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Oranda Goldfish Breed Guide: Care, Information, & Pictures

Oranda Goldfish are definitely one of the most easily recognizable Goldfish breeds, second only to the Black Moor or Telescope Eye. They are chunky, spunky, and beautiful to behold, with a large head growth that catches the eyes.

Oranda Goldfish

While the beginnings of most Goldfish breeds are well understood the origin of Oranda Goldfish is actually a bit mysterious! It’s often thought that they are hybrids descended from Chinese Lionheads and Japanese Fantails (Ryukins).

However a recent genetic analysis suggested that Orandas are actually direct mutations from Japanese Fantails. The head growth, known as a crown or wen, re-appeared in their line, rather than being passed on from Lionhead Goldfish.

Regardless of how they came to be, Orandas are easily found in most pet stores. Specialty breeders also sell them for hundreds or even thousands of dollars apiece. But you can spend far less and still have a beautiful Goldfish that will provide enjoyment for decades if well cared for!

Best of all, they come in all sorts of attractive color morphs. Besides the usual orange Oranda there are also stunning black oranda goldfish, blue oranda goldfish, pearlscale orandas, red cap oranda goldfish, and more.

If you see a Thai Oranda Goldfish for sale then know that they are some of the highest quality goldfish you will find in the online aquarium fish market! Just be prepared to pay a little more for that quality. In short, there is an oranda for every budget and preference!

  • Common Names: Oranda, Oranda Goldfish, Oranda Fancy Goldfish, Black Oranda Goldfish, Blue Oranda Goldfish, Lionhead Oranda Goldfish, Panda Oranda Goldfish
  • Scientific Name: Carassius auratus
  • Origin: China
  • Length: 8-12 inches
  • Aquarium Size: 20-30 gallons
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Ease of Care: Very Easy

Oranda Goldfish Care and Breeding

Oranda fancy goldfish are beautifully different from comets and shubunkins. But they are just as easy to care for, so long as you give them the space and adequate filtration they need!.

Aquarium Size for Oranda Fancy Goldfish

A cute, wobbly baby Oranda may be small enough for a 5 or 10 gallon aquarium. But you should be thinking about long-term care with fish that can live for 30 years or longer! Orandas are still Goldfish and that means that they will get pretty large.

6-8 inches is perfectly normal for full grown Oranda Goldfish and they are known to reach 12 inches in ideal conditions. 20 gallons is an absolute minimum for a single Oranda with 30 gallons being much more comfortable for them.

Remember that deep-bodied fish are also quite messy and produce a lot of waste compared to smaller fish. This simple fact is why the inch per gallon rule is a myth and does not work for fish that are oranda goldfish size. Six 1-inch Neon Tetras do not equal one 6-inch Oranda as far as the load placed on your filtration.

Larger tanks also provide extra cushioning to prevent drastic changes in parameters from suddenly killing your fish as well. Say you accidentally overfeed your fish and a load of food goes uneaten and starts to rot in the gravel. Or maybe a fish dies while you are on vacation, releasing a flood of ammonia into your tank.

In a small aquarium, this excess ammonia will become a problem much faster than it will in a larger one. So err on the side of caution and always buy as large a fish aquarium as you can when buying a tank for your Oranda fancy goldfish.

Oranda Goldfish Lifespan

All goldfish are very long lived and the Oranda Goldfish is no exception. Assuming you provide your pet goldfish with a varied diet, clean water, and peaceful conditions, you should expect to have your fish for decades.

10 to 20 years is pretty average for a well cared for goldfish with 30 years being not unheard of. The oldest officially dated goldfish was a carnival goldfish named Tish who lived to be 43 years old! So think of any full grown Oranda Goldfish as a long-term commitment and not a pet to be rid of once you grow bored with it.

Oranda Goldfish Water Conditions

Oranda Goldfish Water Conditions

Like all goldfish, Orandas are quite hardy and tolerant of a wide range of water conditions. Temperatures should stay between room temperature and tropical conditions (60-78℉). Unlike Goldfish that are closer to their wild ancestors, Orandas aren’t as cold-hardy.

You may have some success acclimating them to a container pond outdoors in temperate climates. But they are less likely to survive the winter because they have been bred in warm indoor environments for so long that their cold resistance is greatly diminished. That’s why I recommend keeping them with a heater or at room temperature.

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Orandas are also slightly more sensitive to ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate compared to common Goldfish. If ammonia levels remain too high, they may develop black scales, fin rot, and mucus patches on their bodies. So make sure that you perform regular water changes to supplement your filtration.

