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Message Board / Forum. Goldfish Breeding. Goldfish Of The Month April:

Posted by: Ranchugirl Apr 8 2005, 07:44 PM
Goldfish of the month April: The JIKIN:
This month we are having a look at a very special breed, and one that is not seen at all in pet stores-the Jikin.

The Jikin is one of the breeds that come from the small country of Japan (in the Nagoya area), and is developed from the wakin.

The Jikin, also known as peacock tail, is one gorgeous fish, easily being distinguished from any other fish. He has a long streamlined body, although a bit more stocky than the common goldfish. All his fins, except for the dorsal fin of course, come in pairs, but the most outstanding part is his caudal fin. When viewed from behind, it should resemble an "X", and having four parts to it.

(Courtesy of Bristols Aquarists Society, UK)

In the last couple of years Al Foster has been crossing his jikin with some of his Philadelphia veiltails, and a very unique form of the jikin has emerged - with a longer flowing caudal fin. I have the honor of owning 6 of this version myself, but since those guys are just a year old, the true potential of the tail hasn't fully shown yet, and I am watching their caudal fin development with great excitement. One had a recent growth spurt of 1/4 inch in tail length in just the last month, so its coming along nicely.

The Jikin is bred as calico, or in red and white, with the red only being in certain areas. The nacreous form is called Edojikin. The most desirable, and very hard to acquire, form of jikin has an all white body, as well as all the fins being bright red. The only red on the body is on the gill plates, as well as the lips. There is a certain "12-point-rule" when it comes to the Jikin - red on 12 areas of the fish: the 2 anal fins, 2 pectoral fins, 2 ventral fins, the 2 gill plates, the 2 parts of the caudal fin, dorsal fin and lips. Any other red on a jikin isn't very desirable.

(Courtesy of the Koistaff website)

Of course, that particular breeding pattern is one of the hardest to obtain, and therefore very time consuming breeding the fish for those particular marks. Not to mention that its even harder to get your hands on a perfect fish like that.

Housing The Jikin is a perfect pond fish, and will do wonderfully outside. I am thinking that the pond in fact would be the best environment for a jikin - the natural sunlight and ever present algae brings out the bright red color points to their fullest potential. Of course, a tank is a good place for the jikin as well, him not growing all that gigantic (around 9 inches) does have its advantages.

Where?Now, to the biggest question - where to find such a beauty? There are quite a few places to find on the Internet, and I will mention just a few close to my heart here, with the best quality I have seen. Al Foster being on of those few, truly putting his heart into the hobby of goldfish breeding. Besides some other rare goldfish breeds like the Bristol shubunkin, and my all time favorite - the Philadelphia veiltail and a beauty by itself, Al has taken great length in further strengthening the jikin strain. His latest "work of art" is the jikin/veiltail cross, with a peacock shaped tail, yet with the length of a veiltail caudal fin. The finnage on those fish takes a while to develop, and like I mentioned earlier, the ones I own are in different stages of tail development.

Gary Hater is another very important name to mention when it comes to the Jikin. Gary has worked on different goldfish breeds over the years, and his Jikin also are a wonderful example on what one can accomplish with an enormous effort and love to the hobby. Considering how hard it is to obtain the special Jikin markings, one can only imagine how long it takes sometimes and how many culls have to be done before such a true Jikin is found among the literally 100s and 1000s of fry.

One can imagine how a red scale anywhere on that white body would pop right out! A few other places I have found wonderful Jikin. As with quite a few other rare fish breeds, the Bristol Aquarists Society in the UK is also very active in that area, and has some wonderful specimen on their website http://www.bristol-aquarists.org.uk

You can see the various degrees of red in the scales trying to creep up the body.
I stumbled upon a koi site when I researched the Jikin, which threw me off course at first, until I found that there is a special area on the site dedicated to goldfish. I noticed that the site originates in Japan, I asked for permission to use the Jikin pictures on that site. A very nice gentleman contacted me, and agreed for me to show the pictures of the Jikin. A very special thanks to Mr. Masaki Okamoto, an International Japanese Ranchu judge, and representative of the Koistaff website http://www.urban.ne.jp/home/koistaff/emembers.html

Again, a very special thanks to Al Foster, Gary Hater, The Bristols Aquarists Society, Mr. Okamoto, as well as Rick Graham. From Rick's articles I learned quite a lot as well about that wonderful breed. Anybody interested in Al's Jikin, please feel free to PM or email me, and please, only serious inquiries....
Happy drooling!

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