Bubble Eye Goldfish
  Origin - China Difficulty - Intermediate
  Availability - Uncommon Adult Size - 5 to 7 inches
  Price - Moderate Scales - Metallic or Nacreous



  Red and White Adult - Beautiful example of a show quality adult Bubble Eye.

  Show Winner - Brilliantly colored Red and White Bubble Eye adult.

  Calico Bubble Eye - No, this is not a "new species", despite the sign.

  Common Bubble Eye - This is a good example of what you can expect to find in a local pet store.


History and Origin of the Bubble Eye

Certainly the most exotic of the goldfish Breeds, these are similar to Celestials, but have two sacs (fluid filled bladders) just under the eyes, giving them an endearing puppy-like appearance.

The consensus seems to be that the Bubble Eye is a relatively recent breed, first appearing in the early 1900s. There are no details about their exact origin beyond the fact that they appeared in China first. They probably originated as a strain of Celestials, and it is likely that this mutation took many generations of fish to fix in it's current incarnation. The first Bubble-eyes probably looked more like the Toadhead variant (see below).

Special Care for Bubble Eyes

This yellow Bubble Eye comes very close to the ideal for the breed

Though the bladders beneath their eyes are more durable than they look, they can rupture if you have sharp objects in your tank (ornaments, some types of fake plants, ect..). If you have a power filter, take care that it is placed so that their sacs cant get caught in the intake. The suction from most power filters is enough to rupture the sacs.

If the sacs are ruptured, the fish will probably get sick and could die, so take appropriate measures to combat infection. But more often than not the Sacs will grow back if they rupture, though they may not be symetrical anymore.

Bubble Eyes dont see or swim well, and it gets worse the larger the sacs get as they get older, so include them with goldfish that are similarly handicapped (like Celestials) to ensure that they can get their share of food. You probably do not want to keep them with aggressive breeds like Ryukins either.

Remember that the sacs are fluid filled...so if you take them out of the water, you need to support the entire head (sacs included) with your hand.

Ideal Characteristics for Bubble Eyes

Bubble Eyes have an Egg shaped body, with a body depth between 1/3 and 5/8 the length of the body. Pond versions usually have longer bodies.

Ideal Bubble Eyes should have no bumps or spikes along the back; it should be a smooth arch from head to tail. The dorsal contour in most Bubble eyes is very mild, but seems to be going towards a steeper Ranchu-like tail. The sacs should be uniform in size, and bigger seems to be better. Most Bubble Eyes seem to have Celestial-type eyes that turn upward, but its not absolutely necessary.

Bubble eyes have no dorsal fin. Caudal finnage should be similar to a fantail or fringetail, about 1/3 to 1/2 the length of the body. The Sacs should be uniform and large, but small enough that the fish can still swim without problems. Pond versions have ribbontail type finnage.

Though it is common for many Bubble Eyes sold in pet stores to have transparent sacs, ideally both sacs should opaque and the same solid uniform color (except for Calico/mottled types, which should match the colors on the fish's body). Most Bubble Eyes are orange, white, red, black or calico. The most rare seem to be bright yellow. As with all exotic goldfish, color saturation of the fins is very desired as well.

Known Variants of the Bubble Eye

A Froghead/Toadhead variant

Frogheads were sold in America during the 60s and 70s, but are no longer available. They were considered to be merely subpar Bubble Eyes and supplied to fill US demand for real Bubble Eyes.

Toad Heads had a wider body with less developed sacs, and slightly turned up eyes like a Celestial. You may still be able to find them, but only from isolated breeders. Some people use this term interchangably with "Froghead"...there is no clear distinction between the two.

I have heard of other varients as well (Bubble Eyes with only one sac, or two sets of sacs, or sacs trailing the mouth instead of the eye) but these seem to be sporadic accidents rather than deliberate variants.

The most common of these are the so-called Double Bubble Bubble Eyes. These have an additional set of bubbles under their mouths as well (something occasionally seen in Pearlscales too). Note that they have fully developed dorsal fins. Some strains of Bubble Eyes have full dorsal fins, but they are not very common, and are not recognized as "real" Bubble Eyes in the US or Europe.


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