Goldfish FAQ

How big should my bowl be?

A good general rule is 1 gallon per goldfish. The larger the bowl the longer it will take for ammonia to increase to harmful levels and the less often you will need to clean it.

What will I need for a complete goldfish bowl set up?

The essentials are:

  • Bowl
  • Water dechlorinators
  • Gravel
  • Food
  • A net

Aquarium salt is highly recommended for preventing diseases with goldfish. Plants and other decorations are up to each customer.

Will I need a filter or a heater?

A filter is not needed, but using an air driven filter is an inexpensive way to increase the time between water changes. The goldfish will also benefit from the increased aeration. A heater is not needed.

How do I set up my bowl?

Wash the bowl out with water. Never use any type of soap products or sponges that have had soap on them (Products purchased in supermarkets may have soap in them, deadly to fish!). Clean your gravel by rinsing it off under tap water to remove any dust and add it to the bottom of the bowl.  If you’re using a filter hook it up now. Pour the fish and the water from the bag into the bowl.   Fill the rest of the bowl with tap water of similar temperature. Add your dechlorinator at this time.  If you are using salt add 1 teaspoon per gallon.

How often should I feed my goldfish?

It is very difficult to starve your fish, but very easy to overfeed it. If the food falls to the bottom of bowl you are overfeeding. In a bowl if you overfeed 2 or 3 times in a week you could kill your fish. We recommend you feed your fish every other day once a day. Pellet food will float longer than flakes but either type will work.

How often should I clean my bowl?

A goldfish bowl without a filter should be cleaned twice a week.  With a filter you can clean it every 7-10 days.

How do I clean my bowl?

Remove 1/3 of the water and put it in a different container. Catch the fish and put them in this water.

Pour out the rest of the water and refill the bowl with clean water. Refill the bowl with some water and “swirl” the gravel with your hand and dump out this water. You are using this water to work out the gravel. Repeat this until the water seems clean.

Refill the bowl ½ full with water that feels the same temperature as the saved water add dechlorinator and then poor the water with the fish back into the bowl. Top the bowl off with more water if needed.

Add aquarium salt if applicable.

If your bowl is extremely dirty you may need to change all the water.


  • Don’t overfeed.
  • Feed once every other day.
  • Do regular water changes.
  • Power Filtration is a safer strategy than using a plain bowl.
  • Expect to have a high death rate with feeder goldfish or carnival fish.
  • Ask us for recommendations.