took three rounds of breeding.
I did not stop the breeding there. I continued to pair her with another males. Since I did not know how the result would turn out, I thought it was better to pair her with many different males in the hope of having good offspring from at least one of the combinations. In the fourth round of breeding, I mated her with the best of my improved flysakin, that is, the flysakin that had been crossed back to the original Nagoya tosakin line. At this point, I thought I already had sufficient combination of offspring to secure a good result.
But then, temptation creeped.
My goal is not just to breed tosakin, or to create the quality as close as to the original Nagoya. My goal is to create my own line of tosakin, hopefully with clearly defined uniqueness. What I had in mind is to create a tosakin with longer tail and bigger flips (who doesn’t want that?), and a strong red white color. The current productive female tosakin I had was already red and white in coloration. And the red color was not bad. It was already a dream came true. But, among my goldfish collection, I had two fishes with very intense blood red color in a red and white fish. Both were male. One of them was a butterfly, and one was a flysakin. They emerged randomly from my offspring without me remembering the genealogy. I was tempted to pair these two with the female tosakin. I knew the timing was not at its best, since my space were already occupied by so many oranda offspring and tosakin offspring. Could I afford two more projects? Or should I postpone this sub-project to the next breeding season, provided that the female could stay productive? It was risky. I remembered well about her mother stop laying eggs forever. Or could I delay this sub-project until the next generation? Well, would I still have my intense deep red goldfish at that time?
After pondering for a while, I decided to execute the project.
I must confess that I made another sub-project in this Tosakin category. Along with the female tosakin being productive, some of the females from my improved flysakin collection also came to age. I mated them with the original male Nagoya line. My reason was that my Nagoya was getting old. There was not much time for him to be productive. And his gene was so important to be paired with the improved flysakin, since this one cross would make my improved flysakin into a complete tosakin. I could not waste this opportunity.
So, I was very busy in breeding this January and February. My space was cramped and I need to exercise strict management to my little city farm. Pray to God that He will grant me success with these two projects. The question is: what will I do in March?