The Egg-fish: Father of our Fancy Golds
Submitted by Bubblesowner.
The gg-fishor "dan yu", goes back about 800 years in the history of goldfish breeding in China. It is believed to be the ancestral link of today' Celestials, Ranchus and Lionheads.
The earliest documented sighting of an Egg-fish was recorded in 1726 by Jiang Ting Xi in the book 'The chapter of Fowls and Insects, Collection and contemporary books with illustrations'. An illustration of a goldfish without dorsal fins can be found within.
The Egg-fish has no dorsal fin. I have read conflicting reports of them also lacking anal fins. Their bodies are short and egg-shaped, and all of their fins with the exception of the caudal fin are small. There are two classifications the Egg-fish fall under due to the varying lengths of their tails; the short-tail ('egged') and long-tail ('phoenix'). High quality Egg-fish will display a smooth arch-shaped back, the highest point of which should be at the center of the backbone.
An aquarium called the 'Goldfish Pagonda' in Hong Kong has dedicated itself to the breeding and showing of Chinese goldfish. They search for good specimens of rare breeds in attempts to help the population of that particular breed grow.
One of the first fish they decided to work with was the most rare variety within the Egg-fish family: the Blue Egg Phoenix. This particular strain is most likely a more recent addition to the Egg-fish family line.
The Egg-fish is not a very well known fish. Breeders have had a hard time maintaining an adequate blood line, and with the ever-changing tastes of goldfish fanciers, they have become extremely rare in China.
In 1996 a trade was arranged. The Goldfish Pagonda sent eighteen Blue Egg Phoenixes to the Goldfish Society of America. The Goldfish Society of America, in turn, sent around the same amount of Blue Veiltails back to them. The Blue Egg Phoenixes ended up finding homes with senior members of the Goldfish Society of America.
They are slow spawners, but a good breeding base has begun. According to the Goldfish Society of America, the US now has numerous active breeders working with the Blue Egg Phoenix. Perhaps we'll see them available for purchase within the next few years!
You can find other varieties of Egg-fish for sale now, such as the red and white celestial-eyed Egg-fish with 'pompons' or 'narial bouquets' found at Sanyou Goldfish, of sanyou-goldfish.