blue ranchu, brown ranchu, Chocolate Ranchu, purple ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (12)

Project #9,10,11: Blue, Brown, and Purple Ranchu Update

The fish I mentioned in the diary #6 show promising results. The cross produces four colors at once: grey, brown, purple and blue. I do not post the grey here. I will focus on the brown, purple, and blue. These are the champions after the final cull.

Brown Ranchu:

I am satisfied with these two brown ranchu, especially the first one. She shows beautiful smooth and thick curve. She can grow into a large and beautiful fish. Yes, she has weak headgrowth, and the size of the head is a bit small compared to the body. I plan to improve it by crossing with red-white ranchu that has better characteristic on this area. I think I will have beautiful offspring from this crossing next year.

The second fish is also female. So I do not have a male brown ranchu right now. The second fish is cute. She has a better headgrowth with more proportional head and body ratio. Well, actually I do not mind which one will be the next mother for my brown ranchu project. Both are adorable in their own ways.


Well, this is the only purple that can survive the cull. And the quality is far below expectation. The head is totally bald. The peduncle is long and slim / thin. Those are two characteristics I would like to avoid. But he is the only one I have. So, my future purple ranchu lineage might depend on him. The color is attractive, though.


The pictures were taken under afternoon sunlight. So the blue color looks a bit like purple due to the excessive sunlight. The first fish is female. I am not sure about the second one. The headgrowth is unique. The first has a little headgrowth, while the second one is bald. The curve of the first one is almost flat in the upper back, and sharply curves down before the tail. The second one has highest point of the back curve a bit to the front, which then slopes down not in a sharp manner. The color of the second fish is rich in gold combination.

I will certainly consider these blue to be my next parent fish. But I also have with me a different line of blue ranchu with a totally different character. I will compare them to decide what to do when they are ready to breed.

As a conclusion, I think my prize in this project is the brown ranchu.

cow ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (11)

Project #12: Cow Ranchu

Update: Cow x Black

I would like to report the result of Cow Ranchu (male) x Black Ranchu (female). These are the parents:

The offspring consists of two types: the grey / wild color, and the transparent color. I cull the grey out early. So, I do not know whether they will turn into some other color or will continue to be grey. I keep the transparent color only.

I also cull out the defects in finages from the transparent color. I end up with 7 of them. Let me first show them from top view.

1. The black pattern is a combination between type 1, 2, and 3 mentioned in my previous writing (diary #10). The blocks, dots, and irregular pattern appear here. I cannot say this is desirable. But it is not a bad thing, either.

2. The black pigment exist throughout all the offspring. Unlike my offspring of cow x cow which yields lots of casper fish (totally white), the existence of black color in this cross is a good thing. I can say that the black pigment of the black ranchu contribute to the abundance of black color here.

3. The red color is dominant and is not a good thing in a cow project. I will say that this red color is due to the black ranchu genetics, also because underneath the black coat of a black ranchu is actually a red / orange color. This is visible when we (accidentally) scratch the skin of a black ranchu.

4. Some of the fish shows thick peduncle, following the genetics of the male parent. This is interesting.

Now, let’s examine the side view of the fish. The pictures are in the same order.

1. One interesting observation is that all of them have white belly! The red color tends to be dominant in the upper part of the fish, while the abdoment tend to be white.

2. All have hints of black pigment in the fins.

3. Black pigments in the body tend to be more in the top part of the body, and get lesser below.

4. The tails are large since both parents have large tails.

My Plan:

Actually, I am not sure whether to use them further for my cow ranchu project or not. It seems that I will have a hard time getting rid of the dominant red color here. It is still interesting to see the result if I cross them back to cow, though. Will the cross diminish the red? It is possible. Will the black color stay? It is also possible. And if this happens, then I will have fish with good black quality (though the pattern type is unpredictable) with less red color.

Crossing them back to black might also be interesting. Observation sideview number 1 reminds me of my attempt to produce Kirin ranchu years before. Kirin tend to have dark color on top of the body and light color in the abdoment. Well, this cow x black shows red color on top and white in the abdoment. And the black pigment tend to be more on top. This seems to be half way in the process of making kirin. So, crossing back to black arouses my curiosity.

