Shubunkin Goldfish Pond Care, Lifespan — Breeding Guide (Updated) — Pond Informer

Shubunkin Goldfish Pond Care, Lifespan & Breeding Guide (Updated)

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Shubunkin Goldfish Care, Lifespan & Breeding Guide for Ponds 2020

Shubunkins are a single-tailed goldfish species that came about by breeding together the common goldfish, and calico telescope eye goldfish. The result is a unique, beautiful goldfish with nacreous (having a mother-of-pearl effect) coloring in various combinations of orange/gold, red, white, silver, blue, and black.

They originated in Japan around the year 1900, but there are now other commonly found varieties – the London shubunkin and the Bristol shubunkin. The Japanese (sometimes referred to as American) shubunkin is perhaps the most popular, with a long body shape and a well-developed, pointed tail fin.

London shubunkins have shorter fins, similar to those of common goldfish, and Bristol shubunkins possess rounded caudal fins. No matter the variety, shubunkins are quite hardy, active, and playful.

  • Size (width x depth x height) : 12x3x19cm
  • Weight : 0.2kg
  • Vitamin E, C is abundantly included.

Shubunkin Goldfish Maximum Lifespan & Size

Photo by Michelle Jo [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons Shubunkins reach adulthood by the age of two years, at which point they will have reached a maximum size of up to 18 inches in length. If kept in an aquarium, they may only grow up to 10 inches in length, depending upon the size of the aquarium and the number of other fish present. They can grow up to a foot within their first year of life, again depending on whether they’re kept in a tank or a pond and the size of either of these.

The maximum life expectancy of shubunkins is quite long, up to 30 years, although closer to 15-20 years in a pond and 10 years in an aquarium are considered average. As with any fish, exact growth rate depends on water quality, genetics, temperature, feeding rate, and overall diet.

Shubunkin Feeding & Nutrition – What’s the Best Food?

Shubunkins are omnivorous, and as such need a varied diet, as well as a high quality goldfish fish feed. As with most carp relatives, shubunkins require a diet that’s rich in protein – things like brine shrimp, bloodworms, krill meal, and other high protein foods should compose about 30 to 50% of their diet. As protein needs are higher for younger fish, fry and juveniles should be fed at or near 50% protein, with this decreasing closer to the 30% mark once adulthood is reached. The remaining 50 to 70% should be plant based and include foods like spinach, lettuce, shelled cooked peas, spirulina, cucumber, watermelon, water hyacinth, oranges, and tomatoes.

Feeding a high quality shubunkin food will aid health, color and even growth.

They will also likely munch on any aquatic insects and plants that are present in the pond. Their low lipid and fiber needs (both of which are approximately 5%) as well as their vitamin and mineral requirements are easily met by feeding either these fresh or frozen foods, or via feeding them quality fish flakes or pellets supplemented by the aforementioned fresh or frozen options. Flakes or pellets and fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried proteins can be fed several times daily, veggies can be fed once per day, and fruits can be provided every three days or so. Remember to only feed your fish as much as they will eat in a short two minute span to avoid overfeeding.

Shubunkin Goldfish Tank Size & Pond Stocking

Photo by Adityamadhav83 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons If kept in a tank, you should have at least 30 gallons of water for your first shubunkin and then a minimum of an additional 10 gallons for each added shubunkin. An easy rule of thumb to remember is that one inch of fish equates to a gallon of water, minimum. It is important to note that this rule only applies to juvenile fish as adult fish consume more oxygen and generate more waste, and therefore require more water to maintain healthy environmental quality.

In ponds, you can follow the same rule of thumb, but as you’re likely to have more fish and plants in a pond than in an aquarium, having closer to 100 gallons of water for the first shubunkin following by an additional 20-30 for each added shubunkin to prevent overcrowding will offer the best combination of space and improved water quality. The depth of the pond should be at least 3 feet to reduce the risk of the pond freezing during the winter and allow for fish to hide from predators and seek denser, warmer, deeper water during cold periods.

Shubunkin Wintering, Hardiness & Water Quality

One of the hardier pond fish species, shubunkins do well in a pH ranging from 6 to 8 and water temperatures between 65 and 75° F (18 to about 23° C). Slight fluctuations outside of these ranges can be tolerated, so long as they do not occur too suddenly or frequently. If waters fall near 50° F in the winter, shubunkins, like other goldfish, can go into a state of torpor for several months. Though shubunkins are of course freshwater fish, one study found that they can tolerate salinity levels up to 2 ppm without harm to health, so long as this salinity change occurs over several hours rather than abruptly. This is helpful information to know in case a salt bath is ever needed to treat infection or disease.

