A good oranda, conforming to the standard, is very rare; the standard formerly called for a forked tail but has been revised to the square-edged tail of the moor and the veiltail. Far Eastern imports have a deeply-forked, thin-lobed tail and frequently have excellent hood development, self-coloured reds having good colour depth. Retaining good colouration and hood growth whilst breeding for the broad tail remains a challenge.

The oranda was for long the only goldfish variety equally fancied by both Western and Far Eastern enthusiasts.

In the Far East, fish with the rasberry-like growth covering the entire head are known as tigerheads, whilst the name oranda is reserved for fish with a prominent growth on the top of the head (cranial region) only, giving the appearance of a hood, and with less well developed growths on the cheeks and gills (infra-orbital and opercular regions). In the West, the redcap oranda is now regarded as a separate variety.

In Japan, the calico oranda is called the azumanishiki.

Red cap orandas first appeared around 1590, and tigerheads in 1893.


The oranda standard is as follows:

The fish should be bright and alert. The body should be short and rounded with a smooth outline.The dorsal fin should be carried high and erect, with the caudal fin well divided and flowing gracefully. The hood should be well developed in all three areas, i.e. cranial, infra-orbital and opercular (see "Finnage and body plan" on our goldfish information page).

Metallic fish may be self-coloured (red, orange, yellow, blue, brown or black) or variegated (any combination of red, orange, yellow, blue, brown, black and white) in a pleasing pattern similar on each side. Quality fish will have high colour intensity and metallic shine extending into the fins.

Calico fish should have a blue background with patches of violet, red, orange, yellow, brown and white, spotted with black. Quality fish should have a high intensity of colour evenly distributed over the body, with colour, especially black, extending into the fins

Ideal profiles are illustrated below:

oranda standard, side view oranda standard, top view



Red metallic orandas

red oranda red oranda

Red orandas shown at BAS 2011. The right-hand fish and the fish below are true self-coloured reds, with the colour extending throughout the finnage.

red oranda

Very fine red oranda, winner of Best in Show at GSGB 2005.

adult red oranda 2018

Very fine adult red oranda shown at BAS 2018; the oranda standard is hard to achieve, and one seldom sees an oranda as close to the standard as this fish. Photograph by Mário Barros.

Young adult red metallic oranda

red-white metallic oranda, top view

Exhibited at BAS 2000; it is common for the veiltailed goldfish varieties to show loss of colour in the fin extremities, and, whilst these fish remain very attractive, it is a challenge to produce entirely self-coloured fish.

Other colours and oriental fish

Follow the links on the left for other colour types and oriental orandas.

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