View Full Version : Bulgarian Green Variations

09-21-2015, 09:41 AM
Late last year Raiko sent a shipment of Bulgarian greens to the UK. These were either fish that were 50% Manacapuru blood, or bg combined with Philippine blue. At this stage I am yet to breed from these particular fish so my assumptions on their genetics are based purely on their observed phenotypes, however, as I breed from these fish I will update this thread based on my observations :-

I believe this to be one of the 50% manacapuru fish and I'm guessing that it's D/+ - bg/bg


by contrast I believe this is a D/D - bg/bg

Next what I believe to be D/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg

and finally, what I believe to be D/D - pb/pb - bg/bg


One thing which these photos clearly demonstrate, bg clearly offers potential for new phenotypes beyond the "classic" "seal point".

09-21-2015, 07:42 PM
Great photos! I am amazed at how different your fish are from those I've received. Would never have guessed they are of the same two genetic crosses (blue or Manacupuru). Best of luck breeding them!

09-23-2015, 05:33 PM
Dena, it maybe just photographic technique. But definitely nice fish again, Rob.

11-23-2015, 09:13 PM
Here are mine.

Bulgarian seal point bg/bg, S/+

Bulgarian green silver bg/bg, +/+

The possible pair

12-01-2015, 08:20 AM
Here are mine.

Bulgarian seal point bg/bg, S/+

Bulgarian green silver bg/bg, +/+

The possible pair

Since I can't seem to edit post. After digging and comparing I believe these to be D/D - bg and D/+ - bg possible hidden blue based on the group they came in with.

02-03-2017, 02:16 PM
Here we are in 2017 and Progress on the Bulgarian Geen Front has been slow....

Firstly I paired what I believed was a D/D - pb/pb - bg/bg male with a female S/+ - V/+ - pb/pb
This pairing resulted in just 3 surviving fish, all I believe pinoys and all female.

Secondly I paired what I believed was a D/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg female with a male koi which I knew carried a pb gene. As expected I got a mixture of blue, silver, black & pinoy phenotypes. A slightly better success rate than the previous batch with 30 or so survivors. i didn't carry out phenotype counts, but the mix of blue to non blue seems to be approx 50:50 which suggests that I was correct in my assessment of the female.

Next I paired 2 of the females from the first batch with different males, the one female was paired to a blue smokey and produced a decent batch of all blue & pinoy offspring, proving that she is definitely a pinoy.
Her sister, the only veiltail survivor was also paired to a blue individual, but only one individual survived, a blue zebra. I am confident this individual is a pinoy, but cannot say so with 100% certainty. I can say she's a beautiful fish, as she won last year's photo competition http://www.theangelfishsociety.org/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=466&title=232-03&cat=524
I have now paired this same female with a black male from the second pairing

I think the pairing is thus D/(g or possibly Gm) - S/+ - +/+ - +/pb - +/dg x D/+ - +/+ - V/+ - pb/pb - +/dg
Obviously there are going to be an awful lot of genotypes from this pairing, but two of the things I'm hoping for is :-
1. veiltail Bulgarian Greens (I'm interested to see how the bg expresses on the longer veiltail fins.
2. a mix of D/D, D/(g or Gm), D/+ and +/(g or Gm) Bulgarian Greens, in both pb/pb and +/pb combinations. I'm hoping that seeing all produced from the same parents will make it easier to distinguish between the different types.

It's early days, they've only been free swimming for 3 days, but so far it appears to be a substantial batch and the parents are doing exceptionally well :-

At this stage there's not much that can be said about the pigmentation of the youngsters other than there appears to be a roughly 50:50 mix of darker & lighter ones.
In theory D/+ X D/g should produce 75% Dark, but assuming 25% of those are Bulgarian greens and pheotypically lighter than their siblings, that gives and expected ratio of 56.25: 43.75 which is near what I think I'm observing.

Fingers crossed that these continue to thrive, I will update in due course.

02-03-2017, 03:18 PM
Great update! Glad you are making progress.

My efforts have stalled out as well. Suffered many losses last summer due to water issues. Lost my DD x Manacapuru BG pair sadly. But was able to save a handful of their offspring as well as both pb/pb x bg/bg pairs.

While both Blue BG pairs survived, they both stopped spawning. Spent last fall trying to improve their health. Started spawning again but no survivors. Then finally success in January with a sizeable spawn. But this spawn suddenly died out at 2 weeks free swimming. And I may have 20 survivors. Fingers crossed they survive and I can get more spawns from this pair.

I also have 2 new Manacapuru BG angels. They should be maturing soon. Hoping one is a female I can pair with my male Manacapuru BG that is currently unpaired.

As I know the first Manacapuru BG carried pb, I plan on doing tests with some type of pb angels to determine if I have one without pb. If I'm so lucky, can then work to isolate bg through the Manacapuru line as well as continuing to work toward adding D to the other line I started to get to a true BSP.

One thing I find amazing is how much green I'm getting on the DD outcrosses. In fact most of them also show the existence of the Streaked gene. A gene I haven't worked with. So should be fun and interesting!




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02-03-2017, 04:35 PM
Some of those look like marbles rather than Darks, presumably the effect of the streaked gene.

02-03-2017, 08:39 PM
Some of those look like marbles rather than Darks, presumably the effect of the streaked gene.
Yep. That's what was throwing me! I had a proven DD and there was no marbling on the Manacapuru BG. That one really had me scratching my head.

