What is Daruma Medaka? Explanation of Characteristics, Care Methods, and Breeding! Is it truly difficult to keep?

In this article, we will discuss the characteristics, care methods, and breeding of Daruma Medaka. It is often said that Daruma Medaka are difficult to keep, but is this really true?

Daruma Medaka is not much different from regular Medaka

Yang Guifei Daruma

To start with, there is not a significant difference in the care of Daruma Medaka compared to regular Medaka. If not infected with any disease, Daruma Medaka are as robust as regular Medaka and can be cared for in the same way.

However, some Daruma Medaka cannot dive deep into the water, so those individuals might die if the water surface freezes over in winter, hence it is advisable to keep them indoors. Moreover, Daruma Medaka tend to produce fewer eggs and have a higher rate of unfertilized eggs compared to regular Medaka, making them slightly more challenging to proliferate.

Yet, the major differences between Daruma and regular Medaka are minimal, mostly relating to a slightly lower egg production, which is almost negligible.

What is Daruma Medaka? About its characteristics

Let’s discuss the characteristics of Daruma Medaka. Daruma Medaka have fewer vertebrae and a shorter body than regular Medaka. Their compact body resembles a Daruma doll, which is why they are named so.

In fish, having fewer vertebrae as a congenital trait is a common phenomenon, similar to breeds like the Ranchu or Balloon Molly in goldfish, which correspond to the Daruma body type in Medaka.

Also, Daruma is not a specific breed but a body type feature, thus it overlaps with all varieties. For example, Yang Guifei Daruma, Ganin Daruma, Orochi Daruma, Redcliff Daruma, and Goshiki Daruma are possible combinations of Daruma body type with existing breeds.

However, new house names can be assigned to existing breed’s Daruma body types. For instance, Yang Guifei’s Daruma is called “First Love.”

Furthermore, it overlaps with other body types such as long-finned or shiny body types. For example, long-finned Daruma or shiny Daruma, and Albino Daruma exist. Rare types like Albino Long-finned Daruma are infrequent and thus traded at high prices.

Semi-Daruma & Short Body

The image above shows a Semi-Daruma Ouryu.

The Daruma body type in Medaka varies greatly between individuals, and the extent of Daruma characteristics also varies significantly. From completely Daruma types with only a head and tail resembling Kirby, to intermediate Semi-Daruma (short body) that are just slightly shorter than regular Medaka.

The image above is a Yozakura Short Body, which is slightly shorter than a regular Yozakura.

There is no strict definition of what constitutes a Semi-Daruma or a Daruma, so if the breeder says it’s Daruma, then it’s considered Daruma, and if it’s called Semi-Daruma, then it’s Semi-Daruma.

Care for Daruma Medaka


The care for Daruma Medaka, as mentioned before, is exactly the same as for regular Medaka. Often


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