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Goldfish of the month July: THE BUBBLE EYE! Origin As many other goldfish before him, the bubble eye also orgins in China, and was at first most likely a mutant to a telescope or celestial, developing rather strange additional features that later were bred out into the breed of the bubble eye. Body features The bubble eye will bring out completely different opinions in most people, and will devide right down the middle - one half completely in love with the fish, the other half most likely finding him a freak of nature. Either way, he is not a "normal" looking goldfish at all, which can be attributed to his huge bubbles on either side of his face, right underneath his eyes. Those bubbles are liquid filled sacs, and are extremely delicate, and can burst easily. Other features are the eyes, which - different to most other goldfish breeds - point upwards. The bubble eye is not as round in his body feature as the fish of last month, the ryukin. He is a rather slim fish, has a pair of anal, ventral and pectoral fins, and should have a smooth back, with no visible indentations or humps. In China the bubble eye is bred with and without dorsal fin, but here in the US, by standards of the GFSA, any sign of a dorsal fin, may it even be so slightly, is grounds for disqualification on a show. These standards count as well in most other western countries. (Courtesy Ken from DandyOrandas.com in 2008) Color options The color palette for this fish is rather big as well - red/white, red, red/black, even colors of blue and chocolate have been seen. Then there is the familiar calico and not so much known black, which, like in most goldie breeds, is not a stable color. (Courtesy Ken Fischer from DandyOrandas.com 2008) Challenges and food menu The bubble eye is a rather challenging fish when it comes to his housing and diet. Those liquid filled bubble sacs, as mentioned above, are very delicate and can easily be damaged and destroyed. This requires some planning ahead when purchasing a bubble eye - no sharp objects or ornaments, plastic plants need to be inspected for any edges and leaves that might damage the bubbles. The intake tubes of the filter should be covered with a sponge or fine netting - bubble eyes generally are weak swimmers, and tend to get too close to those intake tubes, not being able to swim free from the current. Food is another thing to think about - not that the bubble eye needs a particular food. Just by looking at the constellation of his eyes, one can imagine that its very hard for him to find food that sinks rather fast, or is very small (like bloodworms). He prefers slowly sinking food, veggies on a clip at the same spot in the tank every time when feeding. Its also a very good idea to keep only bubble eyes or other "eye handicapped" fish in with him, like telescopes and celestials. That way everybody has a fair chance at the dinner table, and we don't have any starving bubble eye while a much faster oranda gobbles up all the food, before the fish can get to it. And last, but not least..... Once the basic needs for this beautiful fish are met, you will have a happy and healthy fish for a long time. If by accident a bubble gets compromised, it might take time, but in most cases it will grow back. It will not get his original shape and/or size, and the two bubbles in comparison will not look equal anymore, which is a big disadvantage in a show, but will not minimize the joy and fun you will have with a bubble eye at all. One funny obversation I made with bubble eyes over the years - when they get older or get sick, they tend to slow down enormously. Not only resting a lot, but they will start to seem disoriented in the tank, floating around at times without being able to right them back up. This can go on for weeks, the bubble eye apparently not bothered by it at all, and he stops to fight it after time, while one morning you will find him stuck to the intake tube or squeezed in between plants and ornaments, so weak that he can not move anymore. This up-side-down behaviour I haven't observed in any aging or sick breed otherwise, and it seems a unique to the bubble eye.........