We all know the stereotypical image of a singular goldfish swimming in a small fish bowl, and for years, keeping goldfish in small bowls without filtration was the norm. Times have changed, but some people still prefer the convenience of a fishbowl as opposed to an aquarium. Fishbowls can be more manageable than aquariums, but there are some important details to consider before purchasing a fishbowl for a goldfish.
Goldfish need swimming space, enrichment, and plenty of filtration and oxygenation, so you’ll need to find a bowl that can meet the needs of a goldfish. These reviews of the 10 best fishbowls for your goldfish are intended to provide guidance and a solid starting point to help you find the best bowl for your space and your goldfish.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||biOrb Classic LED Aquarium||
|Best Value||FREESEA Fish Tank with LED Light||
|Premium Choice||Penn-Plax Aquasphere 360˚||
|Marina Cool Goldfish Kit||
|biOrb Life MCR Aquarium||
The 10 Best Goldfish Bowls
1. biOrb Classic LED Aquarium
|Available Sizes:||4 gallons, 8 gallons, 16 gallons|
The biOrb Classic LED Aquarium is the best overall pick for a goldfish bowl because of the features it includes and the quality of the product. This bowl kit is available in four sizes from 4-32 gallons and comes in three color options for the lid and base, which allows you to choose between black, silver, and white. This bowl includes a 5-stage filter that cleans and oxygenates the water, as well as an air pump that helps aerate and circulate the water. The lid has a built-in LED light that’s made to last for years without needing replacement. The bowl itself is made from sturdy acrylic that’s 50% lighter and 10 times stronger than glass. The filter cartridge includes special ceramic filter media that colonizes lots of beneficial bacteria.
This goldfish bowl is made to be used with biOrb products and does not allow for customization of filter media or the air pump system. Also, this bowl is not made to be used with a heater, so you’ll need to ensure that it stays in a climate-controlled room during the colder months.
2. FREESEA Fish Tank with LED Light and Filter Pump
|Available Sizes:||2 gallons|
The FREESEA Fish Tank with LED Light and Filter Pump is a great pick for a goldfish bowl that includes everything you need on a tight budget. This 1.2-gallon square-shaped fishbowl is available in black lid and white lid options. This kit features a hidden filtration system that’s situated behind a false wall at the back of the tank. The kit includes a large filter sponge that can be replaced with any type of sponge you prefer. It also includes a long-lasting LED light and two small faux plants. The tank itself sits on four small feet that raise it slightly so the tank itself isn’t sitting flush on the stand you use. It’s lightweight and made from sturdy plastic, making it more clear than glass.
This tank is only available in 1.2 gallons, so it’s not a good long-term solution for a goldfish. The included filter is very strong and may be too strong for very small, young, or sick goldfish. The included electrical cord has a USB end but does not include an adapter to plug it into the wall, so this will have to be purchased separately.
3. Penn-Plax Aquasphere 360˚
|Available Sizes:||10 gallons, 14 gallons|
The Penn-Plax Aquasphere 360˚ fishbowl is a premium-priced goldfish bowl that is available in two sizes. This open-top bowl features a raised top that contains a touch-controlled LED light. It also includes a filtration system, a surface oil skimmer, and a protein skimmer for saltwater applications. The LED light can be set to blue, red, or green, and has day and night settings. This kit includes a Bio-sponge, but also features two customizable media trays for you to choose your own filter media. The bowl itself is made out of a strong polycarbonate.
The LED light included in this kit cannot be set to white and isn’t adequate for live plants. The filtration system cannot be replaced with another type of filter since this one is built into the top.
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4. Marina Cool Goldfish Kit
|Available Sizes:||1.77 gallons, 2.65 gallons|
The Marina Cool Goldfish Kit is a nice goldfish bowl kit for children because it includes everything needed to get the tank up and running and has a fun, concave shape, and the choice between a dark purple and bright pink lid. It’s available in two sizes and comes with samples of water conditioner, beneficial bacteria, and fish food. It includes a Marina internal filter with startup filter cartridge, a silk plant, and gravel to match the kit. It also includes a double-sided background, allowing you to choose and change your background. It sits on four rounded, pink or purple feet that give it a playful look.
This kit does not include any type of lighting, so this will have to be purchased separately. The replacement filter cartridges are specific to the Marina i25 internal filter and cannot be customized. The lid includes a feeding window, but it’s close to the side of the tank and is difficult to use without the food sticking to the side of the tank.
5. biOrb Life MCR Aquarium
|Available Sizes:||8 gallons, 12 gallons|
The biOrb Life MCR Aquarium is a premium goldfish bowl that’s available in two sizes and three color options. This bowl is a rounded square shape and has a wide edging around the exterior, allowing you to look straight through from front to back but not side to side. The edging is available in black, white, and clear. This chic goldfish bowl option includes a hidden 5-stage filtration system that’s built into the base. It also includes an air pump and a multicolor LED light that’s made to last for years and is easily controlled with a remote. It has 16 preset color options and adjustable fade and brightness settings. It’s made from high-quality, sturdy acrylic, so it’s lightweight and clearer than glass, and it includes samples of water conditioner and beneficial bacteria.
