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Keeping a black Ranchu black

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Hi! Just over a week ago I bought a nice young black Ranchu from City Farmers. There were two others and I really wanted to buy all of them, but I had to be sensible and not overstock my tank. Although advertised as "Black Ranchu" I've heard of stories where a black goldfish ended up not being a black goldfish anymore. I've read around and heard that it's usually to do with the kind of food it's being fed (ie. Colour enhancing food), tank quality and genetics. Most of the goldfish food I have though advertises, "Natural Colour Enhancers." Also read that a good amount of sunlight helps maintain their colour.

So does anybody who have or had black goldfish/Ranchu have any other tips on how they maintained the colour?

Thanks! :)

As far as things have gone, the little dude/dudette(?) hasn't changed yet so here's to fingers crossed that it's from a pure-black bloodline. Here's two photos of it's chubby little face...

tumblr_n783d8VSfT1tdojrfo1_500.jpg

tumblr_n783d8VSfT1tdojrfo2_1280.jpg

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I dont personally believe there is anything a person can do to keep their fish from changing colors. It is going to do whatever it is going to do. If I am wrong please by all means someone let me know.

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I dont personally believe there is anything a person can do to keep their fish from changing colors. It is going to do whatever it is going to do. If I am wrong please by all means someone let me know.

You can put it in an outside pond. It might help to retain the black, at least for a period of time.

But you are right in that if it's going to change color, there is not much one can do to actually stop it.

Edited by dnalex
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He's adorable!!!

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What a cutie you have! Maybe you have a better chance with your fish because it is all black. I have an oranda that I bought at Petsmart that was mostly olive. After a month with me, the darker olive turned black. So he was black, yellow and orange. Now, 6-7 months later, he is losing most of his black. I don't think there is anything I could do to prevent this color change other than what Alex mentioned (sometime out in the sun). But, like I said, maybe you'll have a better chance because your fish is all black right now.

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The pond is your best bet :)

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Agreed natural sun helps hold colors the best (and I've been told by a breeder cooler water helps as well but I'm not sure how true this is). My black Ranchu is holding his black very well and has for the past year and he is outdoors in my pond.

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I'm not disagreeing with anyone but I do want to comment that I have had at least 50 common goldfish in my pond and none have stayed black. Different type of fish though...

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Ah okay! Thanks for the replies :) much appreciated. I guess only time will tell. I would love to get an outdoor pond and put it in there if it helps, but unfortunately I'm not allowed to :( So for now it's staying in my 4ft tank which has a sun-light.

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I'm not disagreeing with anyone but I do want to comment that I have had at least 50 common goldfish in my pond and none have stayed black. Different type of fish though...

Oh, I don't think that the UV rays will be able to permanently keep the black, but I think it does help to protract it.

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Hi! Just over a week ago I bought a nice young black Ranchu from City Farmers. There were two others and I really wanted to buy all of them, but I had to be sensible and not overstock my tank. Although advertised as "Black Ranchu" I've heard of stories where a black goldfish ended up not being a black goldfish anymore. I've read around and heard that it's usually to do with the kind of food it's being fed (ie. Colour enhancing food), tank quality and genetics. Most of the goldfish food I have though advertises, "Natural Colour Enhancers." Also read that a good amount of sunlight helps maintain their colour.

So does anybody who have or had black goldfish/Ranchu have any other tips on how they maintained the colour?

Thanks! :)

As far as things have gone, the little dude/dudette(?) hasn't changed yet so here's to fingers crossed that it's from a pure-black bloodline. Here's two photos of it's chubby little face...

tumblr_n783d8VSfT1tdojrfo1_500.jpg

tumblr_n783d8VSfT1tdojrfo2_1280.jpg

I had a ranchu just like this one from my local city farmers for about 6 months. It grew but stayed solid black the whole time :)

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I have a black moor that is now completely orange (now red, actually), and a red-and-black butterfly that suddenly turned 95% orange. My black moor is in a tank next to a window, and that did nothing to prevent the color change. The butterfly was in a tank with a broken heater, which I noticed and fixed a week and a half ago ... not sure if that provoked the color change or not, but it wasn't that big of a temp change. I do believe it's mostly genetics.

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good luck! he's very cute and looks to be a nice matte black, so hopefully he'll stay that way for awhile :)

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Also - the ones I've noticed turn red/orange always seem to be the ones that had bronze spots on their bellies when I got them - so they weren't totally black to begin with. If yours is 100% black with no hint of bronze or orange, I'd say the chances of color change are probably lower.

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Edited by *Amanda*

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My fish are all outdoors and change color as they please -- very often to white. I am getting tired of white goldfish.

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My fish are all outdoors and change color as they please -- very often to white. I am getting tired of white goldfish.

I feel your pain! Sometimes I'll get one that is mostly orange with a bit of white that looks real nice and then all of a sudden... WHAT!!?? The whole thing is white! One of my favorite goldfish turned from at least 50% orange to 100% white OVERNIGHT! I got up in the morning and looked in the pond and what like WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?!?! and then I was like HEY WHERE IS MY FAVORITE GOLDFISH??!! and then I realized that was it!

