Celestial Eуе Goldfish – Bug Eyed Goldfish

The Celestial Eye Goldfish

“The Stargazing Goldfish!”

The Celestial Eye goldfish is often referred to as the “Stargazer” by the Chinese. This is because its eyes are pointed up at a permanent 90-degree angle as if it were gazing at the sky.

Its unique eyes and absence of a dorsal fin make this fish highly desired by goldfish hobbyists.

celestial eye goldfish

This fish is delicate and requires special care because of its swimming disability and poor eyesight.

The Celestial Eye goldfish is not a good choice of fish for beginners and should be reserved for the more experienced fish enthusiast.

The Celestial Eye was intended to be viewed from above. In the Far East, you won’t see these fish in tanks, but moreso in ground-level ponds or containers.

Where did the Celestial Eye goldfish come from?

Scientific Name:

Carassius auratus auratus

Family:

Carp, Minnow Cyprinidae

Type:

Twin Tail

Environment:

Freshwater

Temperament:

Peaceful, Friendly

Swimming Speed:

Slow

Tankmates:

Other slow swimmers Telescope Eye, Bubble Eye)

Lifespan:

10-15 years

Size:

5-6”

Celestial Eye is a variety of fancy goldfish.

Also known as:

  • Choten Gan
  • Stargazer

The Celestial Eye goldfish first appeared on a Chinese scroll dating back to 1772.

This scroll indicated a goldfish missing a dorsal fin with eyes turned upwards. It is unknown exactly when Celestial Eyes came into existence.

They did develop through mutations of the red Telescope Eye goldfish.

China introduced this variety to Japan in 1903.

Japan quickly became the top producer of Celestial Eyes and began exporting these fish all over the world.

China paid tribute to this fish in 1960 by creating a postage stamp with the Celestial Eye on it.

The Phillipines also commemorated a stamp in honor of the Celestial Eye goldfish. Since then, the popularity of this fish significantly declined in Japan and is no longer in high demand.

Because of this, it is difficult to find Celestial Eye goldfish in local pet stores.

TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS

The Celestial Eye goldfish is easy to identify because of its dominating eye traits. It is easily confused with the Bubble Eye and Telescope Eye goldfish because of the protruding eyes.

Differentiating traits of Celestial Eye, Bubble Eye, and Telescope Eye goldfish.

Goldfish

Eye Position

Eye Movement

Other Eye Traits

Dorsal Fin

Celestial Eye

Upwards

Permanently fixated

None

Missing

Bubble Eye

Upwards

Permanently fixated

Fluid-filled sacs (bubbles)

Missing

Telescope Eye

Sideways

Movable

None

Present

Eyes

The protruding eyes are the main feature of this fish. This fish has poor eyesight, and because of this, it is a slow swimmer.

The eyes are permanently fixed and cannot move. They are pointed upwards at a 90-degree angle.

Young Celestial Eyes have normal eyes, and as they mature into adults, the upward-pointing eyes begin to develop into a permanent position.

BODY

The Celestial Eye goldfish has a deep, egg-shaped body with long flowing fins. Considered a twin-tail, this fish shares its body shape with other goldfish varieties. It is missing a dorsal fin.

COLORS

Vibrant colors are seen in the Celestial Eye variety. The colors evident in the fish today as compared to the colors of their ancestral fish (“chi”) is significant in contrast!

Colors Found in this fish today

Black

Red

Red/White

Calico

White

Orange

Depth of color: metallic, matte, pearlesque

Colors of their ancestral fish

Olive

Brown

Grey

Silver

White

Depth of color: matte/dull

BEHAVIOR

This little fish is a slow swimmer because of its body shape and lack of a dorsal fin. Its poor eyesight contributes to its peaceful demeanor.

WHAT LEVEL OF CARE DOES THE CELESTIAL EYE GOLDFISH REQUIRE?

This fish is not good for beginners.

Celestial Eye goldfish are slow swimmers. They should never be placed with fast swimming fish or any single-tail goldfish.

Having poor eyesight and difficulty swimming, this fish requires extra care.

Although it’s listed as a hardy fish, it is delicate.

Caution should be used with placing air stones and filtration systems in the Celestial Eye’s tank.

Being a slow swimmer, this fish does not do well is water that has significant movement that may be produced by these things.

The water intake of your filtration system should have a sponge or protective covering to avoid the fish from being sucked up against it.

WHAT KIND OF HABITAT DO THEY LIKE?

