Today, you are in for a treat. I know that sounds a little cocksure of me, but if you’re in the market for a new goldfish tank – be that as a first-time goldfish ‘parent’ or as someone upgrading their current goldfish tank – this article will cover absolutely everything you need to know about buying yourself a new goldfish tank.
After all, buying things in 2021 isn’t always the easiest of tasks given the almost infinite range of products across numerous e-commerce platforms; therefore, we thought we’d utilise our expert knowledge of all things goldfish to help you and make your life that little bit easier.
So what are we actually going to discuss in today’s piece?
Well, to begin, we’ll look at everything that must be taken into consideration prior to purchasing as goldfish tank.
If it’s your very first goldfish tank, I’m sure you’re super excited and probably a little impatient to get started. Still, it’s imperative to understand what you need to buy and why, as this will ensure that your new aquatic family members will have the most healthy environment. As is the case with any pet, their welfare is paramount, and your tank choices and decisions will play a significant role in your goldfish’s health, vitality, and longevity. After that, you’ll need to know the basics of setting up a goldfish tank. (Feel free to skip this section if you already know how to set up a goldfish tank and merely want to learn which are the best goldfish tanks current available on the market).
Once we’ve discussed that, we’ll take a look at a range of goldfish tanks in various price brackets and give our thoughts on which are the best options. To ensure all budgets are taken into consideration, we’ll explore goldfish tanks in the following price ranges: under £75, £75-£125, £125-£175, £175+.
Finally, we’ll wrap up with a brief summary of everything in the article and, of course, a few parting words of (what I like to think are) infinite wisdom!
So, without further ado, let’s begin.
Everything You Need To Know About Buying A Goldfish Tank
Here are the basics:
Step #1 – What Type Of Fish Do You Want?
Given the title of this piece and the fact you’ve made your way here, it’s pretty obvious that you’re interested in goldfish. However, in the future, you may wish to diversify your fish keeping and try something new. Either way, the first step is to decide which type of fish you want to keep.
Step #2 – Educate Yourself
Once you’ve decided which type of fish you want to keep, it’s essential to learn as much as possible about that specific species. Once you’ve conducted said research, you should be able to answer questions such as: What conditions do your goldfish need? What equipment do you require? How will you set up your tank – and where? What food should you feed your goldfish? How big can goldfish grow? Once you’ve figured out all the answers to the questions, you can move on to step three.
Step #3 – Equipment
Creating a happy and healthy home for your goldfish doesn’t just involve buying a tank, filling it with water and popping your fish in; there’s a lot more to it than that.
Firstly, you must choose a tank that is appropriate for your fish (goldfish in this case). By this, we mean choosing a tank that is big enough to accommodate potential growth. The general ‘rule of thumb’ is one gallon of water per inch on fish; however, as goldfish can grow quite large (and may quickly outgrow a small tank), it’s always best to buy the biggest fish tank you can afford and have space for. After all, mistakes in bigger tanks are less potentially deadly than those in smaller tanks.
Where goldfish are concerned, a tank under 90 litres (20 gallons) isn’t typically recommended – even if you only own one goldfish.
After your tank, there are several other pieces of vital equipment that are a must for any fish tank, namely:
- Water filter.
- Substrate for the bottom of your tank, e.g. gravel.
- Water conditioner.
- Plants and/or ornaments.
- Cleaning apparatus, such as sponges, nets, buckets, and siphons.
- Goldfish food.
Luckily, setting up a cold-water tank (for goldfish) isn’t as complicated nor as time-consuming as setting up tropical and marine tanks. However, it still does require effort and a degree of patience nonetheless.
Step #4 – Setting Up Your Goldfish Tank
While we don’t have the time to furnish you with a full, in-depth guide on setting up your goldfish tank, we can give you a brief overview of the various steps and stages involved. In short, there are six initial stages:
- Position your goldfish tank in its permanent location, ensuring that it is both secure and stable, easily accessible from all angles, and near a plug socket (to power the filter).
- Once your tank is in place, rinse it out several times to ensure all dirt, dust particles, and things of that nature of removed. Make it as clean as possible, but don’t use any type of cleaning products.
- Rinse out your chosen substrate material in a bucket or washing-up bowl. This is important as substrates such as gravel will often be covered by fine dust, which will instantly cause the water to become cloudy. By thoroughly rinsing your substrate, you will avoid this issue. Once rinsed, add it to the bottom of your goldfish tank.
