The first thing to probably come to mind would be that silver and gold fish with really long fins swimming on an endless circle in a small fishbowl.
And you might think that a goldfish should be happy in that small fish bowl but that is far behind the truth.
Goldfish are one of the most popular freshwater fishes to keep and they actually need a lot more space to thrive than a small fishbowl can offer. This is why you will need to buy the best goldfish tank out there!
Goldfish, depending on the type, can grow up to 10 inches and live up to 20 years under the right conditions. And ensuring that your goldfish live a happy, healthy and long life all begins the right tank.
The Top 10 Best Goldfish Tanks 2019
The market offers hundreds of tanks and aquariums today. So, choosing one can be quite frustrating and confusing. Not to worry though, we already did the hard part and come up with a shortlist of the best goldfish tanks out there!
#1 MarineLand Contour Glass Aquarium Kit
Boasting a 4.2-star rating on Amazon, this tank from reputable brand name MarineLand is Amazon’s Choice for “Aquariums”. For over 40 years, the brand has been committed to fishkeeping success and applies advanced engineering to create a high-quality aquatic environment.
And this MarineLand Aquarium Kit provides a stylish and quick foundation for starting your new aquarium. It features curved glass as well as a LED lighting system that uses bright blue and white LEDs to show off the tank in the possible light with both moonlight and daylight settings.
Meanwhile, the advanced 3-stage filtration keeps the tank healthy and clean with the adjustable flow filter pump. In addition, the aquarium kit also features an easy-to-use glass canopy that slides back over your tank filter providing a gap for daily feeding and water care additions.
#2 Marina LED Aquarium Kit
Yet another significantly amazing aquarium, this one from Marina is manufactured to encourage the natural movement of your fish. This tank is available in sizes 5, 10, and 20 gallons of water within its glass container.
The Marine LED Aquarium kit features a quick-change filter cartridge with the patented Marina Slim clip-on filter for the water. Also, it makes use of the natural daylight effects with the LED lighting module that can last for a really long time.
Meanwhile, the lighting system is also built into the tank canopy so it can be operated as you wish. In addition, other items to quickly start your fishkeeping hobby includes an organic supplement, fish food, environment fishnet, water conditioner and a tank fish guide which teaches you how to best clean and maintain the tank.
Check the price on Amazon.
#3 Tetra ColorFusion Complete Aquarium Kit
If you want a tank that offers a unique seafloor experience, then the Tetra ColorFusion is your best choice. Its main attraction is the color-changing LED system that transforms your tank with each color change while the blooming anemone sways way with your filter current.
This tank is built to last with its scratch-resistant glass. The kit also comes fully equipped with the Tetra HT 20 heater that provides a reliable and consistent heat to keep your goldfish healthy and happy.
Not only that, but the kit also includes TetraMin Sachet, AquaSafe Sachet, Digital Thermometer, 4 inches fish Net, 37 inches Frame Hinges and a TetraCare Brochure.
#4 SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set
Probably one of the best-looking goldfish tanks out there, the SeaClear is a 20-gallon tank that can handle 1 – 2 goldfish. The gallon tank looks seamless and clear with the special heat polishing and molecular bonding process which provides you with a crystal clear view.
Made of acrylic, this tanks is practically break- and leak-proof that can handle a slight roughness. Since it is 17 times stronger than glass, it makes a great choice for homes with rowdy kids and pets.
Not only is it durable and tough, but it is also at least half the weight of glass tanks of the same size, making it easier to lift, transport and setup. The combo kit also features a fluorescent light fixture and a reflector.
#5 Carolina Biological Supply Company Glass Tank
If you’re just looking for a goldfish tank so that you can choose the rest of the equipment yourself, then this is the most affordable tank we are featuring in this list. This 20-gallon glass tank is the ideal size for beginner goldfish keepers.
The beauty of choosing this standalone tank is that you can add equipment as you want. It also features diamond polished edges with distortion-free glass. Meanwhile, the black-framed bottom and top as well as the commercial grade silicone sealant add a classic and elegant look that also prevents leakage.
#6 Aqueon LED MiniBow Aquarium Starter Kit
For the starting goldfish keeper, reputable brand Aqueon offers the MiniBow Aquarium starter kit. It is a compact fish tank that is specially made to hold a single goldfish. It is stylish and sleek, featuring an elevated base and contemporary design that looks great on your side table.
Its style blends effortlessly into every home décor you might have. Meanwhile, setup and maintenance are also straightforward and swift with no special skills required. Other than its sleek and minimalist design, the unit also features a LED light hood with a feeding hole for your fish.
The kit also comes with filters, a sample of fish food and water and an aquarium setup guide that helps starting fish keepers.
#7 Hagen HG Flex Aquarium
This aquarium from Hagen is one of the very few freshwater tank kits to incorporate amazing illumination as well as a powerful multistage filtration system. The contemporary design is paired with 48 white and fully adjustable RGB 2450 lux LEDs that illuminate your plants and goldfish. Meanwhile, the 7500K LED lamp helps promote plant growth.
