Oranda Fancy GoldfishFamily: Cyprinidae Carassius auratus auratusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Michelle Storsberg
The Oranda Goldfish is like a Veiltail Goldfish but with a bit shorter tail, and develops a hood similar to the Lionhead Goldfish!
The Oranda Goldfish is one of the most popular goldfish in the world. It is favored for its hood, a fleshy growth on the top of its head called the wen. The wen starts to show at about 3 - 4 months, but only really begins to form at about 1 - 2 years. The hood gets fully developed when the fish gets to be about 2-2 1/2 years old. The Oranda Goldfish in the picture is too young to have a well developed hood.
This beautiful gold fish has a large round shape, shimmering scales, and a long flowing split caudal (tail) fin that fans out when it comes to a stop. It is not surprising that the Chinese refer to it as the "flower of the water". In Japan it is called 'Oranda Shishigashiri', and a calico version they call 'Azuma Nishiki'. In the Orient, though the common name Oranda is applied to these fish, varieties with the fleshy growth covering the entire head are known as Tigerhead or Tiger Goldfish.
Rather than having the long slender body of the Common Goldfish or the Shubunkins, The Oranda Goldfish is one of the more rounded or egg-shaped fancy gold fish. All of their fins are paired except the dorsal fin, and the tail fin is usually split. They can have metallic or matte scales and are available in a wide variety of colors including red, black, calico, chocolate and red/white combinations and a more recently developed blue color. A favorite variety is the Redcap Oranda which is totally white except for a cherry red hood, looking just like a cap.
Oranda Goldfish are very popular and are found in collectors tanks throughout the world. But although they are widely available, they are considered delicate and not recommended as a beginner fish. Unlike the flat-bodied types of goldfish, they have a lower tolerance for pollution and cannot tolerate extremely cool temperatures. The hood is subject to infection from debris, bacteria, and fungi that settles in the tiny folds.
For more goldfish information, see:
Goldfish Care: Fancy Goldfish and Goldfish Diseases
- Size of fish - inches: 7.0 inches (17.78 cm)
- Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L)
- Temperament: Peaceful
- Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
- Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° C)
- Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
- My Aquarium - Enter your aquarium to see if this fish is compatible!
The goldfish of today are descendants of a wild carp fish, known as the Prussian Carp, Silver Prussian carp, or Gibel Carp Carassius gibelio (syn: Carassius auratus gibelio) which was described by Bloch in 1782. For many years it was believed that goldfish had originated from the Crucian Carp or Golden Carp Carassius auratus auratus described by Linnaeus in 1758, but more recent research is pointing toward the former.
These wild carp originated in Asia; Central Asia (siberia). They inhabit the slow moving and stagnant waters of rivers, lakes, ponds, and ditches feeding on plants, detritus, small crustaceans, and insects. In the early 1500's these fish were exported first to Japan and then to Europe and were developed into the wonderful colors and forms of gold fish we see today. The Oranda Goldfish is one of the older varieties of fancy goldfish, today there are more than 125 captive bred fancy varieties.
- Scientific Name: Carassius auratus auratus
- Social Grouping: Groups
- IUCN Red List: NE - Not Evaluated or not listed - There are no wild populations of this captive bred variety.
The Oranda Goldfish is an egg-shaped variety of goldfish. The body has a large round shape, shimmering scales, and a long flowing split caudal (tail) fin that fans out when it stops swimming. All of their fins are paired except the dorsal fin, and the tail fin is generally split. In the Orient, though the common name Oranda is applied to these fish, a variety with the fleshy growth covering its entire head is known as the Tigerhead or Tiger Goldfish. The Chinese have also developed a telescope eye variety of the Oranda Fancy Goldfish.
- Goldfish colors
Orandas can have metallic or matte scales and are available in a wide variety of colors including red, black, calico, chocolate and red/white combinations and a more recently developed blue color. A favorite variety is the Redcap Oranda which is totally white except for a cherry red hood, looking just like a cap.
