Oranda Goldfish 101: Care Tips, Size, Colors, Lifespan…

Oranda Goldfish are an interesting freshwater fish that bring a unique element of beauty to any aquarium. With the combination of their distinct head and colors, it’s hard to miss them!

This appeal has made them an extremely popular goldfish among aquarists. And while we believe that’s well-deserved, it also has led to some misunderstandings about their care requirements.

But don’t worry, this guide will make things easy. It covers all the details you need to know about Oranda Goldfish care, with some helpful facts and tips thrown in as well!

Species Summary

Considered by many to be the crowning jewel of fancy goldfish, the Oranda Goldfish is a beautiful sight to behold. A product of selective breeding, this type of goldfish has been around for centuries and continues to captivate aquarists all over the world!

An Oranda Goldfish swimming in a planted tank

Like other goldfish species, Orandas are descendants of wild carp. The exact origins of the Oranda Goldfish are not known, but early records of this fish date back all the way to the 15th century. They were one of many fancy goldfish species created throughout east Asia.

Today, these fish are a popular choice for both ponds and aquariums. With their flowing fins and distinct crowns, Oranda Goldfish add an air of peaceful beauty to any tank.

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Average Oranda Goldfish Size

The typical Oranda Goldfish size is about eight to nine inches in length when fully grown. While this isn’t massive by any means, it is a bit larger than some aquarists realize.

Author Note: Interestingly enough, most of that length can be attributed to its tail fin. In some specimens, the tail fin can make up two-thirds of its entire length!


With proper care and the right living conditions, Oranda Goldfish have a potential lifespan of up to 15 years. If raised in a large pond, it’s not uncommon to see these fish reach 20 years of age.

Their life expectancy is heavily influenced by the quality of care you provide. In cramped quarters and inferior water conditions, these fish will experience disease and even premature death. To help maximize how long they live, you must provide them with top-notch care.

Orandas aren’t like your average goldfish. They have several identifying features that make them instantly identifiable!

The first is its shape. Instead of the slender shape of common goldfish, Orandas have egg-shaped bodies. They have large bellies that are nearly as wide as the fish’s length!

The fins are unique, too. With the exception of the dorsal fin, every fin on this fish is paired. These fish aren’t the most powerful swimmers, but you can watch them use their paired fins to control their movement in the water.

The most breathtaking fin of all is the caudal fin. It’s paired as well, creating quadruple points. The tail fin is expansive and fans out whenever the fish isn’t moving.

Oranda Goldfish

Fins aside, the most distinct feature of the Oranda Goldfish is the cap on its head. Often called the wen or crown, this warty cap develops as the fish gets older.

In most cases, it doesn’t start appearing until the fish is about three or four months old. Even still, it doesn’t fully develop until they reach the age of two years old.

The cap has a thick and rough texture. For some fish, the cap will stay on top of the head. But for others, it can continue growing until it covers the entire head and face.

The most common color for Oranda Goldfish is shimmering orange or yellow. However, there are several noteworthy varieties available, too. Below are some of the most popular kinds.

Black Oranda Goldfish

If you want a more sinister look to your tank, the Black Oranda Goldfish is a great choice. They have all the same physical features you would expect from an Oranda. But, this variety is covered in dark black. This includes the fins.

You might see some hints of orange here and there. Oftentimes, the cap is a bit lighter than the rest of the body as well.

Blue Oranda Goldfish

Blue Oranda Goldfish are very colorful fish (although the vibrancy can vary a bit). They can range from light bluish-gray to a deep and rich blue. Some specimens also have other colors. It’s common to see patches of white, black, or orange mixed in with the blue.

Red Cap Oranda Goldfish

Perhaps the most popular color morph is the Red Cap Oranda. These fish are almost entirely white. However, the iconic head cap is bright red.

Usually, the cap is smaller than what you’d see with other Orandas. It rarely covers the entire face. Instead, the cap is a beautiful crown of red that stands out against their pure white body.

Oranda Goldfish Care

Oranda Goldfish care is quite manageable if you understand their basic needs and are willing to put in the time to maintain a consistent and healthy habitat.

These fish are hardy like their carp ancestors. But with that being said, these designer fish have some unique needs that need to be addressed. In our opinion, they’re best for aquarists with intermediate experience.

To help you provide the best life possible for your fish, here are some important care guidelines to follow.

Tank Size

They might not be speedy swimmers like some other goldfish species, but Oranda Goldfish still need ample room. While it’s commonly said that these fish can do fine in a tank that’s 20 gallons in size, we believe that should be considered the bare minimum.

Instead, we recommend starting with a tank size of 30 gallons to ensure that your Oranda Goldfish is healthy and comfortable. The extra space will go a long way in improving their quality of life.

Author Note: If you plan on adding additional Orandas to the aquarium, bump up the size of the tank by about 10 gallons per fish.

Water Parameters

Oranda Goldfish are not naturally occurring. Unlike tropical freshwater fish, there’s no wild counterpart to compare to when planning for water parameters.

Luckily, the needs of this fish are well-established in the aquarists community.

Most of the baseline parameters are modeled after wild carp. Orandas prefer cooler waters with a neutral pH balance. It’s worth pointing out that these goldfish are tolerant of slight fluctuations, so you don’t have to be exact.

However, you do need to stay within the acceptable ranges. Orandas tend to be more sensitive to temperature than common goldfish, so invest in an accurate thermometer and monitor the water regularly.

