do goldfish lay eggs

Do Goldfish Lay Eggs?

The question is do goldfish lay eggs?

Yes, goldfish lay eggs, and tons of them.

One female goldfish can lay up to 1,000 at a time.

Yes, You read that correctly. 

That is not a mistype. Now granted, many of them will be infertile and therefore not become little fish, but that is still a lot of eggs.

do goldfish lay eggs

What Do Goldfish Eggs Look Like?

The eggs will look like clear bubbles with a small blackish dot in them and the lighter the coloring on the eggs, the more chance of being fertile.

They will usually be stuck in a large clump to something in the tank, plants, decorations, even a thermometer that is hanging in the tank.

This is because the female will brush against any and all objects in the tank so that they stick to something. There are likely to be several different bunches.

RECOMMENDED: If you are wanting to breed your goldfish then I recommend checking out a spawning mop. Here is a good one on Amazon. Spawning Mop

How to Sex Goldfish

Whether you want to avoid breeding your goldfish or are looking forward to having tons more of these beautiful fish, knowing the sex of your fish is very important, and slightly difficult.

There are minor differences in the fish that can help you tell who is who, so to speak, but these can sometimes be a bit hard for a person to spot.


The males will develop little stars on their bodies, typically the pectoral fins, head and gills. 

These stars do look somewhat like the Ich parasite, however, you can tell the difference as the stars will be uniform and neat whereas the Ich parasite will be random and in various places.

Do not treat the fish for Ich!

This is natural and completely normal for a male fish.


The females tend to be plumper or fatter looking and very soft in the belly area.

Their pectoral fins (the ones in the front near their face) are round and short compared to the males.

The best way to tell if it is a female or not for sure is to look at the small opening between their anus and anal fin.

If it looks similar to an “outie”, it’s a girl.

The best time to try to sex your fish is after they are at least 1-year-old. Before that, they are not sexually mature and can be inaccurately sexed.

goldfish diet

Breeding usually does not occur until they are closer to 3-years-old and typically only under certain circumstances.

The temperatures must be right and they need to be fed more than before.

Goldfish go through a cycle of the four seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. This can be simulated to ‘trick’ the fish into breeding.

How Can I Tell If My Goldfish is Pregnant?

Technically, your goldfish is not considered pregnant because she is laying eggs, not growing small fish in her belly.

However, many people still call it ‘pregnancy’ for lack of a better word and because of its common usage. It will be used in this article as well.

If you notice that your female goldfish is getting fatter in the middle, it is highly possible she is full of eggs.

However, there are other possible causes, such as being overfed or an illness called ‘dropsy’, which is when the body fills with fluid as a symptom for another problem. If your goldfish are healthy, and not overfed, then she is most likely pregnant.

Sexing the fish can be helpful in determining if it is a pregnant female or not. If it is a male, then it is definitely not pregnant and there is something wrong.

Once you have determined she is with eggs, it is a good idea to put a spawn mop in the tank so the eggs will stick to it. This will make it easier to remove them when its time.

If you have seen the fish chasing each other or what appears to be them “making love”, then you are probably going to be a fish parent soon. 

What Should I Do If I See Eggs in the Tank?

Remove them immediately. Goldfish will eat the eggs, even the female.

If you are planning on hatching them, put them in another tank and keep reading this article for information on how to care and hatch them.

If you do not want them, you should dispose of them properly.

Hatching Your Goldfish Eggs.

So your goldfish laid her eggs. You have decided to keep them and try to hatch them. This is not as easy as it is with, say rabbits, mice or similar animals.

For one, they are eggs, not live little babies. Eggs are harder to handle and require a little extra effort and care.

The first thing you want to do is to remove them from the tank as already mentioned. You will need a fry tank, as they are called.

The water in this tank should be from the original tank but only a few inches deep, about 6-7.

The temperature should be kept around 70-75 degrees F.

Water Temperature
Water Temperature

They will hatch in around 5-9 days. They will need plenty of air, so you will need an air machine and hose to blow into the tank.

After they are hatched, they will eat the egg they incubated in and then will need special food for a few days.


  • Do goldfish lay eggs? Yes, and lots of them.
  • What do they look like? Tiny little bubbles that are clear if they are fertile and white if not.
  • What should I do if my goldfish lays eggs? Immediately remove them from the tank. If you are keeping them, place in another tank. Otherwise, dispose of them properly.
  • Is it hard to raise baby goldfish? It is not impossible, but it can require a lot of work and effort.
  • How can I hatch the eggs if I want to keep them? You will need another tank to keep them in. Their temperature must be kept at 70-75 degrees and they will need special food once they are hatched and have eaten the egg sac.