Do goldfish need a big tank?

Yes! Goldfish do need a big tank. It’s cruel to keep goldfish in a bowl. Instead, always make sure your goldfish tank size is appropriate to the current – and potential – size of your fish.

We talk about potential size because you don’t just have to give your goldfish enough room for today. You need to give them room to grow.

It’s important to realize that the goldfish you buy from a pet store are very young. They haven’t yet reached anything close to their full adult size.

You might be surprised to learn just how big goldfish grow.

Common goldfish can easily reach 10 inches and fancy goldfish regularly reach 8 inches in length.

Some goldfish have grown even bigger.

Imagine trying to fit an 8-10″ fish into a goldfish bowl! It just wouldn’t work. Your fish would suffer and it wouldn’t live very long at all. That’s why you need to give your goldfish a nice big tank or pond.

What size tank does a goldfish need?

Common and Comet goldfish tank size

For Common goldfish and Comet goldfish we recommend a tank measuring at least 4 feet long with a volume of at least 30 gallons. Of course, it’s a case of the bigger the better! So any more than this is great too.

If you plan to keep more than one goldfish in your tank then add an extra 12 gallons for each additional fish.

While it is certainly possible to keep Common and Comet goldfish in a tank, they can grow so large – and are so fast swimming – that they are really better suited to living in a pond.

Fancy goldfish tank size

For fancy goldfish, we recommend a tank measuring at least 3 feet long with a volume of at least 20 gallons.

If you plan to keep more than one goldfish in your tank then add an extra 10 gallons for each additional fish.

What if I have two goldfish?

Based on the rules above, we recommend:

  • 42 gallons for two Common goldfish. That’s 30 gallons for the first fish and 12 additional gallons for the second fish.
  • 30 gallons for two fancy goldfish. That’s 20 gallons for the first fish and 10 additional gallons for the second fish.

You might have noticed that 30 gallons is the recommended figure for a single Common goldfish or for two fancy goldfish.

If you have a 30 gallon tank and are thinking about which goldfish to buy, this might help you make your choice!

How to calculate tank size?

To calculate the size of your goldfish tank, you need to take three measurements.

First, measure how long the tank is, from left to right.

Then, measure how wide the tank is, from front to back.

Finally, measure how deep the tank is, from top to bottom.

Once you have those numbers, put them into this fish tank size calculator.

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