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  1. I. Introduction Breeding tubercles are small whitish nodular structures often found on male goldfish, and many other types of fish, spanning across at least 15 different families, and 4 orders. While some of these nodules are a constant presence on male goldfish, others appear preceding spawning, and disappear shortly after. Breeding tubercles, sometimes also called breeding stars, are found mainly on male goldfish, although in some rare instances can be found on females. Because breeding stars are usually found predominantly on males, these structures are fairly reliable markers for gender identification. There are two places where breeding tubercles are frequently found. First, they can be found on the front rays of the pectoral fins. Once the pectoral fins have developed (prior to sexual maturity), these structures remain in place for the duration of the fish's life. Pectoral stars can diminish in size after spawning, but will grow even larger during the next season. Breeding stars/tubercles on the pectoral fins of male goldfish Breeding stars are also often found on the gill opercula/covers of goldfish. Unlike the pectoral tubercles, these stars usually disappear after a season's spawning, and reappear in the next season. Breeding stars/tubercles on the gill plates of male goldfish Breeding stars/tubercles on both gill plates and pectoral fins of male goldfish In some instances, breeding tubercles can be found distributed throughout the entire body of the goldfish. II. Regulation & Function of Breeding Tubercles Breeding tubercles are essentially overgrown skin cells covered by a cap of keratin. These structures are formed in response to hormones such as testosterone from the gonads and other hormones from the pituitary glands. Stimulated cells begin to divide much faster than normal. These epidermal cells are also somehow reprogrammed to switch from mucus production to that of keratin, resulting in the keratin cap. Vascular networks are also induced and put in place, to support the long term survival of these structures (see figure below). Experimental studies have shown that injection of testosterone in both male and female fish are sufficient to induce the formation of breeding stars, although the process is much more easily done in males than in females, demonstrating that there are other male hormones/factors at work to enhance the process. These studies also suggest a way whereby sometimes female goldfish might acquire breeding tubercles, such as the overproduction of a particular hormone. (figure taken from Wiley & Collette) So, do these tubercles have any functions? While not much definitive work have been shown, a number of functions have been inferred, or suggested: - sexual display - to differentiate between male and females. - tactile stimulation of females during spawning - defense of territories and nests. It's been suggested that these hardened structures could be brandished as weapons of sorts. - dominance display among males - indicator of health (males free from parasitism will display more stars, while disease ridden ones may have few or none) It's important to note that in different species of tubercle bearing fish, the function(s) may vary. In goldfish, it's not clear what roles the breeding stars play in the spawning process, although territorial defense and usage as weapons are not likely. III. Conclusions While not much is known about the function of breeding tubercles, these contact organs are very useful in sex determination in goldfish, as they predominantly appear in males. IV. References 1. Wiley, ML & Collette, BB. 1970. Breeding tubercles and contact organs in fishes: their occurrence, structure, and significance. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 143:147. 2. Kortet, R. et al. 2004. Breeding tubercles, papillomatosis and dominance behaviour of male roach (Rutilus rutilus) during the spawning period. Ethology 110:591. 3. Ghadially, FN & Whiteley, HJ. 1952. Hormonally induced epithelial hyperplasia in the goldfish (Carrasius auratus). Br J Cancer 6:246. Click here to view the article
  2. Here is an article by Mr. Paul Van Allen, a training specialist working for Nikon, on how to take great pictures of fish. http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Learn-And-Explore/Article/h0ndz3t8/how-to-take-great-photos-at-the-aquarium.html I definitely recommend reading the article, but here are the salient points. Your settings should be: - manual - Auto ISO - 1/125 sec - f/5.6 - auto white balance - no flash Good luck, and happy picture taking. Here are some examples I hastily put together. This post has been promoted to an article
  3. As I doing water changes the other day, I noticed that MagiKarp is now sporting some major wen action. He's been with me for 7 months, and he has grown quite a bit, as well as developing quite a respectable wen. Here he is in QT when I brought him home in August 2013 Here he is now in March 2014, with some cheeky closeups Note the mysis shrimp in some of the pics, as well as the one with him holding a bubble in his mouth [/url] And some random (and very closeup) pics of his tankmates, Othello the Moor, Hyperion the Telescope, and Yafa Boss Tammy the Ryukin! Thank you for looking!
