Blue Oranda, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (19)

Project #1: Blue Oranda

I am enthusiastic about the result so far. Well, it is not perfect yet. But I see some significant results.

I keep three fish from the latest lineage. One male and two females. Yes, I know. It is a bit risky to keep such a small number of parent fish. But I can always cross any of them with another Oranda even if I were left with one.

Let me show my three musketeers:

The 1st female:

The 2nd female:

The male:

Let me do some analyzes on these three:

First, there is uniformity in terms of the body shape, the head shape, and the color stability. This uniformity is a significant progress, in my opinion. The two females look rounder than the male body shape, but I think this is due to the male – female sexuality. It is common in goldfish to have rounder body shape in female, though it should not be a general rule (I have seen male with round shape such that it cannot be differentiated from the female just looking at the body shape). The headgrowth is uniform across these three, which is a bit too thin for me. The color is strongly blue (or some might say platinum) and show no sign of going to turn to white.

Second, there is a bit of departure from my initial vision concerning to the body shape. I am satisfied with the broadness of the body width (measured from top to bottom). But I envisioned a longer body shape (measured from side to side). Well, as I ponder on this body quality, I say to myself that frankly, I do not mind with this body shape. So, I can say that this body shape is final. Whether there will be a longer version later on is a bonus which I will not work on it on purpose.

Third, the headgrowth is minimal and it is far from my original plan to have a goosehead type of headgrowth. Yes, I think I still need to work on this, but there is no haste. The market is full of this kind of headgrowth. And combined with the round body shape, this quality can still be appreciated as above average quality. I can call this headgrowth feature as finish at this stage. But I will slowly try to improve it.

Fourth, the fins are not uniform and below the competition quality. The dorsal fin of the 1st female is good, but its tail is not desirable, while the 2nd female has these features the other way around. This provides difficulty for me to decide which one is best to be the mother. Well, I will decide later when it is time for them to lay eggs.

Fifth and foremost, there is a significant quality progress from my initial blue oranda! And I am satisfied with this progress. My initial oranda was skinny (as shown on the left below) and now they are bulky!

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (18)

I think it is time to tabulate the progress of all my projects. This will help me to focus and strategize.

I am surprised to find out that I have tried so many projects in such a small facility I have. And yes, as a breeder, I have ups and downs. I have some successes and failures.

These are my projects:

To focus, I must terminate some such as Topview Ranchu, Bubble Eye and Wakin. Topview Ranchu is just too demanding in terms of space and difficulty level. I do not really have a vision to improve or modify Bubble Eye. Wakin is an established variety. I tried to improve the quality of wakin tail (project wowkin) several years ago with little success. But Wakin took lots of space with not so positive acceptance among hobbyist in my country. And these varieties will not go extinct just because I do not breed them. No. They have lots of admirers worldwide.

Butterfly is also a breed that will not go extinct. But celestial might. Instead of tending two separate projects, I choose to combine them into one project: the Celestial Butterfly project. I think it will become a unique fish. I know people down the history line had breed them once in a while. But they are still very rare right now. I know no one who breed them right now. So, this is a challenging project for me.

The Pompom is a variety I am a bit worried of its survival. It has no positive acceptance in my country. None want to breed this variety. But I think this variety exists abroad in the shape of brown pompom variety. If I have the priviledge to breed them again next time, I would like to modify its shape into ryukin shape. I want to create pompom ryukin.

Do notice that Ryukin and Demekin are not in my project list.

I will update the rest of the projects in separate postings over the coming years.

breeding technique, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (17)

On Breeding

I received a lot of questions about breeding. Mostly about how to induce the female to lay eggs. Here I will share my insights on the matter.

Based on the capacity to produce eggs, I categorize female fish as follows:

  1. Very productive
  2. Normally productive
  3. Difficult
  4. Sterile

This categorization is useful to pick the right breeding strategy.

For the very productive female, there is hardly anything to be said. The fish can lay eggs everywhere even without the presence of a male fish. She can lay eggs in the contest arena. She can lay eggs in indoor environment. She needs no particular strategy to induce the eggs production.

Same thing goes for the sterile one. No matter what we do, nothing will make the fish lay eggs. The best thing is to change to another female. Do not invest on the unproductive one. Just for information, the fish being sterile can due to natural reason, but can also due to the application of certain hormone.

The normally productive one is the most common female we encounter. With a normal effort, we can induce her to lay eggs easily. But before that, let’s see two types of inducing eggs strategy.

