cow ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (1)

This new year I got a pleasant surprise that could propel my cow ranchu project. But first, let me update the color development of my cows. It is interesting to see how the black pattern grows.

This is my Alpha male. He is my own breed – my only success so far. The last time I took his pictures (last year), he looked like this:

And now, he turns into this beauty:

Impressive, right?

Last year I bought several more. The seller called them Milk Cow Ranchu since they were dominated by white color and the black came in few large patches. But the color progress proved them not so much different from my own breed. This makes me wonder whether I do something wrong in my keeping or it is the genetics. Here are their pictures before and after:

Male fish (Before):


Female fish (Before):

And she turns into:

The transformations are almost magical! That is the wonder of Cow Ranchu!

Yet, this Cow Ranchu project proved to be quite a challenge for me. Three years of trial yields only a single good fish (the Alpha Male). During these years I have acquired many cow ranchu from different lines (and they are expensive!), and still no success. The female above gives me no satisfaction, either. It yielded few eggs. Most of the eggs did not hatch. Some of the hatchlings remained at the bottom, unable to swim. And those who could swim and grow, had so many problems with the quality and swimming ability.

Dec 29, 2021. A Friend notified me about a local online auction featuring cow ranchu. So far, there were rumor about local farmers being successful in breeding cow ranchu. But as far as I knew, none had been released into the market. When I took a look at the auction, I immediately realized that was a genuine cow ranchu since I saw her resemblance to one of the line of cow ranchu I acquired so far. Many local farmers tried to create cow ranchu from the local calico available here, but none was successful. The only option was to breed from imported parents, just like I did so far. When I saw the fish in auction, I could not determine whether it was an import fish or a local breed. But it did not matter to me. Then friends told me that it was a “tired fish.” They said the fish had been used as female parents exhaustively to the point of being unproductive anymore, and that was the reason it was on auction. Well, I did not buy that story. The news that she had been used in breeding was a good news to me! Concerning the fish being tired, I had a determination to treat her well to induce her to breeding again. So, without further ado, I won the auction. Concerning her real background, I felt no need to investigate. There are things better left unquestioned. Here she is:

She turns out to be very productive! When she came to my place, even in the quarantine stage, she laid thousands of eggs! What a blessing! Of course I did not hatch the eggs since she was still in quarantine alone. After that, she laid lots of eggs again. In my rough calculation, the hatching rate was around 90%. And the fry were healthy and able to swim well. Two days ago, I examined the two weeks old hatchlings and I found their quality satisfying (in terms of the smooth curve and erect tail). Now, I am waiting for the color to develop into true cow or not. In my heart, I am very satisfied. Perhaps this is a bit too early, but I feel that my cow ranchu project has already been successful, and I need to move on to a new project. I will tell you what is in my mind at the end of this essay.

The fish laid another thousand of eggs for the third time last week. I know I could not take care of them. My farm is small, and I need to do some renovation next months. I have dried lots of my tubs for now. This will pause my breeding activity for at least a month.

But I felt reluctant to let the fry go to waste. What to do?

In this case, I decided to share. I clarify my thinking that this breeding activity is mainly a hobby for me, not so much for profit. Yes, I sell my fishes when I had too many, but selling is not my main purpose. So, I send all those thousands of new hatches into a farmer in the village. He will be able to raise the fry better than me. This is also an opportunity for me to learn not too attach to selfishness.

What is the new project I have in mind?

I am thinking of crossing my sakura yellow goldfish with the cow ranchu!

When the cow ranchu become more available in the market and not unique anymore, I will be on my way to create yellow cow ranchu! Let’s picture cow ranchu but replacing the white color with yellow! Another two years of project 😊


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