Animal-World > Aquarium Tropical Fish > Goldfish > Celestial Eye Goldfish

Celestial Eye Goldfish

Stargazer Goldfish, Celestial Goldfish, Deme-Ranchu

Family: Cyprinidae Celestial Eye Goldfish,  Stargazer Goldfish, Deme-Ranchu Carassius auratus auratusphoto">Photo © Animal-World: Courtesy David Brough
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Hi guys, I have been breeding goldfish for about two years and I have to say that it`s fairly easy. I just wanted to say a few things that may not be available in... (more)  Soroush J Jozani

The Celestial Eye Goldfish has eyes that are permanently looking skyward, so the Chinese named it the Stargazer!

The eerie eyes of the Celestial Eye Goldfish are mounted on the top sides of its head and constantly gaze upward. This makes it perhaps one of the most unusual of all the goldfish varieties. The Telescope Goldfish with its extended eye stalks and Bubble Eye Goldfish sporting watery eye bags follow close behind.

Unlike the Common Goldfish and the Shubunkins that have long slender bodies, the Celestial Eye Goldfish is one of the more rounded or egg-shaped fancy gold fish. Just like the Lionhead Goldfish or the Bubble Eye Goldfish It lacks a dorsal fin. Its colors are orange, black, and a pretty calico.

Celestial Eye Goldfish are also called Stargazers
Stargazers! Always looking upwards

The Chinese called this fish the Stargazer. They are believed to have developed it in the later part of the nineteenth century, somewhere around 1870. During this time its eyes were at least partially mobile. Then the Japanese further developed it in the early 1900's and through selective breeding the resulting goldfish had eyes that were permanently locked in an upward position. To the Japanese this goldfish is known as the Deme-Ranchu.

In general form and size it is very similar to the Lionhead, but does not develop the Lionhead's characteristic raspberry looking growth on its head. It has a curved contour shape to its back and the twin tail (caudal) fin and anal fin. The caudal fin on both these fish is quite similar to that of the Fantail Goldfish.

This is considered a rather delicate fish so is not recommended for beginners. It has a lower tolerance to poor water quality than other goldfish species and is prone to disease. Its swimming ability is cumbersome because of its rounded body which is further diminished by the lack of a stabilizing dorsal fin. Many of the elongated goldfish varieties like the the Comet and Common Goldfish, or the Shubunkins, are not really good companions for the Celestial Eye Goldfish because they are fast swimmers and too competitive during feeding time.

Better tank mates would be the similarly handicapped but less hardy Water-Bubble Eye Goldfish, Telescope Goldfish, and Lionhead Goldfish. It won't win any races, but if kept with other slow-moving varieties the Celestial Eye Goldfish should get plenty to eat and do well in a properly maintained aquarium.

For more goldfish information, see:
Goldfish Care: Fancy Goldfish and Goldfish Diseases

Geographic Distribution
Carassius auratus auratus
Data provided by
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Cypriniformes
  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Genus: Carassius
  • Species: auratus auratus
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Celestial Eye Goldfish - Quick Aquarium Care
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Size of fish - inches: 5.0 inches (12.70 cm)
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L)
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Difficult
  • Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° C)
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Habitat: Distribution / Background

The goldfish of today are descendants of a wild carp fish, known as the Prussian Carp, Silver Prussian carp, or Gibel Carp Carassius gibelio (syn: Carassius auratus gibelio) which was described by Bloch in 1782. For many years it was believed that goldfish had originated from the Crucian Carp or Golden Carp Carassius auratus auratus described by Linnaeus in 1758, but more recent research is pointing toward the former.

These wild carp originated in Asia; Central Asia (siberia). They inhabit the slow moving and stagnant waters of rivers, lakes, ponds, and ditches feeding on plants, detritus, small crustaceans, and insects.

Goldfish were originally developed in China, but by the 1500's goldfish were traded to Japan, to Europe in the 1600's, and to America by the 1800's. The majority of the fancy goldfish were being developed by Oriental breeders. The results of this centuries long endeavor is the wonderful goldfish colors and forms we see today. Today domesticated goldfish are distributed world-wide.