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High nitrates are very common in goldfish aquariums because fish keepers tend to get a little lazy when a pet is so easy to keep as a black oranda goldfish. Keep in mind that constant levels of higher nitrates (<15 ppm) aren’t fatal but it’s still very unpleasant for fish to be living in.

Oranda Goldfish are unfussy when it comes to the other aspects of water chemistry, though. Slightly acidic to alkaline conditions (pH 6.5-7.5) are ideal, with neutral being best for them (pH 7.0). Even if the pH of your water tends towards greater acidity or alkalinity you are fine so long as the extremes are avoided. Sudden swings in pH, which can happen from large water changes or adding loads of decaying plant matter, should also be avoided whenever possible.

I always add a touch of aquarium salt to the new water that I’m adding to an oranda goldfish aquarium! Aquarium salt naturally stimulates slime coat production and boosts gill ion exchange.

Choosing Plants and a Substrate for Black Oranda Goldfish

Oranda Goldfish can make life very difficult for your plants and aquascaping. If you’ve ever owned Goldfish then you know they love to dig! They are sifting through the gravel and sand grains hoping to find buried morsels.

However Goldfish aren’t very good at putting the substrate back the way it was. If you keep them in aquariums with sand they will leave little piles all over the place where they’ve dug. If you don’t mind this then it’s a great way to see Goldfish engaging in their natural behavior.

Otherwise, I recommend keeping Oranda Goldfish on gravel. The grains are heavier and more likely to fall back into the holes they dig.

Gravel is also better for your plants when keeping them with Goldfish. All of that digging tends to disturb plant roots, which stresses them greatly. Your Goldfish may even eat soft plants like Anacharis and Cabomba. Or simply grab and uproot loose plants, looking for worms and bugs underneath.

It’s best to choose either plants that are well established in gravel. Amazon Sword plants and other varieties with large leaves and root masses will be much more securely fastened.

You can also use epiphytes like Java Fern and Java Moss! These plants don’t root in the gravel. Instead, they attach directly to rocks and driftwood, getting all of the nutrition they need right from the water column.

Epiphytes are also very low light tolerant and don’t need specialized full-spectrum lighting! Lastly, most either have tough leaves or taste bad, discouraging your Goldfish from damaging them.

Oranda Goldfish Tank Mates

Oranda Goldfish Tank Mates

While Oranda Goldfish are tough on substrates they are very friendly when it comes to tank mates! Nearly any fish that’s peaceful, not too small, and thrives in the same temperature range can live alongside an Oranda!

What you need to watch out for are fish that are aggressive or territorial. Large Cichlids are terrible tank mates for Orandas because Goldfish don’t understand what a “territory” is. They will bumble about, getting bitten, and being toothless they have no way to defend themselves.

Instead, choose medium sized community fish like Gouramis, Barbs, Danios, and Livebearers. While Oranda Goldfish aren’t aggressive, they are opportunistic and will eat anything that fits in their mouth and is not very fast. A baby Livebearer or Tetra may be eaten by a hungry goldfish but adults are going to be safe.

If you are keeping your Oranda in room temperature water make sure you choose coldwater tank mates like Zebra Danios or North America natives like American Flagfish and Gambusia!

Watch out when choosing algae eaters for Oranda fancy Goldfish tanks though. Being so slow and broad sided, many algae eaters love trying to suck on their sides for mucus, including Chinese Algae Eaters and Plecostomus. Stick with gentler Siamese Algae Eaters and Otocinclus for Oranda tanks.

I would not keep Orandas with invertebrates except maybe large Mystery Snails. Baby snails are crunchy snacks for them as are most freshwater shrimp. After all, invertebrates are exactly the kind of food Goldfish look for in nature.

Good Tank Mates for Oranda Goldfish

  • Danios, Barbs, and other Cyprinids
  • Gouramis, Livebearers, Killifish and other Community Fish
  • Corydoras and Siamese Algae Eaters
  • Other Goldfish

Poor Tank Mates for Oranda Goldfish

  • Aggressive Cichlids, Catfish, and other Territorial Fish
  • Plecostomus & Chinese Algae Eaters
  • Small invertebrates (Dwarf Shrimp, Ramshorn Snails, etc)

What Can I Feed Oranda Goldfish?

If there’s one thing Orandas love to do, it’s eat! Feeding Oranda Goldfish is incredibly simple because they will eat just about anything that hits the water! Like humans Goldfish are omnivores, meaning they need to eat both plants and animal matter to stay healthy.

