Thursday, 31 October 2013

All Japan Ranchu Show 2013 (AJRS 2013)

The hurricane force winds that we were expecting moved across the country about 30 miles south of us here in the Midlands. Thankfully, the worst we saw was a few gusts and lots of rain.

The temperature is now quite cold, particularly at night, with temperatures around 5 degrees C. The ranchu ponds are continuing to cool-down and the fish are on reduced feeds but continue to look well and active.

This weekend sees the 58th All Japan Ranchu Show 2013 arrive at Tokyo Park. Some of the best show ranchu in the world will be shown.

I look forward to studying the best of Japans ranchu for 2013.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Batten Down the Hatches!

If we are to believe the forecasts the UK is set to see some stormy weather over the weekend and into monday, with very high winds expected. This could reak havoc in the garden but hopefully the lids will stay on the ponds and will protect the ranchu from a free flying fence panel!

Temperature has been quite mild for the tine of year and the ranchu ponds are still sitting at around 14 degrees C. It is rumoured that we are meant to be dye a winter from hell this year, with snow and freezing conditions possible from November through to February. It is certainly time for me to begin lowering the pond temperatures. 

The ranchu have remained active and look really well, even though the temperature is a good 8 degrees C lower than it was only a couple of months ago. 

It has been interesting to see how the ranchu have all developed this year as Nisai. One of my least favourite fish when i first got them has grown on me considerably and i am excited to see how it develops as an Oya. 

Friday, 18 October 2013

Ranchu heading into Winter '13

In the last few days the weather in the UK has cooled considerably and we've consistently had daytime temperatures of 10-15 degrees, with night time temperatures below 10 degrees C.

The pond has kept the ranchu at a steady temperature of around 15 degrees C.

The ranchu are all looking really well and even in the cooler water, they are still very active. I have observed that recent conditions in the ponds appear to have resulted in increased wen growth on all ranchu. 

There are many factors to consider, but it is the first time that i have seen obvious wen growth across the whole group at the same time. I guess with all the ranchu nearing Oya age, and perhaps maturity, natural development may become less extreme and changes through grooming become more obvious.

I will now begin the slow process if reducing the pond temperature for the wintering that the ranchu will endure. The cool down will take at least a month and so by starting now, the ranchu should be at the winter temperature by mid/end november. I will hope to keep them at 6 degrees C until at least late Jan, when i will start warming them very slowly once again. 

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Japanese Ranchu for sale UK

Japanese ranchu for sale UK

For anyone in the UK interested in the traditional ranchu culture, finding ranchu for sale, of Japanese lineage, can seem challenging. I wanted to run through a few options available to you.

Firstly it is almost guaranteed that your local pet store will not sell them. You may find ranchu for sale in better equipped aquatics shops, but they are likely to have been bred to a very different (commercial) standard. If you have ambitions to breed or show quality "top view" ranchu then you should look elsewhere. By acquiring a knowledge of the characteristics expected in good ranchu, you will soon be able to see the important structural differences between "top view" quality and commercial fish.

Joining a goldfish club, or one of the few ranchu clubs in the UK, may offer a way of acquiring fish, as well as gaining useful knowledge from other ranchu enthusiasts, though some clubs have strict rules regarding the distribution of fish among its members.

Previously, clubs were the only route, or a private import costing thousands of pounds. Thankfully, for the lone ranger out there that would rather find there own path, like i did, ranchu can now be found for sale in the UK more easily. At the right times of the year (often spring and autumn), independent ranchu enthusiasts and breeders, like myself, have ranchu for sale. This offers an affordable way for anyone to get involved in the traditional ranchu culture.

Assuming this winter goes to plan, i expect to have ranchu available early next year. All spawns will go through a very strict selection process from as early as 2 weeks post spawn. This ensures the best fry have the optimum conditions to develop in, asap. It is therefor wise to express an interest with any breeder well before the start of the upcoming breeding season if you are interested in buying ranchu from particular breeders.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Autumn is upon the ranchu

I recently finished making some minor modifications to the ponds, most notably creating more level bases to the ranchu ponds. Doing this has improved the drainage and cleaning procedure for me when the ponds are syphoned. The liners all came out and 50mm polystyrene sheets were placed across the bases. The soil beneath the sheets was levelled, with a minor slope created from back to front, which now pushes water to one end of the pond when emptying. At that end a small, deeper, drainage section was cut out of the polystyrene. The results have been great.

The weather is meant to turn colder over the next few days, with daytime temps set to go from around 18 degrees C to around 10 degrees C. The reds of autumn have come out in plants around the garden in the last couple of days and i'm now thinking this might be a good trigger for beginning the wintering process of my ranchu.

Today i learnt something promising about the effectiveness of my ranchu pond lids. I have two ponds full of water, the one the fish are in, with a heater, has sat with the lid open today. It has been a cool overcast day, the unheated pond (without fish) has had the lid shut and when tested was 3 degrees higher than the pond with ranchu in. The heater has also been on at times to maintain the set temp meaning the lids are adding at least 3 degrees C to the ambient water temperature.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

An Overdue UK Ranchu Post

It has been many weeks since my last post when i was in the process of building my outdoor ranchu ponds. They are now pretty much complete. As you may expect there have been a number of modifications and improvements already made to them and I still a few more planned. On the whole though, they are performing tremendously and my small group of ranchu are looking well.
Outdoor Ranchu Ponds in the UK

Temperatures have been far easier to control, particularly during brighter days when the ponds haven't warmed up like they did in the conservatory. The lids also appear to be doing a reasonable job preventing heat loss with a single 200 watt heater currently all that is required during the night intermittently to keep temperatures stable, even with evening temperatures below 10 degrees C at times, which is promising for the  approaching winter. The ranchu have been kept between 15 and 20 degrees C, are feeding well, active, deeper in colour and looking healthy.

Japanese Ranchu enjoying UK Weather

With the winter fast approaching it will very soon be time to start the gradual cool down. I hope to make it a very gradual process this year, and expect to have lowering temperatures well on their way by November. With the extra ponds now available i also intend to separate the sexes over the winter this year.