Goldfish Eggs: Identification, Hatching & Care Guide 2023

Have you been wondering what Goldfish eggs look like? Fertilized or unfertilized, what makes them so different from the other eggs? Do they look like a bird’s egg? Obviously not! Goldfish eggs are much smaller, and they hatch and grow differently than bird eggs.

Goldfish, like many other species of fish, lay eggs. A female Goldfish can lay up to thousands of eggs in her lifetime. If you wish to breed Goldish, you must read this article as I will tell you how you can take care of the Goldfish eggs and newborns.

Goldfish Eggs

How often do Goldfish Lay Eggs?

The numbers will surprise you. Goldfish can lay as many as 1000 eggs in one spawning. This is added to the fact that Goldfish can have multiple spawning in the same season. A female Goldfish can spawn 2 to 3 times a year. You must ensure that the temperature at the time of spawning is right for the Goldfish.

 It may also be possible to induce spawning when keeping Goldfish in an aquarium, by adjusting the temperature such that the Goldfish is tricked into believing that it is spring. A female Goldfish will have to be more than a year older to be able to lay eggs. Ideally, female Goldfish start laying eggs when they are 2.5 to 3 years old.

Goldfish Laying Eggs – Spawning In Goldfish

Goldfish spawning and laying eggs is very similar to other fish. If you pay attention during the season of spawning, you may actually witness the whole process happening. Here is what happens:

Goldfish Eggs Development Stages

There are four stages for Goldfish Eggs development

  • When the right time is near, and the female Goldfish is about to lay eggs, the female Goldfish produces certain hormones to signal to the male Goldfish. The male Goldfish will then start to produce milt, which is fish sperm.
  • The male Goldfish will now chase the female Goldfish around the aquarium, poking into the female belly. You may observe the female Goldfish’s belly to be a little swollen. This is because of eggs present inside. You want to make sure that before the female Goldfish lays eggs, the temperature of the water is right for the Goldfish. Ideally, you should keep the temperature of the tank at around 65 °F.
  • The pushing of the male Goldfish into the female Goldfish causes the female Goldfish to lay eggs. The eggs are very sticky and will stick to a certain surface, like a leaf or a rock inside the tank. Goldfish also tend to lay eggs on a surface, instead of just in the water. Goldfish mostly lay eggs early in the morning, and it may be a very fun activity to watch.
gold fish Laying Eggs
  • The male Goldfish sees the eggs and drops its milt on top of the eggs. The milt is responsible for fertilizing the eggs. If no milt is laid on the eggs, the eggs will not fertilize and will die off.

What are the signs of Goldfish Laying Eggs?

Signs of spawning can be very obvious, but you may be mistaking them for something else. Male and female Goldfish act differently during the time of spawning.

1. Male Goldfish

  • White Spots: The male Goldfish will have white spots all over its head, gill covers, and fins. These small white pimple-like structures actually hold the milt.
  • Chasing: You will also observe that male Goldfish will start chasing around the female Goldfish. Do not mistake it for aggression, it is just the spawning season.

2. Female Goldfish

  • Swollen Bellies: The female Goldfish’s bellies are significantly rounder than normal. Females generally have a rounder body than male Goldfish. But during the time that the female is about to lay eggs, you may be able to see that the belly is swollen at the sides. If a female Goldfish is carrying a lot of eggs, you may be able to see round eggs protruding from her belly. A female Goldfish may be sometimes so full of eggs, that simply picking her up or holding her will cause the eggs to fall out.
  • Loss of Appetite: During the time of spawning and laying eggs, the female Goldfish will begin to eat lesser food than normal. It will still eat some food, but very little. If your Goldfish has completely stopped eating, your Goldfish may be sick.
  • Tiredness: Female Goldfish become tired from carrying around that many eggs in their bellies, so they become slow and less active. If your Goldfish is about to lay eggs, she will look for places to hide from the other Goldfish. You can spot your female Goldfish hiding under a leaf or a plant and moving about slowly.

What do Goldfish Eggs Like?

If you have more than a single species of fish living in your tank, you must be wondering how you would differentiate between a Goldfish’s eggs and the others. If you only have Goldfish in your tank or an outdoor pond, and you see some eggs in the water, they can only be Goldfish eggs. Unless in a pond, where a snail or a frog may have laid eggs.

What Do Goldfish Eggs Look Like

1. Color

Goldfish eggs are yellowish-orange in color. They are very small and appear a little translucent.

2. Sticky

Goldfish lay a lot of eggs at one time, and the eggs are very sticky. So, the eggs stick together and on a surface. This keeps them from falling into the water and being eaten by other fish.

3. Shallow Water

Goldfish prefer laying eggs in shallow waters. If you have a pond with shallow waters at the edges, it is very much likely that you will find Goldfish eggs towards the edge of the pond.

What do Unfertilized Goldfish Eggs look like?

It is very much possible that the female Goldfish is laying eggs in the spawning season, without the help of a male Goldfish. This happens when there is no male in the tank, or if you have separated the female Goldfish from the male Goldfish to avoid breeding.

