Photo: Our breeding male Giant Redtail Blue Variatus and one of his females. The two smaller fish are mature Redtail Blue Variatus.
A while back I wrote about a new strain of fish we were developing (see: http://goliadfarms.com/giant-redtail-blue-variatus/). This blog gives a mixed bag of updates.
The Giant Redtail Blue Variatus, as its name indicates, looks like a very large Redtail Blue Variatus (for a history of our strain of this fish see: http://goliadfarms.com/redtail-blue-variatus/).
Our Giant strain began with one male and 14 similarly large female fish. Here’s what I wrote back in January about him:
“When we recently processed his vat, we found he still lived. Also three of his sons had grown to be equally large. We set up him, his three sons, and ten of his largest daughters for breeding. We also added a very large female variatus/swordtail hybrid from another cross to the breeding colony. She most resembles a very large Redtail Black Variatus. From her mating with the Giant Blue Variatus males we should get some other variatus color patterns.”
This last week we processed that vat yielding mixed results. First, only one male survived. He is very large, well over three inches total length. Only nine of the 14 females lived. Worse, only a couple of dozen offspring were found. One of the missing females was the aforementioned “very large female variatus/swordtail hybrid.” All in all, these were disappointing results.
I set up the lone male and the nine surviving females as a breeding colony. As repeat readers know, I am nothing if not persistent (Susie, my wife and business partner claims that should read “stubborn”). So, I’m trying again.
The offspring are all young and not yet sexable, probably less than two months old. This vat was set much longer than that and means most of the breeding cycles in this vat were missed or somehow lost. I don’t know what happened to first batches of fry. Some mysteries are never solved. On the positive side, it looks like these offspring will be large like their parents.
The breeding colony had better start producing. Susie is loath to devote vats to non-productive fish no matter how attractive. Fishes are you listening?