The Celestial Eye Goldfish are believed to have developed it in the later part of the nineteenth century, somewhere around 1870. During this time its eyes were at least partially mobile, until the early 1900's when the Japanese further developed it. Then through selective breeding it was developed it into a goldfish whose eyes were permanently locked in an upward position. This is one of more than 125 captive bred fancy goldfish varieties.

  • Scientific Name: Carassius auratus auratus
  • Social Grouping: Groups
  • IUCN Red List: NE - Not Evaluated or not listed - There are no wild populations of this captive bred variety.


The Celestial Eye Goldfish is an egg-shaped variety of goldfish. The body is short and stubby and they have a double caudal (tail) fin and a double anal fin. They will generally reach about 5" (13 cm) in length, though some hobbyist report them reaching 6" (15 cm) or more.

Celestial Eye Goldfish are also called Stargazers
Eyes are locked in an upward position!

Their most distinctive feature are the eyes which extend out from the sides of the head and are locked into a permanent upward looking position. In juveniles the eyes are normal, but within a short time the eyes begin to protrude. Then the upturned vision develops and they become locked in.

They are available in color varieties of orange, black, and calico.The average goldfish life span is 10 – 15 years, though living 20 years or more is not uncommon in well maintained goldfish aquariums and ponds.

  • Size of fish - inches: 5.0 inches (12.70 cm) - This fish can exceed this by a few inches in optimal conditions.
  • Lifespan: 15 years - The average goldfish lifespan is 10 – 15 years, but they have been known to live 20 years of more when well maintained.

Fish Keeping Difficulty

Celestial Eye Goldfish are some of the more delicate species of goldfish. Unlike the flat-bodied types of goldfish, they have a lower tolerance for pollution and prone to disease. They will need good care and plenty of space. When it comes to feeding, they will not thrive well with fast competitive tank mates.

Many people will keep goldfish in an aquarium with no heater or filtration. But for the best success in keeping goldfish, provide them the same filtration, especially biological filtration, that other aquarium residents enjoy.

  • Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Difficult - This is not one of the hardier types of goldfish, it is more sensitive to poor water quality than other goldfish and more prone to disease.
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate

Foods and Feeding

Since they are omnivorous, the Celestial Eye Goldfish will generally eat all kinds of fresh, frozen, and flake foods. To keep a good balance give them a high quality flake food everyday. Feed brine shrimp (either live or frozen), blood worms, Daphnia, or tubifex worms as a treat. It is usually better to feed freeze-dried foods as opposed to live foods to avoid parasites and bacterial infections that could be present in live foods. Due to their upturned eyes they have poor vision and a harder time seeing their food, so need extra time to feed.

  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Flake Food: No
  • Tablet Pellet: No
  • Live foods (fishes, shrimps, worms): Some of Diet
  • Vegetable Food: Some of Diet
  • Meaty Food: Some of Diet
  • Feeding Frequency: Several feedings per day - This fish has poor vision and is a poor swimmer and as such will easily be outcompeted for food.

Aquarium Care

Regular weekly water changes of 1/4 to 1/3 is strongly recommended to keep these fish healthy. Snails can be added as they reduce the algae in the tank, helping to keep it clean.

  • Water Changes: Weekly

Aquarium Setup

Setting up a goldfish aquarium in a manner that will keep your fish happy and healthy is the first step to success. The shape and size of the aquarium is important and depends upon the number of goldfish you are going to keep. These fish need a lot of oxygen and produce a lot of waste.

Good filtration, especially biological filtration, is very helpful in maintaining the water quality of the aquarium. Filtration systems remove much of the detritus, excess foods and waste. This in turn helps to keep the tank clean and maintain the general health of the goldfish.

  • Tank parameters to consider when choosing a goldfish aquarium:
    • Tank size
      Ten gallons is the absolute minimum required to house a Celestial Eye Goldfish. It's best to start with a 20 - 30 gallon tank for your first goldfish and then increase the size of the tank by 10 gallons for each additional goldfish. Providing a large amount of water per fish will help dilute the amount of waste and reduce the number of water changes needed..
    • Tank Shape
      Always provide the maximum amount of surface area. A large surface area of water will help minimize goldfish suffering from an oxygen shortage. Surface area is determined by the shape of the tank. For example an elongated tank offers more surface area (and oxygen) than a tall tank. In an oval or round shaped tank the middle offers more surface area than filling it to the top.
    • Number of fish
      For juveniles a general rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish (2.54 cm) per 1 gallon of water. But this rule only applies to young fish and is not adequate as they grow. Larger gold fish consume much more oxygen than young fish so maintaining this formula for growing fish will stunt them, and can contribute to disease and even death.
    • Fish size and growth
      To allow for proper growth, either buy fewer fish than the maximum number or be prepared to get a larger tank. To prevent stunted growth and other health problems, don't overstocking the aquarium.

