bubble eye goldfish

Bubble Eye Goldfish Care: Tank Setup, Diet, And More

Goldfish are one of the most popular fish kept in home aquariums, and with good reason – they’re colorful, curious, and active. Among the many different types of goldfish available, bubble eye goldfish are a favorite for their endearing appearance. If you’re thinking about adding a bubble eye goldfish to your tank, or if you already have one and want to make sure you’re taking care of it properly, read on for everything you need to know about bubble eye goldfish care. We’ll cover everything from choosing the right tank size and setup to feeding and keeping them healthy. Let’s get started!

Species Overview

The bubble eye goldfish is a breed of fancy goldfish with a lot of character.

The Bubble Eye, like all other fancy Goldfish, was originally bred in China. It’s thought that the Prussian Carp was crossbred carefully to produce it.

Fun Fact: These fish don’t exist in the wild; they’re exclusively featured in the aquarium trade.

As their name suggests, these fish have distinctive “bubbles” on the side of their head, which are actually fluid-filled sacs. Bubble eye goldfish may look adorable, but they can be challenging to care for. You need to fulfill certain requirements for these fish to be healthy and thrive. Fortunately, with the appropriate planning, learning how to care for these one-of-a-kind Goldfish isn’t difficult.

Bubble Eye Goldfish Appearance

The sacs beneath the eyes are the most distinctive feature of the Bubble Eye Goldfish. These sacs are filled with fluids. The fluid, according to some experts, may encourage human cell growth but more research is required on this topic.

While beautiful and distinct, these sacs are very delicate. They can get popped and deflate. If this occurs this, you won’t own a bubble-less goldfish however through. The sacs can heal on their own and refill with fluids. However, the regrown sacs typically don’t return to the original size, which means you might have a fish with one large sac and one small sac, which can cause balance problems.

bubble eye goldfish

Typically, the size of the sacs won’t interfere with swimming. However, in some fish, they can become so big that it hinders their ability to move.

Further complicating the issue, the sacs negatively impact the fish’s vision. The sacs force the eyes to point more upward than normal, restricting the vision of the fish and making it more challenging for them to see where they’re swimming.

Bubble eye goldfish don’t have a dorsal fin which can also negatively impact their ability to swim. However, they do have a double tail which is quite long, helping to counterbalance some of the heft in the front of their bodies.

Like most fancy goldfish, they have a round, egg-shaped body.

Bubble Eye Goldfish come in a lot of different colors, unlike the Black Moor, which only comes in black. Colors range from gold, orange, red, brown, to white. Some fish have larger patches of different colors and some exhibit more of a calico-type pattern.

How long do Bubble Eye Goldfish live?

The average lifespan of a Bubble Eye Goldfish is 10 to 15 years! Bubble Eye Goldfish can live a lot longer than your average freshwater fish.

However, their lifespan is greatly influenced by the quality of care, such as water conditions and food, that they receive over time.

How big do Bubble Eye Goldfish get?

The average size of full-grown Bubble Eye Goldfish is about 5 inches long.

Unlike other Goldfish species, this species won’t get much bigger than this. This makes them a better option if you’re considering a goldfish tank on the smaller side.

Bubble Eye Goldfish Temperament

Bubble Eye Goldfish are mild-mannered, peaceful fish. Given their limited vision and swimming ability, it would be a bad survival strategy for them to be aggressive. They get along well with other peaceful fish species.

Because they’re pretty delicate, it is best to avoid housing them with boisterous or aggressive species. They can’t adequately defend themselves and they’re slow swimmers, so they can be blocked from eating by faster tank mates.

However, this doesn’t mean you should keep them in isolation. They’re social fish and do best in a small group.

They like to swim in all areas of the tank and don’t stick to a particular area like some other species. They like to scavenge although they might uproot some of your plants if you keep them in a planted tank.

How aggressive are Bubble Eye Goldfish?

Bubble Eye Goldfish are not aggressive. They’re a peaceful species of fish. They do great with other peaceful fish species.

If they were aggressive, they would really struggle, because they’re slow swimmers and have impaired vision. It would be difficult for them to attack other fish in the first place. And if they were successful, they couldn’t easily escape the newly angered fish.

Bubble Eye Goldfish Care

​​Fancy goldfish are relatively easy to care for aquarium fish. However, you need to know what you’re doing, especially with Bubble Eyes. Our guide covers their ideal habitat, including tank, lighting, filtration, and more.

What is the Best Tank for a Bubble Eye Goldfish?

