ranchu goldfish fancy goldfish everything you need to know about

black ranchu goldfish

Black Ranchu This the darkest variety. Ranchus are not hardy, and need to over winter in aquariums in temperate areas

Sporting a hood similar to the Lionhead’s, the Ranchu is the
Japanese counterpart of that ancient Chinese breed.

The Ranchu can be differentiated from the Lionhead by its shorter, more steeply
curved body.

As with Lionheads, not all Ranchus display smooth body curvature
from head to tail, and an individual with slight humps along its
back is considered to be seriously flawed.

The double caudal fin may be only partially divided. In Ranchus
of the highest quality, the top edge of the caudal fin should ideally
form an angle of 90 degrees with the caudal peduncle.

Ranchus, which are also known as Buffaloheads, are the most popular Japanese goldfish.

Four principal founding lines are recognized, each of which is
named after its creator.

The dominant variety is the Ishikawa lineage; the others are Sakuri, Uno, and Takahashi.

All these forms display a hood, but some lesscommon varieties lack
this feature.

They include the Osaka Ranchu, named after its city of origin,
which also has a more rounded body.

Another hoodless variety is the Nankin Ranchu, from the
Shimane area of Japan, a silvery-white fish with red
gill covers, lips, and fins.

In addition, there is the rare Nacreous Ranchu, also called the
Edonishiki, in which the hood is poorly developed.

The beautiful Ranchu Goldfish is popular throughout the world. It originated in China and was further developed in Japan in the late 1800s.

With its round, broad body and large bulbous head, it is also known
as the Buffalo-head Goldfish, especially in Asia.

The Ranchu Fancy Goldfish are much prized in Asia, where they
are bred for highly competitive shows.

In Chinese shows, they are judged from the side while in Japanese
shows, they are placed in shallow bowls and judged from the top.

Though they are impressive viewed from either direction, from
above you can see their broad back.

Rather than having the long slender body of the Common Goldfish
or the Shubunkins, the Ranchu Goldfish is one of the more rounded or egg-shaped fancy goldfish.

They closely resemble the Lionhead Goldfish with a compact, broad body and short fins.

Like the Lionhead, the Ranchu lack a dorsal fin and will develop the fleshy ‘raspberry’ head growth.

The Ranchu can be distinguished from the Lionhead by its much
higher, curved contour shape to its back.

Also, its caudal (tail) fin splays out to the sides, often being almost
horizontal, and may have three or four lobes, while the Lionhead’s
caudal fin is quite similar to that of the Fantail Goldfish.

These fish come in a variety of colors but are most commonly bi-
colored, as in the Gold and White Ranchu Goldfish or the Red and White Ranchu Goldfish.

Here is a nice video of Red and White Ranchu Goldfish

There is a Calico Ranchu Goldfish, which is called Edonishiki in Japan.

They can also be anything from a deep red overall to a reddish
yellow-orange, or they can have red scales edged in white.

In some cases, they can be found completely white or even black.

The Ranchu Goldfish is a rather delicate fish and not recommended for beginners.

Its swimming ability is encumbered by its rounded body and
further diminished by the lack of a stabilizing dorsal fin.

This is a trait that is also seen in the Lionhead, Bubble Eye, and Celestial Eye Goldfish.

Many of the elongated goldfish varieties like the the Common and
Comet Goldfish, or the Shubunkins, are not really good
companions for the Ranchu because they are fast swimmers and
too competitive during feeding time.

Better tankmates would be the other similarly handicapped dorsal-
less goldfish, or the less hardy Telescope and Celestial Goldfish.

The Ranchu won’t win any races, but if kept with other slow-moving varieties, it should get plenty to eat and do well.

Habitat: Distribution / Background

The goldfish of today are descendants of a species of wild carp
known as the Prussian Carp, Silver Prussian carp, or Gibel Carp
Carassius gibelio (syn: Carassius auratus gibelio), which was described by Bloch in 1782.

These wild carp originated in Asia; Central Asia (Siberia). They
inhabit the slow moving and stagnant waters of rivers, lakes, ponds,
and ditches feeding on plants, detritus, small crustaceans, and insects.