De-icers are important to keep breathing holes open in winter when ponds freeze.

During winter, it’s always best to ensure you install a de-icer or electric heater to keep a hole in the ice open for shubunkins to breath and for gas exchange to take place. Although shubukins can survive cold conditions, they will struggle if oxygen drops to lower levels, which can be common if a pond freezes solid. Check out our guides on both electric de-icers and heaters below:

Shubunkin Goldfish Tank Mates & Group Size

Shubunkins are social, playful fish that do best when kept with two or more of their own kind. Keep in mind that, when kept in ponds with plenty of space and high-quality food, shubunkins can grow quite large, so try starting off with only 3 to 5 shubunkins to ensure that you have enough space for them as they mature into adulthood. This number will, of course, depend upon the size of your pond and can be altered depending upon that as well as your personal preference and any other fish species present.

They are amiable fish, and do will with koi and most other goldfish varieties so long as they are of similar size. Larger fish may nip at or even eat shubunkins, though their athleticism will make this a bit difficult.

How to Design Shubunkin Goldfish Ponds

As stated previously, the deepest part of the pond should be a minimum or 3 feet to allow for hiding and overwintering. Shubunkins don’t do well in full sunlight, so be sure to incorporate hiding places via things like PVC pipes, fish shelters, and plants. Gravel or a similar substrate will work best in the bottom of the pond, as shubunkins have been known to root around and can cause turbidity if small-grained substrates like sand or silt are used. To keep plants from being uprooted while shubunkins explore and dig about, you can place them in weighted pots or weigh them down with metal washers if their root systems are not well-developed.

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You can also place large rocks around the roots of plants to prevent them from being eaten or uprooted. Shubunkins, like many other goldfish varieties, are not picky eaters and are likely to nibble on plants. When incorporating plants in and around your pond, please be sure to consult our list of plants that are toxic to pond fish!

Common Shubunkin Problems, Illness & Diseases

Shubunkins are hardy, but still can suffer from some illness. Humanfeather / Michelle jo [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons Being a hardy fish, shubunkins don’t have many health issues naturally. If health issues do arise, they are likely due to environmental conditions. Make certain that there is plenty of dissolved oxygen, temperature and pH are within the optimum range, 25% water changes are conducted weekly, and pollutants like ammonia are kept to an absolute minimum. Fin rot has been known to affect shubunkins, but only in cases of poor water quality or pond overstocking (which leads to poor water quality).

Swim bladder issues can also impact shubunkins, but again this is most often due to care factors such as water quality, poor diet, or water that is too warm or cold. Occasionally, it may be due to a bacterial or parasitic infection that could have been introduced from an outside source, such as a bird landing in your pond or runoff from agricultural fields. Most often, shubunkins with infections were reared on fish farms that are overstocked, allowing for disease to develop and spread very easily.

Should You Quarantine New Subunkin?

Anytime you obtain a new fish from a store, whether it’s a shubunkin or not, be sure to quarantine it from the rest of your fish in a separate tank for a few days to assess its health and perform any necessary treatments. Overall, shubunkins don’t require much to be healthy, so as long as you maintain proper water quality in combination with a balanced diet, your shubunkins should live a long and hearty life!

Shubunkin Breeding Behaviour & Requirements

Shubunkins can breed when there are five or more individuals, but prefer larger groups as they are social animals. If interested in spawning, you’ll notice males chasing females about non-aggressively and the colors of both sexes may become more intense as hormone production ramps up.

To induce breeding, you’ll want to gradually drop the water temperature down to about 60° F and keep the water at this temperature for a day or two. Then, increase the water temperature by about 2° F per day. This temperature shift will sort of “trick” their system into thinking there’s been a seasonal shift and that it’s time to mate.

Shubunkins generally breed once water temperatures are between around 68 and 74° F. Increase protein intake from the normal 30% amount for adults up to 50% and feed several times per day, as this will stimulate females to produce and drop eggs that can then be fertilized by males. During this time of increased feeding, you’ll want to perform daily water changes of 20-25% as any uneaten food will decay and diminish water quality. You’ll also want to be sure to have a variety of submerged as well as floating plants, as adult shubunkins will find these to be ideal for breeding habitat both due to protective cover from predators as well as providing a natural surface to lay eggs on.

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Why Photoshop is More Deadly Than You Thought

Here at HelloGiggles, we don’t take Photoshopping lightly. How can we? In the past two weeks, we’ve witnessed numerous brands digitally shrinking women’s waists, slimming down upper arms and enhancing inner thighs. While it’s ridiculous that companies even feel the need to transform already beautiful female (and male) bodies, we need to talk about the detrimental effects these images have on young girls. The statistics are truly shocking.

