Oranda Goldfish are a freshwater Fancy Goldfish of the Cyprinidae family. This interesting and unique species is a beautiful addition to any aquarium. Are you wondering if an Oranda is the right fish for you? In this guide, find everything you need to know about Oranda Goldfish.

History of Oranda Goldfish

The exact origin of the Oranda Goldfish is unknown, but it’s believed that this species has been around since the 1500s during the Ming Dynasty in China. The Oranda is thought to be the result of crossbreeding Wakin and Ryukin Goldfish. Eventually, Oranda made their way to Japan. They were selectively bred further in Japan to improve their appearance and unique characteristics. By the 19th and 20th centuries, Oranda and other types of ornamental fish became popular in Europe and North America, which has led to more selective breeding to create the many different colors and patterns seen in modern-day Oranda.

Appearance of Oranda Goldfish

Oranda Goldfish have a short, round, egg-shaped body. Their scales are large, round, and either metallic or matte, depending on the variety. The long and divided caudal fin, or tail fin, creates a beautiful fan-like shape. On average, Orandas reach around 6-7” in length, and females tend to be slightly larger than males. They can grow as large as 8-9”; however, their tails comprise most of their length.

What makes Orandas stand out from other types of Fancy Goldfish is the fleshy, raspberry-shaped growth on their head, known as a “wen.” The wen starts to grow around three to four months of age and will typically continue to grow until the fish is about two or three years old. Sometimes, the wen can grow large enough to partially or significantly cover the eyes. In optimal conditions, the lifespan of Orandas is 10-15 years.

Types of Oranda Goldfish

The different types of Oranda Goldfish are classified based on color, pattern, and wen characteristics. Orandas come in many colors, the most popular being metallic yellow or orange. While the different color combinations allow for various types, here are a few of the most common types of Oranda Goldfish.

Black Oranda

Black Orandas have a similar appearance to the Black Moor Goldfish. This type of Oranda is a dark black with a subtle gold sheen. Often, the wen on Black Orandas are a lighter shade than the rest of their body. In some cases, the golden highlights seen in these Goldfish will also be present on the fins.

Blue Oranda

Known as Seibungyo or Seibun in Japan, Blue Orandas display a blue color ranging from a dusky navy to light greyish-blue or sometimes even a bright blue-black. Diet, age, genetics, and breeding can all play a role in determining the exact shade of blue. Young Blue Orandas are typically a light grey color that becomes more blue as they age. On some Blue Orandas, the wen may have a different color than the rest of the body.

Calico Oranda

Calico Orandas display a mix of orange, black, white, red, and yellow colors. This combination of colors creates a calico pattern, with confetti-like speckles of color covering both the body and fins. The color combinations will vary from fish to fish, giving each Calico Oranda its unique pattern.

Panda Oranda

Like their namesake, Panda Orandas are black and white. The black is usually present over their wen and near the dorsal fin, but it can also appear on their eyes and fins. The wen and dorsal fin may also have small red, yellow, or orange patches. This type of Oranda is quite rare, making it more expensive than other types of Oranda Goldfish.

Redcap Oranda

Redcap Orandas are one of the most popular types. They have a pearly, platinum body and a bright, red wen. Unlike some other types, the head of Redcap Orandas isn’t entirely covered by its wen. Instead, only the upper and top parts of the head are covered.

Caring For Oranda Goldfish

As with any other pet, caring for Oranda Goldfish requires time and energy. However, care and upkeep are relatively easy once you understand their basic needs and habitat requirements.

Tank Setup

Tank Size

Oranda Goldfish are not speedy swimmers like other types of goldfish, but they do produce a lot of waste. A large tank will help keep water quality in better shape for longer. A tank size of at least 20 gallons is recommended for Oranda Goldfish. If you add additional Orandas, the tank size should be increased by 10 gallons per fish. Or, if you’re adding different varieties to your tank, you should increase your tank size by one gallon per one inch of fish. When making these calculations, use the estimated full-grown size of the fish you plan to add. It’s also a good idea to choose an elongated tank. This will provide ample surface area and help reduce the risk of oxygen shortage.

