Velvet Ball Pompom

velvet ball, velvet head or pompom goldfishIn China this variety of gold fish is called velvet head. The Japanese version is called Pompom goldfish.

These are both Anglophone translations of the true Mandarin and Nihango terms. Most likely the pompom term (hana fusa) did not originate in Tokyo and is a loan word to the national language from another regional language along the dialect train.

The difference between a pompom velvet head and a lionhead and lionchu is that the pompom velvet ball has growth on its nose rather than its head. If fact the lionchu is a tangent in an entirely different direction. This exponent is the subject of another article entirely.

The extent of the nasal septum growth in pompom velvet head vary along different strains and generations of this engineered species.

For brevity the pompom moniker seems to resonate with most observers outside the China Japan proximity. So, for now pompom and velvet ball will be used interchangeably.

It really isn’t that note worthy to point out that the velvet ball pompom is of the fantailed fancy variety. However the focus of pompom is so great that these aspects are viewed as separate categories. And the definition of a new race of gold fish often is in the ad hoc reasoning of the observing group opinion rather than based in scientific fact.

None the less fantailed and velvet head are judged differently as subjects of different breeding standards. But it is important to remember that pompom are a man made mutation of the fantailed family.

Some pompom have growth that grown downward into what pervasive European American culture refers to affectionately as a fumanchu.

Some pompom have a dorsal fin, while others do not. When placing these fish with each other or other goldfish it is important to place the ones without a dorsal fin with other gold fish that also do not have a dorsal fin, and visa versa. This ensures the fair distribution of food within the pond or water garden.

The term hana fusa is also used for a sub variant of pompom called white pompom oranda. This leaves the English word pompom (often pronounced ‘pompon’ when used in reference to this fish), as the lingua franca language choice term for the standard of velvet ball world wide, before sub variety standards are taking under consideration.

Velvet ball records go back as far as 1898 in China. Pompon records in Europe date directly to 1936 when the fish were first displayed in fresh water aquariums as well as ponds in Europe around France and England.

Velvet ball pompom gold fish do have an interesting standard to look at. I am sure they find it peculiar looking at us outside the water, each time they swim up to eat the food bits we’ve dropped in the pond for them from on age of America into the next.


Posted in Articles, Goldfish, Water Garden Fish by Administrator on February 18, 2010.

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