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 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:

  • Depth of body to be greater than 2/3rds of body length
  • Hood to be well developed
  • Dorsal fin to be single, all other fins to be paired, caudal fin to be divided
  • Minimum length of caudal fin to be 3/4 of body length
  • Minimum length of body to be 5.5 cm (2ΒΌ inches)
  • Forked tailed fish are acceptable but may be downpointed
  • Fantailed fish, ie fish whose caudal fin is held high, will be disqualified

The fish should be bright and alert, with the dorsal fin carried high and the
caudal fin flowing gracefully and well divided. The body should be short and
rounded with a smooth outline.
The oranda hood should be well developed in all three areas (cranial, infra-orbital
and opercular).
The red cap oranda hood should be well developed in the cranial region only.



  • Metallic self-coloured (red, orange, yellow, blue, brown

    or black) or variegated (any combination of these colours, including
    silver, in a pleasing pattern similar on each side), the colours to
    appear as burnished metal and extending into the fins.

  • Calico (blue background with patches of violet, red,

    orange, yellow and brown, spotted with black); quality fish will have
    high colour intensity extending into the fins.

Red cap oranda:

Deep red on cap only, the rest of the body to be silver-white.

Ideal profiles are illustrated below:

oranda standard, side view oranda standard, top view



Mature adults, red metallic

red metallic oranda red metallic oranda

Red orandas: the fish on the right is closer to the standard, possessing longer, more veiltail-like finnage; the fish on the left is nonetheless well developed towards the Western standard. Contrast with the Chinese orandas (follow the link on the left), which have typical Far-Eastern finnage and larger hoods. Shown at BAS 2004 (left) and 2006 (right).

red metallic oranda, left view red metallic oranda, right view

Shown at BAS 2002, this is a fine adult oranda.

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


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.