The Celestial Eye goldfish is a weird and wonderful fish that has its eyes mounted on the top of its head so that the fish appears to be constantly gazing upward. These are round-bodied goldfish but lack a dorsal fin, making the fish very clumsy swimmers.
These goldfish are not especially hardy and are somewhat delicate when compared to other Fancies. For that reason, we do not recommend the Celestial Eye goldfish to beginners.
That said, if you do fancy adding these strange fish to your goldfish collection, you need to read this comprehensive guide to learn how to care for and breed the Celestial Eye goldfish.
Origins Of The Celestial Eye Goldfish
The origins of all varieties of goldfish or Carassius auratus can be traced back to the 1700s, specifically to a species of wild Prussian carp.
The carp were bred as food fish in specially managed ponds. One day, the fish keepers noticed a few orange fish swimming around with the drab, gray carp and decided to keep the “goldfish” as ornamental pond fish. Over the next few centuries, more and more shapes and colors of goldfish were produced through careful selective breeding.
By the 19th century, goldfish were being traded as a valuable commodity across Asia, Europe, and finally, the US. These days, breeding goldfish is still a very popular hobby around the world.
In China, these fish are also known as the Stargazer and are thought to have been created in the latter part of the 19th century, possibly around 1870. At first, the fish’s eyes were partially mobile. However, later examples of the fish that were produced in the early 1900s had eyes that were permanently fixed in an upward gazing position. In Japan, the Celestial Eye goldfish is known as the Deme-Ranchu.
What is a Celestial Eye Goldfish?
Celestial Eye goldfish are an egg-shaped variety of Fancy goldfish. They have a short body with a double anal and caudal fin.
The Celestial’s most distinctive feature is its eyes that protrude from the side of the fish’s head and are fixed in a permanent upward-gazing position. In juvenile fish, the eyes are normal, but they begin to extend within a few months, finally becoming upturned and locked into position.
Celestial Eye Goldfish Lifespan
Celestial Eye goldfish usually have a life expectancy of around ten years. However, there are a few examples of fish surviving for up to 20 years, although that is exceptional.
What Size Are Celestial Eye Goldfish?
Celestial Eye goldfish can grow to around 5 inches in length.
The goldfish that you buy in fish stores are juveniles just a few months old. Goldfish grow very quickly in their first couple of years, so you must buy a large enough tank to accommodate them or be prepared to upsize your aquarium in the future.
Colors And Patterns
Celestial Eye goldfish come in three main patterns and solid colors, including:
Generally, the Celestial Eye has nacreous or metallic scales.
Price And Availability
Celestial Eye goldfish are not commonly found in pet stores on the high street. However, you can get them from specialist stores and online breeders.
Prices are generally upward of $10 per fish, more for specimens of unusual colors.
Is The Celestial Eye Goldfish Suitable For Beginners?
We recommend that the Celestial Eye goldfish is more suitable for someone with experience in caring for Fancy goldfish.
The Celestial Eye goldfish’s protruding eyes are highly vulnerable to injury and infection, and that can make it difficult to keep the fish healthy.
You shouldn’t take on goldfish if you don’t have the time to devote to keeping your aquarium clean and safe for the fish. Goldfish are different from many other fish species in that they don’t have a stomach. Everything the fish ingests is processed in the digestive tract, where nutrients are extracted. The resulting waste products are excreted directly into the water. Since goldfish are greedy creatures that spend most of the day foraging for food scraps, they produce a vast quantity of waste.
All that organic waste matter quickly pollutes your tank, so you’ll need to spend lots of time cleaning and maintaining the aquarium and filters.
Celestial Eye Goldfish Care Guide
This part of our guide explains how to care for these weird goldfish.
You must provide a tank that’s large enough to accommodate your goldfish. If the tank is too small, the fish won’t grow and develop properly, so you must always choose the largest tank you can afford and have room for.
The Celestial Eye goldfish needs a tank of at least 10 gallons. If you want to increase your community, you need to add a further 10 gallons of water per fish.
A rectangular tank is better than a tall, deep one. There are two reasons for that.
- Fancy goldfish are terrible swimmers, and if the tank is too deep, your fish will struggle to swim to the surface to feed.
- All goldfish are oxygen-hungry creatures that need plenty of dissolved oxygen in the water to thrive. A rectangular tank provides more surface area for good gaseous exchange than a tall or round tank.
Can Celestial Eye Goldfish Live In A Garden Pond?
Although, in theory, Celestial Eye goldfish can live in a garden pond, these fish generally do better when kept in an aquarium.
The Celestial Eye has poor vision, and that can make feeding difficult, especially in a pond with dense planting and other fish in direct competition for food.
How Many Celestial Eye Goldfish Can I Keep?
Celestial Eye goldfish are gregarious animals that love the company of other Fancy goldfish. However, you mustn’t overcrowd your tank! If the fish have insufficient swimming space, they will get stressed. Stress compromises the fish’s autoimmune system, leading to outbreaks of disease and poor growth.
