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New Ranchu Gets Scared Very Easily...


j0shua

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We bought 3 new ranchus last week. They're Tung Hoi ranchus, and are all super cute and about 3". Two are female crystal ranchus, and the other is a male sakura ranchu named Patches.

All respond readily to human touch, they have been handled and moved from tank to tank by hand since they were babies, from what I've seen what the local breeders and importers do here. They all respond to hand feeding, and if I dip a finger in, they'd come peck at it.

Now, when we introduced Patches and the others into the main tank, they all settled fine. Tank is still cycling. I dipped a net in to scoop a poo, and the moment Patches saw the net, he freaked himself out and frantically swam right into the Aquaclear intake, and took off a scale. Seeing as how he hurt himself, we moved him into a plastic 10g QT tank with a big sponge filter and salted accordingly. His tail had red streaks and a big red welt, but that healed up by the next day. We now try to scoop poo out when he's facing away, or when he's at the other side of the tank. Today, while scooping, he noticed the net and again splashed around and shot off like mad, and after he'd calmed down I noticed some bleeding just before his tail area where it hit the side of the tank, and the red streaks all over his tail. He might've taken another scale off, but I can't really tell from the top.

The other two couldn't be bothered by the net at all, they simply ignore it. I'm wondering why his behaviour is so different, and how I can work around this. He gets scared by all sorts of stuff, like the small tub I use to scoop water in. Very worried he'd hurt himself more, cos he's quite special and really really really cute. I'll post up a pic later, he's really won our hearts. Anyone dealt with something like this before?

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When I first got one of my ranchus and had him in a QT tank by himself, he was unbelievably skittish. If I even entered the ROOM, he'd flip out, swimming frantically into the corner of the tank and slamming himself repeatedly against the glass in an effort to get "through" it. I even had to remove the heater I had in there, an old glass one, because he was hitting that and slamming it into the glass, too.

Most skittish goldfish I've ever had. It took about 2 weeks before he realized that I was the source of food, which he loved -- and he mellowed out and remained a friendly, unafraid goldie for the rest of his days.

Can't wait to see your new Tung Hoi ranchus!!! Especially the sakura -- I'm crazy about those.

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They do take time to mellow out as Dee mentioned, it just takes a matter of time depending upon the fish. I have some that are very tame and actually were the last ones introduced to my tank, where a few of my older fish still are a bit distant. Once they do realize that you are the source of their daily meals they will come around. One thing though, I'd like to suggest using a gravel vac to remove the poo from your tanks instead of a net. I've read where goldfish really can never get used to a net and actually is quite frightening to them by it's appearance. By using a gravel vac and having your hands in the tank will get them accustomed to you quicker. Hope that helps and best of luck with your new Ranchus! ;)

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Most goldies are skittish when new. He ll calm down soon but my goldies freak with nets to. And so i catch them in cups. Less scary i guess

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Hi, I think you should give your gfs a chance to settle down first. This constant dipping of the net and hands into the tank will freak most new arrivals out. Sometimes you may even have to turn off the aquarium light for a couple days inorder to help them settle. Not all gfs behave the same, similar to all living things so you should be patient with this one. New arrivals should be fed sparingly too, a hungry usually will come out of hiding and look for food. (they have one thing in common though, they all are greedy buggers). Can't wait to see some pictures.:)

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Lights out are a great idea. Or shade of some sort. It is normal for some new fish to be skittish and nervous.

The change of schedule and home is such a major stressor. Also, you are cycling -this is also very stressful for fish already stressed by a move.

There are things you can do to destress...the shade, extra oxygen, getting them into a routine. Food in the same place etc..it all helps.

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Hi guys, thanks for the replies.

