Do Goldfishes Need a Big Tank?

Every living thing needs the right environment to thrive. The right environment entails everything vital to the growth, health and overall well being of that living thing. A plant that is not watered daily, will die off.

Goldfish need a big tank to thrive. It is not recommended to keep gold fish in a small bowl. Ideally each gold fish will require 20 gallons of water. You can put goldfish in smaller tanks but they will not thrive. 

Do Goldfishes Need a Big Tank

A growing child deprived of necessary nutrients will be malnourished and may even die. Finally, your goldfish in a small tank will lose its ability to live up to its full potential. Goldfishes need space to thrive.

Being a freshwater fish, they need an environment where they can be in their element. Alive. Happy. Free. So yes, you do need a Big Tank.

Still not convinced?

When it comes to pet fishing, goldfishes are an absolute favorite. They are easily available in any pet store or half the time, given out in funfairs.

They often come small and in their baby phase, you don’t imagine the possibility of them getting really big. Here’s a shocking fact. A goldfish’s potential growth could be more than 30cm in length and could live up to twenty to thirty years, in the best conditions. Amazing right? Bet you didn’t know that.

A brief knowledge about goldfish.

Goldfish is from the carp family. There are two broad types of goldfish; Common or single-tail goldfish and fancy goldfish. As their names are different, so are their characteristics. With each having very peculiar features.

The common or single-tail goldfish could grow up to 10inches in length, and the fancy goldfish, 8inches in length. Common or single-tail has just one tail fin; a very long body shape; The fancy goldfish, on the other hand, has a double tail fin. They are also known for their really large eyes and massive head growth.

Because of their large head and compact body, they are slow swimmers and they also depend on good cycling for proper oxygenation. While the common goldfish are very smart and fast swimmers, with the ability to breathe properly on their own.

A goldfish is naturally a freshwater fish. A freshwater fish spends most of their lives in lakes and rivers. Rivers are sometimes, over 500ft deep and let’s not even get started with its width.

In its natural habitat, a goldfish can be insurmountable. It is free, alive, healthy and above all, reaching its full potential.

Now, if you’re going to take a goldfish out of its natural habitat, you ought to provide it with the best replacement possible. Your tank has to have some semblance with its natural habitat so that your goldfish will thrive and be the best it can be.

Squashing common myths about goldfish

Your goldfish won’t live long, why bother with a big tank?

This is a lie. Goldfishes have a very long lifespan. In the right environment and the best conditions possible, your goldfish can live for up to 30 years.

Your goldfish’s life depends on how well you treat it. You treat it well, it lives longer. You’re negligent, it dies sooner. it’s your sole responsibility and it lies in your hands. Having them in a small tank doesn’t cut it.

Goldfishes grow to their tank size

While this isn’t exactly a lie, it is very debatable. Yes. If you put a goldfish in a small fish tank, chances are it won’t outgrow the small tank, but grow within its size.

In the same vein, if you put that same goldfish in a bigger tank, for example, a 60gallon tank, your goldfish will grow to the size of the bigger tank.

The bigger the tank, the easier it is for your goldfish to reach its full potential. Here’s a biological explanation. Goldfishes release a hormone called, Growth Inhibition Hormone(GIH).

This hormone is responsible for growth changes in your goldfish. When you put a goldfish in a small tank, it produces more of this hormone, and because a small tank doesn’t require so much cleaning or water change, this hormone is deeply concentrated into the water.

The more the goldfish stays in this environment, the slower it grows. it just adapts to the environment. On the other hand, due to the frequent water change in a bigger tank, more of this hormone is cleaned out of the water. Because of this, the goldfish grows bigger.

Why Do You Need a Bigger Tank?

Goldfishes are very special and must be treated with such tender, love, and care.

  • Your goldfish loves its space and thrives better in a bigger environment.
  • Your goldfish produce a lot of waste. With a small tank, be rest assured that these bacteria will be heavily concentrated, and can harm your goldfish. A bigger tank creates the opportunity for a good filtration system. This system filters your tank, and separates the good bacteria from the bad bacteria, creating a healthy environment for your goldfish.
  • A bigger tank creates a semblance of your goldfish’s natural habitat; your goldfish feels at home, away from home.
  • A bigger tank encourages your goldfish to live a happy, healthy and long life. It basically allows your goldfish to live up to its full potential.

What Tank Size is Right for My Goldfish?

The size of your tank depends on the type of goldfish. For the Single-tail or common goldfish, it requires up to 30 to 40 gallons of water, for every first single-tail goldfish you own. Yes, for just one fish.

Note: Every time you add another common goldfish to your tank, you need to increase the size of your tank by 10 gallons. The more the fish, the bigger the fish tank.

For the fancy goldfish, you’re expected to put your first fancy in a 20-gallon fish tank.  The same rules apply here, the more the fancies, the bigger the size of the tank. For example, 10 fancies equal to 110 gallons.

For your fishes to thrive, you need a big tank, but if you just want a pet that’ll live for a few years and grow a few inches, keep your goldfish in a small tank.


There’s no one-size-fits-all when dealing with your pet fish. Hence, you have been provided with valuable reasons why you should use a bigger tank. you want your goldfish to thrive and be healthy.

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