Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Ranchu Pond lid mods and pond update

How time flies. Already we are nearing the end if april and still i dont really feel spring is here. At times temperatures are often only a few degrees above freezing throughout the night, though the ranchu are enjoying pond temps much warmer. 

Wednesday, i made some long awaited modifications to the ranchu pond lids. I have previously used timber to prop them up when cleaning etc, which was unstable in wind, and so i needed to find a more secure way of propping them. 

Ive installed a pretty crude pulley type system, similar to how a window blind works, between the fence and the hinged lids and am thrilled with the results. You can see from the picture below just how much unobstructed access i now have to each pond. The lids angle can be adjusted easily through 90 degrees, in the time it takes to tie a knot.

Today, weve had some sunshine, followed by some very stormy looking clouds and heavy rain this evening. The ranchu were moved into a new pond tonight and i noticed one of the females looking increasingly full. Another female fish that has always been thinner than the others (due to being a fussy eater and only eating food when it lands on the bottom!) also appears to have a noticably fuller stomach. 

After moving them this evening a couple of males began chasing immediately, hustling females and posturing side by side with each other in a kind of stand off, we'll see what tomorrow brings...

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Full moons and frisky ranchu!

Saturday evening the ranchu were moved into a new pond. A male fish (previously mentioned for showing a bit of dominance) began the first chasing ive seen this year soon after, but stopped a little while later.

Breeding ranchu goldfish

Sunday we had a really nice, bright day, the pond temperature rose well once again and i prevented it dropping back beneath 20 degrees C this time. Breeding tubercles have become even more obvious on all fish. I've also fed smaller quantities each feeding. As darkness fell, i looked in on the ranchu and all were very active, almost oblivious to my presence. I always think this is a good sign that they have something else more primal on their mind! All ranchu were either chasing or being nudged around, which was promising. Early Monday morning i checked on them but all were as round as they were the night before. *Sigh*

We are forcast to have a couple of weeks of similar warm weather. Rather than continue to raise the base temp, as i did last year, i will now hold it at around 20/21C. We are also due a full moon tonight (i believe), and i know lots of breeders who believe this to be a big factor in encouraging spawning. We shall see....

Moon phases for April

It is widely acknowledged that the first spawning is often of low quality, with many breeders preferring to disregard it entirely and wait for the next. Whilst i accept this may well be good practice and best use of time, i intend to get some practice with the first spawn. Whilst the overall quality may ultimately be llimited, i have the resources and time, and am keen to practice my pond management and a few grooming ideas on any fry.