Goldfish do not like a current. Their natural habitat is ponds, lakes, and rivers with slow-moving waters that have a mild current. Excessive current has several ill-effects on goldfish, like low immunity, exhaustion, stress, illness, and lethargy, to name a few.
Now, let’s understand how a strong current effects your goldfish. But first, let’s see…
What Is The Natural Habitat Of Goldfish?
Goldfish are universally found in freshwater bodies.
You will often find goldfish in lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, and other freshwater habitats.
Goldfish prefer slow-moving water in the wild. They do best and thrive well if the water flow is moderate.
Let us now understand what causes current and if it is required in your aquarium?
What Causes Current And Why Current Is Beneficial In An Aquarium?
Current is mainly caused by electricity-driven filters, air pumps, and airstones.
Goldfish are messy fish, and so they excrete a lot. That is why a filter is essential in a goldfish aquarium.
Current helps in flushing away the waste materials from the aquarium water.
Also, current in moderation is essential in any aquarium.
Water temperature is maintained throughout the aquarium due to the flowing water.
Apart from that, the current causes surface agitation.
This, in turn, results in an increase in the oxygen levels of the water. Oxygenated water keeps goldfish healthy.
Furthermore, a biological filter that contains beneficial bacteria needs water flow to remain active.
It also assists in keeping the ammonia and nitrites level down.
If you have any aquatic plants in your aquarium, again, water flow is required.
The flowing water helps in bringing the carbon dioxide to the plant’s leaves.
Okay! Now you know some amount of current is essential in the aquarium.
Let’s now understand how much current is beneficial for goldfish and the signs that determine if the current is high.
How Much Current Should Goldfish Have? What Are The Signs Of Too Much Current?
Any fish, including goldfish, love swimming. They love to swim all over the place and at their own pace.
Some fish, like hillstream loaches and tetras, like the current. While some other fish, like goldfish, do not prefer current.
For your goldfish, the lesser the current, the better it is for their health.
Goldfish grow to their optimum health in moderate water flow.
You can determine if the current is high for your goldfish by observing the following things:
- You find your goldfish struggling to swim freely. They get flipped over either horizontally or vertically due to the current.
- You find a change in their swimming pattern. They will swim in one particular direction and not all over the aquarium.
- You find your goldfish sitting at the bottom of the tank. It is a clear indication that they are exhausted and need some rest.
- You find your goldfish has stopped swimming, they stay at a place without any movement.
- You find that your goldfish’ body movement has stopped as they are finding it difficult to swim. They are moving just due to current.
Alright! You now know how to determine if the current is high for your goldfish.
But does it harm your goldfish, and in what way?
What Happens To Goldfish If The Current Is Strong?
If the water current is too high, your goldfish will face the following problems:
- Stress: Stress occurs when the environment is not conducive. Goldfish thrive in freshwater bodies where there is limited current. If they suddenly get a lot of current in the home aquarium, it leads to stress as they are not used to it. Stress is not at all good for the well-being of your goldfish.
- Illness: Your goldfish can get sick and suffer from diseases due to high current. If you have fancy goldfish, excess flow can damage their fins.
- Lethargy: Your goldfish can become lazy due to current. Swimming against the flow is stressful, and your goldfish will get exhausted. You will find a change in their behavior if the current is too high.
- Struggle To Find Food: Goldfish love food and are always in search of food. Your goldfish will find it challenging to find food as they will always be fighting the current.
- Difficulty In Swimming: Goldfish love swimming. Current makes it difficult for your goldfish to swim. Due to current, your goldfish require more force to swim against the current. Sometimes, they will get blown away or get pushed all over the place in the aquarium due to excessive current.
- Lower Immunity: Continuous stress of the current lowers the immunity of your goldfish. Lower immunity will make your goldfish fall sick often.
Goldfish do not prefer strong currents.
So, what steps can you take to reduce the flow in your aquarium so that it does not impact your goldfish?
How To Reduce The Current In An Aquarium?
If you find your goldfish struggling to swim freely at their own pace, check if the current is too strong in the aquarium.
There are several ways using which you can reduce the current in your aquarium.
Given below are some of the most widely used techniques to reduce the current in an aquarium:
- Live Plants: Live Plants are an excellent and natural way to reduce the current in an aquarium. You can place live plants in such a way that it blocks and reduces the water flow in the aquarium. This will help in slowing down the force of the filtered water from the filter. However, ensure that the water from the filter is not entirely blocked as filtered water is essential for goldfish’s good health.
- Right Filter: Choosing the right filter for your aquarium is of utmost importance. You can choose an internal, hang-on, or a canister filter for your goldfish aquarium. These will allow you to set the flow of the water to be as low as possible. You should always ensure that the filter is not over-sized; otherwise, it becomes difficult to reduce the flow.
- Airstones And Submersive Pumps: You can place airstones near the aquarium’s surface with a small and adjustable air pump. It will help to minimize the push of water and reduce the current. You can even make use of an air control valve to control the flow of water in your aquarium. Another option is submersive pumps. You can manually turn down the flow rate if they are designed to be adjustable.
- Manifold Systems: At times, a strong current is only at a particular place in the aquarium where the flow is directed. If you have a strong canister filter with a single water outlet, then the water flow is at any one spot in the aquarium. This means that the water flow is not distributed evenly, and hence current is felt at a particular place inside your aquarium. You can make use of a flexible or ridged plastic pipe so that the water flow is distributed throughout the aquarium. If the flow of water is distributed evenly, your goldfish will not face the problem of current and can swim freely throughout the aquarium.
Do Goldfish Like Still Water?
Goldfish live in calm lakes, ponds, rivers, and other freshwater bodies. The current in such places is very mild.
Since goldfish are messy fish, they excrete a lot. So, filtration is required to keep the water clean.
However, you should not house your goldfish without a filter in entirely still water just because they do not prefer current.
Doing so will only harm your goldfish as the water will become polluted quickly with their waste.
Goldfish do not like a strong current. They are most comfortable in mild current.
Strong current will have adverse effects on your goldfish as they might lose immunity, feel exhausted, become lethargic, find it extremely difficult to swim, feel stressed, or fall sick.
Strong current can endanger the health of your goldfish.
There are various ways, as discussed above, to reduce the current in your aquarium.
The best way to take care of your goldfish is to mimic their natural environment backed by a nutritious diet.