Ranchu Goldfish: Care, Lifespan, Tank Setup, Varieties & More

Ranchu goldfish are faves of beginner fishkeepers due to their uniqueness, friendly temperament and ease of care. These fish are a type of fancy goldfish characterized by their round, humpbacked body and lack of a dorsal fin. They come in a range of colours, including red, white, black, and blue.

Ranchu goldfish are hardy and can tolerate a range of water conditions, making them a great choice for those who are new to fishkeeping. They require a minimum tank size of 20 gallons and should be kept in groups of two or more.

One of the reasons that Ranchu goldfish are popular among fishkeepers is their unique appearance. Their round body shape and lack of dorsal fins make them stand out from other types of goldfish. 

Additionally, they are known for their friendly and social nature, often coming to the surface to greet their owners.

Ranchu Goldfish Origin and Differences from other Goldfish

Ranchu goldfish in aquarium

The Ranchu Goldfish is a breed of fancy goldfish that originated in Japan. The Ranchu is a descendant of the Chinese lionhead goldfish.

This breed of Goldfish is different from other goldfish breeds in many ways. One of the most obvious differences is its body shape. The Ranchu has a rounded, egg-shaped body that is shorter and more compact than other goldfish breeds. Its head is also round and large, with a noticeable hump on its back behind the head. The Ranchu’s tail is shorter and wider than that of other goldfish breeds.

Another distinguishing feature of this fish is its lack of a dorsal fin. This trait is shared with the lionhead goldfish, from which the Ranchu is believed to have originated. The absence of a dorsal fin gives the Ranchu a more streamlined appearance and enhances its overall body shape.

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Quick Summary of Ranchu Goldfish

Scientific NameCarassius auratus
LifespanAbout 9 to 15 years
Care LevelMedium
Maximum sizeApproximately 8 inches (20 cm)
Growth RateModerate
Average tank sizeAbout 20 gallons (75 litres)
pH Level7.2-7.8
Water temperature65-75°F (18-24°C)
Hardness5-19 dGH
TemperamentVery Friendly
Best Tank MatesOther goldfish
DiseasesIch, fin rot, swim bladder disorder, and others

Appearance and Physical Characteristics of Ranchu Goldfish

The Ranchu Goldfish is a unique and distinctive breed known for its rounded, egg-shaped body, large head, and humpback. Their round body shape is often compared to a golf ball or a melon.

Its body is short and compact, with a depth that is greater than its length. The head of the Ranchu is large and round, with a prominent forehead and bulging eyes that give it a cute, cartoon-like appearance.

The Ranchu’s fins are short and stubby, with a tail that is wider than it is long. It has no dorsal fin, which gives it a streamlined appearance and clearly shows its overall body shape. 

The anal and pectoral fins of the Ranchu are also short and rounded, with a symmetrical appearance.

In terms of colour, they come in a variety of shades, including red, white, black, and blue. Some Ranchus may combine two or more colours, creating a striking and beautiful appearance. The colouration of the Ranchu can also change over time, especially during breeding or when subjected to stress.

Tricolor beautiful

There are several varieties of Ranchu Goldfish, each with unique features and characteristics.

Below are some of them;

1. Red Cap Ranchu 

Red Cap Ranchu has a distinctive red or orange-coloured cap on its head. The rest of the body is usually white or of a lighter colour. The size of the cap can vary depending on the fish, but it is typically large and well-defined. The body of the Red Cap Ranchu is round and compact, giving it a distinctive and attractive appearance. 

2. Calico Ranchu

Calico Ranchu is known for its colourful and striking appearance. It has a combination of red, black, and white colours on its body, which are arranged in a random pattern. The colouration of each Calico Ranchu can vary, with some having more red or black than others. 

3. Black Ranchu 

Black Ranchu has a uniform black colouration throughout its body. The black colour is usually deep and glossy, giving the fish a striking and elegant appearance. The body of the Black Ranchu is round and compact, with a smooth and even texture. The eyes of the Black Ranchu are usually round and protruding, which adds to its unique look.

4. Blue Ranchu

The Blue Ranchu has a deep blue colour that ranges from pale blue to dark navy, and its scales are metallic and shiny. It has a chubby body, a small head, and short fins that do not extend past its tail. 

