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*Amanda*

Dandy Orandas Review

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I purchased a beautiful purple/chocolate butterfly from Dandy Orandas about a month ago, who I have tentatively named Monarch. I had been browsing through the auctions for a year prior, and always thought their goldfish were the best quality I had ever seen. However, I was not as confident then in my fishkeeping abilities, so I did not feel it would be wise to spend a lot of money on a fish. What changed my mind was another year of experience, a desire for beautiful fish in my new condo, and frustration over the fact that most of the goldfish that are available in my area are extremely thin and have many other issues. Basically, I wanted to get off to a great start for my first own tank. (I have cared for my boyfriend's goldfish over the past two years, but had never had my own tank.)

Ken Fischer, the owner of Dandy Orandas, was a pleasure to work with. He quarantines all new fish for at least a month, and performs prophylactic treatments. Because of this, he recommends that no medications be administered by the buyer upon arrival of the fish. He feeds moist gel foods exclusively, and recommends Repashy Soilent Green. Buyers have the option of adding a large bag to their orders.

The fish I purchased had been at DO for several months, because the person who had won him in an earlier auction was unable to pay. I was lucky enough to win him in the sale auctions. (Ken seems to do these twice a year, with discounts on all fish and $30 off shipping, which is actually deducted from the fish cost on the invoice.)

Ken refuses to ship fish by any method other than next-day, since he wants the fish to experience the least stress possible. This is very expensive ($90 to me in California), but I was able to compare Ken's fish to another fish I had had shipped via second-day. Ken's fish adjusted quickly, and there was no poop in the bag. The other fish arrived terrified, with poop throughout the bag and a few scales missing, and took much longer to adjust even though she too was in excellent health. Because of this comparison, I fully support Ken's decision, and will request next-day if I purchase any fish online in the future.

There is a full description of fish acclimation on the DO website, which I really appreciated. In a nutshell, Ken's instructions are to simply float the bag containing the fish in the tank until the temperatures have equalized, and then pick up the fish and place him in the tank.

I noticed an error in the shipping cost calculation, which Ken quickly corrected by removing about $35 from the total. He said that the shipping costs are calculated by the shipping company and are sometimes wrong.

Ken is honest in his descriptions about any defects. My fish has slightly different-sized eyes, and this was stated, even though it is hardly noticeable. Brown goldfish are apparently called "purple" in China. Ken normally states this, but it was not in the description for the fish I bought. I already knew this from looking at previous auctions, so I didn't mind, but someone else might be disappointed to open the bag and see a fish that is not purple, but brown with a vague purplish tint.

I only wish that the "buy it now" prices were not so much higher than the starting bid, but plenty of people do seem to buy his fish immediately, so I understand why he does this! The large price difference made me think twice before clicking the button, but I didn't want to lose the fish, so I did. There is a lot of competition on his site. It would also be great if he stated the sex of the goldfish in the description if known, but sellers rarely seem to do this. My fish arrived with very prominent breeding tubercles - definitely a male!

I am extremely pleased with my purchase, and highly recommend Dandy Orandas to anyone looking for a healthy, quality goldfish.

Monarch:

nytany7y.jpg

Edited by *Amanda*

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His fish are beautiful, the lavender color really shows up under certain lighting.

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Beautiful fish Amanda, I'm going to look now to see if you've posted other photos of Monarch.

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I always will recommend Ken to anyone who wants an amazing quality import. I really enjoyed getting to visit him as he lives so close to me.

The purple color will show up beautifully in the right lighting, like my Merlot did. You can definitely see it best with either a blue background or in bright sun. Really, yes, these fish are purple.

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wow! thanks! The DO fish are beautiful :) I love Monarch-- the name fits him very well

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Gorgeous!!!! Congrats!!!!!

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I always will recommend Ken to anyone who wants an amazing quality import. I really enjoyed getting to visit him as he lives so close to me.

The purple color will show up beautifully in the right lighting, like my Merlot did. You can definitely see it best with either a blue background or in bright sun. Really, yes, these fish are purple.

You're right. Last night I got an Aqueon white light LED bubble wand in the mail, and the extra light makes him look MUCH more purple! It's especially evident in his fins and upper body. His lower body is light to medium chocolate. I will post more pics soon! He's a great fish.