I differentiate the inducing eggs strategies into two categories:

  1. Comfortable methods
  2. uncomfortable methods (surprise / shock)

The normally productive one usually responds well to the comfortable methods, such as:

  1. putting her in a stable pond / tub / tank with mature filtration
  2. pair her with male partner(s)
  3. mimicking natural environment such as introducing plants, enough sunlight, etc.
  4. giving live food such as daphnia, bloodworm, or mosquito larvae (but avoid tubifex worm)
  5. giving wheatgerm based pellets
  6. give sufficient food (for lack of food will make the fish stop producing eggs)

Uncomfortable methods can also be used but in a mild scale, such as:

  1. change the water with a new one
  2. move the fish from indoor to outdoor

Of course, this discussion assumes that the female is already mature. There is no point in inducing immature female to lay eggs early.

Now, the most challenging part is when we have the difficult fish. Somehow, we want her to breed for certain reasons such as she is a rare variety, she has certain beautiful feature we want to incorporate into our results, she is expensive, etc. And we do not know whether the fish is just a difficult type or sterile. We do not have the scientific tools to determine that in our command. So, the best thing is to try to induce her as best as we can.

I usually recommend the application of the comfortable methods first. When these do not work, we begin to suspect the fish is a difficult type. Then we move to the uncomfortable methods in a more intense scale, such as:

  1. mimicking the winter and spring season change. I recommend this especially for the breeder in a tropical area such as me. We do not have winter and spring. We try to mimick the season change by keeping the female indoor for several months, giving less food, and lowering down the water temperature when possible, while isolating her from the male fishes. After that, we move the female into outdoor pond (warmer temperature), giving abundance food (pellets and live food), and introduce her to male partner(s).
  2. lowering the water hardness parameter (gH), for it is a more ideal parameter to lay eggs. One way we can do this is by introducing rainy water / Air conditioning water excess to the pond.
  3. Putting the fish in a plastic bag, mimicking the stress of being transported.
  4. Giving a more tense feeling of stress (almost life and death situation) such as lowering the water level drastically, or when doing total water change, put the fish in the tub when the water is still low and the fish must struggle to swim. Sometimes, the presence of death might induce the fish to breed
  5. Some people suggest certain food to increase the appetite to breed, such as goose eggs, a certain toad-based diet, etc. I never experiment with this, though.
  6. Hormonal Injection such as Ovaprim can also be applied. But I do not have experience on this.

Those are the methods I sometimes use. If fail, we might suspect that the fish is sterile. But there is still one more strategy left which is worth to try. The strategy is: patience. Most fish are productive starting at the age of four months in the tropical area. But some becomes productive at a later age. I had a brown oranda which is way overdue in her schedule to lay eggs. But I do not want to terminate her since I love her so much. I just keep her in my pond. And guess what, she lays eggs in her jumbo size for the first time, at the age of perhaps 1.5 years old.

Hope these tips help. Cheers.

blue ranchu, brown ranchu, purple ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (16)

Update on several ranchu projects.

In my plan, I am supposed to concentrate on my ranchu projects this year. But I must confess that I am too occupied with tosakin instead of focusing on ranchu. It is already October. The year will end soon. I have not made any significant progress on my brown, purple, and blue ranchu projects. But I think I still need to report my progress here.

To follow up the diary #6, most of the offspring are not satisfying in terms of the quality. I took a big risk by sorting out almost all of them. I kept only one female from each type. And I am not proud with the quality.

Yes, there is a bump near the tail area. The color is good, though.

This purple ranchu has a rough back curve.

This tricolor is actually a blue ranchu that lost some of its melanin. She has been in this stable color for months. I hope she will continue to be like this. However, the back curve is very bumpy.

I mated these three with my two male semi-purple ranchu:

The results are few. They are 7 cm right now. And I think I see some interesting quality. Thank God!

I will take their pictures when they are older and provide the update later on.

Have a nice day!

cow ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (15)

There is a bit of drama in my cow ranchu project.

After many years of failure, I finally acquired a productive female. She was of an ambiguous background. I got it from a local breeder, which was not the logical place to get a cow ranchu. So far, cow ranchu in Indonesia was imported. Its appearance in a local farm was considered impossible. Some friends even said that it came directly from a calico parents. Anyway, she was productive. She laid thousands of eggs, which was way too much for my small capacity.

I managed to mate her once with my own cow offspring – the only one. (When I say my cow breeding project so far was a failure, it does not mean I fail 100%. It just mean I do not get the result I want. Well, getting only one beautiful offspring certainly is far from my expectation.)