But I am not sure I will have time to do all these. I have some other crosses with cow which results I will compare with this. If the other crosses produce closer results to cow, I might prioritize them. If that happens, then this cow x black project will be terminated.

Concerning crossing back to black, I must buy another black ranchu which I am somewhat reluctant to do. Black ranchu is out of my projects. I will think twice to enlarge my projects right now. So, I do not think I will do it.

As a conclusion, this cross might not continue. But it helps me understand crossing better.

cow ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (10)

Project #12: Cow Ranchu (Discourse on Criteria)

There might not be a formal standard of Cow Ranchu yet, as far as I know. For my own purpose in judging the quality of Cow Ranchu, I employ several three criteria.

First is the shape of the black pattern. I divide the black pattern in cow (and calico) into three types as illustrated below:

Type 3 is actually a category to include everything else which are not type 1 and 2.

Three fish below illustrate the three types of black pattern:

In my opinion, the most suitable pattern for cow ranchu is type 1. So, I am aiming at that pattern.

The second criteria is the presence of red color in the fish. Of course, for a good cow ranchu, the red color should be none. By this, I do not say that the presence of red is ugly. Not at all. In fact, it can enhance the beauty of the fish. But it is not a cow.

The fish above has a type 1 black pattern. It has lots of red color. Well, it is better to categorize her as three color (until people invent another more interesting name) and not as “perfect” cow ranchu color.

Third criteria is the quality of the color, namely the white and the black color. When the fish has too much black inside (to give the appearance of blue), while it is a desired color in calico, I think it is not desired in cow. The presence of the blue only gives the impression of dirty white color. The same case happens with the pink color as a result of the lack of guanine in the inner skin. So, in my opinion, the more pure the white (some call it milky white) the better.

The black color quality is also important. The desired black color is the one in the outer skin (or in outer part of the skin), not the one inside. And the deeper the black, the better. The border of the black color should be clearly defined.

Those are the criteria of the cow ranchu I have in mind.

Note: In my observation, these black patterns are not constant throughout the life of the fish. The block (or island) pattern can start from a tiny dots, which grows larger and larger. The dots in calico can grow from none (or few) to many. And in some low grade fish, the black pattern can also get dim or even vanish.

cow ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023

The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2023 (8)

Project # 12: Cow Ranchu Update

At the end of last year when I tabulated my projects ( I mentioned that my Cow Ranchu Project was stagnant. I only had two male fish with weak qualities. They are growing old now, so I must come up with a plan quickly to keep this project going. Let me first show the current state of the two male cow ranchu.

In terms of the curve shape, the second fish is a bit better. But in terms of the pattern and color, the first fish is my choice since it has darker black color with more pronounced pattern (large spot with clear cut borders). This project is about color and pattern, so I choose the first fish as my alpha male.

The plan I had was to acquire several female fish to cross with my cow. I did manage to buy a female cow ranchu, two female calico ranchu, a female tricolor transparent scale ranchu, and a black ranchu. I take this moment as an opportunity to experiment with these crossing to understand more about the cow ranchu variant. Here are the female troops:

This female cow ranchu is nice in picture. But she has several defects. First, she is a bit stunted at the size of 11 centimeter. Second, she has a swimbladder issue which makes her swim sideways sometimes. Concerning the color, it is a true cow coloration with lots of strong black patterns. This is the reason I still use her despite her weaknesses. And she produces lots of eggs when being fed properly. (She competes for food poorly due to her swimbladder issue) I will report the result when the offspring come of age.

This calico has thick backbone, better curve shape, short tail, and larger headgrowth than my cow ranchu specimen. I think those positive points will be good combination to improve the overall quality of my cow ranchu line. Concerning the color, the black patterns tend to be in dot shapes all over the body. This kind of pattern is different from the cow pattern. Even if this fish lost her orange color, her pattern does not belong to the cow pattern. But yes, the black pigment is dense, which is a good point. I do not know what the offspring will be. I have the newly hatched babies with me now, but must wait for them to grow more before I can report the update.

I bought this girl together with the first calico. They are from the same farm. The backbone is thick and the headgrowth is good. The melanin appears in dotted shapes. The tiny tail shape caught my attention. I guess it will be fun to see what will come out of crossing her with my cow. However, this fish has an issue with its deportment, probably due to its structure. She has problem with swimming and will prefer to stay with head down. And she does not lay eggs so far. I will wait for her to lay eggs for a little more time.