5. Chocolate Ranchu

The Chocolate Ranchu has a rich, chocolate brown colour that is uniform across its entire body. Its scales are metallic and shiny, which adds to its striking appearance. The Chocolate Ranchu has a chubby body, a small head, and short fins that do not extend past its tail.

6. Tri-Color Ranchu

The Tri-Color Ranchu has a white body with patches of red and black colouration. Its scales are metallic and shiny, which adds to its striking appearance. The Tri-Color Ranchu has a chubby body, a small head, and short fins that do not extend past its tail.

7. Lionhead Ranchu

This variety has a larger head and a smaller body compared to other Ranchu Goldfish varieties. The head is often compared to that of a lion.

The Lionhead Ranchu has a chubby body and a small head, but what sets it apart from other Ranchu varieties is the presence of a fleshy growth on its head, resembling a lion’s mane. The colouration of the Lionhead Ranchu varies, but it typically has metallic scales that are shiny and reflective. 

How much does Ranchu goldfish cost?

lionhead goldfish

The cost varies depending on various factors such as the breed, quality, size, and where they are purchased from—generally, they range from $25 to $120.

We advise you to buy this fish from a pet store rather than online to reduce shipping and tax costs.

Why are Ranchu Goldfish Costly?

These pet fish are considered expensive due to their unique and desirable features. They are highly valued for their round and chubby body shape, which is achieved through careful breeding over many generations. Ranchu goldfish also have a distinctive head growth called a wen, which is highly prized by collectors.

Breeding this pet is a time-consuming and labour-intensive process that requires a lot of attention and care to ensure the desired characteristics are developed. This contributes to their high price as they are typically produced in limited quantities.

Additionally, some breeds are considered rare or unique, which further increases their value.

Setting Up the Ideal Tank for Ranchu Goldfish. Tank Requirements and Care 

Ranchu goldfish tank requirements

To provide the best living conditions for Ranchu goldfish, you need to set up an appropriate tank that meets their requirements. 

Here are some key considerations for creating the ideal tank for goldfish:

Tank size and shape requirements

They like some space to swim around horizontally and grow, so medium-sized tank is recommended.

The minimum tank size for one Ranchu goldfish is around 20-30 gallons, with an additional 10 gallons for each additional fish.

Juveniles may need just 10 gallons as they grow. The tank should also be wide and deep, rather than tall, to allow plenty of horizontal swimming space.

Water quality, temperature, and filtration need

Ranchu goldfish prefer water that is a bit alkaline, with a pH level of 7.2-7.8. 

They also need a consistent water temperature between 65-75°F (18-24°C)

To maintain good water quality, it’s important to use a high-quality filtration system that can handle the tank’s size and volume. 

Regular water changes of 25% to 50% of the tank’s water volume should also be done every week.

Decorations and plants for Ranchu Goldfish Tank. What to Add

Ranchu goldfish are sensitive to sharp or rough objects, so it’s important to choose decorations that are smooth and free of sharp edges. Live plants are a great addition to the tank, as they help to absorb excess nutrients and oxygenate the water. 

Safe plant choices include java moss, java fern, and anubias.

Avoid plastic plants, as they can damage the fish’s delicate fins.

Creating the ideal tank for Ranchu goldfish requires a large, wide, and deep tank with appropriate water quality, temperature, and filtration. Smooth and safe decorations, along with live plants, can help to create a healthy and natural environment for your fish.

Regular maintenance and monitoring of water parameters are crucial for their health and well-being.

Diet, Feeding and Nutrition for Ranchu Goldfish 

Black ranchu in aquarium

Ranchu goldfish have specific dietary needs to ensure their health and well-being. 

Here are some critical considerations for feeding and nutrition for Ranchu goldfish:

What to feed your Ranchu Goldfish

They are omnivores and require a balanced diet of both soft plant and animal matter. High-quality commercial goldfish pellets or flakes should make up the majority of their diet, supplemented with fresh or frozen foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, and vegetables like peas, cucumber, and zucchini.

