The Ranchu originated in China many years ago. They are one of the oldest types of fancy goldfish to date. In the 1800’s, these fancy goldfish were introduced to the Japanese in hopes of further developing the breed. These fancy goldfish have a round and chubby body shape that is similar to that of the Lionhead or the Oranda. In fact, they resemble the Lionhead so closely that they are often mistaken for them. Both goldfish breeds lack a dorsal fin which is one of the reasons for their restrictive swimming abilities.
Both the Lionhead and the Ranchu will sport a “hood”. A “hood” is a head growth that is very brain-like in appearance. “Hoods” are also sometimes referred to as a Wen. While both fish have this head growth, the Lionhead’s hood is much more prominent on top of his head. The Ranchu’s hood is slightly less prominent and sometimes covers more than the top of their head. The Ranchu has a broad back and tail fins that fan out almost horizontally, whereas the Lionhead’s back is slightly flattened and tail fins fan out more vertically.
The Ranchu Goldfish can come in a variety of colors and patterns. The most familiar pattern is “bi-colored” and are usually found in red and white or gold and white. However, the Ranchu can also be found in a calico pattern as well as a variety of solid colors (red, white, black and yellow-orange). They usually grow to about 5 inches long but have been reported to grow up to 8 inches. The deep belly is about 3/4 the length of the fish. They are considered a delicate fish because of their stubby bodies, head growth, and poor eyesight. Their Wen (head growth) is prone to bacterial and fungal infections if their aquarium is not properly cleaned.The Ranchu is highly sought after for goldfish competitions, especially in China and Japan.
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.
Goldfish are omnivores and usually enjoy various types of food. They will gladly accept fish flakes as they are both tasty and meet some nutritional requirements.
However, goldfish do not eat fish flakes in the wild. Therefore, if you are interested in feeding your Ranchu a more natural and fulfilling diet, then you can provide any combination of the following options:
Frozen or freeze-dried food: bloodworms are a big hit with most goldfish, Ranchu goldfish are no exception!
Fresh food: Goldfish enjoy many different fresh foods including algae, insects, and vegetable. However, take caution when providing your Ranchu with fresh foods. Some of them may contain parasites that can easily cause your goldfish great harm.
Goldfish are social creatures and only bringing home a single fish for a 10-gallon tank may cause your goldfish stress and boredom.
A 20-gallon tank is a good size to start at while your goldfish is still young.
However, you should be prepared to purchase larger aquariums down the road.
If you plan to have more than one goldfish in a tank, then you should plan at least 10-gallons per goldfish.
This rule of thumb will help prevent overpopulating an aquarium as well as prevent oxygen shortages.
Also, smaller tanks usually require more frequent water changes and tank cleanings.
Goldfish are messy and cannot live in a small space with their own waste for too long. Can you blame them?