For many years, it was believed that goldfish had originated from
the Crucian Carp Carassius carassius described by Linnaeus in 1758.

This fish has a wide range across the waters of the European
continent, running west to east from England to Russia, north to
Scandinavian countries in the Arctic Circle and as far south as the central France and the Black Sea.

However, recent genetic research points to C. gibelio as a more likely ancestor.

Goldfish were originally developed in China. By the 1500s, goldfish were traded to Japan, arriving in Europe in the 1600s and America in the 1800s.

The majority of the fancy goldfish were developed by Asian breeders.

We can see the results of this centuries-long endeavor in the
wonderful colors and shapes of goldfish today.

The Ranchu Goldfish is one of the older varieties of fancy goldfish. They originated in China, and in the later 1800s were further developed in Japan.

They are also known as the Buffalo-head Goldfish, especially in Asia.

Other common names of some of the Ranchu Fancy Goldfish
varieties are Red and White Ranchu Goldfish, Gold and White
Ranchu Goldfish, and Calico Ranchu Goldfish.

The Ranchu and all other dorsal-less fish resulted from
developments of this egg-shaped fish.

The Eggfish itself is not popular in the United States. Although it can be found in Asia, it is very rare in the US and would be expensive.

Today, domesticated goldfish are distributed world-wide, and the
Ranchu is one of more than 125 captive-bred fancy goldfish varieties.

  • Scientific Name: Carassius auratus auratus
  • Social Grouping: Groups – Can be kept singly or in groups
  • IUCN Red List: NE – Not Evaluated or not listed – There are no wild populations of this captive-bred variety.


The Ranchu Goldfish is an egg-shaped variety of goldfish. The body is short and stubby with short fins.

The Ranchu lacks a dorsal fin and will develop a fleshy ‘raspberry’ growth on the head.

The back is broad with a highly curved contour shape. The caudal (tail) fin splays out to the sides, often being almost horizontal, and may have three or four lobes.

Ranchu Goldfish will generally reach about 5 inches (13 cm), though
some aquarists report them growing much larger.

The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, though living 20
years or more is not uncommon in well-maintained goldfish aquariums and ponds.

One of their most distinctive features is the head, which except for
its eyes, mouth, and nostrils, can become completely covered with fleshy growth.

The amount of head growth differs for each fish. Some can have so much growth that their vision is impeded while others may develop much less growth.

These fish come in a variety of colors but are most commonly
found bi-colored in gold/white or white/red and a calico, which in Japan is called Edonishiki.

They can also be a deep red overall, shaded overall in a reddish to yellow-orange, or have red scales edged in white.

They have also been known to be completely white or, in some cases, black.

  • Size of fish – inches: 5.0 inches (12.70 cm) – If kept in excellent conditions, this fish can grow to be larger than five inches; however, five inches is a good length for this fish to reach.
  • Lifespan: 15 years – The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, but they have been known to live 20 years of more when well maintained.

Fish Keeping Difficulty

Ranchu Goldfish are some of the more delicate goldfish. Unlike the flat-bodied types of goldfish, they have a lower tolerance for pollution.

They will need good care and plenty of space. When it comes to feeding, they will not thrive with fast, competitive tankmates.

Many people will keep goldfish in an aquarium with no heater or filtration.

But for the best success in keeping goldfish, provide them the same
filtration, especially biological filtration, that other aquarium residents enjoy.

  • Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Difficult – This fish is often highly inbred, leading to genetically weak specimens. The wen (the fleshy growth on its head) is very prone to infection. Ranchu Goldfish are generally considered to be among the less hardy of goldfish types.
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate – Ranchu Goldfish require a more experienced aquarist to maintain their rather delicate health.

Foods and Feeding

Since they are omnivorous, the Ranchu Goldfish will generally eat
all kinds of fresh, frozen, and flake foods.

To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday.

To care for your Ranchu Goldfish, feed brine shrimp (either live or
frozen), blood worms, Daphnia, or tubifex worms as a treat.

It is usually better to feed freeze-dried foods as opposed to live
foods to avoid parasites and bacterial infections that could be
present in live foods.