Tank Size:

20-30 gallons

(1” of fish per 1 gallon of water)

Tankmates:

Other Slow Swimmers such as Telescope Eye, Ranchu, Ryukin

Does best with 5+ fish in the tank

Water Filtration System:

Required because these fish are high producers of waste

200 gallons/hour

Air Stone:

Required to keep the water oxygenated

Water Parameters:

Temp: 65-72 degrees (F)

Ammonia: <0.1

Nitrate: <20ppm

pH: 6.5-7.5

Plants/Decor:

Use caution because anything with sharp points can damage/injure the fish’s eyes

WHAT DO I FEED THE CELESTIAL EYE GOLDFISH?

DRY FOOD

Flakes or pellets purchased from a pet supply store are generally what most fish owners buy; however, there are not enough nutrients in dry food alone. Additional types of food should also be given.

Also, note that flake food remains at the surface of the water and fish are bottom feeders. With this in mind, pellets may be a better option for your fish.

LIVE FOOD

Live food is an excellent source of protein and is perhaps the most important thing you can give your fish.

Never feed your fish anything from lakes, dirt, ponds, etc. Only feed live food that is purchased from the pet supply store. This ensures that there are no diseases that can be passed on to your fish.

SEAFOOD OPTIONS

Celestial Eye goldfish love little bits of seafood. Make sure that if it’s frozen, thaw it completely before feeding to your fish.

  • Lobster Meat
  • Mussels
  • Crab Meat

VEGETABLES, FRUITS, AND PLANTS

Vegetables and fruits provide a healthy source of nutrients that are beneficial to your goldfish. Before feeding to your fish, make sure it is soft and finely diced into tiny bits.

Live plants are a treat they enjoy nibbling on. Consult your local pet supply on what types of live plants you can place in your aquarium. Also, use caution when putting too many plants in the aquarium because plants deplete the oxygen in the water when the lights are off.

  • Peas cooked (remove the outer layer)
  • Lettuce (uncooked)
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Live Plants such as duckweed, anacharis, azolla, salvinia
  • Seaweed
  • Algae pills

CELESTIAL EYE GOLDFISH SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN:

  • Anything containing animal fat
  • Bread
  • Cooked Lettuce
  • Uncooked Peas

FEEDING

  • Feedings should be once or twice a day and should be done at the same time each day.
  • Feed a small pinch of food between your thumb and finger.

HEALTH/DISEASE CONCERNS

The Celestial Eye goldfish has eyes that are naturally protruding/bulging. Unless you are familiar with this variety of fish, this eye protrusion could easily be mistaken for “pop-eye.”

Because of their eyes, extra care should be given to prevent injury to the eye itself. Caution should be used when placing any plants or decoration into the tank.

Various symptoms are indicators of potential disease.

Sympto​​​​m

Pos​​​​sible ​​​​Cause(s)

Breathing Issues (gasping, rapid, staying at surface)

Poor Water Quality


Refuses to Eat

Poor Water Quality

Internal Parasites

Swimming erratically or upside down

Poor Water Quality

Swim Bladder Disease

Dropsy

Improper Feeding

Laying at bottom

Poor Water Quality

Infection

Reacts slowly to noise or stimuli

Poor Water Quality

Rubbing against wall of tank or other surfaces

Parasites

Fungus Infection

Fins are closed, lethargic

Poor Water Quality

Parasites

Fins are frayed

Stress

Fin / Tail Rot

Raised fuzzy bumps

Infection (fungal or bacterial)

Spots that look like grains of salt

Ich (highly contagious to other fish)

Black Spots

Ammonia burn

Parasites

Appears Bloated, scales are raised

Dropsy

Fed too much

Gills are pale

Parasites

Lumps

Parasites (usually visible)

Eyes are Protruded

(This is a natural trait of the Celestial Eye, however, if you noticed the eye(s) becoming unusually larger it may be an indication of “pop-eye.”)

Pop-Eye

Infection

Appearance is slimy

Velvet (parasite)

Small sores on head

Parasites

Ulcers (open sores on body)

Bacterial Infection

Smooth white or pink warts

Fish Pox

Fungal Infection:

Fungal infection is contagious to the other fish in the tank. If not treated quickly, you can end up losing your fish. This infection can become a secondary condition of fish that have already been sick from something else.

Causes

  • Stress

  • Lowered immune system

  • Poor water quality

Symptoms

  • White growths on body and fins

Treatment

  • Purchase a fungal treatment at your local pet store.