Somehow, I had great confidence in this pair. But they choose a bad timing to mate. My facility was starting a major renovation for the next two months, and I was going abroad after that. Obviously I could not raise all of them. I could not even breed the second batch. My hands were tied.

So, I made a move which some considered weird. I kept only 20% of the eggs which I thought I could still manage, and I gave away freely the rest to a goldfish farmer friend in the village. I believed these hatchlings would have better care in the village. I only asked him to spare some for the purpose of Contest Keeping in my city and ten fishes for myself.

In turned out that it was the last time I could mate them. I had a chance to mate the female with a yellow sakura oranda for my yellow cow ranchu project. Then the female died. You can imagine my sadness of losing her. After that, my male cow ranchu’s health deteriorated. For two months his life was only being in and out from the quarantine tank several times. At last he was gone forever.

Now my only hope was in the offspring. But it was a faint hope. A disease wiped all of the offspring in my place except one. Yes. I was left with one cow ranchu – and I was not proud of its quality.

Frankly, this project was playing tricks on my expectation. Not long ago I was so glad to the prospect of success, but then, I was left with almost nothing.

I was glad that my friend from the village gave me ten offspring though they were still small and we could not judge the quality accurately at that time. I lost five of them. But I am glad I successfully raise five of them. And now they are in the breeding season!

The quality I had was a bit below expectation, but I am very grateful to have them. At least I have something to work on. Wish me the best!

The most productive female:

The not so productive female one but very active to eat the eggs in the media:

This female is not productive at all, never lays any eggs. She loves to eat the eggs on the floor, but never disturb the eggs in the media during the mating:

This is the most handsome male so far:

The not so handsome one:

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022, tricolor ranchu

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (14)

Update on Tricolor Ranchu project.

I finally kept only two male fish from this project. They are semi-ranchu (ranchu with a defect dorsal) but with good intense black color. The black pigment has grown since, defying the demelanization process! Here are their development from six months ago.

First fish previously:


Second fish (previously):


If I do not follow their development closely, I might not be able to recognize them. The black color is expanding, and also the orange color! Both fish lost some of the white color in their tails to become orange! The second fish lost its white color on the cheeks. That is an amazing phenomenon. We can still recognize them from their awkward back bone shapes.

Interesting to note that the first fish has a goosehead type of headgrowth while the second one has a lionhead type.

I mated them with their female sibling, which died after that. I mated them back with a tricolor oranda (no picture). The result is great in terms of color. But the dorsal appears fully again. These are two of the results from the tricolor oranda cross:

They have superb colors, don’t they?

The first offspring is my favorite. She is the female I crossed back to the two father four days ago. I do not hope for a decent ranchu shape at this stage. I will settle for a defect dorsal but with good tricolor quality.

The second offspring is a male. There is no point in mating him with the sibling. I mated her with a grey ranchu from my previous failed tricolor project. The backcurve is decent enough, but the tail is weak. It has tricolor gene in its grandparent.

Want to see the results? Must wait for several months to come. Hopefully it will look like this (I clear out the dorsal using Photoshop):

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022, tosakin

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (13)

Towards a new strain of tosakin?

First let me update the offspring of Mr. DBS line in my place. Since it has become the basic ingredient for my tosakin project, I see the need to preserve it. Here are two very different siblings from this line:

My purpose in this tosakin project is to create tosakin with deep red color. I have posted this in the diary #11 this year. From my crossing to get a deep red color, I get two surprises which I have not posted before.

The first one is a red-white fish with a better red color (though not so intense yet) which has a tail shape closer to a decent tosakin (with a shorter tail). But I do think this fish is the key that will bring me one step closer to my goal. That is why I named her the Key. She looks like this:

In the pond, the red color is a bit more intense than this picture. Somehow, I cannot get the color right during my photo session. But the color difference is visible when she is paired with the DBS line as shown below:

I do think that the cross between the DBS line (male) and the Key (female) will produce a decent tosakin with better coloration. So, I mated the Key with several male from DBS line. These are the male fishes:

The one on the right is not the DBS line. He is the deep red semi tosakin fish. I mated him with the Key to preserve the intense red color to be used for the next step of the project. I cannot wait to see the result!

The second surprise is the appearance of a different kind of tosakin. The characterstics are a softer tail, but longer. And a better red color than the DBS line. I do not recall what crossing that produces them. I suspect the butterfly is responsible for this. There are two of them, both are male:

The first fish:

The second fish:

Aren’t they beautiful?

