The proper goldfish tank set-up will add health and length to the lives of your goldfish. If you are planning on only having one small goldfish then simply a large goldfish bowl and changing the water frequently may be sufficient.

But, for most aquarists a complete set-up will allow for a better experience as you can have more fish and they will usually live a longer and healthier life. Below is a checklist and further explanations for a complete tanks set-up that will allow years of enjoyment.

Set up your tank several days before getting your fish to make sure the water is just right for them. 

For a list of Care Items you will need for your goldfish click here.

goldfish aquarium

1. Locate tank out of direct sun.

Before setting up your goldfish tank, you need to pick the perfect place in your home to place it. Do NOT place it near a window or near a heating or cooling source. Sunlight on the tank will heat the water and make your goldfish sick.

It is also important to make sure you have a strong sturdy stand. A fish tank filled with water is very heavy. Also you should place your tank near an electrical outlet. You will need to plug in the light and the pump for filtration.

2. Clean out tank with water.

It is important to wash the goldfish tank, filter and plastic plants with plain water. Do NOT use soap on the tank or anything that will go in your tank set-up. Soap can make goldfish sick. Rinse the tank thoroughly with water and check for leaks.

3. Rinse gravel and decorations thoroughly with water.

Do NOT use soap. Rinse thoroughly in bucket with just water.

4. Fill tank 1/3 full with water.

5. Add decorations to taste.

6. Fill tank, place thermometer.

The water temperature in a goldfish tank should be between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. A heater is not usually needed for goldfish.

7. Add water conditioner and let filter run for 24 hours.

Most tap water contains chlorine and ammonia. These chemicals are harmful to fish (and sometimes fatal) so the water conditioner will stabilize the water.

8. Add 1-5 fish to tank.

goldfish in bag

After choosing your goldfish you will bring them home in a plastic bag. Do NOT put your goldfish directly into the tank set-up. Your goldfish need time to get used to the water temperature in your fish tank. Place the unopened bag into the tank and allow to float for 15 minutes. After the fifteen minutes open the plastic bag and add some water from the fish tank to the bag. Then close the bag and let it float for another 15 minutes. Finally, open the bag and allow your goldfish to swim out into the goldfish tank.

Avoid Overcrowding....Optimal Number of Fish

9. Feed small amount of goldfish food daily.

Goldfish love to eat....and eat....and eat. For what to feed goldfish and other feeding tips see feeding page.

10. Change 1/4 of water monthly.

See Cleaning Your Fish Tank Page for specifics on cleaning and how to perform a correct water change.

CLICK HERE for all the latest fish and aquarium products at Drs. Foster & Smith

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