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Pearlscale lifespan, shortened by roundness?


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Shakaho brought up very large pearlscales, specifically "Softball sized". While I was browsing the internet for pearlscale related things a few weeks back I came across a claim by a breeder that his largest, roundest, tikus only live a year or two. Others chimed in to agree with him. Of course it's my luck and I cannot for the life of me find the source (and my laptop clears cookies and history weekly). Maybe it's just me but I don't know of any members who've kept large tikus alive fore very long. My first tikus didn't last long, my first passing within a year after purchase, and my second nearly two years. The discussion I'd like to have is how much of an impact is roundness having on them in terms of overall health. I know other pearlscales (like Jess's Bowser) who were very large but just became weakened from a minor scrape and died. I love pearlies but I try to stay away from anything with short fins and a weak peduncle or anything too round. So far Roosevelt, my largest crowned pearlie rarely has floating issues, besides being generally clumsy, and only exhibits unbalanced behavior after waterchanges as they stress her out. My smaller crowned pearlie Cider has no issues currently, but is no where near as round or as large yet and my newest tiku pearlie Ushi has a strong peduncle and is extremely fast, however he's a bit too small yet so there could be issues down the line as he's more round. I'd also like to hear experiences, especially if any of you have kept large tikus for multiple years.

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PSP, why don't you write to Mr. Hopkins and ask. Given that he's bred so many, he would have a real clue if this is true or not. While you are at it, you could also ask him if certain breeds have longer lifespans than others :)

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PSP, why don't you write to Mr. Hopkins and ask. Given that he's bred so many, he would have a real clue if this is true or not. While you are at it, you could also ask him if certain breeds have longer lifespans than others :)

I've emailed him! C:

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Alright, I got a reply

Hello Mary Kate,

Hardy varieties live longer than fancy varieties. Within a variety and within every batch of offspring there is a lot of variation and the longer-body individuals will usually out-live the very short/deep-body individuals. A pearlscale with a long body type will live as long as any fancy goldfish. But, long-body pearlscale are not very desirable and most are discarded. Pearlscale selected for the most extreme body shape will not live as long. But ranchu, telescope, ryukin, etc. with the most extreme body shape do not live as long either.

Hope this helps.

-steve hopkins

A bit vague unfortunately, even though I asked if he knew averages as far as years went. :c

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It's pretty amazing that wrote back quickly. I guess at least we have confirmation that compacted bodies lead to shorter lifespan. Just by how much, we don't know yet. :(

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Poor Bowser. :no: I :heart his round little tummy. That's why I picked him out of everyone else, because he was the chubbiest. If I had known it would also make him the most fragile, I might have picked another...and then he wouldn't have gotten his scrape. Oh no. :cry1

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As much as I love super round pearlscales I think it's kind of stupid that they are "desired" over slightly longer ones. I feel like it's unethical to breed animals that will have their lifespan impacted by their body shape to that degree. There surely has to be a middle ground and there is, it's unfortunately just not something people who really like super round tiku like to hear. I want to breed pearlies eventually, but I'll never be the type to breed those sort of tiku.

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This is really interesting but the important thing to know is if there are ways to maximize the lifespan of these fish. Should they, for example, have a different water change routine - perhaps more water changes with smaller amounts? Is there a different ph that works for them? Are they better as an only fish? I have often thought that the moderators here should write a book.

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I've found they doe best when raised in smaller tanks and then moved into larger ones as they age, especially if the tanks are taller. I try to grow out my small fish in 20gals and then move them up as they age. They also tend to thrive a bit better in warmer water.

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Alright, I got a reply

Hello Mary Kate,

Hardy varieties live longer than fancy varieties. Within a variety and within every batch of offspring there is a lot of variation and the longer-body individuals will usually out-live the very short/deep-body individuals. A pearlscale with a long body type will live as long as any fancy goldfish. But, long-body pearlscale are not very desirable and most are discarded. Pearlscale selected for the most extreme body shape will not live as long. But ranchu, telescope, ryukin, etc. with the most extreme body shape do not live as long either.

Hope this helps.

-steve hopkins

A bit vague unfortunately, even though I asked if he knew averages as far as years went. :c

Well, I still think this is great info. Not anything new IMHO, but still. This is what I already see in my fish, having mostly long bodied and a few (very) round bodied fish, I do see that the longer fish are significantly hardier and healthier than the round bodied fish. I have four "problem fish"; with one of them being only a notorious floater, the other three bottom sitting, swim bladder issues, recurring dropsy.

All four of them are very round bodied.

It's a shame though, of course.

