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Fynnmood Exploration - Thailand - Bangkok


There are many good books and websites that dedicate to fish keeping and filtration systems. Such information can be easily found and every day there is new finding to be learned in these areas. Hence, Fynnmood Goldfish Club would like to focus on some thing different. The Club would like to concentrate on goldfish appreciation.


With that said naturally our main task would mean that the Club has to seek out good fish around the region and shared these new finding with the hobbyists. And that lead us to our very first question, that is, "Which country should we start with?"


Malaysia, Thailand, China and Japan have always been the major players for goldfish developments. Around the world, hobbyists are on a constant look out to these countries for their new variety of goldfish, their new creation.


It was late March then, for four season countries like China and Japan, this is not really the right period to visit them and our choice were left with Malaysia or Thailand. As we know, recently, Thailand has been very successful with major goldfish competition, thus the decision is simple, and the Club will travel to Thailand and hopefully to find out the Thai secret of their successful story.


The next moment, we were at the capital of "A Land of a Thousands Smiles" - Bangkok. First stop, we visited a famous top view ranchu Thai breeder's home. Very similar to the Japanese breeders, the Thai breeder has a little backyard and it is occupied with big tubs and small cement pond everywhere.


As we can see from the photo, the cement pond is covered with algae. The breeder explained that algae are a good natural source of colour enhancing for the goldfish. Such practice is similar to the green water practice by some Chinese farmers and feeding duckweed by some Japanese breeders.


The breeder also shared with us that the other source of protein comes from mosquito larva. This might be a surprise to many Singaporean, but to the koi hobbyists in other part of the world this is another common food source.


Some of these ranchu were so well groomed that they are identical to the Japanese ranchu. Good thick peduncle and nice buffalo cheeks. Also note their brilliant colour, the Thai has definitely master a certain standard of fish keeping!


The next stop was the tosakin farm. Thai has been improving their grooming skill for tosakin, however, the best tosakin still come from Japan. The Thai and the Japanese have very good relationship. Hence it is easy for the Thai to get the good parent fish from Japan.


The main focus of tosakin goes without saying is its tail. First to get a good strong flipped over tail is not easy, second to get the folded lines beautifully lace along the tail makes it even harder. These folded lines came from a long history back in China and the Chinese called it "Hundreds fold skirt". See the picture above [Tosakin].


And third important point (but not least) is the balancing of the tail, so often the tosakin has a beautifully tail but when come to swimming, the movement is lopsided. This is a clear indication that the tail is not balance. For an experience eyes, one can quickly point out the fault on the tail.


Our third variety of goldfish farm we visited was strong in side view ranchu. I was told that this farm produce regular winner in Thai goldfish competition. Personally, I am very impress with the quality of the fish. The fish has brilliant colours, good head growth and nice smooth back curve. It was be good if we could study more about this ranchu in a glass tank instead of the pond.


Siamese black ranchu is well known all over the world many years for their pure black charcoal colour. So far, no official record outside Thailand has successfully produced what the Thai have shared to the world. The "secret" has been tightly kept by the Thai farmers. Fynnmood is very fortunate to learn about this secret from one the very kind and big hearted Thai farmers. However, to respect his wish, it would not be posted in this article. Nevertheless, base on Fynnmood own experience, the Club would recommend hobbyists with black ranchu should expose the fish to proper sunlight, that would help to improve the black pigment. Also getting the black ranchu from a good bloodline does play a part too.


From the photo, you will notice how the black pigment runs all the way to the beneath of the fish body. Such deep black pigment plays an important factor for point scoring when come to competition.


As usual, I was snooping around the farm, looking out for some thing new or some thing different from the rest of the farms, the one thing that I found this farm practice evidently was surface skimming technique. There is a constant outlet flow of water dripping into the pond, and at the end of each pond there is a drainage pipe skimming off the surface water is you can see from one of the photo here. This is another popular filtration system practice by many hobbyists. Although not exactly the same way, base on similar concept.


Well, the Club cannot leave Thailand without at least visiting one oranda farm. And with the help of our Thai counterpart, we snuffed our way into some subdued area in Bangkok, places that I would never expect to find any goldfish. Transferring from car to motorbike we travelled into the small alley before reaching a narrow residential area that required us to go on foot before finally reaching the destination. Hidden behind the humble entrance, there is roll of cement ponds filled with oranda.


We were told this is one of the best hidden goldfish breeders in Bangkok and have quietly but constantly producing champion. Whether the claim is accurate, the Club is not certain, but what the Club admittedly agreed is the quality of the oranda. Base on observation, those oranda are still very young and their potential is unlimited. The fish have strong tail bone, good head growth and body shape.


Notice the keeping of oranda is very different from the ranchu, the breeder tend to use deeper pond. The pond size is also bigger with more fish in one pond compared to the ranchu pond. Surprisingly the pond current is quite strong. I wonder with the kind of current in the water, will it affect the tail spread of the fish, unfortunately, I was so excited looking at the fish that they netted up, I forgot to ask them!


Finally, just before the Club was wrapping up the trip, the Club was invited to another famous top view ranchu hobbyist's home. Under the roof, he housed a large number of quality Japanese ranchu. From the photo you can find some of the food and medication used by the Thai are very different from Singapore hobbyists.


Current this Thai hobbyist is practicing and improving his breeding skill and he has high hope that some day, he will bring his own breed ranchu to compete in Japan grand competition - All Japan Ranchu Show. Fynnmood wishes him all the best.


With that last visit, the Club had come to the end of their stay in Thailand. We left the country with new knowledge acquired and a strong believes that this is not the last of Thai goldfish we will see. There will be more to come.


Generally, if one spent enough time understanding the amount of effort these breeders have put in to groom these beautiful fish, one can easily sympathise why some of these fish fetch premium price. For Singaporean who doesn't really like to travel and begin to wonder if you can ever get hold of these beautiful goldfish, the answer is, "you would not have to worry". There are a couple of popular farms and shops in Singapore that specialize in importing quality Thai goldfish and please feel free to approach any of the Fynnmood members they will able to advise you. (More information can be found in Fynnmood Forum)


Thank you,

Fynnmood President

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