We do use a gravel vac for water changes, but as all the tanks and tubs are barebottom, we (and the little guys) can easily see poo sitting around. These ranchus have been known for being poo-eaters, so we try to remove any we see as soon as possible. The crystals don't really bother with the net, it's only Patches. In fact, a bit of food was dropped into the tank just now, and he knew it was there but couldn't target it and see it, and did a huge violent splash and rocketed around looking for it. Again the redness in his tail increased. These sudden bursts of movement isn't good for him :(

Also, none of the tanks or tubs have lights at the moment, they rely on the natural light from the window nearby for illumination. It's a shaded window, so it's not bright. There's also a translucent cover we put over Patches' tank (with an air gap), because we were afraid that this sudden movement might result in him taking a big jump out. We don't move them at all since they got into their tanks. He's been moved maybe 5 times in total ever since we got him a week ago, from the LFS tank to the bag to main tank to QT to his new tub. The sponge filters they have are generating a large amount of surface action and aeration for oxygen, and I've cut out a bit of the sponge inside the filter to chuck in some Eheim Substrat with beneficial bacteria to help things along. They all also have a bag of the same media sitting over the filters like I saw in the LFS. We do twice daily water changes, so ammonia is trace and nitrates nil. Routine-wise, they've settled very quickly: all of them start crowding in the corner nearest to the staircase, surfacing and generally making some noise by sucking/spitting air and water, at about the same time they're expecting food every day already, and they all will happily take food from my hand.

I've been using a net for the past few months as a food delivery tool for the two orandas so as to make sure the smaller one gets just a bit more food from his bigger greedier brother, and they're so used to it that they actually poke around into the net looking for food. I'm thinking of slowly using the net to introduce food for Patches, first by dropping it in from a distance with the net, then over a month or so, bringing the net closer in. I agree that I have to be patient with him and slowly learn his habits, and what sets him off and such. He has the most adorable cherubic face that pops up to greet me when I look down into his tub :)

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Hi, managed to snap some photos of the ranchus :)

They were all feeling unwell when they arrived home.

This is Peaches the crystal ranchu, the queen of the main tank and the biggest of the three. She had a bit of cloudy eye the day after she arrived, but some Melafix and salt righted that. She was lethargic and listless for a day or so, but now she's moving around and eating fine. She's a bit shy, but will respond to touch and totally ignores the net. She's also an amazing waste generator :blink:

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This is Pebbles, also crystal, currently in one of the QT tubs. She had cloudy eye too, and we suspect Peaches got it from her, hence the QT. Her eyes both turned a bit red inside, but that has cleared out. She also had white patches all over her wen and body for the first few days, but again, light salting and Melafix sorted that. Her tailfin isn't in the best condition, one side looks like there was some rot, but it's getting better. She's very active and eats well, and responds very well to human touch. She has no fear of the net or anything in the tank. What concerns me is that she has three black dots behind her right eye, which you can see in the first pic. Any idea what that is?

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And this is the problem boy, Patches. This is him peeking up cos he saw my finger there:

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He'd chase my finger around like this, so he has no problem with human contact either.

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He's a huge attention seeker, and will come up to the surface and smack his lips to call out to us haha.

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Top view:

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Now one of the problems was that the QT tub he was in had corners, and a cutout for carrying handles. When startled, he'd try to do a frantic 180 turn from the corner he was in, and in the process, his tail would hit the side of the tank with some force. You can see some bruising on the bottom of his tail where it hit the tank in the next pic:

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He's done a bit of damage to his tail. In addition to losing a couple of scales, his fin was all streaked red and there were blood patches on top which did clear out the next day. His light colouring makes it easy to see the bruising on his body, and after a particularly violent splash, much of his tail up to his back looked a bit red.

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As a solution, I bought a 2' diameter and 1' deep round plastic container, which holds a bit over 10g with a couple of inches of room to spare so he can't jump out. There aren't any corners for him to hit, and the sponge filter in the middle is too soft to do any damage. It's also opaque, so he doesn't get startled by people suddenly moving outside the tank. He settled in there pretty well yesterday, but he's still scared of the net and when the loose plastic board covering his tub gets removed. He's gone on frantic runs looking for food too, cos he motorboats in so fast he usually misses it on the first pass. When I scooped him up in a small plastic tub to move him, he was wiggling around in his corner frantically, so I put my finger in, and he saw that, and immediately made a run for my finger. I baited him into the small tub, and when he realised he was trapped he started splashing around, but I quickly moved him into the new round tub, and stuck my finger in to calm him down. He relaxed very quickly - he soon started swimming around slowly and rubbing up against my hand and nibbling on my finger. Maybe I should stick a plastic hand in his tub to keep him happy haha.

Anyways, it's easier to see his poo in a dark tub, and we'll slowly condition him to not fear a net I guess. Having him in an environment where he can't hurt himself is a big step forward right now :)

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