Platinum Swordtails - When is Pink not really Pink?
© Alan S. Bias
Permission granted for nonprofit reproduction or duplication of photos and text with proper credit for learning purposes only.
The first time I saw a picture of a Schimmelpennig Platinum Sword I fell for the old adage "Now I have to have some of those". Not only for obvious beauty found in this phenotype, but to decode the genetic makeup. Trouble was it would be quite a few years before I obtained any to work with. Sometime after 2002 I acquired a couple trios, similar to these below, from several sources including Darryl Tsutsui in Hawaii.
|Schimmelpennig Platinum Strain|
Initially I did little with them other than place selection emphasis on long double swords with a visible clear area between rays to meet IFGA standards. Caudal shape in each litter was both double sword and lyretails. At the time I had little interest in the lyretails and selected only for doubles. Even after 5-6 generations of selection for long even swords, spread was often narrow compared to those with more colored rays. Phenotype appeared homozygous for grey bodies & gold platinum, with green base body color, & either white or yellow finnage.
|F1 Schimmelpennig Platinum * Vienna Lower @ 5 months|
With little rhyme or reason in breedings I would swap off between sibling sisters or further infuse Vienna females. To this day I still use this process. It seems to allow for a form of dilution in the platinum. Possibly a heterozygous expression of part it's components. I decided to concentrate on gold (blond), but it would be several more generations before all would be expressed with regularity in a given generation. Over the next couple of years in typical fashion for my lines I isolated Line A in pure gold and Line B as a combined grey / gold. In the latter breeder males are normally grey, while females selected in both grey and gold.
|3 month old males|
I have followed the results of Asian platinum breeders via the internet for a number of years. The diversity of type they have created from Schimmelpennig Platinums Swordtails is varied. Resulting in strains of deltas, veils, pintails, lyretials and swordtails. Many of the sword and lyretails still suffer from poorer finnage. I suspect from my ongoing results issues from gene complexes linking platinum and finnage will continue for some time. Similar to those found between Stoerzbach and short sword length.
In the end I decided to select for a balance between thicker swords & bit less length, with just a break in color between the rays. While I lost the extreme length and thinner swords I had obtained in the lines I showed, it still avoided some of the pitfalls I see in other breeders fish.
|F1 Schimmelpennig Platinum * Vienna Lower @ 3 months|
Still, based on phenotype it sure looks pink to my eyes. Just another one of those potential conflicts arising between hobbyist names & genetic description found within the hobby...
|5 month month old male|
|5 month month old males|