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Show quality goldfish


Jeff99

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The problem with quality if you were to going to try to find it yourself, is that it would be hard for you to know what to look for.

Someone can describe it to you until you fall asleep but it would still be hard to identify it like a critic or show judge would. If you know anyone (or can find someone) from a nearby goldfish or fish keeping club/society you could get in contact with, perhaps they could show you some examples in person of what a show quality goldfish looks like.

I've been told and have read much about what is required for certain show standards, but I can't quite get the specifics to stick as I have never seen an "ideal" goldfish in person. :idont

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Picking out breed standards in small goldfish take a lot of experience.

1) You first have to be able to discern the unhealthy from the healthy.

2) You then have to look at young goldfish (as that is what is normally sold) and decide if the qualities that develop over time will develop in this fish or not.

3) Then you have to look carefully at the colour as some goldfish standards require colour points and those will be deducted.

I have my own set of characteristics that I choose after deciding if a fish is healthy or not. They are not standards to breeds just points that I prefer in a goldfish. For me, I am able to usually select one fish every 6 months or so that meets my needs. I have 2 stores an hour away that I peruse. Out of I'd say 100 fish with a turnover rate of once every 3 weeks that is about 1/1500 fish meet my standards.

My standards are not as extensive as the standards for goldfish breeds for the purpose of showing. Normally breeders are able to select 1 or 2/1000 fry that meet show standards. At a local fish store, you are getting the culls that the breeders have already determined do not meet show standards. So it is basically luck of the draw to find a fish that an experienced breeder has either missed or sold due to room.

After purchasing a fish extensive matters must be kept in order to groom a goldfish. If you do not follow a strict regime, you also may not have a fish that can be considered show quality.

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Picking out breed standards in small goldfish take a lot of experience.

1) You first have to be able to discern the unhealthy from the healthy.

2) You then have to look at young goldfish (as that is what is normally sold) and decide if the qualities that develop over time will develop in this fish or not.

3) Then you have to look carefully at the colour as some goldfish standards require colour points and those will be deducted.

I have my own set of characteristics that I choose after deciding if a fish is healthy or not. They are not standards to breeds just points that I prefer in a goldfish. For me, I am able to usually select one fish every 6 months or so that meets my needs. I have 2 stores an hour away that I peruse. Out of I'd say 100 fish with a turnover rate of once every 3 weeks that is about 1/1500 fish meet my standards.

My standards are not as extensive as the standards for goldfish breeds for the purpose of showing. Normally breeders are able to select 1 or 2/1000 fry that meet show standards. At a local fish store, you are getting the culls that the breeders have already determined do not meet show standards. So it is basically luck of the draw to find a fish that an experienced breeder has either missed or sold due to room.

After purchasing a fish extensive matters must be kept in order to groom a goldfish. If you do not follow a strict regime, you also may not have a fish that can be considered show quality.

Thanks for your help :)

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Perhaps I over-generalize, but show quality goldfish also tend to live much shorter lives than their non-show quality counterparts.

I think this is in part because all that grooming (translating to fattening up) and the even more compact body shape that lead to all these problems.

:bingo:

I have had my LFS fish live longer than my Show fish Myng...

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All of my goldfish came from Petco / Petsmart / LFS.

Are they culls that some breeder with thousands of fish thought not worthy of raising further? Of course they are.

Do they have flaws? Sure they do - this one has a web-tail, that one has a slightly out-of-proportion body, the white ryukin with the red fins wears no "lipstick" - many have a bent or formerly broken fin, or get a little tipsy after breakfast.

Do they come as close to "show standard" as any representative of their breed I could find locally? Absolutely.

Before I started buying goldfish, (going back many years!) I would read books about them, poring over the show standards, remembering what each breed was supposed to look like. Then, when I went to the fish store, I would look for fish with healthy swimming postures, straight, symmetrical fins and attractive markings. If I got really lucky, I might find one or two like that on a trip to the LFS (now, Petco / Petsmart, as they've kind of taken over the local market). But there's something else to look for.

Something that may prove more important than a doubled anal fin, or appropriate wen growth or symmetrical eyes on a telescope . . .

I call it "The Cuteness Factor", and it's a gigantic influence. I can't describe it to you, but . . .

You'll know it when you see it.

And that fish will come home with you.

~Bruce

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All of my goldfish came from Petco / Petsmart / LFS.

Are they culls that some breeder with thousands of fish thought not worthy of raising further? Of course they are.

Do they have flaws? Sure they do - this one has a web-tail, that one has a slightly out-of-proportion body, the white ryukin with the red fins wears no "lipstick" - many have a bent or formerly broken fin, or get a little tipsy after breakfast.

Do they come as close to "show standard" as any representative of their breed I could find locally? Absolutely.

Before I started buying goldfish, (going back many years!) I would read books about them, poring over the show standards, remembering what each breed was supposed to look like. Then, when I went to the fish store, I would look for fish with healthy swimming postures, straight, symmetrical fins and attractive markings. If I got really lucky, I might find one or two like that on a trip to the LFS (now, Petco / Petsmart, as they've kind of taken over the local market). But there's something else to look for.

Something that may prove more important than a doubled anal fin, or appropriate wen growth or symmetrical eyes on a telescope . . .

I call it "The Cuteness Factor", and it's a gigantic influence. I can't describe it to you, but . . .

You'll know it when you see it.

And that fish will come home with you.

~Bruce

Excellent answer.

My ranchu has a kink in her back. My Oranda floats after meals, and my Ryukin sinks when he's tired. They were all cheap LFS fish, but they have so much personality, and I love them like crazy.

We all have our problems, and I'd like to think that someone would still choose to spend a lifetime with us despite them.

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  • 1 month later...
  • Regular Member

To the average goldfish owner, the "pet quality" goldfish are often more attractive than the "show quality" fish. Regardless of the kind of animal, breeding show specimens results in intensifying the traits that makes the breed different from from others. Long hair gets longer, short bodies get shorter, small gets smaller, etc. Take your favorite breed of dog and compare a current show champion to one of 40 years ago and one of 80 years ago and you should see this. To those who are not fanciers of the show quality specimens of the breed, current champions may look grotesque.

If you go to Petsmart, that gets its "feeders" from fish farms that specialize in feeders, the feeders are not culls. They are just what was collected from the pond of fry of the right age/size for sale. A LFS is more likely to have feeders that are culls.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I'm soo guilty of loving expensive animals... :P ...and now I'm buying more expensive fish just so I can admire them... But I am enjoying it! :D

I think all fish are equally valuable in terms of their little lives. But for my house, right now, I love the high end orandas. I can't help it. I drive an old car but have expensive fish! :teehee Maybe it is where we are in our lives, too. I have had tropical LFS tanks all my life with inexpensive fish. I've had LFS orandas several times before I found you and semi-knew what I was doing. I've had bettas for like 30 years and still do. But I am at a place now where I just have to have the high-end orandas. I appreciate the look, though I will love them the same as my $6.99 bettas.

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