Lionchu Goldfish (Ranchu With a Lionhead!): Info, Care Tips and More

Close up of a lionchue goldfish isolated on blue
By Melanochromis (Self made. Own work by uploader,) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Whether you’re an owner of a well-established aquarium, or just starting to expand on a newer aquarium venture, the beautiful look of the Lionchu fish makes it a great addition to many homes.

It’s appearance comes from its crossbreeding between the Ranchu and Lionhead breeds. The twin-tails and broad body make this breed a fascinating goldfish to add to a home aquarium.

With them being such a great fish to own, we’ve created an all-you-need-to-know article to help you get all the information you might need before you head to the store to get your first Lionchu goldfish.

Available Colors

While there isn’t a vast range in color with the Lionchu breed, there are still a few different varieties, with yellow, orange, red and white, or sometimes other mixed color varieties being the most common ones.

What Size Can Lionchu Grow to?

An adult can grow to around 6 inches long, although some variation either bigger or smaller is always a possibility.

With their broad shape making them wider than some other breeds of goldfish, it’s important to remember how big they can get when you’re choosing ornaments and other objects to place in your tank.

Life Expectancy of Lionchu if Properly Cared for?

On average, they tend to live for around 7-10 years, but they’ve been known to have a much longer lifespan in some cases.

If you have a well-maintained aquarium in your home, you may even be able to expect a life of up to 10-15 years!

History and Origins

Being a mix of the Ranchu and Lionhead breeds of goldfish, the Lionchu have a broad body, but also the characteristic large head of the Lionhead breed.

While they’re very popular, many institutions aren’t currently accepting the breed as an established breed in its own right.

Originating from Thailand, this goldfish does not have a dorsal fin as seen on its ancestors from Japan. Instead, we see a curved back that is very wide, with this being one of the reasons it’s not a fast swimmer!

Easy to Keep at Home?

With the Lionchu’s breeding being half from the Ranchu goldfish, it’s sometimes recommended it may not be the best fish for beginners. Ranchu’s are often known to be quite delicate, and the Lionchu’s other ancestor (the Lionhead) have a low tolerance level for water impurity and pollution.

With these points in mind, Lionchu goldfish are generally considered to be better suited to slightly more experienced or dedicated aquarium owners.

Any Special Lionchu Goldfish Care Considerations?

As with most breeds of goldfish, they do manage to produce a high level of waste, meaning the water will need changing fairly regularly to keep your tank a healthy environment for your fish to live.

This means cleaning out your tank every two weeks as a minimum, or more often depending on the number of fish and the size of your tank.

How to Feed Them

Being omnivorous, Lionchu goldfish can eat fruit and vegetables, as well as live food. This means they can have pellets and flake food as the main diet, but can also have vegetable food, shrimps, worms and meaty food as a part of their diet.

It’s important not to over-feed goldfish, so small amounts of food offered a few times a day is the best option for them.

Tank Requirements

If you’re thinking of adding a Lionchu to your aquarium, don’t forget to test your tank water for Nitrates and Ammonia, preferably using a reliable liquid test if possible. You also need to make sure you dechlorinate the water using a product to ensure there’s no harmful chemical left behind.

Ornaments make life more interesting for your fish and are also a lovely addition for you to see them swimming around. When you buy them though, make sure you don’t get anything with small openings where your fish might get stuck as they grow to adult size.

If you’re looking for aquarium plants to suit this goldfish, keep in mind they love to dig around in the substrate, so live plants are likely to become uprooted.

There are some great plants out there that are more likely to withstand this type of digging, but if you’re worried, then an artificial silk plant will look just as nice in your tank.

Tank Size and Shape

Realistically, the bigger the tank you can offer, the better they will be – they love space to swim around, and should be housed in a tank with a minimum of 30 gallons of water.

When choosing your shape, consider what tank will allow the biggest surface area for your fish to live in while still fitting in the desired space in your home.

Larger surface areas mean there is less chance of there being a shortage of oxygen (which will cause significant health problems for your fish).

Do their Tanks Need Filtration?

Because of the amount of waste produced by goldfish, it’s important to get proper filtration equipment that can cope with a large amount of cleaning. The best option would be to cover any tubes with aquarium sponge or something very similar.

Substrate Requirements

Gravel substrate will help create an excellent home, but do make sure you avoid any gravel that is too small, as goldfish might accidentally swallow smaller pieces when they’re feeding.

When choosing your gravel and other tank ornaments, remember to check you’ve picked nothing with metal in, as this can create toxic residue in your tank and isn’t good for your fish.

Should you add Lights to the Tank?

While Lionchu fish are quite fussy with their water needs, lighting isn’t such an issue for them, and moderate lighting is fine to help them thrive.

Temperature

While they are cold water lovers, it’s important not to let the water temperature in your tank get too low. The temperature they need to stay happy and healthy is 65-78 degrees Fahrenheit…so you have a good few degrees to play with, but it’s really important to stay within this range.

Lionchu won’t be able to tolerate any drop in temperate below this kind of range, so do make sure you keep an eye on your tank on a regular basis.

Tank Mate Compatibility

In general, they mix well with other breeds and are a very social fish, but because of their mixed breeding, it’s a reasonably slow swimmer so isn’t hugely compatible with fast swimming breeds.

Other slower swimming fish and less aggressive feeders such as the Oranda, Fantail, Black Moor Telescope Eye goldfish and Ryukin goldfish would make great companions for the Lionchu.

Take a Closer Look

If you still aren’t sure whether Lionchu Goldfish are for you, it could help to get a closer look at one to aid your decision. Not many fish lovers can resist their sweet looking face once they’ve seen one.

Have a look at one of the great videos online so you can see in detail how fascinating this breed of fish really are.

 

Conclusion

While Lionchu may not be the easiest ‘starter’ fish to own, they certainly aren’t one of the hardest breeds to keep either.

If you’re dedicated enough to keep an eye on the levels in your tank water and have the space in your tank to let them swim around, then you certainly shouldn’t have an issue with keeping a Lionchu happy and healthy.

The main consideration for this type of slower swimmer is what other fish you may already own.

Double check that any tank mates won’t beat them to food before placing them together, but if you enjoy owning other breeds of slower fish, then the Lionchu breed are a great sociable breed to share a tank with.

Happy fish keeping!

Wendy Kathryn

Hi, I'm Wendy, the owner and creator of this website, an experienced fish keeper and avid student of the art since 2010. My aim is to help beginners avoid the many possible mistakes when getting started in this wonderful hobby.

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