The Ultimate Bubble Eye Goldfish Care Guide (Lifespan, Diet, Tank Needs)

A goldfish with giant BUBBLES on its face?

Meet the Bubble Eye!

It’s one of those fish that you either love or hate.

But one thing is for sure:

This fish is very unusual.

Today we’re going to cover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about this exotic breed!

I want to learn about:

So, What Exactly is a Bubble Eye Goldfish?

The Bubble Eye is a fancy goldfish, with most falling under the category of dorsalless breeds.

Higher quality ones have a smooth back with no odd spikes or lumps.


The Chinese have developed a variety that does have a dorsal fin and a much longer tail (phoenix tail).

These aren’t often seen in the Americas.

As one of the more rare varieties, they definitely aren’t as easy to find as the Fantail or Black Moor at your local pet store.

They come in all colors, from self-colored (solid) black, white, red, yellow, to red and white or even the more hard to find sarasa, red and black or calico patterns. The black ones remain coveted.

Bubble eyes are one of the more petite fish, only reaching around 5 inches in length when full grown.

This breed is definitely one of the most delicate of all the others.

Pond life is out of the question.


Some people go as far as to think that they are too delicate to keep any other fish at all with in case they bump into each other, so they must live in permanent isolation…


They aren’t made of tissue paper. But they don’t do well with sharp objects.

Quick Facts

  • Temperature: 70 – 80 degrees F
  • Species name: Carassius auratus auratus
  • Hardiness: Not very hardy
  • Lifespan: 30 – 40 years on average
  • Size: 5 – 6 inches on average

Don’t Pop Your Bubble!

But the most unusual feature of the Bubble Eye is beyond a doubt what it was named after…

It’s bubbles!

Those two huge sacks of fluid that bulge out from beneath its upward-gazing stare.


After the fish reaches about 6-9 months old, they start to develop. And they continue to grow larger until the fish reaches about 2 years old, when the skin of the sacks become thinner.

This is crazy:

A Bubble Eye’s bubbles can actually explode if damaged (often by an oversized filter).


Good thing for this fish that a sack can grow back if popped, but it probably won’t be as big as the other one.

On a more scientific note:

Researchers have discovered the fluid inside these sacks stimulates the growth of human cells. (I do not by any means advocate what they are doing.)


Some goldfish even have bubble sacks on their chins – giving them 4 total!

This is considered more of an unintentional mutation.

Other breeds of goldfish occasionally develop a bubble on their chin too, but they don’t seem to be as prone to it.

Questions of Ethics: Should Bubble Eyes be Banned?

It’s probably one of the most heavily hybridized goldfish.


The freakish highly unusual appearance of this fish has raised some serious questions in the minds of some:

“Is this animal cruelty to breed fish that look so weird?”

I think a lot of people picture them to be miserably laying at the bottom of the tank all the time, unable to move much.

But watch them in action and you’ll learn how spunky they really are. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Their activity level doesn’t seem to be any lower than other goldfish breeds.

Many owners attest that they are used to their eye protrusions and don’t believe they experience any discomfort from them as they swim normally.


There are some Bubble Eyes – usually older ones – with eye sacks so large that they have difficulty swimming and it does seem to impair their quality of life.

All goldfish… even single tailed goldfish… have been selectively bred to some extent.

I personally think they are not over-bred.

Take good care of them and they will live just as long as the other breeds.

But I understand where others are coming from who see it differently.

Breeding Bubble Eye Goldfish

Breeding Bubble Eyes can be a challenge due to their eyes getting in the way.

But they can still lay over 1,000 eggs at a time!


Males will show breeding stars on their fins and gill plates during breeding season.

A period of cold weather followed by warmer water can help get them to spawn.

How to Properly Take Care of Your Bubble Eye

Bubbles eyes are prone to injury and eye infection.

An infected eye sack may become cloudy or discolored.

This can lead to blindness if it progresses too far, which is why prevention is very important.

The first step?

Proper care.

Because they are more fragile, they are not recommended as a beginner fish.

1. What is the Best Tank Size?

Make sure the tank has no sharp objects that could pop the sacks and that the filter is not too strong, which could suck up the sack as the fish swims by (yikes!).

Even artificial plants can be pokey, so try to go for silk plants or live ones without pointy protrusions.

