5 Best Goldfish Tanks Reviewed For 2020

Bigger is always better when it comes to choosing an aquarium.

And that’s no different with Goldfish. But you don’t always have the space.

In this guide, I teach you how you can pick the best goldfish tank and review the top options available for you.

product comparison table

If you don’t have the space, the 20-29 gallon tanks will be best for you. If you have the space, in my opinion, the 45 or 55 gallon is the best goldfish tank.

PreviewProductPrice
OCEANIC SYSTEMS INC. All Glass Aquarium AAG10021 Tank, 20l OCEANIC SYSTEMS INC. All Glass Aquarium AAG10021 Tank, 20l $127.40 $109.99
Aqua Culture 29 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED Aqua Culture 29 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED $116.52
SeaClear 40 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 16', Clear SeaClear 40 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 16", Clear $359.99
Fluval Premium Bow Front Aquarium Kit w/LED, 45 Gallon (170L) Fluval Premium Bow Front Aquarium Kit w/LED, 45 Gallon (170L) $539.99
Aqua Culture Aquarium Starter Kit, 55 Gallon Aqua Culture Aquarium Starter Kit, 55 Gallon $216.98

Last update on 2020-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

What Tank Size Do You Need for Goldfish?

Here’s the thing: goldfish need a lot more room than people realize.

Anyone who tells you that goldfish can be kept in a bowl or a small 5 gallon (19 liter) tank does not know what they are talking about.

The cute little goldfish you see in the store will grow to be between 6 and 12 inches long (15-30 centimeters), depending on the breed.

Not only do they grow really large, goldfish also produce an enormous amount of waste and they’re messy eaters. So they need a higher water volume to dilute that (more on that later).

Some varieties of goldfish are much more active than others. Breeds like comet or common goldfish are very athletic and swim rapidly all day long. Since they also reach lengths of 12 inches, these fish need a larger, and preferably longer, tank than fancy goldfish varieties.

Larger and more active breeds of goldfish include:

  • Common goldfish
  • Comets
  • Shubunkin 

These fish get big, really, really big. That’s why they’re often kept in ponds. But if you’re going to keep them in an aquarium, expect that they will need at least 40 gallons (151 liters) per fish. 

Plan on having a huge tank if you want to have multiple fish, at least an 80 gallon (303 liter) for a pair of comet goldfish.

Fancy goldfish breeds include:

  • Fantail 
  • Veiltail
  • Oranda
  • Bubble eye 
  • Telescope eye
  • Lionhead 

Fancy goldfish don’t get as massive as comets and common goldfish, and aren’t overly vigorous swimmers, but they still need ample room. You should plan on providing at least 20 gallons (75 liters) per fish.

Reviews for the Best Goldfish Tanks

1. Oceanic Systems All Glass 20 Gallon Long

Key features: 

  • Tank only

This glass 20 gallon (75 liter) glass aquarium would work well for a single fancy goldfish.

This is just the tank, not a kit of any kind.

You would need to pick out a lid, light and filter to go along with it.

A 20 long means that the tank is longer and more shallow than a 20 high. This would give a goldfish more room to swim before they had to turn around, which is good.

This may not be the best choice for beginners that aren’t comfortable with picking out their own equipment.

Pros: 

  • Longer tank is better for goldfish
  • Let’s you decide which equipment to use

Cons: 

  • Beginners may be uncomfortable picking out their own equipment
Sale
OCEANIC SYSTEMS INC. All Glass Aquarium AAG10021 Tank, 20l
OCEANIC SYSTEMS INC. All Glass Aquarium AAG10021 Tank, 20l

    Last update on 2020-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    2. Aqua Culture 29 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED

    Key features:

    • 29 gallon (113 liter) glass aquarium
    • Full hood with LED light
    • Tetra internal filter
    • Water conditioner
    • Small net

    This tank would be a great home for a single fancy goldfish.

    You would need to purchase a filter that has a higher capacity, but the little internal filter it comes with could act as extra filtration.

    The hood has a built in LED light that’s perfect for viewing your fish.

    Pros: 

    • Great size for a single goldfish
    • Energy efficient LED light

    Cons: 

    • You’d need to buy an additional filter
    Aqua Culture 29 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED
    Aqua Culture 29 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED

    Last update on 2020-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

    3. SeaClear Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set

    Key Features:

    • Acrylic tank
    • Offers a variety of background color options
    • Fluorescent light fixture (bulb not included)

    This acrylic 40 gallon (151 liter) tank gives you a seamless view of your fish. 

    There are three options for the back wall of the aquarium, it comes in cobalt blue, black or clear.

    The top of the tank is not completely open like most aquariums. The inside of the tank can only be accessed through cutouts.

