COLOR TRANSFORMATION IN SHUBUNKINS & GOLDFISH

Discussion in 'Garden Pond Talk' started by Mmathis, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. Mmathis

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    This topic has been posted before, but thought I would broach the subject again.

    ___________________________________
    THIS PART IS JUST MY RAMBLING THOUGHTS, NOT WHAT MY TOPIC IS ABOUT -- READ TOWARD THE END FOR MY TOPIC:

    From a survival-in-nature view point, it's obvious why fish (well, most animals) will start out their lives with a dull or camo-type coloration or patterning. And of course, even our fancier pond-raised breeds will still start out dull, as it's in their genetics.

    There is a lot of interest (and information) in the way koi change colors, and it's FASCINATING! Koi are beautiful, and their color patterns are more striking than what's seen in goldfish.

    But WHY do both koi and goldfish/Shubunkins change sometimes change SO MUCH during their lifetimes (assuming it's not due to an issue related to environmental quality)???

    END OF RAMBLING THOUGHTS
    _________________________________

    MY TOPIC: What is the usual PROGRESSION of colors & patterning [mainly] with Shubunkins and goldies? What colors & patterns are stable and which ones are more likely to change over time?

    I have a fairly new Shubie that I'm keeping an eye on. What attracted me to him, was that he (and another tank mate) looked almost NEON ORANGE. Now that I'm paying more attention to the color, it seems that he has an overlay of orange over black that's making this "neon" effect. Cool! Now wishing I'd also purchased the other fish!
     
    Mmathis, Jul 21, 2013
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  2. Mmathis

    dieselplower

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    I am sure you realize it is a direct violation of rules that may be written or unwritten to start a topic and include facts about new fish that have awesome colors and then NOT POST A PIC OF IT!!!! VIOLATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
    dieselplower, Jul 21, 2013
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  3. Mmathis

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    OOOPS! No!!! Maybe no one else will notice ;)

    I have tried, but can't get a good shot of my "neon" Shubie. Something about the color just doesn't show up well in photos. But I'll keep trying, I promise!

    I took these 2 several days after I got the new fish, and this is their QT environment.
    image.jpg

    Same fish (though this shot makes it look like he has a fantail -- he doesn't). You can ALMOST see the neon effect.
    image.jpg
     
    Mmathis, Jul 21, 2013
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  4. Mmathis

    crsublette coyotes call me Charles

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    Yeah, it is an interesting topic. For koi, these changes are mutations that breeders for hundreds of years were trying to capture by breeding thousands upon thousands of fish. There is an entire science to it talking about the genetics in regards to dominant and recessive genes. There are also many known facts of how the water chemistry changes the fish's colors and introduces new patterns or removes displeasing patterns. Also, the fish's growth speed and feed management can make a tremendous difference in making or breaking the fish's aesthetics.

    I don't know about goldfish since goldfish just does not seem to have the extensive history of prestige and money like is with Koi. I know there are some big goldfish enthusiasts out there that are dwelving into what you are asking, but I have not yet read anything.

    Although, I do believe these are fun questions to ponder. It would seem quite reasonable to believe that all the factors that affect Koi also affect Goldfish's aesthetics.
     
    crsublette, Jul 21, 2013
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  5. Mmathis

    capewind

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    I have no answers here LOL. The shubbies I have been growing out for the last year have been doing different things.

    Nearly all of my shubby fry started out a blah white/tan color.

    Those that have a lot of orange on them now, changed first to a yellow and white when they were maybe a half inch in size, and the yellow slowly changed to orange then continued to deepend ... the black on these fish didnt start until they were about 4 months old, which too is darkening ...

    Others went white for awhile, and slowly developed grey blotches ... now those are white, with neon blue blotches ...

    I also had a few that went near black like the comets do, but their white lower bodies started showing some orange later, and the black faded to white tops....

    My adults on the other hand, are still the same colors they were when I got them ...

    Sorry nothing intelligent to take away from what my babies have done LOL.
     
    capewind, Jul 21, 2013
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  6. Mmathis

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    When your Shubies were teeny babies, did they start out being that dark blah color of the comets before they started to change? You mentioned their being a white-tan.
     
