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Are Goldfish Freshwater Fish? (Answered)

If you’re wondering, are goldfish freshwater fish then you’re in the right place. 

In this article, I’m going to answer the same question.

In nature, goldfish are found in freshwater so they are freshwater fish. Besides, goldfish are coldwater fish. And they prefer soft to moderately hard water.

Now I’m going to tell you more details on the subject and tell more information about the kind of water goldfish need.

Keep reading…

Are Goldfish Freshwater Fish? (Answered) image

Are all types of goldfish freshwater fish?

goldfish image with text "Are all types of goldfish freshwater fish?"

Goldfish are originally from East Asia. They are kept as ornamental fish as before as AD 618.

Till now there are around 300 breeds of goldfish. Not all of them are popular. 

There are about 25 popular varieties of goldfish. These varieties of goldfish are freshwater fish.

The fancy varieties of goldfish are not as hardy as the wild variety. And some of the fancy varieties can only be kept in an aquarium.

Why goldfish are freshwater fish?

goldfish image with text "Why goldfish are freshwater fish?"

Naturally, goldfish are found in the slow-moving freshwater water. That’s why they are freshwater fish. 

Goldfish belong to the carp family. The fish in the carp family are freshwater fish. 

Though goldfish are freshwater fish they have been found in the brackish water of salinity 17.

Are goldfish tropical freshwater fish?

goldfish image with text "Are goldfish tropical freshwater fish?"

Goldfish are not tropical freshwater fish. They are coldwater fish.

The tropical freshwater fish are the fish that are found naturally in the tropical climate where the temperature is warmer around 18 °C (64.4 °F) or higher throughout the year. 

And so the tropical fish needs warmer temperature. Generally, tropical fish needs a warmer temperature of between 75° and 80°F

The ideal temperature for fancy goldfish is between 68° to 74° F (20° to 23° C). and the ideal temperature for comet and shubunkins is between 60° and 70°F (140° to 158° C). 

So, overall, goldfish need cooler water compared to tropical fish.

Do goldfish like hard water or soft water?

goldfish image with text "Do goldfish like hard water or soft water?"

Goldfish can do well in both hard water and soft water.

Water hardness is measured in GH or PPM.

It measures the magnesium and calcium contents in the water. 

If the water has less than 17 ppm calcium and magnesium it is conceded as soft water.

If the water has more than 17 ppm calcium and magnesium up to 180 ppm then it is considered hard water. 

You can easily measure the hardness of the water in your aquarium water using an aquarium water test kit like API Mater Test Kit (link to Amazon)

Fish and live aquarium plants in the aquarium do need some calcium and magnesium in the water for their proper growth and development.

So ideally you should have hard water in your goldfish tank.  So the fish and plants can get calcium and magnesium from the water.

What are the best water parameters for a goldfish tank?

Here’s a table showing the best water parameter ranges for goldfish.

Water ParametersValues
NitrateMax 40 PPM
Temperature 68° to 74° F (20° to 23° C)
Hardness (GH)150 PPM

You should keep the water parameters in your goldfish tank within these ideal ranges to keep the fish happy and healthy.


goldfish image with text "faq"

Are goldfish warm or cold water fish?

Goldfish are considered cold water fish. Though, you can keep goldfish in a heated tank that has a temperature maximum of 74° F (23° C).

Can goldfish survive in regular tap water?

Goldfish can not survive in regular tap water. Tap water is treated with chlorine for purification. Chlorine is harmful to fish. That’s why you need to dechlorinate the tap water before using it for your goldfish tank.

You can dechlorinate your tap water using a dechlorinator like Seachem Prime (link to Amazon)

Can goldfish live in cold water?

Goldfish can live in cold water but they cannot live in freezing cold water. The ideal temperature common goldfish is between 60° and 70°F (140° to 158° C). And the ideal temperature for fancy goldfish is between 68° to 74° F (20° to 23° C). 

So as you can see fancy goldfish need a warmer temperature and they cannot tolerate very cold water.

Can goldfish live without a filter?

Goldfish are not good at digesting food. That’s why they produce a lot of waste. To get rid of the waste you’ll need a filter in your aquarium. 

Besides, as goldfish produce a lot of waste, using a sponge filter will not be enough for goldfish. You’ll need a bigger hang on the back filter or a canister filter to handle the waste produced by goldfish.

How often should you change goldfish water?

How often you’ll need to change the water in your goldfish tank depends on the number of goldfish you have in your tank and the size of your goldfish fish tank.

Generally, you should change your goldfish tank water on a weekly basis. 

How much partial water change you should do depends on the nitrate levels in your fish tank. 

Ideally, your fish tank should not have more than 40 ppm nitrate.


Naturally, goldfish are found in slow-moving freshwater so they are freshwater fish. 

I hope you found the article helpful.

If you do, please share it.

Happy fishkeeping!

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