Can Goldfish Live Without An Air Pump? (In Aquarium Or Fish Bowl)

Goldfish are freshwater fish which does not need an air pump in their natural habitat. But when placed in an artificial environment, will they need an air pump for survival? Conversely, can your goldfish survive without an air pump?

Goldfish can survive without an air pump if the tank is heavily planted and you perform regular water changes. An air pump helps maintain the tank’s oxygen level by increasing the water movements on the tank’s surface. Consider placing an air pump for the oxygen supply in the goldfish tank.

Let us dive into the article to learn about air pumps and their benefits to your goldfish. We will also discuss the goldfish water requirements.

Why do goldfish need an air pump in their tank?

Goldfish use their gills to get oxygen from the water, and it will become difficult for them to breathe if your tank is not well-oxygenated.

An air pump is required to keep our goldfish tank oxygenated. Your goldfish requires oxygen to survive, and a lack of oxygen can cause severe damage to your goldfish.

We want you to know that your goldfish need adequate oxygen in the water, which comes from the movement and bubbles on the surface provided by an air pump.

So, it will be advisable to add an air pump to your goldfish tank so your fish can grow properly and stay healthy.

How long can goldfish survive without an air pump?

Goldfish will not survive for more than 48-60 hours due to a lack of oxygen in the water. An air pump is required to keep our goldfish tank oxygenated.

Your goldfish can survive without an air pump if your tank is heavily planted and you ensure regular water changes.

But if your tank is not heavily planted and you don’t have an air pump placed in it, it will become harder for your goldfish to survive in such a case.

Goldfish are messy fish that produce a lot of waste in the tank, resulting in a drop in the oxygen level.

So we advise you to place an air pump in your goldfish tank as it helps keep your tank oxygenated so that your goldfish can live a healthy life.

Why is my goldfish gulping air at the surface of the tank?

Due to inadequate oxygen in the water, your goldfish will be gulping air at the water’s surface.

It indicates an emergency as your goldfish cannot breathe properly due to a lack of oxygen in the water, resulting in the passing away of your fish.

In such a case, you should immediately use the air pump and a water filter to improve the circulation in the tank.

The air pump helps increase the water movements, increasing oxygen in your goldfish tank.

If you don’t have an air pump in such a case, you should immediately change the water in your goldfish tank to increase the oxygen level in the tank.

If you discover your goldfish swimming in an unusual pattern with their mouth open or gulping down bubbles, it indicates a lack of oxygen in the water.

You must never avoid such a situation as it can risk the life of your goldfish.

An air pump is required in the goldfish tank as it helps keep the tank oxygenated.

Therefore we recommend you place an air pump in your goldfish tank to avoid such a situation as goldfish require adequate oxygen to grow properly and stay healthy.

Can goldfish survive in a fishbowl without an air pump?

Your goldfish will not survive in a bowl as it has less space and significantly fewer water movements resulting in a lack of oxygen.

We want you to know that goldfish are messy fish that produce a lot of waste, contaminating the water quickly.

Contaminated water will drop oxygen levels in the bowl, which can cause severe health issues to your goldish.

However, without an air pump, you will have to change the water every three days to maintain the oxygen level in the bowl.

Frequent water changes will help to oxygenate the water but can lead to stress in your goldfish.

So, you must always provide an air pump to your goldfish so that it can breathe properly and stay healthy.

In addition, it will be advisable not to place your goldfish in a bowl as it provides very little space for your goldfish to swim, leading to stress and limiting your goldfish’s growth.

We advise you to keep your goldfish in a well-filtered tank so that it has enough space to swim and grow properly.

How to tell if your aquarium requires more oxygen?

Here are the ways to find out if your goldfish aquarium requires more oxygen:

  • If you discover your goldfish breathing heavily and increasing its gills movement, it indicates the water’s lack of oxygen and requires more oxygen immediately.
  • If your goldfish has decreased its activities and staying still, it might be due to the lack of oxygen. In such a case, your aquarium requires more oxygen as soon as possible.
  • If you discover your goldfish gulping at the water’s surface and swimming in an unusual pattern, it indicates the lack of oxygen in the water.
  • If there are no water movements in the tank, it indicates the water’s lack of oxygen.
  • An air pump helps to create water movements increasing the oxygen level in the water. So, placing an air pump in the goldfish aquarium will be advisable so your fish can grow properly and stay healthy.