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Alright, I got a reply

Hello Mary Kate,

Hardy varieties live longer than fancy varieties. Within a variety and within every batch of offspring there is a lot of variation and the longer-body individuals will usually out-live the very short/deep-body individuals. A pearlscale with a long body type will live as long as any fancy goldfish. But, long-body pearlscale are not very desirable and most are discarded. Pearlscale selected for the most extreme body shape will not live as long. But ranchu, telescope, ryukin, etc. with the most extreme body shape do not live as long either.

Hope this helps.

-steve hopkins

A bit vague unfortunately, even though I asked if he knew averages as far as years went. :c

i don't think it's vague.. ok, perhaps a little bit vague to those other than we in the hobby.. but we can read some truth to it from experiences not only with pearlscales but in my instance, Ryukins and some Telescopes...

i am a sucker for a giant goldfish. unfortunately, i have found in the years that i have been buying and keeping them that 2-3 years is pretty much their limit. Pork Chop lived in my care for 2 years in great health. then, one day i noticed some yellowing and unusual swelling in one of her eyes (butterfly telescope) within days, she died. Dianeira, giant Ruykin, i had her for approximately 2 years.. she dropsied. we fought for 35 days to treat her for dropsy.. until she weakened so much that i had to euth her.. just like other giants either Telescope or Ryukin.. the moment they are sick, they do not recover from the illness. the only giant Ranchu that i have lost thus far, unfortunately died shortly after purchase because of anaemia. we found this problem and ridded it from my community of giants.

Agapi, who i had in my care for almost 3 years, lived her last 8 months with soft belly. prior to soft belly, she was not exposed to anything different than the other giants were. then one day, she dropsied... recovered and shortly after she died. i have a microscope.. i microscoped her, parasites were not her problem.

the longest living giant i have at the moment has tumors all over him. i have to sedate and remove them. i have done this 3 times already. he was when purchased, a giant already and had already competed and won 2 competitions in Japan. i was told that he was 1.3 years of age at the time of my purchase. he's been with me for 2.5 years. so.. currently, he's got tumors but still going strong. not been sick yet.

Mr Hopkins short answer, in my experience, rings true. so, i remain convinced that the majority of giants i will purchase will be with me for a short few years (given that they are already touching or slightly over a year to start with) to 4 or 5 being their best..

now, i have purchased the two small pearlscales.. i am eager to find more on them and this thread has certainly sparked my attention.

i hope i haven't taken this off course to far, but i just felt like sharing my observations/experiences with you.

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Pearls, my crown pearlscale, is now over 2 years old. She and Fanny, a fantail, are the only survivors of my original group of fancies. The other two died this fall each after a year or so of deteriorating health which responded to no treatment I tried. Pearls and Fanny have about 20 surviving babies from months of spawning this spring. these kids survived in spite of all being submitted to either parental predation or hatching out in a waste water container.

Pearls is quite round, but certainly not as deformed as the show specimens. We can fuss and complain as much as we want, but the inevitable result of breeding animals for show is the exaggeration of breed characteristics. Take a look at the current show specimens of any breed of dog, and then find pictures of fine examples of that breed from 50 years ago, from 100 years ago, and some of the earliest drawings of the breed. You will see big gets bigger, small gets smaller, short muzzles get shorter, long narrow heads get longer and narrower, and on and on.

Remember, the more "normal" specimens are sold as pets by the breeders. These are handsome creatures that will be healthier than their "higher quality" siblings.

Producing a show fish is not just a matter of breeding and selection, it also requires "grooming." While grooming is a complicated process, it always includes getting the fish as big as possible, and this requires overfeeding (from the point of view of health) throughout the period of rapid growth. I suspect this process is the main cause of early death in giant specimens as well as" the largest, roundest tikus."

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:exactly

This is largely why I have now moved to getting much younger fish, and away from the more compacted bodies. It is not realistic to expect that these fish have anywhere near the 10-20 years of lifespan that can be achieved with more "normal" goldfish.

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It's not that I'm not grateful he responded or anything, I just wrote out a decent amount so to get just general information back that I already knew was just a bit disappointing. Longer fish are closer to the wild body type and are going to be hardier and stronger. This is true in animals like dogs as well, you get more health problems at extremes. Too small and you get luxating patella and teeth problems, too large and you get hip dysplasia and heart problems. I'm not under any impression that pearlscales are nature's fittest and finest, I'd just like to find a balance between round and endearing and streamlined that could allow for less health problems over time. Roos has done well so far and I've had her since 09, so four years, and I did make some mistakes towards the beginning. She is on the more round side but she's not nearly as extreme as some pearlies, but she is a hamanishiki. Hopefully I'll have her, cider, and ushi for a very long time with proper care.

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LOL, he couldn't even tell me how old my fish were. But you aren't going to get an answer on how long various types of goldfish live simply because the data doesn't exist. It's not an easy thing to determine. It's relatively easy to get a growth curve, but you won't find much data on that either. Research is expensive in time and money, and unless it is of economic value, you won't find someone willing to help pay for it.

