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Buying Breeding Stock...

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  • Regular Member

Hi guys,

If a person hopes to breed goldfish of quality, would you recommend them buying the parents from a particular source (ie, Tommy's Auction) over standard pet store fare? Is it possible for run of the mill $8.99 goldfish of whatever type to produce some quality fry?

I had a customer ask me this and I first recommended that the parents be bought from a quality-guaranteed source, but when I told him of the price of most quality specimens, he was aghast and asked if pet store fish would work just as well.

Anyone have experience in raising petstore-produced fry??

*edit* whoops, I just realized this post should be under Breeding! Ack! So sorry :(

Edited by Chloeheartsfish
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  • Regular Member

Starting with the best stock possible is a great way to get great fry. Unless you have true breeding line bred fish like Top view ranchu or fish that come from the exact same stock crossing to high end orandas together does not mean you're going to get a bunch of high end fish but you will get a few good fish. The same is true of commercially available fish. Pick a couple of the best and breed them, you'll get a bunch of junk but you can also get some great fish.

Jo Anne Burke of Dandy Oranda fame told me once "do you really think they breed the show fish? Of course they don't they breed B grade fish."

Lesser grade fish have the genetics to make show fish. There are just so many things (genetics, environment, husbandry, disease) that can ruin a fish. Not all of them are genetics. So that cool little oranda with the crooked fin could have been damaged at an early age, it could also be genetic.

Nothing is ever straight forward when it comes to breeding goldfish.

If it was me I'd recommend the buy 6 of the best fish (from a single breed from a single source) at one time then grow them up and breed.

There's a lot to learn about maintaining fish, conditioning, breeding, raising fry and culling that you'll need to work out before you'll be successful that you might as well work with what you can get.

Best fishes



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even fish from tommy and dandy orandas are show fish that may have been the result of many crosses, and fact you may never be able to reproduce that type of fish again. I agree with the above writer, find yourself a breeder, by six to eight young fish of B to A grade quality and start from there. You will have to breed several generations of those fish to begin to get those show fish that we see from tommy and dandy oranda

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Of course, buying well-bred fish to start with will have a much higher likelihood of producing show quality offspring at the first brood, but keep in mind, all show quality animals, whether fish, dogs, cats, birds, etc. originally, way back hundreds of generations and thousands of years ago, came from average, wild animals with no particularly attractive attributes. All of the many breeds of dogs we have today originally evolved from wolves. All of the many breeds of goldfish we have today originally evolved from wild carp. This happened with man's intervention. Man takes a genetic anomaly and turns it into a desired attribute.

Breeding show quality pets starts, and started, with finding the two best animals of the lot you have and breed them, even if they were rag-tag and average. Then take the two best of that lot and another lot and breed them. Then take the best of two more lots and breed them. With each successive breeding session, you are improving the qualities in the animal that cause them to be considered of "show quality." Eventually, with that sort of selective breeding, you will more and more attain the features you desire in that animal.

So, yes, it is possible that you could achieve show quality fish by buying average lfs fish, but it would take years and years and years of very careful, selective breeding to do so. And this translates to knowledge and patience. And, I'm doubting that anyone who isn't willing to spend a few extra dollars on a higher quality fish also doesn't have the knowledge and/or patience necessary to breed fish with enough selectivity to produce quality fish. Maybe they do, however, so this is the answer that you would have to give them.

Edited by Lynda Von G
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