Setting up a goldfish tank was a crucial task for beginners, Goldfish are enormous fishes and need an excellent aquatic environment and space for living. So it was a simple task for beginners after reading this detailed guide. As a beginner, you need to build an aquatic environment in the tank for the healthy living of goldfish.

According to the research, Goldfish need a lot of space for living and better growth because they Love to swim and proper water conditioning and maintenance will help the goldfish’s health and boost their immunity system. So you need to keep an aquarium that is fit for goldfish.

There is a list of equipment needed for setting up a goldfish tank.

  • Aquarium
  • Filter
  • Substrate
  • Air pump
  • Aquarium lights
  • Heater
  • Live plants
  • Water parameter test kit

In this detailed guide, We will provide all the basic information for goldfish tank setup. As a beginner, you need to maintain the water quality and clean the aquarium for reducing algae buildup and ammonia spreading. After reading this detailed guide, you will know all the information regarding the goldfish tank setup and basic information about goldfish.

History of goldfish

According to our research, The Goldfish is a freshwater fish from the Cyprinidae family. Goldfish is native to China and small member of the carp family. In AD 618 to 907 The popularity of carp raises in ornamental ponds and genetic mutation produced gold and people selected Gold carp as goldfish. Now a lot of different types of goldfish are available in the market.

The average lifespan of goldfish is 10 to 15 years, But they can live more years with proper care and water condition. The goldfish can be kept both indoors and outdoors, The most suitable goldfish for outdoors are normal-type goldfish because they can thrive in any water condition, So smaller changes will not affect the health condition of common or normal-type goldfish.

Different Types of Goldfish 

There are different varieties of goldfish. Basically, goldfish are three types such as normal type, fancy type, and rare type. Normal types can thrive in any water condition without health problems but fancy and rare types have less lifespan and without proper care and water conditioned tank, the fancy and rare types will not thrive.

Here are some of the goldfish types.

Normal Type Goldfish

  • Common Goldfish
  • Comet Goldfish
  • Shubunkin Goldfish
  • Wakin Goldfish

Fancy Type goldfish

  • Fantail Goldfish
  • Ryukin Goldfish
  • Oranda Goldfish
  • Black Moor Goldfish
  • Bubble Eye Goldfish
  • Telescope Goldfish
  • Lionhead Goldfish
  • Ranchu Goldfish
  • Pearlscale Goldfish
  • Celestial Eye Goldfish
  • Tamasaba Goldfish
  • Veiltail Goldfish
  • Pompon Goldfish

How To Choose A Goldfish?

Choosing a goldfish was an easy task for everyone but you need to select a healthy goldfish for the aquarium. The goldfish must be active in the tank and watch them for 10 minutes for finding any other disease affection. The goldfish need to be healthy, bright-colored, need to be active ( Check they are not staying in one place for a long time).

For aquariums and bowls, you can choose any type of goldfish such as normal, fancy, and rare types, As a beginner,  I recommend choosing normal-type goldfish because they are easy to care for and thrive in any water condition.

If you’re an experienced person then choose fancy or rare type goldfish for your tank. You need to check the water quality and water parameters every day and ensure all the goldfish have good health.

For ponds, you can choose normal-type goldfish because they can thrive in any water condition. The outdoor pond temperature can change at any time, So you need to keep a filter and air pump inside the pond for water circulation and cleaning the debris.

What do you need to Setting A goldfish Tank?

For setting up a goldfish aquarium, you need to purchase some equipment listed below. I’ll explain the working and importance of each piece of equipment for the goldfish tank.

  • Aquarium
  • Filter
  • Substrate
  • Air pump
  • Aquarium lights
  • Heater
  • Live plants
  • Water parameter test kit


Goldfish need plenty of space for swimming and they don’t need any crowded tank for living. Choosing a tank for goldfish was pretty simple using the rule “ Choose a tank with 10 gallons of water for every goldfish.

If you choose a small tank or a congested bowl then goldfish will not thrive for long because it was hard to thrive in a small tank with low water cycling and low space for swimming, The goldfish may get stressed due to small space. So Don’t look at the money for choosing a tank, try to buy large tanks for goldfish.

The goldfish are grown faster and they need large space for swimming. Slim-bodied goldfish can grow larger than fancy-type varieties. So you need to choose the tank according to goldfish types.

