The Oranda goldfish is one of the world’s most popular and recognizable breeds of fancy goldfish.
If you’re looking for a fish with a calm temperament to join an existing aquarium, or are an experienced fish owner looking to set up a new tank at home, the Oranda makes a wonderful and fascinating addition.
Let’s take a look at this beautiful fish in more detail.
- How Long do they Live?
- From Where did They Develop?
- Are they Easy to Keep as Pets?
- Special Considerations for Keeping at Home
- Oranda Goldfish Dietary Requirements
- Aquarium Set-Up
- Oranda Goldfish Tank Mate Compatibility
- Video of Oranda Goldfish
The Oranda breed is most famous for its very striking wen, but if you’re not an expert when it comes to the scientific language, don’t worry: The wen isn’t anything to worry about, it’s merely the name given to the growth that appears on the top of the head.
Although the wen can be seen when the goldfish is as young as 3-4 months, it won’t begin to form properly until your fish reaches at least 1-2 years old. It will then continue to develop, and by the time your Oranda goldfish reaches 2 ½, the wen will be fully formed.
Even though the wen on most Oranda is the stand out physical feature, it’s not the only thing that sets it apart from more common goldfish. There’s also a difference in shape, with the Oranda being more rounded with a hypnotizing tail that begins to fan out whenever the goldfish stops swimming.
The split tail seen on the breed (scientific name – caudal) is what helps create this fantastic fan shape which many fish owners love to witness.
Because they share a similar shape of the body and head, Oranda goldfish can sometimes be confused with Lionheads. However, there is one fundamental difference that will quickly set them apart: Oranda goldfish have a dorsal fin, but Lionheads do not.
What Colors do Oranda Goldfish Come in?
There is a vast range of colors available if you’re looking for an Oranda goldfish. The more common colors are white, red, black and brown, and of course, combinations of colors. In more recent years, a blue colored Oranda has also been established.
They can also have either matte or metallic scales, meaning they can look very different to other goldfish of similar breeding. Red Cap Orandas are a very common sight, with their unique coloring on their wen making them look like they have a red hat.
How Big can Oranda Goldfish Grow?
The most common size of an adult Oranda is around 6-7 inches, but do be aware that this can vary widely.
Depending on your tank size and conditions, this breed of goldfish can get much bigger. The largest reported Oranda is currently thought to be 15 inches.
How Long do they Live?
As with many breeds of goldfish, the average lifespan for an Oranda is around 10-15 years, although this can be extended if you have a well-maintained tank.
In some instances, the Oranda breed has been known to live for 20 years or more.
From Where did They Develop?
The Oranda Goldfish is a crossbreed of the Veiltail and Lionhead goldfish, with the Oranda being lucky enough to inherit the unique and beautiful features from each of its ancestors.
As suggested by their names, the fanning tail comes from the Veiltail genes, while the wen that develops on the Oranda’s head is inherited from the Lionhead breed.
In comparison to other fancy goldfish, the Oranda is one of the older and more established breeds. Referred to by the Chinese as the ‘flower of the water,’ it’s thought that this breed originated as early as the 1500s.
Are they Easy to Keep as Pets?
Although the Oranda fish is very easy to get hold of and is extremely common in home aquariums, they’re not the easiest fish to keep if you aren’t reasonably experienced.
With a lower tolerance for low temperatures and pollution, they do need an owner who is willing to monitor their tank fairly regularly.
If you have some experience with goldfish care and maintaining an aquarium, don’t be put off by their low level of tolerance – if you’re used to managing temperature gauges and filtration systems, these are relatively easy obstacles to overcome.
Special Considerations for Keeping at Home
While the wen is a great feature that makes the Oranda stand apart from many other breeds of goldfish, it does come with its own problems.
Because of the small folds in this hood of flesh, it’s easier for the Oranda to get an infection from any bacteria or debris in their tank. This means you need to keep on top of the regular tank cleaning required.
The other obstacle that comes with the wen is that it can mean they have poorer vision when compared to other breeds of goldfish. While this doesn’t cause a huge issue in itself, it does mean they can take longer to find their food, so make sure they have plenty of time to feed.
Oranda Goldfish Dietary Requirements
Oranda are omnivores, so they can and will eat a huge variety of foods. To keep them healthy, it’s always best to make sure they’re fed a high quality flake food every day, preferably of a good quality.
