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Goldfish Fry Information

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As I have journeyed unexpectedly into the realm of goldfish breeding over the past 7 weeks I have acquired a great deal of knowledge concerning the raising of fry mostly from this fantastic forum and the internet in general. I do have a couple of important fry related questions that I wanted to post for some of the more experienced goldfish breeders on Koko's in hopes that I may get some great answers and perhaps answer some questions of others in the process.

1. Goldfish Genetics: If someone has a link to a comprehensive article or discussion about goldfish genetics I would be greatly interested. I have been searching around without much success as to what governs the phenotype of a goldfish. i.e. what traits/genes are dominant/recessive? Is there co-dominance/ incomplete dominance? etc...

2. Color Changes: At what point is it safe to say that a greenish/brown colored fry is simply going to be "uncolored"(i.e.some like to say"chocolate") for the rest of his/her life? What determines color/wild uncolored genotypic expression?

3. Salt Concentration: Is there a level anyone has had specific success with in avoiding disease while still obtaining optimal growth results?

4. Temperature: Optimal temp for fry health/growth at different stages of development?

5. Food: Perhaps if anyone has noticed a particular food that seems to influence fry growth rate/ development more than others? (I'm guessing mixing it up is probably the best thing to do as with adult goldfish)

I definitely have some more stuff I would like to discuss about fry that I haven't been able to find concrete answers to but I thought this should be a good start.... If you have had experience raising fry/breeding multiple generations of our goldie friends and you have a couple extra minutes I would greatly appreciate if you share your wealth of information! Thanks :)

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:) sounds like something daryl could answer for you.

i'm quite interested myself.

my original 5 fry are now down to 2 1/2.

one is showing signs of not making it. :(

i guess we'll see.

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Can't help much with the other questions other than to say I have had a chocolate goldfish change colour after I had had her a year and she wasn't small when I got her and I think shrimp are pretty good to encourage growth.

Also this is a great book if you want to go properly indepth into genetics without needing specialist knowledge of terms etc, well worth a read

Goldfish Breeding and Genetics by Joseph Smartt and James H. Bundell

Edited by hpsauce

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1. Goldfish Genetics: If someone has a link to a comprehensive article or discussion about goldfish genetics I would be greatly interested. I have been searching around without much success as to what governs the phenotype of a goldfish. i.e. what traits/genes are dominant/recessive? Is there co-dominance/ incomplete dominance? etc...

2. Color Changes: At what point is it safe to say that a greenish/brown colored fry is simply going to be "uncolored"(i.e.some like to say"chocolate") for the rest of his/her life? What determines color/wild uncolored genotypic expression?

3. Salt Concentration: Is there a level anyone has had specific success with in avoiding disease while still obtaining optimal growth results?

4. Temperature: Optimal temp for fry health/growth at different stages of development?

5. Food: Perhaps if anyone has noticed a particular food that seems to influence fry growth rate/ development more than others? (I'm guessing mixing it up is probably the best thing to do as with adult goldfish)

What I know in a nutshell;

1.Genetics. Basically all goldfish go back to the original first rare orange carp that was discovered. This fish was bred originally I assume with the tiniest adult carp found to create the first smaller orange colored "common".

All fancy fish owe their genetic make up to this carp. Meaning that over time all fancy fish would revert back to this protoype if allowed. The genetic variations (abnorms) have been 'cultivated' however to produce fancier and fancier fish. Example: If you cross a bubble eye with a common, you will get more common looking fish than bubbles because the common fish is closer to the prototype. Bubble eyes are farthest away and involve more selective breeding.

2. As far as I know color is a very curious thing with goldfish and there is no one set point when it is finally settled.

3. I have salted 4 or 5 week fry at 0.2% salt for ich They all survived.

4. Warmer is better and stable is best?

5. ?

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hp and trinket thanks for the replies... I wish I could find some info on goldfish genetics online...without purchasing an expensive book. HP I might perhaps buy a used copy of that book since it seems there really isn't much out there on the web for what I'm looking for.

Thanks for the help guys.

