What is the Best Substrate for Goldfish? 4 Great Options

Cartoon of a goldfish swimming over some pebbles

When setting up a goldfish tank for the first time, it’s important to choose a suitable substrate for the base. But what is the best substrate for goldfish?

The answer is that there isn’t just one good substrate for goldfish or a single choice of the ‘best’ substrate in all situations.

Your choice of substrate will be influenced by a number of factors, which are specific to your tank. These include the type of goldfish you are keeping, whether you will be keeping live plants, whether you’re happy for those plants to be in pots, and your personal preference for how the tank will look.

So, how do you choose the best substrate for YOUR goldfish? Read on to find out.

Do goldfish need substrate?

Before we try to decide on the best substrate for your goldfish tank, we should first stop to think about whether goldfish need a substrate at all.

And the answer is that goldfish don’t need substrate. There’s nothing essential about having a substrate and goldfish can survive quite healthily and happily without one.

So, as goldfish don’t require a substrate, you could choose to simply leave the bottom of your goldfish tank bare. The best substrate for your goldfish might actually be no substrate at all!

Before moving on to other substrate options, let’s look at the pros and cons of a bare bottomed tank.

Read more