Do Goldfish Get Lonely & Bored | Aquascape Addiction

Do Goldfish Get Lonely & Bored

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We answer some common debated questions about whether Goldfish get lonely, bored and depressed and how you can keep them happy and entertained.

Do Goldfish Get Lonely & Bored

So you’ve gotten a fabulous goldfish and all looks well, but boy does he look lonely in that fish tank. You might think that you should get your goldfish a companion, which is never a bad idea, but is it necessary? Do goldfish get lonely?

Although there is no so called scientific proof either way, goldfish are not like humans and no, they really don’t get lonely. Let’s take a closer look at this topic right now.

Can A Goldfish Live Alone?

Yes, goldfish can absolutely live alone. In the wild, these fish tend to be quite solitary. Now, although you usually won’t find goldfish living alone, they are not schooling animals. Yes, in the wild, where you find one goldfish, chances are you’ll find another few close by.

However, they are not schooling fish and they do not display any apparent need to be part of any sort of community.

What about pairs, do goldfish need to be in pairs? Once again, the answer here is no, goldfish do not need to live in pairs. It certainly wouldn’t cause any harm to keep two goldfish together, as they are usually fairly docile and peaceful, but it’s also not necessary.

Do Goldfish Get Bored?

Seeing as fish really cannot talk, there is no scientific evidence one way or another, and indeed it is hard to tell whether or not goldfish get bored. However, just as it appears as though they don’t get lonely, it is also quite sure that they do not get bored.

Now, it has been proven that the 3 second memory span thing is a total myth. Goldfish can remember things for much longer than 3 seconds, up to several months in fact.

However, just because they have decent memory for a fish does not mean that they can get bored. In all reality, it’s very likely that goldfish do not suffer from boredom, quite convenient actually!

Do Goldfish Get Depressed?

Although there is once again no scientific proof in regards to this, it is thought that fish can technically be sad, although we aren’t sure if we would take it so far as to call it depression.

Yes, a fish can be unhappy if you don’t feed it properly or if you are keeping it in a bare tank that doesn’t replicate its environment.

A fish may be sad it there is a lack of movement, if it’s not eating right, or if it sleeps a lot, not unlike depression symptoms in human beings.

That said, sadness in fish is caused by a lack of care and a bad environment, not due to boredom or loneliness. As far as brain chemistry and legit psychological depression go, this topic is totally unresearched.

How To Make Your Goldfish Happy

Making a goldfish happy is very easy, as is also the case for any other kind of fish you might keep at home in an aquarium.

These are simple creatures. As long as you feed them right, you give them high quality food, you provide them with ideal water conditions, clean water of the right parameters, some plants, rocks, caves, and the right substrate, your goldfish should be happy as a clam.

How Can You Tell If Your Goldfish Is Happy?

If your goldfish is happy, it should be a fairly active swimmer, it should respond to you if you come close, it should sleep normal amounts, and it should be more than happy to eat its food.

Remember folks, these are simple little fish and they aren’t going to tell you if they are happy or sad.

How Do I Entertain My Goldfish?

Make sure to provide your goldfish with smooth substrate, as they do like to dig sometimes, which as far as we are concerned is a form of entertainment.

Inserting lots of plants, hollow driftwood and rock caves are also good ways to keep your goldfish occupied, just some stuff they can explore (more on decorations here).

Although goldfish are not schooling animals, and although goldfish don’t need to live in pairs, a companion may provide for some entertainment.

On a side note: many people claim that it is possible to play with goldfish, although this is doubtful at best.

Sure, you can get goldfish to eat out of your hand and even too follow food and swim through a hoop, whether this is due to your fish wanting to play or just wanting to eat is totally up in the air.

Do Goldfish Like Music?

Now, whether or not goldfish like music is not known. We would have to be able to talk to goldfish to figure that one out.

However, what has been proven, quite recently actually, is that goldfish can distinguish between one piece of music and another, even going so far as to being able to distinguish between composers.

Moreover, it has been shown that fish can distinguish musical properties as well, such as pitch and timber. That said, whether your goldfish prefers Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Lil Wayne, or Metallica, is something you’ll have to judge for yourself.


The bottom line is that as long as you provide your goldfish with a large space, good clean water, and lots of plants and tank decorations, it should be perfectly happy. To reiterate, no, goldfish do not get bored or lonely, which is a definite benefit.