    The cutouts are big enough to add gravel, fish, water, etc. But, it can make cleaning a bit more difficult and it may be impossible to add large decor pieces.

    The light that comes with this tank is somewhat problematic. First off, it’s a fluorescent fixture that comes without a bulb, so you have to buy that separately. 

    Second, some users complain that the fixture is underpowered and they weren’t really happy with it.

    I’d say plan on purchasing a light separately. You’ll also need to pick up a filter.

    Pros: 

    • Acrylic is clearer than glass and provides seamless viewing
    • Tank is much lighter than glass when empty
    • Great home for 1 single-tailed goldfish or 2 fancy goldfish

    Cons: 

    • Many users don’t like the light
    • Have to buy fluorescent bulb separately
    • Acrylic tanks scratch easily
    SeaClear 40 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 16', Clear
    SeaClear 40 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 16", Clear

      Last update on 2020-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

      4.Fluval Premium Bow Front Aquarium Kit with LED, 45 Gallon

      Key Features:

      • 45 gallon (170 liter) bow front aquarium
      • Low profile hood with LED fixture
      • Fluval C4 Hang-on-the-Back Power Filter

      This 45 gallon bow front would make a gorgeous home for a single common or comet goldfish or a pair of fancies.

      If you’ve never seen one, on a bow front tank, the front panel of glass curves out. 

      I have two of these and I highly recommend them. You can see the tank much better from all sorts of different angles, not just straight on. The curved glass even makes your fish look bigger.

      The kit comes with a sleek LED light fixture that fits onto the curved lid.

      It also comes with a Fluval C4 hang-on-the-back power filter. This filter is rated up to a 70 gallon (265 liter) tank, and Fluval filters are known for their quality and reliability.

      But, it has a somewhat small biomedia capacity. Consider adding on a sponge filter so you have more room for beneficial bacteria.

      Pros: 

      • High quality company you can trust
      • Bow front glass makes fish look even bigger
      • Excellent power filter and lights

      Cons: 

      • You may still need to add additional filtration
      Fluval Premium Bow Front Aquarium Kit w/LED, 45 Gallon (170L)
      Fluval Premium Bow Front Aquarium Kit w/LED, 45 Gallon (170L)

        Last update on 2020-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        5. Aqua Culture Aquarium Starter Kit, 55 Gallon

        Key Features:

        • Glass aquarium
        • Low profile hood with LED lights
        • Tetra internal power filter

        This 55 gallon (208 liter) tank would make a great home for up to three fancy goldfish.

        The kit includes an all glass aquarium with low profile hoods and LED lights. 

        In case you’re not familiar with them, 55 gallon tanks have a central plastic bar that runs from the front to back. So each half of the tank will have its own lid and light.

        You will need to purchase a filter since the internal filter that comes with the kit just does not have the needed capacity. 

        Pros: 

        • Lots of room
        • Includes lids and lights

        Cons: 

        • You’ll need to purchase a separate filter
        Aqua Culture Aquarium Starter Kit, 55 Gallon
        Aqua Culture Aquarium Starter Kit, 55 Gallon

        Last update on 2020-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        Which is Best?

        Deciding on one of these tanks is going to depend on your situation. 

        Maybe you only have one fancy goldfish and live in a small apartment. That would make the 20 or 29 gallon the best choice for you.

        If I was choosing one of these tanks for myself, I would probably go with the 45 or 55 gallon tank. Then I could have more than one fancy goldfish without being overstocked.

        Plus, that 45 gallon bow front is just beautiful.

        Bigger is always better when it comes to fish tanks. My standing piece of advice is that you should go with the biggest tank you can possibly fit and afford.

        PreviewProductPrice
        OCEANIC SYSTEMS INC. All Glass Aquarium AAG10021 Tank, 20l OCEANIC SYSTEMS INC. All Glass Aquarium AAG10021 Tank, 20l $127.40 $109.99
        Aqua Culture 29 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED Aqua Culture 29 Gallon Aquarium Starter Kit with LED $116.52
        SeaClear 40 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 16', Clear SeaClear 40 gal Acrylic Aquarium Combo Set, 36 by 15 by 16", Clear $359.99
        Fluval Premium Bow Front Aquarium Kit w/LED, 45 Gallon (170L) Fluval Premium Bow Front Aquarium Kit w/LED, 45 Gallon (170L) $539.99
        Aqua Culture Aquarium Starter Kit, 55 Gallon Aqua Culture Aquarium Starter Kit, 55 Gallon $216.98

        Last update on 2020-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

        Goldfish Tank Equipment

        Now you know how to get your tank, if you want to get equipment that doesn’t come with the tank, here’s what you’ll need.

