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Better late than never, guys! Sorry it took so long, but I moved, and was without internet access for a frightening 10 days!! Here we go for this month - Enjoy!! Goldfish of the month June: The Ryukin Origin The Ryukin is one of the few fish not coming out of China. He is actually a "production" of Japan, and a very destinctive at that. The Japanese are very shy when it comes to letting their breeds out of the country, and despite of that the ryukin has turned into one of the more widely known and popular fish here in the U.S. Body Features To me, the ryukin has somewhat of a rubmarine kind of appearance, like a boxer in the water. His breed distinctive features are his deep body, almost as deep as the body length, and his softball like look because of that. His high dorsal fin make him look even bigger. Being a fancy goldfish, he has 2 anal, ventral and pectoral fins, evenly paired, and a few different caudal fin shapes, which can be longfinned, short tailed, ribbon, even butterfly, and latter one is a very beautiful feature viewed from above. His most recognizable mark however is the humplike apppearance right after his head, and the higher that hump is, the higher quality ryukin you got. Color options First only available in red, the ryukin has been bred with a very wide variety of colors lately, among them being red, red/white, pure white, greenish, blue, calico and chocolate. Altough in a calico ryukin for some reason it is very hard to breed the very high hump into the line, so finding a calico ryukin with a well developed hump is a challenge, and when found is always a very appreciated fish at shows. Challanges and feeding With any deep bodied fish, swim bladder problem is always in the air, so certain precautions have to be taken, which have to begin when shopping for a ryukin. Stay away from any that are already obviously floating or head standing, since this is a sign of already progressed, and most likely, irreversable, swim bladder problems. A ryukin should be literally pushing the water aside when swimming, and being a very strong swimmer, that makes his appearance so forceful. When bringing your fish home, make sure he gets the proper diet right from the start, to prevent any problems in the future. Stay away from any floating flakes and pellets, and even the sinking kind should be soaked first. Nitrates should be kept below 20 ppm, since constantly higher nitrates are thought to be part of the swim bladder problem. Other than that, a ryukin is a active and easy to take care of fish, and goes will with other goldies, although can be a pretty rough on any weaker fish like bubble eyes or telescopes. Orandas, lions and ranchu are perfect companion for the ryukin. As for the rest of his diet, he basically gobbles down anything that hits the water and looks remote like food, so go ahead and indulge the fish - frozen foods like unsalted cocktail shrimp, krill brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, the veggie group like spirulina flakes (soaked), algae, zucchini, lettuce, peas, and yes, aquatic plants (sorry, the ryukin does not stray away from the other goldie breeds' most favorite snack!), sinking pellets. Basic requirements Like a lot of other goldfish breeds, the ryukin is one of them that grow rather large, with 8-10 inches in good care and water mass. The minimum requirement when it comes to tank size would be at least 10-15 gl for a small ryukin, 20 gl and up for an adult sized fish. With his deep body he produces a lot of waste and ammonia, and will simply not grow to his full potential in a too small or overcrowded tank. And for all of those with ponds outside, he loves them. There is so much more water mass available in a pond, and more natural food like algae, daphnia and mosquito larvae, so a pond ryukin will generally be bigger and hardier than one in a tank. But like most other goldies, take precautions when winter times approaches, and get the ryukin inside. And for most goldie breeds, separate them from the koi. The ryukin is no match for the fast moving and enormously big koi.