Goldfish are a cold water fish and will do best at temperatures between 65 - 72° F (18°- 22° C). Unlike the flat-bodied types of goldfish however, the Celestial Eye have a lower tolerance for pollution and cannot tolerate temperatures much below 60° F (16° C).

Provide a gravel substrate to help create a natural and comfortable environment for your fish. You can add some decor, but keep in mind that the eyes of the Celestial Eye Goldfish are a handicap and these fish have very poor vision. Make sure that all ornamentation is smooth with no protruding points or sharp edges. Smooth rocks or driftwood, should be used sparingly if at all. Aquarium plants would be the best choice of aquarium decor for goldfish, but unfortunately these fish are diggers. Consequently live plants may be uprooted. Artificial plants make a good substitute and silk plants are safer than plastic ones.

Most aquariums come with a cover that includes lighting. A cover for the tank is desirable as it reduces evaporation and though they are not prone to jumping, on occasion some gold fish will jump out. Lighting is not essential for goldfish in general, but it can help the Celestial Eye Goldfish as these fish have such poor eyesight. It does makes the aquarium a nice show piece and is needed if you have live plants.

Goldfish are freshwater fish, but they have some tolerance for slightly brackish water. The salinity level for C. auratus must be kept low, below 10% with a specific gravity of less than 1.002.

  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L) - Ten gallons is the absolute minimum required to house this fish. It has high oxygen requirements, produces a lot of waste. It will have very stunted growth if it is kept in a smaller aquarium.
  • Suitable for Nano Tank: Sometimes
  • Substrate Type: Any
  • Lighting Needs: Moderate - normal lighting
  • Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° C) - Goldfish can handle colder temperatures, but the Celestial Eye Goldfish cannot tolerate much below 60° F (16° C).
  • Range ph: 6.0-8.0
  • Hardness Range: 5 - 19 dGH
  • Brackish: Sometimes - Goldfish are freshwater fish, but they have some tolerance for slightly brackish water. Any salinity for must be kept low, below 10%, a specific gravity of less than 1.002.
  • Water Movement: Moderate
  • Water Region: All - These fish will swim in all areas of the aquarium.

Social Behaviors

Goldfish are very social animals and thrive in a community. Not only are they a great community fish but they are great scavengers as well. These goldfish cannot readily compete for food with fast moving types of goldfish, so may not fare well if kept with them. Because they are great scavengers, it is really not necessary to add other scavengers or other bottom feeders to the aquarium when you have goldfish.

Celestial Eye Goldfish, Stargazer Goldfish, Deme-Ranchu
Photo © Animal-World: Courtesy Molly

When choosing tank mates, keep in mind the physical traits of the Celestial Eye Goldfish. Like the Telescope Goldfish, Bubble Eye Gold fish and the Lionhead Goldfish, it is visually handicapped. Further its swimming ability is cumbersome because of its rounded body and the lack of a stabilizing dorsal fin, a trait that is also seen in the Lionhead and the Water-Bubble Eye Goldfish. While the Celestial Eye cannot readily compete for food with fast swimming types of goldfish, these similarly handicapped varieties can make good companions.

  • Venomous: No
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Compatible with:
    • Same species - conspecifics: Yes
    • Peaceful fish (): Safe
    • Semi-Aggressive (): Threat
    • Shrimps, Crabs, Snails: Safe - not aggressive
    • Plants: Threat - Goldfish will eat many kinds of aquatic plants, and their constant search for food can end up uprooting plants that they don't eat.

Sex: Sexual differences

Although is it impossible to sex Goldfish when they are young and not in breeding season, the male is usually smaller and more slender that the female. In the breeding season the male has white prickles, called breeding tubercles, on its gill covers and head. Seen from above the female will have a fatter appearance as she is carrying eggs.

