Fancy goldfish are a diurnal species. This means that they are most active during the day and sleep at night. Most indoor goldfish tanks are not very well lit throughout the day and will require a light made to be placed on top of your aquarium. Goldfish that have lights on their aquariums usually tend to be more active, less stressed, and healthier. There are also a few diseases, such as "Hole In the Head", that can be prevented simply by providing good lighting throughout the day. You will need to leave these lights on for a minimum of 6-8 hours a day. There are a few different types of lighting you can purchase for your goldfish aquarium, and each one has advantages and disadvantages. Make sure that you choose the right type of lighting for your fancy goldfish aquarium!


LED Lights

LED lights are becoming increasingly popular and more affordable. White daytime LED lights are the best choose for fancy goldfish. They last for years before fading. They are also the least likely to grow algae and bacterial blooms that could cloud the water. They are typically the most energy efficient and will cost less to power. Beware of LED lights that are extremely cheap as they are typically not made very well! 

Fluorescent Lights


Fluorescent lights are shaped like long glass tubes. These do a very good job at bringing out the colors of your fish. Unfortunately, they can be very expensive and need to be replaced at least once a year, if not more often. They also tend to be fragile and may break easily. Do not buy the regular variety from superstores or hardware stores as these are not the same kind of bulbs made for aquarium use and will not have the same effect.

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Incandescent Lights

These are the most commonly sold lights in pet shops. They are not very different from the regular light bulbs you may still use in your house. They usually come with most aquarium kits. If your on a budget then, you might buy these lights. Unfortunately, these lights emit a lot of red light on the electromagnetic spectrum. This means that they will produce algae and cloudy water over time.



Timers are great for busy people who have demanding jobs or school and cannot be home to turn the aquarium lights on and off at a certain time. Timers work by automatically turning the lights on and off at certain times of the day. They are sold at pet stores, aquarium stores, super centers, and hardware stores.


Did you know that goldfish enter a sleep like state during the night when your aquarium lights are turned off? This sleep like state is very important for goldfish and without proper sleep your fish can become stressed over time. You need to establish certain times to turn the aquarium lights on and off. It could be as simple as turning the lights off when you go to bed, and remembering to tun them on again when you wake up. It's important that the lights remain in both th on and off positions for at least 6-8 hours everyday. If you have difficulty remembering to turn the lights on and off, or your busy during the day, then it can be useful to purchase timers for your aquarium lights. 

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Lid or No Lid?

Fancy goldfish are not good swimmers because of the shape of their bodies and fins. This means that fancy goldfish are not able to jump like koi or other fish. It is also beneficial for aeration, oxygen levels, and gas exchange to not use lids. Ultimately, fancy goldfish aquariums do not need lids and will benefit without one. The only reason to use a lid would be to keep other pets, people, or children out of the tank. If you decide not to use a lid, there are still many lights made to work without lids or hoods.

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