What Affects a Goldfish's Breathing Rate?

Keeping more than one fish requires more oxygen.
Keeping more than one fish requires more oxygen. (Image: goldfish image by Jorge Casais from Fotolia.com)

Environmental factors such as Ph levels, temperature, oxygen levels, and how many fish share the tank all affect a goldfish’s breathing rate. Keeping the tank or bowl clean goes a long way in extending the life of the goldfish.


Goldfish thrive when the temperature is between 60 and 70F. The goldfish’s breathing rate lessens when the water is colder. Likewise, raising the temperatures causes them to breathe faster.

Ph Levels

Keep Ph levels between 7.0 and 7.5 to ensure survival of the goldfish. In an outdoor aquarium ph can drop as low as 5.5 and the fish will survive but it shouldn't go past 8. Drinking water has a ph of 7. The fish do need a little acid in their water.

Fish Population

Don’t put too many fish in one bowl or tank. If you see signs of stress, such as your fish gasping on top of the bowl or swimming abnormally, move the fish to another bowl. Changing the water daily also corrects this problem.


You can buy filters compatible with your tank or bowl at many pet stores. Use an air pump if you anticipate caring for more than one goldfish. These filters will help you regulate the oxygen in the water so your fish will survive.

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