  4. I've had these two fish for some time now, but have actually never introduced them properly. So here goes These two, The Stakos and Una-Buna, both Sarasas, have been with me for about nine months. They have since doubled in size (standard length) and that caudal fins have started to get nice and flowy. These are some of the most active fish I've had, and seemingly spend all day cruising the tank. Together The Stakos Una-Buna Predators of the 100! And since it's the full moon today, it wouldn't be right if I didn't moon you! Thank you for looking!
  5. I have three black goldfish in my keeping. Othello is the black moor, and has been with me since I came back to this hobby. He is about 5 years old now, and while he has threatened to lose his black color several times, he has not. At this point it doesn't seem like he will be, although he would of course make a smashing orange or apache fish. Things 1 and 2 are my East Coast Thai Ranchus, which Cynthia was really kind to part with me when they were wee ones. They have been with me since the middle of May 2013, so they are about 9 or so months old. These two fish are the grumpiest looking fish ever. They are still somewhat small, although both are growing nicely. Thing 2 (smaller one) seemed like he was starting to lose his melanophores a couple of weeks ago, but now he's all black again. So, I don't know what's up with that. Without further ado, here are my black goldfish, because, in the words of some fame monger, "black is the new black." :rofl Othello Thing 1 (Bigger Chu) Thing 2 (Smaller Chu) And some of Hyperion, to bring some light amidst all this darkness. Thank you for looking, and please forgive my indulgence in excessive numbers of pics.
  6. Goldfish rank at the top of the list of ornamental fish species that are released by humans into the wild, as their keepers either grow tired of the fish, or have decided one way or another that they don't want to keep these fish. Without thinking, the release of goldfish into lakes, rivers, etc. all over the world can have some drastic negative impacts, not only on other fish, but potentially a vast array of other animals in that ecosystem. In the study I am sharing with you below, a group of Spanish researchers show the potential negative impact of such an action on amphibians. Here, the study authors used the Alpine newts, and showed that by simply sharing cohabitation with goldfish, these newts hide more often, and exhibit less sexual activity. This is the study abstract and the full article http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0082736
  7. My profuse apologies for the recent slew of photo-spamming, but the MagiKarp was just being too adorable. :rofl Othello is unimpressed, though
  8. Hello Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I upgraded my camera, and I have still trying to get the hang of it. The new cam is amazing and has a lot to offer, but it's going to take a while to learn to use it properly. I had a test photoshoot earlier, and thought I would update you on some of my fish. They are all doing very well, and growing nicely. Other than feeding them, doing water changes, and cleaning their tanks, I'm not really doing much, which is exactly how I prefer it. I am still working on getting the right settings. These are off, but I am getting closer. Thank you for looking. The Ryukins (Boss Lisa and Yafa Boss Tammy!). They are clearly the bosses in the tanks! Alyssa the Fantail MagiKarp the Orandashishigashira Random Pics
  9. As some of you know, I brought The MagiKarp home last week from Petco, and so far she has been doing excellently in QT, going through her rounds of 0.3% salt and Prazipro. I am still learning how to use my camera, and decided to try for some closeups. Here she is in her QT. "Mirror, mirror, on the wall..." Enjoying a messy meal of Pro-Gold. She does not like NLS or Hikari Lionhead, but approves of mysis shrimp and bloodworms. LOL The Close-Ups (at varying ranges) Thank you for looking.
  10. I contacted Cynthia of East Coast Ranchu (one of our forum sponsors) a little over a month ago about getting some ranchus, since I had not been restocking my tanks when my older fish passed away. Cynthia was very gracious, and was quite a pleasure to deal with. I chose two day FedEx shipping, and the fish arrived safely, soundly, and did not at all seem like they had spent almost two days in a box. Because Cynthia had already treated these fish for flukes and other parasites, the current QT is quite easy. They have received two rounds of prazi, and because there was absolutely no reaction, I will wait for another few months before I do another dose. In addition to these chus, I also brought home a calico ryukin from my local Petsmart. Everyone is behaving well, and showed no response to prazi. They do not have names yet, but here they are. Two Black Chus These are the smallest of the six, and I can hardly tell them apart. They are settling in nicely, and have grown in the last two weeks. Calico Ranchu This one is so fast, I had trouble trying to get some good photos. Lemonhead Sakura Ranchu This one is my favorite. Bonus Sakura Ranchu I had originally bought 5, but Cynthia sent me a bonus. He is missing an eye, but that has not impeded him one bit. This is my second favorite. Calico Ryukin He was at the local Petsmart for over a month, and was still there when I went to get sand. I have high hopes for this one. Random Shots The Big Boss :rofl Thank you for looking!
