Friday, 19 April 2013

Japanese Ranchu in the UK finally see Spring!

Ranchu Goldfish UK

Well the weather has finally taken a sudden change here in the UK and the Japanese Ranchu enjoy milder and brighter conditions. In the last two weeks temperatures have risen by a good 10 degrees C, with temperatures close to 20 degrees on occasion. The nights are now sitting comfortably a few degrees above freezing and the ranchu appear to be responding well.

I have been observing good chasing behavior regularly, especially immediately after water changes although these had appeared to die off as the evening went on and i went to bed with little happening following mornings. However, a couple of middle of the night investigations (between 3 and 4 am!) showed the ranchu chasing more franctically in the darkness, even days after water changes, which is encouraging.

As yet though, no eggs are being dropped, the fish are continuing to fill out nicely although i am still quite unsure as to the sexes. I'm thinking that the pre-winter treatments, resulting in reduced feeding prior to hibernation, and our prolonged winter, is perhaps meaning the females aren't quite in the right condition just yet.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

DIY Ranchu Spawning Mop Upgrade

A couple of clear, bright days have finally arrived in the last few days, and with them temperatures in the ranchu house have increased significantly. The sun is now hitting the pond at various times throughout the morning, which has helped increase the water temperature over the last couple of days to above 22 degrees C. I have controlled the drop offs throughout the night as much as i can and have let the sunshine warm things up throughout the day. The pond increased a couple of degrees within 3 or 4 days, and the ranchu really appear to be responding well to it.

Last nights water change, the first since the warmer conditions, resulted in a huge amount of chasing. Males keenly attempting to direct the females towards the mops. Chasing continued for many hours into the night but nothing appeared to come of it.  Early this morning the chasing had stopped, the females were as round as last night and no eggs appeared to have been dropped. The cold evening caused the pond to drop by around 0.5 degrees C throughout the night, which i suspect has been the reason chasing has not continued early mornings so far.

I've createed a new spawning mop which is much more similar to those i've seen used in Japan and one that i am much happier with. I decided the koi spawning brush was a too stiff and i feared may damage the ranchu. I have used yarn/wool type mops and whilst they are soft, they also attract a lot of muck adn are near impossible to clean.

I finally found the type of material i had been looking for, which came in the form of an Hawaiian skirt! The material is nice and soft but durable, and can be cleaned easily. The strands were pushed through a piece of old liner, which is weighed down by a couple of pebbles. Behold my creation...

DIY Ranchu Spawning Mop