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The 7 Best Goldfish Bowls For A Long-Lived Fish

If used properly, a goldfish bowl may serve as an EXCELLENT home for your fish.

Using the strategies I've acquired over the years, the experience may be delightful, instructive, simple, and FUN!

Fun Fact: Tish, the oldest goldfish on record (43 years! ), lived its entire life in a bowl.

The following approaches all employ filtering in some capacity. Filtration is essential for the survival of your fish unless you wish to perform regular water changes instead (which can lead to your fish quickly outgrowing your bowl).

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has compiled this list of in-depth evaluations to assist you in finding the best goldfish bowls for a long-lived fish.


WGVI’s Glass Goldfish Bowl

Why We Enjoy it

  • Individually created
  • Stops goldfish from leaping out
  • Thick, robust glass

This gorgeous, handcrafted bowl is available in three sizes with holes ranging from 4 to 6 inches, making it tiny enough to prevent goldfish from jumping out yet large enough to facilitate cleaning.

The weight is substantial, and the glass is about a quarter of an inch thick. The 10-inch bowl has a capacity of a little over two gallons. Due to the handcrafted nature of this bowl, there may be bubbles inside the glass, which adds to its appeal.


Hygger Horizon 8-gallon LED Glass Aquarium Kit

Why We Enjoy It

  • Contains LED
  • Sleek design
  • Long and slender is the ideal form for energetic goldfish.

If you’re looking for a larger bowl for your goldfish, the 8-gallon Hygger Horizon is an excellent alternative. Although it is not a bowl in the traditional sense, we couldn’t leave it out. This set includes a filter, LED lights, and even artificial rock décor. It lacks a cover, but the LED light is positioned a few inches above the top of the tank.

Due to the size of this kit, your goldfish may not require an update for some time so long as you conduct periodic water changes. The tank itself is long and thin, which is the optimal design for active goldfish.


Cohasset Gifts’ Glass Fishbowl with Driftwood

Why We Enjoy It

  • Made of hand-blown glass
  • Each bowl is unique
  • Great design for plants

This bowl option is breathtaking. It is created from hand-blown glass and Indonesian-grown wood. Each bowl is unique in size and form, but depending on the inch size selected, it can carry anywhere from one to four gallons of water.

These bowls feature a 4-inch diameter opening. Due to the internal texture of these bowls, they are an attractive solution for plants, and their distinctive design enriches a nano environment.


Koller Products 1-gallon fishbowl with LED lighting

Why We Enjoy It

  • Lightweight and unbreakable
  • Affordable
  • Timers for multicolored LED lighting

If you’re seeking a smaller bowl, the Koller plastic fishbowl is an excellent alternative. As the fish develops, this may need to be updated to a larger bowl. This bowl has the transparency of glass without the weight, and it is impervious to shattering.

It includes a timer and a lid with LED illumination in seven distinct colors. The cover also features holes for oxygen flow, guaranteeing that the fish can breathe.


Koller Products 2-gallon hex fishbowl

Why We Enjoy It

  • Lightweight
  • Shatterproof
  • A little cap prevents fish from leaping out.

This is an additional lightweight and shatterproof choice for little goldfish. Due to its limited capacity of two gallons, it may need to be replaced as the fish develops.

This bowl’s stylish hexagonal form makes it an excellent choice for a distinctive appearance. It features a tiny enough entrance to prevent fish from leaping out, yet a wide enough opening for easy cleaning.


biOrb Halo Aquarium

Why We Enjoy It

  • The magnetic cover facilitates feeding and cleaning while safeguarding the fish.
  • There are five stages of filtering.
  • Remote controlled

This futuristic-looking fishbowl is equipped with a concealed waterline, five-stage filtration, and multicolored lights. The lights are remote-controlled and have several degrees of brightness. It also includes a cover with a magnetic clasp, allowing for quick access when necessary and preventing other pets from accessing the container.


Outgeek Bubble Wall Hanging Bowl

  • Unique placement
  • Works not requiring surface area
  • Effective as a planter

This is an exquisite bowl choice for little fish. This also works well in areas where there is no accessible surface area for a fishbowl. For optimal fish health, the hanging bowl will require frequent water replacements. This bowl functions well as a planter, and a shared area with a plant can assist oxygenate the fish’s water.

Buyer's Guide

There are 4 primary factors to consider:

1. Volume

Generally speaking, the larger the bowl, the better.

Increased water volume helps dilute waste items…

… and increases the surface area available for oxygen exchange.

Larger bowls provide greater area for the growth of aquatic plants, which are INCREDIBLE for keeping goldfish water safe.

More plants equal less labor.

And they can sustain additional fish.

From an aesthetic standpoint:

Smaller dishes impair the view of your fish less than larger bowls.