Stick to the following parameters and your fish will have no problem thriving:

  • Water temperature: 65°F to 72°F (aim for the middle of this range)
  • pH levels: 5.0 to 8.0 (a neutral pH around 7.0 is best)
  • Water hardness: 4 to 20 dGH

Setting Up The Rest Of Their Tank

Oranda Goldfish aren’t too picky about decorations, which makes this process fairly simple. They do best in natural tank setups, but you can certainly use some quirkier decor pieces if you want!

The goal is to create a safe environment that doesn’t hinder the fish’s ability to swim freely.

Apply a layer of fine sand to the bottom of the tank. Orandas do enjoy digging. Gravel or other rough substrates could potentially harm them.

One Oranda Goldfish eating at the bottom of the tank

Next, add some hardy plants. Oranda Goldfish do quite well in planted tanks, but it’s best to stick with plants that have sturdy leaves.

There are a couple of reasons for this:

First, fine flowing leaves could move with the current and get in the way of the fish as they swim. Room to move is very important and should be a high priority when setting up the inside of the aquarium.

Secondly, Orandas like to scatter sand onto the leaves of nearby plants as they dig. More delicate plants will experience damage. You can also use plastic or silk plants for peace of mind.

Author Note: If you want to utilize plastic decorations, make sure that they don’t have any sharp corners. The last thing you want is for your fish to rip their fins swimming against a rough rock or plastic item.

Beyond decorations, you should think about oxygenation. Oranda Goldfish prefer highly oxygenated water. You can achieve this with your filtration system. Alternatively, you can install an air bladder.

Common Possible Diseases

Like any other freshwater fish, Oranda Goldfish can suffer from diseases like Ich. Ich is a contagious disease that’s usually a byproduct of stress.

Orandas can experience Ich when water conditions are not as good as they should be. Major fluctuations in the pH balance and temperature are known to cause Ich. The same goes for a lack of proper filtration.

As the aquarium gets dirty, ammonia and nitrate levels can skyrocket. To avoid this, check the filter regularly and perform 25-percent water changes every couple of weeks.

Oranda Goldfish can also suffer from issues related to their signature cap.

In most cases, the growth on their head will stay manageable. However, it can sometimes grow so much that it obstructs the fish’s vision and makes it difficult for them to eat.

Some medications can help with this issue. They stop the cap from growing any further, ensuring that your fish can live comfortably moving forward.

Food & Diet

Oranda Goldfish don’t have any special dietary requirements. They’re omnivores, so feeding them is a breeze!

They accept dry flakes and pellets without any issues. You can supplement dry food with nutritious vegetables like spinach or lettuce. High-protein snacks like brine shrimp, bloodworms, tubifex worms, and Daphnia are great, too.

Try to give your fish a varied diet filled with all kinds of food sources. Doing so will give your fish all the nutrients they need. It can even improve their coloration.

Author Note: Adults Oranda Goldfish only need food once a day. Be wary of overfeeding, as these fish are prone to weight gain!

Behavior & Temperament

Like other fancy goldfish, Orandas are very peaceful. They’re passive fish that won’t cause any trouble at all.

They will spend most of their time slowly swimming around the tank. You might see them digging in the substrate or investigating plants.

Orandas aren’t powerful swimmers. However, they still have energetic attitudes.

They like to stay active throughout the day. Unlike other fish, Orandas don’t spend a ton of time in hiding. This means you’ll never get bored observing them and seeing what they’re up to!

Tank Mates

Oranda Goldfish can coexist with other peaceful species of a similar size. However, you must always pick tank mates carefully to prevent potential issues.

For starters, avoid small fish. These goldfish often mistake smaller fish for food. It’s also best to avoid fast swimmers or fin nippers, too. They can cause harm to your precious Orandas.

The best tank mates are going to be other Oranda Goldfish. Many owners choose different color variations to add some visual interest to the tank. You can also choose large fish with the same passive attitude as the Oranda Goldfish.

Here are some good tank mates to consider:

Author Note: Avoid including freshwater snails in your aquarium. Your Oranda Goldfish will scarf them down in no time! 


Breeding Oranda Goldfish is not difficult. They willingly breed in pairs and groups of up to five fish.

Create a separate breeding tank with similar conditions as the main aquarium. The only difference with this tank is that it needs fine-leaf plants. The fish will lay the eggs in the leaves. You can also use a spawning mop.

Before spawning, keep the fish in separate tanks. Then, condition them with live foods.

After adding them to the breeding tank, the fish should breed in the early hours of the day. The fish will chase each other around and intensify in color before breeding.

Females can lay upwards of 10,000 eggs over the course of several hours. After the process is finished, immediately remove the adults to prevent them from eating the eggs.

It can take as little as two or three days for the eggs to hatch. In some cases, it may take up to a week.

Once the eggs hatch, you can feed the fry Infusoria or liquid food for a few days. After they grow a bit, you can provide baby brine shrimp.            

Closing Thoughts

As long as you understand the fundamental needs of these fish, Oranda Goldfish care really isn’t that difficult. In order to help this fish thrive, all you need to do is stick to the recommendations in this guide.

We hope you enjoyed these tips and feel better prepared to keep these fish in your home aquarium. Owning Oranda Goldfish is quite rewarding, so we definitely think you should give it a shot!

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