The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2021

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2021 (8)

One type of goldfish that I avoided in the twenty years of my breeding activity is the Pearlscale. Not because I dislike them. I just think they are hard to keep. In my three attempts to keep them (and to breed them once), all of them ended up developing bubble-like disease in their bodies. I do not know what disease it is. I do not find such disease in other goldfish varieties. The fishes that developed that bubble seemed to suffer. My heart ached when I saw them that way. That is the reason I avoided breeding Pearlscale.

But Pearlscale was always in my heart. I remembered my childhood day when I had a Pearlscale in my tank. At that time, the Pearlscale was of the old style. It had a long flowing tail. This type is hard to find nowadays in my country. The market is now dominated by the Mutiara Tikus (translated as Mouse Pearlscale, developed by the Malaysian with the round body, sharp pointed head like a mouse, and short tail features). As a boy, I loved to watch my Pearlscale until I fell asleep in front of the tank. That fish became the model for my first goldfish childhood drawing.

In my teenager, my uncle gave me his giant Pearlscale. I could remember vividly, it was as big as a small-sized coconut, larger than a tennis ball! I put the fish in my pond only to find it floating dead the next morning. My happiness turned into sorrow. Concerning the size, I do not know if it was an exaggerated memory or if it was really that big. But it was always my desire to grow a Pearlscale someday towards that size. I never succeed to achieve it with all my Pearlscale during my life up to now.

My breeding projects so far was to experiment with unique varieties or color. I made sketches of new goldfish types. One of my imagination was to create a round-belly goldfish, such as Pearlscale, but without the Pearlscale. So it was just a round fish with metallic scale – a metallic ball. But it is a project that I never start. Just a wild imagination. Yet this shows that Pearlscale is always close to my heart.

Last year, out of nowhere, I found several Pearlscale in my offspring.

I was surprised. I did not keep Pearlscale for so long already, so there was no Pearlscale genetics in my fishes. I did not intend to breed any. How come they suddenly appeared in my collection?

These Pearlscale was a natural mutation from the Tosakin – Butterfly cross which I had done for several years. I did a lot of inbreeding and backcross breeding with Tosakin and Butterfly. For many generations, they never yielded Pearlscale, which was normal. I do not know why, suddenly there was a whole batch that turned to round belly, some with obvious pearlscale, some not so obvious. Well, I found this weird. But I welcome them.

So, now, I have Pearlscale again as a gift from heaven. Never ask, but I receive. And they are different from the Pearlscale in the market. The popular Pearlscale is transparent scale type. Mine is metallic scale type – a variant seldom seen nowadays. The popular one is the short tail variant. Mine is towards the butterfly tail type. They are unique. I am happy with them. Since they are metallic scale, the Pearls are not so eye-catching. Some doesn’t even seem to have the protruding scales – and this will be my imagination come to reality without any effort! And more, they do not seem to develop the bubble disease!

From the offsprings, only four I found to be vigorous. The rest were weak or stunted. From this four, only one is male (the grey one).

I still do not know if they can produce true. Will their offspring be just normal butterfly without the telescope eye? Or will they become true metallic Pearlscale with butterfly tail? Or will they be the Steel Ball of my imagination? The first mating attempt produce infertile eggs. The second attempt produce less than ten hatchlings. This morning they breed for the third time, and hopefully produce a better result. Let’s wait for the updates!

Here are the four metallic Pearlscale with (semi) butterfly tail:


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