Sunday, 24 February 2013

Breeding Ranchu; Lights, Camera...

A quick update on the ranchu. Today they received a full water change and temperature increase to a little under 18.5 degrees C. The ranchu became very active, on returning to the water, with a lot of breeding like behavior. What I had believed to be 3 males have been almost certainly confirmed, as they were all chasing and butting female ranchu, as well as posturing and chasing each other. Pectoral breeding tubercles also became very prominent on two of the ranchu.

I added spawning material and was out for the rest of the day. Nothing has come of it yet, although I could make out some gentle chasing occurring a short time ago in the dark and wouldn't be at all surprised to see lots of action one morning this week.

Based on this mornings activity, my 4 favorite ranchu appear to be split evenly 50/50 male/female. This is exciting as I hope it will give me a couple of different pairing opportunities which will be of great value in assessing best pairings for the future.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

UK Nisai Ranchu 23/2/13 Update

Ranchu Goldfish UK

Today we have had snow again and cold temperatures but the ranchu continue to enjoy warmer conditions. I have now stalled the temperature increases at a little above 18 degrees C and hope brighter, warmer, natural weather will trigger breeding ranchu behavior in the coming weeks.

I have observed all the Nisai closely today and they have all been very active, with good appetites, which is reassuring. I have observed noticeable growth already in the Nisai, despite lower temperatures and limited feeding so far, which is also exciting. Along with the excitement surrounding spawning,  i'm also very excited to see how the Nisai themselves develop in the coming year.

The ranchu in todays image is a piece I like very much. Whilst there are always areas for improvement, I like its general proportions and its head is strong, with great width and head growth (which it had at 6 months of age). I very much hope that this ranchu will be involved in spawning this season.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

UK Ranchu Goldfish Update

Yet another week flies by and with the temperature of the ranchu pond creeps slightly higher. This week at times it has gone above 18 degrees during when the sun has been out and i have limited the amount that it dropped again at night. This has meant that today the pond broke 18 degrees C.

Today, the ranchu perked up massively, following a water change. They were easily as active as i've seen at any time this season, with some chasing occurring. I will now slow down the controlled temperature rises even further. I may even keep them at 18 degrees now for a while and only let the temperatures increase further when brighter, milder conditions occur naturally.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Ranchu Pond Update

Ranchu Goldfish UK

The weather in the UK has been variable over the last week, with snow returning yet again, although the ranchu are happily sitting at 16-17 degrees C.

There is not a lot to write about currently, i have carried out a couple of water changes and the ranchu are perking up more and more each day. They are also all filling out considerably developing large, soft bellies even with limited feeding.

The coming weeks will certainly be filled with hope in anticipation of spawning, as the temperature continues to rise and the ranchu grow, becoming more and more active. I have looked at my records of Wakin spawns that i've grown in previous years, in a pond in the same location and under the same conditions as the ranchu this year. The Wakin spawned end of March. I am hopeful that a warm spell within the next 2 or 3 weeks will see mother nature kick in. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

UK Ranchu Pond Update 5/2/12

UK Ranchu Goldfish

Today we had a few more flurries of snow and the weather has indeed chilled somewhat but the ranchu remain warm. The pond today has neared 14 degrees C and i would say that the ranchu are close to normal activity levels. Today the main pond has been cleaned and refilled. The ranchu will remain in the smaller ponds for the next couple of days, as temperatures increase slightly further.

The ulcer on the wen of one fish is clearing each day and i suspect will be gone completely in the next couple of days. It has also been interesting to observe the funtan of another ranchu, which was damaged badly during treatment before Christmas. The spot on one side burst, then healed, but the result was a very badly shaped funtan on one side. Interestingly, the damaged funtan now appears to have regrown fully and the both sides now even once again, which is pleasing.

The ranchu in todays image is a fish that i'm excited to see grow. Whilst it is not as strong in some areas as other fish, I believe it has good overall proportions and future development potential. It is quite thin (as they all are currently), due to reduced feeding during quarantining, treatments and then the winter period, but is bulking up daily.

Monday, 4 February 2013

UK Ranchu Pond Update

In recent days, the ranchu pond has been warming constantly and gradually and is now sitting at around 13.5 degrees C. The weather here has been mild for several days, but we have freezing temperatures forecast over the coming days, although this shouldn't now be an issue. I have introduced a small amount of food and they have all fed eagerly and passed waste, which is a good sign. I have carried out a couple of partial water changes, so as not to shock them. Along with the temperature rises and the food, the ranchu have perked up considerably, moving freely, almost at full speed.

It appears that my warming was probably well timed, as one of the females was beginning to develop an ulcer of some sort on her wen. Fortunately, this appears to be disappearing with the cleaner water being introduced. The females bellies also appear to be fattening up nicely, which i hope is a good sign of egg development. Within the next few days i expect to bring together the males and females and carry out a full 100% water change.

I am lucky to have found and follow with great interest, the diaries of many Japanese ranchu breeders. It's been reassuring to read that my current methods are similar to many, with many ranchu breeders in Japan enduring similar weather conditions as we have had here in the UK. Japanese ranchu pond temperatures currently appear to be anywhere from 10 degrees C, to 16 degrees C already, with spawning anticipated before the end of February at the higher temperatures.