Before reading the full article….
The whole article is fully record the development of “Silverado” gene import to fancy strains by myself, Gary Lee (李威) with 1~2 friends for 6 years since 2015 to 2020, and many of my observation results mainly. There is no scientific experimental testing content result in this article, so all of descriptions may be fixed or corrected in the future.
Why to develop?
I love silver-white color for a long time, no matter it’s car or cloth etc., it makes people feeling simple and elegant. But when I am breeding guppies, I notice guppies are lacking of this color tone.
And most of shining scale colors guppies are yellow, green, or blue, basically are formed by Schimmelpfennig Platinum (Sc Plat.) or Japan blue. Sometimes Sc Plat. can show silver-blue or white reflection by genetics combinations, but it’s still not enough.
I saw a pure endler named El Silverado someday in 2014, it was found in Cumana, Venezuela by Philippe Voisin around 2013. There was an idea jumping to my mind suddenly, can I add the silver-white trait into fancy guppy strains to make some new strains?
I have discussed with my good bro Kimin Huang (黃啟閔) for a while around April, 2015. Then we imported few pairs El Silverado from Germany to Taiwan, I think it should be going through Glaser in that time. Then Kimin bred a moment in Kaohsiung to share to me.
When I took it at first moment, it just looks like a small shining diamond, but really small one, just about 2 cm around.
Then I picked a strong body X-linked Asian yellow double sword female to pair with him soon for F1 test. I had a first result quickly due to the beginner’s luck I suppose. I still remembered how excited I was when I saw the silver shining appearing on the lateral line of young male fish.
So I have a first guessing on this silver-white anterior body gene, it could be a Y-linked gene or autosomal dominant gene, but it should be Y-linked gene in generally.
The first batch of F1 offspring is growing very fast, showing a basic “double sword guppy” phenotype in a short time, and larger than “El Silverado” originally. So I was starting doing F2 breeding after few months’ observation and ignoring my professor, Alan S. Bias’ warning.
The F2 result without listening advice
Before talking about the warning from Alan, I have to say I am also a luck guy to show my F1 adult fish on Germany aqua magazine “AMAZONAS” through Claus Osche’s article, then on international English version also. Thanks again to Claus here for a good memory on magazine prints.
Alan gave me a lot of advices after he knew what I was doing on new gene import to fancy guppy strains. I took some advices at beginning, but some not. And the results just likes he said, some are not what I expect, some are even worst.
Because this gene is coming from a very tiny fish to import to fancy guppy breeding, if I want to meet the show level size standard, for example, IKGH standard, then the total fish length will need to be 5cm minimum. I have to keep exchanging blood, washing out “small body gene” by 3 to 5 generations at least to avoid body shrinking due pure inbreeding stage. And it may still not successful after I did those.
I made F1 inbreeding to F2 without taking advice, and I got some similar body phenotype results comparing F1, but seems body was getting smaller. Some male offspring were back to original phenotype with red bottom sword, then the red sword was extending more.
Due to inbreeding, some F2 male shows heter Asian blau on phenotype, and it’s amazing. Also I basically confirmed “Silverado” is a Y-linked gene.
Other t breeding results at 2016
Since I got some “OK” results on yellow DS, of course I would like to try others. So I paired with X-linked red double sword female and mosaic female to test breeding. All results were not bad actually.
Especially the pairing results from X-linked DS female, now you can see all those Silverado red DS at international market already. I chose to challenge yellow DS phenotype at that moment and sold out all red DS results to market due to the tank numbers limitation.
I listened Alan’s advice this time, kept doing outcrossing with “clean” X-linked yellow DS female without any Silverado blood previously for a year. The best source was Lazuli yellow DS which was easily seeing in Taiwan market at that moment.
Even some adult male DS showed some good phenotype already, I still met the barrier. The actual size was stuck in 4 to 4.5 cm around, it’s very difficult to get over it.
I tried to do more works on female to get through this barrier, trying to outcrossing with some other strains first, then choose some even stronger female and still showing DS signs on the caudal tail to use.
New fish room established at 2017
When I am looking back, I really got some balls or took a wrong medicine to quit my marketing job at high-tech industries, being a full time job professional breeder. Selling fishes for living and working on new strains at the same time. My best friend Kimin Huang and Professor Alan Bais were trying to convince me not doing this because it’s a hard work like a farmer, it’s a very difficult path, but I guess they never thought I can still persist til now? It all because of true love. If there is someone telling you breeding fishes making some easy money, they must not be good people, trust me!
