You’ll Never Guess How Many Eggs a Goldfish Can Lay!

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

“Goldfish are so awesome.”

And if you didn’t know how many eggs a goldfish can layย before…

… it will blow your mind!

I guarantee you’ll have a new respect for your female fishy friend after reading this ๐Ÿ™‚

Just How Does a Goldfish Lay Eggs (And How Many)?

Let’s set the record straight:

A female goldfish can never be pregnant. (Read why here.)

But she can swell up with the eggs, and even perish from a condition called egg-binding if things get complicated and a male doesn’t spawn with her.

How many babies she will have depends on her age and how much she’s been eating…

But a goldfish can easily lay over 1,000 eggs at one time!


That’s just at one time.

During breeding season, goldfish will often spawn multiple times on a weekly basis.

Talk about a family reunion ๐Ÿ˜€


Like chickens, a female goldfish actually CAN lay eggs without spawning with a male goldfish.

They won’t hatch though.

These infertile eggs usually get eaten up or decompose in the water.


If she’s ready to spawn, she’ll start releasing pheromones into the water that let the males know it’s time to breed.

They will then chase the female around, nudging her sides until the eggs come out.

As they fall through the water, he’ll fertilize them with his milt.

A Bit About Goldfish Eggs (and How to Take Care of them)

Healthy goldfish eggs are clear, and can range in color from white to yellow-orange.

They are also EXTREMELY sticky.

Of course, this is part of their survival strategy.

By clinging to the plants as they would fall to the bottom, they have a better chance of not being devoured.


That’s why breeders put “spawning mops” in their tanks. Usually these are made of yarn and the eggs stick to them instead.

If fertilized, you can see tiny black specks after the first day or so.

Those are the eyes of the tiny fry developing inside ๐Ÿ™‚

In 4 to 7 days, the eggs hatch (depending on the temperature).

That is – unless fungus has taken over and killed them before they had a chance. ๐Ÿ™


Some people add a medication that turns the water blue to prevent fungus from taking hold…

But personally I wouldn’t do that.

The condition of the water is REALLY important when it comes to successfully hatching them.

Clean water with plenty of aeration will help to prevent fungus, as well as removing infertile eggs right away (which will spread the fungus).




The tiny little wriggling creatures that emerge look like some kind of strange insect.

They feed off of their egg sack until they are ready for their first meal in another 3 days – no point in feeding them before then. ๐Ÿ™‚

Once full grown, it all starts over again.


Safety Warning!

Goldfish make HORRIBLE parents.

They will eat all of their eggs faster than you can dial up Child Protection Services…

… And they will even eat their own newly hatched fry.

Any other bystander goldfish around will happily join in the cannibalistic buffet.

Yikes :O

So if you want to make sure your eggs hatch, they will need to be separated as soon as possible.

What do You Think?

I hope you were amazed by what you learned.

Now I’m turning it over to you.

Have you ever tried to take care of goldfish eggs, or seen any your pond or tank?

Drop your comment below (I love hearing from my readers!)

4.5 90% from 36 ratings
Rating 4.5 90%


  1. avalon williams July 4, 2017 at 5:33 pm - Reply

    Seen my goldfish lay in the bath tub I have then in there are lots of weeds in it .dont know if any of the eggs survive just have to wait and see

    Rating: 4.5
    • Clementine
      Clementine July 7, 2017 at 10:58 pm - Reply

      Very cool, Avalon! Sometimes they hatch, sometimes they don’t.

  2. Mo July 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm - Reply

    Very informative! I learned a lot from your article. Thanks!

    Rating: 4.5
    • Clementine
      Clementine July 30, 2017 at 8:13 pm - Reply

      Glad you liked it, Mo! Thank you for your comment! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Genie July 31, 2017 at 4:13 am - Reply

    I guess my goldfish defy the odds. I have a small pond in my back yard and have five 4-6″ goldfish. The water did turn “foamy” for a few days a month or so back, which I heard was a sign of spawning. And I did notice the oldest fish kind of “bullying” the newer fish. But I today I was surprised to find an “extra” fish in the pond, which I accidentally forced out of hiding when I reached in to clean the pump. It’s already over an inch long and seems to be getting along fine with the others. I’m wondering if there are likely to be any others or if this was just a fluke?