    Mmathis, Jul 21, 2013
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  7. Mmathis

    capewind

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    No, the shubbie babies were lighter in color then the browns on the comet babies, but it may only be related to the colors of my adults. Most of them are blue fish, with various amounts of black, and some may have a bit of orange ... then I have two, that are nearly all orange, with black dots/blotches, and near no blue.
     
    capewind, Jul 21, 2013
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  8. Mmathis

    Dave 54

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    Charles is correct in what he is saying however the colour that is fixed in koi is the Sumi or black the red or HI changes andboth it and the whites can be anipulated by various foods such as silk worm pupea for a brilliant white Eaw King Prawns for a deep red .
    enviroment can change things for the better or the worse of the koi Ammonia can cause a brown koi to turn a dark black the same as happens to Ghost koi.
    The thing is like in the Kuhaku shimmys appear ( little black patches ) because of its go-sanke routes, you cant get arround this they just happen
    Big money is spent on the perfect koi and sadly cosmetic surgery now takes place which I personally think is darn right cheating

    rgrds

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Jul 21, 2013
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  9. Mmathis

    shakaho

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    I don't think anyone knows why goldfish change color. In all probability hormones trigger the change, but what causes the hormone to be produced? Goldfish color changes are very common.

    Most shubunkins are spotted with white at a very early stage, when their metallic-scaled sibs still have months of fry color. The multiple colors in the shubunkins and other calico goldfish comes from the fact that these are "nacreous" fish which have patches of metallic scales which may be colored and patches of colorless matte scales. A patch that has red or black skin and metallic scales will be black or red, if matte scales cover a patch of skin that is red or black, that patch will be blue or yellow. And white is white.

    There is a gene that produces metallic (reflective) scales. All of the orange, yellow, red, white, goldfish and those with single colors mixed with white are "metallics." They have two metallic genes. There is an allele of this gene that produces matte scales. A fish that has two matte genes is called a "pinkie matt(e)." (It's spelled both ways.) These fish are white, but their matte scales are transparent so they look pinkish. They have "button" eyes which are solid black. They are generally small and weak, and are culled.

    If the fish has one matte gene and one metallic scale, it is a nacreous fish. It has patches where the metallic gene is active and patches where the matte gene is active. This is the characteristic of calico goldfish, which if they are comets or commons are called shubunkins. All other varieties of goldfish with calico coloring are called calico fantail, calico ryukin, etc., but a calico comet is called a shubunkin, a calico common is called a London shubunkin, and the metallic version of the Bristol shubunkin is called a Bristol comet.

    Generally, calico goldfish have more stable coloration that metallics. Orange is the most stable metallic color, other colors (particularly black) often turn to orange. Old goldfish often turn white.
     
    shakaho, Jul 23, 2013
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  10. Mmathis

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    WOW, shak! That's a lot to digest -- but thank you!
     
    Mmathis, Jul 23, 2013
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  11. Mmathis

    shakaho

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    The sad story is that the above is a simplification of the simplest case in goldfish genetics. The problem is that goldfish are tetraploid. They have twice as many chromosomes as other carp. Instead of having two sets of chromosomes like we and most other critters do, they have four sets. This results in very complex gene control mechanisms which we don't understand and they make genetic analysis extremely difficult.

    Color variants of the goldfish were bred in China about 1000 years ago, and there are said to be hundreds of varieties of goldfish in China today, most pretty freaky. Koi were first selectively bred in the 1800s, but they are diploid so their genetics isn't weird.
     
    shakaho, Jul 23, 2013
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  12. Mmathis

    crsublette coyotes call me Charles

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    Shakaho, this is very interesting. Honestly, this is the first time I have ever read someone have, or give an impression, of a very good grasp on goldfish. I always thought goldfish were more complex than Koi, but I never understood the depth too well. So, thank you Shakaho for this enlightment. This has been extremely interesting.

    Are you or know of folk quite involved with goldfish to the extent you speak of in breeding ??

    I have always thought Koi brought more prestige, contest, and unbelievable value due to the difficulty of their gentics to obtain that sustained rare pattern and sustained coloration, but now I am starting to get the impression it is mainly due to the size of Koi as to why they have such value since goldfish apparently involve a much higher difficulty due to their genetics to truely obtain that rare fish.