My tank numbers were increasing dramatically after my fish room established. I was starting doing more pairing tests immediately. One of those tests made Silverado yellow DS body size increased successfully, but also met another new problem never happened before.
I used the DS female which was breeding with Moscow strain before, so the offspring Silverado male size was huge. Then the tail shape is really terrible due to some additional black pigments from Moscow strain, also because of the fish size increased much more. And it also carried heavy translucent scale from Moscow strain, whole body was not shining enough. I cull all of those testing results after a long time evaluation.
I got some good returns from keeping outcrossing with pure X-linked yellow DS female, the Silverado male DS full length met 5cm long finally. However, Alan still used his fish to give me another lesson: Your fish is not “thick” enough.
Of course I didn’t feel very well at that time, however when I compared with Bias bottom sword he gave to me, I realized and accepted I was still not good enough.
New challenge is coming
Even I had some improvement on the body length, there is another obviously problem to me, some areas’ breeders will focus on a point: dorsal and caudal colors matched.
In USA IFGA system, show guppies will be required matched dorsal and caudal color in a contest, but there is no rule about it in Europe IKGH shows. For a good example, Vienna emerald double sword, many people love it, it has a yellow dorsal but red DS, still no one has problem with it.
And there is a tricky part in the Silverado inheritance pattern, the anterior Silver-white part and red var. dorsal are genetic complex, they are combined together to pass to next generation, very hard to separate both.
If you are using this trait to build a red mosaic strain, it will be dorsal and caudal color matched easily, it’s not easy at all for many red mosaic stains. But I am working on yellow DS, if I made dorsal and caudal color matched succeed, it will be a more completed strain.
I need to get one male that anterior silver-white not be linked with red var. dorsal from thousands of young ones, it really need hard work and a miracle.
The miracle was happened in the end of 2017, just one Silverado male without red dorsal, I was very emotion at that moment, maybe I was finally getting the God blessing due to my hard work?
Other breeding results at 2017
I made many milestones due to the tank numbers increased, like blond Silverado appeared, also lutino, more mosaic and flag tail type.
There is another interesting testing result and discover. I tried to make a Silverado version “Galaxy” phenotype. The “Galaxy” is a phenotype that combined with Platinum and Snakeskin about 50:50 co-expression together result.It should be easy to work with in the theory, so I used one snakeskin lace DS female to give a shot, but the result is out of my expectation. Then I had another idea of “Silverado” trait from that moment, but I don’t really have time or space to do more tests until now.
“Silverado” should be a silver-white shining scales on the anterior topline of male guppy, and also white belly with in normally, sometime it will extend to the end of peduncle.
But the white belly was gone in this testing result, only the topline silver-white scales remain with some snakeskin pattern on the belly.
So I can’t stop to think maybe the full white anterior “Silverado” is still a trait that combined with two genes, it’s another genetic complex , and I just lucky enough to separated them again? I stopped this project until F2 temporary.
Starting from scratch again at 2018
I realized I can’t get more improvement on the body size of Silverado yellow DS after another year work, so I decided to rework it again from a new start. I used my exist Silverado yellow DS male to outcrossing with Bias female to get a better body shape and size.
Most of Bias’ bottom sword female are tail neutral without any modern tail form, so I will have many robust body Silverado male without any tail form, that’s the cost. I need to pair with X-linked yellow DS female back again to have new Silverado yellow DS male, it will take time. And I have several interesting phenotypes during the rework progress.
That’s why I didn’t publish Silverado DS much at 2018.
Kimin Huang’s working results
Kimin Huang was importing El Silverado with me at 2015, then working in delta development mainly in Kaohsiung. Because of some old experience and idea traps, so his progress was really slowly, but he still delivery some results finally, including Silverado HB blue delta, Silverado HB yellow delta, Silverado full red delta are all in a good level at 2018.
Impact from Japanese master breeder Masaki Hiwatari (日渡雅喜)
This one unique mosaic phenotype named “sunset” which created and defined by Masaki Hiwatari in Japan, and imported to many other mosaic strains.
