Oranda Goldfish: Complete Guide to Care, Breeding, Tank Size and Disease

You might see this adorable, albeit strange-looking little fellow in fish tanks in certain parts of the world. The Oranga Goldfish is common in China and Taiwan as a sign of wealth, luck, and power. There, not only do they fascinate the Chinese and other similar cultures, but also avid aquarists who are enthralled by its majestic beauty.

Orange Oranda Goldfish
© Wikimedia Commons

They are stunning creatures that have a sort of angelic presence, and there’s no doubt that their addition to any fish tank will make it look stunning! Before you go out and purchase one of these delicate and beautiful fish, you need to know all there is about caring for them.

Oranda Goldfish Overview

The Carassius gibelio forma auratus or Oranda Goldfish, derived from “Netherlands Lion Head” is a relatively peaceful fish. They are originally from China but were mistakenly believed to be from the Netherlands for a while.

From the Cyprinidae family, it’s been hard to trace the exact origins of this cute creature, but it’s widely agreed to be the product of crossbreeding among professionals. They come in a wide variety of variations, which could add color and brightness to your tank.

Information ChartOranda Goldfish
Scientific Name: Carassius auratus auratus
Family: Cyprinidae
Care Level: Medium to Difficult
Temperament: Schooling and friendly
Color: Black, bronze, orange, red, yellow, and calico
Lifespan: 15 to 25 years
Size: 8 to 12 inches length
Diet: Pellets, brine shrimps, commercial flakes, and krill
Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons and more
Temperature: 68-80 ºF (20-26 ºC)
Water: pH 5-8
Tank Mate Compatibility: Gregarious with cold-water fish species

Oranda Goldfish Appearance

What sets the Oranda apart from other fish is the abnormal yet fascinating growths on their heads. It’s referred to as wen, and no, it is not their brains. It sure looks like it, but it’s just fleshy growth that possesses a variety of colors, similar to the goldfish due to its diet.

These fleshy bumps start growing at about 4 months of age, and they can even overgrow and affect the Oranda’s vision! However, they take two years to grow fully, but it may take longer in some fish.

What’s also really cool (or gross, depending on how you look) is that the web can be trimmed!

Like our monthly haircuts, an oranda sometimes needs maintenance done on their heads. It won’t hurt your little buddy as the wen doesn’t possess any nerves, but the fish does need to be sedated for the process to be carried out calmly.

While Oranda Goldfish can come in various colors, the Red Cap Oranda is color specific. These little darlings have an all-white body with red hoods (wens), implying their title.

Red Cap Oranda

Other common variations are the following:

  • Red Oranda
  • White Oranda
  • Blue Oranda

The bodies of this type of goldfish are egg-shaped, meaning they aren’t slender, but they aren’t bulky either. They sit perfectly in the middle with slightly wider torsos.

What gives these fish an angel-like and graceful appearance is their tail fin. They come in different shapes, such as the ribbon tail and fan-tailored broad tail, and they tend to billow out behind the Oranda like an elegant train.

In the US, aquarists tend to prefer fantails or ribbon tails. Broadtail orandas are of show quality produced in Britain and Asia and are a coveted species.

They are quite the bright and vivid fish with color variations of black, red, white, yellow, orange, gold, and even blue! They usually have a metallic sheen, and their scales catch the light quite nicely.

Varieties of Oranda Goldfish

Black Oranda Goldfish

Black oranda Goldfish goes by its name; it’s completely black, inheriting all the characteristics of the goldfish breed. The only difference is its black color.

Blue Oranda Goldfish

This is another beautiful variation of the goldfish species. This fish also inherits almost all the similar features of Goldfish, leaving their head to be angelic blue.

Red Cap Oranda Goldfish

Red Cap is one of the most popular varieties of Oranda. Unlike other types, their head is not completely capped or covered in outgrowths. Only the head’s upper and top parts are covered.

Lifespan Of Oranda Goldfish

How Long Do Oranda Goldfish Live?

As per the experts, the typical lifespan of an Oranda Goldfish is 15 years. 

Well, that is to be determined by your level of care. If you pay extra close attention to their health and well-being and are meticulous about the tank conditions, your little companion could be with you for over 15 years (which is the average).

Oranda Goldfish Size

An Oranda Goldfish can grow up to 4 inches.

When we think of Goldfish, we think of cute little swimmers that live in a round fishbowl or in a clear plastic bag to be worn at the state fair. However, these little creatures can get quite big. Most orandas cost about $35-40 for one of about 4 inches. How big does an oranda goldfish get? A larger oranda can grow up to be about a foot long or the size of certain cat and dog breeds!

