How To Clean A Goldfish Bowl?

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  • Post category:Fish / Home
  • Post last modified:July 13, 2023
  • Reading time:19 mins read

If you are the kind that loves watching fish swim about but hates the thought of setting aside an entire Saturday afternoon to clean the fish tank, then one of the best things for you is to get a goldfish. 

These fish are happy to swim around in a small bowl and won’t demand much from you. And yet, there is a bit of cleaning duty to do.

Just be grateful that this is much less than you would be doing with a giant aquarium, and read on to see how to clean a goldfish bowl. 

How To Clean A Goldfish Bowl?

How to clean a goldfish bowl? A gold fish bowl.

Having read so far, you may wonder how to clean a fish bowl at home. Honestly, this is easy. Read on and see. 

Step 1: Gathering Your Supplies

This is one of the most essential steps, without which you cannot move on to the rest. Remember that you are dealing with fish, creatures that can’t live outside the water, and so you can’t be too careful, and so, the following are the things you need to keep ready. 

  • A temporary container for the fish
  • A fish net
  • Gravel vacuum
  • Clean sponge or scrubber (designated for fish tank use only)
  • Dechlorinating solution
  • Fresh water
  • Container for water change
  • Clean towel or paper towels
  • Optional: New glass-friendly aquarium cleaning solution

Ensure that the container you place your fish in is spacious enough to keep your fish comfortable. More importantly, ensure that it has not been washed with soap, as the residue could harm your fish. 

The temperature of the water should be the same as that of the tank. Finally, prepare the container by filling it overnight to give it the chlorine it needs to neutralize and that the water has a temperature of 75 degrees F. 

Place this container away from any bright light. Add some salt to the water. This can clean your fish, freeing them from all the accumulated bacteria and other parasites that sit on them. 

Step 2: Relocate the Goldfish

This step requires you to be very sensitive. Ensure that the container is close to the fish bowl to reduce the time taken to move the fish. Remember that long out of the water could be stressful for your fish. 

If you feel too sensitive, another way out is to use a smaller container in the tank and gently let your fish swim in it. You can then pour him into the holding container. 

Be gentle, no chasing. Be careful, do not drop your fish. Don’t scare the poor creatures. You love them, and they trust you to do it. 

Recommended Reading: Are Fish Happy In Tanks?

Step 3: Cleaning the Goldfish Bowl Step-by-step

Now that you have the fish safely outside the bowl let’s look at the following steps. 

Rinse the bowl. You can use tap water here, but make sure that the water is at the right temperature. Once done, you can use a paper towel to clean the bowl. 

And through it all, make sure that you keep looking over your shoulder to monitor the status of your fish. He is in a new place, which could make him a bit stressed and hyperactive. If that happens, you may need to recheck step one to see if there is something that you missed. 

Step 4: Cleaning Decorations and Gravel

Make sure that you give these things a good scrub, without using any soap, of course. You can use a mesh sieve for this, which you can place under hot running water to make your work easy. But ensure you cool it after getting it out 

of the sink. 

This extra work may make you wonder whether you need all those decorations around your fish. Well, the truth is that they need it as they make their home feel secure, providing a good hiding place for your fish. 

If you can place an aquatic plant, too, then better, as this can reduce algae from forming and causing trouble to your fish. 

Step 5: Refilling the Goldfish Bowl

But wait, first, ensure you place all your decorations back into it. This makes it more accessible. 

Perhaps you knew this, but you probably needed to learn that everything in the bowl should be arranged the way it was. This is because little things can upset your fish. 

So, make sure that you take care of this. You can then go ahead and refill the water in the goldfish bowl. 

Step 6: Reintroducing Your Goldfish

Ensure there is a gap of at least 20 minutes before reintroducing the fish. A newly cleaned bowl is a bad thing to give your fish as you need to wait for the water to sit. 

This way, it can return to the ideal temperature for your fish. And your fish can comfortably swim in it. 

Finally, remember all that you read in step two here. 

Step 7: Establishing a Cleaning Routine

If you want your fish to stay healthy, make time for this at least once a week, if not more. Do this whenever you find your fish bowl getting hazy. Don’t give your fish a smelly home of algae blooms and cloudy water. 

Why It’s Essential to Keep Your Goldfish Bowl Clean?

All this may seem a lot, and you wonder whether you need to do this when you have a fish bowl. Well, read on to see what will happen if you don’t. 

  • Health Risks

Remember that dirty water is home to some of the most unwelcome threats like bacteria, fungi, and viruses, which you don’t want to introduce to your poor goldfish, as these have nothing to give them apart from a host of health risks. 

  • Water Quality

One of the primary reasons for disease in a goldfish is poor water quality due to an owner’s carelessness. These fish are often messy and will dirty the water, getting toxins affecting water quality. 

