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Hi guys

With the Ranchu competition barely one and half months away,I would like to start this thread of how one should prepare their fish for a show.As I’m no authority in this aspect, I wish to invite experienced show winners and perennial show exhibitors(like Geert,Craig Smith,Olddog) to contribute their views in bringing the best out of their fish for any competition.Let us not forget our very own local boys who are seasoned exhibitors to share their views and fine tune their grooming skills and it is my wish to consolidate all our findings into an easily assimilated picture for each to consider and modify them to suit one’s need and within one’s constraint.
I have divided this discussion into two broad categories namely General and specific class.In the general category, we apply our approach without regards to the category of ranchu ie whether SV or TV.


Water parameters

Paramount in importance and needless to stress, water quality and parameters have to be in tip top condition in order to bring out the best in any display.So we don’t have to go into details into achieving them.

Health and well being

A sick ranchu with parasitic infestation is never going to win, much less qualify for exhibition.So please ensure your fish are free of any ailments and parasites.A lot of participants fail to ensure their fish are well prepared by bringing fish just a few days before competition by air or otherwise.I’m not against importing or buying fish just for show but you still need time for the new fish to overcome its stress and acclimatize to its new environment and ordeal before it is being wheeled off for contest.

Food and nutrition

The use of color enhancers to bring out the best in coloration is debatable.Perhaps a little would not do harm as a tincture of make up may enhance the beauty of your fish.However overzealous usage may tarnish the white if present and smudge insertion may mar its overall beauty giving an untidy look.So use sparingly if you insist.The amount o f food has to be curtailed as well given that this competition measure the fish by length, as such you need to control the growth rate of your fish(esp young tosai) by restricting the amount you need to feed in order not to exceed the length in which your fish has initially being categorized.You would put yourself at a disadvantage if the organizer would recategorise your fish in the next up size which in vehemently means it will be the smallest of the next class.And in any competition size does matter.

Human Interaction

In any competition, there would be a crowd and human traffic to ponder over.So if your fish are never subjected to the sound and the sight of human, please prepare them for the worse.I’m not suggesting to you to get a HiFI set to blast next to your tub or tank but put them where there is some human flow and human sound to get them to accept such presence.


You don’t have to put your fish through Ramadan (1 month fasting in Muslim calendar)but you need to fast the fish at least 3 days to a week before competition day(The numbers depend on individual ).This to ensure proper clearing of its system to prevent unnecessary ammonia production ,faecal deposits during its confinement as an exhibit as well as during transportation.Without feeding, your water parameter would not suffer setback as well.



Don't fish out your fish from the pond and exhibit without much preparation.Many of you house them in green water and they are not accustomed to clear and filtered water.Spend sometime to acclimatize your fish in this aspect. Fish them out and confine them to a simulated 2 footed exhibition tank with aeration and of course lights!You will be surprised that these fish would go into 'cultural shock' by looking listless, agitated, color fading mode if no proper exposures have been given prior to competition.A fish wins not just by physical attributes alone but overall posture and swimming as well.It is how your fish carries itself and able to flaunt its assets that will capture the attention of the judge in awarding precious points.So spend sometime to teach some "cat-walk" to your fish as well.


Now since topview is appreciated from the top, spend sometime to fish out your fish and confine them to the size of a competition basin and let it swim within for a few minutes a day to get it accustom .Again posture at rest and in swimming are important attributes apart from satisfying the standard requirement which judges would look out for to determine an eventual winner.

I believe what I can list here is far from being complete. So please feel free to include what I have not deliberately left out. The above preparations may not ensure an eventual winner in the making but certainly would prepare you and your fish with an enormous advantage in the making of one....

Ark Royal
Preparation for entering my ranchu in to a competition starts many ,many months before. I am already thinking of shows in 2006.

Most importantly as many are aware, water qualilty is paramount for keeping your ranchu healthy.
If space is at a premium do not be afraid of moving your ranchu i.e reducing the numbers in your pond and giving more space to your "show" ranchu.
Feed good quality pellet foods and do regular health checks .

Near the competition i cease feeding 48 hours prior and make as much Preparation for the coming journey. I even go as far as to take my own water and air supply to the show ,but that is me

I strongly believe that you should spend some time on what you are going to use for your ranchu to travel in. To help reduce stress invest in a suitable portable container (see topic: Mini Transport Tank) or use food graded plastic containers
with added air holes ,may be fish bags from your local aquatic shop with added oxygen,poly boxes etc..

Finally arrive at the show with plenty of time so to give your ranchu a chance to adjust and recover from the journey.

I hope that this information may help.

Craig Smith

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The Matrix
Craig, travelling within Singapore at any corner will takes an hour to one half using public transport. The journey won't shock the fish a lot unless one is carrying the bag of fish and a pair of Nike Air on a marathon run.
I agree with Craig that preparing Ranchu for competition is keeping them in the best possible conditions all year round. You cannot make or prepare a "Sparkling Ranchu" in a few days or weeks.

Ranchu that are in bad condition at the Show are Ranchu that have not been well kept before the Show. A Ranchu that has been kept well, will not easily become sick at the Show.

Never accuse the organisation or other participants when your Ranchu become sick. Most of the time, it is your fault and not the fault of anyone else.

I think three things are important when participating to a Show :

- keep your Ranchu in the best possible conditions a long time before the Show.
- try to bring and return your Ranchu under the most comfortable conditions ; with as less stress as possible. Stress is what makes your Ranchu sick !
- keep them in quarantine until long enough after the Show. If necessary, act accordingly.


Geert Coppens
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