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  • 1 Post By JasPR

Thread: dogs and koi-- or-- the invention of the cockerpoo

  1. #1
    Daihonmei
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    dogs and koi-- or-- the invention of the cockerpoo

    Understanding the branches from the trunk of the koi tree is often quite hard even for established hobbyists. This always seems puzzling to me as these very same people have the concept and variations of dog breeds down so well?
    Koi are not dogs and their genetics couldn’t be more different, yet the core of what makes a dog breed and a ‘koi breed’ is very similar. The common thread of course is that both are ‘man made’. And as man made vehicles for genetic manipulation, we can understand a lot about koi development from understanding dog’s family tree and the purpose of disciplined line breeding and out crosses.
    There are MANY breeds of dogs—yet if we stand back and look at breeds we begin to see common threads that run thru some groups—take hounds for instance—they will tend to all follow a common ancestor prototype— body shape, muzzle, nose, eye type, coat and set and the ‘theme’ is set. Vizsla, Weimaramer, German short hair pointer, ect—all have a fundamental type at their core.
    The mastiff would be another basic mutation that is now a theme running thru many many dog breeds thought to be different. But the large size, short muzzle, loose faced look is a prototype. And this is an example of a prototype that is introduced into many other breeds at some point in their development.
    Then there are ‘designer dogs’. That is, dogs that are obvious simple crosses of two established breeds. Who is to say that designer dogs are not the ‘beginning’ of a new breed just as some of the established breeds once were? The Dobie is a modern mixture, as is the Rhodesian ridgeback. Ahhh, but there is a difference beyond just time. Dogs breed true and in koi, spawns must be stable and repeatable.
    I’m currently having a ‘love affair’ with a dog breed known as the Rhodesian Ridgeback. Great animal! Being the geek I am, I did pretty intensive study of the breed from literature, AKC records,AKC breeder records, interviews with top breeders and culling of internet truths and myths. One of the interesting things I discovered were some of the ‘secrets’ ridgeback breeders don’t discuss publicly. And that is, that genetics is pretty dependable, but the roulette wheel of genetics will, on occasion, deliver a throw back. In the case of this breed, a breed that has unusually large litters ( a genetic dream!) blue, black and tan, black and even white puppies show up. In the old days they were culled just as undesirable koi are culled today. These days they are delisted as registered dogs and given homes. But a disturbing trend is occurring which reminds me of our hobby debates—there is a modern cry to include these many colors in the breed! Here is the problem with that thinking—these puppies ( or fry) represent atavistic traits or more accurately—throw backs to the foundations breeds used to make the uniform and unique ridgeback hound.
    Enough about dogs! J in koi, we often want to make throw backs, designer koi and atavistic individuals NEW types. This is an innocent view as it took 100 years to get to the level of genetic concentration and separation. A remix is not a good advancement. IMHO JR
    ricshaw likes this.

  2. #2
    Nisai Scrmnkg's Avatar
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    Perhaps, if they could make a new "breed", they could make a Kujaku-doodle!

  3. #3
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    I see your point JR. I owned a reef store from the early 90's to late 00's. Boy this was a great time as much was developing. I had a blast, but unlike the lucrative world of koi (LOL) I never made a good living even though I was pretty good. Well, fast forward to today and I have re-entered the reef hobby as a hobbyist! Things had changed. Gone were the nice Soloman Island True Percula Clowns. Gone were the Marshall Island Gold Bar Marroon Clowns. Yep. Replaced by crappy tank raised clowns that look like crap. Misbarred, blunted noses, small heads, body not proportioned correctly- pitiful representatives of a clownfish.

    I was involved with Oceans, Reefs, and Aquariums (ORA) in the late 90's. Two college buddies basically started it and built it, and I was privy to the facilities. In those days they culled any misbars. Nowadays they are sold as designed clowns with names like Snowflake, Picasso and Snowcasso Clowns!!! WTF? These are a pitiful cry from the beautiful wild caught counterparts. Now I understand about the movement to aquaculture, but to release this kinda crap is pitiful. What direction is the Clownfish market heading when there is no culling?

    I had a conversation with a collegue addressing the same topic as he is still involved in the industry. He agreed. The clowns these days are a shame. My only hope is that some breeders will take pride in their efforts and develop a bloodline. There are a few hobbyists I've seen that have some really nice TR Clowns, however they are not producing any quantities at this point. I suppose koi started out with humble beginnings as well, so I am optomistic about the future.

  4. #4
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Designer Koi seem to be more popular with backyard hobbyist Koi breeders.

