Albino Blue Topaz male
When trying to create new varieties in your fishroom, it helps to know what genes are there and how they work. The Asian Blau gene is one of those that I introduced through my line of Albino Blue Topaz. Let’s take a look at this mutation.
I’ve stated in past articles that it’s important to know your lines. The Albino Blue Topaz line is, at it’s base, a Y-linked Half-black Red. The albino and Asian Blau genes have been incorportated into the genotype to produce a new variety. The Neon Blue, a Y-linked HB Red with the Asian Blau mutation, was first produced in a Singapore fish farm. From then, the AB gene has been used to create many new varieties such as the Albino Blue Topaz and Blue Grass.
Let’s look specifically at what this gene is and how it works. The Asian Blau gene is a modifier that acts differently in its heterozygous and homozygous states. First, the AB gene is dominant. In its heterozygous form it converts red color cells to an icy, metallic blue. The reflectivity makes getting a good picture extremely difficult. In its homozygous form, the AB gene affects red and yellow color cells, allowing the black pigment in the skin to be seen through the reflective blue color layer. These fish have a gun-metal blue body color and ragged finnage. They also tend to be genetically weaker and smaller than their siblings. I tend to cull males, but females can be used for outcrosses to Red males to produce 100% Blues. This is a good way to introduce the Asian Blau gene to other Red lines. An interesting note about homozygous albino Asian Blaus. Since there is no black pigment in albino fish, and the red and yellow color cells have been affected, the body is a transluscent white. Again, they are genetically weaker and smaller, but still a nice fish to work with.
In my fishroom, my Albino Blue Topaz will be used to create two new varieties. I’m breeding an Albino Blue Topaz male with a gold-bodied Red Moscow female. This will produce Y-linked HB Reds and Neon Blues (Y-linked HB Red with the AB gene). A Neon Blue male will then be bred back to a gold Red Moscow female. Keeping only gold-bodied fry will remove the albino from the mix. Using these same two lines, I’m breeding a gold Red Moscow male with ABT females. I hope to get gray-bodied Red Moscows and solidly colored, icy Blue Moscows. These Blue Neon Moscow males will be bred back to gold Red Moscow females. Keeping gold-bodied fry will, again, remove the albino gene.
You will never produce a true breeding line utilizing the Asian Blau gene. That’s because you won’t produce 80%+ identical males. Mating heterozygous AB fish will produce 25% Reds, 50% Blue blaus, and 25% Asian Blaus. Knowing how this mutation works will allow you to produce a line that is uniquely your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment. If you’re not happy with your resulting fish, you can breed the gene out by using only your Red fish. Best of luck!