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Celestial Eye Goldfish

Stargazer Goldfish, Celestial Goldfish, Deme-Ranchu

Family: CyprinidaeCelestial Eye Goldfish,  Stargazer Goldfish, Deme-Ranchu Carassius auratus auratusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Molly
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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

With eyes that are permanently looking skyward, the Celestial Eye Goldfish is known by the Chinese as the Stargazer!

The eerie eyes of the Celestial Eye Goldfish make it perhaps one of the most unusual of all the goldfish varieties, with the Telescope Goldfish and Bubble Eye Goldfish following close behind. The Chinese, who called this fish the Stargazer, were 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 in the early 1900's the Japanese further developed it, and through selective breeding the result was a goldfish whose eyes were permanently locked in an upward position. To the Japanese it is known as the Deme-Ranchu.

Rather than having the long slender body of the Common Goldfish or the Shubunkins, the Celestial Eye Goldfish is one of the more rounded or egg-shaped fancy gold fish. Like the Lionhead Goldfish, the Celestial Eye is one of the dorsal less goldfish. Its is also very similar to the Lionhead in general form and size, but does not develop its raspberry looking head growth. It has a curved contour shape to its back and the twin caudal (tail) fin and anal fin, and the caudal fin on both these fish is quite similar to that of the Fantail Goldfish. The Celestial Eye Goldfish are available in a orange, black, and a pretty calico.

The Celestial Eye Goldfish is considered a rather delicate fish and is not recommended for beginners. Its swimming ability is cumbersome because of its rounded body which is further diminished by the lack of a stabilizing dorsal fin, a trait that is also seen in the Lionhead Goldfish and Water-Bubble Eye Goldfish. Many of the elongated goldfish varieties like the the Common Goldfish, Comet Goldfish, the Shubunkin, 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.

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


Geographic Distribution
Carassius auratus auratus
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • 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
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Aquarium Hardiness: Moderately Difficult
  • Aquarist Experience Level: Intermediate
  • Diet Type: Omnivore
  • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gal (38 L)
  • Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° C)
  • Range ph: 6.0-8.0
  • Hardness Range: 5 - 19 dGH
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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.

Description

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. 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 and then the upturned vision develops and becomes locked in.

  • Goldfish colors
    Available color varieties include orange, black, and calico.
  • Size - Weight
    Celestial Eye Goldfish will generally reach about 5 inches (13 cm), though some hobbyist report them reaching 6" (15 cm) or more.
  • Goldfish lifespan
    The average goldfish lifespan 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: 20 years

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. 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 small one or two gallon bowls 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 breeds of goldfish, it is sensitive to pollution which it produces in great quantities and is 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 an aquarium in a manner that will keep your fish happy and healthy is the first step to successfully fish keeping. Here are aquarium parameters to consider in choosing goldfish aquariums, filtration, lighting, and decor as well as temperature and water movement.

  • Minimum Tank Size / Length:
    The shape and size of the goldfish aquarium is important and depends upon the number of fish you are going to keep. Goldfish need a lot of oxygen and produce a lot of waste. Keep the tank size and shape in mind when you are buying your fish.
    • Tank Shape
      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 the same volume of water, an elongated tank offers more surface area (and oxygen) than a tall tank. In a goldfish bowl, filling the bowl to the middle offers more surface area than filling the bowl to the top. Always provide the maximum amount of surface area.
    • Tank size
      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
    • Formula: # of fish per gallon of water
      A general rule of thumb, but only for young fish, is 1 inch of fish (2.54 cm) per 1 gallon of water. This rule applies only 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 growth, either buy fewer fish than the maximum number of fish (based on the formula above) or be prepared to get a larger tank. 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
  • Aquarium Lighting
    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, but does make the aquarium a nice show piece and lighting will help if you have live plants.
  • Filtration
    Goldfish 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 helps keep the tank clean and maintain the general health of the goldfish.
  • Substrate
    Provide a gravel substrate to help create a natural and comfortable environment for your fish. A medium sized gravel works best..
  • Aquarium Decor
    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.
  • Temperature: 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, they have a lower tolerance for pollution and cannot tolerate temperatures much below 60° F (16° C).
  • Water Hardness: 5 - 19° dGH
  • ph: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Water Movement: Moderate.
  • Water Region: These fish will swim in all areas of the aquarium.
  • 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, and will have very stunted growth if it is kept in a smaller aquarium or bowl.
  • Substrate Type: Any
  • Lighting Needs: Moderate - normal lighting
  • Temperature: 65.0 to 72.0° F (18.3 to 22.2° 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. Yet any salinity for C. auratus must be kept below 10%, a specific gravity of less than 1.002.
  • Water Movement: Moderate
  • Water Region: All

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.

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.

Availability

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

References

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'...lol)
Reply
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.
Reply
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!
Reply
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.

Reply

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