Art by Alexander Vasiljev, Copyright © 2017


Friday, October 2, 2015


From time to time, l receive questions from fellow ranchu enthusiasts regarding various aspects of ranchu keeping. Some of the questions bring up interesting topics and spark interesting thought and conversations. I will be posting here what I think is worth sharing and learn from. Here is a great question I received from Doug followed by my answer.


Hi Alexander- First I would like to thank you for writing and sharing information on top view ranchu husbandry through your blog. From what you mentioned in your blog you raised tvr with filtration and i'm raising my ranchus with filtration as well. However, a lot of tvr breeders put emphasis on how important it is to follow the traditional Japanese 100% water change method with NO filtration.

I have done some research about this traditional method. I'm aware that it is done for grooming purposes. It is my understanding that with 100% new water, ranchus are more active and will put on muscles and body growth and as the water fouls, ranchus will be less active and put on head growth. However, why is it that side view ranchu or lionchu or lion head still put on head growth despite being raised in aquariums with filtration? The claim for using traditional methods seems to be based on inconsistent evidence, and might be more due to strict adherence to tradition rather than fact.

What is your view on this topic?

Thanks, Doug (USA)


Doug- Thank you for reading my blog and your question. As you probably noticed I use bio and uv filtration on top of 100% weekly water changes. It's more what a traditional method requires, but with my often busy schedule and traveling it is necessary. Good biological filtration paired with uv and good water circulation and aeration is quite important, when water is not going to be changed for 3 weeks, while I am away. The choice I made marrying ranchu keeping with my schedule.

Much like bonsai, you create and maintain TVR. It is not all about the headgrowth and its size. The essence of a great TVR is in its BALANCED appearance and powerful yet elegant swim, very different from other goldfish with headgrowth. TVR are the most standardized among goldfish. To achieve this balance, besides breeding, we employ different techniques based on food, water quality, water depth, amount of exercise, etc. The beauty of raising ranchu is in improvisation, when various techniques are implemented to achieve breeder's / keeper's personal goals and to materialize their vision. Everyone's approach is slightly different and some even protected with trade secrets.

I try to adhere to a traditional Japanese method as much as I can. Besides, it is an honor to continue this over 100 years old tradition.