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Visit To Tung Hoi Farms, China  In October 2005, the Fish Sempai travelled to mainland China in search of the rarest, most beautiful specimens ever cultivated. He found them at Tung Hoi Aquarium Company's fish farms.

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Hand Selecting Goldfish

We began our "tour extraordinaire" at the breeding farm graciously hosted by Mr. Jackie Chan himself.  An extensive collection of cement and mud ponds fed by wells and spring rain host Tung Hoi's world renowned goldfish collections, which number in the millions at the time of spawning each year around February or just after Chinese New Year. Those numbers are significantly reduced as staff painstakingly sort and cull, at least three to four times until what remains are truly the princes and princesses of their types.  Ranchus like eggs with rounded backs like crescent moons; Ryukins with humps like regal marine camels; Orandas and Lionheads with well balanced and delicately formed gels;  architecturally symmetrical Telescopes; vivid red-white Tosakins with gently curled tails, and the fashion show went on, and on, and on......Be still my heart!

The word “albino” derives from the latin term albus for white.  The Miriam Webster dictionary describes the term as applying to living organisms, which exhibit deficient pigmentation, for instance, the presence of milky or translucent skin, white or colorless hair, and eyes with pink or blue irises and deep-red pupils.   While extremely rare, Tung Hoi is now successfully breeding these feats of science and genetics, with all the high quality attributes consistently found among its other specimens.  Its red-eyed yellow Orandas and Ryukin are highly sought after by hobbyists in Japan and slowly Malaysia, but they are virtually unknown in North America!  Even scientific research regarding the albino trait in goldfish is difficult to find.  But for goldfish diehards, you may wish to source and read these two articles:  Yamamoto, T. (1973) “Inheritance of albinism in the gold fish, Carassius auratus.” Jap. J. Genetics, 48, 53-64; and, Takao Kajishima, Ikuo K. Takeuchi “Ultrastructural analysis of gene interaction and melanosome differentiation in the retinal pigment cells of the albino goldfish” Journal of Experimental Zoology, Vol.200, Issue 3, 1977. Pages 349-357.  These Red-eyed friends are available now to the Fish Sempai’s clients on special request with costs beginning at $200 for a 4-5”specimen.

Red Eye Goldfish

Black & White Ryukin

Another rare species being perfected by Tung Hoi’s scientists and breeders is the Black and White Ryukin, both short and long tailed.The contrasting colours of these fish are striking and well delineated.Again, these rare masterpieces are not easily found in the North American goldfish market, but are now being made available by the Fish Sempai.

The largest Tosakin ever seen by the Fish Sempai was at the Tung Hoi farms.  Measuring approximately 7 to 8 inches in length, the specimen posted here made all others pale in comparison.  Interestingly Tung Hoi's tosakins were being housed and grown in ponds built on top of the roof of the fish packing area where they received the benefits of strong and direct sunlight.  Again, the good use of every inch of the Tung Hoi farm properties was a testament to the careful planning of its founders and management.   

Mammoth Tosakin

* Click on pictures to see a larger image

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