Due to their fleshy head growth they can have poor vision and a
harder time seeing their food, so need extra time to feed.

  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Flake Food: Yes
  • Tablet / Pellet: Yes
  • Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
  • Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
  • Meaty Food: Some of Diet
  • Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day

Aquarium Care

These goldfish need to be kept in a well-maintained tank with plenty of space and a proper diet.

Minimum tank size is 10 gallons, but make sure water changes are frequent in such a small tank.

Regular weekly water changes of 1/4 to 1/3 are strongly recommended to keep these fish healthy.

Snails can be added as they reduce the algae in the tank, helping to keep it clean.

Water Changes: Weekly – Goldfish produce more waste than most
other freshwater fish and benefit greatly from more frequent water changes.

Aquarium Setup

Setting up a goldfish aquarium in a manner that will keep your fish happy and healthy is the first step to success.

The shape and size of the aquarium is important and depends upon the number of goldfish you are going to keep.

These fish need a lot of oxygen and produce a lot of waste.

Good filtration, especially biological filtration, is very helpful in
maintaining the water quality of the aquarium.

A filtration system will remove much of the detritus, excess foods,
and waste, which keeps the tank clean and maintains the general health of the goldfish.

Tank parameters to consider when choosing a goldfish aquarium:

Tank size
Ten gallons is the absolute minimum required to house a Ranchu Goldfish.

It’s best to start with a 20 – 30 gallon tank for your first goldfish and
then increase the size of the tank by 10 gallons for each additional goldfish.

Providing a large amount of water per fish will help dilute the
amount of waste and reduce the number of water changes needed.

Tank Shape
Always provide the maximum amount of surface area. A large
surface area minimizes the possibility that the goldfish will suffer
from an oxygen shortage.

Surface area is determined by the shape of the tank. For example an elongated tank offers more surface area (and oxygen) than a tall tank.

Oval or round tanks that are wide in the middle and narrower
toward the top might be filled less than full to maximize the surface area.

Number of fish
For juveniles a general rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish (2.54 cm) per 1 gallon of water.

However, this rule only applies to young fish. Larger gold fish
consume much more oxygen than young fish so maintaining this
formula for growing fish will stunt them and could contribute to disease and even death.

Fish size and growth
To allow for proper growth, either buy fewer fish than the maximum number or be prepared to get a larger tank. To prevent stunted growth and other health problems, don’t overstock the aquarium.

Goldfish are a cold water fish and will do best at temperatures between 65 – 72° F (18°- 22° C).

Unlike the flat-bodied types of goldfish however, the Ranchu
Goldfish have a lower tolerance for pollution and cannot tolerate
temperatures much below 60° F (16° C).

Provide a gravel substrate to help create a natural and comfortable
environment for your fish.

You can add some decor, but make sure that all ornamentation is
smooth with no protruding points or sharp edges. Smooth rocks or driftwood should be used sparingly if at all.

Aquarium plants would be the best choice of aquarium decor for
goldfish, but unfortunately these fish are diggers.

Consequently live plants may be uprooted. Artificial plants make a good substitute and silk plants are safer than plastic ones.

Most aquariums come with a cover that includes lighting. A cover
for the tank is desirable as it reduces evaporation and though they
are not prone to jumping, on occasion some gold fish will jump out.

Lighting is not essential for goldfish, but does make the aquarium a
nice show piece and lighting will help if you have live plants.

Goldfish are freshwater fish, but they have some tolerance for slightly brackish water. The salinity level for C. auratus must be kept low, below 10% with a specific gravity of less than 1.002.

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L) – Ten gallons is the absolute minimum required to house this fish.

It has high oxygen requirements, and produces a lot of waste. It will have very stunted growth if it is kept in a smaller aquarium.

Suitable for Nano Tank: Sometimes
Substrate Type: Any – A medium-sized gravel works best.
Lighting Needs: Moderate – normal lighting
Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° C) – Goldfish are a cold water fish.

Unlike the flat-bodied types of goldfish however, the Ranchu
cannot tolerate temperatures much below 60° F (16° C).