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Hopefully Daryl will see this and give you a more thoro' explanation. It's a very interesting topic :)

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I am very lucky to have come across it at my local library when I first got into goldfish, it was way to deep for me then but if you want to know how all the gentics work during breeding it is probably worth the money, and has loads of lovely photos even though it is an older book, the most complicated goldfish book I have ever read by far.

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daryl can you answer any of my questions??

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I can try - I am on a computer at work halfway across the country - but the computer is actulaly WORKING - unlike mine at home.

1. The very BEST genetic book I have ever read is the one recommended by hpsauce - Smart's book on Goldfish Breeding and Genetics.

2. Color changes - color is very closely tied into the line of fish. For example, many lines of "black" Ranchu (Oranda, etc.) that come from some countries NEVER stay black. They will change to red/white within months/years, no matter what you do. Others, can and do have lines that tend to remain black for life. As far as the uncolored or "green" color, there is actually a small difference between "green" and the juvenile uncolored fish. My "Blue Phoniex" do not decolor and take on adult colors until they are well past their first birthday. I have some that are over 2 years old that are just now starting to blue up - and turn away from the wild "green". The "show green" is a more......spring green - yellowish and bright. The as-yet-uncolored green is more of a bronzey green-gray..... I would not assume that a fish is ANY particular color - ever - except what it is showing at the specific moment it is being viewed. up - there are lines of fish that stay pretty true to color, but if you do not know the genetic lineage of your fish and the linage's color fastness, the color you are seeing is only what you have for the moment. I have had fish turn colors 6 years down the road. In green, though, for the MAJORITY of lines I have seen, if a fish is over 5 inches in size and still carries the "green" or "bronzey green-gray" of an uncolored fish, it most commonly will stay that way.

3. I am a strong believer in NO salt use at any time EXCEPT when it is specifically being used for treatment of parasites and a few other conditions. Just as you do not want to EVER use antibiotic medications unless you have a specific reason to do so and an even more specific reason to believe the one you have selected will be successful, you also do not want to use salt in any concentration unless you have a specific reason. Bacteria, because they reproduce SO fast, can go through many generations in just a week or so - and they can quickly mutate and become immune to the anti-bactrieal medication you are using if it is not used correctly or for the correct bacteria. This creates "Super Bacteria" - or bactieria that cannot be killed with the available anti-bacterial medications available. The SAME thing happens with parasites. PArasites that grow up in an environment of salt water are immune to that level of salt. When you wish to use salt to erradicate them you are forced to go to far higher concentrations of salt.....doing potential harm to the fish. There is a strain of costia out there that is all but immune to salt - I have know ponders that have used 0.5ppm salt - and STILL not killed the costia (They killed smaller and weaker fish, though!) Between Dimilin, Praziquantinel and Salt, you should be able to erradicate 99.9% of all parasites unless they are salt resistant. Keep the salt for use when it is needed.

4. I keep my fry at 72F when hatching. I lower that to around 70F for the first 3-4 months and then take it down to the typical 68F. They do fine. I have had others that raise them in warmer temps - but they do not seem as hardy later in life. That is a subjective observation on my part - and I have no direct specific data to back that up. Fish that are never properly chilled will not breed well or at all. Fish that are not chill hardy will never breed right. I let them develop in the slightly cooler temps and seem to have a greater number of chill hardy, robust breeders from it.

5. Food - without a doubt, fry do better with live food. NOTHING but NOTHING beats live baby brine shrimp for feeding fry. Start with the SanFran variety for newly hatched fry. Remember - the shrimp are nutritious as they hatch. After a couple of hours, they devour their own reserves keeping themselves alive - and are far less nutritious. Set out a number of different hatcheries - and feed the entire hatching at a time. Set every 2 hours, you can feed a newly hatched batch of brine shrimp every 2-4 hours during the daylight hours. This grows the fry the best way possible in my opinion. I will never do it any differently. AS the fry grow, they can be given daphnia for live food. They can graduate to the "food dust" sifted from the high protien adult food, green vegetable gel food blocks (for when you are not home for a feeding - make them heavy on brine shrimp and spirilinana and such). As the fry grow, they can be put onto soaked Hakari Mini-bites and such. My fish love bloodworms and baby brine shrimp that are mixed into their gel food - I hatch out batches for the food whenever I make it.