- Add the filter and thermometer. Even though your tank will be a cold-water environment, it’s still essential to have a thermometer in place as this will allow you to keep an eye on the water temperature should it become too cold or too warm. Even though that’s extremely unlikely, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Treat your tap water with a water conditioner, then fill your tank to the appropriate level.
- Spread your substrate evenly across the bottom of your tank, add in any ornaments or decorations (rinse before putting in), then turn on your filter (and heater and light if you have them).
- If adding plants to your tank, wait a few days to ensure everything is working as it should. Plants are a great addition to any tank as not only do they add extra depth and interest, they’re also fantastic hiding places for shy fish!
At this point, your goldfish tank will be almost ready to house your fish; however, be your can introduce your new golden-scaled friends to their new home, you must ‘cycle’ your fish tank to ensure it’s a 100% healthy environment for your fish to live in.
Step #5 – Cycling Your Tank
‘Cycling’ is the process by which you establish ‘good’ bacteria in your filter to extract the toxins produced by your fish, i.e. bodily excretions. This process typically takes three to four weeks but can be shorter or longer depending on your filter and how quickly it adapts. Although this is a relatively complex process, it’s important to understand how and why it works – and why it is so critical for the health of your fish.
The first step in this process is the growth of bacteria in the filter; this bacteria has the ability to digest the ammonia that your goldfish produces in their waste. However, ammonia converts into a more potent (and harmful) chemical known as nitrite, which the bacteria in your filter must then become efficient at removing. As your tank and filter will be brand new (unless you’re using an old filter in your new tank), this process will take some time to become efficient and effective.
Once your tank is able to turn ammonia and nitrites into nitrates (a harmless chemical) rapidly, your tank is ready to house fish. Although some assert that fish can be put in your tank at the beginning of this process, it is far healthier for your fish if you use shop-bought ammonia to complete the whole process (rather than relying on fish waste). The former will typically take three or four weeks, while the last may take up to eight weeks.
Right, now we’ve gone over everything you need to do and know before housing your new goldfish in your tank; let’s take a look at the best goldfish tanks available on the market today.
Note: If you’re new to goldfish or simply want to learn more about goldfish care, be sure to read the last section of this article as we detail several essential goldfish care tips that are crucial to your goldfish’s health.
The Best Goldfish Tanks £75 and under
Diversa Aquarium Professional Fish Tank – 54L (60cm x 30cm x 30cm)
Given that most goldfish tanks under £75 are very small, i.e. too small for goldfish, it’s no surprise that there is only one tank in this category. However, we’ve not picked this goldfish tank from Diversa aquariums just to make up the number; it is, in fact, a very good choice for several reasons.
Firstly, at 54 litres in capacity, meaning it’s big enough for a single goldfish or two/three fancy goldfish.
Secondly, it’s made from highly durable materials, which is essential for the safety of you, your fish, and your home (no-one wants a fish tank to buckle on the pressure of the water, do they?!).
And lastly, it’s exceptional value for money. At just £55, it’s undoubtedly a bargain; and if you’re on a strict budget, this is certainly the best (suitable) goldfish tank available.
The only downside of this tank is the fact that it doesn’t come with any accessories whatsoever, so you’ll need to buy everything else to make your goldfish tank ‘complete’, i.e. a lid, filter, thermometer, substrate, ornaments, plants etc. However, even when the cost of this is factored on, it’s still an inexpensive option.
Overall, Diversa Aquariums’ 54-litre goldfish tank is a solid option for anyone on a budget. While we wouldn’t describe this goldfish tank as the highest quality available, it is certainly more than adequate to keep a single regular goldfish or two/three fancy goldfish.
The Best Goldfish Tanks Between £75 and £125
Ciano Black Aqua Aquarium – 58L (60cm x 30cm x 33.5cm)
Sitting atop our goldfish tank rankings for tanks between 75 and 125 is this complete aquarium set from Ciano. If you’re looking for a complete aquarium set for under 100, then this should be your choice. Let us explain why.
Firstly, Ciano is a reputable brand that makes quality aquariums and aquarium accessories. Buying Ciano products guarantees high-quality materials, workmanship, and service. Period. We’ve spoken to numerous Ciano aquarium owners, and every single one of them spoke exceptionally highly of them – a sentiment we certainly echo.
