September 2007


The Goldfish Report publisher had experienced a computer failure that impacted the publication schedule. However, that problem has been resolved and the May/June and July/August issues have been published; e-subscribers have them and print subscribers should too shortly. For info and general updates on the Goldfish Report, take a look here for info from the editor on upcoming issues of the Goldfish Report and the publication schedule. This page is updated as information is provided to the Webmaster.

If you have let your membership lapse or have been thinking about joining the GFSA, now is a great time - here is a form you can print. To submit material for the Goldfish Report to our editor, please see the updated society contact info. Articles and photos in electronic form are particularly appreciated.

The current line-up of people filling the GFSA offices is on the society officers page. The GFSA Board of Directors continues 2007 with a focus on ensuring that the society is undertaking activities and providing services that our members want. Tell us if there is something you really want (even better, volunteer to help us do it).

Interested in joining the GFSA but still not sure? We have two sample Goldfish Reports available to download, to demonstrate that every issue is packed with thought provoking information and pictures available nowhere else. We are also promoting an electronic membership option that significantly lowers the cost of membership! Only $10US gets you a year of informative, timely color issues of the GFSA's Goldfish Report, sent directly to your email inbox.

Lessons Learned "Quick Hits"

We are soliciting short lessons-learned from hobbyists: events that possibly left you sadder, but measurably wiser. Have a good one? Please send it to the  . Here is a brief diatribe from the Webmaster:

What qualifies as a "breed" of goldfish? And what is a "strain"? Every person who has ever bred goldfish has observed anomalies in the fish in the spawn and perhaps even raised them. Some of these fish seem to correspond to breeds other than the parents. The most common example are Ranchu that really seem to match the Lionhead standard better than the Ranchu one. Another more complex example is finding single-tailed fish in a Ryukin spawn ... these would seem to match a named variety called the Tamasaba or Sabao. And what about short-tailed fish in an egg-phoenix spawn, are these just Eggfish?

One straightforward answer would seem to be that if a fish can meet an objective "type test" for a breed standard, then that fish could be exhibited as being that breed. So a Ranchu could be exhibited as a Lionhead, and a single-tailed Ryukin as a Tamasaba. This is essentially just a statement of the fish's phenotype (the visibly expressed characteristics of the fish's genotype). But what if you wanted to sell that fish, should you sell it as a Tamasaba?

That raises a minor moral dilemma and brings us to the second question; what is a strain? A strain of goldfish usually refers to a genetically-related population (usually within a breed) that produce sufficiently consistent breeding results to allow the strain to be propagated with the desired characteristics, generation after generation. This implies some level of consistency in the full genotype and not just the phenotype. And herein is the rub for these individual fish from a spawn of breed X that look like they are from breed Y; when you actually take these fish and try to breed more Y's, their breed X genetics will express themselves and it may take generations of breeding work to get back to the desired Y result.

A classic example many years ago was an effort by Gary Hater and Al Foster to breed single-tailed Veiltails. They mated single-tailed fish from a spawn to each other. The result was a 100% doubletails, a higher yield than is normally achieved from doubletail to doubletail matings! So for the fish that you've picked out that look like breed X but whose parents are breed Y, you certainly could not claim that they are a strain of breed X. If you were able to reproduce them through an F2 and F3 generation, then that would be a plausible claim.