Why Is My Goldfish Dying?

Many people have experienced the death of a goldfish at some point in their lives.


The idea of bringing a goldfish home from the fair in a goldfish bowl, feeding it, and expecting it to live only a short period before having to flush the poor goldfish down the toilet is outdated.


Most people now know, or should know, goldfish that are properly cared for can live for many years. A child may not ever have to experience the heartbreak of a dying goldfish.

dying goldfish
An efficient filter system is essential to avoid killing your fish


Basic care for your goldfish

Size and maintenance of the aquarium are important factors when taking care of your goldfish.

#1 Consider the size of the tank

A goldfish bowl is not a proper home for a goldfish. It’s recommended that 1 goldfish be housed in a 10-gallon fish tank. A small goldfish bowl is not even close to this size. The fish simply don’t have enough room to swim and grow and can’t thrive in such a small environment.


Goldfish bowls are inexpensive and some people do still purchase them for their goldfish. If a bowl must be used, it should only be used for a short period. It shouldn’t be the long-term home for the goldfish. If the goldfish is not moved to a larger tank, you’ll will more than likely see signs of a dying goldfish in less than a year.

#2 Aquarium Maintenance

Even when goldfish are in a big enough tank, it still needs to be maintained to ensure the fish remain healthy.

It’s necessary to clean the tank on a regular basis. Installing a filter will help with some of the cleaning issues. 


On this this link you’ll find step by step instructions showing how to clean your tank.


It is also important to change a portion of the water on a weekly basis. This is done by taking a small amount of the water out of the tank and replacing it with fresh bottled or conditioned water.

Keeping the tank clean helps rid the tank of toxins that cause disease and minimize the chances of finding a dying goldfish. Install a filter to help keep your tank clean.


If a goldfish appears to be sick, there are some symptoms that can help you diagnose if it’s a dying goldfish or just a sick fish.

  • Very ill fish tend to gravitate to the bottom of the fish tank.
  • If the fish is not eating and seems lethargic, it’s best to isolate and medicate the goldfish.

It may be possible to save the goldfish if the illness is caught quickly and appropriate treatment started.

my goldfish are dying
Oxygenate the water with a filter

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