Aquarium Size

Tank SizeL x W x H
20 gallon High24″ x 12″ x 16″
20 gallon Long30″ x 12″ x 12″
25 gallon24″ x 12″ x 20″
29 gallon30″ x 12″ x 18″
30 gallon Breeder36″ x 18″ x 12″
40 gallon Breeder36″ x 18″ x 16″
40 gallon Long48″ x 12″ x 16″
Large Tanks
50 gallon36″ x 18″ x 19″
55 gallon48″ x 13″ x 21″
65 gallon36″ x 18″ x 24″
75 gallon48″ x 18″ x 21″
90 gallon48″ x 18″ x 24″
125 gallon72″ x 18″ x 21″
150 gallon72″ x 18″ x 28″
180 Gallon72″ x 24″ x 25″
225 Gallon72″ x 27.5″ x 27.5″

Aquarium Types

Below are the different types of aquariums for goldfish. You can choose different types according to your preference. According to our research, we found that goldfish that live in the small bowl have a short lifespan because of a lot of oxygen cycling 


If you put goldfish in a bowl the lifespan of goldfish will be short due to limited space for living. The goldfish requires ample space for living, The bowl is typically small with limited space which can lead to stress and changes in the behavior of goldfish. The Goldfish produce a lot of waste in the tank and the water becomes low quality due to waste.

The Bowl has low oxygenation cycling, It was hard to keep the filter and air pump in a small bowl. So there is no way to introduce oxygen to the bowl and can lead to suffocation and breathing problems.

Tropical Freshwater Tank

The tropical freshwater tank was the best suitable tank for goldfish, The goldfish get a large space for swimming and tropical tanks have advanced filtration and good water condition for improving their health and immunity.

The filtration system will remove all the waste from the aquarium and generate good water flow and oxygenation in the tank. So the goldfish can breathe without any suffocation. It would be easier for controlling the water temperature and other water parameters in the tropical freshwater tank.

Planted Aquarium

Planted aquariums are beneficial for goldfish and offer several benefits for goldfish such as water quality, oxygenation, stress reduction, etc. The live aquatic plants will help to improve the quality of water and absorb ammonia and nitrates. The planted tank was the most suitable aquatic environment for goldfish.

Some of the aquatic plants are the best source of food for fish and it was easier to control the water quality and water parameters in the planted aquariums.

Community Aquarium

Community tank was not suitable for goldfish because aggressive tankmates will attack them which leads to stress formation in goldfish. You can keep goldfish in a community tank with suitable or peaceful tankmates.

A crowded community tank will not help the growth of goldfish and it would be a hard task to manage the community tank. 

How many Goldfish fishes fit in a Tank?

Tank SizeWater GallonsGoldfish Count (Fancy Goldfish)Goldfish Count (Common/Comet Goldfish)
20 gallons20 gallons1N/A (not recommended)
40 gallons40 gallons21
55 gallons55 gallons2-31-2
75 gallons75 gallons3-42
100 gallons100 gallons4-53
125 gallons125 gallons5-64
150 gallons150 gallons6-74-5
200 gallons200 gallons8-105-6

Best Goldfish Tank 


Aquarium filters are used for maintaining the water quality in a fish tank. The aquarium filter will remove waste, debris, and other harmful chemical from the aquariums and reduce the spreading of ammonia and nitrite in the tank. It was an important piece of equipment for every fish tank because it was a hard task to manage the water quality without a filter.

If the water becomes dirty, you need to clean the water. But if you use a filter then it could be an easy task because all you need is to clean the filter sponge or cartridge. There are different types of filters available in the market such as the Hang-on-back filter, Internal Filter, Canister filter, and sponge filter.

Do Goldfish tanks need a filter?

Aquarium Filter is important for goldfish tanks for maintaining the quality of water. Goldfish produce lots of waste and for cleaning it you need to keep a filter in goldfish aquariums. Without an aquarium filter, the goldfish tank becomes cloudy and dirty which leads to many health problems and stress formation.

Different Types of Filtration

These are different types of filtration for removing debris and other waste from aquariums. Mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration will help to maintain the quality of water in a fish tank.


Mechanical filtration is a process of removing physical waste from the aquarium. The filter will trap the physical particles and maintain the quality of water. Mechanical filtration uses various types of filter media such as a sponge, filter pads, floss, etc.


