Goldfish Aquaponics System – Everything You Need to Know

goldfish aquaponics

The classic goldfish has always been associated with beautiful decoration in any house. It is not an edible species, but it brings in a great appearance that will draw positive attention straight away. However, the basic goldfish has more than just one use. In fact, more and more aquaponics experts rely on the goldfish to add to the quality standards of their systems. The best part about it? Goldfish are not too pretentious and are easy to look after, so you will not have to spend too much time looking after your friend. Now, what else should you know before setting up a goldfish aquaponics system?

Why start a goldfish aquaponics system

While not always similar, goldfish are actually related to koi and carp. Over the past years, they have become some of the most popular choices for aquaponics systems. Apart from being easy to care for, there are a few other reasons wherefore they are so suitable for such applications. For instance, goldfish are easy to find. Pretty much any pet store out there will have a few in stock. Given their high availability, they are obviously inexpensive as well, so they will not require a big investment.

Other than that, goldfish are quite forgiving and can easily adapt to various systems. Sure, you still need to follow some rules and look after them – after all, the happier they are, the better they will do in your system. Moreover, given all these benefits, goldfish are ideal for beginners.

As if all these were not enough, goldfish are known for producing relatively high amounts of waste. Simply put, there are lots of nutrients going to your plants, so you will not need an impressive population.

Becoming familiar with the different types of goldfish

There are more goldfish varieties out there, and you need to become familiar with them before starting a goldfish aquaponics system. The good news is that most species can work wonders in your system. Two of them stand out in the crowd though, so these are the species you need to focus on:

  • Single tail or slim body goldfish
  • Twin tail or double tail goldfish

Single tail goldfish are relatively fast and can show impressive strength. Most individuals can reach 12 inches in size if you provide the optimal conditions. Therefore, they are quite popular in numerous ponds. Other than that, this variety is also split into more species. Whether you go for wakin, watonai, comet, shubunkin, jikin or common goldfish, any of these options will do.

On the other hand, the twin tail goldfish – also referred to as fancy goldfish – is more suitable if you also want to show off with your aquaponics system. This is the most common species in ornamental designs because the appearance is better. Some of the species in this group include butterfly, telescope, fantail, veiltail, ryukin, pompom and tamasaba goldfish.

Now that you know what makes a goldfish aquaponics system so popular, what should you know in terms of living conditions and care? At the end of the day, goldfish are among the hardiest options out there, but you still need to consider their needs for the fish to thrive.

fancy goldfish and shibunkin


Ignore the density rules, and your fish will be stressed or fall ill. If you go for the twin tail goldfish, you need a fish for every 15 gallons – give or take. Ideally, you should give each fish about 20 gallons. On the other hand, the single tail goldfish requires even more space. Therefore, you need at least 20 gallons for each fish.

Tank sizing standards

Goldfish are active swimmers. They do need plenty of space to swim around. Ignore what you see on TV or in cartoons – a small bowl will not work. Your fish will fall ill and die. Therefore, if you keep more than one fish, make sure your tank is large enough. For instance, five single tail goldfish will need 120 gallons or more.

Lighting conditions

Direct sunlight is not a top requirement for goldfish – excellent when compared to other species. They do require a bit of daylight every now and then. Therefore, do not cover the tank. The lack of daylight will get the fish to turn white. They are ill, and they are likely to die. Exposure to daylight is important, but provide lots of hiding places too for your fish to get some shade.

Water temperature and pH levels

The water temperature should not exceed 72 degrees F. As for the lower limit, go for at least 65 degrees F. Instead, goldfish can adapt to more environments. However, you need to provide the right conditions if you want them to be happy and support your system.

As for the pH level, it should go between 7.2 and 7.6. Just like the temperature, goldfish will take variations without too much hassle. But then, too many variations will stress them out, so aim for the optimal pH levels.


Last but not least, the dissolved oxygen concentration is also worth some attention. Your tank will need about 5mg/L. Higher than this is better, but lower levels will stress the fish and cause diseases.

As a short final conclusion, a goldfish aquaponics system is excellent from multiple points of view. You do not need too much experience, but pay attention to a few details to keep the fish happy. Most people refer to goldfish as a single species, but there are actually lots of varieties. The common goldfish is probably the most accessible one – easy to find, inexpensive, and easy to adapt. If you want to raise other varieties, remember that the single tail goldfish is a more efficient choice for your aquaponics system.

To top all these up, you should know that goldfish are not too picky when it comes to food either. They are omnivorous and will take more types of food. If you are new to this, it might be wise to start with fish food – such as protein high pellets.

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