Jikin Goldfish
  Origin - Japan Difficulty - Beginner
  Availability - Very Rare Adult Size - 7 to 9 inches
  Price - Expensive Scales - Metallic



  Show quality Jikin - Almost perfect coloration.

  Jikins - Several deep red adult Jikins.

  Close Up - Close up view of a Jikin with orange coloring.

  Show Winner - Another show winning Jikin.


History and Origin of the Jikin

Also known as the "Peacock Tail", The Jikin is a top-view Japanese goldfish originally bred from the Wakin, and intended for ponds.

The Jikin was bred directly from Wakin stock. Unlike the Wakin, there are very exacting standards for the color patterns of Jikin, and so they are rare and expensive. Since the color pattern is so difficult to achieve, breeders often "cheat" by manually renmoving red scales that dont fit the pattern. In Japan this is not considered "cheating", since all that matters is what the final product looks like. It is sort of like a fish version of cosmetic surgery. The removed scales will not grow back, so the new pattern will be permanent.

But because the process is so tedious and time consuming (only a few scales can be removed at a time, then the fish has to recover), fish that stray too far from the desired pattern are discarded.

Special Care for Common Goldfish

The Jikin, like the Wakin from which it was derrived, is fairly hardy and requires no special care. It can survive in any environment that the Common Goldfish can survive in.

Jikin are also intended as pond fish just as koi are, but can be kept in aquariums as well.

Ideal Characteristics for Common Goldfish

Unlike its precursor the Wakin, the ideal Jikin profile is more similar to a Common Goldfish, but with a slightly shorter body. The surface of the dorsal contour is more narrow as well.

The Jikin's tail is completely split and splayed to the side like a Butterfly tail, except that the upper and lower lobes are the same size. In addition, it is so deeply forked that the lobes are completely separated, giving it the appearance of a four leaf clover when viewed from the back. The Caudal should be almost vertical, which is why it is often called a "Peacock tail".

All fins should be divided except the dorsal. Called "12 reds", the Jikin color pattern is very precise. True Jikin should be completely white, with red only on their caudal fins, dorsal fin, pectoral fins, anal fins, and lips (red is acceptable on the gill covers as well). Ideally, the red should completely saturate the caudal and anal/pectoral/pelvic fins, but few fish will match that standard. So partial coloration of those areas is often acceptable.

Few offspring in this breed live up to the exacting standards. Only about 1/4 of the offspring will have the trademark clover-like tail. And out oif those, only a fraction will have the necessary coloring in the right places.

Natural "12 reds" fish are virtually unknown, so the fish that are closest to the ideal are separated and undergo a gradual procedure to manually pluck errant red scales until they conform to the 12 reds pattern. This puts a lot of stress on the fish, and is a slow process, so only the Jikins that most closely fit the standard are chosen.

For this reason, Jikins are expensive and rare, even in Japan.

Known Variants of Common Goldfish

An example of a Chinese Jikin

There is a varient called the Chinese Jinkin that is red or mottled red/white. It conforms to the same standards as the regular Jinkin as far as body and fins, but is more relaxed on the color requirements.

There is another variant of the standard Jikin called the Edojinkin that is identical as well, except that it has nacreous scales.

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