Your Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Water for Goldfish

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Choosing the best type of water for any type of fish can be tricky, but it is especially difficult for goldfish. Goldfish are a very popular type of pet fish and they are often kept in bowls or small tanks. This means that their water needs to be changed frequently and they are very sensitive to environmental changes.

What kind of water is the best water for goldfish? Are there other factors to consider when choosing the water for goldfish? Let’s take a look at the best types of water for goldfish and some other important considerations. We will discuss some of their different drawbacks and benefits so that you can make an informed decision about the best water for your goldfish.

Water For Goldfish – Top 5 Sources

Tap Water

Let’s start with the most common type of water – tap water. Most people use tap water for their goldfish, and it is generally safe. However, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, you should always let the tap water sit for 24 hours before adding it to your goldfish tank. This allows the chlorine to evaporate and makes the water safer for your fish.

Secondly, you should always test the tap water before adding it to your tank. This is because most municipal water sources contain heavy metals and other toxins that can be harmful to your fish. A simple water test kit from your local pet store will do the trick. These will test for things like chlorine, pH, and hardness. You want to ensure that these things’ levels are within the safe range for goldfish.

Finally, you may need to add a water conditioner to the tap water before adding it to your tank. Water conditioners remove harmful chemicals such as chlorine and heavy metals. They also help to stabilize the pH of the water. This is important because goldfish are very sensitive to changes in pH.

If you do not want to use tap water, there are a few other options.

Reverse Osmosis Water

Reverse Osmosis Water machine

Reverse osmosis water is becoming increasingly popular among fishkeepers. This is a process where water is forced through a semipermeable membrane. This removes impurities such as heavy metals, toxins, and dissolved solids, leaving water very pure and safe for fish. It is also very easy to use – you simply connect a reverse osmosis unit to your tap and let the water run through it.

One of the benefits of using reverse osmosis water is that it is very stable. This means that you do not need to add any water conditioners or pH adjusters. It also has a very neutral pH, which is ideal for goldfish. Additionally, each membrane lasts between 2-5 years, so it is a cost-effective option in the long run.

However, there are a few drawbacks to using reverse osmosis water. First, it is very slow – it can take hours to fill a small goldfish tank. Secondly, it is very expensive to set up. A reverse osmosis unit can cost hundreds of dollars, and you will also need to buy a storage tank. These upfront investments present a hurdle for many people.

Bottled Spring Water (Drinking Water)

Theoretically speaking, you can use bottled spring water for your goldfish. This water is treated and thus should be safe for your fish. It also has a neutral pH, which is ideal. Much like tap water, bottled water contains the minerals that are essential for goldfish health. In this regard, it is a good option.

The main drawback of using bottled spring water is the cost. A small bottle of water can easily cost more than $2. This can quickly add up, especially if you have a large goldfish tank. Additionally, it is very difficult to find bottled water with a consistent pH. This means that you may need to use a water conditioner to adjust the pH of the water.

bottled water

The fact that bottled water is so expensive, and that goldfish tanks tend to be large, makes this option impractical for many people. In many cases, you will need to tack on the cost of a water conditioner, which further increases the price. You can consider using bottled water for your goldfish, but it is not the most practical or cost-effective option.

Distilled Water

Distilled water is an option that you may want to consider. This water has been boiled and then cooled, causing impurities such as minerals and heavy metals to be left behind. The result is very pure water, which is also stripped of essential minerals. For this reason, it is not recommended to use distilled water for your goldfish long-term – at least not before remineralizing it.

That said, distilled water can be a good option if you need to do a quick water change and do not have time to let the tap water sit. Simply fill up a container with distilled water and then add a water conditioner that will remineralize the water. This will quickly provide your goldfish with fresh water in a pinch. If you need to do a lot of water changes, you may want to invest in a distiller. This will allow you to make your own distilled water at home.

Remember that distilled water has a very low pH, so you will need to use a water conditioner to raise the pH. Additionally, you will need to add minerals back into the water to ensure that your fish are healthy. Once you do this, distilled water can be a safe and effective option for your goldfish.

Specialized Aquarium Water

Last but not least, you can buy specialized aquarium water that is designed for goldfish. This water has been treated to remove impurities and heavy metals, and it also contains minerals that are essential for goldfish health. Some manufacturers even produce aquarium water that is specifically geared towards goldfish. The pH, hardness, and other water parameters will be perfect for your fish.

Aquarium water is a good option, but it can be expensive. A small container of this water can easily cost more than $5. This may not seem like much, but it can quickly add up if you have a large goldfish tank. Additionally, you will need to find a place to store this water, which can be difficult if you do not have a lot of space.

In many cases, storing aquarium water is not worth the added expense and hassle. However, if you have the money and space, this is an option that you should consider.

Picking The Right Water For You And Your Goldfish

The type of water you use for your goldfish is up to you. There is no right or wrong answer, and the best option for you will depend on your individual circumstances. That being said, here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision:


One of the most important factors to consider is cost. Some types of water, such as bottled spring water, can be very expensive. Others, such as tap water, are much more affordable. Consider how much you are willing to spend on the water for your goldfish and then choose the option that fits within your budget.

Keep in mind that goldfish require more frequent water changes than most other fish. As a result, the cost of the water that you use can quickly add up. If you are on a tight budget, opting for an expensive type of water may disincentivize you from performing water changes as often as you should. This can ultimately be harmful to your fish.


Another important factor to consider is convenience. People often favor tap water because it is readily available and easy to use. However, if you live in an area with poor water quality, you may find it more convenient to use a combination of distilled water and a water conditioner. This will take some extra time, but it will ensure that your fish always have fresh water.

adding water

Because convenience is a factor that will vary from person to person, it is tough to make a general recommendation. Just choose the most convenient option for you and be sure to perform water changes as often as necessary to keep your fish healthy.

Water Quality

Of course, the most important factor to consider is water quality. No matter what type of water you use, it is important to ensure that it is clean and free of impurities. Goldfish are very sensitive to water quality, so even a small change can have a big impact on their health, so it is vital that you pay close attention to this aspect and monitor your fish and water quality carefully.

The best way to do this is to use a water test kit to regularly test the water in your tank. There are many good test kits available on the market, so you should have no trouble finding one that meets your needs. Be sure to test the water before each change to ensure it is safe for your fish.

The Takeaway

Choosing the right type of water for your goldfish is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. You need to consider several factors, such as cost, convenience, and water quality. Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your individual circumstances. Just be sure to do your research and choose the best option for you and your fish.

We hope this article was helpful in guiding you through the process of choosing the right type of water for your goldfish. If you have any questions or want to share your experiences, please comment below! Please also feel free to share this article or our other goldfish articles with your friends or family if you find them helpful. Thanks for reading!

Wanda is a second-generation aquarist from the sunny tropics of Malaysia. She has been helping her father with his freshwater tanks since she was a toddler, and has fallen in love with the hobby ever since. A perpetual nomad, Wanda does her best to integrate fish-keeping with her lifestyle, and has taken care of fish in three different continents. She loves how it provides a nice break from the hustle and bustle of life.

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