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03-10-2017, 03:23 PM
Time for an update.
sorry for the quality of some of the photos which are moderate at best, with the exception of the first two, all were taken today.

Generally I'm very pleased with the progress of this batch, with very few losses thus far. The parents did an excellent job, so I left them with the youngsters until 22nd February, at which point the youngsters had been free swimming for just over 3 weeks, these photos were taken on their last day together :-
http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc464/Pscalare/IMG_5174_zpseauc913z.jpg http://i1213.photobucket.com/albums/cc464/Pscalare/IMG_5177_zpsbjp6wwcv.jpg

Generally growth has been good, but look closely at the photos above and you'll see that there is a lot of variation and a good few runts (many, but not all, of these are dark and therefore presumably black or double dark, which have a reputation for slow growth).

Initially the parents were housed in one half of an approx. 40 imperial gallon (roughly 50 US gallons) aquarium. When the youngsters went free swimming, I removed the pair from the other side as I was concerned that some babies might slip through. To avoid stressing the pair, I left the partition in place, and in fact, the partition proved baby proof. When I removed the parents, I decided to try to separate the larger youngsters to the other side of the partition, but after a couple of weeks I decided to remove the partition and give them all free range of the tank.

Since my initial post I've realised that the male also carried a smokey gene. I'm still undecided on whether he carries a gold or gold marble gene, but suspect the latter as I've seen a couple of fry who appear to have some marbling, but at this at this stage I can't be sure.

What has been puzzling me is that there appear to be a number of golden individuals :-


Whilst others are variations on silver, some starting to show smokey:-

This puzzled me, as it shouldn't be possible to get black, gold and silver from 2 parent fish where each has a dark gene. However some of these are showing hints of black in the fins & I suspect these are the BSP's. Time will hopefully tell.

In the mean time, here are some more photos showing the range of phenotypes I'm going to have to sort through...


this one is obviously pb/pb, but what else besides?:-

Really not sure about this next one, but again, definitely homozygous for pb.

Hopefully in another month or so I will have a clearer picture of what's what. By that stage I'll probably have had to split them into 2 tanks, so I may have had the opportunity to do a few phenotype counts as well. I must say I'm not looking forward to the counting part!

03-10-2017, 07:23 PM
Nice update. Love how detailed your photos are!

03-11-2017, 04:55 AM
I've noticed that many of the bg, and especially the seal points, acquire the swept back, hooked?, dorsal.....at what stage does this develop ?...

03-11-2017, 09:23 AM
As this is my first batch which should produce some bg/bg fish, the best I can offer is, "watch this space".

But beyond that I'm not entirely clear what you're describing, do you have a photo of a fish with that trait?

03-12-2017, 04:41 AM
As this is my first batch which should produce some bg/bg fish, the best I can offer is, "watch this space".

But beyond that I'm not entirely clear what you're describing, do you have a photo of a fish with that trait?


03-12-2017, 11:39 AM
I've not noticed that bg's are particularly prone to that, but I would regard it as a flaw and therefore not something that I would try to breed for.
My suspicion is that it's environmentally, rather than genetically influenced, but that said, have noticed that some slight dorsal kinks and bends do seem to go down the generations, so these days, I pay particular attention to fin irregularities when selecting potential breeders.

04-25-2017, 04:40 PM
Time for an update, about a month ago I split the batch between two tanks, approximately half were left in their original aquarium, whilst the others (almost all darks of one variety or another were moved into the tank below. I reasoned that splitting the darks from the rest would make the eventual phenotype counts a bit easier. however, it's now getting to the point where I'm going to have to thin numbers further and move some to a third tank!

not the best photo, but it gives an idea of size & numbers, the tanks being 30" x 18" x 18"


some of the young clearly have inherited a gold marble gene from their father :-

Assuming that Raiko is correct and bg is due to a new single gene, I now have a clear idea of the genetics of the parents :-

Male D/Gm - S/+ - +/+ - Sm/+ - +/pb - +/bg
Female D/+ - +/+ - V/+ - +/+ - pb/pb* - +/bg

The first thing to note is I have a phenomenal number of potential genotypes/phenotypes and sorting them all out is going to be one heck of a job.

to give an idea, here's a photo of some of the fish in the top tank

and some in the tank below :-


None the less I think I'm managing to ID some of them

This I think is D/+ - S/+ - pb/pb -bg/bg

there are also some which I suspect are D/D - bg/bg and were the name "chocolate" not already taken, that's the name I'd choose to give them, these are a mid brown, some have and some don't have stripes, I suspect those without stripes are either S/+ or Sm/+ or both. Some also show signs of pb. For convenience I'm referring to these "Cocoa angels". Since it shows the tail band I guess this must be D/D - S/+ - bg/bg

The colours on all these photos are reasonably true to life, the photo below includes several of these "cocoa" angels, the one bottom left appears to be D/D - S/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg whilst the one directly behind it looks to be D/D - bg/bg

The lighter coloured fish are harder to be sure but I think the fish at the front is Gm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg, but what of the other two.


As might be expected with such a varied genetic mix, there is considerable variation in growth, some of the darker fish remain very small, and in the last month I've lost about a dozen runts all obviously either D/D or D/g judging by the intensity of their pigmentation.