Breeding / Reproduction

Celestial Eye Goldfish are egg layers that spawn readily in the right conditions. See Breeding Freshwater Fish - Goldfish for more information on breeding Goldfish.

  • Ease of Breeding: Moderate

Fish Diseases

Goldfish are subject to the same diseases as tropical fish. A couple of the more common problems are Ich, Swim Bladder Disease, and external parasites including flukes, lice and anchor worms. For more in-depth information about goldfish diseases and illnesses, see: Breeding Freshwater Fish - Goldfish.


The Celestial Eye Goldfish is occasionally available in fish stores and on-line, and is not overly expensive.


Author: David Brough CFS
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Lastest Animal Stories on Celestial Eye Goldfish

Soroush J Jozani - 2012-11-30
Hi guys, I have been breeding goldfish for about two years and I have to say that it`s fairly easy. I just wanted to say a few things that may not be available in most goldfish websites: When choosing your fish, the ones with slender, cone shaped heads-compared to the others of the same kind- are always males. the females have rounder heads with their eyes more far apart (females are more beautiful, body-wise). On the other hand, males have more vibrant colors than females (for example: a white male is more pinkish and shinier than the female, an orange male will be much closer to a scarlet red in color). When your females get slow, swim close to the surface, and their colors pale, it`s because they`re gravid (full of eggs); Give them the right conditions and plenty of males and they will breed easily. When they say 'goldfish breed once a year', it`s a myth! If your female goldfish is healthy and large, she will breed several times, with 3 weeks resting periods in between. after breeding, her colors turn back to normal and she will swim normally.

  • Marcella - 2013-06-02
    Goldfish can not live in bowls. They can survive in them for a short preiod of time. Maybe 2 or 3 years. A goldfish should live 20-40 years. If they die before that it's your fault. Just because they cost $2.99 doesn't make them less alive.A Black Moor is one of the most delicate types of goldfish. He will not last long in a bowl, probably 6 mos. 1 year if you are lucky. Goldfish need at least ten gallons per fish with a filter made for at least twice that size tank. My suggestion is to get a twenty long and get your baby a friend. Invest some money into making the tank beautiful. Buy an interesting piece of driftwood, lots of silk water plants maybe put a bubble wall in the back. If you put 2 goldies in there and do bi-weekly 1/3 water changes then they will be 5-6 inches in a year. They will fill the tank nicely.If you don't have room for a tank then get a betta instead of a Goldfish.Good Luck!!!
  • Marchello - 2013-10-29
    Hi, I wanted to ask a question. Can you add salt to the water with gold fish ? Or do you advice not to?
  • Soroush J Jozani - 2014-02-11
    Yes, you can add salt, but a ver little amount. I add a tablespoon to 100 gallons for my fish
  • Clarice Brough - 2014-02-12
    This is some really great info!... thanks Soroush. (I just upgraded your comment to 'really good'
Tina - 2010-12-08
Hi, I have been keeping goldfish for over 15 years and the celestial is one of my all time favorites however every time my celestials reach 4 or 5 years old they begin to get neurological problems. They start swimming sideways and upside down, sometimes they can't stop floating and others sink and can't come up and swim around in circles. I was wondering if anyone else had this problem or if anyone knew what it could be or how I could prevent it happening?

  • Aluyasha - 2011-03-02
    If it is neurological, there is not much you can do about it. It does kind of sound like swim bladder disease though. Caused by being fed too much. The fish will usually look bloated and either float uncontrollably or sink uncontrollably. Do you fast your fish for at least once a week? That will help prevent SBD. You can also give your goldfish a thawed pea every so often, it helps them poop. Plus, they love them!
    I hope this helps. Good luck.
  • cheyenne - 2011-07-07
    It it is more than likely swim bladder that is caused by him nibbling at the surface of the water for food, all of this air being swallowed, it causes his belly to float, and swimming with his head down. This can be reversed by presoaking your fish food before you put it in the tank even if it is sinking food because fish will go for it before it sinks. You can also feed him skinned peas preferably frozen, not caned.
MnMatty2507 - 2008-09-05
I just bought my new fish tank, a 10 gallon. And I bought Goober (a Celestial Goldfish aka Stargazer). He is doing just fine it with two fiddler crabs (Moe and Marty). Honestly I thought he'd be upside down after going from a small tank into a big one but, he's doing good! He keeps on going around like the usual ones do, and being himself, and eating when he needs to. The crabs do the same.

