Oranda Goldfish Care Tips & Facts

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’s many reasons why)!

Ready to be blown away?

It’s time to get started!

I want to learn about:

So, What Exactly is an Oranda Goldfish?

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!

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Rating 4.5 90%

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.

This is what a wen trimming surgery looks like in action:

Wens are what give the fish that puffy cute face look.


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 preffered.

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.


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! :O


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 blubby cheeks.

Big jiggly belly.

Big everything! 😀

Quick Facts

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


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.

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!


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1. Choosing the Right Tank Size

fancy-goldfish-tank copy

As we’ve already covered:

Orandas grow GINORMOUS compared to all the other fancies.

Thats 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 it’s life, now do you?

Plus, there’s no way you can 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.


Bigger is always better.

2. Making Sure You Have the Correct Water Temperature

It just so happens that, (unlike lots of other species) goldfish adapt to their environment pretty well.


Chilly water is more likely to cause health problems as the fish’s immune system is weaker.

Of course, too hot is stressful also.


What is the best temperature for your finned friend?

For fancy goldfish, it’s actually on the warmer end (75-80 degrees F).


3. Understanding the Oranda’s Proper Diet

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 is 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.

4. Picking out the Best 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 best that way… TRUST ME.

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.


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:

4.5 90% from 17 ratings
Rating 4.5 90%
4.5 90% from 17 ratings
Rating 4.5 90%


  1. Bob grener December 11, 2016 at 4:31 am - Reply

    I have 2 goldfish orandas. They were great in the first week but the got anchor worm and one had fin rot. Now it has cleared up but the are really lethargic I don’t know what’s wrong?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish December 11, 2016 at 5:02 pm - Reply

      Hey Bob! Lots of pet store goldfish come with parasites. If that has cleared up, they could still be struggling with a new tank. Did you cycle it first?

  2. Bob grener December 11, 2016 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Yes but it might of been the temperature in the tank I raised it from 64-74. They look healthy but they are just hanging at the top. They have been this way for a couple of weeks. I don’t know what’s wrong?

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish December 11, 2016 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      It could be lack of oxygen.

  3. Bob grener December 11, 2016 at 10:31 pm - Reply

    I have a air stone and a filter.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish December 12, 2016 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      Did you test the water?

  4. Katie Dunn September 24, 2017 at 7:26 pm - Reply

    I just got an Oranda goldfish and it looks pretty lonely in its aquarium. I definitely would like to get another fish to go with it, and so I really appreciate that you mentioned the Lionhead and Ranchu. However, what happens if I were to put other goldfish with an Oranda? I feel like the two fishes should get along.

    Rating: 4
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish September 24, 2017 at 11:14 pm - Reply

      Hey Katie! Do you mean another Oranda? Orandas get along swimmingly with other Orandas… but if you mean another goldfish like a Fantail or Ryukin, those are usually compatible. It’s the singled-tailed goldfish that might be an issue.

  5. Rita January 4, 2018 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I have a large black Oranda and her wen has grown over one eye that was damaged when I got her. Now it’s about to grow over her good eye. Where would I get that trimmed so that she doesn’t end up blind?

    Rating: 4
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 6, 2018 at 4:20 pm - Reply

      I think a fish vet would be your best bet if you don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, as the fish must be anesthetized.

  6. Anu March 15, 2018 at 2:28 pm - Reply

    Hi , i have a 12″ bowl aquarium n 2 orenda gold in it. Plz guide me of its food n care so tht they can stay healthy.

    Rating: 3.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish March 18, 2018 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      I’d recommend checking out our beginner’s care guide, Anu 🙂

  7. Brenda April 4, 2018 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Today I got my first ever Red cap Oranda because I had two goldfish in a 10 gallon tank and I wanted them to have a partner. Tiny (My Red cap Oranda) was isolating itself from the two. I do have an airstone though. I can’t figure out the problem or solution.

    Rating: 4
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 8, 2018 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Have you tested your water, Brenda? Isolation can be from a number of things, but likely it is because of an undersized tank which will cause water issues.

