Care Sheet: Black Oranda Goldfish | Carassius auratus variety

Oranda goldfish are truly a spectacle to be seen and maybe one of the most sought after goldfish varieties in the aquarium hobby. These fish have elegant flowing tails, a delicate head wen, and come in nearly every color.

Keep reading for more information about black oranda goldfish care and having these fish in your own freshwater tank!


Black oranda are a type of fancy goldfish (Carassius auratus), meaning they feature some kind of modification that is the outcome of specialized breeding. These fish are derived from a wild species of Prussian carp originating from China over 500 years ago.

Due to their beauty, these fish are commonly referred to as “the flower of the water” in Chinese culture.

Natural habitat

These fish do not exist and cannot live in the wild! These aquarium fish have been bred over the course of many generations and hardly resemble their original carp ancestor that can still be found throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.


The black oranda goldfish is pretty easy to recognize, but also pretty easy to misidentify. Huh?

All variations of oranda goldfish feature a wen, or a delicate growth on the top of their head, but these are not fully grown until the fish is about 2 years old. This, in addition to their egg-shaped body, makes these fish look pretty similar to other kinds of fancy goldfish. Once their wen does grow to its full size, they are sometimes even confused with lionhead goldfish! It is possible that with age, their wen will start to interfere with their ability to see.

These fish can reach an adult size of 6-10 inches (15-25 cm), but like all goldfish, they may exceed these estimations. Apart from this signature black color variation, orandas can also come in almost any other color combination: orange, red, bronze, tricolor, and panda are just a few.

How long does an oranda goldfish live?

Like other goldfish, your fish can live for 10-15 years. With exceptional aquarium care and water parameters, your fish could live up to 20 years or more!

Black Oranda Goldfish

Black oranda tank requirements

Most information about keeping a goldfish as a pet is outdated; these fish can’t be kept in bowls, can’t be released into the wild, and can live for a very long time. But what do these fish really need to thrive?

As one of the larger varieties of goldfish, orandas need a minimum tank size of 30 gallons (113.5 L). If you want to add another goldfish, you will need another 10 gallons (38 L) for every new fish.

Water temperature should be kept between 65-72° F (18-22° C) with pH between 6.0-8.0. Ammonia can be a challenge to maintain as goldfish produce a lot of waste, but any ammonia value over 0 ppm can hurt your fish or even be fatal. A good filter and weekly water changes should help regulate values if the aquarium is properly stocked.

Since these fish are not the best swimmers and can’t see too well, the aquarium should be relatively open with lots of free swimming space. It is best to go with a longer aquarium than a tall one so that your fish doesn’t struggle to get to the surface when it’s time to eat.

If you really want to bring some character to your aquarium, you can add either real or fake plants, but it is best to place them towards the back so that they’re not in the way. If using a substrate, particles should be rounded, smooth, and a bit larger so that your fish doesn’t get a grain stuck in its wen or hurts itself otherwise when burrowing.

Black oranda tankmates

While orandas are slow-moving and often clumsy, they still have the ability to eat smaller fish. Larger aquarium fish and fin-nippers could also stress out your goldfish and could lead to infection or disease. Because of this, it is best to keep your fish with other goldfish with similar temperaments.

Some good compatible goldfish varieties might be black moor goldfish, fantail goldfish, or other orandas. Always keep in mind the amount of waste that your fish will produce and if your aquarium can handle the bioload.

Black oranda diet

Like all goldfish, orandas are omnivorous fish. They will pretty much eat anything you throw into your aquarium. However, whatever you end up feeding should always be high quality and any aquarium fish flakes should be specifically formulated for goldfish. It is best to regularly offer your fish flakes, frozen, and freeze-dried foods like brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia, and tubifex worms.

Because egg-shaped goldfish are especially notorious for having digestive problems, it is always recommended to soak freeze-dried foods in aquarium water before feeding your fish. This, along with a well-varied and high quality diet, should help prevent any goldfish constipation!

Breeding black orandas

To breed your pair of orandas, it is best to remove them from the main display and into a separate container with matching parameters. Like all goldfish, orandas lay eggs, so you should provide a few places throughout the separate aquarium with enough open surface area.

Since goldfish are more likely to spawn in response to water temperature changes, gradually adjust the water to 60° F (15.5° C). Every day after that, raise it 3° until at the optimal mating range around 68-74° F (20-23° C). During this time, do daily water changes of about 20%.

If successful, the female will lay her (up to 10,000!) eggs over the course of several hours and the male will fertilize them. Once you notice eggs, move both fish back to the main aquarium to prevent them from eating the eggs.

The eggs will hatch in about a week and will be immediately free-swimming. Feed high iron and high protein foods until they can accept regular goldfish food at about two months old. Once they are big and strong enough to hold their own, you can add them to your main aquarium or give them to another hobbyist.



You shouldn’t have any problem finding black orandas at your local pet/aquarium store. These magnificent fish are definitely worth considering and will make a statement among other commonly colored goldfish. As long as you understand the maintenance and space demanded to keep these fish happy, you’ll have them for a long time!

If you have any questions or would like more information about black orandas, or if you have experience keeping these fish in your own aquarium, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!


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