In general the Bulgarian greens that I've been able to identify seem to be slightly slower growing than many of their siblings, so next split I will attempt to pick those from the rest. In general however growth rate is reasonable, and there seem to be be few health issues/deformities at this stage. I have one smokey veil which appears to have a mild notch deformity behind it's head, and the odd mild fin deformity, but nothing serious.

Without having done accurate counts, what follows is based on my general observations, but it's pretty striking. As you can probably tell from the top photo I have probably in the region of 150 - 200 fish in this batch, in theory this should mean that I have 75 - 100 veiltails. It should also mean that I have somewhere in the region of 35 - 50 Bulgarian greens, and I would guess that I've been able to identify a good half of them. In theory that should mean that there are 20 or so veiltail Bulgarian greens, but so far I've been able to spot just 2. Statistically this number would be highly significant, and would strongly suggest that bg is fairly closely linked to the veiltail gene. If this proves to be the case since no other cases of gene linkage have been shown in angels, it will immediately show that bg is at it's own unique locus. However it requires a careful phenotype count and statistical analysis to be sure.
An alternative possibility would be that a disproportionate number of veiltail Bulgarian greens died early in development. Careful analysis of the numbers may yet prove this to be the case, but in the meantime, I'd strongly advise anyone working with this gene to pay particular attention to it's interaction with veiltail.

more in a month or so!

07-04-2017, 10:09 AM
Time for an update, as I have now completed the final phenotype count.

Before I start a quick summary of the story so far.
I mated two fish which both carried the Bulgarian green gene. the parents were as follows :-

Male D/Gm - S/+ - +/+ - Sm/+ - +/pb - +/bg
Female D/+ - +/+ - V/+ - +/+ - pb/pb - +/bg

and they produced a substantial spawn which went free swimming just over 5 months ago. Over the last few months I have taken some of the non Bulgarian Greens to my shop, and have counted phenotypes of those sold. I have also culled a significant number of runts (just under 50), most of which were simply not growing - the majority of these were black, probably double dark, veiltails. There have also been a small number of deaths again mostly blacks, probably double darks. I Have kept phenotype records for those casualties & sold. Today I carried out the final count of the remaining individuals.

Clearly this pairing could potentially produce a phenomenal number of different phenotypes, so in the interests of my sanity I haven't attempted to identify all of them.

1. I made no attempt to distinguish between ghost (S/+) & non ghost (+/+) individuals, not least because the banding on some of the non ghost silver & blue types wasn't particularly strong to start with, and faded as soon as I put a net into the tanks to sort them!
2. I have made no attempt to distinguish between pinoy & normal black individuals. Although there were many that I could clearly identify as pinoys, I wasn't confident that I could identify them all. Instead I have classed them as either "dark" or "light blacks". In theory Dark should be D/D or D/Gm individuals whilst lights should be D/+. However the presence of smokey, stripeless and Philippine blue mean that I am not 100% confident of all my attributions. There are also a large number (44) where I have classed them as "not known", these are fish that either died or were culled when too small to categorise, but in most cases are probably either D/D or D/Gm.
3. I have classed the Bulgarian greens as either "Olives", "BSP's" or "Whites", as with the blacks I have made no attempt to distinguish between blue and non blue phenotypes, as although many of them were clearly homozygous for pb, trying to sort them on that basis was simply too tricky. -
My observations so far support Raiko's observation that the bg gene removes body pigment, but that darker the body of a fish would be without the bg gene present, the darker it's body will be with the bg gene present.
Initially I thought that the "olives" would correspond to D/D - bg/bg phenotypes, the "whites" to Gm/+ individuals and the "BSP's" to D/+ and D/Gm individuals. However looking at the numbers it seems more likely that Olive's include both D/D and D/Gm individuals. Categorisation is further complicated by the presence of blue, smokey, stripeless and the fact that when stressed (such as when someone is trying to catch and count them) these fish seem to darken.
Finally it's worth noting that depending on mood, it can be very difficult to distinguish between blue ghosts Gm/+ - S/+ - pb/pb and "whites". Indeed there is one fish that I have excluded from the table below as I can't decide if it's Gm/+ - S/+ - V/+ - pb/pb or Gm/+ - S/+ - V/+ - bg/bg or Gm/+ - S/+ - V/+ - pb/pb- bg/bg, my guess is the first.
In short, please treat these figures with a degree of caution :-


Bulgarian Greens

Non blacks

Not known


Non Blue
Non blue



Standard fin

Not known



Grand total

Bulgarian Greens

Non blacks

One thing which stands out immediately is the almost complete absence of Veiltail Bulgarian Greens, just 1 out of 64 fish (or possibly 2 out of 65 if the one uncounted is included).
One possible explanation would be if there was a disproportionate number of casualties amongst the veiltail Bulgarian Greens, however the number of veiltails overall is, amazingly, exactly 50% (when the one uncounted fish is included).
The proportion of bg fish is slightly below expectations a fraction over 20% compared with the expected 25%, but not enough to suggest a massive die off of bg veiltails.