I think we all understand that many young women are subconsciously affected by the virtually flawless posters and pictures of models with unattainable bodies. What do I mean? Here’s a pretty blatant example:

This model is naturally a size eight, a perfectly healthy size. On the left, you are shown an untouched photo, whereas the picture on the right has been aggressively edited. In magazines and on the Internet (among other places), we are being lied to constantly.

Here’s a more subtle transformation:

You’ll notice Kim’s thighs were smoothed over, and her waist was tightened. Kim responded to this by saying, “So what? I have a little cellulite. What curvy girl doesn’t? How many people do you think are Photoshopped? It happens all the time!”

And many of us know this. We flip through an issue of Cosmo and see pages on pages of immaculately polished men and women. We may think nothing of it, because we know nobody can be this perfect. However, many girls do think something of it. In fact, depression and eating disorders are directly linked to the way women are portrayed in the media. Photoshop is actually incredibly damaging, and does lead to very real, and negative consequences.

42% of girls in grades 1-3 want to be thinner. No 7-year-old should be self-conscious about their body. 78% of 17-year-old girls are unhappy with their bodies. And no, that wasn’t a typo. 30% of high-school girls and 16% of high-school boys have an eating disorder. Teenage girls are reportedly “more afraid of gaining weight than getting cancer, losing their parents, or nuclear war.”

You guys, it’s time we do something about this. I’m not talking about a full-on war against Photoshop. Photoshop has its time and place. I get that. But using the program to this extent is unacceptable, and its influence is starting to really take a toll on our mental health. We need to take down fictitious representations of women’s bodies. You don’t need to chop half of a woman’s thigh off to advertise a product, you just don’t. You don’t need to bombard every single media outlet with digitally-enhanced images of idealized versions of beauty. By producing an artificial illustration of a woman without what our society sees as “flaws,” the media is encouraging young girls to fear cellulite, curves, and stretch marks.

There are the ways in which you can help change things:

  • Support the Truth in Advertising Act (HR431). Call or e-mail your Congressmen and women about it.
  • Sign this Sign in Truth Ads petition, or
  • Join the Brave Girls Alliance.

Young women (and men) shouldn’t let false advertising destroy their self-confidence. There are definitely more things in life to worry about, like parallel parking or the GRE. But in all seriousness, we don’t need this kind of bullsh*t in our lives. It’s time to act.

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The Gangsters of Ferguson

Darren Wilson was innocent. If only the city’s cops offered their own citizens the same due process he received.

Yesterday the Justice Department released the results of a long and thorough investigation into the killing of Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson. The investigation concluded that there was not enough evidence to prove a violation of federal law by Officer Wilson. The investigation concluded much more. The investigation concluded that physical evidence and witness statements corroborated Wilson’s claim that Michael Brown reached into the car and struck the officer. It concluded that claims that Wilson reached out and grabbed Brown first «were inconsistent with physical and forensic evidence.»

The investigation concluded that there was no evidence to contradict Wilson’s claim that Brown reached for his gun. The investigation concluded that Wilson did not shoot Brown in the back. That he did not shoot Brown as he was running away. That Brown did stop and turn toward Wilson. That in those next moments «several witnesses stated that Brown appeared to pose a physical threat to Wilson.» That claims that Brown had his hands up «in an unambiguous sign of surrender» are not supported by the «physical and forensic evidence,» and are sometimes, «materially inconsistent with that witness’s own prior statements with no explanation, credible for otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time.»

Unlike the local investigators, the Justice Department did not merely toss all evidence before a grand jury and say, «you figure it out.» The federal investigators did the work themselves and came to the conclusion that Officer Wilson had not committed «prosecutable violations under the applicable federal criminal civil rights statute, 18 U.S.C. § 242.»

Our system, ideally, neither catches every single offender, nor lightly imposes the prosecution, jailing, and fining of its citizens. A high burden of proof should attend any attempt to strip away one’s liberties. The Justice Department investigation reflects a department attempting to live up to those ideals and giving Officer Wilson the due process that he, and anyone else falling under our legal system, deserves.

One cannot say the same for Officer Wilson’s employers.

The Justice Department conducted two investigations—one looking into the shooting of Michael Brown, and another into the Ferguson Police Department. The first report made clear that there was no prosecutable case against one individual officer. The second report made clear that there was a damning case to be made against the system in which that officer operated:

Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs. This emphasis on revenue has compromised the institutional character of Ferguson’s police department, contributing to a pattern of unconstitutional policing, and has also shaped its municipal court, leading to procedures that raise due process concerns and inflict unnecessary harm on members of the Ferguson community. Further, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes. Ferguson’s own data establish clear racial disparities that adversely impact African Americans. The evidence shows that discriminatory intent is part of the reason for these disparities.

