It seems like it has been forever since I posted anything. I have been dealing with a persistent disease outbreak over the Winter that I’m calling the “Creeping Crud.” It would slowly jump from one tank to another and kill off a whole drop of fish within a matter of days. I usually cull any fish that shows any sign of sickness, but I would go into the fishroom to feed in the morning and find a whole tank broken down. I would put a couple of tbs of salt into the tank and then treat heavily with Methylene Blue. What seems to have stopped it was when I would break the tank down completely, sometimes sacrificing a whole tank of fry, and bleach everything including the filter medium. I’ve lost most of my HB Leopards and HB Reds to this stuff.
Things are starting to look up. I will be able to set up both lines of HB Leopards in a few weeks. The HB Reds have turned into a project, but, you know me, I like to experiment. I always do outcrosses when I get a new line in so that I can get a handle on the genetics of the line. The HB Reds were no exception. I crossed my Shubel HB Red male with blonde Roebuck Fullred female. The HB’s are x-linked, as I suspected, because all females were HB and all but one male were not. I had this experimental drop as well as 2 drops of HB Reds when the “Crud” hit the fishroom. I lost the first drop of HB Reds and saved the second by treating while there were no signs of the disease. The second drop is still small, so I’ve taken a blonde Red male from another experimental outcross and have placed him in with two hybrid HB Red females. I’m hoping this will give me a good base to build my new line upon. I’ve taken the lone HB Red male, a y-linked crossover, and put him with blonde HB Red sisters to the blonde Red male. I want to bring similar genetics from both directions into the next cross. I can then work pure HB Reds into the mix and then start to linebreed and get my fish back to where I started with them.
I’ve eliminated my Blue Grass and Blue/Green Bicolors from the fishroom. I’ve picked up a line of SAP Purples and a y-linked HB Green. I will be working these two lines into my HB Leopards in the very near future. I’ve been reading lately that many IFGA judges are getting tired of seeing the prototypical HB fish with white fins with black spotting. I’m wanting to see if I can get something that’s HB with white fins streaked with black and purple or black and green. F1 males will be taken back to pure HB females to set the new lines. I’m really excited about getting these started.
I also began showing some of my fish a few months ago. I entered some of my Fullreds in an IFGA show in Texas in April. My females took first and second place in the Novice Female Class, garnered 180 points and placed me in 4th place overall Novice. I couldn’t believe that they did so well. I didn’t place at all in last month’s show in Missouri. It’s cool though, seeing how your stock compares to others. I’m going to start setting some fish aside so that they will be ready when the show season starts up in November. Who know’s? Maybe I’ll try to win the Novice class next year. The line-up for the coming year will probably be blonde and albino Fullreds, x- and y-linked HB Reds, two lines of HB Leopards, SAP Purples and y-linked HB Greens. These last two are reported to be very difficult to keep in good color. Their color said to be very sensitive to water chemistry. We’ll just have to wait and find out. Good luck everyone.