What Do Goldfish Eggs Look Like (& What To Do With Them)

Last Updated on 2023-11-20

If you’re wondering what goldfish eggs look like in your tank, and more importantly, what you should do with them, then you’ve found the right article! In this article, not only will you find all this out, but you’ll also learn how to take care of your goldfish’s eggs an other frequently asked questions as well!

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Key Takeaways:

  • Goldfish eggs can be white to yellow/orange bubbles in the tank, with the color depending on whether they are fertilized (yellow/orange) or unfertilized (white).
  • Fertilized eggs have a small black speck at one end, and a crescent shape forms around it as the eggs mature.
  • Goldfish eggs take four to seven days to hatch, and unfertilized eggs will remain white or clear.
  • If you want to hatch goldfish eggs, move them to a fry tank for protection. If not, leaving them in the tank may result in them being eaten by other fish.
  • Proper care for goldfish eggs involves maintaining ideal water conditions, setting up a suitable tank for fry, and considering the addition of cherry shrimp to help maintain the tank.

What Do Goldfish Eggs Look Like?

Goldfish eggs generally look like white to yellow/orange bubbles in your tank. The color of the eggs depends on whether their fertilized or not with fertile eggs being yellow/orange in color, and unfertilized eggs being white in color. 

Fertilized goldfish eggs:

goldfish eggs
Michelle Jo, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Unfertilized goldfish eggs:

To go into more depth, fertilized eggs are yellow with a small black speck at the top of one end. As the goldfish eggs mature, a crescent shape will begin to form around this black dot. This crescent shape is the spinal cord of the goldfish beginning to form.

Throughout the four-seven days of development, the eggs will not grow in size. So when the fry hatch, they’ll stay relatively the same size as their egg.

How To Tell When Your Goldfish Is Going To Lay Eggs

If you’re wondering how to tell when your goldfish is going to lay eggs, there are a few signs to look out for. 

Firstly, you may notice changes in your goldfish’s activity levels. They might become more restless and active than usual. Secondly, changes in feeding behavior can also be an indicator. 

Your goldfish might become less interested in food or even refuse to eat altogether.

Finally, you might also notice specific spawning behaviors such as chasing, nipping, and bubble nest building.

If you see these signs, it’s a good idea to provide a separate breeding tank for your goldfish. This will help protect the eggs and increase the chances of successful hatching.

What Should You Do with Goldfish Eggs That You Find In Your Tank?

Before you can determine what to do with your goldfish eggs, you need to decide on your intention with them. (Whether you plan on taking care of the fry or not.)

If you notice goldfish eggs, if you plan on keeping them, you should move them to a fry tank where they will be safe. If you don’t want them then you can just leave them in the tank where they will be eaten by the other fish.

Move The Fish Eggs To a Fry Tank

If you do plan on keeping the eggs then separate them from the adult fish as soon as possible. Separating your goldfish eggs protects them from other tank mates, and allows you to monitor them safely, as well as take care of their environment.

Leave Goldfish Eggs in The Community Tank

Only leave goldfish eggs in your tank if you don’t plan on taking care of them. Adult goldfish will eat unfertilized and fertilized goldfish eggs, and they will be gone in no time. The good news is goldfish eggs are a great source of protein for the adult goldfish. 

Dispose Of The Eggs

And lastly, if you’re worried about the fry overtaking your tank you can also remove the eggs from the tank and dispose of them.

However, I wouldn’t recommend this method, as it’s a waste of eggs. After all they’ll make a delicious snack for the other fish in your tank!

How Long Does It Take Goldfish Eggs To Hatch?

Goldfish eggs take between four and seven days to hatch. If you notice the eggs not hatching after seven days then it means male goldfish did not fertilize them. These unfertilized eggs will be white or clear.

In this case, you will need to remove these eggs from your tank if they haven’t been eaten after a few days.

Since female goldfish can lay up to one thousand eggs a time, multiple times per week, it is common for many of them to go unfertilized. So if some of your goldfish eggs don’t hatch, you shouldn’t be concerned.

Swimming Goldfish

How to Take Care Of Goldfish Eggs

If you plan on taking care of the goldfish eggs and letting them grow into adults, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind.

Tank conditions like water temperature and pH levels are critical, even for eggs. To hatch the healthiest goldfish possible, you must take great care of the eggs from the first day your female fish lays them.

So make sure you’re doing the following:

Identify Fertilization– Fertilized eggs are yellow/orange, while unfertilized eggs are white.
Recognize Mature Eggs– Mature fertilized eggs develop a crescent shape around a black speck.
Hatching Time– Goldfish eggs take 4-7 days to hatch. Unhatched eggs after 7 days may be unfertilized.
Decision Making– Decide whether to hatch the eggs or not based on your intention and willingness to care for fry.
Hatchery Move– If intending to hatch, move eggs to a separate fry tank to protect them from other tank mates.
Leave in Community Tank– If not hatching, leaving eggs in the community tank is an option, but they may be eaten by adult goldfish.
Disposal Consideration– Disposing of eggs is discouraged as they provide a nutritious snack for other fish.
Care Conditions– Maintain ideal water conditions, including temperature (70-75oF), pH levels, and proper aeration.
Tank Setup for Fry– Set up a suitable tank for fry, providing hiding places and considering the addition of cherry shrimp to help maintain the tank.
Post-Hatching Care– Provide suitable food for fry, use a sponge filter during water changes, and be cautious not to harm fry.