This is also a fully-fledged glass tank plus an infrared remote sensor which is conveniently integrated and easily accessible on the tank’s canopy. For superior water quality, it includes a 3 stage filtration media.
Meanwhile, the multi-directional 13 GPH dual outputs help customize the water flow and nicely hidden in the rear compartment. The tank itself features a unique curved up front to give the illusion of a bigger aquatic environment.
#8 Umbra FishHotel Mini Aquarium
For the most stylish aquarium, there’s really nothing best than the Umbra FishHotel. This ABS plastic and Glass 1.8-gallon fish tank are stackable with a striking modern minimalistic design.
You can buy multiple FishHotels and stack them together to create a tall condo appearance for your goldfish. Meanwhile, the detachable outer shell can also be painted in order to match your home décor.
It is also super easy to clean with the ABS plastic façade as well as the asymmetrical windows surrounding the glass are removable.
#9 Fluval Premium Bow Aquarium Kit
If you’re planning to keep multiple goldfish, then this aquarium from Fluval is your best option. This is a 45-gallon bow-front tank and is a great choice for beginners and experts. The tank’s bow-front shaped offers greater viewing of your goldfish as well as decorations while allowing enough room for your fishes to swim.
Being a kit, this aquarium already has everything you need for the initial setup. It comes with a C4 filter with 5-stage filtration in order to keep the water quality balanced and healthy. Also, the kit includes the food and water treatments that you need to get started.
The aquarium also includes a thermometer, a net and a care guide. Meanwhile, the low-profile LED lights generate 1470 lumens, making it ideal for plants and beneficial to your fishes.
#10 Tetra LED Half Moon Tank
For a stylish half-moon tank, this one from Tetra offers you a full viewing window. Ideal for betta, this tank has a 1.1-gallon capacity, making it also suitable to keep goldfish.
Its small size can fit onto any desktop and still give your fish some extra space to explore. The fish tank is made with a feeding hole as well as a clear plastic canopy, illuminated from above and below with the adjustable LED light.
How Do You Choose The Right Tank?
The Right Size?
At the very minimum, you can get a 20-gallon tank if you are keeping 1 – 2 goldfish. Depending on how many goldfish you are planning to keep, chances are you will want a larger tank. You will need to add 10 gallons of water for every additional goldfish that you buy.
And if you are keeping the slim-bodied goldfish such as shubunkins, comets, and commons, then you will need even more space— at least 30 gallons more for each fish.
In general, here’s my most simple advice.
Get the biggest tank you can afford.
But goldfish tanks are darn expensive!
Yes, I know. But that large expense also means that your precious fishes will not have to breathe through murky, dirty waters. That’s assuming that the aquarium is maintained properly. And it is much easier to keep the water clean and clear with a large goldfish tank.
A small aquarium means more work, changing the water every now and then and stresses out your goldfish.
Is that it?
No. Here are other reasons why you need to get the biggest tank you see and can afford.
Due to their odd body shape, goldfish will need much more oxygen than the slim-bodied and more streamlined fishes of the same length. The 1-inch-of-fish-per-gallon rule can work while your goldfish is still young, however, as they grow (and to tell you, they grow rather quick), so does their body.
And before you know it, your goldfish is 4 times its previous weight. Since they are so heavy, they will also need more oxygen. So, if your aquarium does not have a lot of space, you might find your fish gasping for breath near the waterline.
FREQUENT WATER CHANGES ARE STRESSFUL
As mentioned before, changing their water can be stressful for your fishes. Goldfish prefer water that has a constant temperature. If you are doing a routine water change, your goldfish can go into shock if you are not careful to keep the newly added water with the same temperature as the tank.
In addition, a small aquarium cannot hold enough water mass and the water will take on whatever temperature the room is, cooling down or heating up much faster than larger tanks with more water mass. More water means slower changes in temperature.
So, if someone happens to leave the window open or your power line fails and cold air flows inside the room, that quick changes in temperature can cause serious stress to your goldfish.
THEY POOP A LOT!
Goldfishes excrete lots of waste— even more than most fish species due to their heavy bodies. So, each day you allow your tank to sit, the water quality is getting dirtier and worse.
But with larger tanks with more water mass, the water quality decrease is much slower and wastes are less concentrated. This is why you will not have to do water changes frequently to keep conditions healthy.
GROW TO THEIR FULL POTENTIAL
Your goldfish can still grow in a small 5-gallon tank. However, their growth will become halted and your fishes will not be able to properly develop. In such an environment, a goldfish will not usually last any more than just a couple of years.
Unfortunately, most goldfish never live that long and will not even grow 8, 10 or even 20 inches long as their bodies should be.
An overcrowded tank can cause serious health issues on your goldfishes. Water quality here worsens at a faster rate since more waste dissolves and the water becomes more concentrated with toxins.
