I have many breeding projects. My current priority is to create the panda ranchu. I started this project about 3 years ago, after strengthening the color of my panda telescope line (also known as panda moor). I began by crossing the panda telescope with an orange Thai sideview ranchu. This is a fifth level difficulty, which means that there are five contradicting features that I must tackle with. First, I must get rid of the telescope eye feature from the panda moor. Second, I must get rid of the dorsal fin in order to create a ranchu back curve. Third, I must tackle the long tail feature in order to create a short ranchu tail. Fourth, I must develop the ranchu headgrowth in the new fish. Fifth and most important, I must inject the panda color into the new fish. In my plan, this is a 5 years project.
My first focus was to produce the panda color in the offsprings of the cross without regarding much yet about the shape. This was achieved in two generation. Following Mendellian law, I got some percentage of blue/panda fish, with all sorts of horrible shapes. I concentrated on the ones which closely resemble ranchu shape. I did some inbreeding program to stabilize the color in the third generation.
Things did not go smoothly at that time. There was an outbreak in my facility, and I was left with only two blue offsprings. One is a sterile female, and the other one is a male with weak health. The whole project was in jeopardy. The actual plan was to cross back this third generation offspring to another Thai sideview ranchu in order to strengthen the ranchu shape character. So I paired the weak blue male with a Thai sideview ranchu.
Thanks to God, I could collect the eggs the next morning. And the next day, the male died. So this project relied solely on those eggs. I could not redo it again. In fact, I was so desperate at that time that I started to cross panda moor again with a black ranchu, as a back up plan. But I felt so much relief when the eggs hatched, and they turned into healty, fast growing ranchu. All of them were grey that slowly turned into orange. There were no blue of panda among them. But that did not bother me at all. I knew that the blue or panda color was recessive, and would appear when I did an inbreeding again. The only drawbacks were the bald, small head of the ranchu and the hump that appeared right after the head. Fortunately, as I grew them, the headgrowth appeared, though very late compared to usual ranchu, and the headgrowth slowly covered the area between the head and the hump, which help to improve the appearance of the fish as a decent ranchu. The back curve was good already. My only concern was whether I would get panda or just blue.
The picture I post here is the offsprings of those orange fishes. So this is the fifth generation. Some percentage became the usual grey color which turned into orange, some turned into blue. Among the blue, some stayed blue so far, some turned early into panda, and some turned quickly into white. I tell myself, “It is ok.” I just need to repeat the first step again in order to stabilize the color. This makes me glad.
Concerning the shape, I get two kinds. First, I get ranchu, and second, I get a small percentage of deme-ranchu, or nymph, which is a ranchu with telescope eyes. Somehow the ones with telescope eyes grow darker coloration compared to their ranchu sibling. The ranchu shape carried the weaknesses of the parents from the fourth generation, namely the small head, the hump, and the late headgrowth. Other than that, the shape is perfectly ranchu. I need some more years to improve on the head shape and color.
So actually this is a premature publishing. Four more steps need to be done to create a decent ranchu shape with a stable panda color. I just get too excited to share the progress now. Two more years to go. 🙂