But be sure that the fish has enough room to grow to its full potential!

That’s why each one needs 10 – 20 gallons of space to itself.

fancy-goldfish-tank copy

A bowl is probably the worst home you could put your fish in, so please don’t do that.


For starters:

They don’t allow the fish to get enough oxygen because of the small surface area.

And they also get dirty so fast that they make your fish get sick ๐Ÿ™


2. What is the Best Temperature for your Fish?

Bubble Eyes prefer a range between 70-80 degrees F.

This ensures that their immune systems are not stressed by too much cold, but not overheated either.

They are sensitive to the temperature being too cold, so you may want to have a heater for the water.


3. What is the Best Diet for them?

Proper feeding plays a very important role in goldfish health.

It’s very important to make sure they are able to do what they love to do best:


Make sure there are always lots of fresh veggies in the tank.

Veggies also provide the fiber that keeps their digestive tract functioning properly.

In addition, they will need a high quality staple diet.

Live foods are always a great, healthy treat too ๐Ÿ™‚


You can learn more about goldfish food in our feeding article.

4. What Fish Can You Keep with Bubble Eye Goldfish?

Let’s be clear about something:

You should only keep goldfish with other goldfish, no other kinds of fish.

Not even algae eaters (especially not algae eaters)!

They aren’t a good mix at all and can end up stressing and even hurting your goldfish.



Because Bubble Eyes are not the strongest of swimmers…

… It’s a good idea not to keep them with the more competitive breeds of goldfish like the slim-bodied fish or fancies like the Ryukin or Fantail.

Instead, other Bubble Eyes make the best companions.

But clumsier Pearlscales and Ranchus might also work well for friends.

And There’s More…

Weโ€™ve only scratched the surface when it comes to caring for yourย Bubble Eye goldfish.

There just isnโ€™t enough time to go into all the detail!

But don’t worry โ€“ I wrote a complete care guide called โ€œThe Truth About Goldfish.โ€

It contains ALL the information you will ever need to make sure your fish doesnโ€™t just survive, but THRIVES.

Iโ€™m sure you want yours to reach its full potential, right? ?

You can take a peek at it here:

4.5 90% from 13 ratings
Rating 4.5 90%

Wrapping it All Up

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about this amazing fish.

So, what do you think?

Is the Bubble Eye YOUR favorite, or maybe you happen to own one?

Feel free to leave your comment below.

I’d love hearing from you ๐Ÿ™‚

4.5 90% from 13 ratings
Rating 4.5 90%


  1. Kate Nickeson June 21, 2017 at 9:12 pm - Reply

    I have 2 bubble eyes im a 20 gallon tank (I’m in the process of getting a bigger tank) but the smaller one, Nemo, popped one of her bubbles and it is just a flap of open tissue, it looks painful. I dont have anything sharp in the tank and have never seen any aggressive behavior from either of them, so what should I do and how did this happen? Thanks!

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish June 24, 2017 at 9:18 pm - Reply

      Keep the water very clean. It could even get stuck in gravel if there is any.

  2. Kate Nickeson August 20, 2017 at 7:20 am - Reply

    No… But now I got another bubble eye to add with my other 2.. And the other 2, (pee wee and fatty), they are happy and constantly foraging. My new fish, Delyla, isnt eating and looks depressed just sitting in the corner… She isn’t eating, and the twice I saw her eat she spit back out after chewing. She also had a clear string of poop. What should I do? I don’t want to stress her out more by moving her, but I don’t want her to get pee wee and fatty sick. I did a 50% water change

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish August 22, 2017 at 5:48 pm - Reply

      If she isn’t eating, it’s a good idea not to feed. If she is new and sick, I would isolate her from the others to help protect them.

  3. Jaidon Lapuz September 8, 2017 at 7:01 am - Reply

    So I have one bubble goldfish named Chuck and I have 1 platy and 1 molly with 2 very small Cory catfish in a 15 gallon tank they don’t seem to be agressive to my bubble goldfish but do you think I should separate my platy, molly, and Cory catfish? I was thinking about getting another bubble goldfish but idk if I should put him in the 15 gallon tank

    Rating: 4
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish September 9, 2017 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Yes I do. I really think bubble eyes should not be kept with such fish. 15 gallons is only enough room for one goldfish.

