How To Buy Goldfish Online

How to buy a goldfish online: The “Do’s and the Do not’s” of online fish buying

“Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a goldfish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid”

-Albert Einstein

So, you have decided to start a goldfish aquarium, well congratulations! Now you must decide what type of goldfish you would like in the tank, discover whether or not they can cohabitate together, and how many goldfish you would like to have in a single aquarium. Once you are sure about these three factors, then it is time to choose the appropriate aquarium and research where you can purchase the goldfish you are seeking.

How to properly buy goldfish over the internet: as well as what to avoid

Step one: Who is in the aquarium?

The first task at hand is that you need to contemplate the type of goldfish you are interested in purchasing for your aquarium. For example, are you interested in the Bubble Eyed Goldfish, the Ranchu, and the Comet? If so, think again! These three types of goldfish would not cohabitate together very well. The Bubble Eyed Goldfish is a fragile goldfish as a result of their fluid-filled sacs under their eyes and also being poor swimmers. The Ranchu is a chubby goldfish with a “hood” on top of his head. These two “handicapped” goldfish would do all right as tankmates.

However, the Comet is a much faster, healthy and slender goldfish that would consume all of the food before the other two even made it to the surface. Therefore, if you find yourself more interested in the Bubble Eyed Goldfish then consider also purchasing the Ranchu, the Lionhead, or even the Celestial Eyed Goldfish. If you are interested in the Comet, then you should seek out other skilled swimmers such as the Common Goldfish or the Shubunkin.

Step two: How many fish in how big of a tank?

Secondly, how many goldfish were you thinking about purchasing? This factor will play more into what size aquarium you need to buy rather than where you need to buy them. If you only want 1 to 3 goldfish in a single aquarium, then you should look for a 30 to 40-gallon tank. If you would like more goldfish, then you should check out a much larger aquarium such as 50-gallons to 100-gallons. You may think this is excessive, but you have to remember that goldfish can grow to be 10 inches long (sometimes longer), and they are a very messy fish. It is your job to provide an environment for them to thrive, not just survive. This statement applies to almost everything goldfish related including feeding, overpopulating, water changes, aquarium cleanings, and filtration systems.

Never think that it is unnecessary to clean your aquarium every one to two weeks. Keeping a clean tank means keeping happy and healthy fish! Once you have decided how many goldfish you would like to purchase and how big of an aquarium that you will need then it is time to head out to the local pet store. Buy your tank, water conditioner (if you will be using tap water) and any other supplies you need (don’t forget food and a filtration system). Finally, get your tank set up before you order your goldfish.

Step three: Where should you buy your goldfish? Where shouldn’t you buy your goldfish?

Choose an online goldfish store that offers a way to contact them. This could mean a phone number, an email address, postal address or a physical address that you can visit. Although you may be ordering your goldfish online, it is important that you have confirmation of the current state that the fish are in. offers a phone number that you can call as well as an “Arrive Alive, Stay Alive” guarantee. This website is a good source of where to find any number of fish including pond fish, aquarium fish (freshwater and saltwater), as well as live plants for the aquariums and other accessories. seems like a reputable online fish store. However, if you come across a website with an unnerving name such as www.uncledave’ (this is not a real internet site). The site does not list a phone number or postal address; it simply shows some “available” fish pictures and an email that is obviously someone’s personal email (not a business email) then it could be a rip-off or just a poor site to use.

Do not choose Uncle Dave’s fancy fish over a more reputable site, regardless of how cheap the fish are. If you are looking to purchase a Black Moor Fancy Goldfish and is selling them at:

1 Black Moor = $24.99

3 to 5 Black Moors = $23.59

12 Black Moors or more = $23.79

However, www.uncledave’ is selling Black Moors at:

1 Black Moor = $2

3 to 5 Black Moors = $6 to $10

12 Black Moors or more = $24+

Then you can safely assume that either the Black Moors at Uncle Dave’s are not in good health, Uncle Dave’s has an overabundance of them (poor breeding techniques) or www.uncledave’ is a scam website.

Other sites that are not recommended for buying goldfish online are, or These sites are not qualified fish suppliers. Sure, you trust to ship you your books for college classes, a Mother’s Day mug, or even a new movie release. Moreover, of course, you trust eBay to auction off your grandmother’s antique jewelry or an old desk you found in the basement. However, and are for those types of purchases, not live animals. It is important to note that anyone anywhere can sell on these sites. You do not really know who they are, where they are, or what condition the fish are in. Bottom line, choose a reputable online fish supplier and pay what these living beings are actually worth, do not assume that you are receiving healthy quality goldfish and paying little to no money for them.

Other ways to buy goldfish:

  1. Seek out a breeder for the type of goldfish you are interested in. Visit them, talk with them and see for yourself what condition the fish are in.
  2. Choose more common goldfish types and buy from a local pet store. This is another way to see for yourself how healthy the fish are and what their environments look like. You will also be able to ask the staff questions about what your goldfish need.
  3. Purchase your goldfish online. Take precautions. Do your homework. Take into consideration the fragility of the fish you are choosing (i.e. The Bubble Eyed Goldfish is very fragile and may not survive the trip) and finally, stay away from possible scam websites.