There is a lot more to learn about fish keeping, Manu fishes have a lot of health issues and we need to treat them. Goldfish breathing rapidly was a problem for various reasons that we will share below. I have learned why this goldfish breathing fastly happens and how to deal with it.

Goldfish breathe rapidly due to forceful shifts in water parameters, The parameters are pH and Temperature. There are more reasons too such as high ammonia, nitrates, etc. It usually occurs due to poor tank maintenance and water quality.

As I said, I’ll provide you with various reasons and how to treat goldfish breathing problems. I’ll also provide some of the gear that will help to maintain the aquarium clean and good water quality.

To know more about goldfish, you can read our detailed goldfish care guide.

Let’s start

Why are goldfish breathing fast?

Goldfish Breathing
Goldfish Breathing

There are multiple reasons they your goldfish breathing fast. The most common reason is due to lack of oxygen in the aquarium.

Fishes need oxygen for breathing, so you need to ensure the oxygen level in the aquarium to make the fish healthy living. The air pumps will help to increase the oxygen level in the aquarium.

It’s not more costly as fish, keep an air pump for the aquarium to main the oxygen level.

How fast should goldfish breathe?

A healthy goldfish will breathe normally around 120 to 99 breaths in minutes. It was the average respiration rate of breathing. If the goldfish have any health issues then breath may increase or decrease according to health conditions.

Do goldfish breathe fast when stressed

When the goldfish get stressed, they will start breathing fast. There are various reasons for goldfish stress such as tank mates, water quality, noise, etc.

You need to place the aquarium in a quiet place. To calm down the fish from stress.

What is the Reason and Solution for rapid breathing in goldfish?

There are a lot of various reasons for goldfish breathing rapidly. Here, we have some of the major reasons that I see every time.

Low Oxygen

Goldfish Breathing
Goldfish breathing

Low oxygen was one of the most reasons that goldfish have trouble breathing. When your aquarium has low oxygen, the fish will start breathing heavily and rapidly.

They spend a lot of time on the surface and begin to gasp for oxygen. Fish cannot survive in low-oxygen aquariums, after a while they may start dying.


To increase the oxygen, you can change the water and increase the flow of water for creating an oxygen level in the aquarium.


Overcrowding can lead to a lack of oxygen, the fishes need large aquariums for swimming and living.

If the number of fish increases in the aquarium, separate the fish into different tanks. Otherwise, they will start aggressively fighting.

If you need to keep them together, you need to invest in a large aquarium. Overcrowding can lead to many issues such as aggression, bleeding, and stunned growth of fish.

Overcrowding can make the fish stress and they come up and start breathing oxygen, I have answered some questions related to goldfish opening mouths.


The only solution is to separate fish into different tanks or invest in large aquariums to avoid overcrowding.

Reduction in water movement

The powerful filter can solve water movement problems. You need to invest in a good filter to increase the water movement.

If you increase the water movement, the surface tension will be broken and oxygen can enter easily the aquarium.

The aquarium filter will not only increase the water movement but will also maintain the aquarium clean with fresh water.


All you need is to install a filter in the aquarium to increase the water movement. The filter can clean the water and increase the oxygen level in the aquarium.

High water temperature

Goldfish Breathing
goldfish breathing

Another important factor is water temperature, You need to maintain water temperature to reduce breathing problems in fish.

If the water temperature is too high, the water cannot hold oxygen or release carbon dioxide from the water. You need to adjust the water temperature slowly otherwise the fish will get stressed.

You need to also measure that the water temperature doesn’t get too cold.


To adjust the water temperature, if the water temperature is high, you can turn off the aquarium lights and avoid direct sunlight.

When the water temperature is too high, you can use ice cubes to reduce the water temperature. Don’t put ice cubes directly into the aquarium, you can use a plastic bag to cover the ice water.

Maintaining normal temperature will help the growth and reduce the stress of fish. For goldfish recommended temperature is 68° to 74° F.

Live Plants

Another important element in aquariums is live plants. It will maintain the oxygen level in the aquarium.

But you need to provide enough care to them like fish. Otherwise, they may spread wide and algae will start spreading like a blast.

When you introduce live plants into the aquarium, make sure that live plants receive enough light for producing oxygen. Don’t forget about the water temperature too. If you increase the water temperature, it will affect the health of every fish.

There are lots of plants that can affect the fish’s health with ammonia. So live plant selection needs to be important.


The only solution is to maintain the water temperature with enough light for live plants. Another important thing is live plant selection. Try to avoid ammonia-producing plants


Goldfish Breathing
Goldfish Breathing.

Another serious cause of goldfish breathing is due to ammonia poisoning. Ammonia is a nitrogen waster produce when organic things break down, such as bamboo plants.

It can affect the health of goldfish and reduce the lifespan of goldfish such as gills and blood and reduce the ability to breathe oxygen. Ammonia poison is very dangerous, you need to treat the fish as soon as you find that fish is infected.

It is important to maintain the pH level otherwise the water will become cloudy and nitrogenous.

Ammonia poison was due to the wrong live plants that you introduce in the aquariums. Bamboo leaves can be turned yellow for releasing ammonia poison into the water.


The only solution is to introduce suitable live plants to avoid ammonia poison. Clean the tank once a week and avoid overfeeding your fish.

Low-quality water

Low water quality can also affect the goldfish’s breathing problems. If the goldfish tank cloudy and dirty, the fish can’t absorb oxygen for breathing.

If you see the fish swimming toward the surface of the water and gasping air. it was due to low water quality.


The only solution is to change the water once a week and maintain fresh water to increase the oxygen level.


In this article, we have provided detailed reasons and solutions for goldfish breathing. If this post helps you to solve your problems, Share it with Friends and family.

Now you know the reasons and solutions for goldfish breathing fast. I’ve included all the

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