Biological Filtration is the process of breaking down harmful ammonia and nitrites into less toxic nitrate. The filter media will break down the ammonia and nitrite that was produced by fishes. Ammonia and nitrates are harmful to fish, So the biological filter will break them into less toxic forms.


Chemical Filtration is aiming to improve water quality by removing dissolved impurities and contaminants from aquariums. Chemical filtration utilizes the filter media designed for absorbing and removing dissolved substances.

Best Filter for Goldfish

Tetra Whisper IQ Power Filter 20 Gallons

  • QUIET AQUARIUM FILTER: The Tetra Whisper IQ Power Filter with Stay Clean technology contains a sound shield for quiet filtration less than 40 dB.
  • SELF PRIMING: Submerged motor starts up with no priming required.
  • CAPACITY: The Tetra Whisper IQ 20 Power Filter works in filters up to 20 gallons (130 GPH)

Penn-Plax Cascade 600 Fully Submersible Internal Filter

  • QUIET & EFFICIENT: The Cascade 600 Submersible Filter quietly delivers crystal-clear water throughout the aquarium. This filter cycles water at 175 Gallons per Hour (GPH) for tanks up to 50 Gallons in size.
  • ACCOMMODATING: The adjustable flow switch allows for increased or decreased water flow at will, which is extremely helpful during feeding times, or use it as needed.

Penn-Plax Cascade All-in-One Aquarium Canister Filter

  • CASCADE 700 CANISTER FILTER: Without effort, the Cascade 700 Canister Filter quietly delivers crystal clear water throughout the tank. This filter cycles water at 185 Gallons per Hour, and is recommended for aquariums up to 65 gallons.
  • HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT: This Filter comes standard with all the media you’ll need to get started to trap waste and excess food

Gravels or Pebbles( Substrate)

Gravels or Pebbles are essential for every aquarium for improving the aquatic environment. The Gravel provides a vast surface area for beneficial bacteria to colonize. The sand substrate will allow the plant’s roots growth and provide nutrients for plants. The fish can rest on the substrate for a longer period without any harm. 

Different Types of Substrates

There are different types of substrates for aquariums such as those listed below.

  • Gravel
  • Sand
  • Pebbles
  • Aquarium Soil
  • Crushed Coral
  • Marble chips

Best Substrate For Goldfish Tank

Seachem Flourite Black Clay Gravel

  • GRAVEL: Seachem Flourite Black is a specially fracted stable porous clay gravel for the naturally planted aquarium. 
  • AQUARIUM BED: Gravel modifiers such as laterite are not necessary when using Seachem Flourite Black as this product is most effective when used alone as an integral substrate bed, but it may be mixed with other gravels.

GloFish Aquarium Gravel

  • Aquarium GRAVEL: GloFish aquarium Gravel creates a colorful base for all your GloFish ornaments.
  • RANGE OF COLORS: Choose pink, green, white, black with fluorescent accents, or a mix of colors.
  • BASK IN THE GLOW: Fluorescent-accented gravel stands out under GloFish blue LED lights.

Aquarium Lights (Best aquarium Lights)

Aquarium lights are important for every planted aquarium for the growth of plants. If you place the aquarium in a dark room that makes the fish stressed, So you can use aquarium lights for stress reduction.

The best light for the goldfish tank will be according to the size of the aquariums. Below is the best aquarium light suitable for goldfish.

Hygger 9W Full Spectrum Aquarium Light

  • 【Ultra Bright Led Light】this aquarium led light is DC12V/9W, 5730 large leds, super bright
  • 【Adjustable Brackets】the fish tank light comes with 2 metal and 2 plastic mounting brackets, which are both freely extendable.

Live Plants

Live plants are important for goldfish tanks for generating oxygen content in the water. The live plants clean water by absorbing excess nutrients like phosphates and nitrates. Improving water quality and increasing oxygen production through photosynthesis.

Aquatic plants will control the growth of algae and ammonia spreading in the aquariums. For breeding, live plants offer spawn sites for many species and protect eggs and fry. 

