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Goldfish Diary

Goldfish Experience - Diary of a Babysitter


culling - 14 days old

In this issue, we feature the "parenting" experience of one of our club members in raising a school of more than 3000 ranchus!

My experience with raising baby goldfish started without any planning. One morning, I was suddenly confronted with several thousands of lives at my mercy. A pair of ranchus which I kept at home had spawned overnight. It was the most prolific spawn I had ever seen, and the number of eggs which lined the sides of the tub was DISGUSTING!

Though an avid goldfish hobbyist, I have never entertained any thought of breeding goldfish as I am by no means qualified. A true breeder should, strictly speaking, be a master of goldfish genetics who is able to maintain and improve his goldfish lines over many generations, and even go on to create new breeds of goldfish. Without first perfecting the pre-requisite arts of “keeping the fish alive” and "grooming a goldfish to its full potential", one cannot claim to be a good goldfish breeder.

OK! I am absolutely not a breeder at this stage, but at least I can be a babysitter. Why not gain some good experience from this? Besides, not many people have the chance to own a pair of very productive ranchus. So I decided to raise these fries, knowing that it is a lot of hard work. What an understatement!

Thanks to a stringent water management regime, thousands of fries were hatched with very low mortality rates. Less than 20 developed dropsy and less than 5 were killed through mishandling. Wow! I had more than 3000 healthy, fast growing fries! In retrospect, that may have been a curse in disguise. From one 40 gallon tub, I soon expanded to three 40 gallon tubs and then to a big pond. The fries were eating me broke!

There are 3 factors vital to successful fry raising – water management, culling and feeding. Fries eat continuously and cannot be starved. Otherwise, they will become stunted. Water quality deteriorates rapidly with heavy feeding and space is a concern with the growing fries. One wrong step, and all the efforts go to waste and there is no turning back. 

I embarked on this difficult journey to raise the fries, giving them the best conditions in which to grow and and the best part of my time. Though tedious, the efforts rewarded me with fries that develop well, and super low mortality rates. Strict culling was carried out to prevent overcrowding and to encourage the growth of the best specimens. Halving the population each time, by the third round of culling, only 300 fries remained.

7 days 26 days
35 days 35 days

The proud parent Ranchus

39 days old

Besides time, dedication and space, the constant supply of live food required to maintain a large brood of perpetually ravenous fries ran up a hefty bill! Nevertheless, the babysitting has been a valuable experience and I am happy to have identified a number of promising fries with good developmental potential.

Incidentally, the parent ranchus spawned again this morning. Unfortunately, I have to say sorry as I have run out of steam.


88 days old

2 month old


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To see other articles in our goldfish diary, let's go back to our diary home page.

11 Sep 03

Updated on 28 Mar 04

121 days old


One of the best of breed - 9 months old




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