Well, can we call them tosakin? Perhaps not. Not in the standard sense. But, can we create a different strain of tosakin? A softer and longer type of tail. Or is it a sin? Frankly, my mind runs wild imagining a possibility to put my signature on a new strain of tosakin!

But I do not have female fish with their characteristics.

What I will do for sure is to cross them with the female tosakin from the DBS line above:

And what will the result be? I can only imagine something good and beautiful! 😊

Brown Oranda, oranda, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022, yellow oranda

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (12)

This is a comparison between three shapes of Oranda.

Three of my Oranda have grown mature into Jumbo size. I think they have reached their peaks, or almost. So, it is the right time to compare them with the purpose of learning and adjusting my idealism of Oranda.

The first one is Helen the 2nd, as my main blueprint. She carries the recessive gene of purple color, so she is what I call a semi purple oranda. Let’s see her development over time:

Previous (6 months ago):


I am not really happy with the development. The headgrowth is growing, so there is no problem with it. But the body which was stout before seems to lose its thickness. I do not know why. Can it be because of the headgrowth? As the head grows, the previously high curve of the back bone looks a bit flat now. Or can it be due to the excessive breeding? Perhaps lots of nutrients in the body are directed to producing eggs to let the body lose its muscles, just like a human mother facing calcium deficiency after giving birth. I do not know. The size of the fish is amazing, but she looks like a young fish with mediocre quality. The color does not seem to change much. The orange color cannot become red. And yes, few flecks of black pigment appear on her body. It is not a sign of stress. It is common for a semi purple fish to develop such color over time. The first ray of the dorsal fin becomes untidy. The tail is in good shape.

These are the video of Helen from the side and top, showing her size:

The second oranda to compare is my Dark Choco Oranda. Amazingly, with such a round body she can grow into jumbo size also! Let’s see how she develops:

Previous (6 months ago):


She was not in my blue print at all. I never think about such a ryukin-like body shape. I do not even have a ryukin currently. So, this shape comes to me out of the blue. And the dark chocolate color is another blessing. I do not even know that such color exists. I only knew the tea-colored brown goldfish so far. So, to have this fish is like to hit a double jackpot for me. Since this fish has caught my attention, I think it is suitable for me to give her a name. But I cannot make up my mind whether to name her Kong or Godzila. I think Godzila sounds better, though she is a female.

The headgrowth grows but not so much. It grows in the same pace with the body growth, so she can maintain her bulky ryukin-like shape with the small headgrowth. But the color seems to grown more solid, and it spreads to the fins! The dorsal fin is getting slightly bent.

Seeing this color, I remember that we have various spectrum of black color in goldfish. But usually, we divide them into just two: solid black, and not so solid one. The tea-colored brown resembles the not so solid type of black pigment, while the dark choco resembles the solid black color. There seems to be another layer or coat of brown color on top of the scale, which might be the cause of darker appearance. Let’s review the differences in a picture:

I felt the urge to preserve this dark brown color. So far, I see it nowhere else. It will be a pity if we lose such a beautiful color. I have a male sibling of her with the same dark color, thank God! But the sibling has a very different shape of body and fin! If I mate them, there is a possibility to be able to preserve the dark brown color, but I might not be able to maintain the bulky shape of Godzila. Well, life seldom gives all we want.

But there was a bigger problem than that. Godzila is now about 1.5 years of age and no sign of breeding till last month. Fish usually lays eggs at the age of four months in my place. Godzila definitely falls under the category of unproductive / sterile. I already gave up on her. Fortunately, suddenly she laid eggs for the first time at the beginning of this month. I was not prepared at that time. But I was able to keep the eggs the second time she mated. I could not wait to see the result!

These are her video, from side, from top (to show the size) and the comparison between the dark and the light brown:

The third fish is a male yellow goldfish. He is a jumbo fish right now and the last of yellow oranda I keep at this moment. Of course, I have his offspring but in a crossing appearance. I mean, I cross her with a goosehead and comes up with a red and white fish as the F1. They are semi yellow oranda. This yellow has a stout longer body with a beautiful headgrowth. Let’s see the development of this handsome guy:

Previous (6 months ago):


The headgrowth has developed very well. The goosehead type of head is visible, along with the slight development on its cheeks. The fish does not lose its stoutness nor its body length, which I think is good. The only weaknesses are the fold in its lower right tail and the dorsal fin losing a bit of its ability to stay erect.

Here are his videos:

And now it is the time to compare these three:

Well, do tell me how will you rank them and why 😊

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022, tosakin

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (11)

This is the update of my tosakin project.

