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:

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:

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!

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!

purple ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022 (6)

I must revise my understanding about the breeding of blue, brown and purple crossing.

Several weeks ago I crossed semi purple ranchu with semi purple ranchu. What I mean by semi purple is the cross between purple ranchu and red ranchu. The phenotype (outward appearance) is red / red-white / wild color. To refresh our memory, these are the pair I used (female, male, and male):

In my understanding, the result will be as shown in this illustration:

SP = Semi Purple

I mentioned earlier that the result consists of two different visible color: the light colored fry and the dark one. The light colored fry will become purple, and the dark colored one will become grey (which might eventually turn into red / red-white / stay grey). Based on this understanding, I usually cull out the dark colored one.

I have done these crossing with oranda and ranchu several times and I have revised my understanding. The light colored ones do not turn into solely purple, but also brown fish! So, without any crossing back to brown, I get brown color as a bonus. This will make my life easier. I do not need to make the brown as a separate project. But in this revised understanding, I still cull out all the dark colored ones.

This time, when I breed the semi purple ranchu above, I decided to keep the dark color fry. My initial purpose is to see if some of can become my Basic Ranchu Material. To my surprise, as the color become more visible in several weeks, the dark color turn out to be not only grey fish but also blue fish! So, I have been wrong all this time by culling out all the dark ones! So, once again I must revise my understanding to be like this:

Here are the real offspring:

  1. purple ranchu
  2. brown ranchu
  3. grey / green / wild colored ranchu (that might turn into red/red white)
  4. blue ranchu

Knowing this, I can simplify my projects. Instead of three projects of blue, brown and purple, I can just do one. The purple project will yield all the three color types I want. Is not that great?

But there is a certain doubt lingers. Why does the semi purple cross produce all the three color types? In my understanding, there is two possible solution:

  1. the purple genetics I use is not pure.
  2. even the pure purple genetics carries all the three color types with it, which will be reintroduce when being crossed with another fish (in this case a red fish)

Possibility number one is likely to happen, since I crossed my purple to many other color which I did not keep track diligently. I tried to purify the purple by mating purple with purple. I also mated purple with brown, and purple with blue, which yielded several percentage of purple goldfish (which I guess the purple gene is not pure in this case). And I do not know which purple I use to produce the semi purple ranchu above.

So, yes, I cannot answer which one of the two possibility is true. If number 1 is true, then to reduce my three projects into one will only work if I use the impure purple genetics. If number 2 is true, then I can reduce the three into one in all cases. Hopefully someday someone else can clarify this by doing a better experiment with diligent journal.

Blue Oranda, Purple goldfish, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2021

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2021 (12)

It seems that my writing activity is not as active as my breeding activity. There has been a lot of progress in my breeding projects that I have not updated here. Let me try to catch it up.

In this occasion, I would like to update my Oranda breeding project since it is my main priority this year. To continue the Diary number 7 about the cross between Purple Oranda and my Basic Oranda Material in order to improve the quality of my purple oranda, I have selected a pair of offspring (semi purple Oranda) as the main parent fish. They are mature right now and have been bred several times. These are their pictures (before and after):

The fish above has grown big and becomes difficult to handle during hand-spawning. The body is strongly built. The tail wrinkles beautifully displaying the rose-tail style. The headgrowth has grown a little bit, but not impressive enough. This is the part that need to be improved still. Anyway, at this stage, I am satisfied with the quality so far. This female is productive. She is the main star during this year. I use her in several different projects. Let’s call her Helen the Oranda.


This male is from the same batch as the female one. Strangely his red and black pigments grow. At first, I thought he was in a stressful condition. But that was not the case. I mated this male with the main female to produce improved Purple Oranda. But complication arose. Most of the purple oranda produced lost their purple color and turned into white fish. I must discard them. Right now I am left with only two purple offspring which seem to retain their color. Right now the offspring is seven centimeters in size. I will post them later when they are bigger. So, with only two purple offspring left, I cannot say that this project is succesful. I plan to redo this mating once again to see if I can get more purple ones.

From my crossing of the Basic Oranda Material with my blue oranda of the same age as above fishes, I am blessed with one male semi blue oranda. Its phenotype is red, of course. I mentioned this project in my previous posts but had never posted any picture. So, I do not have the “before” picture. This is the recent picture of him:

The body is stout. The tail has some wrinkle genetics but it is not quite the same as the Helen the Oranda (the semi purple one). The headgrowth is slightly better than the result of the semi purple project. I mention this male because he is significant in producing my improved blue oranda. I mated this male with Helen which successfully resulted in improved version of my blue oranda. A small percentage of the offspring loses its blue pigmen but the majority are good. So, excitingly, the cross between the semi blue oranda and the semi purple oranda results in good blue oranda offspring. They are still young right now, roughly seven centimeters in size. I will update them later when they are bigger.

Concerning my brown oranda project, I mentioned my failure before. But this week, I have successfully crossed my previous version of brown oranda with Helen. I have lots of confidence of being successful, but it is too early now to claim that. I will update the result in the next several months.

