Bubble Eye Goldfish: The Complete Care Guide

The Bubble Eye Goldfish is a freshwater species that has an extremely unique appearance. They almost look like cartoons!

Because of this, the Bubble Eye is one of the most popular Goldfish out there. It seems like everyone wants to own a fish that looks so interesting.

But most don’t realize that keeping these fish isn’t as simple as it seems. Unlike a lot of their relatives, the Bubble Eye Goldfish requires a little bit of experience and knowledge to keep healthy.

This guide will teach you the basics of Bubble Eye Goldfish care, so you’ll be prepared if you decide to get one for yourself!

Species Summary

Bubble Eye Goldfish are a member of the ever-growing “Fancy Goldfish” family. This particular species has one unique identifying feature that you can’t miss: Their eye bubbles!

These fluid-filled sacs make these fish a quirky and unique addition to home aquariums.

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A Bubble Eye Goldfish swimming close to the camera

Like all fancy Goldfish, the Bubble Eye was first developed in China. It’s believed that it comes from careful cross-breeding of the Prussian Carp.

You won’t find these fish swimming in the wild. They’re exclusive captive-bred and can be found in aquariums throughout the world.

While most types of Goldfish are considered to be good options for novice aquarists, that’s not the case with the Bubble Eye. These fish have some distinct needs that you have to address. Luckily, learning how to care for these unique Goldfish isn’t too hard with the right preparation.


The typical lifespan of a Bubble Eye Goldfish is around 10 to 15 years! Most Goldfish can live a lot longer than other freshwater fish, and the Bubble Eye is no different.

However, providing the best care possible is important if you want them to reach this age. The lifespan of Bubble Eye Goldfish is influenced by several factors, with the primary ones being water conditions and diet.

Author Note: With the right care, these fish are fully capable of living past the average life expectancy. Some have even lived past 20 years old!


The most identifying feature of the Bubble Eye Goldfish is the sacs underneath their eyes. Contrary to popular belief, these aren’t filled with air. They contain fluids, making the bubbles jiggle as the fish swim. Some scientists actually believe that the fluid can stimulate human cell growth!

But be careful, these sacs are just as delicate as they look.

They can easily get popped and deflate. Luckily, the sacs can heal on their own and refill with fluids. Though, the regrown sacs usually don’t return to the same size. This can result in an imbalanced look for the fish.

The size of the sacs can vary from specimen to specimen. On some fish, they remain manageable. On others, they can get so big that they make swimming difficult.

On top of that, the sacs affect the vision of the fish. They are located directly beneath the eyes, which are pointed upward. The bulbous shape of the sacs paired with the direction of their eyes makes it difficult for the fish to see where they are going.

Bubble Eye Goldfish looking for food during feeding time

Beyond their bubble eyes, these fish have some other unique physical characteristics. For one, they don’t have a dorsal fin! Their backs are completely smooth. Unfortunately, the lack of dorsal fin can lead to some swimming issues.

To make up for that, the fish have a double tail. The tailfin splits, creating four points. The tailfin is rather long, which helps to provide some balance against their bodies.

The body of the fish is round and egg-shaped. They do have some pectoral fins and an anal fin. However, their shape does limit their movement a bit.

But what about their colors?

Coloration can vary dramatically with Bubble Eye Goldfish. You’ll find solid fish covered in gold, orange, red, brown, or white. Some specimens also have multiple colors. You may see fish with red and white spots, red and black spots, or a bevy of colors to create a calico pattern.

When it comes to sexing the fish, there aren’t a ton of differences to make note of. In most cases, it’s impossible to sex younger fish. It’s not until they become full adults that are ready for breeding that you can start to see differences.

Females will take on a more plumper shape while males will develop very small tubercles on their heads.


When fully grown the average size of Bubble Eye Goldfish is usually about 5 inches long.

Unlike other Goldfish species, these fish will not continue to grow past this point. This makes them a pretty manageable fish to keep in smaller aquariums.

Bubble Eye Goldfish Care

Bubble Eye Goldfish care is not very beginner-friendly. Due to their delicate bubbles, they need a specialized environment to stay safe. Not only that, but they require some strict water conditions to truly thrive.

All that said, caring for Bubble Eye Goldfish is manageable if you know what to do and have a bit of experience. All you need to do is stick to some strict care guidelines.

Tank Size

First things first, you need a tank size of at least 10 gallons.

However, we personally recommend starting with 20 gallons if you can. While they aren’t the strongest swimmers, that extra space will be much appreciated.

If you plan on keeping a group together, plan for 10 gallons of space for each specimen.

Whatever you do, don’t keep these fish in small bowls! Bubble Eye Goldfish need far more space than a simple bowl. Plus, they produce a lot of waste that could easily affect the water in a small habitat like that.

Water Parameters

Like other Goldfish, the Bubble Eye is a cold-water fish. They don’t like warmer temperatures like a lot of other tropical species.

These fish prefer relatively neutral water that’s clean and balanced. It’s important to perform water changes regularly. Bubble Eye Goldfish are quite sensitive to poor water conditions.

We recommend replacing a quarter of the water every week. This will keep ammonia and nitrate levels relatively low. You’ll also need an effective filtration system, but we’ll get into that later.

For now, here are some important water parameters to stick to:

  • 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

Setting Up Their Tank

Now here’s where things can get a bit tricky.

It’s important to take some extra time planning the habitat for your Bubble Eye Goldfish. As we mentioned earlier, the fluid-filled sacs under their eyes are very delicate.

A Bubble Eye Goldfish swimming in a minimal aquarium

You need to make sure that your tank doesn’t have any rough items or jagged surfaces that could rupture or pop them.