    Rating: 4
    • Clementine
      Clementine August 9, 2017 at 9:56 pm - Reply

      I’d say there might be more lurking around, or he could just be the lone survivor.

  4. Sandra W. July 31, 2017 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    I have a small pond in my backyard. Last summer we put 7 tiny goldfish in it that we bought from Walmart. We thought they had died over our short winter of only a few days of below freezing. So in the spring our grandson\\\’s wanted some more so we went and bought 2 more one had black on it. Then the next thing we knew we had 9. And now we have about 50 babies of 3 different sizes. And we haven\\\’t cleaned it out the leaf litter since spring a year ago.

    • Clementine
      Clementine August 9, 2017 at 8:39 pm - Reply

      Wow just goes to show how they proliferate!

  5. mahesh August 20, 2017 at 8:34 am - Reply

    My gold fish lay the eggs in my aquarium tank i absorved and put my female fish in separate tub and do hand breed with 3 males and one female.after a day the eggs are changed colour from green to light pale green. Why its happen?
    Is the eggs fertilized or not.can u undestand my problem please give the answer i am very excited about your answer please sir thank you

    • Clementine
      Clementine August 22, 2017 at 5:51 pm - Reply

      The only way to tell if they are fertilized is to check for eye specs in the eggs. Are they looking fuzzy? A white fungus could cause them to get lighter in color.

  6. Derek September 1, 2017 at 5:16 am - Reply

    Amazed to come across this article. Living in the UK and have a 1000 litre garden pond which has 3 goldfish and 7 shubunkins for the past 8 years and never had any newborn fish in there.
    Weather has been warm over the past few weeks and last Monday was amazed to see a new small fish only around an inch in length swimming about with no bother from the others, it appears to have the same colouring as one of the largest shubunkins which I suspected may be female as it was always being chased and nudged by the others.
    What are the chances of it surviving as in the UK here the weather temp will drop by around 5 degrees in the next month or so

    Rating: 4.5
    • Clementine
      Clementine September 2, 2017 at 11:48 pm - Reply

      5 degrees shouldn’t be too bad for a juvenile goldie ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Harshitha September 8, 2017 at 6:19 am - Reply

    Good information, I learned more information about your article. Thankyou

    Rating: 4
    • Clementine
      Clementine September 9, 2017 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Harshitha! Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. Ian September 13, 2017 at 5:29 pm - Reply

    Just read this article as just went to clean my pond pump and feed fish and found at least 20 babies all about an inch long trying to devour the food!! Pond is old but teaming with life over the years including frogs, newts galore and once before baby fish. 10 years ago I bought 5 goldies/shabumkins, peaked at about 10 five year ago then dwindled to 4 over years until today!!! Far too many fish for the size of pond, I will be interested to see how many survive….. After all WINTER IS COMING!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine September 24, 2017 at 11:37 pm - Reply

      Wow congrats on the spawn, Ian! Most might get eaten, leaving you with a more manageable amount ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Tj September 13, 2017 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    How old does a Fish have to be to have a baby

    Rating: 4.5
    • Clementine
      Clementine September 24, 2017 at 11:36 pm - Reply

      Usually a year, but sometimes earlier.

