With their bubbly looking heads and sociable attitudes, orandas make charming, gentle pets. Their behavior can differ significantly from that of other goldfish and tropical fish, so there are a few qualities to take into account when setting your tank up for an oranda.
Compared to other breeds of goldfish, orandas are chubby and slow. Their short bodies make them wiggle when they swim, and they are less agile than other fish. They are bred to have large, bubbly looking head growths called wen. The wen can limit their ability to see, turning tank decorations into road hazards. They also have proportionately long and flowing fins and tails, which can make your oranda a target for bullying by other fish.
Your oranda will engage in all of the normal goldfish behaviors that endear these fish to humanity. Goldfish are scavengers that spend most of their time picking stuff up and moving it around. They are very social, and orandas in particular can be very engaged with people outside of their tank. They will enjoy looking at and interacting with you, and their characteristic "gulping" makes them look like they are talking.
Orandas and Other Fish
The slow, chubby and nearsighted oranda can face some danger from faster, more agile and aggressive tank-mates. It is a good idea to keep them with other orandas; with other slow, gentle, fancy breeds; or with individual fish you know are gentle. Regular goldfish and tropical fish might nip at your oranda's wen or long tail, and faster fish can outcompete your oranda for food, even in the limited confines of your fish tank.
Like all goldfish, orandas like to have lots of space with cool water, live plants and plenty of hiding places. They are social and enjoy the company of other slow, gentle fish. Keep the filtration gentle; strong water movement is a challenge for their limited swimming abilities. Tank decorations and hiding places should be rounded and smooth, because your fish is likely to bump into them with its limited visual acuity.
Angela Libal began writing professionally in 2005. She has published several books, specializing in zoology and animal husbandry. Libal holds a degree in behavioral science: animal science from Moorpark College, a Bachelor of Arts from Sarah Lawrence College and is a graduate student in cryptozoology.