What are the Different types of Live Plants

  1. Anubias
  2. Java Fern
  3. Cryptocoryne
  4. Amazon Sword
  5. Dwarf Hairgrass
  6. Java Moss
  7. Water Wisteria
  8. Hornwort
  9. Vallisneria
  10. Ludwigia
  11. Rotala
  12. Bacopa
  13. Hygrophila
  14. Alternanthera
  15. Dwarf Sagittaria
  16. Staurogyne Repens
  17. Eleocharis acicularis (Dwarf Hairgrass)
  18. Cryptocoryne Wendtii
  19. Limnophila sessiliflora (Ambulia)
  20. Pennywort (Hydrocotyle spp.)

Best Live plants for a goldfish tank?

These are the best live plants for goldfish tanks. While selecting live plants choose healthy plants only and low maintenance. Here are some of the best live plants for goldfish.

  • Anubias
  • Java Fern
  • Cryptocoryne
  • Vallisneria
  • Anacharis

Water Parameter Test Kit

A water parameter test kit was used for testing the quality of water and ph level of water. If the water quality was too low then change water as soon as possible because it creates suffocation in goldfish.

API 5-in-1 Test Strips Freshwater

  • Contains one (1) API 5-IN-1 TEST STRIPS Freshwater and Saltwater Aquarium Test Strips 25-Count Box
  • Monitors levels of pH, nitrite, nitrate carbonate and general water hardness in freshwater and saltwater aquariums
  • Dip test strips into aquarium water and check colors for fast and accurate results

Air Pump

Aquarium Air pumps are used for supplying oxygen to the aquariums. Goldfish required a good supply of oxygenation in the tank. It was beneficial for goldfish health and water circulation and goldfish stress can be reduced. Sudden changes in the water quality lead to changes in the oxygen level in the aquariums. So you can use an air pump for oxygenating aquariums.

Do Goldfish tanks need an air pump?

The air pump was essential equipment for the goldfish tank to generate oxygen. Without an air pump or a filter, It will be hard to thrive in a tank because sudden changes in the water quality or temperature will affect the health of goldfish.

Best Air pump for goldfish tank

HITOP Dual Outlet Aquarium Electric Air Pump

  • Ultra Quiet: Made of ABS thickening engineering plastics, super silent aquarium air pump. Soft rubber foot pads, further palliation for noise.
  • Long Service Life: Manually adjustable air volume, won’t cause shakes and electric field fluctuation, much safer than electronic adjustment, lower failure rate.
  • Aquarium Air Pump with 2 outlets, dual hose fish tank air pump, fit for fish tanks from 20 to 100 gallon.


Aquarium heaters are used for stabilizing the water temperature in the goldfish tank. You can set a temperature that was suitable for goldfish. It was mainly used in the winter season for increasing the water temperature. It was essential for tropical fish tanks for controlling the temperature. Sudden changes in the water temperature are harmful to goldfish and increase stress.

Best heater for goldfish tank

Orlushy Submersible Aquarium Heater

  • ★300W aquarium heater is suitable for 40 to 55 gallons aquariums,Length – 11 inch,voltage 110-120V, power cord is 6ft, please choose the right wattage aquarium heater according to our size chart.
  • ★It shows an area to adjust the temperature. It’s not exactly accurate but it turns easy and can be adjusted at small intervals.

How to set up a Goldfish Tank in 9 easy steps

Now you can set up a goldfish tank in 9 easy steps. Use clean and dechlorinated water for goldfish and check the water parameters according to goldfish preference.

Adding clay layer

20 Gallon Fish Tank

Fish tank setting up needs to start with adding a small layer of clay to the bottom. It was used as the first layer for getting a grip on the sand and to encourage live plants in the tank.

Add a small layer means one cm size. Don’t add clay to the fish tank because the fish tank may become dirty. So it will be very hard to clean the water in fish tanks.

Adding sand

In this step, You need to add the sand to the aquarium. Before adding it to the aquarium, you can wash the sand 2 times in water for removing any unwanted waste from the sand.

After that, you can add the sand above the clay layer. Seachem Fluorite Sand 3.5kg was one of the best sand that was recommended by many fish owners. You can choose the sand color according to your preferences.

Adding gravels

After adding sand into the aquarium, now you can add gravel into the tank. Before adding the gravel, you can wash it 2 times to remove the waste. Gravel will help to grow good bacteria and it allows water to flow freely rather than on another substrate.