  4. Emmie October 26, 2017 at 5:05 am - Reply

    My kids also brought a bubble eye goldfish home and its having its own tank. But lately it seems the fluid sacks became to big and heavy. Its laying on the bottom on its fluit sacks most of the time and ita having a bloodish patch on each sack.its swimming with utmost difficulty to feed. Its breaking my heart. What can I do? (The fish is even called after me).

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish October 29, 2017 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      Sounds like an eye infection ๐Ÿ™ A good place to start would be heavy water changes.

  5. Rick March 26, 2018 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Is a bubble eye goldfish pretty active or will it swim. Around for alittle and sit in one spot then swim around some more

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 1, 2018 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      That sounds pretty normal to me. It should spend more time swimming than sitting though.

  6. March 31, 2018 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Themba NCOMANZI
    Waipukurau. Hawke’s Bay – NEW ZEALAND

    Rating: 3.5
  7. Themba NCOMANZI March 31, 2018 at 9:46 am - Reply

    Just got 2 bubble gold fish for my 3 yr old son. Looking forward to their happy relationship (my boy and his fish).

    Rating: 3
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 1, 2018 at 10:33 pm - Reply

      Bubble eyes are a lot of fun ๐Ÿ™‚ I bet your boy will love them.

  8. Jodi Thompson April 6, 2018 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    We bought 2 bubble eyes, one white and one silver, a few months ago. The silver one has quadrupled in size, the white one has barely grown at all. Is this normal?

    Rating: 4
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 8, 2018 at 10:09 pm - Reply

      One may be getting more food than the other, causing it to grow faster. Maybe try hand-feeding ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Finnigan Moran April 11, 2018 at 2:14 am - Reply

    Would you think a African dwarf frog would be fine with a bubble eye fish beacuse I have been thinking about getting a bubble eye goldfish but I have a frog named Kermit and I donโ€™t want to get rid of him

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 15, 2018 at 10:49 pm - Reply

      You could try, but if the bubble eye gets big enough the frog could become lunch ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Finnigan Moran April 11, 2018 at 2:16 am - Reply

    Would two be good for a 20 gallon tank or 1

    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 15, 2018 at 10:44 pm - Reply

      1 is better, 2 is doable but a bit tricky. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Dicey Renee April 20, 2018 at 6:26 am - Reply

    Squishy (bubble eyed goldfish) has just been sitting alot, I’ve checked the water, changed the water.. I feed him/her tropical flakes because that’s what the store fed him/her before I bought it.. could that affect squishy? Oh and how can i tell Male or female…

    Rating: 3
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish April 21, 2018 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      What exactly are you water test results for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and pH? How long has the tank been set up? Please see this article for telling if the fish is male or female.

  12. KATE June 4, 2018 at 9:26 pm - Reply


    Rating: 5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish June 9, 2018 at 5:31 pm - Reply

      Depends on the size of the tank, Kate ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Sad June 23, 2018 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    My bubbled eye named Oscar, a fish nipped itโ€™s bubbles as I was not aware that they went meant to be together, so itโ€™s bubble is popped, I am so sad and depressed, I have watched them again and there is no vicious Behaviour now, I thank no they were just play so 1, should I get rid of my fish, 2 how long will it take for oscars eye to be back to Normal, or start to heal. Thanks

    Rating: 4.5
    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish June 26, 2018 at 3:02 am - Reply

      Yes get rid of the fish. It will never grow back fully to the other size but given a few months you should see some growth.

  14. Ivan February 12, 2019 at 12:22 am - Reply

    Hello! I hace a 20 gallon aquarium a had a bubble eyes before and the are lovely. My problem is the always got theyre eyes sacks stuck in the filter. When I could do something about it, it was too late. I have a cascade aqua clean 20 that is not that strong. Still got stuck. Poor guys. Can you recomend a type of filter or filtration device that could Jeep my tank clean and not harm the goldfish bubble eyes? Thank you for the care guide and all.

    • Pure Goldfish
      Pure Goldfish February 12, 2019 at 12:35 am - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, Ivan. For bubble eyes sponges are the way to go. You can either use a sponge filter or put a large sponge on the filter or pump intake. This will protect them.

      • Ivan February 13, 2019 at 12:54 am - Reply

        Ok pretty clever ! Thank you ill try it and let you know!

        Rating: 5

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