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I always will recommend Ken to anyone who wants an amazing quality import. I really enjoyed getting to visit him as he lives so close to me.

The purple color will show up beautifully in the right lighting, like my Merlot did. You can definitely see it best with either a blue background or in bright sun. Really, yes, these fish are purple.

You're right. Last night I got an Aqueon white light LED bubble wand in the mail, and the extra light makes him look MUCH more purple! It's especially evident in his fins and upper body. His lower body is light to medium chocolate. I will post more pics soon! He's a great fish.
Definitely looking forward to the pictures and really happy to see another happy DO customer. It's making me window shop

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I always will recommend Ken to anyone who wants an amazing quality import. I really enjoyed getting to visit him as he lives so close to me.

The purple color will show up beautifully in the right lighting, like my Merlot did. You can definitely see it best with either a blue background or in bright sun. Really, yes, these fish are purple.

You're right. Last night I got an Aqueon white light LED bubble wand in the mail, and the extra light makes him look MUCH more purple! It's especially evident in his fins and upper body. His lower body is light to medium chocolate. I will post more pics soon! He's a great fish.
Definitely looking forward to the pictures and really happy to see another happy DO customer. It's making me window shop
At first I was hesitant to spend that amount of money on a fish (Monarch was $99 plus shipping), but after seeing these fish in person, there is simply no comparison to what I have available locally. It's a breath of fresh air to get a fish and know he has been well taken care of and already cleared of parasites (Ken does lots of tests, including microscopy). Ich and finrot are common in the pet stores where I live, but my main complaint is how skinny the goldfish are - absolute skin and bones, most of them. I've had some of these pet store fish for years and have helped them to put on a lot of weight, but IMO their potential is limited by inadequate nutrition during their developmental period.

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I always will recommend Ken to anyone who wants an amazing quality import. I really enjoyed getting to visit him as he lives so close to me.

The purple color will show up beautifully in the right lighting, like my Merlot did. You can definitely see it best with either a blue background or in bright sun. Really, yes, these fish are purple.

You're right. Last night I got an Aqueon white light LED bubble wand in the mail, and the extra light makes him look MUCH more purple! It's especially evident in his fins and upper body. His lower body is light to medium chocolate. I will post more pics soon! He's a great fish.
Definitely looking forward to the pictures and really happy to see another happy DO customer. It's making me window shop
At first I was hesitant to spend that amount of money on a fish (Monarch was $99 plus shipping), but after seeing these fish in person, there is simply no comparison to what I have available locally. It's a breath of fresh air to get a fish and know he has been well taken care of and already cleared of parasites (Ken does lots of tests, including microscopy). Ich and finrot are common in the pet stores where I live, but my main complaint is how skinny the goldfish are - absolute skin and bones, most of them. I've had some of these pet store fish for years and have helped them to put on a lot of weight, but IMO their potential is limited by inadequate nutrition during their developmental period.

I think that maybe you haven't found a special one yet. If you ask around, many people here have fish from Petsmart or other either local or chain stores that turned out to be quite close to or exactly show-quality. Just look at some of Alex's fish: giant and beautiful after coming from meager beginnings! :) Sure, it's the luck of the draw, but it is very possible to pull a diamond out of the rough.

The goldfish at your local places may not be fed because they are shipped so much all over. Once they get to your LFS, they can have been fasted for much longer than you or I would ever do so.

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I always will recommend Ken to anyone who wants an amazing quality import. I really enjoyed getting to visit him as he lives so close to me.

The purple color will show up beautifully in the right lighting, like my Merlot did. You can definitely see it best with either a blue background or in bright sun. Really, yes, these fish are purple.

You're right. Last night I got an Aqueon white light LED bubble wand in the mail, and the extra light makes him look MUCH more purple! It's especially evident in his fins and upper body. His lower body is light to medium chocolate. I will post more pics soon! He's a great fish.
Definitely looking forward to the pictures and really happy to see another happy DO customer. It's making me window shop
At first I was hesitant to spend that amount of money on a fish (Monarch was $99 plus shipping), but after seeing these fish in person, there is simply no comparison to what I have available locally. It's a breath of fresh air to get a fish and know he has been well taken care of and already cleared of parasites (Ken does lots of tests, including microscopy). Ich and finrot are common in the pet stores where I live, but my main complaint is how skinny the goldfish are - absolute skin and bones, most of them. I've had some of these pet store fish for years and have helped them to put on a lot of weight, but IMO their potential is limited by inadequate nutrition during their developmental period.

