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Oranda Goldfish: Info, Care Guide, Photos & More!

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By Jeremy Pickrell

oranda goldfish in a dark aquarium with a gravel lined bottom

Of all the different varieties of goldfish, this has GOT to be a favorite. And for good reason! What’s not to love about that adorable face? Oranda goldfish are a classic “water puppy,” and today, we’re going to learn what makes this breed special (and there are many reasons why)!

Ready to be blown away? It’s time to get started!

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Quick Facts about Oranda Goldfish

Species Name: Carassius auratus auratus
Temperature: 75°–80° F
Temperament: Gentle, Community
Lifespan: 5–10 years
Size: 8–10 inches on average, sometimes larger
Hardiness: Somewhat Hardy
Tank Size: 20 gallons

Oranda Goldfish Overview

Orandas are one of the most popular types of goldfish. You can find them in about any pet store (mostly in the small to medium size). For the most part, they have sweet, playful temperaments and make friends easily. In fact, some hold them to be the most good-natured of all the goldfish species!

What gives this fish its unique look is its wen. What? When? No, WEN. A fleshy, brain-like growth on top of the fish’s head.  Sometimes it grows around the face and gills too. And this is interesting: Orandas were the first fish to have them. Sometimes it grows too much, then the goldfish can’t see! Want to know the weird part? Then it can be trimmed like hair (it doesn’t have nerves, so this doesn’t hurt the fish). The fish has to be sedated to do this. Wens are what give the fish that puffy cute face look.

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Image Credit: hxdbzxy, Shutterstock

A Red Cap Oranda goldfish is a color pattern that has an all-white body with a bright red wen. Their bodies are deep and round in quality specimens. Get this: Different tail types can be found in them, including ribbontail, fantail, and even broadtail! In Brittain, the show standard for Orandas leans toward broadtail finnage.

Broadtail or Veiltail Orandas with huge fins are bred there but are also being produced in Asia. But in the US, Ribbontail or fantail is preferred. A newer strain called Thai Oranda has a frilly tail set at almost a 90-degree angle against its body! These ones are harder to find.

Color Patterns

As far as coloration goes, oranda goldfish come in pretty much all colors of the rainbow. The most popular is solid (sometimes called self-colored) red (aka orange). Red-capped is common too, where the body of the fish is matte or metallic white with a red wen on top.  Now, they’re even making highly unusual BLACK red-cap Orandas instead of the traditional white! Other colors include red and white, calico, panda, nacreous, black, silver, and more.

oranda goldfish
Image Credit: Skitterphoto, Pixabay


This is crazy! The Oranda is the biggest of all the fancies when it comes to size. It can get over 12 inches long (including the tail)–bigger than a small cat! In fact, it was an Oranda that won the world record for the largest goldfish ever documented! His name was Bruce.

All in all, everything about this breed is perfect. Oh wait, I’m not supposed to be biased here, right? 😉 Big head with chubby bubbly cheeks. Big jiggly belly. Big everything! 😀

How to Take Care of Your Oranda Properly

While not considered the most difficult breed of goldfish to keep,  Oranda goldfish DO require special care. Due to being bred selectively, their shorter bodies (which compact the organs closer together) are more prone to issues such as Swim Bladder Disorder. For that reason, they have to have a very perfect diet and environment. That way, they can live out their full lifespan of 40 or more years!

Choosing the Right Tank Size

As we’ve already covered, Orandas grow GINORMOUS compared to all the other fancies. That’s why it’s really important they have enough room to grow to their full potential. So if you’re thinking of using a fish bowl, that’s out of the question.

Bowls make bad goldfish homes for a ton of reasons. This may be shocking, but keeping your fish in a bowl can cause permanent damage. You don’t want your beautiful Oranda to end up stunted for the rest of its life, now do you? Plus, there’s no way you can keep it clean enough. The bottom line? Set up a tank. And shoot for one that’s 10–20 gallons large for each fish.

Remember: Bigger is always better.

Making Sure You Have the Correct Water Temperature

It just so happens that goldfish adapt to their environment pretty well, unlike lots of other species. However, chilly water is more likely to cause health problems as the fish’s immune system is weaker. Of course, too hot is stressful also.

So, what is the best temperature for your finned friend? For fancy goldfish, it’s actually on the warmer end (75-80 degrees F).

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Are Oranda Goldfish Good Tank Mates?

Could it be that your pet is longing for a fishy friend? If so, you’ll want to find out what other fish you can safely keep with your Oranda. Because of their friendly personalities, they tend to do great with most other fancy types of goldfish, with maybe the best being other Orandas or fish with wens such as the Lionhead and Ranchu.

But here’s an important tip: Only keep other goldfish in with goldfish. They do their best that way…TRUST ME.

Image Credit: rethinktwice, Pixabay

Interesting to look at doesn’t matter nearly as much as having a peaceful tank. The bottom line? Please don’t make the mistake of putting other kinds of fish in there too, like tropical fish, as they don’t mix well and can hurt your goldfish.

What to Feed Your Oranda Goldfish

Diet plays a critical role in the well-being of an Oranda – and also their growth. Orandas are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter for their food. A balanced diet is really important to Orandas because, with their rounder body shape, they are prone to swim bladder trouble.

However, if they are floating upside down and the diet is fine, it can actually be due to an overgrown wen in some rare cases! Diet plays the biggest role, though. That’s why it’s really important to have a solid feeding plan. You can read more about goldfish diet requirements in our feeding article.


Like most other fancy goldfish, Orandas can be tricky to breed. They require a period of cooler weather followed by warmer temperatures and adequate tank space. In ponds, they can reproduce like crazy. Fun fact: They can lay up to 1,000 eggs at one time! This results in a LOT of babies.

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Wrapping it All Up

We’ve only scratched the surface when it comes to caring for your pet Oranda goldfish. There just isn’t enough time to go into all the detail! But don’t worry; I wrote a complete care guide called “The Truth About Goldfish.” It contains ALL the information you will ever need to make sure your fish doesn’t just survive but THRIVES. I’m sure you want yours to reach its full potential, right? You can take a peek at it here!

Featured Image Credit: Nantawat Chotsuwan, Shutterstock

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