How do I breed koi coloured goldfish


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In New Zealand koi are illegal. I love the strong, vibrant colours of koi and wish to replicate them in my goldfish.
I have a couple of sarassa goldfish with black markings - photo below (apologies for poor quality photos).
I would like to breed fish with similar colouring. Does anyone have any tips on how to do that?
I have in my pond a sarassa female and a beautiful sarassa male with lovely flowing finnage. I also have two tricolour sarassa in photos (I think males).
I have a black shubunkin (with red markings around its face) and wondered if crossing them is how I can get black into the sarassa lineage?
 
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brokensword

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That I know of, the black in comets will eventually fade. Never had one yet that kept the black. If you have shubunkins, which is the only way to get more than the two colors, they'll change as well. My shubunkin babies typically are red/orange and black. As time goes on, the blue-gray takes over and the red/orange fades. Sarassa, if I'm not mistaken, are usually white or white and red/orange. So, to answer your question; just buy shubunkins as they are variable and come in that tri-color version you want. Ordinary goldfish won't ever get you more than two colors and the black you see on your red/orange ones will not last (I wish it would). Were it my pond, I'd find a way to get koi and just call them shubunkins to anyone who asks. But, I'm a renegade that way...
 

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Hello and welcome!

Agree with @brokensword. Your best bet to get and keep the Shubunkin coloration would be to only have Shubunkin. Breeding fish isn’t as easy as say, breeding puppies or kittens to get a particular color (not that THAT is easy, but anyway....). There is a lot of genetics involved, and from I understand, the genetics of goldfish is even more complicated than that for koi. Even koi breeders have to “cull” a lot of their fry in order to get certain color traits. And, with GF, you may have to wait until the fish are several years old to see their final color — and even then, they can change colors.

So, if you are serious about selective breeding, you might want to start with a good course on GF genetics. There’s just more to it than throwing fish A in with Fish B. That pretty black GF today, might be gold next week, then solid white next week. Anyway, whatever you end up with, they will surely be nice, pretty fish.
 
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Cross breading occurs i believe i got one and it has since mated. The reason i suspect this is the original "koi" was quite small three years latter. My other koi babies are 9"to 12 " in three years if not more. but i have some crazy colors one was all a very pretty solid silvery white it looked like a ballerinas toto with the gin rin and very long flowing fins . NOT MY CUP OF TEA i gave it to a friend they love it while its sibling is black and silver short finned but after 3 years is hardly 4"
 
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Welcome @goldfishgardennz . I'll agree with what's already been shared - some serious research on genetics is in order if you are trying to achieve a certain outcome. Otherwise, why not just let them breed and sell them as they come? The "more desirable" colors could be higher priced than the others, if that's your marketing plan. Or you could cull the ones that don't fit your chosen style, but that would take a few years to learn what to look for in the small fish. You'd have to grow some out and pay attention to how the colors develop. But a good start would be limiting your breeding stock to only shubunkins, if you are looking for the tri-color pattern. The three colors are the definition of a shubunkin.

But honestly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. For example, the fish @GBBUDD just described would be a dream for some pond owners, while he found it to be a bit too much for his eye. You may find that every fish you sell is someone's cup of tea! The "average" ones might prove to be your bread and butter.
 
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The fish we all have and love, have probably gone through a screaming when they were fry removing the every day colors and patterns. the eye of the beholder in this department are the mutations. just like bull dogs and pugs we all love the look but they have terrible breathing issues but they are the look that sells.
 
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Thanks for all your thoughtful feedback. I may be Don Quixote "tilting at windmills" but a gal needs to dream so please keep offering me your helpful suggestions ... and don't give up on me!!

I have a mixture of comets and shubunkin in my biggest pond and they have "done their thing" throughout this last spawning season (I broke my leg just as spawning season started, so couldn't be intentional with any breeding programme!). The result has however been quite pleasing (although I'm disappointed with the high number of bronze in there ... my big bronze goldlfish I call "Shadow" is definitely going to be removed from the pond when I harvest!)

Shubunkin do change colour a little over time (my best breeder gets darker as he gets older) whereas the sarassa tend to hold their colouration pattern once it is established in the first year or so. This is why I'm keen to develop a tri-coloured goldfish with sarassa markings.

I've got just over 600 shub fingerlings I'm raising and at 6-8 weeks they are showing excellent colour development with my homebrew fish food experiment! So I'll hopefully have a few to selectively cull for my preferred colour variation.

It appears that when Shubunkins are bred, all three scale types get produced. Approximately half the fry will have nacreous scales, 25 percent will have matt scales, and the remaining 25 percent will be metallic. In my pond I can see what appear to be a high number of matt calico comets and also several spottier shubunkins. Two of the progeny in the pond appear to be a couple of Midnight Blue Shubunkins (one appears black but with some red around its face, the other is blue, black and white without any apparent red). However I'm harvesting my pond next weekend so will be able to report more accurately once I've gotten a closer eye on them and handled them all. I'm very excited to see them up close. They're between 3 to 6 months old now so I should be able to see their potential as well as any defects.

Fishkeeping ... Such an exciting journey!
 
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Here's my uneducated opinion - I think many of these "variations" are just breeders sorting fry. I don't know that they breed true to color. The same batch of eggs in our pond will produce many different colors and patterns. I think breeders sort them to sell as blues, or sunsets, or whatever other appealing names they give them. They get really good at predicting colors. We went to a pond event and they were giving free koi fry away and the guy fished out a baby that was about the size of a fingernail clipping and 100% brownish-green - so tiny - and he said "this one is gonna be a beautiful copper color". And he was right!

As for the big bronze fish... we've had a number of those in our pond go from black to bronze all the way to brilliant orange. Some change in a matter of days, some take years to fully color up. We have one comet that we've had for almost 9 years that has gone from orange to white and all the way back to orange again repeatedly. It's an interesting process to observe.

Good luck on your quest! Take lots of pictures and we can all learn along with you!
 

addy1

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My Shubunkins do what they want, some stay true some don't.
 
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In New Zealand koi are illegal. I love the strong, vibrant colours of koi and wish to replicate them in my goldfish.
I have a couple of sarassa goldfish with black markings - photo below (apologies for poor quality photos).
I would like to breed fish with similar colouring. Does anyone have any tips on how to do that?
I have in my pond a sarassa female and a beautiful sarassa male with lovely flowing finnage. I also have two tricolour sarassa in photos (I think males).
I have a black shubunkin (with red markings around its face) and wondered if crossing them is how I can get black into the sarassa lineage?
Hi. I don’t think you will get the desired Sarassa fish by breeding them with shubunkins. There is a breeder in the US that specializes in goldfish that have Koi colors and markings: Blackwater Creek Koi farms. They call them Sanke gold and Black opal goldfish. I think literally you would need to produce millions of goldfish fry to get the same specific colorations In just a few random ones. .......they are not cheap but if you bought a few and breed them It might work out better than starting from scratch!
 

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