As a basic rule of thumb, we recommend that you allow 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water in your fish tank.
Celestial Eye goldfish are coldwater fish that need a water temperature of around 65o and 72o Fahrenheit. Note that, although most other goldfish types can handle pretty cool water temperatures, the Celestial Eye goldfish won’t tolerate temperatures of much below 60o Fahrenheit.
The water pH level needs to be in the range of 6.0 to 8.0, with a water hardness of between 5 and 19 dGH.
For the water to be safe for your fish, ammonia and nitrite levels must be zero, and nitrates should be 20ppm, or ideally less.
Celestial Eye goldfish are very dirty fish that produce a lot of waste. So, you’ll need an efficient filter system in your aquarium.
Your filtration system needs to circulate the water throughout the tank and through the filter media at a rate of at least four times every hour. Your filtration system should contain both mechanical and biological filter media to be sure that the environment remains safe and healthy for the fish.
However, Fancy goldfish without a stabilizing dorsal fin are very weak swimmers, and that’s a problem when you need a strong filter system. The fish will struggle to swim in a fast flow, so you’ll need a filter that features an adjustable outflow valve. Alternatively, you’ll need to buffer the flow against decorations and plants.
As previously mentioned above, goldfish tanks are quite maintenance-heavy.
Once a week, you’ll need to carry out partial water changes or up to 30% to remove nitrate from the water. To prevent organic waste from accumulating and decomposing in the tank, use an aquarium vacuum cleaner to remove waste from around plant bases, in the tank corners, under internal filter boxes, and beneath ornaments.
Trim dead or damaged leaves from your plants and get rid of algae from your viewing panes with an algae scraper.
Celestial Eye goldfish are quite delicate creatures, so you’ll need to bear that in mind when decorating your aquarium.
Celestial Eye goldfish have poor vision, and they are prone to eye injury and damage, so don’t put anything sharp or rough in your tank that could injure the fish.
We recommend that you arrange your decorations around the edges of the tank, leaving lots of open swimming space for your Celestial Eye goldfish. Ideally, choose smooth pieces of wood, flat stones, and glass pebbles as decorations in your tank.
Live plants are an excellent addition to any fish tank. Healthy plants extract nitrates and CO2 from the water, helping to keep the habitat clean and healthy for the fish. Plants also produce oxygen, which is essential for your fish.
Unfortunately, goldfish are enthusiastic diggers, and they also enjoy nibbling on fresh growth and tender plant shoots. That can leave your plants in tatters or floating on the water’s surface! However, if you choose tougher plants, such as Marimo Moss Balls, Java fern, and Anubias, they should survive in an aquarium with Celestial Eye goldfish.
Live aquatic plants need between eight and ten hours of daylight each day for photosynthesis.
Celestial Eye goldfish and most other diurnal fish species can benefit from a clear day/night lighting pattern. When you switch on the lights in the morning, the fish understand that it’s time to feed and get active. In the evening, when the lights go out, the fish know that it’s time to rest. That clear definition between night and day helps to keep the fish healthy and thriving.
If you’re not around to manually switch your tank lights on and off, you can buy a lighting unit that features an auto-timer or buy a cheap timer plug from a DIY shop.
Nutrition and Feeding
Celestial Eye goldfish are omnivores, eating a varied diet that includes meat, plant matter, and algae.
When selecting fish flakes and pellets for your goldfish, make sure that you choose Fancy goldfish food. That food is formulated specially with the round-bodied goldfish’s sensitive digestive system in mind. You should also include some fresh veggies and frozen meaty foods, such as bloodworms or brine shrimp, in your fish’s daily diet to help prevent constipation and bloating.
Round-bodied goldfish are prone to swim bladder problems. If the fish becomes bloated or constipated, the swim bladder is pushed out of alignment, causing a loss of equilibrium and affecting buoyancy. Swim bladder problems cause the fish to swim on one side or even upside down, making feeding almost impossible.
You can prevent these problems from affecting your Celestial Eye goldfish by feeding them a portion of meaty protein or fresh veg every day.
How Much To Feed Celestial Eye Goldfish
Ideally, you need to feed your Celestial Eye goldfish two or three small meals every day. Give the fish what they will clear in a couple of minutes to prevent overfeeding.
Remember that these fish can only see what’s directly above them, so you need to make it easy for them to see their meal. So, always offer your Celestial Eyes foods that float on the water surface for a while before sinking.
What Are Good Tank Mates For Celestial Eye Goldfish?
Celestial Eye goldfish are group-oriented, sociable fish that enjoy the company of other Fancies and their own kind. You could also include a few large snails and shrimp in your setup.
