Do Goldfish Need a Filter

Goldfish are one of the most popular types of fish that we keep as pets. Although goldfish have a small, frail exterior, these fish are mighty and hardy and able to look out for themselves. However, despite being one of the easiest pets to maintain, goldfish do require some changes to their environment in order to maintain their health and longevity.

The goldfish is a household name that we all have come to recognize. The common goldfish is a domesticated form of wild carp that has been bred for its varying and alluring colors. 

Under the proper living conditions, goldfish may live anywhere between 10-15 years. It may surprise you that these creatures are capable of living so long, as the oldest ever recorded goldfish lived up to age 43!

Goldfish get their namesake from their bright, shiny gold-toned bodies and beautiful scales. However, goldfish scales may change color or shade due to their underlying health issues. The most common health problem that may cause this reaction is if your goldfish is being poisoned.

This does not mean it has eaten an apple from an old witch. Goldfish can be poisoned simply from their living conditions. An unhealthy, dirty or impure aquarium can promote the growth of toxins and microorganisms in the water. These poisons can be ingested by your fish and cause an array of health issues. 

If this tells us anything, it is that with the right care and attention, a goldfish can live a healthy long life. 

However, goldfish are notoriously messy creatures that produce a lot of excrement. For such small fish you would think that this would not be the case. When goldfish create a lot of waste and leave excess food to break down, the waste releases ammonia and other toxins into the water.

These toxins act as poisons that are damaging to your fish. They can cause dark spots to surface on their skin, or in the worst case scenario cause death. With this in mind, a  proper filter system is best for their health. Many people believe that goldfish do not need extensive filter systems in their tanks and that they can be kept in fishbowls. 

This is not the case anymore. Goldfish kept in fishbowls can live a maximum of 3 years. Fish bowls will stunt their growth and do not provide clean or pure water for your goldfish, so it is advisable to have a spacious and well filtered tank for your goldfish’ wellbeing. 

Filters work by keeping the water in your fish tank or aquarium clean and purified. This means that you do not have to worry about replacing the water often or removing debris and excrement yourself. 

Many filters use both mechanical and biological filtration systems. Mechanical filters are often made of sponges or meshing that can trap dirt and debris found in the tank water. This helps to keep a safe and healthy environment for your fishy companions. 

On the other hand, biological filtration is just as important. There needs to be a presence of good bacteria within your fish tank in order for them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The biological filter allows the growth of good bacteria that will help remove toxins, ammonia and poisonous pollutants in your tank water. This way your goldfish will be happy and healthy, and live much longer. 

Filters may often have UV lights to reduce the growth of algaes and greenery in your pond or tank for better water clarity and quality.

How to look after your goldfish?

When looking after your goldfish, it is important to remember that they create a lot of mess. This is not so much of a problem in the wild as water is abundant and the fish are free. When kept in a tank or aquarium, your fish are swimming, eating, and pooping in the same water every day. The waste and toxins that your fish produce must be removed from their water with a good filtration system. 

Our tip is to remember to always remove any excess food that your goldfish have left in the tank. Food waste can break down and release harmful bacteria into your goldfish’ environment and cause them to become unwell or sick. 

In addition, try not to rely entirely upon your filter to care for you goldfish. You should have a visual check over your goldfish every day to ensure that they are thriving in their living environment. Filters do not always have a self cleaning function, so you will have to check sporadically when the filters need to be cleaned or replaced.

Do goldfish need a filter?

Despite their small size, we do recommend that you have a filter for your goldfish tank. Although many people perceive goldfish as some of the easiest animals to keep, they do require regular maintenance and proper hygiene in their living environment. 

Without a strong filtration system, your goldfish may become weak, sick or even die from the dirty water conditions.

What type of filter does a goldfish need?

There are generally two different types of filters that your goldfish may need. There are internal and external filters. An internal filter is one that is fitted or sits submerged in the water, whereas an external filter sits above. 

External filters are often considered the best types of filters as they go above water, and they have more space to clean and purify your water. Filters should have both mechanical and biological filtration systems for proper goldfish care.

When looking for a filter for your goldfish tank, you should consider the flow rate. This is the amount of water that is filtered per hour. You could aim to have a flow rate of 5-10 times the volume of your tank water.