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Record Keeping

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Record Keeping

Post  Pterophyllum on Sun 20 May 2012, 23:07

What records do you keep? and how do you keep them?

When I first started back with breeding angels in 2008 record keeping seemed almost pointless, I could remember which fish came from which parents, or simply work it out on the basis of if it's a marble, then it's parents were the marble pair. 4 1/2 years on, and if I hadn't bothered to keep records I wouldn't have a hope of unravelling the complex inter-relationships between my different fish. For example I was thinking about possibly pairing one of my blue marbles (parents "Winston" and "Bling") with youngsters from a different pair ("Balaclava" and "Gonzales") with the help of my breeding records I was able to draw up the following family tree...



...something I would never have managed without the help of my written records!

At present I primarily use excel to keep records.
I have a page for each fish that I keep for breeding, each fish is given a name, and code number. In addition I note where and when I obtained it, or where it's a fish I bred noting when it was born, who it's parents were and which batch it came from. I also list it's known and suspected genetics and try to include developmental photos.

Each batch of fish also gets it's own page and code number with details of when laid, who the parents were etc. I try to include representative photos too.

finally I have an "events" page where I record which fish have been moved where. You'd think with only a dozen tanks I'd be able to remember that myself, but it's surprising how easy it is to become confused over which koi in which tank came from which set of parents!

This record keeping can be tedious, but it does throw up some interesting and useful surprises, for examples, some batches where I've been getting frustrated by their slow rate of growth, have proven to be a month or so younger than I imagined when I checked the records!

In addition I also have one sheet which gives me a family tree for all of my fish. This is really useful when it comes to working out which fish to pair together.

I did download a free family tree program (intended for tracing your ancestors) which looks like it could be another good way of keeping track of things. But I haven't had time to transfer all the information into it.

What I'd really like is a specific broodstock management program that could automatically calculate inbreeding coeficients both of individual fish, and for potential pairings. In addition I'd like it to have an in built genetic calculator. If anyone either comes across such a program, or fancies developing one, please let me know!

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Re: Record Keeping

Post  Ghipsi on Mon 21 May 2012, 00:21

Guilty Embarassed , I don't keep records but now is the time to start before I start to forgett any more Embarassed
Lisa

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Re: Record Keeping

Post  endlessendlers on Mon 21 May 2012, 05:59

With only two breeding females and one male I don't have to keep records as yet. I merely write down the parents and the date they spawned. With another 8 growing out, I may have to keep more detailed records, but I hadn't really thought about it until now. I can see the more pairs you have and sibling crosses etc it will be more complicated. I hope you find your program ro make things a little easier. Perhaps you should post this on TAFII. I'm sure one of the bigger breeders on there would have some suggestions?
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Re: Record Keeping

Post  baldyman on Mon 21 May 2012, 20:35

Records.
I thought they went out when CDs were invented.
Really though i know i should but but i dont bother. I like the element of surprise as to what i get. Dont get me wrong i can use the genetic calculator etc so have some idea of what to expect.
My real passion is breeding (not just angels). I get my kicks from getting a group of fish watch them form pairs and hopfully produce fry. I also enjoy introducing wild genes into over interbread domestic strains to replace vigour etc.
Dave
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Re: Record Keeping

Post  Pterophyllum on Mon 21 May 2012, 22:37

I also enjoy introducing wild genes into over interbread domestic strains to replace vigour etc.
That's one good reason why you should keep records! Without records it's very easy to inadvertently inbreed without noticing!....

Working out the degree of inbreeding involves looking at all the different links between 1 parent and the other, so in the family tree in my first post, to work out the degree of inbreeding which would result from breeding a blue marble from line one with one from line two, I need to trace all the links between those two fish. For example the two closest links are
Blue marble line 1 - Winston - Actinic - Balaclava - Blue Marble line 2
and
Blue marble line 1 - Winston - Blue Bottle - Balaclava - Blue Marble line 2
Together those 2 "chains" contribute 6.25% to the coefficient of inbreeding; for comparison a sibling x sibling cross results in an inbreeding coefficient of 25%.
However these two aren't the only "chains"
Long ones like:-
Blue marble line 1 - Bling - Smokey Josie - Joni - Dusty - Haze - Anita - Gonzales - Blue Marble line 2
amount to less than 0.2% inbreeding and are almost not worth worrying about
Whilst medium length chains :-
Blue marble line 1 - Bling - Blue Beard - Flake - Actinic - Balaclava - Blue Marble line 2
contribute just under 0.8% to the inbreeding coefficient, on their own not very significant, but if there are enough of them, it can have a significant impact.
In truth, with a family tree as complex as this one, it's very hard to make sure you haven't missed out any of the "chains", but I think(!) there are 14 x 9 link chains, 1 x 7 link chain (Blue marble line 1 - Bling - Blue Beard - Flake - Actinic - Balaclava - Blue Marble line 2) and two 5 link chains giving an inbreeding coefficient of 9.765625%.

At this stage I'm sure most people reading this are thinking "why bother", and "wouldn't watching paint dry be more interesting?"
The simple answer is that too much inbreeding, especially when it's haphazard, uncontrolled and unwitting can result in weak, disease prone, undersized and generally poor quality fish. Used correctly, inbreeding can be a very useful and important tool for "fixing" a desired charicteristic or gene combination, and it can be used to flush out harmful (deleterious) genes from a breeding line. But it should be used with care and understanding, and the first step in that process is making sure you know which parents produced which offspring!





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no time to keep

Post  TONY,S ANGELS on Tue 22 May 2012, 09:02


I can see that keeping records is a very good thing, but, i am 100% with dave i
like to be surprised ( or not ).
but if your like me all your time is spent doing water changes on some 20 odd pairs
there is no time left for such things as record keeping.
if i get 30 minutes spare i would like to sit down in the fish house to enjoy the fish.
as you can guess i do not like paper work at all.
cheers Tony


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Re: Record Keeping

Post  Pterophyllum on Tue 22 May 2012, 10:52

Hi Tony
i do not like paper work at all.
You'll probably be surprised to learn that I don't either!

i like to be surprised ( or not ).
I like surprises too, but if it's a nice surprise I usually like to make it happen again, and that's where the record keeping helps!

That said, it would be a pretty dull world if we all did things exactly the same way!

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angel mix

Post  TONY,S ANGELS on Tue 22 May 2012, 11:42

Hi Pterophyllum
I can agree totaly with you, and what you just said is right, i my self have just had some very promesing nice looking young, but becouse there were three small broods
from young pairs i put them all with one pair. to get the other two pairs breeding
again the problem now is which pair gave me the nice ones.
cheers Tony
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Re: Record Keeping

Post  Pterophyllum on Fri 25 May 2012, 15:35

the problem now is which pair gave me the nice ones.
I think we've all been there on occations, even those of us who keep records!

But sometimes the record keeping can help! I've just put these two together as a pair, the male, behind, is my avitar. Like the male, the female has red tipped extensions to her dorsal fin and long trailing extensions to her anal fin. Over all they looked so similar I assumed they were pretty closely related. However when I checked my records, not only did I discover that that they are barely related at all (the only common ancestor being her great grand mother is his grand mother) I also discovered that her parents were a pair I'd completely forgotten about!

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