We are continuing to enjoy mild weather her in the UK and the Japanese ranchu pond has warmed up by about 1 degrees C per day, for the last few days. In the last couple of days, I've also discovered that the floating thermometers i have been using, are somewhat inaccurate at the low temperatures. Strangely they are reading accurately at higher temperatures (Apparently this is due to the liquid used and them being calibrated to operate accurately at regular tropical temperatures). The thermometers have been reading an incorrect low, somewhere in the region of 3 degrees C under the actual temperature. This means that the at its lowest the pond only reached somewhere near 8 degrees C.
Whilst I don't see this being a major issue, it has also meant that the pond is already warmer than i expected, currently in the region of 11 degrees C. With the couple of milder days we've had on the trot, the ranchu are looking as if they are slowly gaining more energy, daily. Today they took an active interest in me being around the pond, as if awaiting a feed. A couple of what i believe to be males, also appeared to show chasing behavior. Whilst i wasn't expecting to be back in the water change/feeding routine this soon, the mild weather and warmer than expected pond, means that the pond could be above 15 degrees C sometime next week and things will need to get underway. The water quality also looks to have deteriorated somewhat in the last couple of days.
In preparation, I have separated what I believe to be the females, from the males, hoping to help inspire them into breeding when reintroduced to each other, at a later date. I intend to slowly introduce some bloodworm soon, starting with one small feed each day. I will also begin the water changes as soon as the feeding begins.