Hi, When I first got my pond fish two years ago Louis my Orfe and Cat my Goldfish seem to hit it off right away. They are inseperable and spend their time interweaving and nudging each other. Last year when Cat spawned Louis joined the other fish chasing her round the pond, though I think her eggs were infertile-they ended up going "furry" and no fry ever materialised. Unfortunately I lost Shuey my male Shubunkin last year, but still have Swifty my male Sarasa Comet, so it will be interesting to see what happens this year. I know that Orfes and Goldfish are both Cyprinids but would have thought cross-breeding would be impossible. Maybe he just needs a lady Orfe-I do intend getting another Orfe or two when my new bigger pond is up and running. Have any other members experienced this inter-species "bonding"?
The eggs likely went furry because they hadn't been fertilised, are you sure the other fish are male or maybe they needed some practice as for interbreeding I have never heard or it see if any of our pondies can shed light on that for you
Thanks Goldy I'm almost sure Swifty is male-he is a lot slimmer than Hayley, my other Comet was and more "cigar" shaped. Perhaps he and Shuey were too young to fertilise Cat's eggs last year, or maybe the fertilised ones just got eaten. To be honest, the present pond isn't really big enough to support any more fish so I'm not adding a spawning mop or any other breeding measures until they are in the new pond.
I can't be definite but as I said, there's just a difference in shape somehow, and the fact that the ones I thought were male ended up doing the chasing (Hayley didn't chase and Cat was being chased!) sort of bears it out. I have also had them out of the pond last year when I needed to treat Hayley and Shuey for ulcers, and did notice the difference in their vents, Hayley's being an "outie" whilst Shuey's was an "innie"! Of course I could be totally mistaken, I'll just have to wait and see if I have any little additions in the not too distant future!
The only clue I have as to Louis' gender is the fact that the store that sold him to me said he was probably male as he was one of the smaller and slimmer fish in the container tank. But I think you have to make a guess yourself or would otherwise have to refer to your fish as "it" all the time. If Louis turns out to be a female, as I may discover if I purchase some more Orfes (though I have read that these fish do not readily breed in ponds), then so be it-I'll just have to rename him "Louise"!