Sunday, 23 December 2012

Japanese Ranchu Conditions Improve

The ranchu have been back in their main pond now for a couple of days and are looking really well. All have remained very active, round the clock, and continue to feed well. The ranchu that had fraying to its tail finnage appears to have healed almost fully, with the tail looking near perfect once again, which is great to see.

Updates over the coming weeks will probably be quite limited, unless there is anything particularly interesting to blog about. The ranchu will have a few more water changes, whilst seeing their feeds reduced in line with the cooling pond temperature. During the cold period, I expect (and hope, if all goes well) that there will be very little to blog about.

As well as a large brine shrimp hatchery, I am also looking to build something that will allow me to divide the pond into two sections, allowing me to keep males and females separated, during the winter. It has proved difficult to sex the ranchu in their first year. In such inbred lines, tubercles (breeding stars) are often seen on female pectorals, as well as on the males. The vents of the fish can also offer another clue as to its gender, with protruding vents commonly seen on females and more concave vents belonging to the males.

Of the six ranchu that I currently have, I am confident that i've properly identified at least one fish of both sexes (useful given my plans for them!), although it will take a couple of months to be more sure. I then have to hope each party is virile as I would prefer to not have to hand spawn them.