After marveling and experimenting with the tricolor oranda for some times, I began to think about creating ranchu with such coloration. This specimen I am thinking of has been seen in Thailand, so it will not be a surprise that it will become available in the market in the next one or two years. It is still rare today, though. Instead of waiting them to be available in the market, I think it will be more satisfying for me to create one of my own. When I succeed, perhaps it will not be rare anymore. But it will still be a pride for me.
The first thing I did was to cross my tricolor Oranda with a ranchu. I did not think carefully about what ranchu would be best to use at that time. This might be my mistake. I did not remember it well, perhaps I used blue ranchu since they were abundant in my pond or grey ranchu which carries the recessive blue ranchu gene since I made many crossing using blue ranchu. The results were all grey fish (wild color) with predictable defects on the dorsal.
My plan was to do the F1 x F1. I was certain that I would get several tricolor fish with defect dorsal. I did not expect to get a smooth ranchu back curve at that stage, which was reasonable. What surprised me was that I got some blue offspring. It made the project complicated. I should use pure red or red-white color, instead. But it had happened. I sorted out all the blue. I kept only the grey color, in the hope that some of them will turn into tricolor. I purposely rejected the fish with full dorsal and kept only the ones with defected dorsal. Yet, I must admit, those fishes with perfect dorsal were cute. Some of them resemble Yuan Bao. I could not help to keep one of them alive. Here is the lucky guy:
The second surprise I got was that the expected tricolor never appeared. I waited for four or five months, and these F2 were still grey. I lost hope in them turning into tricolor or any other color. I realized that this was a failure.
But I did not give up. I started the project still using the same F1. But this time I did not do F1 x F1. I crossed the F1 back to the tricolor Oranda! I expected this move to produce a better chance of having tricolor fish. Yet, I worried about the shape turning back into fishes with full dorsal. So, I tried to keep all the offspring alive as many as possible till I could see the dorsal clearly. Thank God, I ended up with enough defect dorsal fishes. They look like this:
And yes, I faced the same problem again. I have kept them close to four months right now and the majority are still grey! I could not explain this. Yet, this time I am lucky to have two fishes mutated into tricolor! Some more mutated into red-white fish with no trace of melanin – I will wait for a little while for them since sometimes the melanin can appear again.
From the two tricolor I get, one has minimal black pigmen. She will be used as my plan B. She looks like this:
But the other one has a lot of black pigment and the color looks strong! I don’t mind about the lack of red color. Tricolor usually comes in either tricolor or panda color. No problem for me. This fish will be my main parent fish. This is the beauty:
My plan is to mate her with ranchu again. And the new F1 will be crossed back to its mother. The new F2 will be a tricolor fish that looks closer to ranchu, yet with imperfect back curve. I will need to repeat the whole two step process again to create a better quality of tricolor ranchu. So, the total time I need from now will be four generation, or approximately two years. Well, I think I will just enjoy the process.
Wish me the best 😊