  11. Over the weekend, I did some minor shuffling around, and moved the MagiKarp to the 55. It's become obvious over the last few weeks that MK is male, and so he is a perfect fit for the Bachelor Tank. Mad-Eye Moody has moved out and will be in his own tank. I took the opportunity to take better pics of the MagiKarp, and of his tank mates. The MagiKarp Hyperion Othello Yafa Boss Tammy Thank you for looking. This should be my last update for this tank for some time!
  12. All this talk of orandas lately has made me realize how much I miss not having a single oranda in my tanks, even though these fish are my favorites. Funny enough, yesterday I went to Petco to redeem a coupon (plant), I saw some nice orandas in the koi tank. This is quite unusual for our Petco, as they tend to only bring in smaller fish. These guys are a great size, and equal to what would have been $35 at Petsmart. They were only $18! I quickly spotted one that just looked so awesome. I didn't get him though, telling myself that I didn't want to set up a new QT, etc etc. I was ready not to do anything, except I was talking to Pearlscaleperfect, who was NOT helping the situation. So, long story short, this beautiful oranda is in QT, with 0.3% salt and PraziPro. We've already had one mishap where a brand new QT leaked, but everything seems to be going fine now. Please wish us luck, and an uneventful QT. He does not have a name yet. I am leaning towards Anomander. These were some of the fish's reactions upon learning that I brough home a new fish. Thank you for looking!
  13. So, now that I've decided to have plants again, I am just revving up to add plants to the tank. I'm only going to have anubias for now, so I went to Petsmart and Petco to get a few more. What do you think? Here's the full shot of the 100 gallons Left side Right side Full shot of the 55. (It's a bit barren right now, but we'll get there soon!) Left side Right side These plants are all glued onto rocks. Any suggestions on other low-light plants that I can glue? I'm addicted! Thanks for looking!
  14. About 3 months ago, I received 6 ranchus from Cynthia of East Coast Ranchu (ECR). I had originally ordered 5, but Cynthia graciously added an extra. This one only had one eye, and I took an immediately liking to him, and have named him Bandit. Bandit lives in the 100 gallon tank with his chu-crew, Thing 1- Thing 5, 2 ryukins (Boss Lisa, and Mr. No Name), as well as two others, The Stakos and UnaBuna. Today, I'd like to give you the update on Bandit and the Things, as well as Boss Lisa and Mr. No Name. The other two fish I will save until a later time, since I want to devote an entire thread to my coming back to single tails. So, without further ado, here are most of the crew in the 100g. They have grown lots in the almost 3 months they have been here, and I am very pleased with them. Currently, the 100g is a fine place for them, especially because I am doing 90% WCs every 4-5 days, but as they get older, I will place them either in my spare 55g, or make some other arrangements. For now, I am loving seeing these fish together, and growing up fast. This is their home. Thanks to Tammy's encouragement, I dove back to having plants, even if they are only anubias. This is Bandit, the one-eyed chu He looks quite different on the other side Thing 1 & Thing 2 are black Thai ranchus. They were the tiniest creatures when they came, and are now getting there. I can tell the difference between them, but taking pics of them is not so easy. So, here are some representative pics. Thing 3, the most awesome sakura ranchu ever Thing 4, lemon head ranchu Thing 5, calico ranchu Boss Lisa. I wonder whom he's named after. Mr. No Name (Edit: is now Ms.Alyssa) Some group shots. I know this was quite a lot of pictures, and I thank you for your patience in going through them.
