3 Telescope Goldfish Types

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3 Telescope Goldfish Types7 mins read

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3 telescope goldfish types
Image from Flickr

If you have ever seen an unusual, big eyed goldfish, you’ve encountered a telescope goldfish. Whether in your local aquatics store or online, you may wonder about the real name of these enigmatic fish – and whether they are a good choice for beginners.

Between them, telescope goldfish have a selection of names for different varieties. Furthermore, they can make great pets for multiple levels of experience. This guide will go over the butterfly telescope, black moor, and a rare variety that lacks certain pigment-producing chromatophores – the panda eye telescope goldfish.

Telescope Goldfish Tank Setup And Parameters:

Telescope goldfish tank setup and parameters
Clean with an aquarium vacuum once a week and wash the filter in tank water every three months. Image from Flickr

Before choosing a telescope goldfish variety, you may ask what you need to keep these fish. In general, all varieties of big eyed goldfish have similar requirements. For tank setup, the following parameters are ideal:

  • Size: 30 gallons/114 liters minimum, and add an extra 10 gallons (38 liters) for each additional fish. This may seem large compared to how small these fish are when you buy them, but remember they will soon grow, and stress from overcrowding can even change their physical development.
  • Substrate: sand or gravel
  • Filtration: flow rate minimum 4x tank flow capacity
  • Ammonia and nitrates: zero
  • pH level: 7-8
  • Water Hardness: 5-19 dGh
  • Temperature: 15-23 C 60-74 F
  • Lighting: LED
  • Tank Maintenance: clean with an aquarium vacuum once a week and wash the filter in tank water every three months
  • Feeding: telescope goldfish enjoy the same balanced diet of vegetable matter, protein, and sinking pellet food just like other goldfish. The important thing is not to feed floating pellets or flakes. With their impaired field of vision they can’t see these on the surface of the water. It’s also best not to feed live invertebrates, because your fish won’t be able to catch them.

Choosing A Goldfish With Big Eyes

Choosing a goldfish with big eyes
If you’re looking to create a mixed tank or community tank, you may be considering a big-eyed goldfish. Image from Flickr

If you want to create a mixed tank or community tank, you may consider a big eyed goldfish. If you already have other fish in the tank, bear in mind that the telescope goldfish cannot be paired with hardy goldfish like the comet, common goldfish, or shubunkin, as it will be outcompeted. However, these 3 telescope goldfish types below may help narrow down your choice.

3 Telescope Goldfish Types

Unfortunately, goldfish with big eyes have poor vision. At a fundamental level, this is the main thing that separates them from other goldfish varieties. However, once you understand how your aquatic pets perceive their environment, it’s simple to look after them.

1. Butterfly Telescope Goldfish

Butterfly telescope goldfish
Like all telescope goldfish, the butterfly telescope has sensitive eyes. Image from Flickr

The butterfly telescope goldfish is a beautiful, delicate-looking variety that was first bred as recently as the 1990s! If you want a truly unusual big eyed goldfish, this is one of the best options. Bear in mind, however, that they are slightly harder to look after.

They have a lovely flowing double tail, with the trade-off that they are slow swimmers. However, they can thrive in the right kind of tank setup.

Things To Note:

Like all telescope goldfish, the butterfly telescope has sensitive eyes. Therefore if you want to reduce stress for this fish, choose a LED light that is heavier in green light, as this has less of an impact on your fish’s delicate vision, reduces their overall levels of stress, and improves their wellbeing.

Temperament:

Butterfly telescope goldfish are more gentle and shyer than some of their counterparts. This is because their fan-shaped tails mean they only swim slowly. They are perfect if you want an ornamental goldfish that isn’t as likely to dig up plants as some other kinds of fish.

2. Black Moor Goldfish

Black moor goldfish
The black moor goldfish is naturally a dark color although can lose this as they age. Image from Flickr

You may suppose that like the butterfly telescope goldfish, the black moor is a modern variety due to its unusual coloring. However, it has been kept since the 1500s in China, which is where it originated from.

The black pigment is caused by specialist cells called melanocytes and it is harmless to your fish. If you want to care for a black moor, its striking looks and relatively simple requirements will not let you down.

Things To Note:

The black moor goldfish is naturally a dark color although can lose this as they age. If you have a different variety of goldfish that is turning black or changing color, this can be a sign your fish is sick.