Partly as a consequence of City and FPD priorities, many officers appear to see some residents, especially those who live in Ferguson’s predominantly African-American neighborhoods, less as constituents to be protected than as potential offenders and sources of revenue.

The «focus on revenue» was almost wholly a focus on black people as revenue. Black people in Ferguson were twice as likely to be searched during a stop, twice as likely to receive a citation when stopped, and twice as likely to be arrested during the stop, and yet were 26 percent less likely to be found with contraband. Black people were more likely to see a single incident turn into multiple citations. The disparity in outcomes remained «even after regression analysis is used to control for non-race-based variables.»

One should understand that the Justice Department did not simply find indirect evidence of unintentionally racist practices which harm black people, but «discriminatory intent”—that is to say willful racism aimed to generate cash. Justice in Ferguson is not a matter of «racism without racists,» but racism with racists so secure, so proud, so brazen that they used their government emails to flaunt it.

The emails including «jokes» depicting President Obama as a chimp, mocking how black people talk («I be so glad that dis be my last child support payment!»), depicting blacks as criminals, welfare recipients, unemployed, lazy, and having «no frigging clue who their Daddies are.” This humor—given the imprimatur of government email—resulted in neither reprimand, nor protest, nor even a polite request to refrain from reoffending. «Instead,» according to the report, «the emails were usually forwarded along to others.»

One should resist the urge to clutch pearls and carp about the «mean people» of Ferguson. Bigoted jokes are never really jokes at all, so much as a tool by which one sanctifies plunder. If black people in Ferguson are the 47 percent—a class of takers, of immoral reprobates, driving up crime while driving down quality of life—then why should they not be «the sources of revenue?» In this way a racist «joke» transfigures raw pillage into legal taxation. The «joke» is in fact an entire worldview that reveals that the agents of plunder, the police, are in fact not plundering anyone at all. They are just making sure the reprobates pay their fair share.

That is precisely what Ferguson’s officials told federal investigators:

Several Ferguson officials told us during our investigation that it is a lack of “personal responsibility” among African-American members of the Ferguson community that causes African Americans to experience disproportionate harm under Ferguson’s approach to law enforcement. Our investigation suggests that this explanation is at odd with the facts.

On the contrary the investigation «revealed African Americans making extraordinary efforts to pay off expensive tickets for minor, often unfairly charged, violations, despite systemic obstacles to resolving those tickets.» And while the investigation found no lack of «personal responsibility» among black residents of Ferguson, it did find that the very same people making the charge were often busy expunging fines for their friends:

  • In August 2013, an FPD patrol supervisor wrote an email entitled “Oops” to the Prosecuting Attorney regarding a ticket his relative received in another municipality for traveling 59 miles per hour in a 40 miles-per-hour zone, noting “[h]aving it dismissed would be a blessing.” The Prosecuting Attorney responded that the prosecutor of that other municipality promised to nolle pros the ticket. The supervisor responded with appreciation, noting that the dismissal “[c]ouldn’t have come at a better time.”
  • Also in August 2013, Ferguson’s Mayor emailed the Prosecuting Attorney about a parking ticket received by an employee of a non-profit day camp for which the Mayor sometimes volunteers. The Mayor wrote that the person “shouldn’t have left his car unattended there, but it was an honest mistake” and stated, “I would hate for him to have to pay for this, can you help?” The Prosecuting Attorney forwarded the email to the Court Clerk, instructing her to “NP [nolle prosequi, or not prosecute] this parking ticket.”
  • In November 2011, a court clerk received a request from a friend to “fix a parking ticket” received by the friend’s coworker’s wife. After the ticket was faxed to the clerk, she replied: “It’s gone baby!”
  • In March 2014, a friend of the Court Clerk’s relative emailed the Court Clerk with a scanned copy of a ticket asking if there was anything she could do to help. She responded: “Your ticket of $200 has magically disappeared!” Later, in June 2014, the same person emailed the Court Clerk regarding two tickets and asked: “Can you work your magic again? It would be deeply appreciated.” The Clerk later informed him one ticket had been dismissed and she was waiting to hear back about the second ticket.

It must noted that the rhetoric «personal responsibility» enjoys not just currency among the white officials of Ferguson, but among many black people («black-on-black crime!») who believe that white supremacy is a force with which one can negotiate. But white supremacy—as evidenced in Ferguson—is not ultimately interested in how responsible you are, nor how respectable you look. White supremacy is neither a misunderstanding nor a failure of manners. White supremacy is the machinery of Galactus which allows for the potential devouring of everything you own. White supremacy is the technology, patented in this enlightened era, to ensure that what is yours inevitably becomes mine.