- Size - Weight
Oranda Goldfish will generally reach about 6 - 7 inches (5-18 cm), though they have been known to grow much larger in many aquarists tanks. The largest known Oranda Goldfish is Bruce, bred in Hong Kong at the TungHoi Aquarium, where he is reported to have reached a whopping 15 inches (38 cm) in length.
- Goldfish lifespan
The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, though living 20 years or more is not uncommon in well maintained goldfish aquariums and ponds.
- Size of fish - inches: 7.0 inches (17.78 cm) - There have been reports of well cared for adults reaching double this size.
- Lifespan: 20 years
Oranda Goldfish are some of the more delicate species of goldfish. Unlike the flat-bodied types of goldfish, they have a lower tolerance for pollution. Its hood is subject to infection from debris, bacteria, and fungi that settles in the tiny folds. They will need good care and plenty of space
Many people will keep goldfish in small one or two gallon goldfish bowls with no heater or filtration. But for the best success in keeping goldfish, provide them the same filtration, especially biological filtration, that other aquarium residents enjoy.
- Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy - The Wen is prone to infection, if the aquarist notices any rawness or irritation it is wise to treat right away.
- Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner
Since they are omnivorous, the Oranda Goldfish will generally eat all kinds of fresh, frozen, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday. To care for your Lionhead Goldfish, feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen), blood worms, Daphnia, or tubifex worms as a treat. It is usually better to feed freeze-dried foods as opposed to live foods to avoid parasites and bacterial infections that could be present in live foods. Due to their fleshy head growth they can have poor vision and a harder time seeing their food, so need extra time to feed.
- Diet Type: Omnivore
- Flake Food: Yes
- Tablet Pellet: Yes
- Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
- Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
- Meaty Food: Some of Diet
- Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day
Regular weekly water changes of 1/4 to 1/3 is strongly recommended to keep these fish healthy. Snails can be added as they reduce the algae in the tank, helping to keep it clean.
- Water Changes: Weekly
Setting up an aquarium in a manner that will keep your fish happy and healthy is the first step to successfully fish keeping. Here are aquarium parameters to consider in choosing goldfish aquariums, filtration, lighting, and decor as well as temperature and water movement.
- Minimum Tank Size / Length:
The shape and size of the goldfish aquarium is important and depends upon the number of fish you are going to keep. Goldfish need a lot of oxygen and produce a lot of waste. Keep the tank size and shape in mind when you are buying your fish.
- Tank Shape
A large surface area of water will help minimize goldfish suffering from an oxygen shortage. Surface area is determined by the shape of the tank. For the same volume of water, an elongated tank offers more surface area (and oxygen) than a tall tank. In a goldfish bowl, filling the bowl to the middle offers more surface area than filling the bowl to the top. Always provide the maximum amount of surface area.
- Tank size
It's best to start with a 20 - 30 gallon tank for your first goldfish and then increase the size of the tank by 10 gallons for each additional goldfish. Providing a large amount of water per fish will help dilute the amount of waste and reduce the number of water changes needed
- Formula: # of fish per gallon of water
A general rule of thumb, but only for young fish, is 1 inch of fish (2.54 cm) per 1 gallon of water. This rule applies only to young fish and is not adequate as they grow. Larger gold fish consume much more oxygen than young fish so maintaining this formula for growing fish will stunt them, and can contribute to disease and even death.
- Fish: size and growth
To allow for growth, either buy fewer fish than the maximum number of fish (based on the formula above) or be prepared to get a larger tank. Larger gold fish consume much more oxygen than young fish so maintaining this formula for growing fish will stunt them, and can contribute to disease and even death
- Tank Shape
- Aquarium Lighting
Most aquariums come with a cover that includes lighting. A cover for the tank is desirable as it reduces evaporation and though they are not prone to jumping, on occasion some gold fish will jump out. Lighting is not essential for goldfish, but does make the aquarium a nice show piece and lighting will help if you have live plants.
