Enter your search term

Search by title or post keyword

Goldfish Care: Tank, Water & Food Requirements [2022]

Our website is supported by our users. We sometimes earn affiliate links when you click through the affiliate links on our website

Contact us for Questions

Goldfish are undoubtedly a fan favorite in the aquarium community.

Because of their vibrant colors, sociability, and observable intelligence, goldfish are everything but dull.

Besides, properly-cared-for goldfish are known to recognize and even play with their owners.

Therefore, if you’re contemplating purchasing a pet goldfish, read this article to learn everything you should know about goldfish care to ensure your aquatic companion lives a healthy, long, and happy life.

Are Goldfish Easy to Care For?

Goldfish are easy to keep compared to caring for a dog, cat, or other more delicate fish varieties.

In fact, with the correct equipment, you can leave them unsupervised.

Besides, you don’t spend much on vet fees.

Nonetheless, as with other pets, you must provide goldfish with suitable habitat and routine care.

How Long Do Goldfish Live?

A common misconception is that goldfish only live a year or two.

However, goldfish have a projected average lifespan of ten to 15 years if they have good living conditions.

Depending on the species, some fish can live up to three decades with the correct care.

Goldfish Tank Requirements and Basics

Here is what you should know about goldfish tanks.

What Size Tank Does a Goldfish Need?

The minimum tank size required for a single goldfish is 20 gallons.

Your goldfish will need sufficient space to swim about in the middle of your tank.

The basic rule of thumb is five gallons for an inch of length for adult goldfish.

What Do Goldfish Need in Their Tank?

Goldfish enjoy picking up and spitting out pebbles or gravel with their mouths.

Select a substrate bigger than their mouths to avoid it getting swallowed or stuck.

Sand is an excellent alternative as it’s fine and hardly becomes stuck.

Do Goldfish Need a Filter?

Having an effective filter in your goldfish tank arrangement is crucial.

This filter helps maintain optimum water quality by removing toxic ammonia and other wastes, which decreases the danger of diseases.

It also reduces the need for constant manual cleaning.

Do Goldfish Need an Air Pump?

While most people assume that goldfish only need water for survival, they also rely on fresh air.

An aeration device, like a diffuser or air stones, is a terrific and simple way to ensure that you adequately oxygenate the goldfish tank.

Do Goldfish Need a Heater?

Not always! Goldfish are not endothermic, which means their metabolism relies on their surroundings.

A heater might be necessary if your house or outdoor environment becomes too cold for your pet.

It ensures the water temperature remains consistent, ensuring your fish stay healthy and happy.

Do Goldfish Need a Light?

Yes, but only moderately to simulate daylight.

Exposing your goldfish to over six hours of darkness will positively impact their health.

A goldfish that gets enough sleep is more energetic and healthier.

Do Goldfish Need Live Plants?

Goldfish aquariums don’t need to have plants.

Nonetheless, plants are beneficial because they contribute to a healthy aquarium environment.

Live plants reduce levels of ammonia, carbon dioxide, and stress.

Besides, goldfish enjoy feeding on certain plant types like anubias.

Goldfish Water Basics

Like humans cannot survive in toxic air, goldfish cannot survive in polluted water.

Numerous things pollute your aquarium water, including your goldfish’s waste, rotting plants, and leftover food scraps.

Can Goldfish Live in Tap Water?

Many people use treated tap water in goldfish tanks.

Untreated tap water typically contains heavy metals and chlorine, harming and killing fish.

How Long Should Water Sit Before Adding Goldfish?

Water requires sitting for at least 24 hours to dechlorinate.

Otherwise, the high acidity will destroy your fish.

Based on the initial chlorine concentration and the overall water volume, chlorine can take up to five days to evaporate entirely from the water.

What Temperature Should a Goldfish Tank Be?

The recommended temperature range for goldfish is 68 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Nevertheless, some goldfish species thrive in temperatures as low or high as 62 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Often Do You Change Goldfish Water?

The optimal frequency varies according to the size of your aquarium and the fish-to-water ratio.

Nonetheless, the de facto standard is to replace around 15% of the tank water weekly.

You may need to change the water more frequently, especially if you don’t have a filter.

Goldfish Diet and Feeding

Here is what you should know about feeding your goldfish.

What Do Goldfish Eat?

Goldfish are omnivores, so benefit from having a diversified, nutritious diet.

With that in mind, consider veggies, pellets, flakes, and freeze-dried or live food.

How Much Do You Feed a Goldfish?

Feeding your goldfish little food is never an issue, but overfeeding can be disastrous.

So, ensure food is in proportion to the size of the goldfish’s eye and can be consumed in less than two minutes.

How Often Do You Feed a Goldfish?

Until your goldfish is one year old, feed them modest food amounts twice or three times daily.

Once they’re one year old, you should only feed them once daily.

Goldfish Tank Mates

Can you have other fish in your goldfish tank?

Here is what you should know.

Can a Goldfish Live Alone?

Yes, goldfish can survive on their own.

Most goldfish could live long, healthy, and content lives by themselves.

However, remember that not all goldfish will be comfortable alone.

Can a Goldfish Live With Other Goldfish?