How much and How often to feed your Ranchu

Ranchu goldfish should be fed 2-3 times a day, with only as much food as they can consume within 2-3 minutes per feeding. Overfeeding can lead to health problems such as constipation, swim bladder issues, and poor water quality.

Ranchu Goldfish Potential feeding problems

This fish is prone to overeating and obesity, so it’s important to monitor its feeding habits and adjust its diet accordingly.

Constipation is also a common problem, which can be prevented by feeding a varied diet and avoiding excessive amounts of dried foods. Also, feeding live or frozen foods can increase the risk of disease, so it’s important to ensure these foods are sourced from reputable suppliers and thoroughly rinsed before feeding.

Common Diseases, Health problems of Ranchu Goldfish and Treatment

Like any other pet, they experience health problems and diseases. Here are some common health issues that affect Ranchu goldfish, how to identify them, and what to do about them:

Ranchu Common health issues

Some common health issues that affect Ranchu goldfish include bacterial and fungal infections, parasitic infestations, swim bladder disease, and constipation.

Identifying healthy Ranchu goldfish and potential health issues

Healthy Ranchu goldfish have clear, bright eyes, smooth and unblemished skin, and active swimming behaviour.

Signs of potential health issues include lethargy, loss of appetite, changes in swimming behaviour, and physical abnormalities such as bloating, redness, or discolouration.

Preventing and treating Ranchu Goldfish’s common health problems

Maintaining good water quality and a healthy diet can help prevent many health issues. It’s also important to quarantine new fish before adding them to an existing tank to prevent the spread of disease. If a health issue does arise, treatment may involve medication, water changes, and other supportive care such as adjusting feeding and environmental conditions.

Interesting Facts about Ranchu Goldfish

Here are some interesting facts about this fish:

  1. Ranchu Goldfish are a type of fancy goldfish that originated in Japan. They were first bred in the late 1800s.
  2. They are known for their distinctive round body shape and lack of a dorsal fin, which gives them a unique appearance.
  3. Ranchu Goldfish are one of the most expensive types of goldfish due to their rarity and the high demand for them among collectors.
  4. This Goldfish can grow up to 8 inches in length and can live for up to 20 years with proper care.
  5. Ranchu Goldfish are typically kept in aquariums or outdoor ponds and require clean, well-oxygenated water to thrive.
  6. They are social animals and should be kept with other goldfish of similar size and temperament.
  7. Ranchu Goldfish come in a variety of colours, including red, white, black, and calico, and their colour can change over time depending on their environment and diet.

So what’s the Next Plan for your fish?

Ranchu Goldfish are a unique and fascinating species that make great pets for those willing to put in the time and effort to properly care for them. From their distinctive round body shape to their range of colour varieties, these fish are sure to captivate any aquarium enthusiast.

When it comes to caring for Ranchu Goldfish, there are a few key factors to keep in mind. These include providing a suitable tank setup with plenty of space, clean water, and appropriate filtration, as well as feeding them a nutritious diet and monitoring their health for any potential issues.

With proper care, Ranchu Goldfish can live for up to 20 years and can be a rewarding addition to any home aquarium.

FAQs About Ranchu Goldfish

How fast do Ranchu Goldfish grow?

Ranchu Goldfish grow quite quickly when they are young and have plenty of space and good water quality. In ideal conditions, they can grow up to an inch in length in just a few months. However, their growth rate will slow down as they reach maturity, typically around 2-3 years of age.

Does Ranchu eat other fish?

They are omnivores and typically eat a diet of fish food pellets, vegetables, and occasional treats like live or frozen foods. While they may sometimes nip at the fins of other fish, they are generally peaceful and should not be aggressive towards other fish in the same tank.

Can Ranchu Goldfish live without oxygen?

No, like all fish, they require oxygen to survive. They obtain oxygen through their gills, which extract oxygen from the water as it flows over them. It’s important to ensure that there is adequate oxygenation in their tank, either through aeration or a filter that provides sufficient oxygenation, to ensure their health and well-being.

Edet Ubok-Obong
Edet Ubok-Obong

Edet Ubok-Obong is an experienced Writer with a deep passion for Gardening, Fishing and home improvement. He shares his knowledge of these fields through this website.