This girl is interesting! It is a superb pattern! She belongs to the transparent scale category, but she is not a calico. It is more suitable to categorize her in the tricolor variant. If she lacks the orange color, she will definitely be a beautiful cow ranchu! And a better one than my cow. You see, my cow still has blue color (dark pigment under the skin), but this fish is almost fully milk white! The origin of this fish is also interesting. The breeder in the village is my friend. He mated my cow ranchu line with a sakura that has lots of metallic scale all over its body. And among the offspring, there is only one specimen like this. I am very grateful he let me have this fish. And I think, the sakura that he used in the crossing is not a key to produce this pattern. He can only produce one fish with this pattern! So, the appearance of this pattern in his breed is purely luck, I think. This fish laid eggs once but all the eggs are infertile, to my disappointment. I will wait for her second batch to confirm whether she is infertile or not. Hopefully not. And if she is fertile, there is still a doubt lingering in me that crossing her with my cow might not produce the desired result. Well, let’s see.

I always have a question if the production of cow ranchu involved black ranchu in the first place. So, I want to cross black ranchu with my cow ranchu to see what will become of them. And yes, I have the offspring ready to report. I just need to find time to take the pictures. Please wait patiently.

So, this is the update of my cow ranchu project. Still struggling. But I hope you find these attempts interesting as I do.

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.

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 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:

tricolor ranchu, The Diary of a Goldfish Breeder 2022

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):


Goldfish Now Unseen

Browsing through old books on Goldfish, I saw specimens I cannot find nowadays. In this writing, I want to mention three that capture my attention.

First, a celestial eye with headgrowth. This is rare. I have met two kinds of celestial goldfish: the popular celestial eye without dorsal (usually with slim body and long tail) and the celestial eye with pompoms (usually comes with short tail and thick body). From my experiment, I have created celestial eye with dorsal fin (Nicknamed Celestial Dragon according to Mr Lei in his youtube channel Goldfish Corner).

But there is another type of celestial I have never seen alive nor mentioned by anyone else. I find the fish in my old encyclopedia. In fact, it is the first book I read in my childhood that mentions goldfish.

The Indonesia edition has 1979 copyright. Very old! And it has only 1 page about goldfish, which I observed to my heart lots of time.

Beautiful goldfish for a child like me! I adopted the terms Hanabus, Seibungyo, Chakin, and more without knowing what they meant. At the heart of this picture is a weird kind of celestial:

This celestial has a headgrowth!

Well, nothing else I can say about it. No other information. It remains an out-of-this-world goldfish for me. Yes, there is a temptation to recreate it. But as I think again, I do not know if I want to do that. The fact that this specimen existed once but no more might be a hint that something might be wrong with it. Perhaps there was not enough market. Perhaps the fish lost a certain function which make it unable to survive. I do not know. I think a headgrowth like that (seems to be like a goosehead type) might intervere with the eyes, in terms of both the functionality and the appreciation – a conflict between two features). Yet, it remains a mysterious fish for me.

Second, a rare ranchu color from Joseph Smartt and James H. Bundell’s “Goldfish Breeding and Genetics” (1996):

On top of page 67 I see a beautiful but rare color:

There is no description about the color. I try to observe this picture many times to figure out if this belongs to metallic or transparent scalation category, but I just cannot be sure about it. And I have no idea of how to create such color! It occurs to me if this was a real fish or just a redwhite fish painted with black marker. But knowing the reputation of the author, I believe it was a real fish. This specimen reminds a mystery to me. Do tell me if you can throw some light on how to create this coloration.

Third, a rare oranda color from “Goldfish in Hongkong” by An Urban Council Publication (1993):

On page 43 there are pictures like these:

And this is the description:

Strange color, right?

For sure I have never seen such a color on the internet nowadays. I also do not know how to create such a fish. The description gives a hint that it has something to do with blue fish (blue metallic scale, I think). But how come the blue color only appear in the face of the fish in a uniform way?

Those three specimens are in the top category of the most mysterious goldfish for me. It will be a delight if one day someone will revive them.