Animal Stories - Redcap Oranda Goldfish

Animal-World Information about: Redcap Oranda Goldfish

This pretty little goldfish, the Redcap Oranda Goldfish is totally white except for its cherry red hood!
Latest Animal Stories
shimmy - 2014-07-26

I know it's been a while since you posted this, but your fish probably has an ailment known as Swim Bladder Disease, a disorder that tends to affect Fancy Goldfish in particular. If your other Red Cap is exhibiting normal behavior and feeding activities, this is most likely the case. I highly recommend, should you intend on continuing to keep goldfish, to research the disease when you have time, as the following advice might make more sense.

For now, temporarily stop feeding and prepare a small amount of peas (yes, the same stuff we eat) by using plain frozen or fresh peas, rinsed and with outer skin removed. Softening might help with their intake, so soaking them to allow thawing or even boiling them slightly is okay. Goldfish should be fed 2-3 times a day - replace one of those feedings with a pea daily for the sunken one, or one each if you haven't quarantined (always a good idea) it already. Also, if you're using flake or freeze-dried feed it is generally recommended that you soak the food for several minutes with water prior to offering (freeze-dried should always be soaked prior to consumption), or consider switching to or alternating with a goldfish feed of the sinking variety.

As an added precaution, check the tank parameters to ensure they are within the ranges or levels that Red Caps prefer. If you have a tester or kit (a wise investment), double-check the numbers for all the usual things but pay especially close attention to Nitrate, high levels contributing to the cause of the disorder. If higher than normal, do a larger than usual water change and feed less.

A less likely cause of the disorder are intestinal parasites, which is hard to diagnose and probably not applicable to this situation. I'd still look up symptoms of intestinal parasites and see if the fish is exhibiting any telling signs of them in addition to sitting at the bottom of the tank.

Finally, I'd do a review of the tank to make sure that your fish are in the conditions that they thrive in, which can easily be forgotten or overlooked in the midst of other events and emergencies - especially over the long life of these fish. This would include keeping in mind that Orandas in general do not do as well as their slender-bodied cousins, such as the Common goldfish/koi, in colder or faster moving water, but still require a fair amount of surface movement at the water surface to provide that high oxygen level they require. Staying on top of tank maintenance and filter cleanings are always helpful, particularly in this case where such a sensitive body part is vulnerably exposed, and upgrading or expanding the various equipment as they grow/needs change.

Other General Tips: If you have high maintenance due to algae or other plant growth, consider moving the tank further from natural sunlight (basically, any windows) or electronics (TVs, computers), even reducing the amount of time the aquarium lights are on if you have any (timer recommended, 5-6 hours is plenty). Last but not least, make sure none of the decorations or even foreign objects are in the tank, have sharp or hard pointy parts (even those smooth ornamental displays can break to form dangerous areas), for the obvious reason! =P

Hope this helps! Email me if you need more help - fish illnesses is a tough topic, of which I am not an expert of nor am remotely qualified to discuss - but I'll do my best!

Just keep swimming,


Roxy - 2014-06-17
I have two red caps, one does not eat any food that she likes, laying at the bottom all time. I don't know what's going wrong with her. I didn't see any white or spots on her body. Please advise me what should I do?

Click For Replies (1)
  • Michelle Tellez - 2014-07-12
    We got a little red cap one week ago and for 2 days now she has done the same thing. Should we be worried?
Abhinav - 2014-07-07
I have 5 orandas. One of them often sits at the bottom but eats well. There is no white spots. What is the problem? Please help.

Click For Replies (1)
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    These fish should be active and swimming around. Your Oranda could be sick or stressed, possilby due to water conditions... such as an inadequate filter and low water flow, causing low oxygenation. Another possibility is if the fish is a year old or older it could be full of eggs and not able to release them, in which case, hopefully the body will re-absorb the eggs. However, the best first thing to do is an immediate 20% water change and vacumn the gravel. Then follow that up with about a 30% water change everyday for the next three days. Make sure the temperature of new water is the same as the old, and that you add a water conditioner each time. Keeping the lighting turned off during this time can also help.
Cheyenne - 2011-11-26
I have a 55 gallon hexagonal tank with a medium sized redcap oranda goldfish her name is Puff. And I believe she has a fungal infection, but I'm not sure. I also have a Rexa XP4 Filstar filter. Please help.

Click For Replies (2)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-28
    Try Animal Worlds article on Fish Diseases and Symptoms Symptoms and look at symptoms. Also look at Fungal diseases. Identify which one (if any) your little guy has and the corresponding treatment is listed.
  • abhinav bhattarai - 2014-06-30
    Cheyenne, your red caps are suffering from a disease called white fungus. You should buy a medicine from the fish store and put a single drop in the water. If it does not work then you should keep your fish isolated.
Kirsty - 2014-05-27
Hi I have two red caps, they were fine when I put them in the tank but now they are floating in the corner of the tank. They are still eating and very responsive if you switch the light on. I'm treating them for tail rot at the moment but they don't seem to be getting better. Anybody help me what I can do please?