Breeding Temperature: – In the wild, goldfish spawn in the spring
when water temperatures reach about 68° F (20° C).
Range ph: 6.0-8.0

Hardness Range: 5 – 19 dGH
Brackish: Sometimes – Goldfish are freshwater fish, but they have
some tolerance for slightly brackish water.

Any salinity for must be kept low, below 10%, a specific gravity of less than 1.002.
Water Movement: Moderate
Water Region: All – These fish will swim in all areas of the aquarium.
Social Behaviors

Goldfish are very social animals and thrive in a community. Not only are they a great community fish but they are great scavengers as well.

It is really not necessary to add other scavengers or other bottom
feeders to the aquarium when you have goldfish.

When choosing tankmates, keep in mind the physical traits of the Ranchu Goldfish.

Like the Lionhead Goldfish, Telescope Goldfish, and the Celestial
Goldfish, the Ranchu can be visually handicapped.

Further, its swimming ability is encumbered by its rounded body
and the lack of a stabilizing dorsal fin, a trait that is also seen in the Water-Bubble Eye Goldfish.

While the Ranchu cannot readily compete for food with fast
swimming types of goldfish, these similarly handicapped varieties can make good companions.

Venomous: No
Temperament: Peaceful
Compatible with:
Same species – conspecifics: Yes
Peaceful fish (): Safe
Semi-Aggressive (): Threat
Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe – not aggressive
Plants: Threat – Goldfish will eat many kinds of aquatic plants. In their constant search for food, they can end up uprooting plants that they don’t eat.
Sex: Sexual differences

During the breeding season, the male has white prickles, called
breeding tubercles, on its gill covers and head.

Seen from above, a female will have a fatter appearance when she is carrying eggs.

It is impossible to sex Goldfish when they are young and not in
breeding season, but generally the male is smaller and more slender than the female.

Breeding / Reproduction

Ranchu Goldfish are egg layers that spawn readily in the right conditions.

They can be bred in groups as small as five individuals, but they are
very social animals and likely to breed in larger groups as well.

The only time Goldfish will spawn in the wild is when spring arrives.

To spawn them in the aquarium, you will need to mimic the conditions found in nature.

Provide an aquarium that is at least 20 gallons and make sure the fish are healthy and disease free.

Some breeders suggest you treat them for parasites. Many breeders
will also separate the males and females for a few weeks prior to
breeding to help increase their interest in spawning.

Introduce the fish into the breeding tank at the same time. The
tank will need a lush environment with solid surfaces for the
spawning process and for the eggs to adhere to.

Bushy, oxygenating plants, such as Anacharis, work well for this,
though artificial plants or fibrous spawning mops can also be used.

To induce spawning, the temperature can be slowly dropped to
around 60° F (11° C) and then slowly warmed at a rate of 3° F (2° C) per day until they spawn.

Spawning generally begins when the temperatures are between 68° and 74° F (20°- 23° C).

Feeding lots of high protein food such live brine shrimp and worms
during this time will also induce spawning.

Feed small amounts three times a day, but don’t overfeed. Uneaten scraps will sink to the bottom and foul the water. Maintain the breeding tank with partial water changes of up to about 20% per day.

Before spawning, as the temperature increases, the male will chase
the female around the aquarium in a non-aggressive way.

This can go on for several days, and the fish will intensify in color. During the spawn, the fish will gyrate from side to side, and the male will push the female against the plants. This stimulates the female to drop tiny eggs which the male will then fertilize. The eggs will adhere by sticky threads to the plants or spawn mop. Spawning can last two or three hours and can produce up to 10,000 eggs.

At this point the parents will start to eat as many eggs as they can find. For this reason, it is best to remove the parents after spawning is complete.

The fertilized eggs will hatch in 4 to 7 days, depending on the temperature.

You can feed the newly hatched goldfish specialty fry foods until
they become big enough to eat flake or brine shrimp, or you can
offer the same food as you feed the parents as long as it is crushed very small.

At first, the fry are a dark brown or black color in order to better hide and not be eaten by larger fish.

They gain their adult color after several months and can be put in
with larger fish once they reach about 1 inch long.