I think that maybe you haven't found a special one yet. If you ask around, many people here have fish from Petsmart or other either local or chain stores that turned out to be quite close to or exactly show-quality. Just look at some of Alex's fish: giant and beautiful after coming from meager beginnings! :) Sure, it's the luck of the draw, but it is very possible to pull a diamond out of the rough.

The goldfish at your local places may not be fed because they are shipped so much all over. Once they get to your LFS, they can have been fasted for much longer than you or I would ever do so.

I have found a couple of great fish here, mostly from Petsmart (including Mario's black moor, who is extremely healthy). However, it definitely requires a lot of patience, and the mom-and-pop stores around here rarely have healthy fish. (There is an excellent shop in Santa Cruz, but they won't carry GF because it gets too hot at night. They will take special orders for pickup, but their supplier requires commitment to purchase the fish without the option to see it first.) There are very good stores in the Bay Area, from what I hear. That's a pretty stressful drive, but I might go check them out one day.

I also think the fish that are extremely thin may require more aggressive treatments in QT, like Tetra Parasite Guard. Mario actually let me take Adele, his little black moor/fantail (she has a fused upper caudal fin, so her tail looks like a triangle - so cute!), and I treated her with the TPG followed by Prazi before putting her in my main tank. She seems to be putting on some weight already. I'm also going to try doing multiple small feedings instead of two larger feedings, after reading pearlscaleperfect's article yesterday.

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I always will recommend Ken to anyone who wants an amazing quality import. I really enjoyed getting to visit him as he lives so close to me.

The purple color will show up beautifully in the right lighting, like my Merlot did. You can definitely see it best with either a blue background or in bright sun. Really, yes, these fish are purple.

You're right. Last night I got an Aqueon white light LED bubble wand in the mail, and the extra light makes him look MUCH more purple! It's especially evident in his fins and upper body. His lower body is light to medium chocolate. I will post more pics soon! He's a great fish.
Definitely looking forward to the pictures and really happy to see another happy DO customer. It's making me window shop
At first I was hesitant to spend that amount of money on a fish (Monarch was $99 plus shipping), but after seeing these fish in person, there is simply no comparison to what I have available locally. It's a breath of fresh air to get a fish and know he has been well taken care of and already cleared of parasites (Ken does lots of tests, including microscopy). Ich and finrot are common in the pet stores where I live, but my main complaint is how skinny the goldfish are - absolute skin and bones, most of them. I've had some of these pet store fish for years and have helped them to put on a lot of weight, but IMO their potential is limited by inadequate nutrition during their developmental period.

I think that maybe you haven't found a special one yet. If you ask around, many people here have fish from Petsmart or other either local or chain stores that turned out to be quite close to or exactly show-quality. Just look at some of Alex's fish: giant and beautiful after coming from meager beginnings! :) Sure, it's the luck of the draw, but it is very possible to pull a diamond out of the rough.

The goldfish at your local places may not be fed because they are shipped so much all over. Once they get to your LFS, they can have been fasted for much longer than you or I would ever do so.

I have found a couple of great fish here, mostly from Petsmart (including Mario's black moor, who is extremely healthy). However, it definitely requires a lot of patience, and the mom-and-pop stores around here rarely have healthy fish. (There is an excellent shop in Santa Cruz, but they won't carry GF because it gets too hot at night. They will take special orders for pickup, but their supplier requires commitment to purchase the fish without the option to see it first.) There are very good stores in the Bay Area, from what I hear. That's a pretty stressful drive, but I might go check them out one day.

I also think the fish that are extremely thin may require more aggressive treatments in QT, like Tetra Parasite Guard. Mario actually let me take Adele, his little black moor/fantail (she has a fused upper caudal fin, so her tail looks like a triangle - so cute!), and I treated her with the TPG followed by Prazi before putting her in my main tank. She seems to be putting on some weight already. I'm also going to try doing multiple small feedings instead of two larger feedings, after reading pearlscaleperfect's article yesterday.

I'm with you. I have seen some great success stories from petsmart. Fish with beautiful thick bodies, good wen and I definitely feel the grooming that keeper did played a big part and excellence is possible with good care and a good eye.

