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, tricolor ranchu

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (5)

Tricolor ranchu (metallic scale) has always been my aim. When the tricolor (or panda) ranchu with metallic scale appeared several years ago from Thailand, I immediately thought of creating its ranchu version. I did not realize how hard it would be.

Up to now, I have crossed the tricolor oranda with ranchu three times. Each time, I followed the project up to the 2nd generation. When there was no sign of success, I repeated the same crossing again and again, for I could think of no other way to achieve the result. Of course, I used different fishes, and sometimes I used the result from previous failed attempts. It has been roughly three years now with no apparent success.

However, the latest result seems to rekindle my broken spirit. When the previous failed attempts only yielded orange or wild color, the current results show a more stubborn black color. One particular fish even gains back its black pigment after losing it – a process I frequently witness in tricolor goldfish. I call the process as a re-melanization process.

This is the piece (male) that undergoes the remelanization process:

And this one is his sibling (male) but does not undergo the remelanization process. Yet, his black pigment has stayed this way for a longer time. A common fish under demelanization process will lose that black pigment sooner.

I put a lot of expectation on these two guys. I have mated them with a tricolor oranda. Now the offspring are 2 cm in length and are still wild color. I think some of them will become tricolor fish. Yet, most of them generate fully normal dorsal fins. That is the problem with crossing back to oranda.

The only female from the same batch is this one:

The black color of this female is not as dark as the males. And the demelanization process looks similar to the common fish. If I have high confidence for the males to be tricolor, I do not have that much confidence for this female. Yet, mating this female with the two male fish is an option. (The female has not laid eggs yet).

Those three are from the same parents and same batch.

There are two more female fish I kept from previous failed attempts as reserve:

I think I can get rid of the yellow one. The wild colored one might be an option to mate with the two male fish. Who knows the wild color is a better choice than the blackgold one?

That’s all my update on the tricolor ranchu project right now. Wish me the best 🙏

tricolor ranchu

Towards Tricolor Ranchu

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 😊