For the first time in my life I tasted the atmosphere of a real goldfish market. It felt great to finally be there and see it with my own eyes. The market was so big that I needed the entire afternoon to see all fish. I wanted to take the opportunity to inspect every tub very thoroughly. On each window and every tub you were able to find a print of my face!
The average quality was way better then in Europe. For comparison: the worst fish on the market would have been sold as the best fish in Europe. I was expecting this before I started with my trip, but to actually see it with my own eyes only confirmed it.
The goldfish were selected per breeding variant, size, colour and price range. Most of the tubs contained fishes that were all looking the same, which gave a beautiful view. The mostly present fish was the Ryukin, but also the Oranda, Ranchu, Lionhead and (Crown) Pearlscale were present in large numbers. Also Chocolate Pompon, Celestials and Bubble-eyes were for sale.
Besides goldfish there were many more other things and animals for sale. There were a few shops for aquarium accessories with air pumps, filters, fish food and heaters. In a few other shops, tropical fish were for sale. These fish were present in a wall with a lot of small aquariums. Because of all the coloured fishes it looks really impressive, but if you have a little bit of experience with tropical fish, you can directly see that there were just way to many fish in way too small aquariums. Besides that, all of the fish looked healthy and the aquariums were clean and neat.
“The worst fish on the market would have been sold as the best fish in Europe”
Beside all the fish, there was a woman with turtles for sale. Especially water turtles like the red-eared slider, cumberland slider, False map turtle and the common snapping turtle. Also there were some land turtles for sale. The turtles were held in plastic tubs on the ground. The smaller turtles were with multiple in a tub. The bigger ones, that just nearly fit in a tub, were alone. All the turtles continuously were trying to escape. The smaller ones tried to do this by climbing over each other’s backs. To be sure none of the turtles were going to escape, the saleswoman was sitting on a small stool in the middle of all the tubs filled with turtles. In her hand she held a long stick and every time when a turtle took its chance to escape, she tapped the turtle, making it roll back into the tub.
“The most striking characteristic property of the Jikin is the colour pattern. The Jikin is always white with red, preferably a white body with red lips, fins and tail”
At a given moment I noticed a tub on the ground. I had to look twice before I believed what I just saw. But I was right, it were African claw frogs. These are also for sale in Dutch aquarium shops, but usually those are the African dwarf frogs. There were a lot of different colours that drew my attention. There were red, pink, orange, white and unnatural green frogs in the tub, it looked like candy frogs. I am not sure how this is possible, I think it are albino frogs that on someway are getting administered with pigment.
When I walked ahead I noticed a wonderful goldfish breeding variant that I had never seen more. It was a Jikin, a really rare kind from Japan. The most striking characteristic property of the Jikin is the colour pattern. A Jikin is always white with red, preferably a white body with red lips, fins and tail. Also the belly may be coloured red, but preferably white. Another important characteristic property of the Jikin is the tail, which consists of two tail fins that are perpendicular to the side of the tail trunk. This was not so well developed by the Jikin that I saw on the market. Because of this it cannot be a winner on a show. Even though I stared at this wonderful fish for a long time.
At the end of the afternoon I had seen all the fish on the market, it was closing time and a lot of salesmen were packing. By fortuity I saw a small company on a distance that looked like a fish farm. I walked to it and it turned out to be a Koi breeding or sales place. Given the size of the company, I think it was more like a merchant than a breeder. The owner greeted us friendly and he liked that we came for a look. It was a bit messy and the owner lived with his family between the ponds in a small house. In total there were around 15 to 20 concrete ponds with Koi in them. The quality of the Koi was not exciting, but there were a few nice ones.
I made contact with many traders at the market. With one of the traders I made a appointment for the next morning. The next day I will have a look on his farm. I will write more about this in my next article.