Starting at the bottom, use simple medium-sized gravel as a substrate. Make sure that the gravel is relatively smooth. These fish will often scavenge for food at the bottom of the tank (although they aren’t classic bottom-feeders), so the sacs may touch the substrate from time to time.

You can decorate the tank with smooth rocks and plastic decorations. Stick with items that are completely smooth to the touch. We recommend running your finger over the edges to test for potential points.

You can implement some live plants like Anacharis or Java fern. They’re great for oxygenating the water. However, these fish are notorious for eating and uprooting plants, so exercise some caution.

Artificial plants are a great alternative. However, make sure that you use silk faux plants instead of plastic ones. Plastic plants are known to be very rough and pointy.

Lastly, you’ll need to think about the kind of filtration you plan on using.

Filtration is another thing to consider. Many Bubble Eye Goldfish owners have reported these fish being sucked up by powerful filter uptake valves. In a majority of those cases, it has resulted in damage to the eye sacs.

If you plan on using a powerful canister filter (such as the Fluval FX4), outfit it with some foam to prevent damage.

Better yet, use an under-gravel system if you can. This is actually the preferred filtration method for Bubble Eye Goldfish.

This type of filter sits below the gravel and works to remove waste from the substrate. Your gravel and decor will sit on top of the filter as normal. Thus, there are no dangerous exposed components that could harm your fish.

Common Possible Diseases

Bubble Eye Goldfish are susceptible to all of the same diseases that other freshwater fish are. This includes things like Ich, Dropsy, Swim Bladder Disease, Skin Flukes, and more. While not common, they might even begin to turn white (and sometimes black)when affected.

Most of those conditions are easily preventable by staying on top of water conditions. If one of your Goldfish does experience a disease, you can quarantine them for treatment and prevent spread throughout the ecosystem.

A unique possible issue with Bubble Eye Goldfish is that their risk for bacterial infections increases significantly if their sacs are ruptured.

The inner lining of the sac is sensitive, so when it’s exposed to the water, infection is possible. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that there are no objects in your tank that could cause injury.

Food & Diet

Bubble Eye Goldfish are omnivores that will eat pretty much anything. They do just fine with high-quality flakes. We recommend sinking pellets instead of floating flakes, as these fish are known to take in a lot of air when they eat.

You can also provide daphnia, bloodworms, tubifex worms, or brine shrimp. They do well with some protein.

These fish are also scavengers and love to look for little things to eat in the aquarium. You can appeal to that behavior by dropping some fruits and vegetables in the tank as well.

When you’re feeding your Bubble Eye Goldfish, give them a bit longer to eat than normal. These are not powerful swimmers, which means they can’t instantly gobble food up like other fish.

Author Note: Feed them several times a day to ensure that they are getting all their necessary nutrients. Two or four times per day is ideal if your schedule can manage it. You can learn more details by reading this guide.

Behavior & Temperament

When it comes to temperament, Bubble Eye Goldfish are some of the most relaxed fish you can have. They get along with all other peaceful species. They won’t even attack snails.

Bubble Eye Goldfish swimming toward the bottom of the tank

Throughout the day, your fish will swim around the tank looking for food. They’ll go to the bottom area of the tank, swim through plant leaves, and explore their habitat.

Don’t expect to see these fish darting throughout the tank. Thanks to their unique shape, large eye bubbles, and lack of a dorsal fin, they are relatively slow.

Bubble Eye Goldfish Tank Mates

Finding suitable tank mates for Bubble Eye Goldfish isn’t easy. There are several reasons for this. First, their eye sacs are easily damaged by aggressive fish or even species who are playful.

Secondly, their slow swimming makes it difficult for them to eat regularly. Fast-swimming fish will compete for food, leaving nothing left for the Bubble Eye Goldfish.

They do very well in groups of the same species. But if you’re planning on creating a community tank, stick with fish that have a similar handicap as the Bubble Eye Goldfish. Here are some good tank mates to consider.

Author Note: Consider pairing this fish with freshwater aquarium snails. As long as your Bubble Eye is being fed regularly, they should ignore most types of snails.


Bubble Eye Goldfish are very eager to breed if the conditions are right. They can be bred in large groups, which eliminates the need to worry about distinguishing sex.

Many breeders will create a separate tank that they can use to raise the fry. These fish will almost immediately try to eat their eggs, so having a separate tank is always a good idea. Fill the tank with soft plants or breeding mops for the eggs to stick to.

To initiate the spawning process, bring the temperature of the breeding tank to about 60 degrees. Then, slowly warm it up about 3 degrees every day. At around 68 to 74 degrees, the males will start chasing females around.

She will then gyrate and release eggs. The male will then quickly fertilize them. The eggs will stick to plants or a breeding mop.

The process can take several hours. Depending on the number of fish you have in the group, you could end up with thousands of eggs.

After all of your fish have spawned, remove them from the breeding tank. Eggs take between 4 and 7 days to hatch. The baby fry will usually be dark brown in color, but that will change as they age.

You can feed the fry infusoria and other powdered foods until they are ready to take flakes. You’ll notice that the babies don’t have the iconic eye sacs. Those will start to develop at around 6 months of age.

Wrapping Up

As you can tell, there’s more to Bubble Eye Goldfish care than meets the eye. Because of their unique features, you need to be extra cautious when it comes to setting up their habitat.

If you’re up for the challenge and are committed to following care guidelines to the letter, we highly recommend this species. They’re some of the most unique looking freshwater fish you can find.

Watching them move around is fascinating, and will give you the chance to see their personalities emerge over time.

If you have any pictures or info you’d like to share about your Bubble Eye Goldfish, reach out to us on Facebook or through the contact page on our site. We might include it in this care guide!

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