Which goldfish tank is best?

Whether you’re new to keeping goldfish or your current fish need an aquarium upgrade, it’s important to choose a goldfish tank carefully. Goldfish need larger environments than many people think to keep them happy, healthy and enriched. 

You should also consider factors such as the tank material, shape and whether it comes with any accessories. If you’re looking for a large tank to keep multiple goldfish, the Tetra 55-Gallon Aquarium Kit is a top choice. 

What to know before you buy a goldfish tank


You might think of the image of a goldfish swimming around a small bowl, but goldfish grow large relatively quickly and produce a lot of waste. As such, they need large aquariums to give them room to swim and keep their water from becoming poor. 

You should have a tank of at least 20 gallons for one goldfish, with another 10 gallons for each additional goldfish. So, if you wanted to keep three goldfish, you’d need a 40-gallon tank. However, larger is always better when you have the space and the budget. 

Also, bear in mind that common goldfish and other single-tailed varieties grow larger than fancy goldfish. Therefore, they’re more comfortable in larger tanks. 


You can find aquariums made from either glass or acrylic. 

  • Glass: Glass is scratch-resistant and maintains its clarity over time, so you’ll always get a good view of your fish. It’s strong and can hold its own weight when full, but it’s heavy, especially if you opt for a large tank. 
  • Acrylic: Acrylic is lighter than glass and can be formed into a range of shapes. It’s impact-resistant, so it’s unlikely to break if dropped or something hits it. However, it doesn’t have as good clarity as glass and can yellow with age. It can also warp slightly, distorting your view. 


Goldfish tend to prefer tanks that are longer width-wise than they are tall. They’re also fine in roughly cube-shaped tanks but it’s best to avoid tanks that are taller than they are wide. The larger the surface area of the water, the better the tank is oxygenated, which provides a healthy environment for your fish. 

Never choose a bowl-shaped tank for your goldfish. Not only is it unlikely to be large enough, but it also distorts the fish inside’s vision of the outside world, which some consider cruel. 

What to look for in a quality goldfish tank


An aquarium hood is another word for a lid. It sits on top of the aquarium to prevent fish from jumping out and to prevent debris from falling in. Most tanks come with a well-fitting hood. On larger tanks, it’s good if the hood has a door in it so you can easily feed your fish without removing the whole thing. 


Fish need lighting to simulate the natural cycle of night and day. Many tanks come with basic LED lighting. However, if you want to keep live plants, you’ll need to switch it out for full-spectrum lighting. 


If you’re new to keeping goldfish, buying a tank that comes with all the accessories you need can save money. Common accessories include filters, bubblers, lights and nets. Many also come with heaters, but these are unnecessary for most goldfish kept indoors. 

How much you can expect to spend on a goldfish tank

This depends on what size tank you choose. Expect to pay anywhere from $100 for a 20-gallon tank to $1,000 for an 80-gallon plus aquarium. 

Goldfish tank FAQ

What do goldfish need in their tanks? 

A. Despite what some people say, goldfish should have filters in their tanks. While they can survive without them, there’s a big difference between surviving and thriving. Aquarium filters not only remove waste from water but also oxygenate it and generally improve its quality. This makes your job as a fishkeeper easier, as you’ll need to do fewer water changes. 

Additionally, goldfish should have some kind of substrate in their tanks, as they enjoy foraging for food in it. Plus, they need lighting and aquarium-safe rocks and other decorations to hide in or behind. While keeping a planted tank isn’t for everyone, goldfish also enjoy having live plants in their tanks. 

How often do you change the water in a goldfish tank? 

A. You should change around 30% of the water in a fish tank once a week. This is assuming you have a filter and the tank is properly cycled so its levels of ammonia and nitrates are stable, otherwise more frequent changes may be needed.

It’s fine to use tap water to fill your aquarium, but you should treat it with a tap water conditioner first. 

What’s the best goldfish tank to buy?

Top goldfish tank

Best Tetra 55-gallon Aquarium Kit

Tetra 55-gallon Aquarium Kit

What you need to know: This spacious tank is big enough to accommodate around four goldfish. 

What you’ll love: It comes with a range of handy accessories, including a filter, hood, lights and plants. It’s made from glass, so it won’t warp and has excellent clarity. You can buy a matching stand. 

What you should consider: It comes with a heater that you won’t need for your goldfish. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top goldfish tank for the money

Best Tetra ColorFusion Aquarium

Tetra ColorFusion Aquarium

What you need to know: With a 20-gallon capacity, this is a solid choice for a single goldfish. 

What you’ll love: Due to its compact size, it’s a good starter tank. You get a range of accessories with it, including a filter, plant pack and color-changing LED lights. It feels solid and is made from glass. 

What you should consider: The filter it comes with is loud. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium Fish Tank Kit

Coralife LED BioCube Aquarium Fish Tank Kit

What you need to know: The 32-gallon capacity makes it just right for a pair of goldfish. 

What you’ll love: It comes with high-quality LED lights on a timer to simulate natural daylight patterns, including sunrise and sunset. There’s an integrated filter in the back wall of the tank with space for your choice of filter media. 

What you should consider: Although it isn’t overly tall, goldfish tend to prefer tanks that are longer horizontally. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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