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Thread: Koi/Goldfish hybrids

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    twothless is offline
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    Koi/Goldfish hybrids

    Hi!

    My room mate and I have what I think are Koi/Goldfish (comet) hybrids in our pond and I've got a few questions about them.

    I've often read that koi/goldfish hybrids lack barbels. 99% of the literature I've read claims this. However, a few days ago I dug up a paper submitted to a scientific journal in New Zealand that I found rather interesting. Sparing all the technical jargon, it states plainly that they can and do possess barbels:


    http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/site/...fr/1987/5.aspx

    The hybrids were intermediate between koi and goldfish for the number
    of lateral line scales, the shape of the pharyngeal teeth, and the presence of a pair of reduced posterior barbels.


    Most of the suspected hybrids we have do indeed have teeny weeny barbels. So what do you guys think? Anyone out there found barbels on hybrids?

    It's funny, some of them resemble ochibas in their colorations. But most all of them have the thick penduncle and hump just behind their heads so I believe were really are seeing hybrids.

    I'll post links to some pics tomorrow after I snap some shots. Hopefully I can get the macro setting to capture their barbels...

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    They could be. I had some that were definitely a cross and they were pretty much brown goldfish with gin rin.
    Beat 162 posts in less than 20 minutes and it's yours:
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    Yes I have had a few koimets that have had barbels. I don't know for sure but I think it depends on what sperm hit what egg. In other words if a male goldfish hits a koi or a male koi hits a golfish egg. This usually happens if the goldfish and koi are spawning at the same time. That is why I bought my separation net. Thankfully last spawn, no goldfish were spawning so I didn't get any koimets!! They have a very different look about them, you can usually spot them right away. The head and mouth are different looking. Not a very pretty fish, thank goodness they are sterile!!



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    I've got some pictures of koi - comet hybrids on this page:
    http://www.shortypen.com/koi/hybrid/index.htm

    I have seen a bunch that were definitely koi-comet hybrids, and none of them had barbels, or if they did the barbels were so small I didn't notice them. Not saying that hybrids would never have them -- just the ones I can identify for sure with their big hump and unique body shape, don't seem to have whiskers.

    The problem with the article is that the fish the collected were from a pond with a mixture, and later "identified". One way to find out -- next spring, we should seperate and breed a single koi and single goldfish together, grow out the babies and find out for sure. Would want to do 2 breedings, one with a female koi / make comet, and the other with a male koi / female comet.

    I don't have any comets right now, but I do have some shubunkins, I'll try pairing some up and see what happens. Anyone else interested in trying to breed some to see what happens?

    Shorty
    Last edited by Shorty; 11-09-2008 at 12:26 AM.
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    Hi!

    Thanks for the replies guys!

    Shortypen, Nice to meet you. I've actually viewed your page several times already during extensive searches online. Those pics were what actually made me realize what we were seeing were hybrids. Thank you so much for compiling the pics for your page. These fish are still pretty small so their humps aren't very well pronounced, yet. Some have a bit of a hump but others don't. About half of the koimets have posterior barbels while the others don't. I also noticed that about half the barbel-less koimets are more orange and less olive as well as humpless.

    Well, I've already completed half of your experiment. These are all from a female koi and male sarassa comet. So, if koimets with barbels are TRULY dependent on progenitors sex, then essentially, the experiment is done. If you'd like, I could work on some better shots and you can add them to your page. Lemme know!

    Below are some ok pics:










    You gotta look real close and you'll see the barbels here and there. They're definitely reduced in size and only the posterior barbels are present. Hopefully this help others ID their possible hybrids. Good info about them seems to be pretty slim.


    Thanks again guys!

    Paul

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    Hey thats great you have seen my website. Glad it is helping out. There doesn't seem to be much on the web about hybrids, so figure that would be something worth working on and publishing.