Remember not to put too much flake food in the tank in one go, or it’s likely to be left and cause issues in your tank, so a few smaller feeds each day is better than one big one.
While you can feed live food to Oranda, it’s sometimes considered better to stick to freeze-dried food to help lower the risks of bacteria and parasites. Brine shrimp and bloodworms make great treats for this breed of fish.
As long as you have the temperature and filtration system set up for your tank, the rest can be down to your personal preference. As with most fish, Oranda goldfish will enjoy swimming around plants (usually artificial silk plants so they don’t cause harm, but also don’t get dug up!), but also decorative items.
If you want to put rocks or other decorations in your aquarium, make sure you’re only using things with smooth edges to ensure there is no risk of injury with any sharp points.
With the Oranda’s sight being weaker than some other breeds, it’s even more important to protect them from any possible injury where possible.
Also, bear in mind if you want to get any kind of bridge or house shaped items, Oranda can grow up to 15 inches in extreme cases, so make sure the items are a suitable size and spaced out enough for them to swim around without getting stuck.
Tank Size and Shape
The Oranda goldfish needs at least 10 gallons of water to give them enough space to swim around, although most owners would tend to recommend starting with a tank that allows a minimum of 20 or even 30 gallons, and then to increase this by 10 gallons every time you add a new Oranda to your aquarium.
When you’re thinking about shape, you need to try to get the largest possible surface area to lower the risk of there not being enough oxygen in your tank.
Consider the size and shape you have available in your home to place your tank in and work out the biggest surface area you can fit from there.
Must they have a Filter?
While many goldfish owners do keep their fish in a tank with no filtration or heating system in place, your Oranda is more likely to thrive and stay healthy if you use both of these. Any kind of biological filtration that suits your other fish should be fine to use in a tank with an Oranda, and we recommend a good quality canister filter ourselves.
Keeping your tank adequately filtered and heated, along with regular cleaning (weekly is recommended) will help lower the risk of your Oranda getting an infection in their wen, so it is wise to spend a bit of money early on to get the best tank set up possible.
As with all breeds of goldfish, they do produce high levels of waste, so using a good filtration system will help keep your tank at a clean and healthy level for your fish. It’s worth remembering though, even with a filtration system in place, you’ll still need to clean your tank regularly.
What Substrate Should you Add?
Gravel substrate is the best option for goldfish – preferably larger pieces to minimize the risk of swallowing any when they’re digging around, something they love to do!
Unfortunately, their digging habits not only affect the type of substrate you need to buy, but also the type of aquarium plant.
While it’s possible to get hold of plants suitable for goldfish that can withstand more nudges and bumps, it’s likely most live plants will become uprooted and die. Many goldfish owners tend to use artificial silk plants as an alternative to help avoid this problem.
Moderate lighting is perfect for Oranda goldfish, and while that means you could use natural light, most aquarium owners opt for a cover and some basic lighting equipment.
This option will mean your fish will be at its healthiest, and the use of a cover will also eliminate the small risk of it jumping out the tank.
What Temperature do they Need?
Orandas are a cold water breed of fish, so 18.3 -22.2 degrees c is their ideal range.
With a very low tolerance level for colder temperatures, anything below 16c is likely to cause serious problems for your Oranda.
Oranda Goldfish Tank Mate Compatibility
As with most goldfish breeds, Oranda are a very sociable fish and love to live in a tank with others; however, due to their calm nature, they don’t mix well with every breed.
Oranda is a calm and peaceful breed of goldfish, but this gentle manner means they’re best kept away from competitive or fast swimming tank mates. As a general rule, keeping them with other egg-shaped goldfish will create a thriving community.
Smaller breeds of fish may also do well in a tank with Orandas, with guppies and mollys being good examples of tank mates that are likely to thrive in the same environment.
Video of Oranda Goldfish
In the video below you can see many Oranda goldfish swimming around to catch them in action so to speak and see just how the wen hood and dorsal fin combine to give them a unique look.
We hope this article has given you helpful information and a visual guide to the oranda goldfish, so you know exactly what they are and what it takes to look after them.
For any aquarium owner with some experience with managing filtration and heating equipment, the Oranda is a fantastic breed of fish to help make your tank a homely environment that is fascinating to watch and expand on.
Happy fish keeping!