  15. About a month ago, Acro posted that he had an awesome anubias rooted on a fake log, along with two BN plecos, for sale. http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?/topic/110907-rooted-anubias-and-bristlenose-plecos-for-sale/?hl=%2Bacro+%2Banubias So, I jumped at the chance, since Sean's plants and decoration combinations are just amazing and I have been wanting to convert my 100 gallon tank into a planted tank again. Today, I received the box from Sean. I was a little worried, since it's been so hot, both here, and in Georgia. It turns out I had absolutely nothing to worry about. Sean's packing is just amazing, and everything came in perfect shape. The log and anubias were disinfected, and then added to the tank later. The 2 BNs are hanging out in my 10 gallons for a while, until I do some shuffling around to move some (gold)fish out of the 100g to accommodate them. In any case, I am so excited, that I thought I would share some pics of the new plant in the somewhat redecorated 100g. I am using a combination of T8 lighting, and 2 21 inch Marineland Hidden LEDs here. This is the tank Left side Right side Some close ups Thank you so much, Sean, for being an awesome person, and for such a fantastic job. I look forward to future buys from you! _____________________ Finally, here's a demo of how important camera settings can be. With a different setting, the pic makes the water look really cloudy.
  16. May I please (re)introduce the inhabitants of my 55 gallon non-planted, sand substrate, tank. Mad-Eye Moody. He is the longest, although he may not be the heaviest. MEM used to have both tele eyes, but about 6 months ago, one just deflated. I don't think he's noticed it, yet. Boss Tammy. What can I say? He's just boss! Hyperion. I love his fins, and how he's developed in the last 16 months. Othello. He is my cheapest, and my proudest. He's five years old, and is the oldest fish that I have. I have had him since he was probably about 3 months old. I hope to enjoy another 10 years with him, at least. I am particularly proud of this update, because I finally managed to take a lot of fairly decent pictures of him. Because there are too many pictures I'd like to share, I am putting them in a slide show. Thank you for looking! (Watch in HD if you can.) (And here's a sneak peek into next week's update! )
  17. Hello I had occasion to get some new fish today. They came from an LFS that has been in operation for 20+ years, and is my favorite. I have to confess that I took a bit of a gamble and added them directly to my 100g, since the owner had been treating his goldfish (separate system from the rest) with Prazi, salt, and metro for the last 4 weeks. It was incredible actually, to see not a single sick looking goldfish in the entire place. Anyway, since the 100g is due for Prazi and salt treatment, I took the chance and added them to the tank. Anyway, without further ado, here they are. None has been named yet, and there will be a complete photoshoot of the entire tank coming soon. Ryukin 1: This one is so manly, he even has breeding turbercles above his eyes. My sister actually picked him out. Ruykin 2: I picked this one, who is another male. He doesn't have as prominent ryukin features as the other, but I love this one Telescope: I fell in love with this one right away. He reminds me of Courtney's Peanut, whom I absolutely adore! Oranda: I believe this color pattern is sometimes referred to as tiger (by goldfishnet anyway). I wasn't planning on getting another oranda, but he just blows me away with the chubby cheeks! Thank you for looking!
  18. Hello I just made a short video to show you what the fish do when the lights come on for their late evening meal. This is the 55 gallon, which previously had gravel. I am much happier now with sand as the substrate. I think it looks better, and is certainly safer. Do you think they are hungry? Edit: Apparently, YouTube now allows you to alter the speed of video playback, from 0.5x to 2x.
  19. If I have to pick a favorite, this one would have to be it. I love this fish, and until I decide to rename them all, she is Nelliel (after a good bad guy in Bleach ), the Queen Butterfly Panda Moor . Nelliel came to me from Dandy Orandas, and she is the panda I've wanted ever since seeing Ashlee18's Professor Chaos. Nelliel is quite a toughie, and between us, we've gone through a number of different foods to see which one would not disturb her swimming. Finally, we have found the perfect combo in soilent green and Pro-Gold, and these days, Nelliel has full control of her swimming, all the time. In the nearly two years I've had her, she has largely kept her colors, although some of the black is fading. She's also acquired some yellow tint, thanks to the soilent green. Thank you for indulging by viewing another photo-spam. It actually has been quite a while since I updated her. My favorite pic!
