purple ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (6)

Project #11: Purple Ranchu

There is no shame in struggling. This blog is not a hall of achievement, but a diary of a journey. My purple ranchu has not yielded desirable result. But I think this does not discourage me at all.

In the previous diary 2022 (19) I posted the update of this project. The fishes have grown large and they are late in breeding. Some of them are semi purple ranchu, while others are purple and blue. No brown color here. Yes, I think I lose that lineage. Too bad. But I am sure I can easily revive them again. The offspring from these mixture will produce some brown color.

Semi purple 1 (male):

Semi Purple 2 (male):

Semi Purple 3 (male):

Purple 1 (Suspect female):

Purple 2 (Suspect female):

Purple 3 (Suspect female):

Purple 4 (male):

Blue with golden stain (female):

Well, observing their back curve, they are very rough. Not smooth at all!

But I see some interesting desirable features in them, namely the wide body (measured from top to bottom) and the small tail. Those two alone are good materials to produce beautiful ranchu unique enough compared to what is available in the popular market. Actually, I do not know why these “monstrous beauty” develop such features. I am not aware of any parent fish with such characteristics that I use in breeding. I take it as God-given, special for me. And I will try to work with these features as best as I can.

I love the wide body type because it portrays masculinity well. It reminds me of the Hulk.

The tiny tail is a feature gaining trends in Indonesia right now. I am glad I get this feature out of nowhere.

The weakness of these fishes are the rough back curve, the shape of the tail (mostly curved instead of straight, with bad angle). The headgrowth is in need of improvement also. Those are my homework.

To complicate the matter, these suspect females do not produce eggs so far. The only one that lay eggs is the blue one. Yes, it is the worst quality of all the females here. And it is not even purple. Adding to that, it is also difficult enough to arouse her to lay eggs. She will produce eggs only when I have kept her for 5 days in medication (with salt and methylene blue). She laid eggs twice with that method. No other normal methods will do for her. Strange, right? Her appearance is a bit unique for a blue fish. I was thinking she was a grey fish. But when I look at the head, tail and abdomen color, I realize she is a blue fish.

The only male purple ranchu is in no better quality. But I still use him because he is the only purple. His color might not show purple enough in this picture because he just come out from the quarantine tank (with methylene blue). You know, when the purple fish is dip in a highly concentrated methylene blue water, the fish tend to lose its purple color for a while to make it looks like blue fish. The purple color will reappear after several weeks.

So, I need to start this project with unsatisfactory parents. Will I succeed?

I am enthusiastic, for sure. I think I need two to four years to bring this project to satisfaction. And of course, I will open my eyes on the market to look for better materials to cross.

I only take the video of the long purple one. Enjoy.

Brown Oranda, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (5)

Project #2: Brown Oranda

Last time I mentioned my Brown Oranda splitted into two lineage: the Dark Choco and the Tea-colored Oranda. I decided to focus on the Dark Choco one, since it is more unique.

This lineage of Brown Oranda diverged from my Blue Oranda line far enough to manifest different body features. My Blue Oranda line has a rounder body and well-erected tail. But it has weakness in its dorsal fin shape. The dorsal looks a bit thin. Some is good in its straight position while others is slightly curved or even a bit fallen to side. This Brown Oranda line is directly opposite to it. The body is a bit longer than the Blue one, and the dorsal looks thick and strong with a sharply straight position. The weakness is in the tail, which is not so well-erected.

I am happy with these differences since they provide me with materials to improve both lineages through cross breeding.

These are three of my Dark Choco:

As you can see, the dorsal fins are pretty uniform. This become their strength.

The dark brown color is also consistent, which is another point to value. There is a special observation I made regarding this color. This dark brown color usually comes with white color in part of its tail, while the tea (or light) brown color has totally uniform color in all its parts. Could this be that the dark brown is actually the exact same pigmen but more condensed than the light one? I do not know about that. But there is another significant different among these two types: in the light brown one, when the brown color fades, the occuring color is always (as far as I observe) orange color. So, it is possible to have brown and orange pattern in a fish coming from the fading light brown color. But the dark brown one has the capacity to introduce white color in its pattern, which the light brown one does not have. So, it is possible to have brown and white pattern (or even brown, red and white) pattern coming from the dark brown lineage. Isn’t it amazing?

In fact, the third fish was brown and white fish before. But then the brown color takes over to make the body totally dark brown and leave the white to the tail. So, this is another unique feature: the ability to remelanize (to reintroduce the dark brown color that had faded)

Back to analyzing the fishes, their body lengths are different. The second fish has the longest body, while the third one has the shortest (roundest) type. The first one is the medium length type. So there is no uniformity in the body length.

The tail is varied, also, with the second fish becomes the weakest.