These three steps are simple and easy to do. But the installation of equipment may be a little harder for beginners. Be careful while installing the equipment in a fish tank.

Installation of heater

20 Gallon Fish Tank

After adding clay, sand, and gravel to your aquarium, now it’s time to install the equipment one by one. Installing an aquarium heater is pretty simple, you can attach the heater under the water. There are different types of aquarium heaters available on the market.

The important thing is the placement of the aquarium heater. You need to select the heater according to the size of the tank and need to position it at the backside glass. It was not compulsory for the high-temperature areas.

Aquarium heaters are used for maintaining the temperature level in the fish tank. The heater will help to control the temperature as you set it. You can set the temperature of a heater according to the fish’s temperature.

Installation of air pump

Aquarium air pumps are an essential part of every aquarium. Fishes need good oxygen content in the water for breathing.

Otherwise, they will start struggling for breathing oxygen and come to the surface area for gasping air.

Many fishes have breathing problems and without an air pump, they will become stressed and start attacking other fish.

You can use Pawfly 13 Feet Airline Tubing Standard Aquarium Air Pump Accessories for setting the air pump.

Connect one end of the tube to the air pump outlet and install a valve( 2 or way) and connect the air stone at the other end of the tube. You can use a 3-way valve for two air stones.

After all connections, you can place it in the aquarium and hide the tube using gravel or pebbles.

Installation of the filter

20 Gallon Fish Tank

Like aquarium air pumps, aquarium filters are an essential part of aquariums. Many beginners don’t know the benefits of aquarium filters.

The aquarium filter will reduce maintenance. After installing the aquarium filter, you need to clean it only once per week.

The aquarium filter will clean the debris and toxic build-up of ammonia.

Without the filter, you need to clean the tank regularly. Otherwise, the water becomes cloudy.

The fishes need good quality water for living. Changing the water regularly was not possible for busy people. So you can install an aquarium filter.

There are different types of filters available in the market. But I’ll recommend buying Tetra Whisper EX 30 Filter For 20 To 30 Gallon aquariums( Link Above Table). It was very easy to install and efficient cleaning.

The installation filter was pretty simple, you can see the installation guide in the manual. Fix the filter on the glass and make sure the intake valves are underwater.

Adding live plants

20 Gallon Fish Tank

After installation of all equipment, you can set live plants in the aquarium. There are different types of live plants that you can find in your near store.

Here is the list of plants that are suitable for goldfish fish tank.

  • 1. Java Moss
  • 2. Dwarf Baby Tears
  • 3. Dwarf Hairgrass
  • 4. Marsilea Minuta
  • 5. Amazon Sword
  • 6. Java Fern
  • 7. Anubias Nana

Adding stones and driftwood

After adding live plants into the aquarium, it’s time to add stones or driftwood for decoration. Many people use stones and driftwood for creating a beautiful aquatic nature in the tank.

Before adding stones and driftwood, you need to wash them with potassium permanganate and add small live plants to the stones and driftwood.

Don’t over-decorate the aquarium because many fishes need a lot of swimming space. So if you add more decoration, they will become stressed.

Installation of light

It was the last step in the setting goldfish tank. Installation of light is easy, You can buy hygger 14W Full Spectrum Aquarium Light.

You can select the size of the aquarium light according to the size of the fish tank.

20 Gallon Fish Tank

Place the light on above the glass and fit it on the side glass. Make sure that the wire was not touching the water.

Can filter need to be on every time?

All equipment except the heater needs to be on every time. The heater needs to use according to the season or temperature variations. Filter was essential for every fish tank for cleaning the dirt and debris.

They will help to reduce the toxic growth of ammonia in the fish tank and also they will provide good quality water. You need to clean the filter sponge thrice a week.

How to maintain a fish tank

I have seen that many people start fish-keeping and quit after some months. I started fishkeeping to reduce stress and to entertain life. Fishes are the most adorable animals in the world, If your have frustrated then you can go near the tank and watch the fishes.

Maintenance of the fish tank was a little harder. You need to change the water once a week. Drain 80% of the water from the tank and refill it with fresh water.

Every month, you need to clean the tank by removing all the equipment and materials from the tank. Otherwise, the water becomes cloudy and fishes become stressed in the uncleaned tank.


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