Bubble Eye Goldfish can be kept in smaller thanks than most similar goldfish varieties because of their limited maximum size. However, they still need plenty of space. The minimum tank size is 20 gallons, but the more space you provide, the more likely they are to thrive.

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Avoid using glass bowls for goldfish. Not only are glass bowls too small, but they also have limited surface area for gas exchange, which can cause health problems down the line. You also might want to consider a natural aquarium background to create a calm environment for your fish.

How many Bubble Eye Goldfish Can Go in my Tank?

 If you plan on keeping a group of this species together (which we recommend!), plan for 5-10 gallons of space for each additional specimen. Therefore, in a 20-gallon tank, you could have two to three fish, in a 30-gallon tank, you could have three to four fish, and so forth.

That might seem like a lot of room for this species but they’re goldfish so they’re high bioload.

Bubble Eye Goldfish Water Conditions

Maintaining water conditions is important for your aquarium. Use an aquarium testing kit to test your water and stay on top of any changes. This is especially true in smaller tanks. This is our favorite water test kit.

Bubble Eyes are cold-water fish (like other goldfish species). They don’t thrive in tropical conditions. They do best in clean, neutral water.

They’re pretty sensitive to bad water conditions, which means you need to keep up on your aquarium maintenance and water changes. We recommend replacing 10-25% of the water every week. This will keep ammonia and nitrate levels relatively low.

Here are the basic guidelines for water parameters:

  • Water temperature: 65°F to 80°F (around 72°F is best)
  • pH levels: 6.0 to 8.0
  • Water hardness: 5 to 19 dKH

Your fish will appreciate consistency in the water conditions so once you get your tank stabilized, try to keep things in a tight range so they can get used to their tank conditions.

Ideal Bubble Eye Goldfish Tank

When thinking about how to decorate your tank, you will want to recreate their natural habitat as much as possible.  You will also want to pay careful attention to removing any jagged surfaces that could puncture their delicate eye sacs. This is an extremely important part of setting up their tank.

What is the Best Type of Substrate for Bubble Eye Goldfish?

Use simple, medium-sized gravel as a substrate. Run your hands through the gravel before adding any to the tank to remove any sharper pieces. This species will scavenge for food at the bottom of the tank so their eye sacs will theoretically touch your substrate so you want it to be smooth as possible.

You could also decorate with smooth rocks or plastic decorations. You want no sharp corners or rough edges.

How Much and What Kind of Lighting do Bubble Eye Goldfish Need?

Standard aquarium lighting is fine for this species. If you have a planted tank, make sure you get a light that is strong enough for plant growth. Our LED Lighting Guide covers all of the best options. This is our favorite LED light option.

What Kind of Filtration do Bubble Eye Goldfish Need?

Filtration is important in a goldfish tank. Goldfish typically have high bioloads (aka they put out a lot of waste) so you need a stronger filtration system than you would need for say, neon tetras.

One word of caution – many Bubble Eye Goldfish owners have reported these fish can get their eye sacs sucked into filter uptake valves, damaging them significantly. Canister filters are especially guilty of this problem. If you have a canister filter, we recommend adding some foam around the intake to prevent damage.

Other options include HOB filters and sponge filters. Some owners swear by under gravel filters but these are typically less powerful than the other options.

Bubble Eye Goldfish Decorations

As mentioned before, Bubble Eye Goldfish generally have poor eyesight and delicate sacs around their eyes. They’re prone to bumping into things in their tank, which can easily damage their biggest feature – the sacs. You want to avoid this by keeping plenty of open swimming space in your tank. If you do add any decorations, make sure they have rounded corners and soft edges.


Plants are great for making your aquarium more natural-looking.  You can add plants of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Be warned though that Bubble Eyes like to scavenge in the substrate and are likely to uproot your plants.

Floating species of plants can be a good choice, provided that they don’t cover too much of the water surface and can cope with cooler conditions. Avoid fake plastic plants, as their leaves can potentially injure the sacs.

Bubble Eye Goldfish Diseases

Important notice: we are not veterinarians at Aquarium Friend so the information below should be used for general awareness only. If you are concerned about the health of your fish, consult a fish health professional immediately.

One of the main risks to your Bubble Eye is a sac puncture. A damaged sac will usually grow back, but it often returns smaller and/or a different shape. This can cause swimming buoyancy issues for your fish, further restricting their swimming ability. Sacs heal slowly, which means your fish will be susceptible to additional stress and disease during the healing period.

Because of their more delicate nature, these fish catch diseases more regularly than most. You’re going to need to make sure they have clean, stable water conditions to avoid stress.