See Breeding Freshwater Fish – Goldfish for more information on breeding Goldfish.

Ease of Breeding: Moderate
Fish Diseases

In properly maintained goldfish aquariums or ponds, goldfish illness is largely preventable. Even so, goldfish illnesses can occur, and if left untreated, may prove fatal. Goldfish are hardy, though, and if treated in a timely manner, most will make a full recovery.

When treating individuals, it is usually best to move the afflicted
fish into a separate tank with no gravel or plants and do regular partial water changes.

However, if the disease is apparent throughout the main tank, it may be best to do the treatments there.

Whether treating in a hospital tank or your main tank, read and
follow the manufacturer’s instructions for any medication.

Some medications can adversely affect the water quality by destroying beneficial bacteria.

You may also need to remove the carbon from the filtration
system, as carbon will absorb many medications, making the treatment ineffective.

Goldfish diseases are mostly the same as those that afflict other
freshwater fish, and the symptoms and treatment of goldfish are also similar.

The main types of fish diseases include bacterial infections, fungal
infections, parasites, and protozoa.

There are also other ailments caused by injury, poor nutrition, or
bad water conditions.

One of the more common problems is Ich, which is a protozoan disease. Ich is easy to identify because your fish looks like it is sprinkled with salt. Though Ich is easily treated, like other protozoan diseases, it can be fatal if not caught quickly.

Some other protozoan diseases are Costia, which causes a
cloudiness of the skin, and Chilodonella, which will cause a blue-
white cloudiness on the skin.

External parasites are fairly common, too, but pretty easy to treat
and usually not fatal when treated.

These include flukes, which are flatworms about 1 mm long with hooks around their mouths.

They infest the gills or body of the fish. Another type of parasite is
fish lice (Argulus), flattened, mite-like crustaceans about 5 mm long
that attach themselves to the body of the goldfish.

Lastly, anchor worms look like threads coming out of the fish.

Some bacterial infections include Dropsy, an infection in the
kidneys that can be fatal if not treated quickly.

Fish Tuberculosis is indicated by the fish becoming emaciated (having a hollow belly). For this illness, there is no absolute treatment, and it can be fatal.

Tail/Fin Rot may also be bacterial, though the reduced tail or fins can be caused by a number of factors as well. There is also fungus, a fungal infection, and Black Spot or Black Ich, which is a parasitic infection.

Swim Bladder Disease is an ailment indicated by fish swimming in
abnormal patterns and having difficulty maintaining their balance
. This can be caused by a number of things: constipation, poor
nutrition, a physical deformity, or a parasitic infection.

Feeding frozen peas (defrosted) has been noted to help alleviate the
symptoms and correct the problem in some cases.

Other miscellaneous ailments include Cloudy Eye, which can be
caused by a variety of things ranging from poor nutrition, bad
water quality, and rough handling.

It can also be the result of other illnesses, such as bacterial infections.

Constipation is indicated by a loss of appetite and swelling of the
body, and the cause is almost always diet.

Then there are wounds and ulcers. Wounds can become infected, creating ulcers. Wounds can develop either bacterial or fungal infections, or both, and must be treated.

There are treatments for each of these diseases individually and
treatments that handle both.

For more in-depth information about goldfish diseases and
illnesses, see Goldfish Care; Fancy Goldfish and Goldfish Diseases.


The Ranchu Goldfish is readily available in fish stores and online,
but it costs than most other varieties

How long do ranchu goldfish live?

Ranchu Goldfish will generally reach about 5 inches (13 cm), though
some aquarists report them growing much larger.

The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, though living 20
years or more is not uncommon in well-maintained goldfish aquariums and ponds.

How big can ranchu grow?

Ranchu Goldfish will for the most part grow to about about 5
inches , though some aquarists report them growing as large as 8 inches. The Ranchu deep belly is about 3/4 the length of the fish.

How long does it take for fish to grow full size?

Small fish that get plenty of food can reach adult size in 12 weeks. Large species that struggle to feed and/or live in water that’s on the
cold side of what they cna tolerate can take several years to grow to their full size.

