Quick fact: We need oxygen to live… and goldfish need it too. They may not have lungs, but they actually need A LOT of oxygen to live.
If you don’t provide your pet fish with enough of it… you’ll end up with a lifeless tank. (And possibly a lifeless fish!) And this leads us to the question: do goldfish need air pumps? Keep reading to find out!
Table of contents
Do Goldfish Need An Air Pump?
So, do goldfish need bubbles to live? The logic would lead you to say yes. But WAIT! The truth is that goldfish might not necessarily need an air pump.
In nearly 20 years of goldfish keeping, I learned that there is a lot of hype about aquariums and air pumps. You see them in pet shops and professional tanks. So your fish must also need one, right? Well, not always.
See: If you have an ample tank equipped with a filtration system capable of producing sufficient surface disturbance and air bubbles, for example, an undergravel filter, sponge filter, or box filter, an air pump could be unnecessary.
However, you must ensure that the water is adequately oxygenated in other ways (if you choose not to use one).
How Can You Tell If An Air Pump Is Needed?
As I already told you, there are cases when an air pump is not necessarily needed. But there are cases when an air pump is a must-have. How to tell when to get one? Check out the cheat sheet below.
You likely need an air pump if any of the following is true:
If this sounds like your tank, I suggest you get an air pump right away. Air pumps don’t add oxygen to the water directly. It’s the disturbance at the surface of the water that helps dissolve the oxygen into the liquid. Therefore, it is essential to check if the goldfish have enough oxygen.
How To Tell If My Goldfish Have Enough Oxygen?
Look for the following signs:
Again, these can indicate other issues, so it’s best to also investigate any other possible problems.
If you want your fish to breathe properly but you’re unsure of exactly how to create the best aeration setup in your aquarium, you should check out our best-selling book, The Truth About Goldfish, on Amazon. It covers everything about tank setup and maintenance for all types of goldfish housing!
How To Improve Aquarium Water Oxygenation
Besides air pumps and water filters, there are a few alternative ways to improve water oxygenation.
Check them out below:
Wrapping It All Up
Goldfish might not necessarily need an air pump but they will surely need one if:
In all other cases, a good water filter and live plants should provide sufficient oxygen for your underwater friends.
So, what do you think? Would you wait to look for lack of oxygen signs, or install an air pump anyway just to stay on the safe side?
Featured image credit: Hans, Pixabay