Best LED Lights For Goldfish – Choosing The Proper LED Lighting For Your Goldfish Aquarium

Should you use LED Lighting For Your Goldfish aquarium?

LED lighting can be a great option for a Goldfish aquarium. But do Goldfish need a light at all?

We examine if Goldfish need lights and if so, which LED lights can be used in a Goldfish aquarium and help you choose the proper LED Lighting.

Three Great Lighting Ideas For Your Goldfish

Further Reading: If You Want To Keep Live Plants You’ll Want To Read Our Planted Aquarium LED Lighting Guide & Calculator.


Is LED Light Good for a Goldfish Aquarium?

LED lighting can be a great option for a Goldfish aquarium for a few reasons mainly;

  • Use much less energy to provide quality lighting.
  • Emit next to no heat
  • Grow live plants
  • Enhance color of Goldfish
  • Control day/night cycles

In comparison to alternatives such as fluorescent lights, LED lights have a number of advantages , including far greater energy efficiency and lower power consumption, the ability to support a full spectrum of color and other lighting effects, and vastly superior longevity and lifespan. – FishTankWorld

With a good source of lighting like an LED you ensure your Goldfish will follow a day/night schedule ensuring good sleeping patterns and other habits as well as keep your fish happy and healthy!

A light cycle will also keep algae from growing out of control in your tank, and will help your live plants (if you have them) grow strong and healthy.

Although, LED lights are fine for Goldfish, if you plan on growing plants in your Goldfish aquarium you will need to be selective in what you purchase and ensure your LED lighting has a sufficient PAR value to grow live plants.

How Does Light Affect Goldfish?

GoldfishsBy Daiju Azuma (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

Maintaining proper lighting levels and exposure is important to the health of your Goldfish. As you’ll read below lighting can impact your Goldfish in the following ways;

  • Sleep Patterns
  • Skin Colour
  • Health – (Eating and other habits)

But Do Goldfish Need Light?

In all honesty, the answer is, No. Lighting is not required for Goldfish or any other fish.

However, as mentioned above there are significant benefits to having a light in your aquarium.

Lighting is not essential but with the correct lighting you can make your tanks look great by visually enhancing your aquarium and bringing out the colours of your fish. –

Do Goldfish Sleep?

Goldfish have no eyelids so they can’t close their eyes. But, they do rest throughout the day and at night.

That said, Goldfish rest best at night and in the dark. So, be sure to turn your lights off at night.

Here is a great video from Mark Goldfishna that explains how Goldfish sleep.


Can Goldfish Get Too Little Light?

Yes, most definitely.

If Goldfish are not exposed to any light they can lose their color and skin pigment and become pale.

Additionally, without light, your Goldfish can become sluggish and lose energy. This is because they have no way of knowing if it’s day or night and may just always be sleeping.

And if they always think it’s time to sleep, they may not be eating well which ultimately will impact the life span and health of your Goldfish.

Can Goldfish Get Too Much Light?

Yes, just like too little light, too much light is also a problem and can impact things like;

  • Sleeping patterns
  • Eating and Diet

Ultimately, Goldfish need time to rest and excessive light will not allow them to get the rest they need.

How Much Light Do Goldfish Need?

Goldfish should get about 8-12 hours of light. But this also depends on what you have in your tank.

For example;

If you only have Goldfish, then you only need a light that will allow you to provide a day/night cycle.

However, if you intend to have plants you will need a LED lighting source that will provide enough PAR value to grow plants.

Do Goldfish Need a Light at Night?

No, Goldfish prefer to rest in the dark. So to ensure your Goldfish gets the best rest, turn off your lights.

Should I use Blue Light for Goldfish?

Here is a great article about the effects of colored light on Goldfish.

And the conclusion states;

A Goldfish exhibits the most stable behavior under a white light, because it contains the waves and frequencies of red, orange, blue, indigo, and violet light rays. Therefore, in order to keep one’s fish in the most stable and healthy condition, white light is the best option. Source

LED Lighting for a Goldfish Tank with no Live Plants


If your Goldfish aquarium doesn’t have any plants then almost any LED aquarium light will do and as mentioned above all you need to do is provide a day/night schedule. You can even try making your own LED lights for your aquarium.

Read: 10 Best LED Lights for a Freshwater Aquarium

Also, most high quality LED lights will come with a timer so you can schedule when the light is on and off.

And if your light didn’t come with a timer check out the Century 7 Day Heavy Duty Digital Programmable Timer.

I recommend timers for any aquarium to provide good daylight/night cycles, however this is even more important with Planted Freshwater and Saltwater Reef or Nano Reef tanks. –

LED Lighting for a Live Planted Goldfish Tank

If your Goldfish aquarium has plants you will need something very specific and will need to do some research on the specific plants to find out how much light they need.

We’ve provided some recommended lighting options for planted tanks and show you how to select a great LED light for planted tanks.

Remember that you can’t apply the rules “1-3 watts per gallon for planted tanks” or “3-5 watts per gallon for reef tank” for choosing an LED light. –

Whether this is your first goldfish aquarium, or you’ve finally decided to use LEDs, the aquarium LED market is crowded and potentially confusing.

If you’ve spent any time browsing the other articles on this site, you know there are plenty of benefits to using LEDs over older lighting systems (not that you can’t make the older systems work!).

If you need some help finding a great LED light check out our article 10 Of The Best LED Lights For Freshwater Aquariums

Jack Dempsey
Follow Me