In addition, fishes tend to get more aggressive when they are overcrowded. Thus, not only are the fishes stressed out because of the poor water quality, they are now faced with the much-larger and hostile tank mates. And if they do not suffer from torn fins or a few bloody scrapes first, a fungal infection can get to them.
ACCOMMODATE ALL DECORATIONS YOU WANT
We all have this image of the perfect goldfish tank.
And most fish hobbyists will always want to go all out, landscaping their aquarium with all kinds of driftwood, live plants, and ornaments. Others will want a theme, a treasure cave at the center probably with a small sunken ship and few plastic plants.
Regardless of what your designing plan, chances are you will not be able to achieve the look with a small aquarium. So, you will want to go much larger and design to your heart’s content.
Wide or Long?
Goldfish tanks come in various dimensions and shapes. You need to carefully consider the shape you’re going to pick since not all of them offer the same benefits to goldfish. Try to avoid pentagons, equilateral hexagons and cylinders since these tanks are too deep and do not have a wide surface area like bow front and rectangle aquariums.
Don’t buy long, deep aquariums. Goldfish require a good amount of oxygen and need the extra surface area in horizontal and wide setups. A wide surface area is crucial in order to keep the oxygen levels up and the carbon dioxide out.
In addition, longer aquariums are a bit harder to work with— you will have to reach far in order to move around plants and ornaments. Furthermore, goldfish are happier swimming across distances instead of diving deep.
Glass or Acrylic?
Whether you choose a glass or acrylic tank is up to you. Both options have their own pros and cons and neither one is perfect.
- Glass tanks hold their shape, even unsupported. As for acrylic tanks, if you do not support it on a stand, the material will bend over time.
- Glass does not scratch. But it sure can break and you can face a massive leak.
- Glass tanks will have the same clarity for years to come. Acrylic tanks without UV stabilizers get cloudy or yellowish over time. However, even though clear, glass can still have green tints that are from the iron in the glass. The more iron it has and the thicker the tanks are, the greener the tint.
- Glass design choices are limited. You will usually find glass tanks in the traditional rectangle shape.
- Glass tanks have seams on corners which can often be damaged when scraping algae off the sides. And when it gets damaged, you will experience some serious leaks.
- Glass tanks are heavy. Most people will recommend acrylics for goldfish tanks that are larger than 400 gallons since glass becomes too heavy to even lift. The extra weight will also strain your floor and aquarium stand.
- Acrylic is lightweight. Taking both acrylic and glass tanks of the same shape and size, acrylic tanks will always be lighter. This is because acrylic is less than half the weight of glass so you can move it from one room to another with less effort.
- Acrylic tanks retain more heat which can be beneficial for your fish. As you know, fluctuating water temperatures can stress out your goldfish. So by retaining more heat, the tank can also maintain the water temperature.
- Acrylic tanks are durable. You do not have to worry about any major leaks from breaks or cracks. Collisions will only cause the aquarium to bend a little, depending on the force of impact. And because acrylic is bonded instead of seamed together, they hold better over long-term.
- Acrylic tanks offer more design options and realistic, clear views. You do not have to stick with the plain rectangle-shaped tanks and go with bow front and flat back hexagons. Plus, the view is not as distorted as with glass.
- Its sides are spotless. This is because they do not have silicone-filled corners or seams like glass tanks.
- Acrylic tanks can scratch. However, these scratches can be easily removed. And a scratch is much better than getting a crack and a major leakage.
- Acrylic tanks are pricey. Most often than not, you will find the same-sized glass tank at a cheaper price.
Setting Up Your Goldfish Tank
Setting up a goldfish tank is pretty much like setting up any other fish tanks.
You will need to keep the aquarium away from any heat source and windows.
First, clean the tank in order to remove any dirt and dust build-up while it was being stored. Add a layer of gravel or sand. If you are using gravel, make sure to choose larger grains (larger than peas) since goldfish love to sift and might swallow smaller pieces.
Set up your equipment— lights and de-chlorinator, thermometer and filter. Fill the tank with de-chlorinated water and add your decorations and plant.
Turn your equipment on and allow it to cycle for 4 – 6 weeks. It is crucial that you fully cycle the aquarium since it encourages a good bed of bacteria build-up that handles nitrites and ammonia in your tank.
How To Clean and Maintain a Goldfish Tank
You’ll need to set up a maintenance schedule for cleaning the goldfish tank. There will be tasks that you need to perform daily, while others only require to be done once a month.
- Checking the water temperature.
- Feeding your fishes.
- Removing any large chunks of uneaten food.
- Checking on your fishes.
Fortnightly or Weekly:
- Wiping down the outside surface.
- Cleaning the gravel with a siphon.
- Checking if all equipment is not damaged and working properly.
- Using an algae magnet to remove any algae buildup.
- Performing a 25 percent water change.
- Changing the filter (according to the manufacturer’s instructions).
- Checking water parameters (nitrites, ammonia, pH, nitrates).
- Trimming plants
By keeping your tank maintained properly, you’ll reduce the risk of disease and infection in the tank and keep your goldfish healthy and happy.