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I recommend offering a wide variety of plant-based products as a base for their diet. Japanese nori (seaweed), Spirulina flakes and pellets, blanched vegetables like peas, spinach, and zucchini…All of it will be greedily devoured and provide plenty of roughage to aid digestion.

I also sometimes offer bunches of soft aquarium plants like Anacharis and Cabomba as well. These plants tend to grow in huge amounts in sunny outdoor ponds, making them incredibly cheap appetizers for your Oranda Goldfish.

You can supplement these with a variety of animal-based products. Insects, worms, krill, and frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms are just a few of their favorite things to eat. 

While Goldfish pellets are a great starting point variety provides not only stimulation but extra nutrients that bolsters fish coloration and health.

Breeding Oranda Goldfish

Breeding Oranda fancy Goldfish can be done indoors or outdoors. I believe container ponds are the best way to breed Goldfish because temperature variation stimulates spawning. Goldfish typically spawn in the late spring/early summer in temperate regions. 

If kept indoors you will be much more likely to succeed if you give them a cool period simulating winter, followed by a gradual warming up.

Sexing Orandas can be a bit of a challenge because the males and females look so much alike! Goldfish females are typically a little plumper than males but Orandas of both sexes are quite plump!

Therefore, you’ll need to be on the lookout for breeding tubercles as the temperatures start climbing. These are bony growths that develop on the gill covers and heads of sexually mature, hormonally charged males.

Females and young male Oranda Goldfish may develop a few or none at all. But a head full of tubercles is a sure sign that you’re looking at a sexually mature male. The male will also likely be chasing females that are close to being ready to spawn, helping you identify which fish are females!

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Goldfish are egg scatterers so you should have thickets of live or fake plants ready for them to spawn on. If raising them outdoors, handfuls of Hornwort are all that’s required. For indoor spawning, provide them with a thick spawning mop to deposit their sticky eggs on.

Spawning mops are great because they not only need no light or fertilizer but are easy to remove once the fish have laid their eggs! Otherwise the parents are likely to come back around and eat any eggs or fry they come across.

Once hatched Oranda goldfish fry are helpless for 3-7 days. They will sit at the bottom getting all of their nutrition from their yolk sac, so don’t feed them as it will only foul the water.

When you see them begin to swim around, you can start by offering them brine shrimp nauplii, the fresher the better! The young will eagerly eat these baby shrimp alongside algae and other bits scavenged from the bottom as they mature into full grown Oranda Goldfish.

Frequently Asked Questions about Oranda Goldfish

How Big Do Oranda Goldfish Get?

Oranda goldfish are thick bodied and grow to be medium sized. 6 to 8 inches is normal for them, with some fish growing nearly a foot long, especially in larger aquariums.

Are Oranda Goldfish Easy to Take Care Of?

While Orandas are a type of fancy goldfish they have been tank bred for decades and are very hardy. They are some of the best fancy goldfish for beginners. So long as you provide filtration, don’t feed them too much, and perform regular water changes, your Oranda Goldfish will live for decades!

What Fish Can Live With Oranda Goldfish?

Oranda Goldfish are very peaceful so choosing tank mates for them is not at all difficult. It is best to stick with other peaceful cold water fish. Dojo Loaches, Koi Carp, and Zebra Danios are just a few of the fish that do well alongside Oranda fancy goldfish in a community aquarium!

How Long Do Oranda Goldfish Live For?

Like all goldfish Orandas are very long lived pets. You should expect your pet to live 10 to 20 years if well cared for. The oldest goldfish on record was 43 years old, so think of an Oranda as a long-term relationship!

What Kinds of Oranda Goldfish Are There?

Believe it or not, there are hundreds of varieties of oranda fancy goldfish! This is because the way goldfish breeds are classified you can have a goldfish that fits into several categories at once.

A few of the most popular to find in stores are red cap oranda goldfish, which are mostly white with a red wen or crown. There are also black oranda goldfish, which are usually more like a pale gray or brown.

Panda oranda goldfish are harder to find and tend to be more expensive. But if you are interested in Thai oranda goldfish breeders and don’t mind importing then you may have better luck finding one! The blue oranda goldfish is also fairly common in pet stores and has a blueish gray color that’s unique among goldfish!

Jason Roberts
About Jason Roberts
Jason is an aquarium fanatic that has been a fish hobbyist for almost three decades.

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