This pairing should produce 75% black fish, but 25% of those would also be homozygous for bg, which gives a predicted percentage of 56.25% light or dark blacks. The actual observed percentage is 54.72%, but interesting almost 2/3rds of these 66.26% are veiltails. Similarly the percentage of non black veiltails is 54.72%

On the basis of this evidence it therefore seems highly probable that the bg locus is closely linked to the veiltail locus. As the female parent's veiltail gene came from her non bg mother, in this case the veiltail gene appears to be linked to the wildtype allele of bg. As no other known mutation is known to show linkage to veiltail, it's reasonable to conclude that bg occupies a new locus closely linked to the veiltail locus. Obviously further testing is required to verify this.

I intend to try to obtain a second batch from this pair and see if I have a similar scarcity of veiltail bg's.
I also hope to raise the one bg veiltail and pair it to a standard fin fish that's het. for bg. I would expect to get 50:50 ratio of veiltail to standard fin in both bg and non bg offspring. I then propose mating one of the non bg veiltail offspring to a bg/bg partner, and would expect to see mostly Bulgarian greens amongst their veiltail offspring. A long process, but it should prove the linkage.

07-05-2017, 08:41 AM
Further to yesterday's post, I thought it would be helpful to provide photos of the different bg phenotypes that I defined as "white", "BSP" & "Olive". Unfortunately taking photos that accurately reflect the colours is rather tricky, but here goes:-

"White" first of all :-
These are the Gm/+ individuals, some also have smokey and or stripeless.
With these, it's fairly easy to distinguish between the Philippine blues and those that aren't. Raiko has previously used the name "New Platinum" for the combination (Gm/+ or +/g) - pb/pb - bg/bg and it's easy to see why. The most obvious difference being that these fish have red eyes :-


The extent to which the black markings from the Gm gene are expressed can vary, and unusually the fish can fade or lighten them with mood, something not normally seen with Gm. The next three photos show this variation in a fish that also carries smokey, and the smokey pattern can just be discerned if you look closely :-

This I believe may possibly be the only veiltail Bulgarian Green in existence, it too is Gm/+, I don't think it has smokey.

And this is the other possible veiltail, but I'm reasonably confident that it's a blue ghost, the eye stripe being a big giveaway that I couldn't see when I was sorting them yesterday.

If Gm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg fish look like platinums, it's perhaps not too surprising that Gm/+ - bg/bg fish look like golds, again with red eyes.

With this next fish you can just see the faint shadow of it's smokey pattern.

07-05-2017, 08:55 AM
Next the "BSP's"
It's not so easy to tell the "blues" from the "non blues" with these, but as with the "whites" those that are homozygous for pb seem to be brighter and whiter, whilst the non pb individuals tend to be yellower, I suspect I may have classed many of the latter as "olives" when doing my phenotype count, not least because the darkness of the fish varies with mood.
Compared to the "Whites" the most obvious difference is the characteristic black dorsal, and to a lesser extent anal fins.

I suspect this first one, and certainly the second and third photos depict D/Gm - pb/pb - bg/bg fish

07-05-2017, 09:16 AM
Finally "Olives"
These are probably the most varied group and hardest to be certain on ID. Any ID's should be taken with a pinch of salt until I've had chance to do more test crosses.
Blues tend to be more metallic and greyer in appearance, whist non blues are much browner. Banding pattern is often partially expressed but can be faded with mood. Smokey seem to make the overall appearance darker. These also seem to be slower growing than their lighter pigmented siblings. Apologies for the quality of some of these photos, but I thought it better to post poor photos which accurately depict the colours than crisper photos which often don't, exposure and position of flash can often make these fish appear much darker or lighter than they do in the flesh.

top fish is a blue "white" the fish directly below it a blue "olive"

A blue olive almost certainly smokey

Not sure about this one, the blue speckles suggest blue, but the brown body suggests otherwise

This is one I classed as "Olive" with a "gold white" behind, but now I'm not so sure

this is a more obvious non blue olive

Finally one of my favourite although still rather small, and viewed at a different angle very dark so I suspect D/D - Sm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg

07-05-2017, 09:21 AM
Very finally Fins :-

Mugwump asked

I've noticed that many of the bg, and especially the seal points, acquire the swept back, hooked?, dorsal.....at what stage does this develop ?...

I have seen a certain amount of these, but haven't done a specific count, however the photos in the previous post hopefully show that the majority of these fish haven't developed the trait. Also, many of the fish that did develop it weren't Bulgarian Greens, so I'm inclined to suspect that it's not a trait specifically linked to or caused by the gene.

07-14-2017, 12:57 PM
Thanks for the reply.....

01-27-2018, 04:21 PM
A new batch....

Father is about a year old from the previous documented batch.
mother is the sister of his mother.

At this stage I'm guessing that father is D/(Gm or possibly +) - (S or +)/+ - Sm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg
Mother is D/+ - S/+ - pb/pb - +/bg

If all goes to plan, and they only went free swimming this morning, I should have a clearer idea of their parent's genetics in a couple of months.

02-10-2018, 04:50 PM
Parent's are doing a good job, and the babies are growing well....


02-18-2018, 05:37 PM
Another week and the tank was starting to look rather crowded, so although the parents were still doing a good job, I thought it best to remove them today, but not before I took these photos...

As you can see the babies are growing well, but sadly there's no sign of any blushing ones, so Dad obviously doesn't carry a stripeless gene.

02-19-2018, 02:11 PM
As usual, your shots are cozy and vivid.

