butterfly, celestial, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (9)

Project #19: Celestial Butterfly

There is an interesting update on this project. I might succeed in a year or less.

I think it is time to tell the more complete story of this project. My original source were Celestial Pompom I bought in 2017. They are a variant of Celestial variety that has pompoms in their nostrils. Their other features are thick bodies and short tail. These were my collections:

I know this variant is adorable in its own way. But I do not plan to keep this line. My plan is to create Celestial Butterfly, that is a goldfish with celestial eyes, dorsal fin, and butterfly tail. I saw a specimen of it somewhere in the internet years before and was captivated by it. I do not know any who sells this variant in the whole world. I have never even seen anyone post a picture of this variant anymore nowadays. So, it is quite an interesting challenge to create one.

Before I go on, one important observation about the genetics of the eye is worthy to note. I crossed a celestial eye with ranchu before. The first attempt resulted in 100% normal eyes. I kept them till adulthood and there were no sign that the eyes will change. I did the same crossing a second time, and the result was totally different! There were normal eyes, telescope eyes, and imperfect celestial eyes! What I mean by imperfect celestial eyes are celestial eyes which are not looking upward 100% (there is an angle a bit to the front) or one eye being celestial but another being telescope. I was glad to see these results. But I was puzzled – and still am – about what was going on. I do not have an explanation of the two totally different results from a similar crossing.

The second important observation is about the development stages of the celestial eye. The offspring start from normal eyes (stage 0). Then the eyes will change into telescope eyes first – and this is what I want to highlight (stage 1). Then the telescope eyes will turn – not directly upwards, but – somewhat between frontward and upwards (so, not totally frontward, either) (stage 2). Then the eyes will continue its movement upwards to complete the process of being celestial eyes (stage 3).

This piece of information, especially stage 1, gave me confidence that crossing Celestial Eyes directly with Butterfly (Telescope Eyes) might result directly in few Celestial Eyes. The rest will be telescope eyes and no normal eyes. And my crossing (Celestial Eyes x Butterfly) proved this to be the case. We can say that being a telescope eye in this case is halfway towards being a celestial eye. When the process of stage 1 is halted, then the eye stays as telescope eye.

My confidence let me to cull the fry in stage 0 (normal eyes) based on the tail shape. I did not expect to get decent butterfly tail directly in F1, but I was expecting to get wide spread tail. So, I culled out all the collapsed tail. And this was a grave mistake. Most of the fry I kept turned to be only Telescope Eyes and only one or two fishes being imperfect Celestial. I think a safer strategy is to wait until the fry reach stage 3 and then cull out based on the tail spread. But it happened already.

So, the best thing to do with the mistake was to do inbreeding. I crossed the imperfect Celestial Eyes with his Telescope Eyes sibling. This time, I kept all the tails in stage 0 provided they had no defect. I raised them all, occupying lots of facility space. And now, I have with me all sorts of stages from 1 to 3. And there is one with almost perfect Celestial Eyes feature! And it comes with wide-spread tail, though still cannot be categorized as butterfly tail. Let me show my beautiful baby:

The two picture above is a pic of the same fish. Adorable, right? There is a slight imperfection on the left eye (the angle). I am still hoping that the angle is still in the unfinished process. And I do notice that the size of the eyes are not as big as the original Celestial Pompom Eyes I bought. I do not know whether in the coming descendants the size of the eyes can improve or not, I do hope so. But for now, I am satisfied with this boy (I suspect this one is a male).

The second best result from this batch is this one:

The eyes do not align perfectly upwards. There is a slight angle towards the front. So this one is at the end of its stage 2. I do not know whether it will stuck at this stage or will achieve the final stage. But surely it will be a candidate to be the next parents.

The fishes in this batch show thick peduncles. But lots of them have a bit tilted upwards middle tail. And the combination of such feature with wide spread tail spells disaster. The fish will swim in a rotating movement! I culled out lots of them with that tail trait.

Meanwhile – and this is another story that will merge into my story – my friend mr DBS (Dibyo Sasmita) acquired a different variant of Celestial Eyes. He bought the common Celestial Eyes goldfish which has no pompom, having slim peduncle and long tail. Here were his collections (I get permission from him to use the picture here):

A bit different from me who wants to create Celestial Butterfly, mr. DBS would like to create Celestial Tosakin. So, our final goal will be different but might appear closely related. But there was a problem. The fish did not lay eggs in his place. So, I tried to induce his fish in my facility and successfully mate one of his female with my Celestial Pompom (still without dorsal). Well, success might be an over statement since we only got two fry! This is one of them:

Do notice that the peduncle is thicker than the original Celestial Eyes. The tail still a long one but wider. And it has a small pompom! The Celestial Butterfly I created has lost its pompom feature.

From this specimen, mr. DBS crossed it with his tosakin, and once again managed to get two offspring only. I do not have their pictures, but they have dorsal fins already. Then he lends me the female to cross with my project.

So, to complicate the matters, I had several branches on this project:

  1. My Celestial Pompom x Butterfly (which I have told above)
  2. My semi Celestial Butterfly x mr Dibyo’s semi Celestial Tosakin
  3. My semi Celestial Butterfly x Butterfly (crossback to Butterfly again)

From branch number two, there is one interesting result:

The pompom appears again on this specimen!

The tail is collapsed. The peduncle is thin. Well, I have not observed others in this batch. I do not know whether the others have the same features or not. At a glance, they look widely varied. Some do not have split in the tail, for sure.

I still do not know whether to keep this pompom feature or not. I will decide later. My concern is to have too many variants from a project. My facility cannot afford that.

To wrap up this update, these are the links of the current fishes for you to enjoy:


One thought on “The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (9)

  1. We adore reading your blog! Your unconventional perspective and real voice have an impact in the world. Keep sharing, because your thoughts matter. Thank you for being yourself!

    Thanks – TheDogGod

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