Related: best fish bowl beginning kits

2. Surface Area


This is less of an issue if you have an electric filter or airstone that facilitates gas exchange.

Bowls with a bigger surface area (i.e. a wider aperture) for the water can maintain aquatic life more effectively, particularly when plants are the only filter.

Due to improved oxygen exchange.

You may also get a greater surface area by not completely filling the bowl (if using a typical bubble style bowl).

Of course:

You lose water volume, resulting in less area for the fish to swim, therefore beginning with a bigger bowl helps compensate for this.

Occasionally, bowls with atypical designs offer a substantial amount of surface area for their size (even glass trifle or mixing bowls).

3. Thickness

Glass aquariums with a greater thickness will be more durable.

You will definitely want this.

The glass that is too thin might spontaneously shatter, causing damage to your fish and home as well as a massive mess.

The larger the bowl, the greater the importance of the glass’s durability.

4. Plastic or Glass?

Plastic containers are the least expensive option.

I even have one myself…

…but prefer glass when given the option.


If plastic is heated, it can leak chemicals into the water, which can damage aquatic life.

(Plastics can contain glass fibers, minerals, flame retardants, colorants, release agents, silicone, formaldehyde, and more – yikes! (source))

Glass may be more expensive, but it provides piece of mind for the long-term health of your fish, especially if you intend to install a heater.

The expenditure is well-justified.

Following that:

A goldfish bowl is intended to be more than just a decorative addition to your living space…

It is possibly the most entertaining and instructive item you may have in your house!


Is it true that goldfish can’t live in bowls?

As with many myths, there is some truth behind this.

Due to the absence of filtration, the standard goldfish bowl configuration (a layer of gravel, water, and a sculpture) IS inappropriate. Without a filter or plants, ammonia and nitrite build up to fatal levels. The oxygen concentration in the water drops precipitously.

However, the water within the bowl has grown so lethal that the bowl itself is not the issue. Large tanks can potentially have ammonia/nitrite problems without a cycled filter or sufficient living plants.

Goldfish CAN survive in bowls, but the bowl must be suited to handle the fish’s waste products and enable adequate oxygen exchange. If you set them up properly, your fish can survive in one for many years.

(Note: Those who say you can’t keep fish in bowls have either never tried it themselves and are spreading web rumors, or they failed because they didn’t follow what I’m about to show you.)

When should a goldfish NOT be kept in a bowl?

If your fish are already adult and bigger, they require greater swimming space and should not be kept in bowls.

If you want your fish to grow huge in the future, you should only use bowls as a temporary arrangement with frequent water changes.

How many fish can a bowl hold?

Great question.

However, there are no hard-fast guidelines (it all relies on your water quality and making sure the fish has enough swimming room) (it all depends on your water quality and making sure fish has enough swimming space).

Depending on the initial size of your fish, their rate of growth, the findings of your water analysis, and the efficacy of your setup, the situation might vary dramatically.

I can only provide generic suggestions.

Assuming your fish is still little, under fingerling size:

A two-gallon dish may contain two or three goldfish. A three-gallon container may hold three to four individuals. If you wish to maintain a small group of fish, a bigger dish is preferable.

Page advises 1/2 gallon of water per fish under 3 inches in length.

I prefer to use 1 gallon per goldfish since it provides them with extra swimming space.

However, neither of these is the absolute rule.

It all boils down to water quality and available swimming area.

Please do not limit your goldfish to solitary confinement; they are sociable animals.

Will my fish outgrow a bowl?

If you continue to replace the water often, the answer is almost certainly affirmative.

If you don’t want to continue upgrading to larger and larger aquariums, I recommend focusing on water purification using plants or filters.

Changing the water and replacing it with clean water is what eliminates the hormone that keeps fish tiny and inhibits their growth.

Will stunting my fish be harmful?

In all my years of research, I have never been able to uncover any proof that stunting is hazardous to goldfish.

It appears that the opposite is true; stunted goldfish routinely live longer.

What type of goldfish is ideal for bowls?

Slim-bodied fish like commons and comets are the most resilient and live the longest.

They are also the least expensive, albeit they must be cleaned (more on that in the quarantine section).

Feeder fish have a low success rate since they are housed in substandard circumstances and are typically infected with the illness, however, some have reported success with these.

But any kind of goldfish around 5″ may be maintained in a bowl if cared for correctly.

Doesn’t gravel provide a choking risk to goldfish?

Yes, for larger goldfish; nay, for smaller goldfish that cannot accommodate a complete piece of the grave in their mouths. As we plan to keep the fish tiny, this should not be a problem. However, I recommend you observe the fish’s feeding activities to ensure the stone is not getting picked up in their mouth.


We honestly appreciate your time in reading thus far. BestForPets (bestforpets.org) believes this article will assist you in selecting the best goldfish bowls for a long-lived fish for your needs

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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