Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


Where Do Goldfish Live?

i Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Goldfish (Carassius auratus) are much-loved aquatic pets that are seen all around the planet in aquarium environments. These family Cyprinidae freshwater fish are originally from the eastern portion of Asia, and have enjoyed popularity in the western world as pets from the 1700s onward. Many goldfish also still live in their natural environments, too.

About Goldfish

Goldfish are diverse, and they differ widely in terms of appearance. Some of them can be as big as two feet long, while others are only around two inches long. A lot of factors can help to determine their size, including living environment. Free roaming goldfish consume a blend of meat and plant sustenance, with common elements such as zooplankton, detritus, fish eggs, crustaceans and bug larvae. Goldfish kept as pets feed readily on commercial pellets, flakes and diced fresh vegetables such as lettuce, zucchini and peas. They also enjoy brine shrimp and blood worms. Before adding anything into a goldfish diet, always first get the approval of an aquatic veterinarian.

Geographic Locations

Goldfish in nature reside in China, and maybe even in nearby nations such as Japan and Korea. As a result of introduction, goldfish also can even be found in waters all throughout the United States -- most likely via discharge from bait containers. They have been spotted in most of the states, including in California, North Carolina, New Jersey, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Arkansas and Massachusetts.

Natural Habitat

Goldfish are prevalent in freshwater settings, particularly those that are sluggish and calm. They tend to prefer water that is a little on the thick and muddy side. Goldfish also frequently occupy stagnant backwaters that do not experience currents -- especially environments that feature ample aquatic plants. They can usually manage without problems in cloudy, dense and hazy waters.

Aquarium Living Environment

In aquarium settings, goldfish need lots of space -- a minimum of double the space that tropical fish require. Aquariums with soil bottoms are optimal, but tiny pebbles also are effective as bottoms. Goldfish generally flourish in water temperatures that are anywhere between 64 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to never allow any goldfish to live in tropical aquariums, as they strongly prefer cooler waters. With proper living circumstances and diets, goldfish that are kept as pets often survive for around 10 years -- and sometimes even longer.