Provide The Proper Water Conditions

If the water conditions aren’t great it can result in the eggs being unfertilized, or the not hatching. So make sure you’re keeping the water pristine. As well as this, you should be keeping the temperature at 70-75oF, and the tank well aerated, to keep enough oxygen flowing towards your goldfish.

As well as this, you should add methylene blue to the tank if you think fungus is beginning to grow on the eggs.

Setup The Ideal Tank

Now you know what the ideal water conditions are it’s also time to setup the perfect tank ready for the fry!

On top of perfect water conditions, make sure you’re adding plenty of places for your goldfish fry to hide!

Consider Cherry Shrimp

A lot of shrimp will eat your fry if given the chance, however, cherry shrimp will leave them alone for the most part. Adding cherry shrimp to the tank will help remove any algae build up, old eggs, and even fungus that could end up harming your fry in the long run.

Caring For The Fry

Now the fry have hatched you only have to care for them! Make sure they’re getting enough food by adding infusoria to the tank when they first hatch before moving onto daphnia and brine shrimp as they get big enough.

You should also only use a sponge filter in the tank so the fry don’t get sucked into the filter and die. This will also benefit the shrimp as it will create a gentle flow of water as well and not something that will overpower them.

When you’re performing a water change, don’t change more than 20% of the water and take extra care that you don’t harm your fry. And when you’re performing a water change make sure you’re vacuuming the gravel properly to ensure that you’re removing any dead fry from the tank.

Check out this video by Green Living off the Grid on Goldfish Eggs, spawning and mating!

Can A Goldfish Lay Eggs Without Male?

When a female goldfish lays eggs, it can happen even if there is no male goldfish around. This is because female goldfish can produce eggs on their own. However, these eggs need to be fertilized by the sperm of a male goldfish in order to hatch and develop into baby goldfish. 

During the spawning process, female goldfish release their eggs into the water, and male goldfish release their sperm. The sperm then fertilizes the eggs, which can then hatch into baby goldfish. 

So, while a female goldfish can lay eggs without a male, it is not possible for those eggs to turn into baby goldfish without the help of a male goldfish’s sperm.

goldfish eggs


Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about caring for the goldfish eggs!

Do Goldfish Eat Their Eggs?

Adult goldfish will eat their eggs if you leave them in the same tank. If you want to hatch your goldfish eggs, you must place them in a fry hatching tank.

Will Unfertilized Goldfish Eggs Hatch?

Unfertilized goldfish eggs will not hatch. Unless a male fertilizes the eggs, a larger fish will eat the eggs. If the eggs have turned white then it means they remain unfertilized.

What Do You Do With Unfertilized Goldfish Eggs?

If you have unfertilized goldfish eggs in your tank, you can either remove them by hand, or let them be eaten by the other inhabitants of the tank. Just don’t leave them too long as they may end up spiking the ammonia levels.

Will Goldfish Eggs Hatch In A Community Tank? 

Larger fish, including their parent goldfish, will eat goldfish eggs left in community tanks. If they manage to hatch, they must still grow into adult fish which is highly improbable in a large community tank.

Why Do Goldfish Eggs Float?

Goldfish eggs float when they aren’t fertilized. Healthy fertilized goldfish eggs will stick to the surfaces in your aquarium, ready to hatch!

What Do Goldfish Eggs Look Like (& What To Do With Them)


Now you know, female goldfish lay neon yellow/orange eggs that stick to the side anything they can in your tank. If you notice these bubbly eggs in your tank, you’ll need to decide if you want to hatch them.

Depending on your intention, you’ll either end up having a nice supply of food for your goldfish or h lots of new fry! Just remember, hatching your goldfish eggs will require separating your eggs by moving them to a new fry tank. 

Once you’ve moved the eggs, make sure you move them to a tank with great water quality, a good filtering system, and warm water. You can also consider adding cherry shrimp to the tank to eat bad eggs and remove harmful fungus.

Remember, unfertilized eggs will slowly begin to rot, so you’ll need to remove them ASAP.

And lastly, if you are interested in breeding goldfish, set up your fry tank ahead of time. Setting up a fry tank ahead of time is the best way to hatch healthy goldfish eggs successfully.

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!


Ultimate Betta Fish Care Guide
About the author

Hey! I'm Nicolas from Iguane Media !

Blogger and Owner of the betta care fish guide
Thanks for reading this blog

I'm an Animal Lover


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)