05-30-2018, 04:42 AM
Well 4 months on from when they went free swimming, first an update on these babies.
Firstly there are no blushing youngsters so we know the male didn't have a stripeless gene, otherwise from the mix of youngsters both Bulgarian Green and those that are only het. for the gene, I'm pretty confident that my original identification of the parent's genetics was correct, Male D/+* - Sm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg and the female D/+ - S/+ - pb/pb - +/bg

* I've seen no evidence of Gm in any of the youngsters.

In general this batch has been rather slow growing but having spread them out to 3 seperate tanks about a month ago they seem to have picked up, I suspect this has more to with the pb genes than the bg ones as both heterozygous & homozygous bg's seem to be growing at a very similar rate.

I'm not sure how useful a phenotype count will be as I did seem to lose a significant number of what I take to be D/D pinoys at about the 1 month stage so I suspect ratios might be quite skewed.

In other news....

05-30-2018, 05:06 AM
A new batch went free swimming yesterday. For convenience I shall refer to this batch as batch #3 in future posts.

The parents are both offspring from the batch I first posted about in post #6, and for which I posted the phenotype count in post #17.

Female first of all,
I'm highly confident that she is Gm/+ - S/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg

The male I'm not so sure about
I think he's D/D - (S/+ or +/+) - Sm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg


The problem is, he's so dark I'm beginning to question whether he's homozygous for bg. But if he's a het. he doesn't look quite like any pinoy I've had before, and I've bred a lot of smokey pinoys. The shade of blue is quite different from a typical pinoy a more metallic steel blue. I raised a very similar sibling to this fish, both were incredibly slow growing, and the other is still pretty small. This one has attained a reasonable size, but is still smaller than I would expect for a typical fish of his age.

Anyway we should get an answer in a month or so, and even now, looking at the fry they all appear to be fairly consistent in colour, which would suggest my I.D. is correct.
Certainly both parents seem to be doing an excellent job...


05-30-2018, 09:43 AM
Super cool! It's fun to see all the progress you've made!
I've purchased 2 green angels now and raiko says neither are green. So I was duped apparently! Boo!

Id love to get my hands on some to help breed and spread the gene. Are you going to do any shipping?

06-03-2018, 04:45 PM
..good work!....great pics

06-18-2018, 04:29 AM
Update on batch #3

Well as you can see, both parents are still doing a fine job.
If you look very closely at some of the fry, you can just make out that they are blushing, this means that both parents must be ghosts. As the male is a smokey, this means there will be 6 different phenotypes even before we start looking at the main body colours of the parents :-
S/S - Sm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg
S/+ - Sm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg
+/+ - Sm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg
S/S - +/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg
S/+ - +/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg
+/+ - +/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg

The parents came from a cross of D/+ x D/Gm which means there are 4 possibilities

In my experience with Bulgarian Green so far, D/D tend to be the darkest, with Gm/+ the lightest, and the latter tend to have clear rather than black fins. I'm pretty confident that the male is D/D, as he was one of the darkest individuals in the batch, so much so that I was beginning to question if he was homozygous for the Bulgarian Green Gene. However looking at how light the babies are I'm now confident that he is.
The mother I'm more unsure of, the lightness of her fins suggest Gm/+ but there's no obvious sign of any black markings from the Gm gene (the black blotch visible in the photo above can fade with mood, so is part of the ghost patterning, likewise the blotch at the root of her tail.) So there's a possibility that she may be D/+. As the babies develop, I'll have a better idea, particularly if any show signs of the gold marble gene.

06-18-2018, 05:16 AM
Update on Batch #2 from post #24

Both parents from this batch are clearly homozygous for pb, mother was D/+ and father is D/g

That means there should be D/D, D/g, D/+ and g/+ individuals in this batch
Here are some photos of the Bulgarian Green offspring at just over 4 1/2 months old
all are pb/pb - bg/bg

I think this one is D/g :-

I think This one D/+ :-

I think this is D/D - Sm/+ - the amount of red colouration on this fish is quite interesting

I think this is the flip side of the fish above

I think this is either D/g or D/D
With this batch I can clearly see why Raiko called these fish Bulgarian Greens, there's definitely a green sheen to them at this size.

09-20-2018, 06:11 AM
Update on batch #3
I've always said that in trying to identify what's going on with a new gene, that it's not always necessary to cross to a wildtype silver, so long as you can clearly identify the influences of the other gene(s) in the mix....
Well, here I am over 3 months on and I'm still trying to work out exactly what I have!
It would appear that I may well have got the genotype of both parents wrong. In order to help work out exactly what's going on I've repaired the male with a different female and I'll post more on that in a week or two when I'm 100% sure of what I have in the mix.
So watch this space.

09-20-2018, 05:22 PM
..good to know..thanks, I've been following your progress...and admiring your great pics..

? tho....is it common for all these fry...to have the brownish coloring up thru the dorsal?

10-14-2018, 03:46 PM
As promised, a further update. I think I've finally decided what's going on with batch #3. I was very puzzled by what I was seeing and that made me re-pair the male with a different female (batch #4). But before I go into details, a little recap, which in the process should answer Jon's question...