Laurie - 2011-11-26
Hello My Fellow fish lovers...I have a problem. I have two new red cap orandas that we transfered from our small pond in our backyard-(1st year)-to a 36 gallon indoor tank. We spent alot of $ on a really good filter, everytime we feed our fish-1x daily 4 pellets, one of our orandas seems to get sick and floats upward, stays there and sometimes floats sideways for a day. We panic, put him in a small bucket with water,conditioner, a little salt and oxygen and feed him peas Overnight he recovers slightly but still isn't right. We feed him peas when he acts up again still isn't right. He once got messed up really bad the first time we transfered him after being in pond all summer) , cause we didn't condition the water....since then this floating goes on every time we feed him. Can someone PLEASE help me..I'm afraid we are going to lose him...Thank you...happy Holidays to all

Click For Replies (6)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-26
    I found just two things but either could be the problem. The first is constipation and the symptoms fit. This one is easy cuz you just change the food. It would explain why feeding it a pea would help. The second is gas bubble disease gas bubbles and you might want to check this article out.
  • Lory - 2011-12-10
    Keep feeding him peas for a few days. Then just feed him veggies for a while. if you do give him pellets soak in water till they sink. Than place in tank. Also does his body look injuries from the transfer- tank from pond?
  • kelsey - 2011-12-29
    i think we have the same problem because my fish bernenne is not swimming.We just cleaned his tank today but he is struggling to move and he wont eat at all.I dont know what kind of fish he is but it looks like what you have. Any suggestions??? I'm afraid I might lose him thank you ....happy hoiladays and im sorry you don't know me I just had to get a answer. Hope your fish gets better! sincerliy kelsey
  • sheila meredith - 2012-01-19
    Dear red cap oranda owner, i too set up a huge tank a few months ago and brought 4 of these fish, one is always sickly, they suffer constpation and get swim bladder problems and cannot swim to the bottom of the tank, i put in florets of brocolli which they love (cooked and softened) also cauli, but they do love broc, i give mine the flake fish food, this time though i do not think i will be successfull, the other thre are doing well, they are a lovely temperament fish, and should not be put with goldfish, who usually bully them,
    all the best with your poorly fish, also turned out the lights on the fish tank- these are cold water species and the lights warm the water up.
    good luck
  • leah - 2012-05-01
    I had a fish that would do this. I read that it is because the fish is constipated and so the swim bladder is pressed on making it hard to swim...I made my fish fast for a day or two and then fed him and it seemed to help clean out his system and he has since stopped with the scary sideways swimming on the top of the tank.
  • sheila - 2014-03-13
    Dear Laurie I am sorry you are having trouble with your oranda, I just lost mine after 2 and a half years, but they are prone to constipation due to the commercial fish food - which is JUNK and overpriced junk at that. I boiled Broccoli florets till they were soft. When cold I put them in the tank and the orandas love it. I found it very hard to keep my oranda afloat on the granules and commercial flakes, its just junk! In fact my oranda just died and I'm positive it was the commercial fish food granules. Good luck, they are tricky fish to keep alive, but very lovely and colourful natured fish - best of luck I hear brine is good and possibly ants eggs also.
sunny - 2014-01-16
I have a red cap oranda gold fish wen I was suckn the water out of my fish tank thru pipe its head got stuck and half of itz cap came out it jus happnd 15 mins ago n stil alive n swimn fine I added rock salt int it will it survive:(

Click For Replies (2)
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-01-16
    Wow, that's too bad, I sure hope it lives. I would suggest Melafix added to the water to help ward off any infectious diseases.
  • sunny - 2014-01-17
    ok i jus checked again n its stil leaving n swimmn perfectly buh the problem is metaflix is not available in my country :(
Marianne Jagga - 2013-09-01
I live in South Africa. Temp is currently 2 to 18 degrees C. Whydoes my coranda float upside down?

Click For Replies (1)
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-09-01
    It sounds like the temperature is fluctuating quite extremely, from very cold to temperate. The equivalent in Fahrenheit  is 35.6 - 64.4 degrees. This is very hard on the fish. Perhaps you should get a heater and a thermometer and keep the temperature constant, and then see if your fish pulls out of it.
Pamela Howard - 2012-06-11
I noticed that my redcap was missing it's eyes...what a shock. There are only 5 fish in my 55 gallon tank. The other fish 1 Moor 1 Khoi and 2 bottom dwellers are all fine. Is it a internal parasite, I'm stunned.