  • Treat your sick fish (in the hospital tank) with the fungal treatment.

  • Remove sick fish from the tank and place in a separate container (hospital tank.)

  • Using a fresh, clean fishnet, remove all other fish from tank and place in a separate container (do not put them in with sick fish). Fungal infection is contagious, so make sure you do not use the same fishnet that you handled the sick fish with.

  • Thoroughly wash (using hot water, no soap) and clean tank as well as all tank decor.

  • Wash gravel

  • Do a water change: 100% using conditioned water.

  • Use new tank water to rinse the filter. Place filter into the tank.

  • Check pH levels before placing healthy fish back in.

  • Slowly add all fish back into the water.

Fin/Tail Rot:

Fin Rot and Tail Rot in fish are apparent when you notice your fish’s fins or tail appear as if they are frayed or torn. If treated promptly the tissue can grow back, however, if the rot is in the immediate area of the body, it will not grow back and can even enter the body of the fish which is fatal.

Causes

  • Stress

  • Poor water quality

  • Overcrowding (too many fish)

  • Sudden water temperature change

Symptoms

  • Fin / Tail appear frayed, torn or ragged

  • Edges of fin / tail become white from bacteria eating away

Treatment

  • Remove sick fish from the tank and place in a separate container (hospital tank.)

  • Using a fresh, clean fishnet, remove all other fish from tank and place in a separate container (do not put them in with sick fish). Fin/Tail Rot is contagious, so make sure you do not use the same fishnet that you handled the sick fish with.

  • Thoroughly wash (using hot water, no soap) and clean tank as well as all tank decor.

  • Wash gravel

  • Do a water change: 100% using conditioned water.

  • Use new tank water to rinse the filter. Place filter into the tank.

  • Check pH levels before placing healthy fish back in.

  • Slowly add all fish back into the water.

  • Monitor the sick fish for a few days and if it does not improve, add a fin rot treatment (you can purchase at a pet store.)

Hole in the Head:

Hold In The Head is sores on the head of the fish. Appearing around the eyes, they become larger and can penetrate the skin.

Causes

  • Stress

  • Poor diet

  • Parasites/bacteria

Symptoms

  • Pits or sores around the eyes or on the head of the fish

Treatment

  • Remove sick fish from the tank and place in a separate container.

  • Using a fresh, clean fishnet, remove all other fish from tank and place in a separate container (do not put them in with sick fish). Hole in the Head is contagious, so make sure you do not use the same fishnet that you handled the sick fish with.

  • Thoroughly wash (using hot water, no soap) and clean tank as well as all tank decor.

  • Wash gravel

  • Do a water change: 100% using conditioned water.

  • Use new tank water to rinse the filter. Place filter into the tank.

  • Check pH levels before placing healthy fish back in.

  • Slowly add all fish back into the water.

Cotton Wool:

Cotton Wool appears as fuzzy white patches on the fish. It is a fungal infection.

Causes

  • Stress

  • Poor water quality

  • Low water temperature

  • Existing injury

Symptoms

  • White patches on fish

Treatment

  • You will need to purchase a treatment from your local pet store and dose according to directions.

  • Remove sick fish from the tank and place in a separate container (hospital tank.)

  • Using a fresh, clean fishnet, remove all other fish from tank and place in a separate container (do not put them in with sick fish). Cotton Wool is contagious, so make sure you do not use the same fishnet that you handled the sick fish with.

  • Thoroughly wash (using hot water, no soap) and clean tank as well as all tank decor.

  • Wash gravel

  • Do a water change: 100% using conditioned water.

  • Use new tank water to rinse the filter. Place filter into the tank.

  • Check pH levels before placing healthy fish back in.

  • Slowly add all fish back into the water.

Anchor Worm:

Common among fish, Anchor Worm is not a worm, but a disease that is caused by a parasite.

Causes

  • New fish introduced to a tank may be carrying Anchor Worm which is contagious to the other fish.

Symptoms

  • Green-like hairs attached to fish. Areas of attachment are red and inflamed.

  • Rubs up against tank walls or other surfaces.

Treatment

  • You will need to purchase a medication (Dipterex 98%) at your local pet store.

  • Follow dosing instructions carefully.

  • Remove sick fish from the tank and place in a separate container (hospital tank.)