Learn more about different types of goldfish 

ranchu butterfly tail goldfish

ranchu goldfish competetion winner

The International Goldfish Competition will take place during Aquarama. … Category. Class 1 兰寿Ranchu … Grand Champion 5000rmb + Trophy + Certificate
The ranchu is a highly regarded fancy goldfish in Japan. … Prize winning ranchu Goldfish Types, Freshwater Aquarium Fish, Archery Bows, Gift Suggestions, …. be organizing a Flowerhorn and Goldfish Competition Date : to September 2009
The Ranchu goldfish is said to resemble a Japanese sumo wrestler. …. The winners of the All Japan Show may be worth a staggering £15,000 and by breeding

azayaka goldfish ranchu baby fry fish food feeding growth

There is an abundance of goldfish food available in the U.S., of which I chose only a few, based on …. As this food is very high on protein, I would feed it to only young fish like fry and BBR. … My tosai growth rate is increased with the use of Azayaka Growth Formula. … KUROKO or BBR – black baby ranchu.

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how to tell if a ranchu goldfish is a female or male

The Ranchu goldfish’s raspberry like growth on its head is caused by an abnormal growth of cuticular tissue and is called a hood. … These two features are what distinguish the two varieties. … Males produce better hoods than females. … If the male’s eyesight is hindered by hood growth, an uncluttered breeding container

how to breed ranchu goldfish

To breed goldfish, start by placing a male and female goldfish in the same tank. Then, wait for the female to drop her eggs and the male to fertilize them. Once you notice the fertilized eggs in the tank, transfer both goldfish to a different tank so they don’t eat the eggs. Then, wait 4-7 days for the eggs to hatch.s easier to care for organza goldfish or ranchu goldfish,

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ranchu goldfish people ask

How long do ranchu goldfish live?
The Ranchu goldfish can have an average lifespan of about 10 – 15 years. In a well maintained and properly cared for aquarium or pond, the Ranchu can live up to 20 years or more.

Can ranchu goldfish live in ponds?
As one of the more delicate varieties, Ranchu goldfish are not well suited to pond life and are best kept indoors

Are ranchu goldfish Hardy?
Ranchu Goldfish will generally reach about 5 inches (13 cm), though some aquarists report them growing much larger.

The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, though living 20 years or more is not uncommon in well-maintained goldfish aquariums and ponds

What is the difference between ranchu and Lionhead goldfish?
The main differences between a Chinese lionhead and a Japanese Ranchu are the back and angle at which the tail is joined — and the head growth (hood or wen).

The Japanese ranchu has a more curved and longer back profile, in Japan often likened to the shape of traditional combs or a Koban coin.

calico ranchu goldfish

calico ranchu goldfish that you need to know Calico Ranchu. Name, Calico Ranchu. Japanese name, Edonishiki. Year of Origin, 1951 (introduced in 1957). Country of Origin, Japan. Breeder, Yoshigoro Akiyama II.

History/ Background, Yoshigoro Akiyama II made the Calico Ranchu by cross-breeding the Ranchu and the Calico Oranda in 1951.

baby ranchu goldfish

How big do ranchu goldfish get?
Ranchu Goldfish will for the most part grow to about about 5 inches , though some aquarists report them growing as large as 8 inches

ranchu goldfish price

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lionhead vs ranchu goldfish

Japanese ranchu have a longer back and more curved profile than the Chinese lionhead. The tail of the Japanese ranchu is more erect and leaves the body at a 45° angle from the sloping caudal peduncle. Ranchu have a long, wide head and a head growth that takes on a rectangular shape

ranchu goldfish art

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types of goldfish ranchu goldfish

Males are often slimmer but larger-bodied than females and are more vibrantly colored. The dorsal and anal fins of the male are more pointed, larger and more flowing than in the female. In many species, the male will display egg-shaped markings on the anal fin known as egg spots.

do male ranchu goldfish have white spots on their faces

red white ranchu goldfish

In breeding condition the male will develop small white spots on his gill covers and the female will become plump. The male will chase the female until she releases her eggs, then the male will release milt and they will become fertilized.

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