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This technology has proven highly effective throughout American history. In 1860 it meant the transformation of black bodies into more wealth than all the productive capacity of this country combined. In the 1930s it meant the erection of our modern middle class. In Ferguson, it meant funding nearly a quarter of the municipal budget:

The City has not yet made public the actual revenue collected that year, although budget documents forecasted lower revenue than 10 was budgeted. Nonetheless, for fiscal year 2015, the City’s budget anticipates fine and fee revenues to account for $3.09 million of a projected $13.26 million in general fund revenues.

In a February 2011 report requested by the City Council at a Financial Planning Session and drafted by Ferguson’s Finance Director with contributions from Chief Jackson, the Finance Director reported on “efforts to increase efficiencies and maximize collection” by the municipal court. The report included an extensive comparison of Ferguson’s fines to those of surrounding municipalities and noted with approval that Ferguson’s fines are “at or near the top of the list. ” While the report stated that this recommendation was because of a “large volume of non-compliance,” the recommendation was in fact emphasized as one of several ways that the code enforcement system had been honed to produce more revenue.

The men and women behind this policy did not approach their effort to «produce more revenue» somberly, but lustily. As the fruits of plunder increased, Ferguson officials congratulated and backslapped each other:

In one March 2012 email, the Captain of the Patrol Division reported directly to the City Manager that court collections in February 2012 reached $235,000, and that this was the first month collections ever exceeded $200,000. The Captain noted that “[t]he [court clerk] girls have been swamped all day with a line of people paying off fines today. Since 9:30 this morning there hasn’t been less than 5 people waiting in line and for the last three hours 10 to 15 people at all times.” The City Manager enthusiastically reported the Captain’s email to the City Council and congratulated both police department and court staff on their “great work.”

It is a wonder they did not hand out bonuses. Perhaps they did. The bonus of being white in Ferguson meant nigh-immunity from plunder. The bane of being black in Ferguson meant nigh-inevitable subjugation under plunder. Plunder is neither abstract nor theoretical. Plunder injures, maims, and destroys. Indeed the very same people who were calling on protestors to remain nonviolent were, every hour, partner to brutality committed under the color of law:

We spoke with one African-American man who, in August 2014, had an argument in his apartment to which FPD officers responded, and was immediately pulled out of the apartment by force. After telling the officer, “you don’t have a reason to lock me up,” he claims the officer responded: “N*****, I can find something to lock you up on.” When the man responded, “good luck with that,” the officer slammed his face into the wall, and after the man fell to the floor, the officer said, “don’t pass out motherf****r because I’m not carrying you to my car.”

The residents of Ferguson do not have a police problem. They have a gang problem. That the gang operates under legal sanction makes no difference. It is a gang nonetheless, and there is no other word to describe an armed band of collection agents.

John Locke knew:

The injury and the crime is equal, whether committed by the wearer of a crown, or some petty villain. The title of the offender, and the number of his followers, make no difference in the offence, unless it be to aggravate it. The only difference is, great robbers punish little ones, to keep them in their obedience; but the great ones are rewarded with laurels and triumphs, because they are too big for the weak hands of justice in this world, and have the power in their own possession, which should punish offenders. What is my remedy against a robber, that so broke into my house?

What are the tools in Ferguson to address the robber that so regularly breaks into my house? One necessary tool is suspicion and skepticism—the denial of the sort of the credit one generally grants officers of the state. When Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown there was little reason to credit his account, and several reasons to disbelieve it. The reason is not related to whether Michael Brown was «an angel» or not. The reasons are contained in a report rendered by the highest offices of the American government. Crediting the accounts of Ferguson’s officers is a good way to enroll yourself in your own plunder and destruction.

Government, if its name means anything, must rise above those suspicions and that skepticism and seek out justice. And if it seeks to improve its name it must do much more—it must seek out the roots of the skepticism. The lack of faith among black people in Ferguson’s governance, or in America’s governance, is not something that should be bragged about. One cannot feel good about living under gangsters, and that is the reality of Ferguson right now.

The innocence of Darren Wilson does not change this fundamental fact. Indeed the focus on the deeds of alleged individual perpetrators, on perceived bad actors, obscures the broad systemic corruption which is really at the root. Darren Wilson is not the first gang member to be publicly accused of a crime he did not commit. But Darren Wilson was given the kind of due process that those of us who are often presumed to be gang members rarely enjoy. I do not favor lowering the standard of justice offered Officer Wilson. I favor raising the standard of justice offered to the rest of us.

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