Thursday, 30 May 2013

Further Studying of the Ranchu Development

With a recent water change i was able to get some nice photos of all the ranchu i currently have. One male ranchu in particular has provided a nice opportunity to study its development and changes in the 8 months that i have had them.

All the ranchu have seen good hood growth over the winter, and in particular under the eyes, making the head shape when viewed from above much more "shovel" like. This can be seen in the image above and is a feature in ranchu that i am fond of.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

UK Ranchu Pond Update - May '13

It has been a few days since my last entry and to be honest not a lot to write about. We have just enjoyed a very bright, warm bank holiday weekend. Temperatures must've been well above 20 degrees C and the temperature in the conservatory got higher than that. Fortunately i was at home and able to open doors and shade the pond ensuring the water temperature remained stable.

Earlier in the week i saw first hand the effects of temperature changes on the ranchu. Oversleeping meant i was late checking on the ranchu one morning. It was very bright, mild and hot in the conservatory, the temperature in the pond had increased from 22 to around 24 degrees C, in a few hours. I did what i could to prevent the increase further by shading the pond and opening doors.

As the pond temperature stabalised late afternoon, i adjusted the digital thermostat to prevent a huge drop back to what had been the normal temperature. That evening the ranchu were much less active and i checked the water temperature with an alternative thermometer. The thermostat had given an inaccurate high temp and an inaccurate low temperature, meaning a decent swing in temperature had still occurred! The following day the ranchu were still pretty lethargic.

It has taken about 48 hours, but today the temperature is back to what they have been more used to and all ranchu have been very active once again. Phew.....

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Improvements to the Ranchu Spawning Mop

Male Ranchu Goldfish

I have decided to dispose of the green synthetic spawning mop that i made for the ranchu a few weeks ago. It's not entirely clear what plastic it was made from, so to be safe, i have removed it from the pond. I have resorted to a netting material that i know to be fish safe and soft, The ranchu appear to be happy, engaging with it much more than the previous one.

All fish appear well and i am learning a lot from studying my small group of ranchu.  How they move, how they feed, and how each one acts, reacts and develops very differently. I'm now almost certain that i have an even split of 3 males and 3 females. All the ranchu have breeding tubercles on their pectorals, but i have observed milt released from 3 during handling. No milt has been seen on the others, and all appear to have protruding vents (commonly found on females).

The ranchu in todays image i'm confident is male. I particularly like the scaling and the tail size/shape. He is also a strong chaser.

Today has been a bright sunny day. The temperature in the pond increased a little this morning and the ranchu enjoyed the morning sun on their backs as they cruised around in fresh water, changed last night. As i write this at 22.38 it still feels very mild and i wonder if tonight could be the night?......

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Monitoring Ranchu Development

UK Ranchu Goldfish Growth

As April passes, the UK continues to enjoy the long awaited spring sunshine, with temperatures around 20 degrees C for the last few days. My ranchu have now also reached the ripe old age of 1 year. Having acquired the ranchu when they were around 6 months, i recently took some photos of them all to compare growth rates and development. Even with the treatments, a long winter and reduced feeding i am very happy with how the ranchu are developing (which gives me some faith in my methods!)

I intend to do the same again in another 6-12 months. I see this as a crucial part of understanding the development potential of my stock. For example, within the last 2 months, the funtan development on one particular ranchu has been tremendous, more so than on other fish in the same conditions. This fact will be considered when selecting fry from this seed, to avoid immediately disgarding ranchu with weaker funtan development that may develop in its first year.

Still no eggs, although the ranchu appear to be getting more frisky. Soft bellies, Strongly protruding anal vents, bright breeding tubercles and milt all seen clearly when handling the fish.