Oranda Goldfish – Care Guide, Breed Profile, Photos and Basic Info

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 freshwater tank at home, the Oranda just might be the wonderful and fascinating addition ou’re looking for.

In this guide, we take a detailed look at Orandagoldfish, their care needs, required tank conditions, origin, breed profile and more.

Side view of a white Oranda Goldfish with a red cap
© mcvsn / Adobe Stock

Let’s kick things off with a summarized table of their key facts and figures, and their ideal environment.

Summary of Care Needs, Stats and Figures

CharacteristicDetails
Common name(s):Oranda goldfish
Scientific Name(s):Carassius auratus
Family:Cyprinidae
Origin:Developed in China
Care Level:Easy to intermediate
Temperament:Peaceful and sociable
Adult Size:6-7 inches
Color Form:Orange, Red, White, Black, Blue, Brown.
Lifespan:10 to 15 years. 20 years+ is possible.
Minimum Tank Size:30 gallons
Typical Tank Setup:Strong filtration, planted tank is preferred. A gravel or sand substrate to forga ein, with a good lamount of horizintal swim space preferred, with a wider tank instead of deep.
Tank Level:All over
Diet:Omnivore
Water Conditions:Freshwater, 65-75 degress fahrenheit, KH 4 to 20, pH 6.5 to 7.5
Tank mates / Compatibility:Peaceful community fish, get on well with own kind, other fancy goldfish, shrimp, snails and cory catfish. Avoid mixing with single tail goldfish.

Appearance

They are most famous for their very striking wen hood, but if you’re not an expert when it comes to the scientific language, don’t worry: The wen isn’t anything complicated, 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 they reach 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 them apart from the other types of 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, Othey can sometimes be confused with Lionheads. However, there is one fundamental difference that will quickly set them apart: Oranda have a dorsal fin, but Lionheads do not.

What Colors do Oranda Goldfish Come in?

There is a vast range of colors available. 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 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, their average lifespan is around 10-15 years, although this can be extended if you have a well-maintained tank.

In some instances, they have been known to live for 20 years or more.

From Where did They Develop?

They are 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 hood that develops on their 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 they are very easy to get hold of and 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.

Oranda Goldfish Care – Anything Special to Consider?

While the wen is a great feature that makes them stand out 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 them 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 it can mean they have poorer vision when compared to other breeds. 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.

Dietary Requirements

They are omnivores, so they can and will eat a wide 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, and to supplement occasionally with aquatic plants, vegetables and high protein fish foods.

Remember not to put too much flake food in the tank in one go, or it’s likely to be left, rot and cause pollution in your tank, so a few smaller feeds each day is better than one big one, and remove what they don’t eat inside of 4 or 5 minutes.

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, daphnia and bloodworms make great treats for them.

Aquarium Set-Up

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, they 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 their sight being weaker than some other breeds, it’s even more important to protect them from possible injury where possible, so avoid sharp objects and sharp edges on any decorations you add to their tank.

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

They 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 30 gallons, and then to increase this by 10 gallons for each additional fish from there.

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, and to give them nice horizontal swim space.

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. Any kind of biological filtration that suits your other fish should be fine to use, 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.

Lighting

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?

They are a cold water breed of fish, so 65 to 75 degrees fahrenheit, or 18.3 -24 degrees c is their ideal range.

With a very low tolerance level for colder temperatures, anything below 16c is likely to cause problems for them.

Oranda Goldfish Tank Mate Compatibility

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 are 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 or fancy goldfish will create a thriving community.

Smaller breeds of fish may also do well in their tank, with guppies and mollys being good examples of tank mates that are likely to thrive in the same environment.

Video – Let’s See Them in Action!

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.

 

Conclusion

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!

Wendy Kathryn

Hi, I'm Wendy, the owner and creator of this website, an experienced fish keeper and avid student of the art since 2010. My aim is to help beginners avoid the many possible mistakes when getting started in this wonderful hobby.

2 thoughts on “Oranda Goldfish – Care Guide, Breed Profile, Photos and Basic Info”

  1. I’m hoping since you are experienced with Orandas that you can help me. I have an Oranda that had something eat away at the flesh between the back of the head and the dorsal fin. It caused a crater in his little body. I’ve done everything the local fish store recommended…..some of the employees said it was bacterial, others said fungal. I’ve tried all the recommended medications for both, as well as salt. He seemed to be get a little better, but then the space got bigger, and he has lost some of the dorsal fin. He also has a large bubble below his left eye. Both issues have been on going for several months. I can’t seem to get him healed. My other fish ( Calico Telescope, Black Moor & Bushy Nose Pleco) seem fine, water parameters are all good & because of using medications, water changes are done every other day. Do you have any idea of what could cause these issues and how to fix them? I’m desperate to help my poor fish.

    • Hi Robyn,

      After recently learning about the ethics of giving ‘direct advice’ about health issues without any formal qualifications (I’m not a vet!), I’m afraid I can no longer try to advise on such things. If I give advice that worsens a fishes health, or worse leads to death, then I can be held responsible. So I have to refrain from trying to advise on such things, sorry.

      I can only advise trying to speak with a professional. You could try googling ‘ask a vet’ and you will see in the search results many results where for a very small fee, professional qualified persons can advise on issues such as this.

      Sorry I can’t be more help 🙁

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