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Where Do You Get Good Breeding Stock

By Jim Gourlie

Pssssst! Hey Buddy! Do you know where I can get some AAA #1 quality breeding stock? Well, the answer to that question be as close as your own club members. Yes, it is quite possible that some of your own fellow club members may have some quality breeding stock available to you. GAGC has a list of our members stock and the lines they are currently working with.

If you wish to look outside your club, then the IFGA Bulletin's Clearing House page will be of great help to you. The Clearing House is up dated every three months to stay current. It is a list of breeders who have fish available for the hobbyist. Each breeder gives the lines of fish they currently have, and their addresses and phone numbers (usually), as well. It is a great way to find the breeding stock you're looking for. Another way to find good breeding stock is to attend an IFGA sponsored show, You will find there are breeders who are showing fish, but, for whatever reason, are not listed in the Clearing House. Speak with them. Take a chance and bid on some of these breeder stock in the fish auction. If that specific breeder does not have fish in the auction, you may want to strike up a conversation with him or her and see if they would pan with some of their breeding stock.

One thing I DO NOT SUGGEST is buying the culls from a breeder's line. Why try to reinvent the wheel by buying inferior fish. Remember, these fish are just that, CULLS. One sure way to make more work is to buy culls. Buying these fish could send a breeding program back 12 to 18 months OF never even pan out.

I know of no reputable breeders who would sell you culls to start your breeding program. At best, culls are good as ornamental fish. Please don't try and go the "cheap" way. Buy good show quality stock. It will pay you big dividends in the future.

Whether you are buying from a club member, from a Clearing House listed breeder, or a breeder you met at a show, it is wise to ask a few questions before you buy. Consider a few of the following thoughts when purchasing show breeding stock:

1. How long has the breeder had the specific line you wont to buy?
2. Has the breeder ever consistently won with that strain or line?
3. Has the breeder won in the last show year?
4. Are you, in fact, buying from a winning line or a related line? Note: related lines can be helpful in maintaining your breeding program?
5. How true does the line breed? Will you get a 80% to 90% true breeding rate or do they throw only 25% of the fish that you are specifically looking for.
6. Does the breeder offer both virgin and hit females?
7. What is the lineage history of the fish? Where did these fish originate from. If possible, see if the breeder will tell you what other lines were crossed into the fish to maintain the line.
8. Do the fish generally show the same color in most water or light conditions? Example: Are they Green fish that turn deep blue in a different pH or look definitely green under "cool light", but under "soft light" look gray.
9.Does the breeder have a "good" reputation? A little investigation can go a long way in buying quality stock.
10. Does the breeder guarantee the fish will be disease free and delivered live when shipped to you?

"Buyer Beware" may be a thing to remember. But the best way to ensure you purchase quality breeding stock is to do your homework and ask questions.

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