Yes, goldfish may cohabitate.

They’ll interact and be active if you house numerous goldfish in a tank.

However, different varieties of goldfish cannot coexist and must be of comparable size to avoid competition for space and food.

How Many Goldfish Can You Keep Together?

We suggest housing at least two goldfish in an aquarium to provide company and encourage activity.

Fish that live alone could experience sadness and lethargy.

Goldfish are typically non-aggressive.

Therefore, they stay in harmony with most communal fish so long as the other fish is bigger than their mouth.

Can a Goldfish Live With Other Types of Fish?

You can combine goldfish with other species.

The key is to select other fish according to their requirements and temperaments, as opposed to their appearance.

Recommended Tank Mates for Goldfish

One excellent addition to your goldfish tank is the rosy barb.

However, as shoaling fish, they will need to be in groups of five and above to avoid becoming excessively hostile.

The zebra danio is a small, swift-moving fish that could easily handle the same temperatures as goldfish.

Keep in mind that their small size means a goldfish might try to eat them.

Lastly, the dojo loach is a bottom feeder that typically gets along well with goldfish.

If your aquarium is smaller than 75 gallons, it’s best to avoid the loach.

How to Care for a Goldfish

Here is what you should know about bringing up healthy goldfish.

How To Feed a Goldfish?

Feeding your goldfish correctly is vital for maintaining a long and healthy life.

Use these measures to ensure a well-balanced diet:

  • Learn the foods your goldfish should consume
  • Incorporate dry food into the diet
  • Offer various live food options

How To Clean a Goldfish Tank?

When cleaning a goldfish tank, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Take out the filters and clean them using water from the aquarium
  • Clean up the waste and dirt from the bottom of the tank
  • Change the water in the tank

How Can I Play With My Goldfish?

Playing with your goldfish is an enjoyable and exciting way to interact with your pet.

Here’s how:

  • Teach your goldfish to swim through push balls and hoops
  • Select an audible or visual cue for your fish
  • Wait for your goldfish to make movements, use the cue, and if they respond, reward them

Can a Goldfish See Me?

Yes, their excellent eyesight allows them to be attentive to movements.

However, the further away this motion is, the poorer their vision, which means they cannot see you if you are at a distance.

Does a Goldfish Recognize Me?

Goldfish can differentiate between persons and frequently recognize their regular feeder.

In that context, goldfish can appear fearful of new people, but will eventually become more relaxed with a stranger.

Goldfish Behavior Basics

How should a happy or stressed goldfish behave?

Here is what you should know.

How Do You Know if a Goldfish Is Happy?

Your goldfish should swim continuously and never float, bobble, or sink.

A contented goldfish will also eat frequently and promptly ascend to the surface during feeding time.

Another strong indicator of a happy goldfish is its shiny appearance.

If you notice your fish looks dull or becomes less interested in feeding, chances are they are unhappy.

What Does a Stressed Goldfish Look Like?

When goldfish are under stress, they frequently adopt erratic swimming patterns.

For instance, they might:

  • Thrash about without moving
  • Smash against the bottom of the aquarium
  • Scratch their bodies on pebbles or gravel
  • Clamping fins to sides.

Ensuring a goldfish is properly cared for will minimize stress levels.

How Do I Know if My Goldfish Is Healthy?

Some typical characteristics of healthy goldfish include:

  • Floats with ease and steadiness
  • Fins are erect
  • Gills are vividly red
  • Alert
  • Healthy appetite
  • Excellent nutritional body condition rating
  • Well proportioned

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some FAQs on goldfish care.

Do goldfish need sunlight?

Wild goldfish inhabit rivers and lakes, so cannot thrive in a permanently dark environment.

Typically, bright daylight illuminates these relatively shallow waters.

Therefore, your aquarium’s lighting should try to replicate this natural environment.

Do goldfish get lonely?

There are split opinions on this; some feel they do, while others don’t.

However, I’ve seen that my goldfish are significantly happier when housed with others.

If you cannot keep your goldfish alongside other fish owing to size limits, you must provide them with sufficient mental stimulation.

Without mental stimulation, they can get bored and unhappy.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re a new owner or want to introduce your kids to your fishkeeping hobby, follow this guide for an exciting and rewarding experience in goldfish care.

Goldfish are a hardy species and an excellent starter fish that don’t require a lot of maintenance.

Focus on good care, and you’ll have a healthy, happy goldfish that could be your companion for years.

Click here to check the amazing goldfish out!

Leave a Comment

Explore More within Happy Pets Now

Happy Pets Now
A comprehensive resource for information about your pet.
post explore
Happy Pets Now
  • Types of Fish

Tadpoles: Types, Behaviors, Lifespan, Costs & More

September 21, 2022
7 min read
Happy Pets Now
  • Health & Care

Cherry Shrimp Care: Tank, Water & Food Requirements

September 5, 2022
8 min read
Happy Pets Now
  • Types of Fish

Cherry Shrimp: Behaviors, Lifespan, Tank & Water Requirements, Care & More

September 5, 2022
6 min read

The Best Pet Resource Hub on the Web. Subscribe to our Newsletter!