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West Coast Goldfish Palooza is proud to present Author and Goldfish Enthusiast…..

West Coast Goldfish Palooza is proud to present Author and Goldfish Enthusiast…

Neal Teitler

I began keeping goldfish when I was eight. When I was ten, one of my Chinese-American schoolmates took me to Chinatown to see the goldfish and meet the keeper in the basement of a mandarin’s home (his grandfather’s friend) in NY Chinatown, and I was hooked. For my twelfth birthday, we went to Tricker’s and I purchased a breeding pair of comets which produced enough fry to supply all the neighborhood kids with baby goldfish. The Japanese mother of one of the kids wrote to her sister in Osaka to send Japanese books on goldfish. She read the books to me. I wrote Dr Matsui, one of the authors, and thus began a long friendship. A few years later, I reconnected with the goldfish keeper Mr Wu, and he introduced me to his cousin, keeper of the Emperor’s goldfish garden who also had heard about me from Dr Matsui. In 1964, I received the first fish from the Imperial Palace via Hong Kong; a pair of brown out-folded operculum goldfish with three pairs of anals and caudals. As a CCNY undergrad, I worked in the NYZS Fish Genetics Lab (started by Myron Gordon) in AMNH helping care for 800 tanks of livebearers. At home, I had 100 tanks; mainly goldfish, but also guppies, bettas, cichlids and killies When Dr Toki-o Yamamoto (Dr Medaka) came to Downstate Med to help set up a lab, I visited him a number of times, and he gave me his copies of Dr Matsui’s PhD dissertation on goldfish genetics in both Japanese and English. When Tokyo biology teacher Rikuro Iwata (later principal of Nerima Sr HS) visited NY, he came to my house and gave a few of us a talk on Japanese goldfish. In turn, I introduced him to the GSGB as his next stop was London. On his return to Japan, he located and sent me a copy of Matsui’s monumental “KINGYO NO KENKYU”. In 1966, along with Al Thomma, Joe Nightcap and Bill Draper, we started the American Goldfish Society (AGS) which met in NYC. In 1968, I wrote Pet Library’s KNOW YOUR GOLDFISH (later published as TFH’s ABC’S OF GOLDFISH), and in January 1970 made a speaking tour of England arranged by Tony Evans (publisher of Petfish Monthly). During this trip, I met George Hervey who gave me a treasure trove of Chinese material on goldfish translated by Dr Needham. Shortly afterward, I reported to 6th Army Hqs in SF, and along with Dick and Sue Law, we started a SF branch called Western AGS. After serving in Seoul, leaving active duty, and moving to Japan at the end of ’71, both groups fell apart, and the Laws formed the Goldfish Society of America (GFSA). In 1972 I joined Kangyokai (the first ranchu society), a few other goldfish groups, and wrote a monthly column for Japan’s FISH MAGAZINE. During my forty years in Tokyo, I was a founding member of the Tokyo Tosakin Preservation Society as well as a member of two Jikin societies (Nagoya region) while continuing my research on goldfish genetics. As a grad/research student at Tokyo U of Fisheries, I investigated the relationships of the congeners/conspecies (funa) of goldfish. Also had a chance to do research on the coelacanth. In December 2011 I returned to the US for treatment of myasthenia gravis (now in remission).

He will be giving a fabulous lecture during Sunday’s Event…

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