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The goldfish is perhaps the most popular aquarium fish species on the planet. Almost every Tom, Dick, and Harry who wants to start an aquarium hobby will probably at one point consider keeping a goldfish. This is because many people assume that goldfish are hardy and a breeze to keep. After all, goldfish are usually kept in small fishbowls without any aquarium systems.
However, nothing could be further from the truth. The goldfish is just like any other fish and it has care demands which need to be met. One of the care demands is sufficient oxygen. The species, like all other fish species, needs enough oxygen to breathe and survive. And the best way to increase oxygen in an aquarium is to use an air pump.
In this post, I will share with you important information about goldfish, oxygen, and air pumps.
Let’s dive in.
Do Goldfish Need An Air Pump?
Yes, they do! Below is the explanation of why.
400;”>Goldfish are fish like any other fish and they need enough oxygen in fish tanks to breathe. The oxygen in fish tanks is usually replenished through the movement of the surface water. Since aquariums are almost always kept indoors and away from windows, there is usually no wind to cause the movement of the surface water. This is the reason why air pumps are necessary.
Air pumps ‘inject’ air into aquariums and cause the movement of surface water as the air escapes. The injection of air plus the movement of surface water is what increases oxygen in fish tanks. It is also the action that circulates oxygen in fish tanks. Therefore, if you want your goldfish to get sufficient oxygen to breathe and survive, you need to buy an air pump. This is because it is what will replenish the oxygen your goldfish will need to breathe.
Why Is There A Need To Replenish Oxygen In Fish Tanks?
There are two reasons why oxygen in fish tanks needs to be replenished. First, fish breathe it and when they do, they reduce its levels in the water. Second, fish excrete regularly. This makes the water sludgy and increases CO2 concentration while decreasing the concentration of oxygen.
Therefore, if there is no surface water movement, oxygen levels in aquariums can gradually reduce to levels that will suffocate the fish in the aquarium. This is why many, if not all, aquariums need surface water movement which can best be triggered using an air pump.
How to Tell If Your Goldfish Urgently Needs An Air Pump
I have already pointed out that goldfish need an air pump to breathe. However, you may not be 100% convinced. This is okay and it is the reason why I have explained below how to tell if your goldfish urgently needs an air pump.
- Look at the size of your tank
If your fish tank is small (less than 20 gallons), then it most likely does not have sufficient oxygen at any given time. This is because smaller tanks have smaller water surface areas and hence minimal surface water movement. For this reason, they cannot dissolve as much atmospheric oxygen as larger tanks with larger water surface areas and, therefore, increased surface water movement.
So if you have a 20-gallon tank or something smaller, you should strongly consider getting an air pump to increase the amount of oxygen for the goldfish in your tank.
- Look for surface water movement
If there is little or no surface water movement in your tank, then you most definitely need to buy an air pump for it. This is because little or no surface water movement prevents oxygen from dissolving into water. Therefore, it is an indicator that there is little oxygen in the water and that an air pump needs to be acquired ASAP.
- Measure the water temperature
If the water in your aquarium is often warm, then it most probably does not have adequate oxygen. This is because warm water usually holds less dissolved oxygen than cool water.
The best way to cool the usually warm water in your aquarium is to get an air pump. This is because by introducing cool air from the surroundings and causing surface water movement, an air pump can quickly lower the temperature of the water in your fish tank and keep it low. This will allow the water to hold more oxygen for your goldfish.
- Measure the oxygen levels
Using an aquarium oxygen test kit from Amazon or your local pet store, you can accurately determine if your tank water has sufficient oxygen levels. If you determine that there is insufficient oxygen, you should immediately get an air pump to increase it and ensure it is always sufficient for your goldfish.
- Observe the behavior of your goldfish
The ultimate way to tell if your goldfish tank does not have sufficient oxygen and urgently requires an air pump is to observe the behavior of your fish.
If your goldfish regularly come to the surface to gulp for air, you should know for sure that there is insufficient oxygen in the water. This is because gulping for air is not a typical goldfish behavior; goldfish only do it if they are not getting enough oxygen in the water. Thus, if you observe your goldfish and notice they gulp for air frequently, you should get an air pump to increase the oxygen levels in the water.
If you notice anything that shows or indicates that there is insufficient oxygen in your tank, you should immediately correct the situation by getting an air pump. If you do not, you risk stressing your goldfish and even killing them.
Can You Keep Goldfish in a Fishbowl Without A Pump?
Not really. Unless you do not really want your goldfish to survive. There are two main reasons why you should not keep your goldfish, or any other fish for that matter, in a fishbowl without an air pump.
First, fishbowls are not fish tanks. In most cases, they are not appropriate for housing aquarium fish because they are too small and they restrict the movement of the fish. And with restricted movement, your fish will suffer, lead a boring life, and die very quickly.
Second, fishbowls have little or no surface water movement because of their size. Therefore, they do not dissolve a lot of oxygen. Thus, keeping your goldfish in them without an air pump is equal to suffocating your fish.
So you should not keep your goldfish in a fishbowl without an air pump if you want them to live long and happy lives.
What to Do If Your Fish Tank Has Insufficient Oxygen Levels
If you have been half-keen to this point, then by now you know the best way to increase oxygen levels in a fish tank is to buy an air pump. This is because it will increase surface water movement and enable more oxygen to dissolve into your tank water.
In addition to buying an air pump, you can also increase oxygen levels in your fish tank by planting your aquarium, getting a better filter, and regularly changing your aquarium water.
By regularly changing a fraction of your aquarium water, you will automatically be introducing fresh and oxygenated water into your aquarium. Moreover, even the action of taking out a fraction of your aquarium water and replacing it with freshwater will oxygenate your tank water.
Planting your aquarium<span style=”font-weight: 400;”> will increase its oxygen levels because the plants will generally absorb the CO2 in the water and release oxygen. What I am trying to say is that a planted aquarium will never really lack oxygen.
Lastly, getting a better filter will also increase oxygen levels in your tank by keeping the water clean. In contrast to water filled with fish waste, clean water is cool and can hold more dissolved oxygen.
Remember, you are not restricted to just doing one thing to increase oxygen levels in your tank. Ideally, you should buy and install an air pump, regularly change a fraction of aquarium water, plant your aquarium, and clean your filter or get a better filter to ensure your aquarium has optimum oxygen levels.
The Best Air Pump for Goldfish
In my opinion, the best air pump for goldfish is the Uniclife Aquarium Pump. This is because it is a powerful air pump that comes with all the accessories to increase oxygen levels in your fish tank and produce aesthetic bubbles. It is also durable and can be adjusted to pump air for tanks that are between ten gallons and 100 gallons in size.