While this goldfish bowl can use any biOrb filter, filter media, or air pump, it cannot use other types or brands of products. It’s not made to be used with a heater, so it will need to be kept in a climate-controlled room during the winter.
- Related Read: Goldfish Care Guide for Beginners: 11 Essential Steps
6. Penn-Plax Desktop Fish Tank Kit with LED Light & Internal Filter
|Available Sizes:||5 gallons|
The Penn-Plax Desktop Size Fish Tank Kit with LED Light and Internal Filter is another budget-friendly pick for a goldfish bowl with included lighting and filtration. This plastic tank sits on a black raised base and has a clear lid. It features an ultra-bright LED light and a 3-stage internal filter with included filter media cartridge.
This kit is a good starter kit for a goldfish but isn’t a good long-term solution for a goldfish. It’s made to be a betta kit, so the filter may be too weak for a goldfish once it gets over 3-4 inches. The filter attaches to the side of the tank via the included suction cups, which are relatively weak, so the filter may fall into the tank frequently. There is only one brand and size of replacement filter cartridge that can be used in this filter, so it is not customizable.
7. Koller Products BettaView 1.5 Gallon 360-LED Lighting
|Available Sizes:||1.5 gallons|
The Koller Products BettaView 1.5 Gallon 360-LED Lighting goldfish bowl is a classy, cylindrical goldfish bowl option with included LED light. The LED light has seven color settings and is controlled with a simple remote that allows you to set a lighting timer. The light itself can use 3 AAA batteries or be plugged into the wall outlet to save on battery costs. The bowl itself is made from impact-resistant plastic and is lightweight. The shape allows for full 360˚ viewing and the acrylic means the viewing has great clarity.
This goldfish bowl doesn’t include a filter, which is necessary for a goldfish’s environment, so this will need to be purchased separately. The included clear lid to the bowl is difficult to get on and off securely, so care should be taken to not spill the bowl. The LED light can be finicky, so some people choose to replace it with a more reliable light option.
8. Penn-Plax Aquaponic Fish Tank
|Available Sizes:||0.5 gallon, 1.4 gallons|
The Penn-Plax Aquaponic Fish Tank is a clever bowl design that makes for a great short-term home for a goldfish. This cylindrical bowl includes a clear lid with built-in planter with ceramic substrate, allowing you to place a Peace Lily, Pothos, or other water-loving plant with its roots in the tank. These plants can help filter the water and create an enriching environment for your fish. The lid is vented, but opening it fully is the easiest way to feed your fish.
Using this fishbowl as a planter does not eliminate the need for a filtration system, and this bowl does not include a light. The smaller size of this fishbowl is too small for a goldfish and most other fish, and the larger size is too small for long-term use for a goldfish.
9. Koller Products BettaTank 1-Gallon Deco Fish Tank with LED Lighting
|Available Sizes:||1 gallon|
The Koller Products BettaTank 1-Gallon Deco Fish Tank with LED Lighting is a unique goldfish bowl option. It’s shaped like a semicircle or half-moon, so it isn’t very wide but has 15 inches of long, uninterrupted swimming space for a goldfish. The bowl sits on a black base and has a matching black lid. It includes a LED light with seven color options and a timer that is set by flipping a switch. The light can use 2 AA batteries or the included power adapter.
This bowl does not include a filter and the size and shape of it means it is difficult to find one to fit, but a filter is necessary to keep a goldfish in this bowl. This is not a good long-term solution for a goldfish, even with the long swimming space. The LED light can be unreliable and difficult to get to work correctly.
10. Koller Products 3-Gallon Fish Bowl
|Available Sizes:||3 gallons|
The Koller Products 3-Gallon Fish Bowl is the perfect pick if you’re looking for a traditional fishbowl. This bowl is made from shatterproof, lightweight plastic. It is easily dented during transit, but it is usually not too difficult to pop the dents back out. It does not include a lid, filter, or light, so you will, at minimum, need to purchase a filter separately. This bowl is large enough for a small goldfish to live in for a long-term period with proper filtration and water maintenance. This is a no frills, no bells and whistles sort of goldfish bowl, and while it is inexpensive, it’s not the best deal once you purchase a filter and décor for this bowl.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting the Best Goldfish Bowl
Choosing the Right Goldfish Bowl for Your Needs
How Important is Filtration?
Goldfish are easily one of the heaviest bioload producers in aquariums. They eat a lot, and they excrete a lot, which means water quality can go downhill quickly with goldfish in the picture. A goldfish has vastly different filtration needs than a handful of dwarf shrimp or tetras. Goldfish need well-filtered water that has a filter that adequately removes waste products, like ammonia, and colonizes beneficial bacteria. An inadequate filter will result in more frequent water changes and lower water quality.
The best goldfish bowl is biOrb Classic LED Aquarium, which is sleek and includes everything you need. If you can go for a premium price, then check out the Penn-Plax Aquasphere 360˚F, and for a budget-friendly option, try the FREESEA Fish Tank with LED Light and Filter Pump, which brings together functionality and cost-effectiveness. These reviews bring together the best of the best goldfish bowl options on the market today to help simplify your search for the perfect goldfish bowl. Whatever you choose, make sure the wellbeing of your goldfish is top priority and you’re providing a healthy home with great filtration for them.
Featured Image Credit: pritsana, Shutterstock