    Here are the things I have wondered about, and would like to scientifically try to answer:
    - what are all the different type of body shapes produced by a koi comet paring
    - percentage of each body shape
    - percentage of koimets that have have significant whiskers / tiny whiskers / no whiskers (barbells)
    - what color patterns are produces & the percentage of them
    - are koimets capable of reproducing ?


    I'd love to use your photos, actually I'd like to go a bit further and make a seperate web page about just your spawn results.

    - You only have 1 koi which is a femal, right? So could I get an individual picture of her.
    - do you know her age & overall length at the time of the spawn?
    - what date did they spawn, what was water temperature (assuming outside, could you specify the environment etc)
    - pics of the other fish in the pond at the time of the spawn
    - could you categorize the babies into body shapes, and then count then number of each shape?
    - also categorize the babies into color types, and count the number in each category
    - and count the number that have significant sized whiskers, small whiskers, and no whiskers.

    Thanks
    Shorty
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    I have never had koi and goldfish spawn with each other individually. But what I find is when the goldfish are spawning with the goldfish at the same time when the koi are spawning with the koi, that is when I get the koimets. The sperm gets all mixed up with the eggs. That is why I bought a net to separate the pond for spawning. Thankfully, this year the koi spawned a few weeks after the comets and goldfish had spawned. I didn't have one koimet.



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    Tyco,

    Yes, we're definitely taking measures to avoid this in the future. We're going all female and getting rid of the sarassa. Too many mouths to feed!



    Shortypen,

    Whew! Thats one helluva data wish list! Of course, those ARE all the right questions, aren't they? We're supposed to drain the pond down so that only the deep end is submerged when we go to remove the rest of the spawn. Yesterday, I suited up and got down into it and removed all the boulders and such from the deep end and netted all the detritus from the bottom in preparation for the cull. Heh, It's kinda neat being down in there with a facemask. You get to see them all from unseen angles... pretty cool!

    Anyway, once I have every last fingerling out and into a holding tank, I'll compile the data for you. As for knowing for sure who the progenitors are: All of the fish were pretty **** small when the spawning happened. Warchild, the female tancho, blew up when she got to be about 8-10 inches but the rest were smaller than her and supposedly not mature enough. Warchild got chased around a bit and one day, her belly disappeared. However, around the same time, one of the butterfly koi was also being chased and was beat-up pretty badly (she recovered in about a week) but matt swears she never really looked like she was full of eggs. She was only 6-7 inches at the time. So, there's a slim chance that these eggs came from the butterfly but considering Warchilds drastic appearance change, I'm pretty positive she's the mother.


    In the pond at the time of spawning there were as follows:

    2 platinum 1 positive male 1 probable female
    2 tancho 1 positive female 1 positive male
    2 butterfly 1 positive male 1 highly probable female
    1 doitsu sanke probable female
    1 sarassa comet positive male

    I know it would seem that there are a number of possible mothers but the rest seemed much too small and Warchild blowing up and deflating just before the fry appeared is pretty much the smoking gun. The good news is that about ten of the fry that made it are actual koi. A couple even look like they were trying to be tanchos.


    Is it true that some people are trying to hybridize koi/goldfish to bring in genes for KHV resistance? Does that mean there's a chance that some hybrids are fertile or perhaps the infertility is gender specific? Just wondering...

    Will keep you updated in the near future.


    Paul

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    > Whew! Thats one helluva data wish list! Of course, those ARE all the right > questions, aren't they?

    Sorry about that -- just trying to be thorough. The good news is that I'll put it on my website and it will live there for a long time.

    > Heh, It's kinda neat being down in there with a facemask. You get to
    > see them all from unseen angles... pretty cool!

    I know what you mean !! My 1200 gallon tank has a window in the side, and I just love looking through it. The koi will swim right up to the window and look at me, and also do fly-bys across the length of the window. At first it was so odd looking at them from that angle, when used to just looking down from the top.

    > Anyway, once I have every last fingerling out and into a holding tank, I'll
    > compile the data for you.

