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Okay, I finally got some quiet time to get this started! Every month I am gonna introduce another goldfish breed, with its special characteristics, a little bit of history, as well as its particular needs. Goldfish of the month: - THE ORANDA (Carrassius auratus) The oranda is one of the most popular goldfish breeds in the Western world. The Chinese generally call the goldfish the flower of the water. Body features The oranda is a very deep bodied goldfish, and his perfect body depth should not be less than 2/3 of its length, not including the tail. He can grow to a rather large size of up to 12 inches, which makes him one of the larger breed of goldfish. He has a long quadruple tail, and comes in many colors including red, red/white, red/black, black, blue, chocolate or bronze, white, calico, panda (black/white), tricolor (red/black/white), redcap (white body/red wen), and his scales can be either matte or shiny. His most distinct feature is his headgrowth, or wen. This prominent warty headgrowth is directly on top of its head, giving it the appearance of having a hood on top of his head, which can very well extent all the way down to the opercula (gill cover). The oranda is born without a wen. The skin on the head begins to thicken and fold 3-4 months after hatching, but it takes 1-2 years until the hood is fully developed. Its development is affected by a number of factors which include the quality of the water, as well as its diet. Stable, clean water and a protein rich diet favour the development of the headgrowth. Habitat The oranda is one of the hardier goldfish varieties, and is able to be kept in a pond outside with no problems. During milder winters, like in Florida or California, the oranda is very well adapted to stay outside, while it would be better to get him inside in a more stable environment in colder areas. This beautiful breed can be kept with many other goldfish varieties, including ranchu, lionhead, moors, pearlscales and many more. It is not adviced though to keep him with faster swimming breeds like the comet, shubunkin or commons due to food disadvantages. Since the oranda can grow to a rather large size, it is recommended to keep him at a minimum of 10-15 gl/fish, with a bigger sized fish being better off in at least 20-30 gl/fish. The biggest goldfish officially recorded with the Guiness Book of Records is Bruce, a 15 inch long oranda bred by the TungHoi Aquarium in Hong Kong. The orandas diet consists of many different kinds, which all combined give the oranda a good advantage in healthy growth. A goldfish should never be fed just one food alone. A few things that can be fed to your oranda are commercial foods like pellets and flakes, as well as other items like peas, salad or cocktail shrimp from the supermarket (unsalted), frozen bloodworms, krill, daphnia, brine shrimp, lettuce, and not to forget, a LOT of the live plants in the tank we cherrish so much! With the orandas deep body he is prone to swim bladder problems with the wrong kinds of food or unsoaked pellets, thats one reason a lot of goldfish keepers make their own gel food for their fish.