Do Goldfish Make Noise? {Can They Hear?}

Do you ever wonder if or do goldfish make noise like other animals?

In this exploration, we dive into the question of whether goldfish can produce sounds.

Let’s find out if these popular aquatic pets have a voice of their own. Join us on this journey to discover if goldfish can communicate with sounds.

Do Goldfish Make Noise?

No, goldfish do not make noise in the same way that mammals or birds do. They lack vocal cords and do not possess the ability to produce sounds.

  • Goldfish communicate primarily through visual cues, body language, and interactions with their environment.
  • They may exhibit certain behaviors like splashing, fin flicking, or jumping, but these actions do not generate sound.
  • If you hear any unusual noises coming from your aquarium, it is more likely to be caused by equipment, such as water filters or air pumps, rather than the goldfish themselves.

Goldfish rely on other forms of communication to interact with their surroundings and tankmates.

Why Is My Goldfish Making Noise in the Aquarium?

If you notice unusual noise coming from your goldfish aquarium, it is unlikely to be produced by the goldfish themselves. Rather, the noise is usually caused by equipment within the aquarium setup.

Common sources of noise can include:

  • water filters
  • air pumps
  • water splashing against the tank walls or decorations

Air pumps, in particular, can create a buzzing or humming sound. To address the issue, you can check the equipment to ensure it is functioning properly and positioned correctly.

It’s also a good idea to clean or replace any worn-out parts that may be contributing to the noise.

Can Goldfish Hear or Sense Sound?

While goldfish do not possess external ears like humans or mammals, they do have an inner ear structure that allows them to sense vibrations and changes in water pressure.

  • Goldfish are sensitive to low-frequency sounds and can detect movements and disturbances in the water.
  • They rely on their lateral line system, which runs along the sides of their bodies, to detect these vibrations and changes.
  • This sensory system helps goldfish navigate their environment, locate food, and detect potential threats.

While they may not perceive sound in the same way humans do, goldfish have adapted to rely on their sensory abilities to interact with their surroundings effectively.

Are There Goldfish That Make Less Noise?

While goldfish, in general, do not make noise, it is worth noting that certain goldfish varieties may be more prone to producing audible splashing sounds due to their physical characteristics.

Goldfish with longer, flowing fins, such as the fancy varieties like Orandas or Fantails, may cause more water movement when they swim, leading to increased splashing sounds.

However, these sounds are typically related to water movement rather than the fish themselves. If you prefer a quieter aquarium environment, you can consider:

  • adjusting the water flow
  • modifying tank decorations
  • selecting goldfish varieties with shorter fins that create less disturbance in the water
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Can Goldfish Hear Music or Respond to Sound?

Goldfish have the ability to sense vibrations and changes in water pressure, but their hearing is different from that of humans.

  • While goldfish can perceive low-frequency sounds, they do not have external ears like mammals.

As a result, their response to music or specific sounds is limited. However, goldfish may exhibit behavioral changes in the presence of rhythmic or repetitive sounds, as it can create vibrations in the water that they can sense.

Each goldfish has its own unique preferences and reactions, so some individuals may show more interest or response to certain sounds than others.

Providing a calm and peaceful environment for your goldfish is generally more beneficial for their overall well-being.

Why Do Goldfish Splash or Jump Out of the Water?

Goldfish may exhibit splashing or jumping behaviors for various reasons, but it is not related to making noise. Splashing can occur when goldfish are:

Jumping, on the other hand, is a less common behavior but can happen if they feel stressed or perceive a threat in their environment.

It’s essential to ensure that the aquarium has a secure lid or cover to prevent goldfish from jumping out, which could result in injury or death.

If your goldfish frequently engages in jumping behavior, it is recommended to evaluate the tank conditions, such as water quality, temperature, and the presence of any aggressive tankmates, to address any potential stressors.

Can Stress or Poor Water Quality Lead to Unusual Noises from Goldfish?

Stress and poor water quality can indirectly contribute to unusual noises in a goldfish tank. When goldfish experience stress due to factors like overcrowding, inadequate filtration, or poor water conditions, they may exhibit erratic behaviors that cause splashing or agitation in the water.

  • Increased water movement can create audible sounds.

Poor water quality can lead to bacterial or fungal infections, affecting the health of the goldfish’s swim bladder or gills, which may manifest as abnormal behaviors accompanied by noise-like symptoms.

Maintaining a clean and well-maintained tank, providing suitable filtration, and regularly monitoring water parameters can help minimize stress and prevent potential noise-related issues in goldfish.

Can Goldfish Communicate with Each Other Using Sounds?

Goldfish primarily communicate through:

  • visual cues
  • body language
  • interactions with their environment

While they do not produce vocalizations like mammals or birds, goldfish can communicate using other means. They may display various behaviors, such as:

  • fin display
  • tail wagging
  • body movements

These visual cues help establish:

  • hierarchy
  • courtship
  • territorial boundaries

Goldfish also respond to their environment, such as changes in light, water temperature, or the presence of food, which can trigger specific behaviors.

Do Baby Goldfish Make Different Noises than Adult Goldfish?

Goldfish do not make specific noises or vocalizations, regardless of their age. The ability to produce sounds is not part of their natural communication repertoire.

  • While baby goldfish may exhibit certain behaviors associated with their growth and development, such as darting or exploring, these actions do not generate audible sounds.

The communication methods of goldfish, including body language, visual displays, and interactions, remain consistent across different life stages.

It’s important to provide appropriate care, nutrition, and a suitable tank environment for both baby and adult goldfish to ensure their well-being and healthy development.

Can Vibrations Affect Goldfish Behavior?

Yes. Goldfish can be sensitive to external factors and vibrations, which can influence their behavior. Changes in their environment include:

These stressors may lead to changes in behavior, such as:

It is recommended to provide a stable and peaceful environment for goldfish, minimizing sudden disturbances or excessive vibrations that can induce stress.

Ensuring a proper tank setup, including adequate filtration, maintaining a consistent lighting schedule, and placing the tank in a quiet area, can help create a favorable environment that supports the well-being of goldfish and minimizes potential disruptions in their behavior.


While goldfish do not possess the ability to make sounds like mammals or birds, they communicate through other means. Their interactions involve visual cues, body movements, and responses to their environment.

While they may not produce audible noises, goldfish have their unique ways of expressing themselves.

By observing their behavior and understanding their natural communication methods, we can appreciate the fascinating world of goldfish and how they communicate without relying on sound


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Brian Arial

Brian Arial has kept fish for leisure and worked with fish stores for most of his life. He enjoys writing and caring for aquariums and ponds.