  10. yifan yin September 14, 2017 at 10:48 am - Reply

    well our gold fish born lost of eggs but i wonder if the gold fish ate the small fish and eggs

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine September 24, 2017 at 11:36 pm - Reply

      They definitely can eat them ๐Ÿ™

  11. Sally September 27, 2017 at 6:50 pm - Reply

    Hi. We run a small community garden here in East London and we made a small pond out of a plasterers bath! We had two goldfish and one day I saw a few tiny black fry! Imagine my surprise today as I cleaned it out for the first time in a year and a half to find 13 small baby goldfish – all approximately 3.5 cms long. They’ve survived with the parents so far – and so my question is are they still safe with the parents? I feed regularly but since I’ve put them all back in together one of the parents is being territorial and chasing them around the bath. By the way your information is very clear and informative! Many thanks. Sally.

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine October 1, 2017 at 11:00 pm - Reply

      If you see chasing, the babies could be endangered. I would probably separate them if I were you ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you liked the post!

  12. Tracey September 28, 2017 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    My pond fish have just spawned and asked a5 aquatics for advice as it’s out of season. They suggested squeezing female or fungal treatment. I ignored and put in 3x chimney like filters and have hundreds of eggs and now set up tank in house maybe they all die but least I have tried. Good job I didn’t listen to “experts” found all info on line as I didn’t realise this was actually spawning .

    Rating: 4
    • Clementine
      Clementine October 1, 2017 at 11:03 pm - Reply

      Wow, that’s quite a story, Tracey! I hope your eggs hatch!

  13. Tasnuva khadakar October 3, 2017 at 3:37 am - Reply

    I have three goldfish
    What do I do

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine October 22, 2017 at 11:30 pm - Reply

      Are they breeding?

  14. Tasnuva khadakar October 3, 2017 at 3:38 am - Reply

    Thanks for your article it helps so much.

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine October 22, 2017 at 11:29 pm - Reply

      You are very welcome, Tasnuva! ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. mark October 9, 2017 at 9:47 am - Reply

    my shubunkins bred all day long .. I took the duckweed out of the pond when they finished. and put it in a separate pond … now I have over 500 fry /. that’s my first attempt too not bad ay..

    Rating: 3.5
    • Clementine
      Clementine October 23, 2017 at 12:41 am - Reply

      Congrats on the spawning and fry! ๐Ÿ˜€

  16. Santos Marin October 28, 2017 at 1:38 am - Reply

    Hi everyone I hear pretty good things about koil fish I’m very excited it, my female fish had clear eggs last night but I don’t know if the eggs had been fertilizer by the male what I did I took the ones that got stuck on the rocks or plants I have, I took one of the male out of the tank and push the belly gently and took the sperm out to fertilize the eggs just incase I hope I did it right and I apply a little bit of methylene blue for the funges. Now this is my question and big concern 1st question is. Is it ok what I did and my 2 question is. can eggs be fertilize after a day of being laid

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine October 29, 2017 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      I believe eggs will reveal themselves to be fertilized within 3 days. Hand spawning can be done right but is only recommended for advanced keepers.

  17. JoAnne Weiss October 28, 2017 at 11:45 am - Reply

    We have a 29 gallon tank. We have two goldfish. The two have been together for at least 3 years. The one fish is 8 years old! One of my kids won him at a fair. 2 weeks ago, my husband was cleaning the tank when he asked when did we get s third fish! We were shocked! How this little guy survived is beyond us! He is getting big quickly! We’ve decided to call him Bruno. Gotta have a tough name to survive his odds! We thought we had same sex fish all these years! Did I mention, they are two different kinds of goldfish? We are utterly amazed at this!

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine October 29, 2017 at 4:25 pm - Reply

      Yes, very different kinds of goldfish can certainly breed. ๐Ÿ™‚ Would be super interested to see what Bruno looks like! ๐Ÿ˜€

  18. George November 2, 2017 at 2:49 am - Reply

    Is it possible for goldfish to be egg-bearing during this time of year? I have 3 and Darwin is looking bigger and hiding more. I also can’t tell their genders so can you help?

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine November 4, 2017 at 11:02 pm - Reply

      If they are outdoors, fish can breed anywhere from Spring to Fall. Spring is the most common time.