Swim bladder disease is another risk. This disease causes buoyancy problems, so you might see your fish floating at the surface or sitting on the substrate.

Overfeeding, leading to constipation, is another potential issue. Because of the shape of their bodies, their organs are tightly packed inside their body, which can make them more susceptible to constipation.

Lastly, keep a lookout for parasitic and bacterial skin diseases. There are usually visual clues to this category of diseases like skin texture and color changes, which can tip you off to what you’re dealing with, like white spots with Ich.

If you identify a sick fish, transfer it as soon as possible to a quarantine tank. You will want to treat the sick fish with medication and keep an eye on any other tank mates for the first signs of illness.

Bubble Eye Goldfish Feeding 

Goldfish are omnivorous, which means they are happy to eat plants, vegetables, algae, and animal-based foods. Our goldfish feeding guide goes into all of the details.

Bubble Eye Goldfish can eat flakes, pellets, frozen, and fresh foods. We like to feed a high-quality flake food or sinking pellet, where they can easily scavenge along the tank substrate. They will also love fresh or frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, or tubifex worms as a treat once or twice a week.

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Overfeeding is very bad for this species and can cause constipation and other health issues. It is better to err on the side of keeping them slightly underfed.

How Often Should I Feed my fish?

We recommend feeding twice a day. Offer just enough food to keep them busy for a few minutes. You want to give this species slightly longer to eat than other goldfish species because they have bad eyesight so eating will take them a little longer. They’re also slow-moving and can get beat out by faster tank mates so keep an eye on the process.

Bubble Eye Goldfish Tank Mates

Bubble Eyes are friendly, peaceful fish. However, that doesn’t mean that finding suitable tank mates is easy. Their eye sacs are easily damaged by aggressive or boisterous fish. They’re slow swimmers, meaning faster fish will beat them out of their daily food intake.

They do well in groups of the same species. However, if you want to mix and match your fish species, choose fish with a similar speed and personality profile. Below are some potential options:

Avoid this list at all costs!. These fish are definitely no-go’s:

How to Breed Bubble Eyes

First, you’ll need to determine the sex of your goldfish.

To get your fish in the mood to breed, replicate the conditions in which the fish would theoretically spawn in nature. In the spring, as the water warms up, the fish are encouraged to reproduce.

You’re going to need a separate breeder tank to avoid the parents eating the eggs. 20 gallons is the minimum size, but we recommend larger if you can swing it. You need a good filtration system in place to keep the water conditions pristine. Plan on doing daily water changes around 15-25% of the water.

Once the fish are happy in their breeding tank, reduce the temperature to 60° Fahrenheit, before slowly warming it again at the rate of 3° Fahrenheit each day. You should also feed them several times a day, and include live foods if you can. This will help to trigger the fish to start spawning.

In your breeding tank, you will want to Include a spawning mop and lots of broad-leaved plants for egg-laying activities.

During the actual spawning, the male will chase the female around the tank which will encourage her to lay eggs. The spawning act can span a few days. The female lay up 10,000 eggs.

Once the eggs have been laid, remove all the fish from the spawning tank, or they will happily snack on the eggs.

The eggs typically hatch within a week. Feed the fry with fry food. Once the babies are big enough, give the same diet as the adults, but smashed to small pieces so the young fish can easily consume it.

How to Sex Bubble Eye Goldfish

This is not a particularly easy species to sex. Male goldfish tend to be slightly smaller and thinner. Male fish develop white tubercules or prickles on their gill covers and heads in the springtime breeding season. Females begin to appear bloated when viewed from above, due to the eggs she is carrying.


How Much Do Bubble Eye Goldfish Cost?

This species is not too expensive. They typically cost somewhere in the range of $5-10 per fish. Certain color variations can be more expensive and larger fish are typically more expensive.

What happens if you pop a bubble eye goldfish?

If you pop a bubble eye goldfish’s eye sac, it will deflate and regrow over time. It is not likely to assume the same size and shape as the original sac, so it can cause problems for the fish with asymmetrical swimming. The fish will also be more prone to infections as the sac heals.


If you’re looking for a unique goldfish to add to your tank, then the Bubble Eye Goldfish is perfect. They are one of many types of fancy goldfish that come in all shapes and colors–a true delight! This guide covers everything about them including their ideal tank set-up, feeding habits, breeding process, and what other fish make good tank mates with these beauties. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on how to care for the Bubble Eye Goldfish; it’s our goal to provide helpful tutorials like this so everyone feels better equipped when caring for any type of pet they own. Do you have anything planned for your bubble eye? Let us know below!

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