  5. #5
    Honmei ricshaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    I see your point JR. I owned a reef store from the early 90's to late 00's. Boy this was a great time as much was developing. I had a blast, but unlike the lucrative world of koi (LOL) I never made a good living even though I was pretty good. Well, fast forward to today and I have re-entered the reef hobby as a hobbyist! Things had changed. Gone were the nice Soloman Island True Percula Clowns. Gone were the Marshall Island Gold Bar Marroon Clowns. Yep. Replaced by crappy tank raised clowns that look like crap. Misbarred, blunted noses, small heads, body not proportioned correctly- pitiful representatives of a clownfish.
    I was involved with Oceans, Reefs, and Aquariums (ORA) in the late 90's. Two college buddies basically started it and built it, and I was privy to the facilities. In those days they culled any misbars. Nowadays they are sold as designed clowns with names like Snowflake, Picasso and Snowcasso Clowns!!! WTF? These are a pitiful cry from the beautiful wild caught counterparts. Now I understand about the movement to aquaculture, but to release this kinda crap is pitiful. What direction is the Clownfish market heading when there is no culling?
    I had a conversation with a collegue addressing the same topic as he is still involved in the industry. He agreed. The clowns these days are a shame. My only hope is that some breeders will take pride in their efforts and develop a bloodline. There are a few hobbyists I've seen that have some really nice TR Clowns, however they are not producing any quantities at this point. I suppose koi started out with humble beginnings as well, so I am optomistic about the future.
    Tim,

    Did you see the YouTube video JR shared with Snowflake Clowns?

  6. #6
    Jumbo Appliance Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricshaw View Post
    Tim,

    Did you see the YouTube video JR shared with Snowflake Clowns?
    Just watched it. Man that is spectacular. Wonderful colors and in excellent health. But the clowns just don't quite have it. I'm glad I'm not the only one that see's the difference. But even Snowflakes Clowns are nice in a longfin Bekko kinda way. lol Not my fancy, but great for some folks...

  7. #7
    Tategoi hewhoisatpeace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Appliance Guy View Post
    nice in a longfin Bekko kinda way
    That's kinda funny

  8. #8
    Daihonmei MikeM's Avatar
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    It is what happens when corporate chains focused solely on profit drive out the sole proprietors who were in the business as much for the love of the hobby as making a living. We see it in koi also, but higher quality koi cannot be mass marketed. I see it in the garden shops. The big box garden department can never have the unique items of mom & pop nurseries. Twenty years ago, there were 3 family-owned nurseries within 2 miles of my house. Each attempted to carry a bit of everything, but one specialized in camellias with more than a hundred varieties available year-round, one always had the latest hybrid angelwing begonias and odd species orchids, and the third emphasized tropical fruit trees. Today, you have to search out hobbyists who sell on the side to find things that were once readily available. Of course, the three nurseries went out of business because their respective specialities had too small a following to support a business and they could not compete with the chains' pricing of the 'bread 'n butter' items that bring in customers. We often grimace at the $19.99 price tag of a tosai longfin bekko at PetSmart, but the fact is that it is cheaper than an importer can deliver the fish to a customer's door.

  9. #9
    Daihonmei
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    Good morning guys. Great comments, all. I think you are making the quite readers think and maybe encouraging them to contribute with their comments and observations?

    I also am put off by the clown fish variations as a type. I am fascinated by the genetics but troubled by the departure from what nature created in the wild. This is what makes koi the opposite of most ornamental saltwater species. Marines are nature wild type species. Latin names and all. Nature culls with a very different intent in mind and successful colors are colors that work to hide, attract mates and hunt well. The result is a clownfish that is almost identical from one individual to another. Natures plan for survival of the fittest. The prototype only chances with range as variation that is tolerated or more adaptable to different conditions appears (maroon, skunk, pink skunk, sebae, tomato etc).
    The new man made clowns are the result of aberrant pattern being collected until a double recessive population can be accumulated. And then line bred and inbred so as to make the trait reliable in all spawns. But the uniformity of these spawns id not established. In effect, the individual specimen is valued more than the genetic trend and future generations- in short- a novelty. In this case, preservation of the natural type should be the goal as odd balls seek more $$$$.
    Koi, are the exact opposite-- we don't want wild type--- we want mutations. But carefully created mutation lines that we can consider 'repeatable and retrievable. In this case we don’t want random breeding and ‘cockapoo’ crosses that encourage an unraveling of all the results to date. A recessive or double recessive gene pool is to be protected! Nature lurks at every turn and wants these fish to return to the wild type. Yet that is actually impossible. So nature will turn them back to raw mutations of base colors and weak patterns.

    There is no question that an all black, all yellow, all red and all white clown fish can be ‘man made’. But what for? The wild type is a work of art and beautiful not only because of its color and pattern but also because it was made by nature and God. JR

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