To refresh a little bit, I had bred Tosakin for many years alone with not much success. Then a friend of mine, mr Dibyo, offered his support in acquiring some good quality tosakin babies from the Izumi Line, Japan. We bought 40 in total. Sadly, they were hard to breed. Mostly the eggs did not hatch, or hatched in a weak condition and died immediately. There were rare occasion when the eggs hatched properly, but when it was time to cull, it became apparent that most of the offspring had defected dorsal fins. The defect could amount to more than 90%. It was a hopeless case.

But by that time, I had a male grey tosakin from Thailand which I acquired before. Since it was the only male I had, I crossed it with butterfly goldfish, and did backcrossing to the father for several generations. I tried to acquire decent tosakin by doing so, but it never happened to my satisfaction. Finally, I gave up the grey old fellow. He was very old and unable to swim. Mr Dibyo asked for the fish, gave him extraordinary care which I could not give, and he even succeeded to mate him with the Izumi line! And the result was fantastic! We called it the DBS line, under mr Dibyo’s name.

Mr Dibyo gave me lots of the F2 of that line, which he let me pick by myself. Mr Dibyo and I had different preferences concerning the tail. He would like to breed those with beautiful large middle tail, while I would like to focus on the fish with strong flips. I picked up those with flips always open even when swimming, with less regard on the beauty of the middle tail. Well, it was hard to get both features at that moment. But surely, it was our dream.

These are the four I kept for my parent fish: one male and three female.

The male:

The three female:

The mating is still hard for me. The fertile eggs are few. But anyway, I manage to have my own Tosakin babies! But I do not update on the babies for now. What I would like to update was my project to create better red color in the Tosakin. As you see, they are all orange in color.

As I mentioned before in another post, I had a very strong red color in a red and white male butterfly goldfish. I called him Beni. He died already. But I managed to cross him with tosakin. Of course I do not get tosakin tail-shape right away. The tail is between tosakin and butterfly. I saved only the fish with the best red color. And this guy is the champion:

He has split tail. Sometimes he shows small flips, but mostly he doesn’t. I am very eager to mate him with those female tosakins as soon as possible.

I have several different color in red spectrum in his siblings. But he is the most red. The picture below highlight how red he is compared to the tosakin. And this is the end of my diary today. Wish me success in creating a decent deep-red tosakin in the near future!

dancing queen, oranda, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (10)

This update covers the evolution of my Dancing Queen (DQ) Project.

To refresh a little bit, my original DQ project was meant to create sideview tosakin. This was the best result from the year 2020 after several years of effort:

But I guess it was a lonely journey. I decided to terminate the project for good. I was struggling at that time. It was hard for me to let go my lovely babies. Just before I let go all my DQ, I made an unthoughtful move by mating my last DQ with a grey Rosetail Oranda. Perhaps in my subconscious awareness I was hoping that Oranda with DQ tail might receive better acceptance. As a result, I ended up with few beautiful grey Oranda like this:

But I quickly realized they could not display their beautiful tail in deep water pond. So, once again, I was thinking of terminating them. But, as before, I managed to unthoughtfully breed them before I sold them. And I think I hit a jackpot. Some of the offspring have flatter tail, making them more suitable for shallow water and top-viewing. So I kept three of them in my large shallow pond along with my tosakin. As the fishes grew mature, I was amazed with the development. One of them grew into a very beautiful fish. Every time I showed him to my friends, they cannot help marvel at its tail. It is visibly different from tosakin tail. And I cannot stop taking his pictures:

And this is the tail position when he swims forward:

The tail is way longer and larger than my Tosakin, and softer. There is a flavor of the rosetail effect which is absent in Tosakin. Yes, it is very similar to the Orchid Tail developed by friends in Thailand. Since it has no legal name yet, my friends and I call it Oranda Dancing Queen (Oranda DQ). And I think I would like to develop it further to be one of my signature.

Too bad, the female are not as good as this male. This is one productive female which I breed with him:

I hope there will be some decent offspring resembling the father.

But I think I need to improve its color and enhance the tail feature. So, I decided to cross the handsome male with Tosakin. I know, this might impact negatively to the headgrowth. But I think I can work it out later on. The tail might look closer to tosakin, but I think I can select some closer to the father. And these are some of the current results:

With this piece as the best, I think:

I can still see the softness characteristic of the tail.

So, my DQ has evolved into Oranda DQ.

Well, let’s wait how these babies will develop in the future. Will they grow their headgrowth? Will the tail become as handsome as their father’s? Let’s hope so!