How to setup a low cost Goldfish aquarium with a filter, bubble light, and fake plants?

Goldfish are very hardy and easy to keep for both beginners and experts. The most important aspect of setting up a goldfish tank is to plan for the future and select an adequate size tank. Many species of Goldfish grow fast and quite large and are often classified as messy fish and create a lot of waste. A small bowl or a small tank without filtration has never been a good option for them. Comet goldfish can grow over 35 cm and are more suitable for ponds as they swim fast. Fancy goldfish such as Oranda, Ranchu, Pearlscale and Black Moor etc., grow 16-25 cm in length and are slow moving fish. Due to the large future sizes of these fish, it is good to start with a tank size that is at least 110-115 litres in volume which is typically a 3 feet tank.

Below you can watch how to setup goldfish aquarium, & adding a pump & filter will keep water clean.

How to setup a cheap Goldfish aquarium?
How to setup a cheap Goldfish aquarium?

Goldfish Tank Substrate & Decor:

Have a look at the decor we have used in our tank. You can purchase any smooth & strong decor because goldfish are messy fish & they mess up with almost everything. We are not using any substrate in our aquarium & our tank is bare bottom.

Choosing the color of substrate (gravel) for a goldfish tank is based on personal preference, but I would recommend a dark colored substrate to help hide dark waste build-up. Keep the size of the substrate from medium to large and avoid using sand as goldfish can swallow it. My preference is a bare bottom tank for goldfish as it is easy to clean the tank and high water quality can be maintained. Always opt for a gentle decor with smooth surfaces as goldfish are prone to getting scratched when they swim through the structure. I removed all the decor from my tank after introducing fancy Goldies to keep them healthy.

Goldfish Tank Filter:

We are using an overhead SUMP filter in our aquarium. The best thing about this filter is that it can provide both mechanical & biological filtration, & there is a large amount of available bio media for producing beneficial bacteria.

The most important component of a goldfish tank is the filter. A high volume of water turnover coupled by highly efficient filtration is compulsory. Ideally the water flow should be at least double the capacity of the fish tank. Mechanical filtration should consist of at least 2 types of filter foams. However, I would suggest a coarse foam, medium foam and fine foam. This will ensure only clean water flows through the biological filter media. Any kind of ceramic media will do the job, if store bought filters are expensive then I would recommend building your own diy aquarium filter. I do not use any chemical filtration in my tanks but adding some to the filter will help maintain healthy water. 

If you plan to build or buy an overhead sump filter then adding some Pothos plant to the filter will help in cleaning up nitrates. Check out my youtube channel to see how i built my own overhead filter and added pothos plants in it.

Aerators In Goldfish Tank: 

We are connecting both sides of LED strip aerators to the aquarium pump. These aerators can help aerate the complete tank.

Aerators help in the circulation of the aquarium water, thereby allowing the exchange of gasses to happen. Aerators expose water to the surface thereby allowing the exchange of gases (oxygen in/carbon dioxide out).  In most cases, this task is achieved by a filter but by adding an air pump this process can be fast tracked. I always have some sort of aeration in the tank, most of the submersible pump can be fitted with an air tube that can shoot out bubbles. Check out the video to see it yourself.

Cycling a Goldfish Tank:

Cycling a Goldfish Tank

We have added beneficial bacteria from a cycled aquarium to speed up the cycling process. Beneficial bacteria is available in our filter.

Once the tank is setup and the filter is functioning then consider cycling the tank. It is the process of building enough good bacteria to break down waste and convert it to less harmful form. Cycling is not as hard as you might think, you can always speed up the process by using water from your existing aquarium and adding some bio media from an already established tank. Keep in mind that beneficial bacteria will need some source of food which can be provided by adding pure ammonia or dropping some fish food in the tank. Learn more: How to cycle your aquarium.

Lighting & Temperature:

Gold Fish Lighting

Aquarium lights can provide essential vitamins to fish. It is required in aquariums & fish can also use lights to see food & enjoy a tank environment. We have used LED strip lights that can change its color automatically in our goldfish tank.

Proper aquarium light plays a pivotal role in the health of your fish. Just like any other fish, Goldfish need light too. If your goldfish are not healthy and don't display vibrant colors then one of the reasons could be poor lighting as fish require light to create essential vitamins. A full-spectrum light is recommended for all tanks that don't receive natural light. Fancy goldfish are delicate and do better in warmer water that doesn't fluctuate much. However, most of the species can do just fine without a heater. I have kept my goldfish in an aquarium without a heater for years and never had any issue with their health in winter. 

If you are thinking about setting up a new tank for goldfish and found this article helpful then please drop me a line to share your feedback or opinion in the comment section below. You can always visit my youtube page to find related videos.

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