  19. Karen November 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    My fish is quite big in his or should i say her tank she was upset losing her mate and the ti y fair fish got bit bigger and now 1st time my fish has a gia t belly and i have no idea how to look afta babies hope theres not too many or they will be squished ๐Ÿ˜

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine November 4, 2017 at 11:06 pm - Reply

      A male will need to be present at the time of “giving birth” for her to give birth to fertilized eggs, otherwise they will all be infertile.

  20. Hemangi November 4, 2017 at 5:44 pm - Reply

    My goldfish laid eggs third time today within 1.5month of period in a small glass bowl. Is there any possibility this time to hatch. As two times it fails to come out baby fish. Please suggest what should I do for hatching these eggs.. Answer fast… Please

    Rating: 3
    • Clementine
      Clementine November 4, 2017 at 11:08 pm - Reply

      Check for eye spots after a few days on the eggs.

      • Hemangi November 5, 2017 at 8:02 am - Reply

        There are eye spots on the eggs. I have separated those eggs from fish and kept bowl filled with water as it is. Is that right or I need to take some special care?

        Rating: 4
        • Clementine
          Clementine November 12, 2017 at 7:06 pm - Reply

          A tank would be better than a bowl ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Danielle November 11, 2017 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    Excuse me I would really love a pet fish do you know a good place where I can find a fish to buy and how do you tell a fishes gender apart how do you tell apart girl from boy and one last thing to ask I was wondering when I get a pet fish which species makes the most eggs

    Rating: 4
  22. Danielle November 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    I meant to give you a four in a half rating sorry

    Rating: 4.5
  23. Usama Mirza November 22, 2017 at 8:06 am - Reply

    Wonderful article
    I actually dont lnow which fish of mine is male or female. Please guide me how to examine it?

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine December 31, 2017 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      Check for breeding stars on the males gills! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Janine November 25, 2017 at 11:43 am - Reply

    I have two gold fish and one looks pregnant. I saw this about 4 days ago. The other fish is chasing her around all the time. How do I know the other one is a male? He doesn’t have white speckles on his gills. How long will she be carrying the eggs for?

    Rating: 4
    • Clementine
      Clementine December 31, 2017 at 10:23 pm - Reply

      Only time will tell! ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Janine November 25, 2017 at 11:45 am - Reply

    By the way, they are in a cold water tank, but it’s summer here. Will they breed?

    Rating: 4
    • Clementine
      Clementine December 31, 2017 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Usually warm water is needed for breeding.

  26. Beccaqueen December 15, 2017 at 9:59 am - Reply

    I have a question. How do I know their genders a male or a female?

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine December 31, 2017 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      Check for breeding stars on males during spring.

  27. Arun December 21, 2017 at 11:02 am - Reply

    It’s very useful but I would like to know what temperature do the eggs need to hatch.can I use a aquarium heater ?

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine December 31, 2017 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      A heater can help speed the hatching process. Keep temperatures in the mid-high 70 degrees F

  28. Beverley January 4, 2018 at 9:04 am - Reply

    I’ve had heaps of baby goldfish hatch in my pond ranging all sizes, I’m not sure what I’m doing right but it’s working ๐Ÿ™‚

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine January 6, 2018 at 3:03 am - Reply

      Well congratulations Beverley! When you find out the secret please do share ๐Ÿ˜‰

  29. Bev January 4, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Very good information, have learned heaps, Have had goldfish for years in an outside pond. Earlier this year was given 4 small goldfish. Some months later I noticed many eggs, but all looked infertile attached to plants, I put some in a separate lily pond, to my amazement counted 10 babies. I transferred the babies into the big pond. Think that was a BIG mistake.! Could the big Goldieโ€™s eat the babies. If so I have murdered them. I live in Western Australia and we have summer now, will the lay again. If they do, is it best to keep babies in a tank, how long would they have to be separated, before I can put them in the pond.
    Cheers Bev

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine January 6, 2018 at 3:03 am - Reply

      Yes, big goldfish will eat babies ๐Ÿ™

  30. Emma Johnson January 5, 2018 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Second time today my fish has laid eggs but she keeps eating them n it’s only her that’s eating them

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine January 6, 2018 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      Yes, you will probably have to separate them for the eggs to survive.

