Newsletter August 2013

website headerWe've had our new website up for a few weeks now and hope to have most of the kinks worked out. Many of you have sent in some very positive feedback, which we appreciate a lot. Some also sent in some constructive criticism which we also need. This helps us to know what to tweak and we've made a few adjustments as a result of these comments.

Speaking of comments... we now have a new comments feature for our products. If you would, leave a comment or mini-review of any product or fish you've received from us. We'll even take any negative ones, as long as they're polite and you've actually purchased the product from us. We've come to realize that this is an important aspect of any e-commerce website. We highly encourage and would greatly appreciate if you would participate by leaving your opinions of our products and service. If you are the first to leave a comment on a particular product, we will email you a discount coupon for 5% off your next order. This is in addition to any other discounts your order qualifies for. We hope you will help us make this a useful part of our website. Thanks...

Newsletter Deals

Blue Ghost Angelfish pairThis month, the first person to enter "deal" in the discount coupon box on our Fish Shopping Cart, will get 40% off Breeding Pair #1153. This is a proven pair consisting of a Platinum crossed to a Blue Ghost. We haven't raised their offspring, but the ghost likely carries a gold gene, and therefore, 50% of their fry would be Platinum and the other half would be Blue Ghosts and Blue Silvers. There is also a chance that the Platinum may carry Stripeless, which means 25% blushing versions of these Blue varieties.

In our Supply Store, there will be a special on our apple snail varieties. Enter snail in the discount coupon box and get 40% off any of our apple snails. We will run this for a couple weeks or until we run out.

Fishkeeping Tip

If you breed fish long enough, you will eventually have a problem with feeding your fry. It may be that your can of brine shrimp eggs has quit hatching or your microworm culture has gone past the point where you dare open it, or you simply run out of fry food without realizing it. Either way, you will want to have a backup or two. Powdered food can work, but you need to be experienced at introducing it, or it can cause serious issues.

The best backups are things that don't easily go bad. Probably the easiest culture for sustainability is one for vinegar eels. They can literally go months with little to no maintenance. They really aren't a great food for long term, but they will do in a pinch. Another method we use is a large clump of aged java moss. This super-fine leaved plant is a store-room for micro organisms and can keep a small spawn of fry going for several days. Keep in mind that fry will not starve in just a a couple days. It takes multiple days without food before serious damage occurs. If you do run short of their regular food, lower the temperature and lightly feed a substitute until you're back up and running with your brine shrimp.

Albino Genes in our Fish

Albino AngelfishAlbinism is rather common in many ornamental fish varieties. However, it is just recently that we have become aware of the fact that it appears to common on more than one gene location.

It's been several years that we have known it to be on at least 2 locations in our bristlenose pleco varieties. Breeding two albino plecos together and producing a percentage of wild-type is a sure indication of albino on a different location in each parent. That first occurred in our spawns back about 10 years ago.

Recently, at an IFGA Show in Michigan, a few of us were invited into Simeon Bonev's fishroom. Simeon keeps mostly guppies, but he had a tank of angelfish he had gotten several months back. They came for Israel and were labeled Albino Altums when he brought them in. He asked my opinion of them and I said that while they certainly were not a variety of altum, they were different. They may have had some wild blood in them, but that wasn't it either. The color was slightly different from the albinos I've kept for the past 23 years. After a few question it got interesting. Turns out, this fish's offspring do not start out with the pink eyes and are somewhat silvery colored until they get older. The description Simeon gave me, reminded me of the old Naja Gold that has been lost to the hobby. He had some newly hatched fry from a pair of these albinos so I could see how they compared to our existing albino fry and they didn't look like albino fry at all. I highly suspect that the Albino gene in Simeon's fish will be proven to be on a different location. It will be easy to test by anyone who has both types.

Albino Red GuppyMy most recent albino incident occurred about a year ago, but I just realized a couple months ago what happened. I've had an albino strain of Red guppies for awhile. About a year ago I brought in some Albino Blue Topaz. Like I normally do, some of them were outcrossed to other varieties including our Albino Red gups. The first couple drops from the albino/albino crosses were very odd - no albino offspring. Initially, I didn't think much of it because the females were not virgin. After a couple more drops without producing albinos, I became very suspicious. Some of the new males sperm should have been used by then. In fact, my past experience tells me that most of the fry should have been from the latest males at that point. Then it hit me (with a little help from Dave Hlasnick). My Reds did not have Halfblack in them, but I was getting some Halfblack offspring in the fry.Albino Red Guppy Dave verified that the Albino Blue Topaz carried halfblack (common in many albino strains). So, the fry from my Albino Red females were indeed from the Albino Blue topaz males - albino on two different locations! I have F2s about to drop and that will surely end up in a percentage of albino offspring. The problem is that if I can't figure out which fish carry which albino gene, they will be difficult to work with. Then again, there may be some slight, subtle difference in expression - at least I hope so.

So, now we positively have multiple albino locations with bristlenose and guppies. With angelfish it is a very high probability at this point. I suspect that albino mutations occur on multiple locations more often than we originally thought. It may prove to be rather common and hopefully it results in varying gene expressions. I love this stuff.