Temperament:

The black moor is a shy goldfish that is nevertheless one of the hardiest goldfish with big eyes you may commonly encounter. In fact it’s hardier than the butterfly telescope, so is better for beginners.

This goldfish variety prefers to be kept in groups and enjoys the middle of the tank. The black moor, like all telescope goldfish, doesn’t need as much stimulation as hardy goldfish like the comet.

3. Panda Telescope Eye Goldfish

Panda telescope eye goldfish
The panda telescope goldfish is very calm and gets on well with other fish that have similarly impaired vision. Image from Flickr

The panda telescope goldfish is a variety of black moor goldfish that has select black pigment around its eyes. Many people think this gives it an appearance similar to a panda, and the markings emphasize the unusual proportions

The panda variety is a striking fish that is not too different to look after compared to the black moor.

Things To Note:

This fish’s pale coloring is caused by nacreous scales that have an absence of the compound guanine that normally gives fish scales their metallic look. These kinds of scales mean its pale body is slightly more sensitive to light. As with protecting your fish’s eyes, green light can be gentler on these guys.

Temperament:

The panda telescope goldfish is very calm and gets on well with other fish that have similarly impaired vision. It does not differ too much from the black moor, although it is a bit less hardy.

What Is The Difference Between The Panda Telescope Eye Goldfish And The Black Moor?

Difference between the panda telescope eye goldfish and the black moor
Although it originated from the black moor and could be said to be a variant of it, the panda telescope eye goldfish is a much more modern variety. Image from Flickr

Although it originated from the black moor and could be said to be a variant of it, the panda telescope eye goldfish has only existed since the modern era.

As a result, it has undergone a lot of breeding, leading to the veilteil panda telescope eye and other varieties.

Whether this is as easy to care for as a regular black moor you would find in a pet store depends on whether your fish has a flowing tail or other features. Likewise, the panda variant refers to the pattern – this fish also has orange or red bicolor varieties.

Eye Infections In Big Eyed Goldfish

Eye infections in big eyed goldfish
Eye infections often result from poor water quality and include diseases such as pop eye and cloudy eye, which are caused by bacterial infection. Image from Flickr

Eye infections often result from poor water quality and include diseases such as pop eye and cloudy eye, which result from bacterial infection. They can reduce your fish’s already limited vision. In addition, because the eyes are such a sensitive area, they can be very painful for your fish!

Eye infections are not contagious from fish to fish. Nonetheless, it’s best to isolate the infected goldfish in a separate tank and treat the infection with specialist medication.

Tankmates: Can Telescope Goldfish Live Together?

Can telescope goldfish live together?
Telescope goldfish can also live with tankmates that aren’t goldfish. Image from Flickr

By this point, you may wonder whether these varieties can live with other, different kinds of telescope goldfish. If you can’t decide between the different options, it is possible to keep a successful community tank. However, the black moor in particular does prefer 3-6 of its own kind.

Telescope goldfish can also live with tankmates that aren’t goldfish. These peaceful fish are great as they won’t harass smaller fish, and they generally keep themselves apart from tankmates like zebra danios, barbs, or snails.

Final Thoughts

Are telescope goldfish blind
If you’ve already kept some fancy goldfish and are looking for a new kind of fish to care for, the telescope goldfish is an excellent choice. Image from Flickr

If you’ve already kept some fancy goldfish and want a new kind of fish to care for, telescope goldfish are an excellent choice. At a beginner level, the black moor is a great introduction to them. Yet whichever you choose, these are distinctive fish, and this guide will help you prepare to take one of these beautiful creatures home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are telescope goldfish blind?
No, telescope goldfish are not blind - they simply have a restricted field of vision. This affects their feeding, but if looked after properly, shouldn’t be a problem.
What is the lifespan of a telescope goldfish?
Kept properly, telescope goldfish can live 10-15 years though can live up to 20. Like any fancy goldfish, their lifespan will be longer if you maintain good water quality throughout.
Are telescope goldfish hardy?
As the black moor is recommended for beginners, you may now wonder whether telescope goldfish are hardy. In truth, these are not hardy goldfish - it is the black moor in particular that can work as a beginner fish, although they still require regular attention.
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Sydney Perry

Sydney Perry has loved fish since she was a child and has enjoyed keeping many varieties over the years, ranging from black moors and shubunkins to betta fish. As a lover of nature and of Japanese culture, her dream tank is an Iwagumi aquascape, combining fish with carefully crafted aquatic landscapes in miniature.