The first photos of Raiko's fish were of fish that became known as "Bulgarian Seal Points" or "BSP's", according to Raiko these were D/Gm - S/+ - bg/bg. Raiko then set about carrying out a number of test crosses to other genes which meant that the fish he shipped to the UK in late 2014 were quite a mix, some were homozygous for pb, others heterozygous, some were D/D others +/+ and others D/+, I don't think there were any D/g or D/Gm individuals. Also some were ghosts and others didn't have a stripeless gene.

In general my experience with the gene seems to support Raiko's observations, namely that the best looking "Bulgarian Seal Points" are fish that are D/Gm* - S/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg
* I suspect D/g would be even better, but at this stage haven't produced any of that type.

Basically, in homozygous form, the gene seems to greatly reduce the expression of melanin in the body, but less so in the fins, this fish from batch #2 is a typical example

Fish that are D/D tend to show some pigment on the body, for example this fish from post #1 in this thread which I'm now confident was D/D - bg/bg

By contrast fish without a dark gene, wouldn't normally have particularly dark fins, and so don't have them when they're homozygous for bg.

This fish for example is almost certainly Gm/+ - S/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg

Infact Raiko coined the name "New Platinum" to describe these.

One of the effects of Philippine Blue is to reduce the amount of pigment a fish expresses, so a gold angel with two pb genes is a platinum, this is also very obvious with fish with the Bulgarian Green gene,

This fish is Gm/+ - S/+ - +/pb - bg/bg and has a distinctly yellow/brown colouration to the body

Next for comparison a Platinum marble veil Gm/g - V/+ - pb/pb


and a Gm/+ - Sm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg


The first thing to notice is how much darker the black is on the platinum marble when compared to the Bulgarian Green below.
Secondly on the Bulgarian Green, if you look closely at the black marks you'll notice that they are darker in the middle and lighter at their edges.
Thirdly, if you look very closely at the rear of his body you can see the very faint shadow of a smokey pattern.

So far so clear.
There are however 3 complicating factors.
1. Time, with bg/bg fish that have black marks from a gold marble gene, my feeling (I haven't yet done a sequence of developmental photos to confirm) is that these seem to fade as the fish ages, they tend to be more prominent in younger fish.
2. Mood. With gold marble and platinum marble fish, the expression of black pigment is fixed, irrespective of mood, this doesn't seem to be the case with Bulgarian Greens with a Gold marble gene, as they seem to be able to fade or intensify the markings with mood. This makes taking a meaningful set of photos to show the developmental progression of pigment loss even more tricky!
3. Water Chemistry. When Raiko sent his fish to the UK, the importer supplied them to a number of retailers. According to the importer, some fish went much darker in some retailers tanks, whilst others went much lighter, the importer noticed that this seemed to be regional and to correlate with water hardness, I have not yet attempted to experiment with this, but my water is reasonably hard kH ~5dH GH ~18dH.

On to batch 3
My original hypothesis was that father was D/D - S/+ - Sm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg and that mother was Gm/+ - S/+ - +/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg, I reasoned that the reason the male was expressing so much dark pigment was that he had a "triple whammy" of two dark genes and a smokey gene, I also reasoned that his appearance, in terms of the shade of blue, was very different from any smokey pinoy I'd previously bred. What I was therefore expecting was a lot of classic "BSP" youngsters with dark fins and light bodies. That's not what I got...

What I got were a lot of what appeared to be platinum marbles and a significant number of fish that looked very similar to their father. I thus began to suspect that father was D/Gm rather than D/D.
To test this I paired him with this female to produce batch #4

I know this female is Gm/+ - S/+ - +/pb - +/bg

Sure enough it soon became clear that there were fish without a dark gene amongst their offspring, and others that were clearly Gm/Gm.

So the male is definitely D/Gm and presumably therefore not homozygous for bg.
However, that did not completely explain what I was seeing in batch #3. I still haven't done a complete phenotype count, but from a quick glance there appear to be about 40% dark individuals and about 60% platinum marbles. If the female was Gm/+ and the male as now established D/Gm, that should give 25% D/Gm, 25% D/+, 25% Gm/Gm & 25% Gm/+. If the male didn't even carry the bg gene then that should equate to 50% blacks, 25% platinum marble and 25% blues, of which half should be blue smokeys, yet none of the offspring appear to be blues, and there are no light individuals that show obvious smokey pattern. Because of her parentage the female can't be homozygous for Gm, so the only plausible explanation is that the female is D/Gm as well...

If both fish are D/Gm and the male doesn't even carry the bg gene, then I should have given 50% D/D, 25% D/Gm and 25% Gm/Gm individuals, in this case the proportion of light to dark coloured offspring is far too high, so my final conclusion (at least until I get chance to test cross the female) is that the male is het for bg and the pairing is as follows :-

D/Gm - S/+ - Sm/+ - pb/pb - +/bg x D/Gm - S/+ - +/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg

This should give
37.5% D/D or D/Gm individuals that are het. for bg. (but as D/D fish are notoriously tricky to raise, I'd expect a higher proportion of losses of these)
12.5% Platinum marbles that are het. for bg.
12.5% platinum marbles that are homozygous for bg. (and therefore should look very similar to platinum marbles but with less black on their bodies)
25% D/Gm - bg/bg individuals (which will also look light in colour and may have some black marks)
12.5% D/D - bg/bg's which may look reasonably dark.

looking carefully at the youngsters, this seems to reasonably reflect what I've got. Until recently I couldn't identify any of the theoretically 25% of them which were D/Gm - bg/bg, but in recent days some are starting to develop those characteristic BSP dark fins.

