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Goldfish of the month: the Telescope Origin The Telescope is one of those funky Chinese ?experiments?, and the very first telescopes were most likely some sort of mutation from another goldfish breed. People might have found a goldfish with a lot bigger eyes than all the other fish in the pond, and decided it was worth while breeding for that particular characteristic. The telescope might not catch the heart of every fish keeper, and some might find those bulging eyes plain ugly. I am not one of those people though. Some other names for the telescope is Dragon Eye, Globe Eye in the UK, as well as Demekin, which is a Japanese version, with the body assembling more the ryukin look. This one is a rather uncommon one - it looks like the fish has some headgrowth! (Courtesy of DandyOrandas.com) Body features The Telescope is a short, egg-shaped fish with a double caudal fin, forked almost down the full length. The body depth of the fish should be greater than 2/ 3 the length of the body. The dorsal fin should be approximately 1/3 to 5/8 the depth of the body. The pectoral, anal and pelvic fins are paired, the dorsal fin should be erect and 1/3 to 5/8 the depth of the body. There are a few options for the caudal fin ? butterfly, broadtail, even an uncommon form of veiltail, as well as a normal oranda tail. Of course, its most dominant features are the eyes, and they indeed are something else. They protrude outwards, and a good fish should always have two equally sized eyes. There are a few acceptable differences in eye shapes as well: - simple round ones, which can have various degrees of attachment to the head, from just about half the eye attached, while some fish?s eyes seem like they are only holding by less than ? inch of the eye. I have one of those, and his eyes always look like they are about to float off. - The dome shaped eye, which is wider at the base, and narrows down a bit at the tip. - The eye that looks more like it has been flattened out somewhat at the top. My blue girl.... Color options I already covered one color option in the very first article ? black, and also known as the black Moor. There are so many more there, even some rare colors pop up more frequently these days. The choices are orange, red/white, white, calico, tri-color, panda (black/white), as well as some more uncommon colors like bluescale and chocolate. A very nice variation is chocolate with orange pompons (excessively grown nasal growth),although this seems to be something more commonly seen in the UK. A very stunning, soon to be tri-color telescope! (courtesy of Goldfish and Koi USA) Feeding A telescope can be somewhat challenging when it comes to food. Not that he is picky with his food, that?s something we don?t have to worry about with any healthy goldfish. No, its his eyes that can cause him trouble. The telescope sees the food only from a certain angle, and misses very easily. That can be worked on by feeding him always at the same spot, and getting him used to sinking pellets, that way he learns fast that anything good is on the bottom of the tank, and he can go about searching for it leasurely. Of course, getting him used to your hand is a big plus as well, that way you can control exactly how much food he will get. Another option, especially if you wonna feed the fish vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, etc, is a feeding clip. It suctions to the side of the tank, and you can attach those foods on it (here again, same spot every time). Floating food, or food that spreads around the tank aimlessly, like bloodworms, are better fed with a feeding cone, which also stays at the same spot all the time. The telescope just does very poor in chasing after its food. Housing Goldfish = lots of waste. Now, that doesn?t exclude the telescope, although he is not one of those breeds that get really gigantic. Still, it?s a goldfish nonetheless, with a bare minimum of 10 gl per fish. Here again, the bigger, the better. I have seen pictures of very nicely sized telescopes, and they do not reach their full potential in anything smaller than that. Two of mine are measuring 10 inches and 8 inches respectively, and they live together with 2 other, smaller fish, in a 75 gl tank. Keeping the telescopes in ponds needs to be considered carefully. They are easy food for predators like cats and birds of prey because of their slow movement and bad eye sight. Although a rubbermaid tub on a patio area might just do the trick, especially if its covered with some pond netting. Here again, koi and comets do not belong in a pond with telescopes. A stunning specimen of a light chocolate broadtail telescope! (courtesy of Tommy Hui from Goldfishnet.com) Other precautions and thoughts Because of the shape of his eyes, there are a few other things to consider as well ? tank ornaments and companions. His eyes can easily be damaged by sharp objects in the tank, spikey plant leaves, filter intake tubes. The latter ones preferably should be covered in some cushioning material, like an aquarium sponge, or a small piece of netting or stocking. Companions should be choosen carefully ? nothing more mobile than the telescope. There is nothing more frustrating than watching your telescope trying to get some food, that a fast moving oranda, comet or ryukin already got to first, because those breeds are seing so much better. Perfect mates are other telescopes of course, but they do very well with fish like bubble eyes and celestials, which are both equally handicapped. A big no-no are single tailed fish like comets. One more thing regarding those eyes ? quite a lot of telescopes seem to develop a whitish film inside their eyes, which renders them completely blind. Other fish can get it too (my 8 year old lionhead ?Precious?is blind because of it) , but it has been noticed so much more in telescopes and black moors. I have not found out what exactly causes it ? some say brain flukes, others feel it progresses more with the age of that particular breed. . A fish can live perfectly fine as a blind fish, just needs some extra care when feeding.