When I was working hard on Silverado DS development, he was also trying to import Silverado to mosaic strain. I had Silverado sunset red mosaic from him to experience a huge different beauty from eyes, it also expands more possibility for me in the future.
Finding another way
Besides to separate Silverado white anterior body with red var. dorsal to reach the dorsal-caudal color matched goal, there is still another way to make it. Trying to import Asian blue gene to suppress red color on the dorsal, making it looks like yellow will be a consideration. But it’s not way to make a “real” yellow dorsal.
Or we can infuse yellow and red double sword together to show on the guppy male, making dorsal and caudal looks like “sunset” orange coloration, it could be a way also. I made it in this year, and I think it’s good personally.
Other breeding results at 2018
I had albino and lutino of Silverado in this year, also the combination with Stoerzbach, it looks great!
A good starting at 2019
Even I gave up Silverado Galaxy DS project in 2017~18, but there was still a secret side project going, and thanks again to Claus Osche for helping in every angle to me getting some “tool” fishes to finish the project.
Silverado Galaxy Spear
As title, I was working on it since 2017, and I had a good result at IKGH Germany CAGD pair show, won the spear class champion.
There is a huge difference with the normal blond Silverado spear on the market, you can see the beautiful complex pattern on the body and spear, and still keeping a perfect spear shape. Each male will be different combination, you can find your own unique one. That’s the fun of Galaxy phenotype.
The contribution and trophy winning of Kimin Huang
The Silverado full red delta you can see in the market, especially in India, no matter it’s grey or albino base body color, or ribbon type, they are all coming from Kimin Huang originally. After selling to India, Thailand, it becomes a new popular commercial strain. And he aslo won the second place in open class of 2019 WGC Bulgaria.
Bad luck is coming
Good luck is always running out sometime, and it happened on me this time. At the development of Silverado yellow dorsal male, I finally had a great result of male body structure and size, ready to connect back to yellow double sword, there was an unexpected accident happening…
The male was XX, not XY.
This is a rare case, but it happened. So the all offspring by pairing with X-linked yellow DS female are females….no single male. It’s a really huge hit on me. And because I have no idea if the all other males are the same problem, so I had to test one by one slowly….
Luckily Kimin Huang saved me, he took a Silverado yellow dorsal male from me was normal one which carried XY chromosomes. So I can go back to track after a half year struggle.
Other breeding results at 2019
If you understand the principle, sometime bad thing may not be a really bad thing. I realized Silverado gene can transfer from Y chromosome to X chromosome, and passing to next generation by female, however, it’s not easy to control and recognize sometimes.
Due to the XX male event, I have a lot of X-linked Silverado female for sure, then I can try to make some new phenotype that it’s impossible in the past. So I combined Silverado and Singa blue together to create a stunning phenotype.
And I also created X-linked Silverado lace DS, it’s very unique and outstanding beautiful.
2020 and future
Due to the Covid19 pandemic spreading all over the world, many of original plans are gone, and can’t go anywhere I want to visit, no show can be hosted neither, it’s really a shame. But Silverado development won’t be stopped.
Snow white delta project
This is another secret side project starting from 2017. In the guppy world you can see full black, full red, full yellow, and full blue (it’s not real a full blue actually) phenotype, but where is the full white? This is a missing part. So I want to challenge this, and so far so good after 3 more years, the future can be expected.
Other breeding results at 2020
I can finally get Silverado yellow dorsal at yellow DS stable, and lutino Silverado DS also overcomes the small body issue. Silverado Galaxy spear is getting better and showing more attracting phenotype now.
If you pay attention on international breeding and market, you can see more and more breeders working on Silverado strains development, no matter it’s delta type or even combined with koi. I believe there will be even more strains coming out in the next 10 years. There is a Silverado emerald green bottom sword combined by young breeder Terry Lee, it could be a new popular bottom sword strain in the future, who knows? Hope Silverado strains can be an important part of top class guppy show or commercial market.
Gary Lee, 李威, Taipei, Taiwan (R.O.C.)
Guppy Breeder, Guppy Master Project Owner & Founder. Mailing address: No. 250, Sec. 7, Civic Blvd., Nangang Dist., Taipei City 115, Taiwan (R.O.C.) email@example.com
© Gary Lee, 李威 All photos & text by author unless otherwise indicated. Permission granted for nonprofit reproduction or duplication of photos and text with proper credit for learning purposes only.