Unfortunately the tank where they are is proving really tricky to take photos, I will try and provide some when they get moved in about a month.

10-15-2018, 04:51 AM
..thank you.....nice update....those plat marbles intrigue me....beautiful angels...

""D/Gm - bg/bg, but in recent days some are starting to develop those characteristic BSP dark fins.""......can't wait for these pics....

10-16-2018, 12:59 AM
This has been fascinating and enlightening. Thank you All for sharing

10-16-2018, 01:22 PM
One further thing to mention...

In post #17 I highlighted that from a mixed batch which included 64 Bulgarian Greens, I only got 1 rather than the 30+ bg/bg veiltails that I was expecting, and suggested that this could be evidence for gene linkage between the veiltail and the bg loci.
Unfortunately I lost the male so wasn't able to repeat the pairing, and although I still have the female I have as yet not managed to re-pair her with a bg/bg male.
I do have six babies from the one bg/bg veiltail who turned out to be a female, but as her partner didn't carry the bg gene, we have to wait for them to mature before I use them in test.

However in the meantime, Raiko has carried out a similar pairing to my one, and reports just 4 veiltails from over 300 bg/bg offspring. This is pretty conclusive evidence that the bg and V loci are quite closely linked with a crossover rate in the region of 1% - 2%.

I'm not sure if there is an official way of indicating gene linkage, but until someone corrects me, I shall in future use the following nomenclature

V_bg - a veiltail gene linked with a bg gene
V_+ - a veiltail gene linked to a wildtype gene at the bg loci.
+_bg - A bg gene linked to a wildtype gene at the Veiltail locus
+_+ - Linked wildtype genes at both loci.

11-16-2018, 04:03 PM
How are these doing now?

11-17-2018, 05:53 PM
How are these doing now?
The more I work with this gene the more puzzled I become... :confused:

Batch #3 are disappointingly slow growing, I've recently moved about 15 mostly paraibas to a seperate tank to try and grow them out, but I'm struggling to find many classic "bsp's" in the batch. I know previously I said...

but in recent days some are starting to develop those characteristic BSP dark fins.
However it's worth noting that most of those were some of the larger ones I took to the shop, and the colour only really emerged when they got there, the ones at home by comparison still look very washed out.

Batch #4 these seem to be growing much faster and are rapidly catching, up with batch #3. In this batch there seem to be a reasonable proportion of youngsters with the classic "bsp" darker fins, but most of these have much darker bodies than I would have expected, this does however confirm that the male is at least het. for bg.

Finally batch #2
Some of these, seem to be expressing surprisingly strong body pigment, these are all fish with a smokey gene.

I have been pretty busy of late and haven't had chance to take many photos, hopefully I'll get chance in the next few days.

However, what is becoming increasingly clear is that the expression of this gene seems to be extremely variable and is probably dependent on both environmental factors such as diet, temperature, lighting and water chemistry as well as the interaction of other genes, in particular, if you want to produce "classic" looking "bsp's", make sure you keep smokey genes out of the gene pool!

11-18-2018, 03:45 AM
The more I work with this gene the more puzzled I become... :confused:

Batch #3 are disappointingly slow growing, I've recently moved about 15 mostly paraibas to a seperate tank to try and grow them out, but I'm struggling to find many classic "bsp's" in the batch. I know previously I said...

However it's worth noting that most of those were some of the larger ones I took to the shop, and the colour only really emerged when they got there, the ones at home by comparison still look very washed out.

Batch #4 these seem to be growing much faster and are rapidly catching, up with batch #3. In this batch there seem to be a reasonable proportion of youngsters with the classic "bsp" darker fins, but most of these have much darker bodies than I would have expected, this does however confirm that the male is at least het. for bg.

Finally batch #2
Some of these, seem to be expressing surprisingly strong body pigment, these are all fish with a smokey gene.

I have been pretty busy of late and haven't had chance to take many photos, hopefully I'll get chance in the next few days.

However, what is becoming increasingly clear is that the expression of this gene seems to be extremely variable and is probably dependent on both environmental factors such as diet, temperature, lighting and water chemistry as well as the interaction of other genes, in particular, if you want to produce "classic" looking "bsp's", make sure you keep smokey genes out of the gene pool!

..now that's interesting....you were referencing veils/bg up above...and I think that wifi is influenced by the dark/smokey genes....I have a bsg with wifi....a dark gene, but no smokey....

12-02-2018, 03:53 PM
I think that wifi is influenced by the dark/smokey genes
This is probably worthy of another thread, but personally I suspect that pearlscale may have an influence, it also seems to be associated with fish that have lemon shaped rather than round bodies, that said this female seems to have a pretty broad dorsal and none of the above applies

12-02-2018, 04:08 PM
Back to the Bulgarian Greens.
I kept back about 15 from Batch #2 as potential breeders, most I selected were classic "BSP's" as both parents were homozygous for pb, all are pb/pb.
I also kept a couple of lighter ones and a few darker individuals, thinking that they were D/D, recently the colour of these has intensified and to be honest I'm now no longer sure that these are homozygous for bg :-

not the best photos I'm afraid, but the colour rendition is pretty accurate

Both fish below could be D/D - Sm/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg, but equally they may be D/+ or D/Gm and only het. for bg.