        Filter

        I can’t possibly emphasize this enough, more is more when it comes to filters for a goldfish tank.

        Nitrogen Cycle Basics

        Remember how I said that goldfish put off a lot of waste? Well, all that poop and urine sinks to the bottom of the tank and starts to break down.

        As the waste rots, it starts to put off ammonia (NH3). Left to itself, more and more waste would break down and ammonia would keep building up in the tank until the water became a toxic soup that would kill all the fish.

        The whole purpose of a filter is to help process this ammonia and keep it from building up to toxic levels.

        But it’s not actually the filter itself that does this, it’s actually bacteria that live in the filter media that detoxifies ammonia.

        These beneficial bacteria attach themselves to your filter media and then eat waste byproducts right out of the water as it flows over them.

        One kind of bacteria eats ammonia and puts out a substance called nitrite (NO2 -1). Nitrite is also very toxic. 

        Luckily, there’s another kind of bacteria that eats the nitrite and turns it into nitrate (NO3-). Nitrate is much less toxic than ammonia or nitrite. So it can be allowed to build up a bit in between water changes.

        Pro Tip: This process of bacteria turning ammonia to nitrite and then nitrate is known as the nitrogen cycle. It’s an extremely important part of keeping an aquarium. If you’re not familiar with it, please check out our in depth article here.

        Filter Size

        Since goldfish put off so much waste, they require a bigger filter to keep ammonia from building up.

        There needs to be a lot of room for the special kind of filter media that the bacteria grow on, known as biological media (biomedia for short).

        Not all filters are created equally. They all have different capacities for biomedia.

        A bigger filter will have more room for biomedia, and therefore, more room for beneficial bacteria. 

        It’s best to go with a filter that has the maximum amount of room for biomedia. 

        That’s why my number one recommendation would be to use a canister filter. 

        Canister filters are usually kept underneath or beside the tank. They’re comprised of a large outer casing that holds a pump and stackable baskets that can be filled with filter media.

        They have a huge capacity for biomedia and can pump a lot of water per hour. Hang-on-the-back filters don’t even come close to the level of filtration that you get from a canister.

        Filters like the SunSun HW704B or the Fluval 407 give you massive amounts of room for biomedia.

        Sunsun HW704B 525Gph Pro Canister Filter Kit with 9W Uv Sterilizer
        Sunsun HW704B 525Gph Pro Canister Filter Kit with 9W Uv Sterilizer
          Fluval 407 Performance Canister Filter 120Vac, 60Hz, 10.8 LB
          Fluval 407 Performance Canister Filter 120Vac, 60Hz, 10.8 LB

            Last update on 2020-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

            Yes, they’re kind of pricey, but they’re also worth it.

            If you decide to use a hang-on-the-back filter, make sure that it’s a model that maximizes biomedia, like a Seachem Tidal or an Aqua Clear.

            SeaChem Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal 55 Gallon (200 Liters) by Sicce
            SeaChem Large Aquarium Fish Tank Filter, Tidal 55 Gallon (200 Liters) by Sicce
              Aqua Clear - Fish Tank Filter - 20 to 50 Gallons - 50v
              Aqua Clear - Fish Tank Filter - 20 to 50 Gallons - 50v

                Last update on 2020-02-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

                I would also suggest adding on additional filtration using a sponge filter if you’re going to use a hang-on-the-back.

                Sponge filters are easy to use and really increase your tank’s biomedia.

                Pro Tip: Do not use a hang-on-the-back filter that uses cartridges for a goldfish tank. These filters simply do not have enough room for the biomedia the tank will need.

                Lights

                Goldfish don’t really have specific lighting needs. Just the ambient light from the room would be good enough for these guys.

                Also, goldfish have a tendency to devour most plants. So it’s not critical that you have full spectrum plant lights for your tank.

                Just add on whichever lights make you happy and enhance your view of the fish.

                No Heater

                You do not need to add a heater to your goldfish tank. Goldfish originate from temperate regions, not tropical ones. 

                Average room temperature, 65°-75°F (18°-24°C), is fine for them.

                Substrate 

                Substrate is not always recommended when you keep goldfish. You’ll see hundreds of photos and videos online that show goldfish in a bare bottom tank.

                Not having gravel or sand in your tank makes it easier to clean up the copious amounts of waste that goldfish create. 

                Miscellaneous 

                Air pumps and air stones aren’t absolutely necessary for a goldfish tank, but I recommend them nonetheless. 

                Adult goldfish are pretty darn big. That means they use up a lot of oxygen.

                Air stones help increase water movement and oxygen levels in the tank. 

                They’re especially great if you have a long tank that only has water movement on one end. Placing the air stone on the opposite end can help prevent dead spots with little to no water-flow.

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