This is just MY experiences and opinons. I have had success with this. You may find a way to do it differently and successfully. As with most things in life, there are very few EXCLUSIVE methods to do anything.

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Daryl, thank you so much for the comprehensive reply. I know a lot of the techniques/theories(i.e temp.) you mentioned are based on opinions from your own breeding experiences. Certainly the best way to learn anything is from our own experiences but since I am new to this I have been trying to avoid any type of silly mistakes which could ruin the chances of my fry surviving into adulthood. I have no clue when if ever I will have the time to set aside to successfully raise fry once again, so collecting any type of success stories/methodologies based on opinions or facts of others has been very very helpful to me! So far I have been quite lucky. I was completely unaware of the premise that parasites mutate to become salt resistant synonymous with the way bacteria mutate to become antibiotic resistant. Unfortunately when I first started keeping goldfish I was advised by a LFS to salt my adult goldfish tanks at a ridiculous level even in the absence of sickness. From experience I realized the level recommended had a terrible effect on the fish, and started gradually decreasing the amount of salt in my tanks. I now have about 1 teaspoon per 6/7 gallons of water in both my adult tanks and the fry tank. After reading what you said about salt and parasites I am going to try to remove all traces of salt in the water.

As far as the feeding goes I have been following a very similar schedule to the one you recommended but unfortunately have had to use hikari frozen baby brine since I don't have the time to hatch the shrimp and feed every 2-4 hours.... I'm lucky enough to have time to rush home to feed them during lunch and than beg a friend nearby to feed them around 3/4pm :) On the weekends I really have been obsessed with a 2 hour feeding schedule though.

Thanks once again for all the info and I definitely think I'm going to try to pick up a used copy of the goldfish breeding and genetics book recommended by you and hp sometime in the near future.

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Thanks Daryl. I've often wondered about fish genetics. Also, what method would you use to prevent the spread of fungus amoung really small fry? This was always a huge problem for me, not matter what I did. Then I used salt at 0.3ppm until they were a few weeks old and big enough to fight for themselves at it were, and then wean them off through water changes. I used meth blue at a very low percentage on the eggs too. That worked particularly well. What would you say is safer to use as a preventative?

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I use a continuous water exchange on the hatching tank - for stagnant water and fouled water greatly increases the problems of fungus. I also use a light meth blue mixture in my filler water - so there is a constant flow of clean methblue water.

Taking out any eggs that are not fertile helps - but those can usually wait until the majority of fry have hatched. I usually save the salt for emergency parasite problems, but I suppose it might help with fungus.

The biggest problem I find with most hatching and fungus growth that many have is the water quality. The spawning is a filthy mess producer - after spawning the water is disgusting and MUST be changed. I usually use mops - and remove them, rinse them gently and put them in a hatch out tank of large volume and 100% clean water. After a hatch, once again, the water will be heavily fouled by all the by-products of the hatch. It is ESSENTIAL that the water is cleaned. Starting a sponge filter going before hatch out will allow one to season as the fry grow and the food/waste load increases. Do not forget to squeeze out the sponge often - it can be quickly plugged with waste. A sponge will collect little bits of brine shrimp and algae - and become a good feeding platform for fry, though.

If you cannot do a continuus water exchange, I would suggest making up a small box filter with a sponge intake through a low-power water pump. This can be fed through more media platform. When you need to do a water change, simply have the water pump dump the water into a waste receptacle instead of into the box filter and back to the tank. That way, all waste water will be drawn from the fry tank through the sponge - and will eliminate the accidental fry death from being sucked out and dumped. This will also eliminate the heavy motion of a vacumn - the current alone can damage delicate fins and sometimes backs of fry.

Keeping the ammonia at zero, the nitrite at zero and the nitrates LOW will allow for maximum healthy growth for the fry.

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