Do Goldfish Need a Heater in Winter

Goldfish are a popular choice for a pet, and many people assume they do not need any additional care in winter. However, goldfish can experience health problems if the temperature in their environment drops too low.

So do goldfish need a heater in winter? The answer to this question is “it depends” for several reasons.

First, goldfish do not need warm water temperatures to thrive. However, season changes can affect goldfish; as colder days come around, their metabolism slows down and they become less active and eat less food.

They also need warm water to digest their food properly and receive important vitamins and nutrients that keep them healthy during cold months.

If the temperature drops too low – below 10°C (50°F) – fish could potentially develop health problems due to hypothermia; if their bodies’ temperatures drop to a certain level they are unable to swim correctly or even remain upright, often leading to death.

Goldfish are kept in ponds throughout wintertime in some parts of the world where the weather is more variable than it is in others. However, since the temperature in ponds is not easily controlled, most pet goldfish do not live through winter.

Do Goldfish Need a Heater in Winter

It can be difficult to find a heater for outside goldfish ponds because it needs to be small enough to fit the pond but strong enough to keep it warm throughout the winter. However, if you live in an area where outdoor ponds are kept stocked with fish all year round, a heater may be necessary for their survival.

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In cold countries such as Canada and those in Europe, people often choose not to heat their pets’ tanks because winters are warmer than those of other countries.

In these areas, it is recommended that owners should still monitor the temperature of their tank closely since cold temperatures could pose health risks no matter what time of year they occur.

What temperature is too cold for goldfish?

Goldfish are one of the most common fish in homes, but many people do not know that they can be sensitive to cold weather.

The best temperature for goldfish is between 4°C – 20°C (40°F and 68°F). If the temperature in your house drops below 4°C (40°F), then it may be time to think about moving your pet or buying a heater for its tank.

Small heaters, such as aquarium heaters, can help to prevent the water from freezing completely over and are relatively inexpensive.

What temperature is too cold for goldfish?

When choosing a heater for your goldfish, it is important that you purchase one that is specifically designed for aquariums. Do not use a space heater or any other device meant for other purposes as these could potentially be dangerous to the fish.

If you live in an area where the temperature frequently dips below 4°C (40°F), then it is best to keep your fish inside during winter. Although they may be able to withstand short periods of cold weather, extended periods of low temperatures can be harmful and even deadly.

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What Fish dont need heaters?

Not all fish need heaters, in fact, some tropical fish thrive better in cooler temperatures.

What Fish dont need heaters?

So, if you own any of the fish listed below and if you’re looking for an easy way to cut your heating bill this winter, you can consider removing your aquarium heater.

Just make sure to monitor the temperature of your tank and adjust accordingly.


These little guys can live in temperatures as low as 18°C and higher than 26°C. They are found in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and the Red Sea.

Bristlenose Pleco

These fish can tolerate water between 20°C – 27°C without any issues!

Siamese Fighter Fish

These fish like it a little on the warmer side, with a temperature range of 23°C – 27°C.

Discus Fish

These fish like it even warmer, with a temperature range of 25°C– 30°C.


Many cichlids come from Africa and South America and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, ranging from 20°C – 30°C.


This fish is found in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and can live in water temperatures as low as 15°C or as high as 30°C.


Gouramis are found in Southeast Asia and can live in water temperatures between 20°C – 26°C.

Betta Fish

Betta fish come from Southeast Asia and can live in water temperatures between 20°C – 26°C.

When deciding on what pet fishes to own that will survive in cold weather, it is important to remember that every fish is different and will have different needs.

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Some fish, like pet goldfish, need a heater in their tank to keep them warm during extremely cold winter days, while many others can survive just fine without one.

If you own an outside goldfish pond and you cannot move your pond to a warmer area, then one option would be to install a piece of plastic over the top of the pond to help retain some heat from the day and reduce heat losses from evaporation.

Final Thoughts

While the majority of pet goldfish are able to survive through mild winters, there are some fish that can live in coolers temperatures. If you decide to not use a heater in your aquarium make sure to monitor the water temperature closely and adjust it if necessary.

If you own an outside pond stocked with fish, then you may need a heater for their survival during colder months. Many small heaters exist just for this purpose!

It is best to keep your outdoor ponds heated because extended periods of low temperatures can be harmful and even deadly for your fish.