My Search for The Red Angelfish

by Dave Hlasnick  

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1984- The majority of Koi angels being offered for sale were predominately white, with varying amounts of marbling and a few yellow/orange dots on the crown or snout. The "Angel Plague" (virus), virtually stopped the importation of angels from Europe and Asia. Farm raised Florida fish seldom lived more than a few days in local shops. It was at this time that I began to concentrate on raising Koi, which would be offered for sale to shops in western New York and southern Ontario, Canada.

1985- Serious work began on the development of color in the Gold Marble and Gold Marble Blushing. The best available Gold Marble stock was acquired and line bred for color.

1986- My best GM's were crossed into our original Blushing stock. The resulting Stripeless Gold Marbles produced the foundation for what was my Extended Color Koi angel line.

Dec.1987- Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine carried a half page advertisement for "Koi Angels". The Gold Marble Blushing had a new name!

1987-1994- During this period a partnership was formed between myself, and Steve Rybicki.  We created Angels Plus and ran over 400 tanks while doing every conceivable angelfish cross. Sales were wholesale, retail, and mail order. During the partnership and after I left the business, the goal of developing the Koi angel never diminished.

1987- In order to see how color genes would react to outcrosses. Our stock was crossed to a number of different color varieties. Gold (g/g) and Gold Marble (Gm/Gm) were first, followed by Blue Blushing (+/+-S/S), Silver Ghost (+/+-S/+), Black Ghost (D/+-S/+), and Black Blushing (D/g-S/S). Many of the resulting fry showed improvement in the amount of orange on the crown. One cross, Koi x Blue Blushing (Gm/Gm x +/g-S/S), resulted in two exceptional young fish, one veil and one standard.. The two would grow to be the foundation males for future lines. The Koi male pictured to the left was over four years old when finally photographed. He is nothing special by today's standards, but in 1987 he was. There was nothing like him.

1987-1990-During this time period, we worked with these fish by splitting them into two separate lines. Line 1C used the Veil male as its foundation, while Line 2C came from the Standard male. Both Koi lines were selectively bred and sold both locally (to retail pet shops) and by mail order. We were happy with the small improvements to the overall phenotypes. The biggest stride, however, was to the percentage of high quality fry in each spawn. During the early stages of line development, a very large number of fry were primarily white and black. By the end of the 1980's almost all fish in any given spawn showed some degree of orange coloring.

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