That being said I am a huge fan of ECR fish (you can spot them from a mile away) Dandy Oranda and Rain Garden fish. A lot of it is the aesthetics, good customer service and good breeding but a large chunk of the appeal for me is knowing that the fish you get WILL be healthy and will grow to a quality specimen so long as you do your job :) There's a security there that anyone I know who has had their heart in their throat through the first months of raising an ill, under fed rescue or chain store fish really really appreciates.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your buddy as he grows and seeing a good shot of this purple hue! Good thread here! :)

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Here is a photo I took just now of Monarch and my veiltail from RainGarden:

ryhy8y2u.jpg

And here is one of the veiltail by herself, just because she's so pretty:

2a2aqepe.jpg

I haven't figured out what to name the veiltail yet ...

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Here is a photo I took just now of Monarch and my veiltail from RainGarden:

ryhy8y2u.jpg

And here is one of the veiltail by herself, just because she's so pretty:

2a2aqepe.jpg

I haven't figured out what to name the veiltail yet ...

Absolutely stunning, you made great selections and congratulations!

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You wrote up a nice review. Thank you.

Your fish is gorgeous also. So is your R.G. fish. I do believe that Steve from R.G. started months ago posting the sex of his fish. Perhaps if suggested to D.O. he'll do the same.

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You wrote up a nice review. Thank you.Your fish is gorgeous also. So is your R.G. fish. I do believe that Steve from R.G. started months ago posting the sex of his fish. Perhaps if suggested to D.O. he'll do the same.

Yeah, I noticed that a lot of the RG fish have the sex posted. Mine did not, but I am almost positive she's a female (round tummy, diamond-shaped vent, thin pectoral fins), and when I asked Steve a question about her, he referred to her as "she."

I got one fish each from Dandy Orandas, Rain Garden and GoldfishNet. I had great experiences with each seller, and will be writing reviews for the other two soon. :-)

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congrats! monarch is beautiful :)

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You wrote up a nice review. Thank you.Your fish is gorgeous also. So is your R.G. fish. I do believe that Steve from R.G. started months ago posting the sex of his fish. Perhaps if suggested to D.O. he'll do the same.

Yeah, I noticed that a lot of the RG fish have the sex posted. Mine did not, but I am almost positive she's a female (round tummy, diamond-shaped vent, thin pectoral fins), and when I asked Steve a question about her, he referred to her as "she."

I got one fish each from Dandy Orandas, Rain Garden and GoldfishNet. I had great experiences with each seller, and will be writing reviews for the other two soon. :-)

When I purchased my R.G. fish Steve wasn't posting the gender at the time. We had exchanged some emails back and fourth because I was looking for a male. He was kind enough to help me decide on a couple of them and I finally made a decision. :) I remember it not seeming too long after that, that he started posting the genders. Maybe others were asking him the same question. haha That's neat that you have 3 fish from different vendors. Edited by 4prettyfish

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You wrote up a nice review. Thank you.Your fish is gorgeous also. So is your R.G. fish. I do believe that Steve from R.G. started months ago posting the sex of his fish. Perhaps if suggested to D.O. he'll do the same.

Yeah, I noticed that a lot of the RG fish have the sex posted. Mine did not, but I am almost positive she's a female (round tummy, diamond-shaped vent, thin pectoral fins), and when I asked Steve a question about her, he referred to her as "she."I got one fish each from Dandy Orandas, Rain Garden and GoldfishNet. I had great experiences with each seller, and will be writing reviews for the other two soon. :-)
When I purchased my R.G. fish Steve wasn't posting the gender at the time. We had exchanged some emails back and fourth because I was looking for a male. He was kind enough to help me decide on a couple of them and I finally made a decision. :) I remember it not seeming too long after that, that he started posting the genders. Maybe others were asking him the same question. haha That's neat that you have 3 fish from different vendors.
Yeah I think he started posting them recently, too, and that's why my fish didn't have it posted - she had been in the veiltails section for several months when I bought her. I was surprised, because IMHO she was the most beautiful fish he had! I just love her unique coloring and gorgeous tail, and veiltails are ridiculously hard to find (for me anyway; I'd never seen one in person).

It's great how he worked with you and made a positive improvement - it's that kind of customer service that makes me happy to spend the extra money. His shipping costs are fantastic, too, which also helps. :-)

Edited by *Amanda*

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