The ranchu goldfish is one of the most precious goldfish on Earth and is a treasured household pet all across the world. So what makes the ranchu goldfish special from any other breed? Well one of the main things that sets a ranchu apart from any other goldfish is its bazaar appearance. It has an unusually large head that closely resembles the look and shape of a lionhead. In fact the only thing that makes a ranchu goldfish different from a lionhead is that it has a much more curved posterior dorsal contour. Basically first glimpse of a ranchu would have you believe they are the same as a lionhead, but once you take a closer look at the tail, you will be able to tell them apart easily.
The lionhead has a tail much like the fantail goldfish that is shaped like a butterfly. The tail of a ranchu goldfish looks more like that of a comet, much smaller and simpler. Most ranchu goldfish a colored gold and white, however they have been known to be black in some cases. They grow to about the same size of a lionhead, sometimes bigger however you won't be able to notice any different due to the fact a lionhead has a much larger tail.
It's common to hear people refer to ranchu goldfish as buffalo heads, especially in the Far East. In fact they first originated in China and were kept in outside ponds and treated with much respect. Later the Japanese imported ranchu's into their country and further developed there until they finally achieved the look we see today.
So How Much Do They Cost?
Ranchu goldfish are far more expensive then most other breeds of goldfish, some retailing for over $300 each! One of the cheapest ways to buy ranchu's is to go on the internet and purchase one online as they are much cheaper. You may be able to buy one for under $200 if you are lucky, the only problem is that you can't be sure what you are going to get, however 99 out of 100 times you are going to get what you paid for. Just to make sure, check first if the site you are buying from has a return policy, that way if there is a problem, you can just return the fish you just bought and get your money back.
Most of these sites also include photos of the fish you want to buy. In most cases you are going to have to drive to where they fish is to pick it up, however you should also be able to pay a fee that will enable the fish to be delivered to your doorstep if you don't want to travel out to pick it up. Try to make sure the place you are buying from isn't too far away as that will end up costing you more money that you can handle. If you are unsure where the shop is, give them a call, as their number should be on their website somewhere, and ask them for directions. I personally would take the time to drive out there in person, especially if you are spending $200 on a ranchu goldfish.