The oranda goldfish can thrive and grow in suitable conditions. If you take good care of them, they can get pretty big. The average is around 7 inches. The largest Oranda ever documented was a whopping 15 inches! His name was Bruce, and he was from Hong Kong.

They are cute, hardy fish that can be a companion if well cared for!

Natural Habitat and Origin

As per the experts, these fish species don’t have a natural habitat, and they are created through breeding. But some studies suggest that they are descended from the wild Prussian carp. Speaking about their habitat, they are generally captive-raised. However, their distant relatives can be found in Central Asia, and they prefer to live in slow-moving waters, like rivers, ponds, ditches, and lakes. They generally feed on plant matter, algae, and insect larvae.

Oranda Goldfish Care & Tank Set-up

Oranda Goldfish Tank Size & Specifications

Your tank should be at least 20 gallons (or bigger if possible). The temperature should be pretty consistent, between 20-22 degrees Celsius (68-71F). The hardness of the water should be between 6-and 18 DH, and the pH levels should be between 5-and 8. A part of why they are so hard to care for is their sensitivity to water conditions.

Orandas like to dig, so when considering the substrate, keep away from anything that could cause them harm, such as gravel. They could likely cut themselves on the sharp edges with more aggressive digging, so rounded substrates like pebbles or larger pieces of sand are preferable.

Decorating the tank with plants and creating a private little space for your fish brings you joy. However, make sure you don’t overpopulate the tank with greenery. Since the Oranda can grow pretty big, you don’t want to limit their free space. Stick to smaller and sturdier plants that keep out of their way.

If they don’t have enough space, it could lead to stress and anxiety, which isn’t good for the fish or you.

Next, make sure they get enough sunlight. They need as much sunlight as possible, usually ranging from 8-11 hours of daylight.

Nothing is as important as fresh and clean water with a good filtration system. Invest in one that makes sure the water is full of oxygen and clean, hopefully, one with mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration capabilities. Look into changing the water bi-weekly with 30% of the old water siphoned out. Wash out the tank whenever you can and remove floaters and debris regularly.

Optimum Tank Size for Oranda Goldfish

The recommended tank size for your Oranda Goldfish is 20 gallons.

Tank Shape for Oranda Goldfish

To offer them a perfect growing and healthy environment, you should use a rectangular fish tank.  With such tanks, you can create a larger surface area between water and air.

Filter Type

Ensure that you have added an efficient filter system to your tank to effectively eliminate toxins from the water and offer sufficient oxygen to your fish. As Oranda Goldfish are not good swimmers, if the water movement in the tank is very strong, your fish will struggle to swim around. Besides, you should clean the gravel and decomposing plant matter every week using an aquarium vacuum.


You can use gravel or sand substrate for your fish tank. However, based on the substrate type, you may need to change the filtration system of your tank. If you want to add live plants, then go for gravel substrates.

Care Level

The oranda fish are easy to care for, but the conditions make it harder. They are not recommended for beginners due to the level of care required. The growths (wen) need to be maintained, and orandas are also sensitive fish that won’t do too well in extreme tank conditions. Their hoods also make it exceptionally difficult. Many floating debris or bacteria could get lodged within the creases and crevices, leading to infection.

Water Parameters For Oranda Goldfish

The experts say Orandas prefer to live in cooler waters, and the pH balance should be neutral. The species are tolerant of normal fluctuations. So, you don’t have to be very exact about this. The perfect parameters are: 

Water Temperature

The ideal water temperature for Oranda Goldfish is around 65-degree to 72-degree F.

pH Level

The perfect water pH level for Oranda Goldfish is 5 to 8 pH. Around 7 is the ideal condition.

Water Hardness

Water hardness suitable for Oranda Goldfish should be from 4 to 20 dGH.

Oranda Goldfish Tank Landscape

As mentioned above, Orandas, when provided with proper care, can grow around s 6 to 7 inches. Keeping this thing in your mind, you should go for a 20 to 30-gallons capacity tank. 

As they are oxygen-hungry fish, rectangular tanks can work best for them as such tanks will offer more surface areas.

Best Plants For Oranda Goldfish

  • Java Fern
  • Anubias
  • Water Sprite
  • Elodea

Worst Plants For Oranda Goldfish

  • Dockweed
  • Peace Lily

Decorations For Oranda Goldfish

While buying décor for your Oranda Goldfish, you should be very careful about driftwood, rockwork, and other elements that don’t have protruding parts or sharp edges. They can injure these little creatures. As per the experts, you should limit the tank décor to the aquarium’s outer edges.

