ginrin ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (1)

Topic: Ginrin Ranchu

I start this 2023 diary late due to many things to take care of in my daily life. I want to start this 1st diary not with the update of my breeding projects but with a unique phenomenon. Scalation in goldfish is an underrated subject. We know about metallic scale, transparent scale, and their combination. We also have pearlscale and “common” scale. Old books mentioned about hammer(ed?) scale, but I have no idea what it is. In my own experience, a unique scale type always emerges in my breed here and there. To describe it, I think I can use koi terminology which is ginrin scale.

Once in a while when examining my fishes in the pond, I noticed some fish glitter differently from the rest. This distinct shine is more visible on the white fish. It looks like the color of a pearl, but it is not a pearlscale fish. Sometimes that unusual scale covers the whole body but most of the time only partially. I wondered whether they can be sufficiently called as unique. I did not think to document them. But now, more and more of my breed are showing that luster completely covering the whole body. I think it is time to document them. Perhaps this discussion can enrich the goldfish world in the future.

This fish is from my 2021 collection. I do not have it anymore. The special shine covers the whole body, but I think those in the peduncle area catches my attention directly. Do you see what I mean? The topviewing shows the shine more vividly compared to the sideviewing. When observing the fish side by side with the “common” white scale fish, the luster looks obviously different. But not so much when seeing from sideview.

This year, I have at least two ginrin ranchu in my collection. Both have fully ginrin scalation, but somehow, one of them looks more fully. I still cannot specify what makes them different. Let me show you these two specimens with some close up pictures.

When we examine the scale, it seems that the white color (I suppose it is quanine) is more concentrated towards the center of the scale while the outer edge of the scale looks a bit less concentrated (almost transparent?)

This is the sideview of the fish:

It may look usual, no different from the “common” white scale. But as the fish moves, different angle gives different luster.

Do notice the unusually bright edges of the scales from this angle.

Upon closer look, the scale shows the concentrated quanine in its middle part:

Sometimes the edges looks brighter, sometimes looks darker, depending on the angle.

And this is the second fish:

The pearly color is more visible in the peduncle area in the left picture, but is more visible in the chest – abdoment area in the right picture.

So different from its white sibling, the ginrin scale looks visible in the peduncle area even from the sideview.

For video of the two fish above, do see in the link below:

So far, I only found this ginrin scalation in ranchu. They came from my blue ranchu line. I think this scale type also appear in my blue ranchu, but I did not notice it before. Sometimes friends keeping my blue ranchu line told me that the shine of the fish looks different, but it did not ring any bell on me. Now I think they might be ginrin blue ranchu! Let me show you a picture of blue and white ranchu from my line taken (and raised) by my friend mr Yonathan from Malang:

And this is an old file of my blue ranchu. Do you think the scale is ginrin?

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