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I never knew some goldfish lived for such a short time and so many problems :no: .

I was always told they can live 10 years! To be honest, I don't like it when fish or any animal is bred to extremes, which means I generally dislike golf ball fish, bubble or celestial eyes. I'm sure these fish are very cute but a fish should be able to act like a fish. There is no reason for a fish to be born only to live a short life with all kinds of painful experiences later, I think buyers should look for fish that are more 'normal' looking so breeders don't feel the demand for crazy looking goldfish. I think its awfully sad and the only reason is because humans find their look entertaining...

If I buy other goldie, it will definitely be one that can zoom around a tank all it wants. :goldfish:

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:exactly

This is largely why I have now moved to getting much younger fish, and away from the more compacted bodies. It is not realistic to expect that these fish have anywhere near the 10-20 years of lifespan that can be achieved with more "normal" goldfish.

Alright, I got a reply

Hello Mary Kate,

Hardy varieties live longer than fancy varieties. Within a variety and within every batch of offspring there is a lot of variation and the longer-body individuals will usually out-live the very short/deep-body individuals. A pearlscale with a long body type will live as long as any fancy goldfish. But, long-body pearlscale are not very desirable and most are discarded. Pearlscale selected for the most extreme body shape will not live as long. But ranchu, telescope, ryukin, etc. with the most extreme body shape do not live as long either.

Hope this helps.

-steve hopkins

A bit vague unfortunately, even though I asked if he knew averages as far as years went. :c

i don't think it's vague.. ok, perhaps a little bit vague to those other than we in the hobby.. but we can read some truth to it from experiences not only with pearlscales but in my instance, Ryukins and some Telescopes...

i am a sucker for a giant goldfish. unfortunately, i have found in the years that i have been buying and keeping them that 2-3 years is pretty much their limit. Pork Chop lived in my care for 2 years in great health. then, one day i noticed some yellowing and unusual swelling in one of her eyes (butterfly telescope) within days, she died. Dianeira, giant Ruykin, i had her for approximately 2 years.. she dropsied. we fought for 35 days to treat her for dropsy.. until she weakened so much that i had to euth her.. just like other giants either Telescope or Ryukin.. the moment they are sick, they do not recover from the illness. the only giant Ranchu that i have lost thus far, unfortunately died shortly after purchase because of anaemia. we found this problem and ridded it from my community of giants.

Agapi, who i had in my care for almost 3 years, lived her last 8 months with soft belly. prior to soft belly, she was not exposed to anything different than the other giants were. then one day, she dropsied... recovered and shortly after she died. i have a microscope.. i microscoped her, parasites were not her problem.

the longest living giant i have at the moment has tumors all over him. i have to sedate and remove them. i have done this 3 times already. he was when purchased, a giant already and had already competed and won 2 competitions in Japan. i was told that he was 1.3 years of age at the time of my purchase. he's been with me for 2.5 years. so.. currently, he's got tumors but still going strong. not been sick yet.

Mr Hopkins short answer, in my experience, rings true. so, i remain convinced that the majority of giants i will purchase will be with me for a short few years (given that they are already touching or slightly over a year to start with) to 4 or 5 being their best..

now, i have purchased the two small pearlscales.. i am eager to find more on them and this thread has certainly sparked my attention.

i hope i haven't taken this off course to far, but i just felt like sharing my observations/experiences with you.

wow I just realized both my fish are in the extreme line , except Casper is a bit longer then round , but flo is getting rounder :yikes boy I am going to make sure they get extra care now :) but I got them both at a very young age Edited by Gcourtney
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This is an interesting topic and good discussion, but is beginning to border a discussion on animal cruelty/debate. We all know that fancies are bred for certain characteristics that sometimes may affect their overall health etc. However, this is not the place for a moral/ethical debate on whether or not it is okay to breed animals for certain characteristics etc.

While this discussion hasn't gotten to this point yet, I just want to curb things a little before it does.

Please see forum rule #6:

6. Please, no discussions of Politics, Religion, Hunting and animal cruelty on the site. There are debate forums out there, just not on this family forum. People doing this will be warned and topic will be deleted.

http://www.kokosgoldfish.invisionzone.com/forum/index.php?app=forums&module=extras&section=boardrules

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My Kiwi seems to have a longer body and is not really that round, more of an oval really, I am interested to see if this will have a positive impact on SBD and her lifespan.

I am glad this thread was started because it is interesting, and it is incredibly hard to resist the cuteness of a pearlscale :P

Though I am hoping that for newer pearlscale keepers (like me) if someone could explain what a Tiku, hamanishiki and whatever other types there are. From what it sounds like, this seems to have an impact on their shape/lifespan so I am hoping for some clarification, thank you (:

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