Telescope Eye Goldfish

Telescope eye fancy goldfish are known under many different names, including the globe eye, the dragon eye or the Demekin.  When viewed head-on, it’s easy to see how they are called globe eyes because their eyes look like two huge globes stuck onto the sides of the fish’s head.  But when viewed from above, one can see that they eyes look more like two ice-cream cone shapes sprouting from the fish’s head, with the eye as the rounded end.  The cones can be up to three-quarters of an inch long.


Yes, they are weird.  They are also rare, with the only exception being the black moor, which is generally considered to be its own breed.  But black moors have much rounder eye-stalks and so authors like Marshall Ostrow of “Goldfish: A Complete Pet Lover’s Guide” (Barron’s; 1995) classified moors as being different from telescope eye goldfish.

It’s enough to make your own eyes stick out of your head, isn’t it? 

Brief History

Telescope goldfish were first bred in China in the 1700s.  When the Japanese saw them, they fell in love and developed the modern day Demekin (a Japanese word.)  They gradually spread throughout the Western world, but they have not caught on like other types of fancy goldfish, such as the black moor.  They are considered rare in the UK and the USA. 

General Description

These fancy goldfish have been known to grow up to eight inches long but usually only reach four inches in length.  They tend to grow smaller than other fancy types like the veiltail or the ryukin.  Telescope goldfish have bodies nearly identical to a black moor’s, except for the shape of the eye stalks. 


Telescopes come in a variety of colors, although not as much as common goldfish or koi.  They come in solid orange (called red), red and white, red and black, calico and a bronze-black similar to a black moor.  There is a black and white pattern being developed, but that is generally known as a panda.  Fancy goldfish can change color over the course of their lives, so it far more important to select a healthy fish than one of a particular color.

Care Tips

Telescope goldfish can thrive on the same diet as any other type of goldfish.  Their peculiar eyes make their eyesight poor – even worse than that of a black moor.  When they are less than six months old, their eye stalks have not begun to grow and so they can live with other types of similarly-sized egg shaped goldfish.  But when their eyesight diminishes, so does their swimming ability.  They should be kept only with other telescope eyes.  Any other faster swimming fish will eat all of the food before the telescope can take a bite.  Telescopes should have a tank with soft fake plants and fine gravel only as they can injure themselves on sharp corners or edges of driftwood, rocks or plastic air-pump moving decorations.


“Goldfish: A Pet Owner’s Manual.” Marshall Ostrow. Barron’s; 1995.

“Goldfish.” Bernice Brewster and Nick Fletcher.” Bow Tie Press; 2004.

Pet “Telescope Eye Goldfish.”

Animal World. “Telescope Goldfish.”