Ryukin Goldfish
  Origin - Japan Difficulty - Beginner
  Availability - Common Adult Size - 7 to 9 inches
  Price - Cheap Scales - Any

 

YOUTUBE Video:

  Ribbontail Ryukins - Ryukin with Ribbontail finnage.

  Red and White - Adult Red and White Ryukin with Fantail finnage.

  Black Ryukin - This is actually a calico Ryukin with so much black that is almost lookes like a black Ryukin.

  Dalmation Ryukin - An unuaual spotted Ryukin resembling a Dalmation.

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History and Origin of Ryukin Goldfish

Very popular in both the US and Japan, the Ryukin is a Japanese breed which appears very similar to a Fantail except for it's massive dorsal hump. In recent years breeders have tried to enhance this hump, making some Ryukins outrageously tall.

It is named after a string of Islands between Japan and Taiwan. It was bred in Japan from Fantail stock starting in the late 1700s.



Special Care for Ryukin Goldfish

Red and White Ryukins like this one are very common in the US

Ryukins are fairly vigorous and will outcompete weaker breeds (like Celestials and Bubble Eyes) for food. They may become aggressive to weaker breeds as well. So they should only be kept with other Ryukins or fish of similar swimming ability, such as Orandas and Lionheads.

Because of their distorted body shape, their intestinal tracts may have "dead zones" where food gets caught, resulting in constipation. Normally, when goldfish float upside down it is a symptom of swim bladder disorder. But with Ryukins, it is a common sign of constipation. Overfeeding is the main cause of this.

Feeding them foods like pealed green peas will act as a laxitive. But another solution is to simply stop feeding the fish for several days until it's digestive tract clears out.

They can be kept in ponds but were bred to be viewed from the side, so they are intended for aquariums. Because of their tall profile, they need more vertical space than other breeds of goldfish. If kept in ponds, care needs to be taken that the water is deep enough for them swim in since they have a much more vertical profile than other goldfish. Ryukins also do not tolerate cold water as well as Common Goldfish.



Ideal Characteristics for Ryukin Goldfish

The body is similar to a fantail except that it is very deep. The head should be distinct from the body and snouted (but smooth, as with a Common Goldfish), without any wen or nasal bouquets. The hump should rise rise sharply and dramatically right behind the head. It is the only goldfish breed which has a body that may be deeper (taller) than it is long. Higher backs are more desirable and seem to be much more common nowadays, even in chain stores. It is not difficult to find quality specimens in the US.

All fins should be paired except for the Dorsal, and the Dorsal fin should be very high and stiff, like the crest on a Roman Soldier's helmet, in a curving mohawk-like shape. Large Dorsal fins are desirable on Ryukins so long as they do not droop over. Ryukins have no standard fin type, though fantail finnage is the most common. The fins should conform to the standards of whatever fin type the Ryukin has.

Ryukins are typically metallic, but can be of any scale type or color. Red, White, and mottled red/white patterns are the dominant colors in this breed (at least in the US), but black/blue, chocolate, and calico versions have also been bred as well. There is a blackish-copper colored variant sometimes referred to as "green", though it is not a true green.



Known Variants of Ryukin Goldfish

A Ribbontail version of the Ryukin

Unlike other breeds of Goldfish, Ryukins have not been heavily hybridized (the Japanese tend to frown on hybrids in general), so all of the variants are differentiated only by their finnage.

Ryukins can be found with Fringetail, Butterfly Tail and Ribbontail finnage, in addition to the standard Fantail fin types. But common fantail finnage is the default.

All Ryukins have exaggerated Dorsal fins however, no matter what their fin type is.

 



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