Goldfish produce a lot of waste. Good filtration, especially biological filtration, is very helpful in maintaining the water quality of the aquarium. Filtration systems remove much of the detritus, excess foods and waste. This helps keep the tank clean and maintain the general health of the goldfish.
Provide a gravel substrate to help create a natural and comfortable environment for your fish. A medium sized gravel works best..
- Aquarium Decor
You can add some decor, but make sure that all ornamentation is smooth with no protruding points or sharp edges. Smooth rocks or driftwood, should be used sparingly if at all.
Aquarium plants would be the best choice of aquarium decor for goldfish, but unfortunately these fish are diggers. Consequently live plants may be uprooted. Artificial plants make a good substitute and silk plants are safer than plastic ones.
- Temperature: Goldfish are a cold water fish and will do best at temperatures between 65 - 72° F (18°- 22° C). Unlike the flat-bodied types of goldfish, they have a lower tolerance for pollution and cannot tolerate temperatures much below 60° F (16° C).
- Water Hardness: 5 - 19° dGH
- ph: 6.0 to 8.0
- Water Movement: Moderate.
- Water Region: These fish will swim in all areas of the aquarium.
- Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L) - Ten gallons is the absolute minimum required to house this type of fancy goldfish. It has high oxygen requirements, produces a lot of waste, and will have very stunted growth if it is kept in a smaller aquarium or bowl.
- Suitable for Nano Tank: Sometimes
- Substrate Type: Any
- Lighting Needs: Moderate - normal lighting
- Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° C)
- Range ph: 6.0-8.0
- Hardness Range: 5 - 19 dGH
- Brackish: Sometimes - Goldfish are freshwater fish, but they have some tolerance for slightly brackish water. Yet any salinity for C. auratus must be kept below 10%, a specific gravity of less than 1.002.
- Water Movement: Moderate
- Water Region: All
Goldfish are very social animals and thrive in a community. Not only are they a great community fish but they are great scavengers as well. It is really not necessary to add other scavengers or other bottom feeders to the aquarium when you have goldfish.
The Oranda Goldfish is not a fast swimmer. They cannot vigorously compete for food with fast swimming types of goldfish like the the Common Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, the Shubunkin, so may not fare well if housed with them, but they will do well housed with other egg-shaped varieties if the environment is well cared for.
- Venomous: No
- Temperament: Peaceful
- Compatible with:
- Same species - conspecifics: Yes
- Peaceful fish (): Safe
- Semi-Aggressive (): Threat
- Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe - not aggressive
- Plants: Threat - Goldfish will eat many kinds of aquatic plants, and their constant search for food can end up uprooting plants that they don't eat.
Although is it impossible to sex Goldfish when they are young and not in breeding season, the male is usually smaller and more slender that the female. In the breeding season the male has white prickles, called breeding tubercles, on its gill covers and head. Seen from above the female will have a fatter appearance as she is carrying eggs.
Oranda Goldfish are egg layers that spawn readily in the right conditions. See Breeding Freshwater Fish - Goldfish for more information on breeding Goldfish.
- Ease of Breeding: Moderate
Goldfish are subject to the same diseases as tropical fish. A couple of the more common problems are Ich, Swim Bladder Disease, and external parasites including flukes, lice and anchor worms. For more in-depth information about goldfish diseases and illnesses, see: Goldfish Care; Fancy Goldfish and Goldfish Diseases.
The Oranda Goldfish is readily available in fish stores and on-line, and is inexpensive. Fancier or rarer types can be more expensive.
- Animal-World References: Freshwater Fish and Plants
- David Alderton, Encyclopedia of Aquarium and Pond Fish , DK Publishing, Inc., 2005.
- Marshall E. Ostrow, Goldfish (Barron's Complete Pet Owner's Manuals), Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 2003
- Geoff Rogers, Nick Fletcher, Focus on Freshwater Aquarium Fish, Firefly Books. 2004
- David Sands, Goldfish (Caring for Your Pet), Interpet Publishing, 1999