Are you a little bored with goldfish and fed up with the sometimes-destructive behavior of koi? If you are looking for a change, then you need to try the Golden Orfe. But even if you aren’t any of the above, Golden Orfe are worth a try in your pond. They are so good that I’ve considered getting rid of my goldfish and koi and just having Orfe.
Orfe are attractive torpedo shaped fish, yellow orange in color, often with black spots on the head and silvery flanks that are fairly deep. When mature, they grow a noticeable hump just behind the head. They’re very fast and feed primarily on the surface. They eat insects, small worms and possibly fish fry. They like to swim in groups or shoals. As far as I know, they don’t eat algae or other vegetable matter. They grow to about 1.5’ maybe 2’ depending on the pond. I’ve never seen them harass other fish or each other.
What I like most about the Orfe is their unusual behavior. My wife and I call them the dolphins of the pond. Besides being great jumpers, they exhibit group behavior that I’ve never witnessed in other fish. In mid summer, when the water is warm, they will gather in a group usually under the shade of an overhanging bush. They will shimmy and shake as if using a secret sign language to communicate with each other. Then, taking turns, they’ll dart a few feet out into the open and then dart back into the group. What causes this behavior? Is it the hot sun and the warm water? I don’t know the answer, but it is great fun to watch.
They prefer cool water to warm and need lots of oxygen. An air stone or tumbling water- fall is not a bad idea. Afternoon shade during really hot weather may be a necessity. It’s rumored that they’re more sensitive to chemicals than other fish. I’ve never seen this, but it is probably something to be cautious about. I use a variety of fish treatments and none have ever affected the Orfe unfavorably. Several of my customers have witnessed the Orfe swimming down a waterfall to a lower pond. I’ve never seen koi and goldfish do anything like this.
These unusual fish are native to Europe and are considered game fish. In their wild state they have a silver color and some even exhibit blue and marbled coloring. Over there they are known as Ide.
They are my favorite pond fish, and they don’t seem to get goldfish and koi diseases. This is a great characteristic for sure. Try them; I know that you will like them.