Celestial Eye Goldfish
Stargazer Goldfish, Celestial Goldfish, Deme-RanchuFamily: Cyprinidae Carassius auratus auratusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Molly
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.
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.
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.
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
- 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)
- Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate
- My Aquarium - Enter your aquarium to see if this fish is compatible!
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
- Tank size
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
- Animal-World References: Freshwater Fish and Plants
- David Alderton, Encyclopedia of Aquarium and Pond Fish , DK Publishing, Inc., 2005.
- Marshall E. Ostrow, Goldfish (Barron's Complete Pet Owner's Manuals), Barron's Educational Series, Inc. 2003
- Geoff Rogers, Nick Fletcher, Focus on Freshwater Aquarium Fish, Firefly Books. 2004
- David Sands, Goldfish (Caring for Your Pet), Interpet Publishing, 1999