  31. Vivian January 5, 2018 at 9:09 pm - Reply

    I read your comment about egg binding but didn’t see any details about it. I have an outdoor pond with koi and goldfish. One of my goldfish looks egg bound (very pregnant) and has been that way for going on two months now. Her activity seems normal like the other fish and her scales are not sticking out. It is January in Oregon and the water is cold, outside temps have dropped to the 20s. Will she be able to lay her eggs in water temps below 50 degrees? If not, what happens if she remains egg bound until the weather gets warmer in the spring?

    Rating: 3.5
    • Clementine
      Clementine January 6, 2018 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      If the fish is egg bound, that can be a very dangerous condition. However abdominal infections can cause swelling without pineconed scales.

      • Vivian January 19, 2018 at 8:12 pm - Reply

        I wondered about that. Do you have any suggestions on a course of action? The local pond suppliers I have checked with do not know anything about goldfish breeding or medical treatment and my vet does not treat fish. Thanks!

        Rating: 4.5
        • Clementine
          Clementine January 22, 2018 at 12:31 am - Reply

          I would isolate the fish and see if you can find any other symptoms of illness.

  32. Ellie sharaf January 5, 2018 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    I have a question, l had so many different kid of fi in my tank , only to survived : angel fish & coiy fig . I was away my granddaughter sent my a picture of eggs all over the rocks my 2 different kind of fish mate & how long it takes to hatch ? Thank you

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine January 6, 2018 at 4:36 pm - Reply

      It probably depends on the kind of eggs.

  33. Adrian January 6, 2018 at 10:30 am - Reply

    Cute article Clementine and very helpful. I wondered where the smaller, dark coloured fish in my pond were coming from. Never occurred to me my larger goldfish were breeding! I’ll enjoy watching them grow – which they seem to be doing very fast. I only noticed them a couple of weeks ago and they’ve already doubled in size and now getting bold enough to hang around the ‘feeding frenzy’ when the adults are eating.
    Thanks for your article – your love of goldfish is very apparent!

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine January 7, 2018 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      Thank you for your kind words, Adrian, and congrats on the newcomers – or should I say “new swimmers” ๐Ÿ˜€

  34. -VanillaCookie January 14, 2018 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Well, great. This is helpful, but now i’m a bit stressed because I don’t need any more fish in my tank.. hopefully my fish don’t lay eggs, but i have seen my pet fish Ponyo stick around my other pet fish Pebbles. :/

    Rating: 3
    • Clementine
      Clementine January 22, 2018 at 12:54 am - Reply

      They will eat the eggs if you let them, no babies then ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Lisa tracey January 17, 2018 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    I have a big black gold fish and a normal silver gold fish the black one had been chasing the silver one all the time and now there is while stringy blobs floating in the water I’ve never noticed them before they fish haven’t ate them either but tonight I scoops the white blobs out and but them alone in another tank (obviously don’t want the mom and dad to eat em!) U reckon they r eggs?

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine January 22, 2018 at 12:50 am - Reply

      It very well could be! Are there little round things in the blobs?

  36. Mean January 18, 2018 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Our goldfish hatched eggs in the aquarium and its dirty. I cant clean the tank because the eggs is all over. I successfully removed the parents tho.

    What should I do? Should I let the tank the way as it is?

    Ps: I cant remove the water oxygen too. Coz some of the eggs is attached to it.

    Pps: I loved your infos.. its more informative ๐Ÿ˜

    Rating: 5
    • Clementine
      Clementine January 22, 2018 at 12:47 am - Reply

      Keep the water clean, use a small siphon with a sponge on the intake ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad you like the site!

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