Secondly, you get everything you need to get started. The kit includes not only an aquarium but also a lid, LED lights, heater, and filter. Of course, you’ll need to add substrate, ornaments, and plants (optional), water, and fish, but this set provides all the essentials to get up and running.
And lastly, it’s superb value for money. At a penny shy of £100 – and given the glut of accessories included – it undoubtedly offers incredible value for money, so those looking to get as much ‘bang for their buck’ as possible should definitely consider this goldfish aquarium set from Ciano.
Diversa Aquarium Professional Fish Tank – 112L (80cm x 35cm x 40cm)
Given that we rated Diversa Aquarium’s 54-litre tank so highly, it should come as no surprise to see another of their fish tanks on this list. However, this time, we’re looking at their 112-litre tank, which is perfect for one or two regular goldfish or two to four fancy goldfish.
Having a 112-litre capacity and being 80cm in length, 35cm wide, and 40cm in height, this tank will take up quite a lot of room and will weigh a considerable amount when full (in excess of 112kg), so a sturdy base is absolutely imperative; the last thing you want is 112 litres of water flooding your home! We recommend either a specialised aquarium cabinet or merely placing it on the floor (the latter is my preference as, firstly, it saves money, and secondly, it adds another element to the room given that it’s not at eye level. I love lying down on the floor and watching my goldfish in action!).
As you’d expect from Diversa, this a well-constructed tank built for durability and longevity – something that many Diversa goldfish tank owners will lay testament to. While it’s true that Diversa tanks aren’t considered to be premium or upper-end aquariums, there can be no doubt that they’re incredible value for money if you’re looking for a product that’s built to last. In short, if you’re looking for a 100+ litre goldfish tank, look no further than this aquarium; after all, it’s not an Amazon best-seller for no reason, is it…?
Superfish Quibiq Pro – 60L (40cm x 40cm x 50.8cm)
We’ve included this 60-litre aquarium by Superfish because we know that there will be some goldfish owners out there who are interested in aesthetics as well as function; and, given that the Superfish Qubiq Pro 60 litre fish tank is rather handsome, we thought we’d slot it into this buying guide.
But the Qubiq Pro 60 litre tank isn’t just about looks; it’s also got a lot going on behind its pretty exterior. For example, the state-of-the-art integrated filter system is designed to remove waste products quicker than regular filters, meaning a healthier environment for your goldfish. Furthermore, it’s super easy to change the ‘Crystal Clear’ cartridge, making maintaining this goldfish tank a cinch.
In short, the Superfish Qubiq Pro 60 litre tank is a great choice if you’re going to keep one regular goldfish or two/three fancy goldfish – particularly if you’re a newcomer to the world of goldfish.
The Best Goldfish Tanks Between £125 and £175
Diversa Aquarium Professional Fish Tank – 200L (100cm x 40cm x 50cm)
Shock, horror…another Diversa Aquarium makes it into our list of the best goldfish tanks currently available online today.
As is the case with the other Diversa fish tanks we’ve mentioned in this article, the 200-litre aquarium is a quality product that offers terrific value for money. Sure, you’ll need to spend an extra few quid on essential accessories such as a lid, filter, thermometer, substrate, ornaments, plants, and fish (obviously!), but for a standalone 200-litre tank, change from £170 is exceptional value – particularly given its build quality. And given its size, it’s perfect for housing up to three regular goldfish or up to six fancy goldfish.
Hagen Fluval Flex Aquarium – 57L (41cm x 39cm x 39cm)
If you’re into gizmos, gadgets, and flashing lights (and goldfish, too, obviously), this aquarium from Hagen will be right up your street. What it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in looks and features, that’s for sure!
First of all, it comes equipped with a powerful three-stage filtration system to ensure your water is as clean, crystal clear, and healthy as it can be; and secondly, it comes complete with a remote control that allows you to control special coloured lighting and lighting effects, such lightning bolts and cloud cover! Not only is this a high-quality goldfish tank from a renowned manufacturer of aquariums, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun too!
Of course, only offering 57 litres of capacity means it’s only able to safely house on regular goldfish or two/three fancy goldfish. Still, if you’re only looking to add one or two new scaled family members to your home, this is an aquarium well worth considering – particularly if you’re after something a little different to a regular, bog-standard goldfish tank.