  20. Woot! I got better pics tonight! So, without further ado, here's a bit of a pictorial update from both my 55 and 100 gallons. I am only updating on the chocolate oranda, 2 telescopes, and the ryukins. I am very happy to say that these have been in my tanks since they were pretty small, and have done a good job growing. Chocolate Oranda I'm not really sure that he's a chocolate, but I really like this color. He is from DO, and is of the longer body type, which I am growing to appreciate much more. White Ryukins These guys also came from DO. There were three, but one unfortunately did not make it. As you can see, one is showing quite a bit of yellow, while the other has remained mostly white. I love these guys! __________ __________ Red/White Ryukin This guy came from an LFS. He is so awesomely fat LOL, and he has a bit of a wen action going on as well. Red/White Telescope Look at those fins. Black telescope I am so very proud of this guy. He has been with me since I started this hobby again, and is just amazing. He doesn't have the prettiest fins, nor the best shape, but then he hasn't given me a single problem since 4.5 years ago (knock on wood). Some years back, he must have hit on something that resulted in that pool of blood in his eye. It hasn't bothered him a bit, AND it hasn't gone away. I think he's going to turn orange soon, but he's been threatening to do that for quite some time now. Thank you very much for looking!
  21. Look what came in the mail today... I am beyond excited, and wanted to share with you a sneak peak. They won't be ready for public presentation for a few more weeks. Thanks, Cynthia! I did take a bunch of pics today, but was too lazy to bring out extra lighting, so while the pics were nice and clear, they were too dark. I'll try again tomorrow to update you with my ryukins. Thank you for looking, and wish us luck!
  22. Last month brought 4 more ryukins to the DNAlex goldfish crew, making it a total of six now. Since it's been a while since I updated on the other two, and because I have formally presented pics of the new guys, I thought I would start. I'm very happy with this guys, and I hope you like them as well. Incidentally, they are all males, so if I ever want to breed them, I'll have to make sure to pick out some females The four new ryukins are in the 100 gallon tank. There are three white ones who are really only distinguishable by their fins. One is a short tail; another is a not quite broadtail; one is a ribbon/long tail. Because of their soilent green diet, they all have quite a bit of yellow tint to them, which I love. The fourth ryukin in the 100 gallon is a calico. The whites: The calico: Can you see the breeding stars all over his body, even on the ventral fins The Red & Whites These guys are in the 55 gallon, and are my pride and joy. They've more than doubled in size in the last six months, and are developing quite nicely. One even has some nice bit of wen on him. Thank you for looking!
  23. In a way, I saved my very favorite types of goldfish to be updated last. Unfortunately, nobody wanted to cooperate tonight, so the pictures are less than stellar. In any case, these are the ranchu and orandas in my keeping. Here's the lone ranchu in the bunch. He's the mellowest guy of the the group by far. My red cap. The oldest oranda, and the 2nd oldest fish. Her cap is heart shaped. My tiger oranda. There is so much wen on this one. Chocolate/brown oranda. He's a recent acquisition from DO. As is this black oranda. Thank you for looking!
  24. Nine months is not a whole lot of time, but look at what it can do to a goldfish! This is Hyperion, in late March of this year. This is Hyperion today. You can see he's changed a tiny bit And here I am, trying to use my camera's post-processing Thank you for looking!
  25. Hello everyone, I just thought I update with videos of everyone. Toshiro passed away a few weeks ago, and Ulquiorra didn't participate in the filming, since he is not in a 10g by himself. He's on a diet exclusively of homemade gel food, while the others are now being fed Pro-Gold. These videos are made while during their evening feeding actually. Everyone loves Pro-Gold! 55 Gallon Tank There are 7 in here right now, temporarily, as I am doing my Prazi rounds. After that, I may move Adolf (the biggest oranda in the tank) & Byakuya (oranda as well) to the 100, after I've added the 29 gallon sump to increase total gallonage. Alternately, I may move 2 of the 7 into a 20g. I haven't quite decided yet, since I have a couple more weeks. 100 Gallon Tank Nelliel now reigns over the 9 orandas. Everyone is doing very well (fins crossed, knock on wood keep healthy). I am in negotiations to get a 29 gallon sump for the tank. I will keep the HOBs on the tank, along with the sump, but will move the Eheim canister to the 55g. So, there are lots going on in the fish tanks with the new year. Enjoy, and thank you for watching
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