  8. rick April 11, 2018 at 9:01 am - Reply

    have a tank with ryukins a few fantails with some black widow tetras, have just purchased a large oranda with a big crown, problem is when I feed my fish they all go to the top and its gone in 90secs or so but the oranda never seems to get any he doesn’t go up to the surface for food like the others…

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 15, 2018 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      It might be a good idea to separate him in a basket and hand train him so he learns where to find the food 🙂

  9. MingFei April 14, 2018 at 2:39 am - Reply

    my two oranda are doing fine but, after the first water change my red cap female starts going up and down looking at her reflection in the tank.Does she need oxygen ? i am worried a lot about her.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 15, 2018 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      She might just be playing. Does she seem stressed?

  10. Jaciena April 19, 2018 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Hello, I found this site while trying to figure out what is wrong with my fish. Over the past few days my large oranda has been acting odd . He was extremely active in the pet store i got him from and in my 50 gal aquarium for the first 2 weeks i have had him, then 5 days ago he started getting lethargic and would sit at the bottom of the aquarium and not move unless he saw food .all the other orandas in the aquarium are fine and active. He started getting a bit more active in the last 3 days but he would swim aimlessly like he was dazed. Now he is back to bottom sitting , no reaction to food while the other orandas are crazy over the food. he is the only fish showing signs of problems. Yesterday night I checked the aquarium and found that red pimple like bumps had appeared on one side of the oranda’s head on his head, two below the eye,the one bump near his mouth .these were not there that morning and had suddenly appeared before I did the night check up. He has gone back to full lethargy, will only move if touched, fins clamped to his sides again, lack of appetite, steady breathing, slight change in scale color, one scale on his side has black marks on it now, his stomach now shows signs of grayish scales, he is a bright orange oranda with a bit of white on his face and white tail and fins. He has some noticeable blood vessels in the tail. He seems dazed. The first 4 pictures attached are of when he was fine, the 3 pictures after are of what he is like now… Can you please help me figure out what is wrong with him?

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 21, 2018 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      Hey Jaciena, have you tried testing the water, and did you cycle the tank? If not this sounds like new tank syndrome.

  11. Gary May 29, 2018 at 4:05 am - Reply

    For orandas and other fancies, the longest they live, from what I’ve read, is 15 years, but usually less. I know common goldfish can live 30 to 40 years, but have you heard of any fancies living that long?

    Rating: 4
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish June 3, 2018 at 10:31 pm - Reply

      Great question, Gary! I think there has been a fancy that has lived to 40 years. It was a fantail I believe out of the UK. I’m having trouble finding the article for reference but you are right, most typically live 15 years at most. Imports may have shorter lifespans.

  12. Latrice Banks July 9, 2018 at 10:14 pm - Reply

    Hello, starting new tank with oranda’s in mind just wanted to know how to test the water properly& if anything particular required?

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish July 16, 2018 at 12:43 am - Reply

      If you use a strip test, just dip and read according to the package directions 🙂

  13. Alex Dong July 29, 2018 at 5:32 am - Reply

    I have 2 pretty old goldfishes (by my standards… usually they die within a few months), but they’ve been perfectly fine for the last 2 – 3 years but yesterday, one stopped moving in their tank, and then flipped sideways. It’s not dead, but it’s pretty much dead, and it’s probably going to die soon.

    I don’t use a heater, but the temperature in the tank remains pretty stable. It might be because the water is slightly dirty, as I hadn’t cleaned the filter in a while, and I hadn’t replaced the water in a while too.

    But what I really think it is, is that the day before yesterday, I noticed that their food was starting to mold, as I had accidentally gotten some water inside. If you could give me your take on this, that’d be great, thanks!

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish July 30, 2018 at 5:04 pm - Reply

      This could be swim bladder disorder or food poisoning. Rancid food can cause major problems for goldfish but all goldies will be affected

  14. Karolina July 29, 2018 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Hey Pure Goldfish! I got my first two new fishes today! An orange 5-6cm Oranda and a black 5-6cm Oranda! I can not tell their gender! Please give me some information on this!