This species loves to rummage through aquarium substrate, searching for food. So, it is advisable to add medium-gauge gravel to your fish tank. With this, you can come up with a natural look.

Lighting For Oranda Goldfish

You don’t have to spend a lot of money on lighting as they can grow well with a little amount of lighting.


If you can keep the water conditions stable without one, then it’s not necessary. In some parts of the world, this is much more difficult to maintain in some parts of the world due to drastic dips at night. Hence, investing in an aquarium heater for these majestic fish is good.

Nitrogen Cycle

The nitrogen cycle helps to keep your Orandas alive for a long time. There are many steps in this cycle. The first step begins with your fish. They will gradually create ammonia through their gills and waste.

A type of beneficial bacteria will convert the ammonia into a less toxic chemical, i.e., nitrite. Now, there will be another type of bacteria that will consume the nitrite and release nitrate.

As the presence of a higher amount of nitrate in water can be harmful to your fish, you will have to remove the nitrate manually by changing the water. For Oranda Goldfish, it is advisable to remove around 50 to 90 percent of water from the tank. To begin the nitrogen cycle, you need to ensure that your tank has beneficial bacteria.

Feeding Oranda Goldfish

As hard as it is to care for them (environmentally speaking), they are probably among one the easiest fish to feed. This omnivorous species can always eat. Well, I guess we know what also contributes to the massive size since they eat whatever is given to them; it’s important to restrict their diet to only healthy food.

They will also most likely eat anything floating around the tank, so it’s important to keep it clean. The life motto of an oranda goldfish would be, “if it fits, I eat.” It is more likely to become food if it fits your Oranda’s mouth.

They enjoy live and dry food. Like with many other pets, their diet directly contributes to their appearance. A dog with a healthy diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants will have a shiny and lush coat. The same goes for oranda fish. The brighter your fish is, the healthier the diet.

A good way to gauge whether or not you are feeding too much or too little is to watch their behavior. Feed them around 3% of their body size (industry standard) and see. If they start to dig up the substrate to look for food, then feed them a bit more next time.

Best Diet For The Oranda Goldfish

  • Worms
  • Larvae
  • Insects
  • Plants
  • Dry Pellets
  • Brine Shrimp
  • Algae

How Often Should You Feed Your Oranda Goldfish?

Eating is their favorite pastime, so you need to control this to prevent them from becoming overweight. Feeding just once a day should be enough for adult oranda. If you spot them swimming on their side, it could signify that they are too full. Skip over mealtime for that day and start again with smaller portions. As per the experts, you should feed your young orandas fish twice a day. The adults should be fed once a day.

Nutrient Requirements

As per the experts, Oranda Goldfish don’t have any specific dietary or nutrient requirements. As your Orandas are omnivores, feeding them will be a breeze. To keep them healthy, you can offer they pellets and flakes. Besides, you can easily supplement their dry food with different nutritious vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, and more. Sometime, you should offer them high-protein snacks. 

Protein: Younger goldfish require more proteins, and around 40 percent of their diet should be protein. For older fish, 30 percent of protein will be enough. 

Fats: Experts say around 10 percent of the diet should include fat. And animal fat is healthier than plant-based lipids. 

Vitamins:  Your goldfish need vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, K, etc. So, offer a diet rich in these vitamins. 

No Fiber and Carbs: Orandas require less fiber and carbs in their diet. If their diet has more than 10 percent fiber, your fish may find it challenging to absorb the nutrients.

Oranda Goldfish Temperament And Behavior

The goldfish species, in general, is mild-mannered. Just like other Goldfish, the orandas are not aggressive. They are peaceful fish that can get along with just about anyone! Just make sure they are in an environment where they feel safe, and their tank makes, and general living conditions do not cause stress.

While they don’t form schools, they prefer to be around a few of their kind. They are slow swimmers that tend to spend their day floating around and having fun. They do liven up your take!

Are they hardy? Yes, they are hardy little fish that enjoy swimming all over the tank. You might find your pet floating near the top for a few days, then find them staying close to the bottom. They can be quite slow but are charming and graceful simultaneously.

They are scavenger fish and will spend some of their time picking away leftover food (if it’s not cleared up) and moving stuff around the tank. You can expect your Oranda to recognize you through the glass, perhaps even! They are friendly little fish that like attention.

You might be able to train them to follow your finger. They voice their happiness and contentment by making cute gulping sounds!

Are Oranda Goldfish Lone or Societal In Nature?