Thanks to their round body shape, lack or dorsal fin, and strange upturned eyes, Celestial Eye goldfish are somewhat handicapped. Not only are the fish poor swimmers, but they are also visually impaired, making feeding difficult. For that reason, you should avoid including fast-swimming goldfish in your community. Speedy types will outcompete the slower Celestial Eyes for food and are almost sure to bump into them, potentially causing injury and stress.
Health and Diseases
Most goldfish are pretty hardy creatures that can withstand the common fish diseases that sometimes affect coldwater fish. However, Celestial Eye goldfish are more sensitive than other varieties and can be more difficult to keep healthy.
The Celestial Eye goldfish’s prominent eyes are very vulnerable to injury and damage simply through collisions with objects within the tank. If you need to net your fish, use a net with very fine mesh so that the Celestial’s protruding eyes don’t become snagged in the net and take the utmost care when handling these delicate fish.
Ich is also commonly called Ick or White Spot Disease.
This disease is caused by a common aquatic parasite that is often found in saltwater and freshwater aquariums. Ich usually only attacks fish that are already suffering from stress or some form of disease.
A fish with Ich can be observed flicking against solid objects and plants in an attempt to get rid of the irritating parasites on its skin. As the disease progresses, a rash of tiny white dots appears all over the fish’s body, gill covers, and finnage.
You can treat Ich with an over-the-counter drug that you’ll get from good pet stores.
Secondary bacterial infections usually attack sick or weak fish. The symptoms of a bacterial infection are many and varied, but they generally include:
- Reddened areas on the skin
- Not eating
- Missing scales
- Labored breathing
- Torn or frayed fins
You can treat most simple bacterial infections with medication that you can get from fish stores or your veterinarian.
Flukes are various species of external parasites that attack all species of freshwater fish. Common flukes include:
- Anchor worms
- Fish lice
- Skin flukes
These nuisance parasites typically find their way into your aquarium attached to new fish, on plant leaves, or with live food. Keep flukes out of your setup by washing plants thoroughly in a solution of antiparasitic medication and placing new fish in quarantine for at least ten days before adding them to your main tank.
We recommend that you don’t feed your fish with live foods, as that’s a very common way for flukes and other diseases to get into your tank.
Cloudy Eye is a nasty condition that can affect goldfish species with protruding eyes, including Celestial Eye goldfish.
Cloudy Eye affects one or both eyes and can cause blindness. The main cause of Cloudy Eye is poor water quality and a dirty tank. Keep your tank clean and hygienic to prevent Cloudy Eye from affecting your fish.
Breeding Celestial Eye Goldfish
Most goldfish that are fed a high-quality, balanced diet and kept in the correct conditions will breed very readily with no intervention from their owners!
For your breeding project to be successful, you’ll need a ratio of two female fish to every one male. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to tell the two sexes apart when the fish are juveniles. However, adult females are usually plumper than males. When males are in breeding condition, they develop white tubercles, prickly growths on their gill covers and heads.
Like all goldfish, Celestial Eye goldfish are egg layers.
Before you begin trying to breed your fish, make sure that they are in good condition and disease-free. Set up a dedicated breeding tank of 20 gallons that includes flat stones, spawning mops and clumps of thick plants where the fish can lay their eggs.
You can encourage spawning by raising the water temperature by around 3o every day until it reaches 68o to 74o Fahrenheit. Keep the environment pristine by changing 20% of the water every day until the fish start spawning.
Keep the fish in excellent condition by feeding them a protein-rich diet of brine shrimp, bloodworms, tubifex, and similar.
When the fish start spawning, the male will chase his chosen female around the tank, shimmying against her body to stimulate her to deposit her eggs. Once the eggs are laid, the male fertilizes them. The spawning process can be quite drawn out, often lasting for several hours over a few days, and up to 10,000 eggs can be produced with every spawn.
Goldfish would never win a parenting award! The fish will happily eat the eggs if you don’t remove the adults from the tank as soon as the eggs are fertilized.
The eggs should hatch after a week or so, producing free-swimming fry. Feed the fry commercially prepared fry formula until the baby fish are large enough to cope with finely crushed goldfish flake foods, micro worms, and live baby brine shrimp.
At first, the juvenile Celestial Eyes will be a drab brown or black color to provide them with camouflage against potential predators, and their eyes appear normal. But after a few months, the fish’s true colors emerge, and the eyes become fixed and gazing skyward. Once the fish are around an inch long, it’s safe to add them to your collection of adults.
Celestial Eye goldfish are best-suited to experienced fishkeepers, and they do make a very unusual, quirky addition to a Fancy goldfish community tank.
You’ll need at least a 10-gallon tank to keep Celestial Eye goldfish that’s fitted with a powerful filtration system to cope with the huge quantity of waste that the fish produce. Keep your Celestial Eyes with other types of Fancy goldfish in a well-planted tank that offers plenty of clear swimming space. Keep tank decorations to a minimum to avoid injury to the fish.
Do you keep Celestial Eye goldfish? Did you successfully breed your fish? Tell us in the comments box below.