Click For Replies (2)
  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-06-12
    Could have been a bottom dweller.  What do you have?
  • Roy - 2012-12-30
    It is not very advisable to keep koi carp with gold fishes although some people say it is safe. if koi is not fed properly they will eat up gold fish eye. Eye will not be missing until it is severe fungal / parasitic infection.
forestkaat - 2010-05-26
As an expert in the field, I strongly urge those that find all goldfish appealing to please keep them in as large an aquarium that you can afford. They really appreciate space & as most of you know, these fish produce more waste than most other "tropical" freshwater fish. As they grow larger, they can be a bit territorial towards other goldfish. Of course, don't keep them with Betta fish unless you want see some ripped fins. Don't forget that they are primarily vegetarians & love Romaine lettuce, zucchini & flat "veggie" discs made for algae eater fish. I have 6 assorted (1 Redcap Oranda, 1 bubble eye Moore, 2 fantail common comets, & 2 calico Ryukins) in a 60 gallon acrylic tank with a Pleco cat, Farlowella & 2 Chinese Anglonema loaches & everyone's happy. Filtration is wedge-shaped under-gravel filter with 4 powerheads & a 2213 Eheim canister filter as backup. I've had this acrylic tank since 1982 & have had all kinds of fish in it. I'm enjoying these goldfish more than the African / South American Cichlid brats I used to keep - even more than when it was an Angelfish/Discus tank (they just hid & stared - even with all of the tall plants). Yes, I've kept saltwater fish & reef systems, too. I know from running tropical fish stores that some hobbyists turn their nose up at these delightful & hardy fish, which is too bad as most of them live longer than most exoctic tropicals, except, of course, for Koi.

Click For Replies (8)
  • Anonymous - 2010-06-09
    Totally agree.
  • Nance - 2010-07-23
    Enjoyed your article & I'm with you they are a beautiful overlooked fish. I have 120 gallon tank & just switched from Oscars to Orandas & other tropicals. Thanks didn't know about the tail nipping of Bettas &was going to buy one today! You saved me a lot of trouble, I wouldn't want problems w/ my fish.
  • Zak - 2010-07-25
    Hi, just seriously thinking about starting my 1st aquarium and want to do it right. I'm interested in a black moor & either a lionhead or redcap, plus loaches &or snails in a 20+ tank. Your comments on feeding (especially the veggie discs) & filtration were very helpful. Thank You.
  • Aivre - 2010-09-01
    Hi, forestkaat. From your post, you seem very knowledgeable when it comes to Redcaps, so I was wondering if I could ask you a quick question. I currently have one Redcap (housed in a 20 gallon tank, carbon filtered, with six or seven live Amazon Sword plants) who I've had for almost four months. He's only about three inches long, including his tail. I've speculated for a while now whether or not he actually IS a Redcap, as he has absolutely no evidence of a wen other than the red coloring. His body is rather similar to that of a Comet Tail, though he has the split caudal fin that is common to fancytail goldfish. His fins also don't appear to be as "flowing" as some other Redcaps. Is this more or less due to the fact that he's still growing? This article states that wens will show within three or four months, though I've had him for about that long and still nothing.
  • Kiera - 2010-09-06
    Goldfish necessarily don't produce a lot of waste unless you overfeed them.
  • jayzak - 2011-04-02
    No offense expert but from my researches your combination of fish would be quiet problematic. First you keep the bubble eye moore with oranda? in addition to that you have a "fantail common comet"? Is that suppose to be veiltail goldfish? or common and/or comet? if it is common or comet dont they get most of the foods first before they other fantails (orand and fantails) get to the food? Further the bubble eye(assumed) will get even less food since it got eye problem does this not make your fish have un unbalance growth when comparing your fishes? Lastly the pleco, most of the time once they(pleco) get used to the tank they will chase goldfish around because they LOVE their (goldfish) slimcoat. Don't you get any of the problem? I am not saying your doing it wrong since you have been keeping fishes for over 29 years. What's your trick on avoiding these problems? Like you I would love to have a well mixed tank of goldfish.
  • mel - 2011-09-01
    hi there, i have about 35 oranda, most white, orange/white, red and black,
    ever since i got these fish they have had white spots on their wens, nowhere else on them tho (can realy only notice on the orange and black fish, on the black fish it has gotten worse over night)fish however seem fine, have been feeding flake, floating balls but mainly vegies. i have been doin partial water changes like i do every 2 days but still dont know whats wrong with them. last owner said it was a bit of stress from the water changes??? also i have a lemon head with pimple like spots with light red around the bace. they spawned a week ago and the eggs never hatched eather, i was asleep when it happened as i didnt notice the chacing. please could you let me know what you think, here just 1x the black orandas go for $700! last thing i need is to loose them, thanke heaps in advance.
  • nancy - 2011-11-07
    Hi, Have one of these redcap oranda. He is about 5 inches long and chubby...When I got him he was so little...I have him now in a 20 gallon tank. I run two filters that are for 10 gallon. Within one week the tank is so cloudy again. What can I do so I do not have to clean the tank every week..He seems to be very happy lol