    Thanks !!

    > As for knowing for sure who the progenitors are: All of the fish were
    > pretty **** small when the spawning happened. Warchild, the
    > female tancho, blew up when she got to be about 8-10 inches but the rest
    > were smaller than her and supposedly not mature enough.

    I know for a fact that 4" koi can reproduce. Not exactly sure how old they have to be, one pond I know of has 2 yr old 4" koi that reproduce, but not sure how much younger than that can reproduce.

    Does sound like Warchild was the main mom, but when one starts to go, the others who have eggs will get triggered at the same time too.

    > I know it would seem that there are a number of possible mothers but the
    > rest seemed much too small and Warchild blowing up and deflating just
    > before the fry appeared is pretty much the smoking gun. The good news is > that about ten of the fry that made it are actual koi. A couple even
    > look like they were trying to be tanchos.

    There is one of the questions we need to answer - are you sure that those ten fry are koi, or just hybrids that look like koi. If you were planning to breed them, you could be growing them for a couple of years only to find out they are sterile.

    > Is it true that some people are trying to hybridize koi/goldfish to bring in
    > genes for KHV resistance?

    I haven't heard of this.

    > Does that mean there's a chance that some
    > hybrids are fertile or perhaps the infertility is gender specific? Just
    > wondering...

    Would be great if they were - but I have looked, and so far haven't found any true scientific experiments to prove or disprove the possibility. Kinda surprising seeing as how much of every other aspect of a koi's life has been studied and documented.

    I also have a couple of other goals -- I rescue koi and have seen MANY 500 to 1000 gallon ponds. Goldfish and shubunkins don't typically grow big enough, and koi will quickly outgrow a 1000 gallon pond if it has the proper filtration. If we could produce a koi-like fish that had a maximum of 15" size, I think it would be very popular, plus hopefully eliminate a lot of need for rescuing koi.

    Shorty
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    Never raised none myself, but I've fooled a bit and learned a lot about koi/goldfish hybrids.

    The State of Texas produces several thousand pounds of koi/goldfish hybrids a year to feed thier breeding stock of bass and stripers. They've found it to be an easy to spawn, fast growing, nutritionally dense, easy to swallow, fish for use in thier hatchery system. They produce hybrids from Male goldfish and female koi.

    In California they raise a fish called a "silver carp" not the large Chinese filter feeding carp, but actually koi/goldfish hybrids. These are grown to around 500 grams and sold for food, apparently a delicacy to be consumed at Chinese New Year. About $7 a pound retail.

    Koi goldfsih hybrids should be sterile, they are not just a cross between two species, but across two genera. Both are cyprinids, but koi belong to the Genus Cyprinus and goldfish belong to Genus Carrassius. Hybrids across genera are much rarer than those across species.

    I've looked at hatching the hybrids and selling the fry to other farms, it could work out to amek a bit, but rasing a fish to sell for $7 a pound don;t work for me. I need closer to $50 pound minimum.

    Later,

    Brett

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    Thanks for the info Brett -- I've read a lot of your other posts about breeding and raising fry and they have helped me imensly.

    Shorty
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    I think I have some baby hybrids myself. I'm not sure what size they start to develop barbels, but these guys do not have any (only 1.5"). I didn't even know my fish had babies until I discovered a couple of these in my pond. There are only 4 survivors, of which I could only locate 2 to bring in for the winter. Those two are in the basement with my other fish.

    It's a brownish/orangish scaleless (doitsu). All four look the same. I have no clue how the color/pattern develops... but needless to say I'm not expecting much of either!

    Worse part is I only have a single goldfish. My girlfriend got a "winning" gumball for a free goldfish at a local pet store. And by goldfish I mean feeder fish I thought it wouldn't last long. But here we are more than a year and 9 inches later. Oh. And my two doitsu are the ones I've been meaning to relocate. But the goldfish... no... I have orders it must stay.







    The suspect parents:


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