While this might look cute and unique, you must remember their upturned eyes are technically a deformity that’s been bred in over the years. It gives them some disadvantages — such as poor eyesight — so they require special care.
Before committing to keeping celestial eye goldfish, consider whether you can give them the conditions they require to lead a happy and healthy life.
- How Long Do Celestial Eyes Live?
- History, Origins and Development
- Easy or Hard to Keep in a Home Aquarium?
- Special Care Considerations
- Aquarium Set-up
- Tank Mate Compatibility
- Video: A Close Look at the Celestial Eye Goldfish
- Final Thoughts
The most noticeable trait of celestial eye goldfish is their eyes which sit mounted on the sides of their heads and face upwards.
However, that’s not their only distinguishing feature. These fish have double anal and caudal fins and lack dorsal fins altogether, giving them a slightly droopy look. While their bodies are relatively short and stubby, they’re not as dramatically rounded as some other fancy goldfish.
It’s worth noting their distinctive upward-facing eyes take a while to develop. Celestial eye goldfish are born with their eyes in the normal position, and they gradually move into place over the span of about six months.
What Colors and Variations do Celestial Eye Goldfish Come In?
How Big Do Celestial Eye Goldfish Get?
The average length of a celestial eye goldfish is 5 inches, but they can reach 6 inches in length, or even 7 inches in rare cases.
How Long Do Celestial Eyes Live?
The average lifespan of a celestial eye goldfish is about 10 to 15 years, but they can live for up to 20 years if kept in optimal conditions.
History, Origins and Development
People have been breeding goldfish since around the 1500s. All modern goldfish descend from a type of ornamental carp which was kept in ponds in China.
The specific origins of the celestial eye goldfish date back to the late 1800s. They’re thought to have been developed in China — where they’re called “stargazers” — starting around 1870. However, at this time their eyes were at least somewhat mobile, rather than fixed upwards.
Further breeding in Japan and Korea in the early 1900s gave us the celestial eye goldfish we know today, with eyes completely fixed looking upward.
Easy or Hard to Keep in a Home Aquarium?
Celestial eye goldfish are quite delicate and are one of the more difficult types to keep in a home aquarium — this isn’t a fish for first-timers.
It’s important to keep the conditions in their aquarium just so, in order to keep these fish in good condition.
Special Care Considerations
On top of normal goldfish care routines, Celestial eye goldfish have a number of special care considerations, mostly stemming from their unusually positioned eyes.
Since their eyes are always pointing upwards, these goldfish see very poorly. As such, you need to make sure their tank is free from obstacles, such as ornaments and exposed filters, since these fish can easily bump into them.
It’s also vital to keep the tank free from anything with sharp or rough edges since they could catch their protruding eyes, causing an injury.
To make matters worse, their absent dorsal fin makes their swimming ability even worse, so you should make sure no strong currents are running through the tank.
Their lousy eyesight and poor swimming ability also makes it difficult for them to compete for food with faster fish, but more on that later.
Goldfish — including the celestial eye — are omnivorous. This means they eat animal-based and plant-based foods and ideally need a mixture of the two to thrive.
Start out with a high-quality flake or pellet food that’s made with the dietary requirements of fancy goldfish in mind.
However, to make their diet more exciting and varied, supplement this with foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, shelled green peas, lettuce, and blueberries.
Goldfish don’t have stomachs, and as a result, they can suffer from swim bladder issues if you’re not careful when you feed them.
Best practice is to feed small meals to your goldfish twice or three times a day, rather than feeding them a lot just once a day.
You should also soak pellets or other dried foods before feeding them to your fish, as they can expand in the gut and cause blockages.
Ensure you have the correct aquarium set-up to keep your celestial eye goldfish in good health.
Tank Size and Shape
It’s crucial that you choose a tank big enough to house your celestial eye goldfish. Many people under-house goldfish, so you might be surprised at first by how large an aquarium they really need.
However, you should bear in mind their tank is essentially your goldfish’s entire world, so they need to have enough space to swim around and explore.
Goldfish are also big waste-producers, so a small tank would require near-constant water changes.
Start with a 20- to 30-gallon tank for a single celestial eye goldfish, then add 10 gallons to that for every additional fish you’ll be keeping in there. So, if you want to keep four goldfish together, you’d need a 50- to 60-gallon aquarium.
Rectangular tanks are best, and they should be longer than they are wide to maximize the surface area of the water. This will help ensure the well oxygenated and your fish won’t suffer from a shortage of O2.
Since goldfish produce a lot of waste, you must provide a powerful filter for their tank.
Many goldfish keepers favor either canister or hang-on-back (HoB) filters, but the choice is yours as long as the filter is powerful enough to deal with the volume of water in your tank and doesn’t create too strong a current.
Our celestial eye friends are poor swimmers in the best of conditions, so make sure to select whichever filtration system you prefer, but that will not wash your fish around the tank in the currents produced.
Since celestial eye goldfish have such delicate eyes that can easily catch on sharp objects, many keepers prefer to go without substrate. However, others value its importance as a breeding ground for beneficial bacteria and somewhere for their goldfish to forage for food, such as algae.
If you do opt for a substrate, choose either fine sand or extremely smooth, rounded pebbles or gravel, too large for your fish to swallow at their full adult size.
As long as they’re kept in a well-lit room, celestial eye goldfish don’t need to have artificial lighting in their tank.
However, some people prefer the way their aquarium looks all lit up, and choose to light it anyway.
If you do decide to opt for artificial lighting, it should be on for 12 to 16 consecutive hours per day, and off for 8 to 12 consecutive hours. Most people set their lighting with a timer to create a regular day/night cycle for their fish.
The water temperature in your celestial eye goldfish’s tank should be kept between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. They’re not as hardy as many other types of goldfish (who can tolerate lower temperatures if necessary), so you shouldn’t let the temperature fall below 60 Fahrenheit.
As such, it may be wise to invest in a basic water heater for the tank, unless you happen to live in an especially warm climate. Be careful not to place your fish’s tank in direct sunlight, as this could cause the water to overheat, and can also result in an algae bloom.
Tank Mate Compatibility
Celestial eye goldfish are peaceful, sociable fish, but you’re limited as to which other fish you can house them with due to their poor eyesight and less than stellar swimming skills.
If you keep them with fast-moving fish or fish that compete strongly for food, it’s likely your celestial eye goldfish will end up malnourished due to not getting their fair share.
Ideally, you should keep them just with other celestial eyes, but they can do well with other slow-moving goldfish with some kind of handicap, such as bubble eye or lionhead goldfish.
Video: A Close Look at the Celestial Eye Goldfish
Check out the video below to see some celestial eye goldfish in action.
While we don’t necessarily condone the kind of extreme selective breeding that results in goldfish like the celestial eye, who have trouble with their eyesight and other health issues, there is something undeniably adorable about these little fish.
If you choose to keep celestial eye goldfish, make sure you’re aware of their limitations an know how to keep them fit and healthy.
Happy fish keeping!