Unfertilized Goldfish Eggs

All the eggs that the female Goldfish lays are unfertilized. It is the milt of the male Goldfish that fertilizes these eggs. If there is no male present at the time of spawning, the eggs will not be fertilized.

Fertilized Vs Unfertilized Fish Eggs

Unfertilized Goldfish eggs are of the same shape and color as the fertilized eggs. After some time, the yellowish-orange eggs turn white if not fertilized. These eggs are then eaten up by other Goldfish or they simply decompose in the water and die.

How to keep Goldfish Eggs Safe?

If you wish to keep your Goldfish eggs and want them to hatch, let me help you out. There are many potential dangers in the tank for your newly laid Goldfish eggs.

1. Fungus

Goldfish eggs are an excellent treat for fungus to feed on. If you wish to keep your eggs safe, you must keep an eye out for fungi that may feed on your Goldfish eggs. Here is how you can eliminate the risk of fungus from your Goldfish tank.

Methylene Blue

This is an excellent additive to the tank if you wish to remove the fungus. This chemical is harmless for your Goldfish and the eggs and will kill off the fungi inside the tank and will prevent fungus from developing altogether.

2. Shrimp

Adding shrimp to your Goldfish tank will have the shrimp eat away the bad eggs that have been infected with fungus. The shrimp will in no way harm the healthy eggs, which makes them excellent for the Goldfish eggs.

Do Guppies Eat Shrimp

3. Older Goldfish

As devastating as it may sound, Goldfish are very much likely to eat their own eggs. Goldfish lack parental instincts and cannot tell their own eggs apart. They will eat anything that they can easily fit into their mouths, and their own eggs seem just the right size. If you wish to keep your Goldfish eggs safe, you must separate them from the older Goldfish.

Older Goldfish

4. Spawning Mop

This simple and cheap tool will help catch your Goldfish eggs when they are being laid. The mop is made of rope and thread, and you can easily remove the eggs from the mop and add them elsewhere.

5. Separate Tank

When you know that your Goldfish is about to lay eggs, you should start preparing a separate tank for your baby Goldfish. This is where you will keep the eggs to allow them to hatch without the risk of being eaten by other Goldfish.


When separating the eggs from the parent tank, you must rinse them with fresh water so that they are not infected with any bacteria present in the parent tank. Make sure that you are using fresh water, and not tap water. The added Chlorine in the tap water is extremely deadly for your Goldfish and their eggs are even more sensitive to it. Only use fresh water to rinse the eggs before adding them to the separate tank.

Goldfish Eggs Hatching

Goldfish Eggs Hatching

once you have separated your Goldfish eggs from the parent tank, you should be watching them hatch anytime soon. Typically, Goldfish eggs will hatch in around 5 to 6 days.

You will first observe black dots inside the eggs, these are the eyes of the Goldfish. Here is how you should be prepared for them to hatch:

1. Water Temperature

Make sure that the temperature of the water is ideal at the time of hatching. The best-suited water temperature for your Goldfish hatching eggs is between 70 to 75 °F. If the water temperature is higher or lower than this range, the hatching will be delayed, and it is possible that the eggs will die.

2. Water pH

The ideal pH for Goldfish eggs to hatch is around 7.4. It is best to keep the pH well within the range of 7 to 8.4.

After the eyes have started to form, the eggs will begin to hatch. The Goldfish babies or fry will now swim around in search of food. For this reason, you should start adding food to your Goldfish fry tank after 7 days of the eggs being laid.

It should be known that not all Goldfish eggs will survive. Some will die due to improper conditions, some might die due to fungus, and some will hatch, but will not have adequate food to survive. No matter how hard you try to keep them all alive, it is not possible to cater to thousands of eggs at a time. So, you must do your best in trying to keep the few that stay alive and provide them with adequate food and water conditions.

How to get rid of Unwanted Goldfish Eggs?

It is only natural that you are not prepared for your Goldfish to breed and have babies. The Goldfish will still lay eggs during the spawning season. If you do not wish to keep these eggs, here is what you can do:

1. Sperate Female Goldfish

During the time that you think that your female Goldfish is about to lay eggs, separate her from the male Goldfish. This will not stop her from laying eggs, but it will not allow the eggs to be fertilized by the male Goldfish milt. Soon, the unfertilized eggs will die off or your Goldfish will eat them away.

2. Discard

You can simply remove the eggs from the tank and throw them away. This will, however, not ensure that all the eggs have been removed, as some may be stuck to some plants.

3. Let the Goldfish Eat Them

Your Goldfish can take care of the issue themselves, unknowingly. The Goldfish will eat up their own eggs, and each other’s eggs. This will also provide them with protein and will solve your problem.


Goldfish are very good breeders if you want them to breed. One of my female Goldfish spawned 3 times in the spring season, but unfortunately, I was not able to keep all the eggs. It is okay if you are unable to keep them all, too. After all, they lay eggs way too often, and space will eventually become a concern. If you do wish to hatch your Goldfish eggs, following the simple tips I mentioned will certainly help you do so.

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