Aquariums suitable for goldfish come in a variety of styles and materials.
Aquarium on a stand with cover incorporating a light.
The Goldfish aquarium you choose for your Goldfish should fit the purpose it will be used for.
This page explains the different designs and construction methods to help you decide which type will suit your goldfish best.
Aquarium Construction Materials
There are two
types of materials used for aquarium manufacture these days, glass and acrylic.
have the following advantages:
- Glass is cheap and readily available
- Construction is simple using RTV silicone glue, no frame is necessary
- Cleaning algae off the inside surface is easy
- Repairs to broken panes are simple.
disadvantages of glass aquariums are:
- The surface they
sit on must be absolutely flat otherwise the bottom pane will crack
- Because they are
so easy to make, care must be taken when buying second hand to ensure the glass
thickness is correct for the aquarium size, and there are adequate braces
- Limited design
options, but you can get them with curved front panes
- Glass is fragile.
Acrylic aquariums have the following advantages:
are greater, for example tall tubular aquariums are possible:
- Acrylic has
greater clarity than glass
- Acrylic will take
knocks without shattering
- They are lighter
than glass aquariums of the same size.
disadvantages of acrylic aquariums are:
- They scratch
- Removing algae is
harder and a special pad must be used
- The price is much
higher than the glass equivalent
- Manufacturing and repairs can only be done by specialists.
Different Designs For Different Uses
Aquariums come in every size and
shape. You need to choose the one that is going to be best suited for
its intended use. This could be for:
- Growing up your goldfish
- Displaying your goldfish.
For each of these uses there is a goldfish aquarium that suits the purpose best. For example:
an aquarium that is not too tall, no more than 15”, and say 24” long by 12”
front to back. This would be suitable
for a breeding trio of small goldfish with body lengths of about 2 ½”. For a greater number of fish or larger fish,
you will need an aquarium at least 3 feet long.
- Goldfish require
a lot of space to grow properly. With no
filtration, goldfish need 24 square inches of surface area per inch of
fish. A 24” long, 12”
wide, 15” tall aquarium will grow one fish 6” long, or 2 fish 3” long. These figures can be doubled if the goldfish
aquarium has filtration, and 50% water changes are made regularly.
- The best aquarium
dimensions to display your goldfish would be a tall aquarium that is not too
wide. 15” tall would be the minimum
height, 18” tall would be better. I
wouldn’t go any wider than 12” front to back unless you are putting very large
fish in the aquarium. This width keeps
the fish in view more often instead of them hiding at the back of the aquarium.
Goldfish Aquarium Purchasing Options
Plain glass aquarium
When purchasing goldfish aquariums, there are a few options available. You can:
- Purchase a bare glass or acrylic aquarium that will require a light, filter and heater purchased separately and find something to sit it on
- Purchase an aquarium that comes with some accessories such as a cover with an integral light and a small internal or under-gravel filter and air pump
- Purchase a complete package with a cover, light, integrated filter that sits under the cover, and a purpose built stand.
Aquarium with light
Few sellers of
aquariums include gravel, plants or filter media (the filtering material you
put inside the filter) with their packages.
that will not be used for display purposes I would suggest purchasing bare
aquariums. You can then purchase only
the accessories you need.
Make sure the
aquarium comes with a glass two piece cover.
One piece of the cover should be no wider than 3” so it can be raised
separately for feeding and netting fish without having to take the whole cover
The cover stops
evaporation, heat loss, fish jumping out and objects being dropped into the aquarium.
Complete aquarium packages can be quite expensive. Before buying new, check if any second hand items are available locally.
Be careful of cheaper aquarium packages as the imitation wood such as MDF used for the stands can be easily damaged if it gets wet, as it causes the material to swell.
Go to the page with tips on Setting Up Goldfish Aquariums correctly, and then the page on Aquarium Cleaning that provides advice on making this chore as simple and quick as possible.
Top of Goldfish Aquariums page