I've done a few searches and didn't find what I was looking for specifically... So I figured I would ask here:
What characteristics should I look for when choosing a new, small goldfish from a chain store? Particularly an oranda.
I've had my heart set on a Ranchu or Lionhead... but, I can't seem to find any in my area, so an Oranda is a close second as they seem to be everywhere.
From what I understand, color will definitely change. Are color changes really drastic? For instance, if I buy a little fish that is all orange, could he end up black? Or are most of the color changes for fish that start out unique - chocolate or white and black - and end up orange? If color isn't an issue, should I just go for general shape of the goldfish? Or is body shape likely to change as well? I ask because it seems like the different Orandas at LFS are sometimes curved back with broad face while other are straighter backed with smaller face.
Also, is the size of the goldfish a good indicator of age? If I buy one of the smallest fish, is that generally the youngest? I'm not sure how chain pet shops work...
I know there were a billion questions in there. Thanks for reading! I hope this hasn't been asked a billion times... (I didn't see it in the FAQ section...)