10 Orange Freshwater Aquarium Fish

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When you’re on the lookout for the most exhilarating tank fish species available, several criteria come to mind. Many people prioritize the fish’s size, others value their shape and overall look more, while some consider that an easy-going and calm personality prevails.

Whatever the case, all fish keepers agree to one thing: color matters. And, when it comes to color, the sky is the limit since all tank fish species come in an astounding variety of colors, patterns, nuances, and mixes, some of which are extremely rare.

Today, we will discuss orange fish species, presenting 10 of the most exhilarating specimens available on the market. These will make for presentable additions to your aquarium, given their intense coloring and pattern diversity.

Plus, I think some may be entirely new to many novice aquarists. So, let’s begin with the best representative species for orange there is:

1. Orange Goldfish

This species requires no introduction, as goldfish are pretty much the face of aquarium fish. This unique-looking species can achieve various sizes, from 2 inches to 15 inches, depending on the size of their environment. If you want a larger specimen, house it in a pond rather than an aquarium.

Orange and gold dominate when it comes to coloring, with both colors displaying impressive variations in nuances and patterns. As a plus, the goldfish separates into distinct species based on appearance and different traits like fin size and shape, and body variations. These include:

  • Telescopic goldfish – The telescopic fish owes its name to its protruding, bulgy eyes that, ironically enough, don’t really improve the fish’s vision at all. The orange version is fiery and provides the goldfish with an elegance that it desperately needs, seeing its fat body and inflated eyeballs.
  • Oranda goldfish – The oranda goldfish is a separate species in its own right. The fish retains the typical body of a regular goldfish, except for the head. All oranda fish showcase a tumor-like growth on their forehead, looking like a giant, red blackberry. Weirdly enough, however, it does provide the fish with some personality and a rather unique appeal. This species’ official color is orange with a bright red head. Other than that, you should expect to find the typical goldfish body with flappy fins and a bulky body.
  • Fancy Fantail goldfish – This is probably the most elegant orange goldfish you can get, especially if you’re a fan of rich-finned fish. This species’ fins double the fish’s body area in some cases as they can grow to impressive lengths. Orange fancy goldfish often come with gold nuances, making them look even more precious.

2. Orange Sailfin Molly

If you’re already familiarized with mollies and who isn’t, this one should take you by surprise. If you think you’ve seen it all, the orange sailfin molly is here to prove you wrong. This species does 3 things right:

  • It’s larger than regular molliesMollies generally measure around 3 to 5 inches, but few of them will actually move past 3 inches. The sailfin molly revolves more around 3.5 to 4 inches, making it slightly bigger and, as a result, more appealing.
  • It delivers a more exquisite look – There’s no denying that, as friendly, adaptable, and beloved mollies are, they aren’t quite the most handsome fish out there. The sailfin molly comes to change that. This species’ males feature a mind-blowingly large dorsal fin that they can lift at will. In a fully open position, the fin makes the molly appear like a full-blown predator.
  • It comes with different variations of orange – Whether you want a plain orange sailfin molly or look for a more diverse appearance, this species can deliver. The spotted variant features an orange body spotted with brown or black, while others come with neon or striped coloring.

Orange sailfin mollies are a great option if you’re looking for a break from the norm and wish to try something new. Don’t worry, whatever applies to common mollies applies to this species as well.

3. Orange Guppy Fish

I know there are few aspects left that are exhilarating about guppies anymore. After all, this is the most popular tank fish species in the world since, it seems, forever. However, one thing that never grows old about guppies is their seemingly endless color variety. Take orange guppies, for instance. They offer an astounding color pattern variety that eliminates the boredom of single-color fish impressively well.

Here are a few specimens to make that point:

  • Orange Sunshine guppy – Small, sleek, and agile, like any other guppy. This specimen displays a light-orange body whose coloring grows thicker towards the tail. This guppy’s tail showcases a bright fiery orange, reminding of a bloody sunset (I know you just read the last 2 words in an emphatic British.) The sunshine guppy is perfect for a community tank if you want to color the environment and contrast it with the green, blue, and black coming from the plants, lighting, and substrate.
  • Orange Snakeskin guppy – To be frank, the snakeskin guppy isn’t orange-specific like the previous specimen. This one can display an array of colors, depending on your preferences, including orange, which I think suits this species quite well. The snakeskin pattern fractures the color in spots and broken lines throughout the body, delivering a unique look. The guppy has a rather white body with orange spots and orange fins, while the tail fin is transparent with orange nuances. A must-have if you ask me.
  • Round-tail guppy – Just like the previous one, this category isn’t orange-specific but rather tail-shape-specific. Round tail guppies have a short and almost perfectly round tail fin that becomes bright red in orange specimens. This makes it seem like the guppy has a small fiery reactor behind it, pushing it through the water. And everybody wants to see that.

4. Orange Platy Fish

Platies are small, compact, and sturdy fish that resemble guppies and mollies in general appearance. Which is natural knowing that they belong to the same family. Just as with guppies, platies display an amazing diversity of colors and patterns, including in the orange spectrum.

You can get platies with clean orange bodies and transparent fins, light orange bodies with black fins, or spotted patterns. The choice belongs to you, depending on what other species and colors you have in your tank.

Whatever the case, platies are great for community tanks, so long as you keep them in groups of at least 5-6 individuals.

5. Orange Betta Fish

If the orange sounds decent in the previous specimens, the betta comes along to raise the stake sky-high. Bettas are famous among aquarists for their veil-type fins, ease of maintenance, adaptability, and astounding color variety and pattern diversity. Bettas are some of the most diverse species in the aquarium world, which explains why they are so sought-after.

