The MerLion Harmony Story II

  • My last blog on Merlion Harmony Story I was more than one years ago in 28th Aug 2014. It has since bothered me to complete the next story on MerLion Harmony II. During this period of absence, whenever I am about to go for overseas, I was deeply disturbed by the need to finish this blog on the development of MerLion Harmony. But the truth was I couldn’t have a settled mind to pen down my true thoughts. There were too many “urgent” works which needed my attention…especially, during this critical downturn period of the ornamental fish industry. All these “urgencies” has worsen the inherent problem of attention deficiency…I couldn’t sit for long in front of the PC.


    Anyhow, after a long break from holiday, I am now feeling right to complete the blog on MerLion Story II. Also, I wanted to complete the blog before 2015 end.


    The previous blog was on the father of MerLion Harmony – Hope. He was the “Accident Hero” who has, in my opinion, done so much not only for Dreamfish but also for Singapore…and me! Through him, I have grew much as breeder and I am still learning from its offspring! The offspring of Hope, I have named them Merlion Harmony.


    My first intention for MerLion Harmony was to be of gigantic size, a body form similar to the red arowana but with thin gold rim and blue base scale.  MerLion Harmony was first produced in 12th Sept 2006.


    This is a juvenile G1 (First Generation) MerLion Harmony.


    Sub-Adult G1 MerLion Harmony


    This is one of sub-adult G1 Harmony from the batch of 9 pcs Harmony which I bought back from Gary to produce G2 Harmony. Gary was an arowana hobbyist who trusted and bought our MerLion Harmony. Who will buy a “super crossbreed” arowana?


    At that time, it was confirmed that when Hope crossed with a blue base crossback golden, it could indeed produce what I was hoping to achieved. However, it was not to the ideal standard. The tail colourisation of G1 Harmony was not “nice” and the scale rim colour was not of strong gold. Hence, higher quality of blue base female crossbacks were introduced into pond C24 and lower grade ones were downgraded to breed in other ponds. You might ask why not use the higher grade of blue base female at first instance. The truth is, a breeder perspective and the knowledge of a good quality arowana advances as he “deliberately breed and see” more of the aros he bred…this was where I started to learn more about the bloodline of arowana. This change of female brooders was also very costly during that period where arowana industry was scaling upward.


    During the change of the female brooders, there was one female which I couldn’t really figure out if it was of gold base or blue base. You might ask again, how could I not know? Isn’t it simple to differentiate between a blue base and gold base crossback? Sometimes…it is not so straight forward. It take a lot of experience and knowledge to “see through the scale”. If not, there will no sub-substandard arowana in the market.

    I was hoping then it was a blue base crossback as I need it to breed the best blue base Harmony. Especially, when this female crossback has very strong gold shine on the rim of the scale. I was hoping she will increase the gold rim intensity of the G1 blue base Harmony.


    A G1 Gold Base MerLion Harmony kept by Mr. Lee from Korea. (Photo by Mr. Lee, Korea)


    You can also view another piece of stunning G1 MerLion GB Harmony:


    The Accident Hero has did it again. It has produced something which I didn’t plan for – MerLion Gold Base Harmony. I was happy but yet with a bit of shyness because it was a fluke. Again, it was not of my own effort but the blessing from above. I knew now that Hope was not only capable of producing nice blue base arowana but also… stunning gold base arowana. Hope has inherited a truly versatile bloodline. Errr…. These G1 gold base Harmony has also confirmed that the doubted female was indeed of gold base bloodline.


    (The above was written on 27th Dec 2015)


    The result of the G1 GB Harmony was so much better than the G1 BB Harmony. It has strong gold streaks on all its finnages. This similar quality could only be found in the G2 & G3 BB Harmony… after a many years of trying. I was puzzled…why it was so difficult to achieve the similar quality in G1 BB Harmony? The only reason I could figure out was Hope does not have strong BB gene but inherited the strong GB gene from the RTG. Hence, when cross with a GB crossback, the gold intensity was amplified.  



    This is a G3 BB Harmony (Photo by Otani San). The gold streak has developed but not to the strength of the gold base Harmony. Hence, G3 harmony are now in the pond with Ocean Blue bloodline to produce the Ultimate Dream Blue – G4 Harmony.


    Before I decided to breed the G3 Harmony with the Ocean Blue, I have tried inbreeding the G3 Harmony. These G3 Harmony were specially selected out from the 100 over pcs of candidates...through many rounds of detail identifications and comparisons. The initial plan was to stablise the G3 Harmony bloodline before any further improvement. But the selected batch of Ocean Blue was not breeding at the age of 4 years old. I thought it will be good to separate them and cut short the journey to obtain G4 Harmony. During this period of inbreeding the G3 Harmony, I have learned something new…



    This is G3a Harmony. I did not take photo of the fish when it was 3 months old…one could see through the gill plate and the red gill colour was obvious; and the fish was scaleless. Now, at the age of seven months, the scales have developed and thicken (still much thinner than its siblings) but without any gold colourisation. It looks like a platinum arowana. Scientifically, it has certain gene defect. At first, I was in a dilemma – should I share this information? Harmony bloodline should be diverse and not supposed to produce such kind of fishes. But again, it was a result of inbreeding. What it has taught me…even though a fish with a diverse genetic distance difference, if one inbreed it, it will still have the possibility of producing a fish with “weak” genes.


    Now, what about the concern of many hobbyist – golden head?


    A Golden Head G1 BB Harmony (photo by Murase San)


    Golden head has never been taken into consideration when breeding Harmony. Golden head is man-made through good grooming technique.


    MerLion Harmony has proven itself in many ways…its colourisation; body form; size and the fun of watching the different stages of growth. No words can describe it need to experience it to understand the true beauty of MerLion HArmony!


    Hope and its offspring are now into another critical mission to breed a new MerLion Harmony bloodline which will set another new record in the arowana industry… only if it is successful; a new arowana bloodline for the future enjoyment of the hobbyist. I am not sure how long will it take…I hope it will be soon…I have waited for three years to create the specific group of brooders and into the fourth year to breed them!


    3rd Jan 2016 -2042hrs