The Best Goldfish Tanks Over £175
Aqua One Horizon Aquarium & Cabinet – 130L (92cm x 36cm x 42cm)
Priced at £300, this aquarium and cabinet combination from Aqua One may seem expensive, but when you take into consideration what you get, it’s actually a really good deal.
First of all, Aqua One is a reputable aquarium manufacturer. This isn’t a new brand or one that sells cheap products from China; instead, it offers mid-range aquariums and accessories at very affordable prices, all things considered.
While it’s certainly true that you can pick up an aquarium far bigger than 130 litres for almost half the price of the Aqua One Horizon 130 litre tank, the latter not only comes with all the essential accessories, i.e. a filter, a heater, and lighting, it also comes complete with a cabinet too, meaning you don’t have to spend your time and money on finding one that will fit your aquarium. Buying a(n) (almost) complete aquarium set makes life so much easier, trust me! Plus, it looks great too.
Diversa Aquarium Professional Fish Tank – 250L (100cm x 50cm x 50cm)
I bet you were wondering when the next Diversa aquarium was going to pop up…well, here it is!
At 5 pence short of £190, this 250-litre aquarium is immense value; truly immense. While you’ll still need to buy the accessories (a lid, filter, thermometer, substrate, ornaments, plants etc.) to get your aquarium up and running, getting your hands on a high-quality 250-litre aquarium for under 200 is a steal. At the end of the day, Diversa offers fantastic aquariums at even better prices, and one glance at the reviews on Amazon will tell you just how popular and well-liked this brand and their products are. Like all of Diversa’s standalone aquariums, their 250-litre tank is an Amazon best-seller. Enough said.
To Conclude (plus a Goldfish Care Sheet)
So there you have it; a complete guide to the best goldfish tanks currently available on the market today. We really do hope you found it useful, but if you do have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
However, given that we’re experts on pets, we don’t think it’d be right to merely educate you on the best goldfish tanks available online without furnishing you with advice about looking after your goldfish to ensure they live long, happy and healthy lives, so here are few quick expert tips.
Water requirements: Although goldfish are considered to be cold-water fish, it’s possible to keep them in heated aquariums. Regular goldfish, shubunkins, and comets should be kept in water anywhere between 15C and 25C; however, being very hardy creatures, they can often survive in slightly colder or considerably warmer water. Fancy goldfish should be kept in warmer temperatures (20C to 24C). When kept in warmer temperatures, goldfish will often produce more waste; therefore, it’s wise to use a larger filter to deal with the extra waste if this is something you’re planning to do.
Although pH is, of course, important, it isn’t something that should cause you too much concern, given that goldfish will quite happily (and healthily) live in water that is anywhere between 7 and 8.5. However, rapid changes in water chemistry or temperature may have serious health implications and can be lethal, so regular checks are needed where both temperature and pH are concerned.
Provided that you maintain efficient filtration and make regular water changes (10% every week or 20% every two weeks) and you keep your tank as clean as possible, your goldfish should be perfectly healthy. Some recommend adding five grams of sea salt per gallon of water, as this can help to boost health and vitality.
Housing requirements: Contrary to popular belief, goldfish should never be kept in bowls or unfiltered tanks. Not only do goldfish have fairly high oxygen requirements, but they also have the potential to grow relatively large and produce a lot of waste, which will be harmful if left to accumulate.
Ideally, regular goldfish, shubunkins, and comets should have (at the very least) 90 litres (20 gallons) of water per fish; this figure is around 45 litres (10 gallons) per fish for fancy goldfish.
Behaviour: Generally speaking, goldfish get along with other similar sized fish, although species that ‘fin nip’ or are boisterous should be avoided. Contrary to popular belief, goldfish are very intelligent and have long memories; you can even train them to take food from your hand!
Feeding: Goldfish are class as omnivores and would naturally feed on insects, plant matter, and crustaceans. Regular fish flakes or granules are perfectly fine for goldfish and will provide all the macronutrients and micronutrients they require. Live and frozen foods can be given as treats.
Goldfish are bottom feeders; therefore, soaking flakes before feeding is essential – as is avoiding floating pellets. If goldfish feed from the surface, they may gulp down air, which may cause them to lose their equilibrium, leading them to floating upside down (something you definitely want to avoid).