I highly recommend Bettas for their amazing diversity if you prefer orange fish. The orange King Crown Tail betta is a great option if you’re looking for something more exotic.

Just remember that betta males are not fond of each other. Their aggressive behavior is fueled by the need for territorial control, reproductive instincts, and pure display of dominance. Make sure every betta male has at least 3 females at its disposal, orange or not.

6. Golden Wonder Killifish

If you’re fond of carnivorous fish but don’t want larger specimens, the Killifish is what you’re looking for. This small carnivorous isn’t quite orange but rather gold, displaying a rather impressive variety in this area. The fish’s long and slim body will showcase various nuances of yellow and gold, often with metallic reflections.

These make the fish appear like a gold nugget floating in your tank. It’s also worth mentioning that golden Killifish have emerald eyes and often showcase green nuances in their fins. The fish’s coloring looks astounding in various lighting conditions, so this is definitely a must-have.

Just make sure to keep several of them in the same tank since Killifish are shoaling by nature. And don’t pair them with smaller fish to prevent their carnivorous nature from taking over.

7. Orange Discus Fish

The discus fish is another popular option for home aquariums for several reasons, such as:

  • The fish can reach sizes of up to 8 inches, which, combined with its gracious and colorful look, earned it the name ‘King of the Aquarium.’
  • This species can live around 15-20 years in optimal environmental conditions and a clean and well-maintained habitat
  • They do well in both single-species and community tanks, provided they have sufficient space and a habitat emulating their natural environment
  • Its royal and majestic coloring and pattern

The latter is what we’re most interested in right now. The discus fish is amazing in terms of coloring, including the orange version. There is no standard orange specimen to discuss, but rather variations along the line. You get pure gold fish, yellow with blood-red fins, bodies displaying shades of orange, from red to light yellow or spotted variations.

These aspects recommend the discus as one of the top aquarium fish available. Just remember that this species is rather difficult to breed. More inexperienced parents tend to eat their eggs soon after laying them or kill the fry upon hatching. And you can’t even separate the parents from their fry since discus fish are among the few species known to care for their young.

Discus parents secrete a nourishing mucus that the fry will feed on during the first phases of their lives.

8. Jewel Cichlid

The jewel cichlid is what anger would look like if it decided to take on a fish form. These fish are notorious for their aggressive demeanor, making them unfit for large and peaceful community tanks. Or small and chaotic community tanks. Or any type of community tank. The jewel cichlid is also aggressive towards its own kind, as males especially are known to attack each other pretty much on sight.

This issue doesn’t take away from the fact that jewel cichlids are pretty underrated fish that comes with a unique look and vibe. The jewel cichlid looks pretty much like a predator fish, similar to a long, sleek, and colorful piranha. The dorsal fin begins right where the head ends and traverses the entire spine, all the way to the tail.

Despite its ominous look and behavior, the jewel cichlid displays a unique and breathtaking species-specific color pattern. The fish will display 2 dominant colors, one of which forms the background, while the other is distributed in spots across the body, fins included. The orange version comes with neon-blue spots, giving it a precious look. Hence, the name.

9. Midas Cichlid

If you haven’t heard of the Midas Cichlid yet, this segment will update you. Midas cichlids are bulky and oversized fish with robust bodies, large mouths filled with teeth, and a matching attitude. The Midas cichlid is very peaceful and calm. When kept alone. Otherwise, this species can become quite aggressive towards any tank mates due to its territorial nature.

The Midas cichlid will become especially territorial and aggressive during the breeding season and can inflict serious harm to any fish, large or small. This cichlid’s powerful body and nasty attitude allow it to stand its ground against the largest tank fish you can find. Especially seeing how Midas cichlids can grow up to 14 inches in captivity.

As the name suggests, Midas cichlids are primarily gold, orange, and yellow, with variations along the lines. The name comes from that of the famous king, Midas, who had greed as its main trait. The king cared for Dionysus’ companion Silenus, which earned him a wish thanks to Dionysus’ grateful nature. Midas wished that he would turn everything he touches to gold.

And understood his mistake when realizing that you can’t eat gold food. He ultimately gave up his wish by bathing in the Pactolus river in Turkey, a myth aimed to explain the alluvial gold present in the stream.

A fitting name giving the cichlid’s appearance and royal size and look.

10. Orange Oscar Fish

Oscars are notorious for their sizes, witty personality, and long lifespan. A well-cared-for Oscar can live up to 20 years, although the species settle for 12-15 years on average.

An interesting aspect about Oscars is that no matter the color they’re displaying, they tend to change it over time. Oscars change their coloring gradually as they age, as well as depending on environmental conditions, diet, lighting, and even disease.

You could get a clean orange specimen, but don’t expect it to retain its color’s purity over the years. Some people see this as a positive, while others consider it a negative.

Whatever the case, Oscars can reach sizes of up to 10 inches or more, provided they have a spacious habitat and adequate diet along the way. This makes Oscars more fitting for outdoor ponds than interior tanks. That doesn’t mean you can’t keep them in an indoor aquarium, so long as you provide them with at least 55 gallons of water and rich living habitat.


Color variation is important in any given fish species since it’s one of the main factors that contribute to that species’ popularity. This list is by no means exhaustive since there are plenty of other orange fish specimens to choose from, depending on your preferred species.

But it’s a good starting point, whether you want single-species or community-oriented tanks.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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