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish July 30, 2018 at 5:05 pm - Reply

      They are probably too young to tell at that size. Give it time 🙂

  15. Mohammad September 9, 2018 at 3:11 am - Reply

    My Oranda is not eating, not playing, not swimming its just still and resting in water from yesterday, what should I do

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish September 17, 2018 at 3:25 pm - Reply

      I’d recommend starting with a water test Mohammmad.

  16. Angie October 24, 2018 at 1:54 am - Reply

    Hi! I’ve had an oranda for 5 years now and he’s been perfectly fine until about 2 days ago. He seems to have lost his appetite and he swims around the tank sporadically, bumping into the sides of the tank. I’ve tried all I can (like removing a fish that seemed to stress him out and cleaning out the water, although there seemed to be nothing wrong with the water I thought I’d give it a try). I have 3 other orandas, 1 around his size (8-10cm) which I bought someowhere around 2 years ago and 2 smaller ones that I only got around 4 months ago. They’re acting normally and eat fine so the problem is only with him, I really don’t know what’s wrong and frankly I’m fairly worried as I’ve grown to quite like him so I’d be fairly sad if he were to die.
    Also, I have a 80 gallon fish tank so size shouldn’t be a problem (considering there’s a lot of space and they are still relatively small orandas)

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish October 25, 2018 at 4:43 pm - Reply

      The newer fish you got probably brought something in. Check for flukes.

  17. Tresa Kirby November 21, 2018 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    I have 3 Orandas and they are my favorite fish I have ever owned. One had black and orange markings and is now completely orange. I was disappointed it lost its unique markings, and now my red topped white one is starting to rurn orange as well. What causes this? They are still beautiful, just curious to why and if there was a different diet they should eat?? Water temp is around 75. They are really happy and healthy. Their wen is starting to come in.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish November 22, 2018 at 10:57 pm - Reply

      Black is unstable, color changes are very common with goldfish as they grow up. It’s genetic.

  18. Anthony JONES January 28, 2019 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    What colours can I expect if i breed different colour orandas i.e. if i breed a red to a blue for instance, would the revert to the wild type colour goldfish?

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish January 29, 2019 at 12:35 am - Reply

      It takes a good while for goldfish to revert to their natural wild type. The offspring’s colors depends on the genetics of both fish, including their parents, grandparents etc. Sorry I can’t give you a definite answer but it’s a very complex topic with very few certainties.

  19. Miranda February 3, 2019 at 6:59 pm - Reply

    I recently had a terrible accident with my tank that ended up killing my other goldfish, leaving only my Red Cap Oranda & Weather Loach. I used to have two Ranchu Goldfish with my Oranda and they got along well. My Oranda and Weather Loach get along just fine, but I know that Orandas are schooling fish, so I was wondering if I should get another goldfish for him? Or is my loach enough company for him? I had them in a 75 gal tank, but I’m looking to add move them back to my 20 gal tank if it’s possible for me to only keep them two.

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 4, 2019 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      Sorry to hear about that, Miranda! I would get another goldfish if possible as other tank mates are good but I think they get lonely for companionship with their own species.

  20. Claire February 18, 2019 at 1:06 pm - Reply

    Hi I’m from Australia I love orandas I got a 130 litre, 34 gallon tank and I have a black and gold 6cm Lionhead Oranda and a baby red cap a yellow snail and a baby pearl scale goldfish I also have a canister filter for 100-200liter tank with a spray bar.
    My questions are so I need an additional air stone or is the spray bar enough it’s trickling into the water not splashing as the Noise annoys me, and do I have to many fish in my tank or can I make it work or at some point when my fish get bigger will I need a bigger tank? I will be doing weekly 80% water changes also do u agree with large water changes for goldfish I’ve learnt about this on YouTube?
    I love my fish and will do anything for them

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 18, 2019 at 5:43 pm - Reply

      If it’s trickling then chances are there is enough oxygen. A bubble stone won’t hurt though. 🙂 Weekly 80% water changes seems way overkill to me unless your tank is just packed, which yours isn’t.

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