Do Goldfish Need an Air Pump to Survive (Solved & Explained)

Do goldfish need oxygen? Are you considering getting a goldfish for your next pet? If so, one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whether or not to include an air pump in their tank setup. So, do goldfish need an air pump in the tank to thrive?

While it may seem like a minor decision, the truth is that giving your goldfish access to sufficient aeration can be essential for their health and well-being.

In this blog post, we’re diving deep into answering whether or not investing in an air pump for them is necessary and will explain what effect (if any) such devices have on their overall life expectancy.

Can goldfish live in bowls

Learn more about why aquarium experts agree: if you’re serious about keeping healthy goldfish, adding oxygen pump might be the right choice!

How do Goldfish Breathe?

Does goldfish need oxygen? Goldfish breathing through their gills are synchronized with their mouths. It absorbs more oxygen and removes carbon dioxide.

Increased gill movement allows oxygenated water in, helping goldfish breathe properly within the tank’s water environment.

Goldfish have no lungs, unlike mammalian animals, and their mouths and glands are internal organs responsible for oxygen transport.

The Amount of Oxygen Goldfish Require

Goldfish need oxygen. You must therefore use different ventilation systems in each tank. Then you can only leave it in a fish bowl or small areas with some surface water.

How big does goldfish get

Goldfish are prominent and active fish that can quickly absorb enough oxygen from water. It’s another reason why goldfish need big tanks.

In larger tanks, the greater the dissolved oxygen that goldfish can get. Overcrowding can make goldfish breathe too much oxygen and oxygen competition from other fish or sources.

Do Goldfish Need an Air Pump in the Tank?

Do goldfish need a air pump? Now that you know the basics about goldfish breathing, you may wonder if they need an air pump in their tanks.

The answer is yes; goldfish need an air pump in the tank to survive. An air pump helps keep the water well-aerated, essential for optimal oxygen levels and healthy gills. Without sufficient aeration, your goldfish will struggle to breathe and may not survive.

Is an Air Pump Good for Goldfish? It’s also important to note that an air pump will help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in your tank, which can be toxic for goldfish if it builds up too much.

Additionally, air pumps can help keep the tank clean by preventing the growth of harmful bacteria.

While an air pump is not required for healthy goldfish, having one can provide several benefits and potentially prolong their lifespan.

Can Goldfish Live Without Air Pump?

Can goldfish live without oxygen pump? The short answer is yes, goldfish can survive without an air pump.

Their natural habitat in rivers and streams is usually relatively low in oxygen and has no sort of aeration or filtration system installed. This means that naturally occurring goldfish can survive without an air pump.

That said, many people keep goldfish as pets, and for these cases, it’s crucial to provide proper care for your fish, including providing a healthy environment with enough oxygen levels.

An air aquarium pump would help maintain the right dissolved oxygen level in the tank by circulating water constantly and introducing more oxygen into it through surface movement (air bubbles).

It also helps enhance other vital aquarium processes like chemical filtration and increases surface area contact with beneficial bacteria colonies that eat away ammonia from fish excretion. They also make tanks look more appealing due to seeing plenty of bubbles throughout the tank! 

While goldfish might be able to live without an air pump, they should have one when kept as a pet if possible. A lack of enough oxygen levels could cause stunted growth or even death, so take extra caution when setting up a tank for your little aquatic friends!

How Long Can Goldfish Survive Without Oxygen Pump?

Goldfish can survive without an oxygen pump for up to 60 hours in a properly oxygenated tank. However, they will not thrive and may suffer from declining health and eventually die after a few days of no oxygen.

It is essential to have an adequate amount of dissolved oxygen in the water surface with the help of an oxygen pump or filter system. To ensure your goldfish remain healthy, 

How To Improve Aquarium Water Oxygenation

Other options for water and energy use can be found besides pumps and filters. The best way to add oxygen to your goldfish tank is by adding aquatic plants, which release more oxygen during photosynthesis.

Adding air aquarium stones to the small tank is also a great way to help oxygenate the water. An air stone works by releasing tiny bubbles of air into the aquarium, which helps to increase the surface area for gas exchange.

In addition, water temperature also affects oxygen levels, so try to keep your tank at a moderate temperature. In warm water, the oxygen levels will drop; too cooler water is not suitable for your goldfish either, and goldfish require more oxygen.

Finally, make sure you are performing regular water changes, as this helps keep the goldfish tank clean and free of debris which can decrease oxygen levels.

Following these tips and maintaining the proper oxygen levels in your tank can ensure your goldfish remain healthy and happy for years.

Types of Aeration for Aquariums

In an age when fishkeepers discovered a new and efficient solution for oxygenating an aquarium, numerous aerating systems have emerged. Here are a few different types of aeration systems to consider:

  • Air Pumps and Air Stones – An air pump is an electrically operated device that oxygenates the water by releasing a stream of bubbles for fish to swim in. The gas stones work with the air pumps to spread the oxygen throughout the tank.
  • Submersible Air Diffusers – These small devices are placed inside the aquarium to release bubbles. They are usually more efficient than air aquarium stones and can be used in larger tanks with a higher water volume.
  • Spray Bars – These are long bars that fit over the side of the tank and circulate the water across the surface to increase oxygenation. They can be very effective in larger aquariums and help keep the tank clean.
  • Venturi Valves – These mechanical devices draw air into the water to increase oxygenation. They are great for tanks with higher surface area and help maintain the correct dissolved oxygen levels in your tank.

These are just some of the aeration systems available for aquariums. To determine which one is right for you, think about the size of your tank and the amount of oxygen you need to provide.

With the right system, you can ensure your aquarium is always well-oxygenated, and your fish stay happy and healthy!

