Friday, 30 November 2012

Ranchu Parasites - A Closer Look and Plan B.

The ranchu have been moved into smaller temporary tubs whilst the pond has been "nuked" with a Potasium Permanganate treatment. Every effort will now be made to keep anything not sterilized from going into it. The ranchu will only go in there once i'm happy they are clean enough for the Winter and Spring periods. I really need to get them sorted quickly as i really want to start cooling them for a winter break as soon as possible.

My plan now is to attempt another course of FMG treatment. This time however i hope to use the smaller tubs, that I currently have the ranchu in. I intend to change the water daily, 100% fresh and with the required dose mixed in each day. Using the smaller tubs will help in a couple of ways:

  1. I intend to increase the temperature this time, which will speed up the life cycle of the Costia, or even start killing them off if a high enough temperature is reached. 
  2. It will keep the general level of waste down which should help the FMG perform to its potential (I also intend to feed even more strictly (or less) during this course. 
  3. It will also keep the water in the best possible condition for the ranchu, which I hope will allow me to hold fire after the final dosage, giving the chemical an extra day or two to finish the job!

I managed to catch a decent mini clip of some of the little F#@%%@s today. This is from a scrape of a heater in one of the tubs which obviously gets some slime build up. It makes claims that parasites cannot live long off a host very questionable. Parasites shown on scrapes of the fish are still proving much harder to find thankfully, although they are there in very low numbers.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Back to the Drawing Board!

Twenty four hours passed since the final FMG dose was applied and scrapes of the pond, disappointingly, showed that the treatment had had very little impact. I pulled the fish out and put them into a smaller temporary tub. Out of interest, I dosed the fishless pond with another 25ml, left for several hours and again scraped the tub. You guessed it, Costia and Tetrahymena were still present in high numbers and looking just as active.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Ranchu Update

The final dose of FMG treatment has been given to the Ranchu pond this morning which i hope will be the dose that takes the total dosage to the effective level. Scrapes of the pond wall this evening are still showing Costia. However, they do appear to be in fewer numbers, and moving in a very drugged like, manner! I hope that after tomorrow evening (24 hrs at full dose strength), the costia will no longer be found alive, or much more positive results will be seen, at least.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Japanese Ranchu Characteristics and Terminology

For anyone becoming interested in the traditional (Japanese) Ranchu goldfish culture, it's worth trying to remember some useful Ranchu terminology. You will often encounter enthusiasts using a variety of phrases and terminology that you may not be familiar with. I have provided a list of the few terms commonly used when keeping, breeding, and showing Ranchu in particular;

"TVR" - Top View Ranchu.
"BBR" (or "Kurokos") - Black Baby Ranchu.
"CBR" - Coloured baby Ranchu.

"Tosai" - Ranchu in its first year.
"Nisai" - Ranchu in its second year.
"Oya" - Ranchu in it's third year.

A picture will best help describe other terms associated with the features of the Japanese Ranchu observed from above:
Japanese ranchu characteristics and terminology

1. Caudal Peduncle.
2. Tail Shoulders (or "Oshia") -Where tail begins to bend back and down.
3. Tail Tips (or "Osaki")
4. Bracelet (or "Oza") - Small scales around base of peduncle.
5. Tail core (or "Oshin") - Central line of tail to the split.
6. Funtan - Headgrowth protruding forward from beneath the eyes
7. Hood or Wen. - Head growth.

Though theses are important areas when developing high quality ranchu, it is by no means a complete checklist. Above all, a ranchu must be well balanced, powerful and swim beautifully!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Ranchu Parasite Update

More thorough scrapes today have confirmed my fears and shown Costia on my Ranchu.

Fortunately, I had only recently started treating the pond with a Formalin and Malachite Green anti parasite treatment so my Ranchu have been returned to endure the treatment. Several hours in and everything appears to be normal. All fish active, breathing well and looking for food. Let's hope that the previous Gill Flukes and Costia have not caused to much damage to the gills and the fish can cope with the course of treatment.

I have researched a lot and read many conflicting recommendations regarding the preferred treatment for Ranchu, these included baths in salt upto 20g per litre, Potassium Permanganate, and Formalin and Malachite treatments all appearing to have varying results. Having some immediately available, and in an attempt to treat the issue as soon as possible, i've gone with the F&MG treatment.

A couple of tips that may be useful that i have discovered whilst using the microscope:

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Ranchu Parasites

Having become somewhat obsessed with my new microscope, I have been inspecting many samples from the pond and the Ranchu in recent days.

The first issue identified clearly on the Ranchu were flukes. Both skin and gill flukes were identified following scrapes and a straight forward Praziquantel course of treatment appears to have successfully removed them.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Preparing Ranchu for Winter

The weather here in the UK is beginning to become much more winter like, with a number of good frosts on the ground in recent mornings. Within the next couple of days I will begin reducing the temperature in my ranchu pond steadily over a period of a few weeks until they reach the desired temperature (<8 Degrees C ) that I shall keep them at over winter. I do not intend to feed my ranchu or carry out any water changes once the pond is at the desired winter temperature. I also intend to keep the pond at this temperature for several weeks although the fish will obviously be observed regularly.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

All Japan Ranchu Show 2012 Results (AJRS)

Today the results of this years All Japan Ranchu Show 2012 have been published providing a great opportunity to admire and study the best Ranchu entered this year. Inspiring stuff.

Results along with fantastic pictures of the event and the fish can be found at

Friday, 2 November 2012

Another day, another water change

Today was water change day which currently takes more time than id like. The fish are currently in a temporary 6 x 4 indoor pond. 100% water changes are carried out every 3 - 5 days dependant on the condition of the pond and the activity levels of the Tosai.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

My Journey Begins

Welcome fellow Ranchu enthusiast! Having found yourself here I assume that you are becoming or have become as obsessed with Ranchu as I have. Fear not, you are not alone...

You join me at the beginning of what I expect to be a long and challenging journey. My hopes are to keep, breed, groom and show Ranchu, self bred here in the UK to traditional standards using traditional methods more commonly associated with Japan and the East. I intend to blog about my adventures regularly and hope that my ramblings may provide some useful information for anyone interested in the Ranchu culture.