I'm confident this next one is bg/bg but depending on mood, it's smokey pattern can darken considerably.


I have however decided that for the moment I'm going to try to eliminate smokey from my Bulgarian Green breeding program, once I have a firm handle on how the gene expresses, I might reintroduce it, but at the moment it's one variable too many for me to cope with!

12-02-2018, 04:34 PM
Now on to batch #3
I have also selected 14 fish from this batch to grow on as potential breeders, most of these are blushing. As I have limited tank space it helps to keep track of which fish are from which batch if I keep only blushers from one batch, only veiltails from another, etc. etc.

As both parents are homozygous for pb that means these are all Paraibas, and unfortunately I'm finding these extremely difficult to call.

Take this fish as an example

At a cursory glance you might easily take this fish for a sunset paraiba (g/g - S/S - pb/pb). However, as it's father is D/Gm and it's mother is almost certainly D/Gm (and if not Gm/+) it can't be!
Then, if you look very closely at the tips of the anal and dorsal fin you'll notice a tiny bit of black.

Here are a couple of very similar siblings

In these the faded black marks from the gold marble gene are more obvious as are the black tips to the fins.
My guess is that all three of these fish are Gm/Gm - S/S - pb/pb - bg/bg but could the darker fins of the last two indicate D/Gm?

At the other extreme
Like father like son(?)

I'm assuming this is a smokey pinoy ghost like dad, and only het. for bg if so he's D/Gm - S/+ - Sm/+ - pb/pb - +/bg
Up to now I've not bred any D/Gm pinoys, is this typical colour for such a fish? Or is the single bg gene exerting an influence on expression?

more phenotypes to follow....

12-02-2018, 04:42 PM
This one is probably my favourite

Clearly a pinoy paraiba of some type but is it homozygous for bg? - only time will tell

What about this one?

Horrible lemon shaped body, the shadow of the smokey pattern is visible, but is it bg/bg?

12-02-2018, 04:58 PM
Just a couple more

if both parents are D/Gm, Given the black tail band this can't be Gm/Gm and most have at least one Dark gene, but it doesn't look quite like any of Raiko's photos of blushing bg/bg that I recall seeing.


similarly this one


The smokey pattern is very apparent and it looks like a typical smokey paraiba, with no real indications of the presence of a dark gene, but if it is Gm/+ rather than D/Gm that presumably means the mother is Gm/+ not D/Gm in which case there should have been many more smokeys amongst it's siblings.

Lots of questions rather than answers, but it does point me in the direction of my next pairing, I need to test cross the female!

12-05-2018, 05:41 AM
..nice work....they're looking really good...

12-31-2018, 10:48 AM
in post #44 I said...

Lots of questions rather than answers, but it does point me in the direction of my next pairing, I need to test cross the female!

sometimes these things work out quicker than others. i paired the female with a veiltail paraiba koi

and fairly promptly they've produced a relatively small batch of 20 or so babies, they're still a bit small to be certain, but as far as I can see none appear to be black....


so on that basis the female is Gm/+ - S/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg

07-31-2019, 09:11 AM
Going all the way back to 2017 and post #6 and batch #1, you may recall that I got just 1 veiltail Bulgarian green fish from 64 Bulgarian Green offspring in a mixed batch where both parents were het. for bg. This strongly suggested that the bg and veiltail genes are located on the same chromosome and fairly closely linked.
That one fish proved to be a female and I paired her to a blue albino male. I decided to pull the eggs and hatch them away from the parents as unfortunately I was due to go away for a week two days after the fry went free swimming. I reasoned that going without food for a week would do for the fry, and hungry parents might be tempted to snack on them, and I didn't want to encourage the parents down the path of cannibalism. Remarkably, when I returned, a few of the babies were still alive, and I was able to raise 6 survivors, 3 veiltails & 3 standard fin. As there were no dark fish & some of these obviously had gold marble genes, whilst other didn't, this proves that the mother is Gm/+ - V/+ - pb/pb - bg/bg.
Unfortunately for the 6 babies the poor circumstances of their first few weeks resulted in all having some degree of deformity, mostly damaged fins, but also shortened gill plates in at least one case.
Ordinarily I wouldn't breed from such fish, but in this case, as I'm sure the damage is environmental rather than genetic in origin I've made an exception and paired a female veiltail with a male bulgarian green from batch 2

So this is batch #5

Blue veiltail, het. for bg.

Notice the missing spines at the front of her dorsal fin, and the pinched tail.

Bulgarian green, exact make up to be confirmed.

As you can see they're guarding a big clutch of wrigglers due to go free swimming in the next couple of days.
Hopefully, this will confirm the hypothesis that the bg and veiltail genes are linked, and as the female comes from a veiltail bulgarian green parent, I should see almost all veiltail homozygous Bulgarian Greens and almost all heterozygous standard fin offspring. The odd ones out will give a better indication of the crossover rate.

08-03-2019, 03:05 PM

09-17-2019, 04:37 PM
Well a month and a half on and it's too early to make too many definitive statements, but there are some things I can say...

There are a number of pinoy offspring, but so far I haven't spotted a single veiltail one (which is what I would have expected)
There's a lot of size variation within the youngsters.
There are some smokies, so Dad must have a smokey gene.
Here are some photos ...