Oranda Goldfishes do get lonely when left alone. They tend to become active when they’re kept with other fishes. Hence they’re healthy when kept with their kind.

Oranda Goldfish Tankmates

They are peaceful, friendly, and fun-loving, but they can’t live with just anyone. It’s more about making sure the fish joining your tank are just as friendly and not so much about your Oranda. Think about the size your Oranda could grow to, and make sure you aren’t pairing it with one of a bigger size.

Orandas do well with each other or other species of Goldfish. Fish that thrive in the same conditions as your Orandaisbets. Any scavenger fish or habitats that clean up the tank is a great idea because your oranda causes more mess than you think.

Smaller, faster, and more active fish are not good roommates because they end up nipping at your Oranda’s fins, which is not good.

Ideal Oranda Goldfish Tankmates

Bad Tank Mates For Oranda Goldfish

Breeding Oranda Goldfish

Oranda goldfish are regal, majestic, and highly sought after. It’s great if you can breed them in your tank without having to shell out more money (even though they are not that expensive). More and more aquarists are attempting home breeding and selling pedigree fish online.

They hit puberty at about 2 years of age and can start the breeding process. Having a tank of 20-25 gallons is optimal. You should put a female in with a couple of males for the most success. It’s usually the same environment as their regular tanks. Decorate it with some plants and around the substrate.

Breeding usually happens early in the morning. Once you are sure it has been successful, you can move the parents to a different tank. After the incubation period of 2 or 3 days, the babies (fry) can move independently and start feeding.

Oranda Goldfish Breeding level

Easy to intermediate

Oranda Gold Fish Sexual Dimorphism

To distinguish between female and male Oranda Gold Fish, you need to closely look at the front fins.

Oranda Goldfish Common Diseases and their Treatment

A healthy Oranda will have a good appetite, coloring, and clear eyes. Some common illnesses affecting this fish are fin rot, ich, fungal infection, and more. Some signs of illness are erratic swimming, loss of appetite, and coloring. However, you can use different antibacterial solutions to treat them.

Facts about Oranda Goldfish

  • Oranda Goldfish, also called Carassius Auratus Auratus, is one of the oldest and most fancy goldfish types. 
  • In Japan, they are named Goldfish OrandaShishigashira. Besides, they are also known as Azuma Nishiki.
  • These goldfishes are quite popular among breeders as well as collectors in Asia. Some specimens can cost you hundreds of dollars. 
  • They can see more colors compared to humans. 
  • No one can tell the age of a goldfish considering its scales. 
  • During breeding, a female Oranda goldfish can lay more than 1000 eggs. 

Are Oranda Goldfish right for you?

Well, the Oranda Goldfish is a perfect example of diversity. These goldfish species are large, but they are peaceful. They love to live with their similar tank mates. Even though these fish are not easy to care for, you can give them a try. They can develop different health issues related to poor care, and you should always keep that in mind. But diet is quite simple. All in all, Oranda Goldfish is one of the most beautiful and exciting species out there.


Is Oranda Goldfish Difficult To Maintain? 

If you know all the important things about Oranda Goldfish, then the care for this fish is manageable. You should always remember that these species are quite sensitive to water parameters. So, as per the experts, around 25 percent of weekly water changes are required. They are not aggressive and can be kept in a small tank but make sure there is enough swimming space. 

How Often Should You Feed Your Oranda Goldfish? 

It is very important to avoid overfeeding your Goldfish as it can lead to indigestion and contaminate the tank water. So, you should feed them two to three times every day. Speaking about the amount to feed, the rule says you should feed an amount that your fish can eat within two minutes. 

Are These Fish Large Fish? 

When you buy a baby Oranda from your local fish store, the fish will be very small, just a few inches. But don’t get fooled as they can grow very fast, and when they mature, they can attain a size of around 6 to 8 inches. Some Orandas can reach around 15 inches. 

Are Oranda GoldFish Good For Beginners?

All the goldfish species are hardy creatures, but the Oranda species can be a little difficult or challenging to keep. They have a very low tolerance level for bad and unstable water conditions. They love to live in warmer water. That means you may need to use a heater to keep the water warm. Besides, you will have to remain prepared for frequent water changes and maintenance.


Oranda goldfish carry significance in Asian cultures. You may see it grace fish tanks in large companies or at the entryway of people’s homes because they are believed to bring wealth, luck, and power. There are also various colors for you to mix and match and create your perfect little aquatic world.

Keep in mind all of the repercussions of poor care, and make sure your fish has everything they need to thrive.

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