  • Stress Reduction

Dirty water can stress your fish as they can no longer swim comfortably. This is mainly due to the build-up of ammonia and other toxins that can, in time, get introduced into the water. 

  • Longevity

Know this fact. Fish won’t survive for long in dirty water. Water to be safe for your fish should contain enough oxygen, and contaminated water can affect the oxygen level. 

  • Promote Natural Behavior

Pollution can significantly impact your fish’s behavior, making them weak and inactive, so much so that you will miss your bold and happy fish. This is because fish tend to lose their senses in polluted water. 

  • Aesthetic Appeal

And then, at the end of the day, you don’t want to see a dirty bowl with sad fish. A clean bowl, on the other hand, provides an aesthetic appeal with happy, healthy fish, and this is the kind of bowl you want your guests to see. 

So, now you know why making time for your fish is important and giving them a happy and healthy home where they can swim. So, if it’s already been a while, get up now and do something for your fish. 

How To Clean Fish Bowls Without Removing Fish? 

You may be too sensitive to your fish and are looking for a way to provide a clean tank without troubling your fish. You don’t want to shock, stress, or do anything that would affect the fish. 

Then, here is one way out, pour out all the contents of the fish bowl into the container, water, decorations, and all. We don’t have to tell you to be careful and gentle, for you will do it. 

Now, perform all the steps to clean the bowl, and in the end, you will have a clean bowl and happy fish. 

How To Change Goldfish Bowl Water?

Now the new water you pour in should be aged, which means, like the one in the container, this should have been left overnight and not poured in directly from the tap. 

The dirty water can go as manure for your plants—one more thing. Only replace some of the water in the bowl. Keep half of it, and this is going back into the bowl. 

This is because some bacteria are needed to maintain the nitrogen cycle in your fish bowl. Changing all the water is a bad idea as the fish can sense it. This new condition can shock the fish and, in some cases, even result in death. 

How To Clean A Goldfish Bowl Without Killing The Fish? 

Make sure that you use warm water to clean the bowl. Soap is prohibited here as the chemicals can leave a residue and kill the fish. 

Instead, you can use some salt. 

You can add some conditioner and the required salt to maintain the hygiene and pH levels of the water. 

Must Read: Why Is My Fish Swimming Fast Back And Forth?

Bonus Tips

And so, before you go, here are a few more things you may want to know. 

  • If you have stains on the bowl, try vinegar. But remember to rinse thoroughly before you get your fish into the bowl. 
  • Ensure that the tap water you use is treated to eliminate chemicals like ammonium nitrates. This you can do with the help of a test kit. 
  • Using a soft brush or sponge will help get rid of debris. Do that instead of using soap and other chemicals. 
  • Try repeating the cleaning process at least once. This way, you can be sure that your fish bowl is now safe for your fish and clear.
  • Dry the bowl in the end. Make sure that you use a clean towel for this. 
  • Fish are easy pets by way of nurturing and feeding, but then, there is the fact that they are easy to lose too, and this is more so when you are not careful during cleaning. 

Final Thoughts 

If you are a new fish owner, you may wonder what the fuss is about and whether it is worth it. 

Well, we won’t disagree, it is a bit of work, but while you may not have to clean an entire kennel or cage, this is the little that you, as a goldfish owner, are called to do and should do willingly, for you love your fish, don’t you? 

And now that you know how to clean a goldfish bowl, you have no worries, do you? 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. How do I keep my goldfish bowl clean?

Ans: Maintain cleanliness by:
1. Feeding goldfish minimal amounts
2. Avoiding overpopulation
3. Regularly removing debris
4. Performing partial water changes weekly
5. Cleaning ornaments and surfaces
6. Monitoring water parameters

Q2. How often should I clean a goldfish bowl?

Ans: Clean at least once a week with partial water changes and a thorough cleaning monthly.

Q3. What is the safest way to clean a fish bowl?

Ans: Follow these steps:
1. Gently transfer the fish to a temporary container
2. Empty 25-50% of the water
3. Remove debris with a gravel vacuum
4. Clean surfaces with a soft sponge
5. Refill with dechlorinated water
6. Gently reintroduce fish

Q4. How do you change the water in a goldfish bowl?

Ans: Remove the fish and place it in a container. Make sure to discard 25-50% of the tank water. Then, refill with dechlorinated, temperature-matched water. Finally, reintroduce fish to the bowl.

Q5. How to clean a goldfish bowl without a filter? 

Ans: Perform biweekly 25-50% water changes. Also, remove debris and uneaten food daily. Clean surfaces with a sponge or brush. Lastly, clean gravel manually.

Q6. How often should you clean a fish bowl without a filter? 

Ans: Biweekly water changes and daily debris removal are recommended.