In March of 1997 we took a brief trip into Guang Dong province to visit a goldfish farm. No ordinary farm though; this was the Tung Hoi Aquarium Company's (THAC) main farm. As hopefully you have seen from the photo section of this web site, THAC are breeders and wholesalers of goldfish of extraordinary quality. These fish are shipped to select retailers all over the world, from Asia to North and South America.
We spent a day and half at THAC, inspecting all their operations, looking at all the fish we could, and taking photos of everything we saw. And there was a lot to see! About 200 ponds plus specialized facilities for breeding, rearing fry, sorting fish, and all other aspects of their business.
The operation is a combination of the best modern techniques and traditional methods. One of the two brothers who founded THAC is an industrial process engineer by training. The other is totally focussed on goldfish culture. The result is a facility optimized for efficient water changing, disease treatment, and controlled production, while also using time-proven feeding regimes and breeding techniques.
If this all sounds like a bit of an "advertisement" up to this point, well, I just was really impressed. After seeing the kind of care their fish get, my efforts on behalf of my fish seem pretty inadequate. They estimated that they hatch (as of spring 1997) about 1 million fry per year. Only a fraction of these are raised and sold, but they continually cull, sort, and grade their fish over and over. This gives you a hint of why this operation is in China; you need a cadre of devoted employees with substantial training and experience, willing to work farming hours (12 hour days 7 days a week). THAC currently has about 50 employees to run all their farming and business activites.
These are some highlights from our trip experiences. There are certainly lots of other interesting things that are left out. Like visiting China and what that was like. Perhaps another time. Here are some pictures of the THAC farm and fish, for your interest:
Click here to go to the Tung Hoi Aquarium Co. Gallery.