One more thing. I have another female semi purple Oranda besides Helen. The color was grey, and now she turns totally black. I did not include her in my post number 7 at that time since I was not aware of her presence. I thought all have been mutated into red or red-white fishes. Only when I did the total water change I realize that there was one grey fish left. I was planning to cull her out, but right now she ends up as the only back up female from the semi purple project. Considering her strong black pigment, she might be a better candidate to produce purple color than Helen. Yet, she has slender body and weaker tail than Helen. I do not take her picture. I just think I need to mention her in case I use her in my project one day.

So, to conclude, the successful one at this point is the improved blue oranda project. The purple and brown ones still need to be repeated again. And another interesting side project involving Helen comes to mind which I will report in the next post. Please wait 😊

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2021

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2021 (11)

I have refined my breeding strategy.

First, let me update the projects I have started at the beginning of this year: the blue, brown, purple, and yellow oranda. I have crossed my original fishes with the better quality oranda which I labeled as my Basic Material (orange in color). The purpose of the project is to improve the quality of my blue, brown, purple, and yellow oranda.

I have crossed each type of color with the Basic Material. Unfortunately, not all went as planned. The successful one is the purple oranda project. The crossing produced male and female semi purple oranda (right now they are in orange and red white color). I have mated these F1 x F1 on this June and have kept the purple fry only. So far so good. It is a different story with the blue cross.

The cross between blue and basic material yields good quality semi blue offspring. Sadly, they are all male. I cannot continue the project with this condition. (I still keep one female blue oranda from my original line as a back up, though.)

The brown and basic material cross failed miserably. Due to the overload in my capacity, I could not take care the offspring well. I must let them go. (I still have brown oranda from two other lines which I can use as back up.)

The yellow project produced so many single tail, which I must cull out. So, this project also failed. (Of course, I still keep some yellow for back up plan.)

Besides these crossing, I also paired my Basic Material with each other because I might use them later on. This line is important for me. I must manage them well.

Second, I just realize that I do not have to make four separate projects as mentioned above, actually. The blue, brown, and purple are somewhat related. This fact can simplify my breeding strategy a lot. Let me explain.

To review a bit, this chart explains the basic:

The blue and brown are not related. When they are crossed, the F1 is grey in color, which sometimes turn into orange fish. But when the grey is paired with each other (F1 x F1), the result will be blue, brown, purple, and grey. I always cull out the grey. This is how I get my purple goldfish.

So, although the blue and brown are not related, the blue is somewhat related to the purple. The brown is also related to the purple. Here we see that the key is the purple goldfish. When we crossed the blue and purple, the result will be blue and purple right on the F1. The same case happen in the cross between brown and purple. We will immediately get brown and purple.

So, what I need to cross with the basic material is actually only the purple. When I get the desired result (the purple with higher quality), I can cross the purple with the blue and the brown. Instead of mating each color with the basic material (three projects), it is sufficient for me to cross the purple only. This simplify my projects a lot, doesn’t it? This is the refinement of my breeding strategy.

The yellow oranda is a different case. This color has no relation at all with the blue, brown, or purple. So, this project must stand on its own. I must cross the yellow with the basic material.

Thank you for reading 😊

cow ranchu

Cow Ranchu Crossing

Cow Ranchu is a variant of the transparent scale ranchu that has black and white color. Sometimes the black pattern can expand. The black comes in large patterns and small dots. Red color might be present in small areas of the body. If the red is too much, it cannot be called cow ranchu anymore. I do not know if it is the International standard name of not, but we Indonesian calls it Cow Ranchu since it resembles the color of black and white cow. This breed was rare before (especially in Indonesia), but it is available recently through imports from Fuzhou, China (if my information is correct). How people come up with this pattern is still a mystery for me. A breeder friend told me once that when he bred them, he got a variety of transparent color ranchu including calicos. So, in his view, the cow is just the offspring of the usual calico which then being separated purposely based on the color. So, it will not breed true. I doubt this explanation. In my understanding, the usual calico does not have the ability to expand its black pigment like this cow ranchu. And the black in calico usually comes in dots, not large patterns or blocks as in this cow ranchu. So, I decided to buy some cows at the end of 2019 with three purposes: first, to breed them to see if they breed true, second, to observe the expansion of the black pigment, and third, to cross them with other colors to see what will happen. Well, the 1st and 2nd purposes was facing hindrances. My first attempt to breed them resulted in so few offsprings. I think I need to breed more of them. And then, three out of five that I bought died, sadly. Gladly, I managed to crossbreed them with the common calico and with the blue metallic scale ranchu. This writing will mainly talk about the crossbreeding result.

These are the five I bought (I show them the left and right side for each):

The first three are the males. And the last two are the females. My favorites are number three and four. Too bad, they are gone. The remaining two are number one and five. I am trying to buy some more to replace them.

Their offspring in my first attempt to breed them was few, and they were weak in quality. Yet, my initial conclusion is that they breed true. Majority of the offsprings were cow ranchu. Few had minor red stains. No calico observed. Yet, I need to confirm this with my next breeding. I could not stand the quality of the offspring, so I culled most of them. I come out with these two left:

The first one has a yellowish stain in the area of its left pectoral fin. The rest are white with black pigment under the skin. The first one also has an outer black pigmen in its pectoral fin. I think they are good specimen to observe whether the black pigment will expand or not. These two are the reason for my initial conclusion that they can breed true.

