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Can I keep a goldfish in a six gallon tank?

Posted by grice z5 Michigan (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 20, 07 at 15:26

I'm thinking of getting back into the fish keeping game. I used to keep Bettas. They kept dying and I gave up. I now find that I miss fish. So I thought I would try goldfish again. I used to keep them as a child. Back then we used to kep them in small bowls. They managed to survive so I wondered if it would be alright to keep goldfish(just one) in a six gallon tank?
Do goldfish need company or can they survive on their own? Also do they need a heater? Can I use aquarium salt in the water?
Any tips you all can provide will be appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Can I keep a goldfish in a six gallon tank?

You could keep a single goldfish in a 6 gallon aquarium for a while. If kept healthy and well fed it will outgrow it sooner or later. A 10 gallon would be better. I don't use salt in my aquariums so I can't answer that question. Goldfish do not require a heater. They prefer cooler water and in fact can do quite well in water that is as low as the 40's. Have fun and enjoy your new pet.

RE: Can I keep a goldfish in a six gallon tank?

NO you can not keep goldfish in a 6 gallon aquarium. Nor should you keep goldfish in a 10 gallon aquarium. For good health and good growth and general well being, goldfish need at least 20 gallons or 30 gallons each.

If you use 20 or 30 gallons each, then chances are you won't need a heater.....the larger tank of water will cause temps to fluctuate much more slowly than in small tanks. You will need a good filter though.

Yes goldfish can take a bit of salt in the water, but its not necessary unless the fish is having some sort of problems.

If you are looking for fish that are suitable for a 6 gallon tank.....try 5 or 6 neons, or zebra danios or white clouds. You will need a heater for these types of fish.

Good luck.

RE: Can I keep a goldfish in a six gallon tank?

No, no and more no's.... they need a huge amount of space, clean water, extra filtration. They are round in shape so the one inch per gallon does not apply (really it is more important to look at surface exchange (ie surface square inches/feet per fish inch)... bigger the better... Best Sherry

RE: Can I keep a goldfish in a six gallon tank?

first of all you can keep gold fish in a tank as small as a one gallon but bigger the better!!!

RE: Can I keep a goldfish in a six gallon tank?

IMHO NO. Get a 20 gallon tank for it for now. They grow fast and get BIG. A 20 gal tank isn't that expensive. 6 is WAY too small IMHO.


RE: Can I keep a goldfish in a six gallon tank?

Bear in mind that goldfish live 10-20 years and eventually grow to be 8-12" long and would outgrow 6 gallons within a year. It's a myth that they grow only as large as the container--it's more like they get sick and die from the stress of living in unsuitable conditions. Another thing to consider is the pleasure you get from watching your fish & their graceful movements as they swim around. Its so relaxing! If the space is too small or cramped and all they can do is just turn just don't that same effect. Also the bigger and older they get the more they seem to develop real personalities so all in all I do think it's best to plan for their ultimate size.

Yes I do think goldfish are happiest in groups of 3 or more. With a schooling fish there is safety in numbers and I found that mine just move sooo much more freely around the pond when there's more of them. There again its just so much more pleasurable to watch schooling fish in a larger space, how they all move together.

You might get a couple of small goldfish and then find them a new home in someone'spond or something after a year or so. But even so, you want to be thinking BIGGER space.

Suggestion: maybe instead of tank you might think more in terms of indoor pond? I have mine in a 100 gal. indoor pond over the winter and its just SOOO neat to have. Plus very easy to take care of - using a charcoal filter and doing partial water changes maybe 1x a month.

RE: Can I keep a goldfish in a six gallon tank?

Before you think about getting another fish (not goldfish of course with the size of tank you have), perhaps you should look at why the Bettas keep dying. I don't know how long they were with you, but I am wondering if they suffered from ammonia poisoning?

This is an article about fishless cycling - you may want to look at it. I apologize if you already do cycle your tanks, but I want to be sure. It will mean healthy, long-living, happy fish. Maybe another betta :)

Here is a link that might be useful: Fishless cycling

RE: Can I keep a goldfish in a six gallon tank?

NO! Far too small a tank for any Goldie, other than a very small baby, and then only with lots of good filtration and constant water changes. But as an early nursery only.

I'm a tropical aquarist and never intended to keep a Goldie, until I was given a very small Oranda?/Longfin Comet mix that I kept for a short time in a very well filtered 5, then a 10, by which time he had become a special pet, so giving him away was no longer an option. I was stuck with a charming, useless pet mongerel Goldie, named Chubby.

Within 4 months, I had to move Chubbs to a 20 and soon after, a 29, where he has stayed healthy and active with an Emperor 400; 8" long airstone and 50% water changes twice a week, but although he is glowing with health, he wants far more space to swim, and is about to move into a 65.

He would be even happier in something larger. Goldies are NOT suited for small tanks and eventually, Chubbs will have a 125 to frolic in.

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