Well, after analyzing the strength and weakness of this dark brown lineage, I think I am happy with the current result. I am also excited to see the possibility to improve them in the future. My best pair is the first fish (male) and the third one (female). I am also thrilled to see whether I can create the brown, red, and white stable pattern. If so, it will be an interesting alternative to the current tricolor (black, red, and white pattern) in the market. It will be a pattern I have never seen during my whole life time!

For the video please see the youtube below:

Blue Oranda, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (4)

Project #1: (Semi) Blue Oranda

Well, the result of my Blue Oranda is satisfactory. But as a breeder, I need to anticipate the genetics being saturated due to inbreeding. So, I develop a cousin-line by crossing the female Blue Oranda parents (Diary 2022 #19) with an orange oranda of my own, which unfortunately I did not manage to take his picture. So, the phenotype of the offspring is orange / red white Oranda, while the genotype carries the blue genetics recessively. I keep only best three of them currently:

Let me analyze them.

Body-wise, the first fish is superb. It has depth and thickness. The length doesn’t seem to be short, more of a medium type, which is what I want. The curve has a good height. It will contribute to the bulky appearance of the fish even when the headgrowth grows higher. The headgrowth is a bit small right now, but I will not worry since I know the parents headgrowth type. It won’t be small, but it won’t be excessive, either. Just right. The tail has a good erect angle with no defects. Perfect! The only visible weakness is the dorsal fin with its curved first ray. This feature also appears in parts of my current Blue Oranda line. Well, it is not really a defect. It is just less desirable than the perfectly straight one. This fish seems to be a female.

What to make of her?

Of course I want to have Oranda with this shape, but with a better dorsal fin. If I use this to cross with my Blue line, then I must choose a male with a good dorsal fin. This will make my Blue Oranda lineage improved in terms of the dorsal fin, but I don’t think I will get 100% better dorsal fins directly from the crossing. It would be better if both parents have good dorsal fins!

Or I can use the first fish as my Basic Material fish. If I mate it with the second fish, which seems to be male, then I can develop a good quality line of orange / orange white Oranda. I can use the line to improve my other Oranda projects (see Diary 2022 #18 for list of my projects).

The body of the second fish is not as strong as the first one, but it might due to the gender difference. This fish has a strong erect dorsal fin. I am glad to have him since I have the needed material to further my projects.

The third fish is probaly a male also. But the body is not as strong as the second fish. And the dorsal is not desirable. So, I think I have no need of him.

For video, please see the youtube below:

purple oranda, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (3)

Project #3: Purple Oranda / Lavender

Currently I have two lines of Purple Oranda. One comes from the Blue line, and another from the brown line. I will update only the first line at this moment.

As you might have known, I have crossed purple and blue many times such that my blue oranda lineage carries the purple genetics recessively. The blue oranda parents I mentioned in the diary 2022 #19, which I thought were purely blue, turned out to produce a little percentage of purple! So, without any effort, my Project #1 to create blue oranda rewards me with a succesful outcome for Project #3. The quality of the purple oranda is roughly similar to their blue brothers and sisters.

These are five of them:

These are young fish. I am satisfied with their quality right now. I am sure they will turn into beautiful specimens several months to come. Two things I need to improve: the dorsal fin and the pattern. Some fish shows weakness in its dorsal fin, namely the first ray. Concerning the pattern, I am hoping to have more brown color staining the purple to make the ochiba patterns. I consider the ochiba pattern to be more desirable than plain purple.

I will update these fish again when they are mature in shape.

For those interested to see their video, please visit the youtube link below. Thank you.

Blue Oranda, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (2)

Update Project #1: Blue Oranda

At the end of last year I wrote the progress of my Blue Oranda Project (Diary 2022 #19). These are their offspring:






These are from the 1st batch. I kept six of them. Yet when I caught them for the purpose of taking these pictures, I only managed to catch five of them. I produced more in the 2nd batch for the purpose of Keeping Contest in our community with 23 participants.

Analyzing these offspring, I think this confirm the uniformity of the line. The body shape is relatively the same type. Yes, I must admit some have wider body and some a bit slimmer. But I think this might due to the sex. The slimmer ones I suspect are the male. The headgrowth is similar. The tail shape and the erect-angle is uniform enough. The obvious weakness I think in the dorsal fin, especially in the 4th specimen. Well, mostly have good dorsal fin, but some are weak. About the stability of the color, mostly are strongly blue. Yet, about 20% still turn into white.

Theses fishes are approximately three to four months old, so they still have lots of time to grow. Their current size is about 12cm.

I am satisfied with the current result. Perhaps I will breed true to this lineage for several years to come. Perhaps with improvisation on the dorsal and headgrowth a little bit.


For the video link, see the youtube below:

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?

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!