Next, I mated the cows with these calicos:

I bought them from an importir friend who acquired the parents from China. So far, he has bred them true. I saw myself the offspring in his pond was pretty much similar in color characteristic. I asked for one female and two males. Too bad, he mistakenly sent me all females. Anyway, I could still pair them with my cows.

Here are the results of the cross between the calicos (female) and the cow (male) – after hard culling, ten of them remain:

The quality is far below my standar, so I cull them hard. Even these ten will be culled again after they serve the illustration purpose. (Mostly, my wife’s pupils will adopt them.) The offsprings resulted in different eye type, and different color variation: tiger, calico, sakura, and cow (the last one). I kept the cow one to see the progress of the black pigment.

I also use this blue metallic ranchu which comes from my own previous project to breed with the cows:

And the result of the cross between the blue metallic (female) and the cows are:

cowblue 7

The offspring consists of blue metallic scales and grey metallic scales, but I want to focus on the transparent scale offspring. After much culling due to the low quality, I keep these to represent the range of transparent color emerged from this cross: tiger, calico, and kirin-like ranchu (the last one). Kirin is another variation of transparent color where the dark color and the light color seemed to separate in half. The dark color (purple, blue, grey, black) always dominates the upper part of the body, while the light color (white, yellow, red, orange) is more in the lower part. Actually, a more accurate description I think is that the light color is all over the body in the background, while the dark color exists in the foreground and occupies only the upper part of the body. The dark color usually looks with scales, or looks like a net, while the light color is transparent. Some shiny and big metallic scales are usually seen scattered all over the body.

Comparing the two crossing, it is obvious that there are overlaps: the tiger, calico, and sakura (perhaps some of the calico will turn into sakura when they lost their black pigment, or it will never happen in this cross, I do not know and do not focus on that). But interestingly, the cross between the cow and the calico produces cow-like offspring, where the other cross does not. And the cross between the cow and the blue metallic produces the kirin-like offspring, where the other cross does not. It is a hint, I think, that kirin pattern involves the blue metallic scale in the making. I kept the kirin-like one to see or use in further project.

That’s all that I can report so far. Thank you for reading. Enjoy!

Panda Oranda

Panda That Humbled me down

Years of my experiment brings me the conclusion that the panda coloration (or the tricolor as its side effect) is actually the blue coloration in metallic scale fish that undergoes demelanization process. That process can happen quickly in certain blue fish, turning it into a totally white fish or red and white one. But it can also happen slowly, even to the point of being halted forever, producing the beautiful panda / tricolor goldfish.

Recently, since 2018, breeders from Thailand storm the market with panda / tricolor oranda which seems to be strong in its coloration. I acquired some and breed them to see if they conformed to my understanding. And what did I find?

The offspring were not blue in color!

They were grey just like the common metallic goldfish!

I raised them to see if they will become panda like their parents. And yes, with mix results, I got several decent panda oranda. The results consist of grey (which does not seem to turn into black nor panda), black, panda, tricolor, and some who loses the melanin totally.

Here are some of the results that I raised until maturity:

DSC_9166DSC_9362DSC_9467 (2)

So, panda does not come from blue fish only. My previous conclusion was wrong. I still does not know how the grey fish can become panda, since the common grey fish (red white fish) cannot do so. Actually, I experience this once a long time ago. But I dismiss it as an exception. Perhaps next time I can find my documentation and write about it. For now, I must humbly admit that there are panda color that does not come from blue fish.

Purple goldfish

Final Chapter on Purple Ranchu Project

I think I have come to the final stage of my project on purple goldfish. Starting with the report by Shisan C. Chen as my inspiration, I am finally able to create the purple ranchu. I called the color purple, since I heard that term being used when I was young and naive in goldfish breeding. Shisan C. Chen did not use that term. He just said that it is an intermediate color between brown and blue. I remembered my heart yearned for a more definite description or picture, “what sort of color is that? I would like so much to see it!”

In doing this project, I learned that there are two kinds of brown color in goldfish, and they are genetically different. I am sorry I cannot speak in a more scientific term since my training in genetics is very limited. But I know from my observation that when the two different brown are mated with blue, the result is totally different. I will not elaborate more on this since I have written about it several times on this blog.

So, this is the result:

Left side view:

Yes, it has brown stain, to make it a purple and brown ranchu. Some friends prefer to use the koi terminology to address this breed and call it ochiba ranchu. Yes, the head and perhaps the body could still be improved. I have focused much on the color and sort of neglecting the body conformation. But, for the color experiment, this is final.

Right side view:

Less brown stain on the right side views to make it a decent purple. I know for most people who are not familiar with this project, it is hard to differentiate this purple color with blue. So, let me give some comparison picture.

Comparison between purple and blue:

Yes, the purple has a reddish color compared to the blue.

Comparison between purple, blue and brown:

Hopefully, this project will be useful for the coming generation of goldfish breeders and hobbyist. Thank you for all the motivational support for this project. It is finished now 🙂