The Lionhead fish is the Chinese version of the Ranchu and they can be distinguished by the growth on their head as it is a lot more pronounced than the Ranchu, they also tend to be an average 1” longer. The Lionhead has a body that is larger in width and less streamlined than the Ranchu. They are also sometimes referred to as Tomato Heads, Brambleheads or Buffaloheads.
The Lionheads body is larger and they carry a broader back and head area that can be described as a box shape. They have a dual tail that is slightly larger and more pronounced. It is because they have a larger head that they have been named Lionhead as the fleshy cap resembles a lion’s mane. The Lionhead is a much more popular choice of fish than the Ranchu in America.
Because of the Lionheads awkward body structure and form they are not the best swimmers as they swim at a downward angle. There are experts that believe this is because they lack a dorsal fin, while some believe it is because of the size of their cap or the position of their swimbladder. Regardless of the reasons you should know that the Lionhead is not the most competitive of fish and should therefore not be kept in a tank with Shubunkins or Comets or even fantails. Always ask for advice at your local pet store about how you should mix varieties of fish.
The Lionhead has a life expectancy of around 5-10 years, they like the temperature to be constant between around 54F and 64F. If they have enough space an average Lionhead will grow to about 4 inches long (not including the tail). It is recommended that the Lionhead is only kept by experienced fish keepers as they are prone to disease and fungus that can easily ferment in the grooves and folds in their cap.
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