Fancy Goldfish Tank Sizes
Goldfish. Fancy goldfish to be more precise. Those cute, bloated little fish with their puffy eyes and fluffy tails that come in a multitude of colors to choose from. You may see them in TV shows and movies living in a little cute bowl or tiny tank with a ton of different toys or decorations. You can even go to the pet store and see bunches of them crammed into one tank; all of them pushing and bumping into one another. That is no way for them to live. This article will explain a little on why and how you can better care for them. (There is a recap checklist at the bottom for those in too much rush to read the entire article.)
If you are interested in collecting fancy goldfish, there are a few things you should know BEFORE you get them and take them home. You need to decide how many you want and the right tank size to get for that many. Making a plan before shopping will come in very handy when it comes to your fish as it is too easy to get excited about your pretty little fancies and not being prepared for what it takes to care for them properly.
(Sometimes making a plan doesn’t work out and you may need to wing it, temporarily. This is especially true if you are given one for free, win it in a carnival game, etc.)
Did you know that fancy goldfish usually grow to a minimum of 8-10 inches long? That’s almost a foot, just in length. Some grow even larger than that; the Guinness Book of World Records shows the longest recorded goldfish is 18.7 inches in length. That doesn’t even consider how wide their pudgy little bodies get. So putting them in tiny bowls and small aquariums is just not going to work in the long run. Being cramped up without enough room to stretch and grow can hinder their growth and cause all sorts of health issues.
Fancy goldfish can live a long time, living up to 40 plus years, although it is more common for them to live around 15-20 years. The healthier the fish, the longer they live. That’s why it is a good idea to keep them in larger tanks and not those cutesy little bowls seen on TV. The highly recommended size tank for one goldfish is a minimum of a 20-gallon tank with an extra 10-gallons for every fish after two. Yes, the general rule of thumb for tropical fish is 1 gallon per 1-inch, however, goldfish, especially fancy goldfish, are not your typical fish. They grow much larger and put off much more waste.
Believe it or not, the larger tanks are actually easier to maintain. The larger the tank, the less often it needs to be cleaned out. Goldfish put off quite a bit of ammonia, more than ordinary tropical fish. In a smaller tank, all of that ammonia will collect and pollute the water way faster than in a larger tank. You will see your fish coming up to the surface more often to get air because they cannot get it from the water. They will get sick more often and the smell that comes from the tank will get very strong.
While some of the ammonia does rise to the surface and some goes through the filtering system, it is not anywhere near enough to compensate for the amount goldfish create. This is especially true in tanks with a smaller surface area, such as in bowls and fancy aquariums. The ideal tanks are the rectangle shaped with the top the same size as the bottom, however, with the large assortment of tank shapes and sizes available on the market, it is not the only type that will work. Just make sure that whatever design you go with has a large surface area. Also make sure to get the correct filtering system for the size tank you have. (It won’t hurt to get a system that is recommended for a slightly larger tank, i.e., a 55-gallon filtering system for a 40-gallon tank).
Prepare a plan before buying if at all possible.
Fancy goldfish can grow up to a foot or more in length and live around 15-20 years.
They put off a lot of ammonia, more than normal fish.
The minimum tank size should be around 20 gallons for one or two fish, larger if you have more.
Larger tanks are generally easier maintenance.
Choose a tank with a large surface area.
Owning fancy goldfish does not have to be a huge chore and tons of work. With the right equipment, your fish can live a long and healthy life, bringing you lots of joy. Hope you enjoy them!