How can you add oxygen to your tank or a fishbowl?

There are many ways to add oxygen to your goldfish tank or fishbowl. Let us discuss some of them below:

Adding Aquatic Plants 

You can add aquatic plants like java fern in your aquarium to maintain the oxygen level in the tank.

In addition, your goldfish don’t prefer to eat java fern, so it becomes an ideal option for your goldfish aquarium. 

In the case of a fishbowl, the space is already less for your goldish to swim.

Adding too many live plants can overcrowd the tank, and your goldfish will not be able to swim freely, resulting in the growth limit of your fish. So you must add limited aquatic plants in a bowl. 

Adding a water filter 

You must add a water filter to your goldfish tank as it helps to purify the tank’s water and eliminate all the toxins from the water.

As goldfish are messy fish, they produce a lot of waste, resulting in contaminated water.

Contaminated water can further lead to a drop in the oxygen level, which might cause severe damage to your goldfish.

So, adding a water filter in the tank will help maintain the oxygen level required for your goldfish to stay healthy.

Adding a filter will not be possible in a fishbowl, so you must ensure regular water changes to maintain oxygen.

Consider adding a Fluval High-Performance water filter to your goldfish tank, as it helps maintain the tank’s water quality by eliminating harmful chemicals. 

You can buy it from Amazon  Fluval High-Performance Aquarium Filter.

Also read: Do Goldfish Need Filters?

In addition, keep a regular check on the tank’s ammonia level, as excess ammonia can lead to ammonia poisoning in your goldfish.

We recommend regularly using the API ammonia test kit to check the ammonia level, which shows accurate results.

You can purchase it from Amazon API TEST KIT.

Also, read Ammonia Poisoning In Goldfish.

Adding an air pump 

You must add an air pump to your goldfish aquarium as it helps to increase the water movements and oxygen levels in the water. 

In a fishbowl, adding an air pump will not be possible, so you must always clean your fishbowl regularly and ensure water changes every three days to maintain the oxygen level in the bowl

We advise you to add Tetra Air Pump to your goldfish tank as it helps maintain the tank’s oxygen level and produces minimal noise, eventually providing a stress-free environment for your goldfish.

You can purchase it from Amazon Tetra Air Pump

Also read: Can Goldfish Live In A Bowl?

What are goldfish water requirements?

Types Of GoldfishWater Temperature ( In Fahrenheit) Water Temperature (In Celsius)
Comet Goldfish 60-70°F15.56-21.11°C
Common Goldfish 68-74°F20-23.3°C
Shubunkin Goldfish60-70°F15.56-21.11°C
Fantail Goldfish 68-74°F18-22°C
Sarasa Goldfish36-90°F2.2-32°C
The above table shows the water requirement of goldfish.

Conclusion:

  • Goldfish require an air pump as it helps maintain the tank’s oxygen level by increasing the water movements.
  • Goldfish will not survive for more than 48-60 hours due to the lack of oxygen in the tank.
  • Goldfish gulping air at the water surface indicates the lack of oxygen in the tank.
  • You can add an air pump, filter, and aquatic plants to maintain the oxygen level in the tank.

Related Questions:

Do pufferfish need an air pump?

Pea puffer does not need an air pump in their tank, but it will be advisable to add an air pump as it helps maintain the oxygen level in the tank.

How can you tell if your goldfish is not happy?

If you discover your fish gasping at the water surface or swimming in unusual patterns, your goldfish is unhappy and has a problem.

We want you to know that it can be due to the lack of oxygen in your goldfish tank. We advise you to take necessary actions as soon as possible as it can cause severe health issues to your goldfish.


Ref: NCBI, NewsScientist

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