Recommended Air Pumps for Goldfish Tank

The best pumps are easy to install for aquariums! It’s simple and easy to purchase from It has some pump choices available.

A similar device will store fish tank water at 125 ft. It has adjustable oxygen pumps for 10-100 liter fish tanks. Hygger Quiet Mini aquarium Pump 1.6 Watts Oxygen Fish Air Pump.

This collection is available on Amazon. Air in the tanks is intended as a supply of oxygen for the water. A pump offers the correct pressure and capacity to aerate or oxygenize aquarium water effectively.

The EcoPlus 728310 Commercial fish tank Pump is an excellent choice for larger aquariums. This energy-efficient pump is designed for hydroponic systems, ponds, and tanks up to 400 gallons. It has an adjustable output of 1 to 20 liters per minute and operates quietly.

The Tetra Whisper AP150 Aquarium Pump is an affordable and reliable option for smaller aquariums. It has a two-outlet design and comes with two air stones. 

These pumps are designed for tanks up to 75 gallons and operate at a low noise level. The air stone is attached to the air pump’s outlet inside the fish tank.

These are just a few of the aquarium pumps available on the market. Be sure to research your options and choose one best suited for your tank size and needs.

Do Goldfish Need Air Pump and Filter?

Do goldfish need air pumps? Yes, goldfish need air pumps and filters. An air pump helps oxygenate the water and adds movement, providing much-needed swimming space for your fish.

A filter removes debris and other waste to keep the water clean and healthy. Without a pump or filter, bacteria can quickly accumulate in the aquarium leading to health issues for your fish.

How Long Can a Goldfish Live Without a Filter or Air Pump?

Goldfish can only survive without a filter or pump for a few hours. Without oxygen, they will quickly become exhausted, and their gills will become damaged. This is why ensuring that your tank has adequate aeration and filtration is vital.

Remembering that a filter and air pump are not enough is also important. You must perform regular tank maintenance, such as water changes and gravel cleaning, to keep your tank clean and healthy.

What Do Goldfish Need to Survive?

Goldfish need clean water with the proper pH levels to survive healthy lives. Because goldfish are extremely sensitive to their environment, it is essential to maintain good water quality.

Water should be monitored regularly and adjusted as needed. In addition, they require an aquarium filter system to keep their habitat safe and healthy.

Finally, it’s crucial to provide them with a complete diet of high-quality fish food to get all the nutrients they need for optimal growth and health.

Do Goldfish Need a Bubbler in the Tank?

No, goldfish typically do not need a bubbler in their tank. While atmospheric oxygen dissolves into the water when the surface is disturbed, goldfish can usually get enough oxygen just by goldfish gulping air at the surface.

Of course, if you have a large tank with many fish that produce high levels of waste or live in an area with insufficient oxygen due to weather or other factors, it may be beneficial to use an aerator.

Do Goldfish Need Aquarium Filter?

While a fish tank pump provides as much oxygen to fish, it needs everything necessary to operate correctly. The other portion of water reflects water surface movement at the water’s surface.

Therefore, your oxygen supply must provide a reliable filter. Besides maintaining a good clean water supply, aquarium filters can also assist in water movement around the surface and thus increase the oxygen content in the water.

Goldfish, like all fish in the water, need good water, although they also like to make water sludge and eat; this can create toxic ammonia. The aquarium filter will help remove the toxins from the water and keep your goldfish healthy.

Air Pump Vs. Filter

An air pump and a filter are essential to keeping your aquarium clean. Oxygen pumps help to oxygenate the water, while filters remove waste and debris from the tank.

Depending on the size of your aquarium, one or both of these devices is necessary to maintain a healthy environment for your fish.

Ultimately, it depends on what type of fish you keep and their individual needs regarding movement and water quality.

Commonly Asked Questions about What Do Goldfish Need in Their Tank (FAQ)

Do Goldfish Need a Light?

No, goldfish do not need an aquarium light. They are very low-light fish and prefer a dark tank when resting or sleeping. However, if you are using live plants in your aquarium, they may require a light source to photosynthesize properly.

Do Goldfish Need a Friend?

Goldfish do not need a friend in their tank, but they may appreciate the company. If you have two or more goldfish in your aquarium, they may exhibit more natural behaviors, such as swimming in pairs, chasing each other, or even spawning.

Do Goldfish Need a Filter?

Yes, goldfish need a filter. Filters help to remove debris and waste from the water while helping to maintain good water quality. It is crucial to choose the right filter for your tank size and keep up with regular maintenance.

Do Goldfish Need a Heater?

Goldfish typically do not need a tank heater, like other tropical fish. Goldfish are cold-water fish and prefer temperatures between 65-72 degrees Fahrenheit. However, a heater may be necessary if you are keeping them in an outdoor pond or other environments with fluctuating temperatures.

Do goldfish need oxygen?

Absolutely! Goldfish, like all fish, breathe dissolved oxygen in water. They can suffocate without adequate levels. Proper tank setup & filtration are crucial to ensure their oxygen needs are met.


So, do goldfish need an air pump? After considering goldfish’s fundamental needs and care requirements, it’s clear that an oxygen supply is optional for their survival. Goldfish need clean water, a proper habitat, balanced nutrition, and regular water changes to thrive. Without top-quality care and attention, goldfish can suffer from health problems like fin damage, swim bladders and bacterial diseases, which may be difficult to resolve without prompt veterinary assistance.

Ultimately, owners should aim to provide their goldfish with the best environment to ensure a healthy and happy life. A correctly set up tank, high-quality food, weekly water changes, and regular check-ups will help keep your pet in tip-top condition. With the proper care and attention, your fish can live long enough to develop a special bond with you as they swim happily in their home.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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