  • Using a fresh, clean fishnet, remove all other fish from tank and place in a separate container (do not put them in with sick fish). Anchor Worm is contagious, so make sure you do not use the same fishnet that you handled the sick fish with.

  • Thoroughly wash (using hot water, no soap) and clean tank as well as all tank decor.

  • Wash gravel

  • Do a water change: 100% using conditioned water.

  • Use new tank water to rinse the filter. Place filter into the tank.

  • Check pH levels before placing healthy fish back in.

  • Slowly add all fish back into the water.

Fish Lice (Argulus):

Fish lice are parasites that are often brought into your tank from new fish. Lice are prevalent in pet store fish tanks.

Causes

  • New fish introduced to a tank may be carrying fish lice which is contagious to the other fish.

Symptoms

  • Rubs up against tank walls or other surfaces

  • Disc-shaped parasites are visible on fish

  • Fungus appearance

Treatment

  • You will need to purchase an anti-parasitic medication from your local pet store.

  • Follow dosing instructions carefully.

  • Remove sick fish from the tank and place in a separate container.

  • Using a fresh, clean fishnet, remove all other fish from tank and place in a separate container (do not put them in with sick fish). Fish lice is contagious, so make sure you do not use the same fishnet that you handled the sick fish with.

  • Thoroughly wash (using hot water, no soap) and clean tank as well as all tank decor.

  • Wash gravel

  • Do a water change: 100% using conditioned water.

  • Use new tank water to rinse the filter. Place filter into the tank.

  • Check pH levels before placing healthy fish back in.

  • Slowly add all fish back into the water.

  • Monitor the sick fish for a few days and if it does not improve, add a fin rot treatment (you can purchase at a pet store.)

Gold Dust Disease (Velvet Disease):

Gold Dust Disease is parasites that resembles small dust particles on the fish. It generally begins to develop on the spinal area of the fish, and because the parasites are so tiny, it’s difficult to see.

Causes

  • Usually brought into tank water by new fish

  • Stress caused by poor water quality

Symptoms

  • Film (pale yellow color) develops on fish

  • Fish rubs against tank wall or other surfaces

  • Clamped fins

  • Heavy breathing

  • Weight loss

Treatment

  • You can treat with a medication called formalin (available at a local pet store.)

  • Use caution if treating with formalin. It can easily burn your fish’s fins.

  • Remove sick fish from the tank and place in a separate container (hospital tank.)

  • Using a fresh, clean fishnet, remove all other fish from tank and place in a separate container (do not put them in with sick fish). Gold Dust Disease is contagious, so make sure you do not use the same fishnet that you handled the sick fish with.

  • Thoroughly wash (using hot water, no soap) and clean tank as well as all tank decor.

  • Wash gravel

  • Do a water change: 100% using conditioned water.

  • Use new tank water to rinse the filter. Place filter into the tank.

  • Check pH levels before placing healthy fish back in.

  • Slowly add all fish back into the water.

REPRODUCTIVE

It is fairly easy to distinguish male from female Celestial Eye Goldfish. Sexing Goldfish is the same for all varieties.

MALE

FEMALE

Shape:

  • thinner

  • longer

  • streamlined body

Shape:

  • thicker

  • Rounder

  • deeper body

Breeding Behavior: chases females, attempts to push female against tank wall

Breeding Behavior: develops roe (eggs) that cause bulge on side

Vent (anal opening):

  • concave

  • narrow

  • elongated

Vent (anal opening):

  • rounder

  • protrudes from body

Maturity Age: 9 months to 1 year

Maturity Age: 3 years

Tubercles (white spots) are present on gill shields, pectoral fins, face, scales

Female Celestial Eye goldfish spawn 3-10 times (laying eggs) at 8-10 day intervals. They will lay up to 1,000 eggs each time. The eggs are laid on any vegetation that is present in the tank. The fry (baby fish) hatches 5-6 days after the eggs are laid.

The Celestial Eye goldfish fry are not born with the characteristic protruding eyes. It takes up to 3 months for the eyes to become pronounced.

Fun Facts About The Celestial Goldfish

Sleeping with Eyes Open!

Celestial Eye goldfish sleep with their eyes open.

Blah Fish Colors!

The wild variety of the Celestial Eye goldfish is muted in color compared to the domesticated variety. The muted colors are olive, brown, gray, silver, and white.

What goes in, comes out fast!

These fish don’t have stomachs. When they eat, it immediately enters the intestine and what goes in quickly, comes out quickly!

Dark Produces White!

