Which Fish Are Compatible With Lionhead Orandas?

Written by amanda richards
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Which Fish Are Compatible With Lionhead Orandas?
Orandas are fancy goldfish like this fantail. (Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images)

First noted in 17th century China, the lionhead oranda is distinguished from the oranda by its lack of a dorsal fin. This slow-swimming fancy goldfish has the constricted body shape of the exotic types. Growing to almost a foot when mature, these long-lived fish continue to develop the head growth, or wen, as they age. Due to their feeding needs and heavy-bodies, goldfish need large, wide filtered aquariums (10 gallons to each mature fish) to thrive. This fish should only be kept with other cold water fish.

Fancy Goldfish

Orandas are slow-swimming fish that might have trouble competing for food with other faster tank mates. Each fish is an individual so watching the fish interact is crucial to successful pairings. Other fancy fish that are compatible are ranchus, fantails, moors, celestials or ryukins. There are many varieties of these stout bodied, and often fan or multitailed fish.

Slim/Natural goldfish

Long-bodied goldfish such as shubunkins, comets or common goldfish can live with lionheads. Watch the fish to be sure they do not out-compete the lionhead for food or harass the fish by chasing or bumping.

White Cloud Minnows

These flashy multicoloured minnows are from fast flowing streams in China. Growing to less than 2 inches, these fish are docile and attractive swimming in groups and creating movement in the centre column of the tank. The males exhibit an interesting mating dance. They are good tank-mates for lionheads and would pose no issue concerning aggression or harassment.

Pond Fish

If the aquarium is large -- more than 150 gallons -- koi can be kept with lionheads. Koi grow to more than two feet and as these fish mature they will need to be transferred to a pond. Lionheads can live in a pond in warm regions or be brought indoors in winter. Golden orfe are also a good choice. These fast-swimming, schooling fish are delicate for their 20-inch size but are very sensitive to deteriorating water quality. Wild-type guppies, or mosquito fish, are small fish under 3 inches long. They are suitable lionhead companions in a tank or pond.

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