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Coverage of Singapore Ornamental Fish Festival 2008

If you ever attended any aquarium shows outside Singapore, especially the Western one, you would be fascinated by the amount of enthusiasm the hobbyists show. At time, you will find hobbyists dressed in fish costume, rolls of stalls displaying art and crafts using fish as the theme, booths of information of different kind of species of fish, etc… … such booths are mostly set up by hobbyists with a pure interest of promoting fish keeping and the atmosphere is simply lively and exciting.

I do look forward to see that Singapore some day will able to showcase such enthusiasm too. This year, with the support of each respective clubs, it is a great honour to host a combine event named “First Singapore Ornamental Fish Festival”.

This festival mainly consists of four Singapore Registered Clubs which were:

- Betta Club (Singapore) - 8th National Betta Competition
- Fynnmood Goldfish Club (Singapore) - 2nd Singapore Goldfish Festival
- Guppy Club (Singapore) - 7th National Guppy Competition
- Pleco Club (Singapore) - Exhibiting

Each individual club has their own annual competition and exhibition event. This event is graced by the Minister of State for Finance and Transport, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua.

We had a little ‘open ceremony’ by inviting Mrs Lim to fill the CR Aquarium Tank with 8 pieces of goldfish. Special thanks to Mrs. Lim for her graciousness to conduct this procedure. Goldfish is regards as an auspicious symbol and with this process wishfully, it will bring good luck to all participants that have taken part in this event in one way or the other.

Singapore Ornament Fish Festival is made possible by Tetra. If I may say, one of the main objectives of all hobby clubs is to bring people of the same interest together and at the same time promote family bonding by sharing the fun and interest in unity. This is what Tetra was trying to promote in this event.

Tetra set up a ‘Tank Decoration’ competition where parents and their child have to put on their creativity cap to construct the most beautifully arranged tank. While Mrs Lim patiently listened to the deco theme presented by each family, before deciding on the winning team.

Aside from this, Tetra also organized other activities for the children, like fish puzzle which kept the children all excited. It was a lovely sight, to see the children so engrossed into the activities. The event saw a steady crowd, with other activities such as the children drawing competition organized by the Serangoon CCMC.

Beside goldfish, I, personally has a great passion for arts. In every Fynnmood event, I tried to show case some form of arts. This year, I managed to invite Mr. Victor Ng from Malaysia to produce a limited edition of postcard elaborating the beautiful features of the goldfish.

Among the clubs, Betta Club is one of the most establish club in Singapore. Not only locally, the club is well respected internationally too. The club has adopted an international standard way of judging Betta (IBS - International Betta Standard) which attracts many international competitors from neighbouring countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, etc.

Dr. Hsu, (in white polo) president of the club is a humble man with lots of experience in club management. I personally, have taken a few tips from him. Standing beside him, is Mr. Edwin Lim, a key member of the club. There is also other member like Mr. Vincent Mah who also contributed in organizing the event. They are a team of mature and very experience hobbyists, they have two regular meeting days in a week, and hence, if you are interested in Betta keeping, you can always meet them in one of the two days. Kindly visit their website to see their 8th competition fish photo.

Mr. Chris Ng, the president of Guppy Club is an impressive young gentleman. At the age of 24, he was representing Singapore to be a judge in the international guppy competition in Germany! Currently at 27, he has also judged in Malaysia and Thailand. Chris has written a book on guppy, although, i'm not a guppy hobbyist, while browsing through his book, i find the book very comprehensive! It is one book that i definitely would recommend.

This is their 7th NGC and their entries comprised of Thailand, Taiwan, Malaysia competitors. It is certainly a reflective of the regional increases interest for fancy guppy. I was explaining to Mrs Lim, the strictness of the guppy judging, if one fish died (out of seven fish in a tank), the remaining fish from that particular tank will not be judged (consider disqualify). Kindly visit their website to see their competition fish photo.

The Pleco Club consist a team of young gentlemen. Leading by Mr. Edmund Koh, president of the club and Mr. Chris Kim, secretary. They are very knowledgeable. I have recently picked up some interest in pleco and hence I started asking all the newbie kind of questions, while listening to them, I can feel the ‘burning’ passion in them. During the course of event, I interacted with Yong Hua, a soft-spoken, well-mannered gentleman and also Samuel, an enthusiastic member who kindly demonstrated the way to handle the pleco. Some of these species are really tough and it is not to be mess with!

The Pleco Club has achieved a lot in their short club history. One of the most impressive things (to me) is that they were able to breed the most quest-after ‘Zebra Pleco’. It requires good keeping skill to achieve this. Do visit their website.

There were other species of fish exhibited on the event, there was the Marine Club, unfortunately, I’m so tied up that I did not managed to get to know them better. Nevertheless, I’m sure hobbyists will soon get to know more about the Club.

There was also the Angel fish exhibition. Mr. David Tan is the gentleman that showcased these fish. ‘Altum’ Angel can be seen in the event, is also one of the most quest-after fish among the hobbyists.

The following are snapped shots of the events… …

* Prizes were given to the children who have taken part in the activities.

* Congratulation to our very own Fynnmood, Vice-President, Alan Goh for receiving his First placing trophy for Ryukin from Mrs Lim. The entire first placing winners received their trophy from Mrs Lim.

* I was excitedly sharing my thoughts with Mrs Lim on goldfish appreciation.

* Ms. Clarissa Then, the head of Southeast Asia for Tetra. She is friendly and warm at heart, constantly promoting fish keeping with hobbyists’ interest in mind.

* CR Aquarium, a long term sponsorship for Fynnmood Goldfish Club has sponsored a $300 voucher for the Most Voted Fish Award. Do read more about it on the next article: Coverage of 2nd Singapore Goldfish Festival

* Looking to get hold of some good books on fish keeping? At the event, there were booths showcasing books for the specific species of fish. These books were available at Pleco Club booths, Marine Club booths, Guppy Club booths, etc.

* Spotted a cheerful lady swinging into mood, putting on a goldfish T-shirt to synchronize with the event.

This event is the first step to bring more fish hobbyists together. Singapore Ornament Fish Festival primarily different from the local show, ‘Aquarama’, is that, it focus more on individual clubs promoting different species of fish keeping instead. Whether such event can pull together for the next year show, to be honest, I’m really not sure, but I do look forward and hope to see such event to be held over and over again. Last but not least, also thanks to The Serangoon CCMC for jointly organised and made this event yet another SUCCESSFULLY festival.

Fynnmood Goldfish Club would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to many hobbyists and other Fish Clubs that have supported the event and joined in the joy and fun of fish keeping.

Signing off… …
Steven Tong

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