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I can't even find a white goldfish to buy over here :)...I'd sure like one. I thought that Smokey would go white since she was brown with a white/yellow belly when I first got her. Then all of a sudden she went this black color (when moved into a 125 gallon tank) and now since she's been in the pond she is more of a dark brown color. It has to have a lot to do with genetics.

Here is Smokey when she was black (photo) and when I first got her when she was light brown with a white/yellow tummy (video).

http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/i322/Kayla102968/IMG_4621_zps3dcf7516.jpg

http://s1088.photobucket.com/user/Kayla102968/media/MVI_3205.mp4.html

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Here's a silly thought :)...could they change colors to match their environment slightly? For instance I had my fish in a barebottom with a few light colored rocks and Elmo was orange and Smokey was light brown. Then I moved them to a black sand substrate and they darkened their colors (Elmo to red and Smokey to black). Now they are outside in a black tub and they are still darker then they were initially with the barebottom tank. I'm just thinking out loud...I can't imagine that this is actually what happened, but it is fun/interesting to think about. They're food was always the same, the temperature of the water was also cooler in the 125 gallon and in the pond, and the pH was higher (more basic) in the 125 gallon and in the pond. These are just my observations :).

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It's not silly at all with wild-colored fish. I move some of mine from a dark gray to a light gray stock tank, and all of the uncolored fish turned from dark brown to a sort of olive tan overnight

It's not genetics, since the red and white to white transformation is happening in fish from different sources and of different varieties. I suspect temperature.

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It's not silly at all with wild-colored fish. I move some of mine from a dark gray to a light gray stock tank, and all of the uncolored fish turned from dark brown to a sort of olive tan overnight

It's not genetics, since the red and white to white transformation is happening in fish from different sources and of different varieties. I suspect temperature.

I suspect temperature, too. Here's a thought - for those of you whose fish have NOT undergone a color change, what temp is your tank? I saw a quick color change from black to orange when my heater stopped working and somehow went to the maximum setting. My fish were OK thankfully, but the water was 86F!! I removed the heater and it is now 68F.

I purchased some new fish and would love to know the optimal temp for color retention. I spent a lot of money for these fish, and love their unique colors.

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^ive been told cooler water helps fish retain black. My pond is in partial/sometimes full shade so the pond stays around the low 70s.

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^ive been told cooler water helps fish retain black. My pond is in partial/sometimes full shade so the pond stays around the low 70s.

Good, I was hoping people whose fish retained their color didn't keep their tanks TOO cold. I have apple snails, so the tank does need to be around 70 at least for their optimal health. I can't just forgo a heater, as I found out when my snail died after the heater broke. (This is the same heater that we later thought we had fixed, until it went up to the highest setting.)

I bought a Jager heater for my new tank, and so far I really like it. It seems a lot more consistent than the cheapo ones I've bought in the past. I previously made the mistake of thinking a smaller heater would be better for a goldfish tank, because GF don't need as much heat. But heaters that are too small for the tank can get overworked, and malfunction, as I understand it now.

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Edited by *Amanda*

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My 125 gallon tank was always colder than my 45 gallon long. My 45 gallon long was usually in the 70's (around 74)... my 125 gallon was usually in the mid to high 60's. My pond is always in the 60's. Even with a heater on low, my pond has only reached 66 degrees so far this year and rarely reaches the 70's.

My fish were darker in the bigger tank and the pond (which were cooler).

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Here is what Raingarden says about Color enhancement:

Color Enhancement

"The color intensity of an individual goldfish is influenced by the environment and diet. Goldfish are kept in everything from indoor aquaria to outdoor ponds. The colors will be less intense in dim lighting, partially because of pigment constriction in chromatophores as discussed above. Artificial lighting will partially overcome this problem. But, high lighting grows algae and dramatically increases aquarium maintenance. Furthermore, even when you try to mimic the black-body spectrum of sunlight (about 6,000 Kelvin), artificial lighting does not usually produce the color intensity achieved in an outdoor pond. This may be due to other differences in natural and artificial lighting such as the absence of ultraviolet radiation, or it may be related to diet.

A lightly-stocked outdoor pond will have natural forage with color-enhancing properties. In outdoor ponds, red is more vibrant and less orange while black becomes darker and deeper. However, white usually suffers in an outdoor pond and may take on a yellowish tinge. This seems to be a result of consumption of algae, duckweed or other plant life which contains large amounts of xanthophill, a yellow pigment. The fact that red color is intensified and appears less orange, even when the fish is ingesting fairly large amounts of xanthophill, is a paradox because the red erythrophores occur in combination with yellow xanthophores. Evidently, the erythrophores are able to over-power the xanthophores making the color appear more red to our eye."

______________________

From my own experience I think that pH also plays a role. I think with pH above 8, goldfish tend to have a deeper, more intense color. Raingarden believes it has to do with water hardness. We have soft water here, but I do add oyster shell to the filter to keep it from dropping. So maybe it is the hardness of the water.

My pH was lower in the 40 gallon tank (about 6.9-7.4). In the larger tank and pond my pH stays around 8.1 to 8.3.

Raingarden goes on to say: "Trying to manipulate hardness often results in instability so it may be best to accept your ambient hardness as long as there is sufficient alkalinity to prevent a pH crash".

Anyway, it sure is interesting this whole goldfish color changing thing. I can't wait to see what colors my goldfish change next :).

Edited by Kayla102968

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