    What are your thoughts as to why there is more club and contest fanfaire with Koi rather than with goldfish here in the States ??
     
    crsublette, Jul 23, 2013
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  13. Mmathis

    Dave 54

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    Hi shakaho interesting reading my friend howver here is what I know about the two speciesfrom reading books in my library .
    I believe that there are around 400 different varieties of Goldfish in China but I think you are a little out on the 1000 years I thought it was longer i;e add another 500 years onto that and your near .
    The earliest recorded records abut koi date back to around 200 AD and their colours are recordrd as red white and blue.
    The next recorded transcripts were 700 AD as being kept by an Emperor.
    Koi keepers started selective breeding in 1870 with the first Kuhaku and in 1910 the first shiro utsuri apears by the 1930's we see the Sanke and showa appeared .
    In 1904 Germany sent semi scale and scaleless koi to Japan as a gift giving us the doitsu .
    So you were a tad out on the koi's first appearance the Website giving wrong dates 200 BC and a little off with the goldfishes first appearance...
    Source material Fancy Goldfish by Dr E Johnson DVN and Nishikgio by Takehiko Tamaki Shinto priest and expert on koi , I could cross refrence further if you wish but I believe these dates and number of goldfih breeds to be correct
    rgrds

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Jul 23, 2013
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  14. Mmathis

    shakaho

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    Charles, there's a forum intended for goldfish breeders, called Site for Goldfish Keepers, where there is a lot of information about breeding, and plenty of arguments about genetics. There is a book by Joseph Smartt called Goldfish Varieties and Genetics that you can find online, and if you search a bit you can get a free download.

    As for the prestige of goldfish vs koi, it probably has a lot to do with size and the resulting cost of keeping them. People can breed and grow show quality goldfish in tubs in their backyard. That is certainly not true of koi. It costs more to produce koi, so they are more expensive. Expense adds prestige and prestige raises prices. Big is considered desirable and koi get big.

    Dave, I don't see any disagreement. The first record of selectively breeding red and white as well as red/orange goldfish was in the 13th century. Since information didn't move so fast back then, I assumed that such selective breeding had been going on for a while, and said about 1000 years ago. Goldfish had already been kept in ornamental ponds for centuries before that, but even emperors had only ponds of "gold and silver" goldfish, not multicolored ones.

    I said "koi were first selectively bred in the 1800s", and you said "Koi keepers started selective breeding in 1870." That sounds the same to me.
     
    shakaho, Jul 25, 2013
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  15. Mmathis

    crsublette coyotes call me Charles

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    Very nice Shakaho. You have opened my mind to a much bigger world that I thought did not exist. Thank you very much for the reply. :banana: :afro: :claphands:
     
    crsublette, Jul 25, 2013
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  16. Mmathis

    Mmathis TurtleMommy

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    Keeping an eye on another baby from last year. Earlier in the season it was a dull light orange color -- not pretty at all. But the last few days I've noticed that it's getting lighter in splotches, and sometimes almost looks translucent. Now the fun will come, trying to guess what the final product will be!
     
    Mmathis, Jul 25, 2013
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  17. Mmathis

    Nepen

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    This is very interesting discussion...I'm trying to figure why my shubunkin pattern changed too. I like it though as I like the black and the black dots actually are bigger and the orang/reds are smaller...I saw the blue hue on one shubunkin back too.

    I'm hoping next year my fish will be old enough to produce some fry... Want to see how they turn out... If I have both male and female, that is.
     
    Nepen, Aug 4, 2013
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  18. Mmathis

    Dave 54

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    Would you happen to know how large the gene pool is for Goldfish shakaho I know that in the koi world the acctual gene pool is quite small and the purer the koi the more they suffer with their Immune system's.
    Attempt's have been made to try to rectify this by going back to the koi's roots and breed with a magio (eating carp)but sadly the colours produced by this union are rather dull as such they arent comercially saleble at this present time.
    Personally I would go to Newzealand where koi are concidered pest to look for a stronger gene as the koi there are feral.
    The are trashing the New Zealand native species thus the pest status , they have shooting parties to see who can bag the most to try and rid theirselves of them , so far it isnt working.
    "The Butterfly koi may well be the way forwards a union between koi and Indoneasian River Carp", sadly we take forever to catch up in the UK and the BKKS wont recognse them.
    I'm also wondering about the mixing of Israeli koi with Japanese or Britsh koi with Japanese perhaps this may well be the wy forwards for them but I doubt if they have thought of it yet.Many thanx for the information about goldfish , this answers alott of questions .
    Is it true that if you put a number of male and female Fancies together in a pond and just let them get on wih life, that within seven generations they would be breeding true again i;e back to normal goldfish.
    Perhaps you could also answer this question for us as well......
    Regarding Koi Herpes Virus and the Goldfish Herpes Virus which came first do the goldfish experts have the answer to that ?.
    Thinking of that I also wonder if the Koi in the Only two States that allow them in Australia "no Imports ",have possibly the only koi in the world that dont have the koi herpes virus.......

    rgrds

    Dave
     
    Dave 54, Aug 6, 2013
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