Water Parameters

Although Oranda Goldfish are coldwater fish, they are sensitive to low water temperatures and drastic or sudden fluctuations in water temperature. The ideal water temperature for Orandas is 65-72°F. Because Orandas are sensitive to temperature, invest in a good water thermometer to simplify monitoring the temperature.

Like all varieties of Goldfish, Orandas produce a lot of waste, so it’s crucial to have an efficient filtration system. This will help reduce the levels of toxins in the water. Orandas also require high oxygen concentrations, so a strong aeration system is recommended. However, it’s important to note that Oranda Goldfish are not strong swimmers and do not do well with strong water movement. To limit water movement, you can buffer the flow from your filter outlet with plants or decorations. Or, redirect the current by capping the outlet pipe.

The water pH should be between 6.0 and 8.0, but a neutral pH around 7.0 is best. Water hardness should range from 6-18 degrees of general hardness (dGH) or 89-320 parts per million (ppm). These levels can be measured with a standard freshwater aquarium test kit. Perform weekly water changes of 25-35% to keep water in the best shape possible.

Water parameters






GH (general hardness)

6-18 dGH or 89-320 ppm

KH (carbonate hardness)

4-8 dKH or 70-140 ppm


0 ppm


0 ppm


Below 30-40 ppm

Tank Decorations

Orandas are diggers, so avoid sharp gravel or rough substrates when decorating your aquarium. Rounded gravel and fine sand is the best choice for covering the bottom of your tank. Orandas are notoriously clumsy swimmers, especially as their wens grow, which can obstruct their vision sometimes. When choosing decor for your aquarium, be sure not to create too many obstacles for your Oranda by overcluttering. It’s also a good idea to avoid ornaments with sharp edges or protruding points that could snag or injure your Oranda’s wen or flowing fins.

Plants are a great addition to any aquarium because they help oxygenate water and remove nitrates. Orandas do tend to snack on plants, so avoid fake plants. Because they’re diggers, it’s common for them to uproot plants from the substrate. Attach plants to a weighted base or tie them to a rock or ornament to prevent this. Some popular plant choices for Goldfish aquariums include java fern, anubias, and hornwort.

Tank Mates

Oranda Goldfish are social and peaceful, but they’re also sensitive. However, they can coexist well with fish of similar size and demeanor. It’s best to avoid small fish, as Orandas may mistake them for food. Because Orandas are slow swimmers, they can’t compete for food with other fast-swimming fish, so avoid adding fast swimmers to your aquarium, including Comets, Common Goldfish, and Shubunkins. You’ll also want to skip out on known fin-nippers, as the flowing fins of Oranda will make them an easy target. Some examples include Bettas, Barbs, and Cichlids.

The best tank mates for Orandas include other Orandas, Black Moors, Ryukin Goldfish, Pearlscale Goldfish, and Pepper Cory Catfish.


Oranda Goldfish are omnivores and will eat fresh, frozen, and flake foods. Their diet should be primarily plant-based with a high amount of protein. To keep your Orandas healthy and limit waste in your tank or aquarium, be sure to choose a high-quality feed with minimal filler, including barley, wheat flour, and corn.

Adult Orandas should be fed once or twice daily, while younger Orandas may need an extra meal. Goldfish are notorious for overeating. To prevent this, only give your fish what they can eat in 2-3 minutes. Begin with a small amount of food; if they eat all the food before 2-3 minutes are up, add a little more. Repeat this process until time is up, then scoop any remaining food out of the tank using a small net. Learn more about feeding Fancy Goldfish in our guide to Feeding Your Fancy Goldfish.

Health Concerns

Like all fish, Orandas are susceptible to certain diseases and illnesses. The best way to keep your Oranda from getting sick is by keeping tank or aquarium water clean and properly filtered. If your fish begins to show signs of illness, proper diagnoses and treatment will give it the best chance of a full recovery.

One common health issue for Orandas is an overgrown wen. An overgrown wen can impair vision and mobility. In these cases, trimming the wen may be recommended. If your Oranda has an overgrown wen, speak to a veterinarian or other fish specialist about the best course of action.

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