I will be doing a complete make over on the tank and doing a very very cool setup. I'll be adding more fish like a another Stargazer and a few frogs, bettas, and lion heads too. Probably also with help, I wanna make it a brackish fish tank, and add a black finned shark or eels. Some feeders too, besides the guppies I have as well. If any help with these fish combinations please let me know, and all help will be taken as great help for me.

  • Oddball - 2010-05-01
    Your new "makover" might work but the tank is unfortunately too small, If the black sharks are bala sharks they get over 12 inches long and are too fast for the goldfish and will likely eat more food than it's share and leave your goldfish hungry and unhealthy. Bala sharks and other "freashwater sharks" are normally semi-aggressive and fast swimmers meaning they need a bigger tank. If you got smaller more peaceful fish it would be better, but each goldfish sadly needs at least 10 gallons of water each, meaning the tank is too small if you just put the crabs, celestial-goldfish, some guppies, 1 lionhead goldfish, and 1 frog they would be okay but then you would need to get a bigger tank, a 23 gallon would be perfect. And here is a suggestion if are tight on money, go to a local fish auction and buy the fish, gravel, plants, etc. there, the reason i'm suggesting this is because you can get good healthy plants and fish, quality equipment, tanks, deco, and gravel a lot cheaper. Sorry about how I said the tank is too small but I know this from experience, once with 15 gallon tank I got a few rainbow sharks, tetras, angelfish, mollies, platys, plecos, and goldfish, spent more than $56 and in less than a week, almost everything died except the plecos, so stock your aquarium slowly and carefully. Hope this helped.
  • Aluyasha - 2011-03-02
    That is not only way too small for all those fish, but also almost all those fish are not compatible. And what exactly do you mean by "Bettas". I own 8 Bettas currently and have had more in the past (all in their own tanks). Male Bettas CANNOT ever be put in the same tank together unless you divide the tank. Female Bettas can live together but you must have at least 5 (which is too much for that tank with a goldfish already in it). And even with 5 of them, there is no guarantee that they will get along.
    Also, watch closely what frogs you would think about getting. African Clawed frogs are very aggressive and will most likely kill your goldfish. If you did get frogs, go for African Dwarf frogs. But not with those fiddler crabs in there, the will fight.
    As for the fiddler crabs. They need to be in brackish water NOW. As long as they are in freshwater they are slowly dying. Also, fiddler crabs need to breathe air to live. They need a place that they can reach the surface (though if it is too close to the lid they will escape.)
  • Goldfish expert - 2011-08-23
    Your tank is too small for all your fish. You should buy a bigger tank and celestial eyes are the most difficult fish to keep. Even to experienced aquarist Celestial eyes have proven to be a very sensitive fish. water quality and avoiding overfeeding is important. Besides Celesti can be only grouped with other celestials or bubbles goldfish. Moreover, I think celestial have a genetical mutation that gives them their appearence but also it makes them weaker to stress and infections. Personally I also have the bad experience that after few years they develop a lot of problems, like infections, and erratic swimming, eventually my last one died after four years with me. No other goldfish have came so many problems like the Celestial and I promised myself never buy another one. This is a product of the humans trying to be god, but such a specie. :(
  • Nama - 2012-11-28
    The bubble nest is prbloaby being torn apart, you need to make sure you're not bumping your tank. Also, it depends what kind of tank, bowl, or vase you have. I keep my betta in a large vase with a scoop neck, when he make his bubble nest it naturally goes around the neck of the vase, he only has to make more bubbles to get the nest to be the thickness that is needed. hope this helps!
Nagi - 2008-12-28
I've been keeping fish for awhile now, and still to this date no fish steals my heart like the Celestial Eye. I had one awhile back, but he had a deformity and died due to complications of it. I have a new one now (who's as healthy as can be) named Keith. He's not the brightest of my Golds, but he's the one who puts a smile on my face.

My other fish love him, despite the fact that he normally swims one way when they go another. His best friend seems to be my calico Oranda named Afro, and he's good friends with Eric (black Fantail) and Chell (calico Lionhead) as well.