If you keep a Celestial Eye goldfish in the dark, it will turn completely white! The fish requires light in order for it to retain its coloring.

None in the Wild!

There are no Celestial Eye goldfish living in the “wild.” They are a domesticated variety only.

Looker of the Sky!

The Celestial Eye goldfish bears the Chinese name Chotengan “Ch’aot’ienyen.” This translates to “Dragon that looks to the sky.”

Young Celestial Eyes have normal eyes!

Young Celestials are not born with their stargazing eyes just yet! These fish are born with normal eyes. Their eyes begin to change into the upward fixed position as they mature into adults.

Therefore, they will resemble a Fantail Fancy Goldfish (except for the dorsal fin) until they mature and develop the tell-tale eye formation.

CONCLUSION

The Celestial Eye goldfish is no doubt unique with their sad looking eyes. One can’t help but feel compassion for the compromising position of this fish’s eyes. The delicate eyes can easily become injured from pointed objects. Their tanks should not have plants or decor that could prove to be a hazard. This fish has very poor eyesight and cannot see their food when eating and are prone to eat slowly.

The missing dorsal fin causes swimming difficulty for the Celestial Eye and care and consideration must be taken into account with regard to the movement in the water.

The Celestial Eye goldfish is not good for beginners and should be left to the more experienced fish enthusiast.

Celestial Eye Goldfish Questions and Answers

goldfisho mascot


What is a Celestial Eye goldfish?

Type: fancy

Colors: orange, calico, black

Type of Swimmer: slow

Temperament: peaceful

Single or Twin-tail: twin

Level of Care: not for beginners because of delicate eyes


What does a Celestial Eye goldfish cost?

$3 - $30 each


What are compatible tank mates for Celestial Eye goldfish?

Other slow swimmers; Black Moor, Ranchu, Lionhead, Bubble Eye, Ryukin

Note: Slow swimming goldfish should not be placed with fast swimming goldfish. Fast swimmers are aggressive eaters at feedings.


Characteristics and Traits of Celestial Eye Goldfish


How large does a Celestial Eye goldfish get?

5”


What is the lifespan of Celestial Eye goldfish?

10-15 years


Diet of Celestial Eye Goldfish


What does a Celestial Eye goldfish eat?

Pellets

Live food (bloodworms, shrimp)

Fruits & vegetables

Flake food


Tank Requirements for Celestial Eye Goldfish


What size tank does a Celestial Eye goldfish need?

Minimum: 20-30 gallons

Fish-to-tank Ratio is 1” of fish per 1 gallon of water


What should the water temperature be for a Celestial Eye goldfish; and do I need to have a heater for the tank?

65 - 72 degrees (F)

A heater is required to maintain water temperature.


Do I need to have an air stone (air pump) in my Celestial Eye goldfish’s tank?

Yes but be careful not to have an overly powerful one because of the Celestial Eye’s slow swimming difficulty which that water movement may hinder.


Does a Celestial Eye goldfishs tank require a filtration system?

Yes, all goldfish should have a filtration system in their tank.

Be careful that your filtration system’s water intake is not too powerful for the Celestial Eye because they are slow swimmers and too much movement in the water can be difficult for your Celestial Eye to tolerate.


Special Care for the Celestial Eye Goldfish


Do Celestial Eyes require special care because of their delicate eyes and swimming difficulty?

The tank must not have anything pointy or sharp because of the Celestial Eyes delicate eyes. Special care must be used when using decor or plants in the tank.

References:

  1. Street, R. (2018, November 13) "Carassius auratus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web, Retrieved from: https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Carassius_auratus/
  1. Goldman, J. (2014, October 21) BBC News “Four Secrets Your Goldfish Is Hiding From You,) Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141017-four-secrets-goldfish-are-hiding
  1. Safer, M. (2014) Aquatic Invaders of the Pacific Northwest; Carassius auratus auratus (Common Goldfish) Fish 423, Retrieved from: http://depts.washington.edu/oldenlab/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Carassiusauratus_Safer_2014.pdf
  1. (n.d.) Celestial Eye Goldfish, Animal-World, Pet and Animal Information, Retrieved from:

http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/goldfish/CelestialEyeGoldfish.php#References

  1. (n.d.) Varieties of Goldfish in Japan, Japanese Goldfish Catalog, Translated by Honda, N., Retrieved from: http://www.samurai-goldfish.net/kingyocatalog/choutengan.html
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