Gold Fish Staying in Corner of Tank (Causes & Prevention)

Is your Goldfish confusing you by staying in one corner of the tank? You may be concerned as to why your Goldfish is doing that. Well, it could be nothing, or it could be something that you need to take care of immediately. Whatever it is, no need to worry, as this article will help you out. I will identify how your Goldfish staying in one corner of a tank should or should not be a concern for you.

If the goldfish is healthy it will swim happily in the tank. However, if it is staying in the corner of the tank there are multiple reasons. Stress, too high or low temperatures, poor diet, poor water, and diseases are the most common reasons.

GoldFish Staying in Corner of Tank

If your Goldfish has suddenly started staying in one corner, which could be the top or bottom, this article will help you identify what your Goldfish might be going through.

Why might your GoldFish be Staying in the Corner?

If you are observing that for some time your Goldfish is staying in one corner of the tank, there might be several reasons for it. Now, these reasons could be completely harmless or may need your urgent attention. I have outlined all the scenarios.

Reasons that Need Urgent Attention

If any of these are true, you must take care of the situation urgently, as they might lead to the death of your Goldfish.


Goldfish tend to stress out very easily if they are not in the right environment. This may cause them to stay in one particular corner of the tank. This is the most basic reason why Goldfish do this, and the rest of the reasons might be what is causing this stress.


Water is Dirty

If you have not changed the water of your Goldfish tank for a while, the water may have become very dirty for your Goldfish to live. So, they find an escape by staying in one corner of the tank, mostly at the top, in an attempt to breathe air from the surface.

The water is too Clean

When trying to keep the tank clean, it is quite possible that you strip your Goldfish of even the crucial elements that are required to keep them healthy. Goldfish need good bacteria that will break down their ammonia waste into less harmful substances. This process is known as Cycling.  If the water surrounding them is very clean, it is possible that there are no bacteria present, thus no cycling, and the ammonia keeps building up. This will in turn make your Goldfish stressed out and stay in one corner of the tank.

The water is too Clean

Ammonia Poisoning

Goldfish are very sensitive to high contents of ammonia and nitrates. A high ammonia concentration in their tank will definitely kill them, causing them to come to the top corner of their tanks to gasp for air.


A sick Goldfish feels tired and stressed out and may end up staying in a corner to avoid movement and interaction with other fish.

Close to Dying

The saddest yet very much possible reason could be that your Goldfish might be close to dying and just gasping for air at the top corner of the tank. This can happen if your Goldfish has been sick for a while, or if it has been poisoned due to the above-mentioned inappropriate conditions of the tank.

Related Post: How to Identify Male and Female Goldfish?

How to Take Care of This?

You may want to solve these problems if you wish to keep your Goldfish alive. Here is how you can do it:

Use Stress Coats

When a stress coat is added to the water, it forms a layer around your Goldfish which will help boost the immunity of Goldfish by protecting them from harmful tank conditions.

Ammonia Test

 I regularly test the water of my Goldfish tank for ammonia as it can be extremely deadly for Goldfish. You can also do this by buying a handy ammonia test kit from your pet store.

Goldfish tank for ammonia


 You can buy ammonia fizz tablets from the market to treat high levels of ammonia, which are easy to use.

Regular Water Changes

You should be changing your Goldfish’s tank water every two weeks. In case of ammonia poisoning, do it more often to clear out any excessive ammonia in the tank. I recommend that you change the water of your tank daily until your Goldfish stops staying in one corner.

How often to Change the Water in the Fish Tank

Check for Diseases

If you notice anything different about the behavior and/or appearance of your Goldfish, make sure to observe it for a while. It may be an indication of some disease. Red gills, swollen gills, spots, and lesser movements in your Goldfish may be hinting at some disease.

Good Bacteria

When changing the water of your Goldfish tank, make sure that you allow some good bacteria to fix the ammonia concentration in the water through cycling. Then, you can add water to the tank. This will stop the build-up of ammonia in the tank.

Related Post: Cloudy GoldFish Tank – The Ultimate Guide To Get Rid Of It

Reasons that have an easy fix

These reasons are very mild, and you do not need to worry about them. Just follow some basic tips to prevent these, as I have mentioned below:

Might Need More Space

It is possible that your Goldfish is finding the tank overcrowded. To escape the unnecessary crowd in its surroundings, your Goldfish may have found one particular corner suitable for itself.

Fix: Get your Goldfish a larger tank. Ideally, a single Goldfish needs around 30 gallons of water, and for every other added Goldfish, keep adding 10 gallons to the space. This is ample space for your Goldfish to not feel overwhelmed with less space.

New to the Tank

Goldfish can be shy when they have just been added to someplace new. If you just brought your Goldfish from the pet store, it is possible that it may not be adjusting to the tank at your home, and it may stay in one corner.

New to the Tank

Fix: Allow your Goldfish to adjust to its new home. You can aid your Goldfish in this by keeping them away from the other fish for some time, or by keeping the tank dim. Do not worry, as it will soon start accepting the new space, and be out of that corner in no time.

Aggressive Fish

It is also possible that your Goldfish is scared of the other fish around it. Some fish might be bullying your Goldfish, and to avoid this Goldfish may start staying in one corner.

Fix: Keep your aggressive fish away from the Goldfish that is staying in the corner. If you do not have a separate tank, you can simply add a divider that is made of resin and is completely harmless to the tank environment.

Un-even Temperature

The heater in your Goldfish tank may not be heating the water throughout the tank properly. This would make some parts of the tank cold and some hot. Your Goldfish may stay in the corner of the tank where the temperature is ideal.

gold fish Water Temperature

Fix: You may want to install another heater that will maintain the temperature throughout the tank. You can also shift your heater to a place that will ensure the proper distribution of heat.

Strong Water Current

Your Goldfish may not enjoy a strong flow of water and will stay in the part of the tank where the current is moderate for them.

Fix: You can simply adjust the filter in your tank to make the water current moderate enough for your Goldfish.

Reasons that you should not be worried about

Here are some harmless reasons why your Goldfish is staying in the corner:

  • Algae: A particular corner of your Goldfish tank may have algae, which your Goldfish might be enjoying eating that algae. It could also be hiding under this layer of algae from other fish, or simply from bright light if you have a lamp that is not in the right place and bothering it.
  • Simple Preference: We all like a certain area of our homes, don’t we? Well, so do our Goldfish. It is quite possible that your Goldfish may only be staying in one corner because it likes it better than the rest of the tank. Some Goldfish like to stay alone and might find a corner an interesting and isolated place to stay in.
  • Expecting Food: If you feed your Goldfish at one particular corner, they might keep visiting it again and again in search of food. Your Goldfish will tend to stay in this corner if it is hungry.
  • Pregnancy: If you are keeping a female Goldfish, it may start staying in one corner if it is due to lay eggs. This is because they need their own space and find a safe corner to stay in while they are going through this stage.

The Bottom Line on Gold Fish Staying in Corner of Tank

I hope that I have helped figure out why your Goldfish is staying at the corner. I understand how it can be hard to identify just why your Goldfish chose that one corner to stay in, but it is vital that you pay close attention to their habits as well. Only then will you be able to tell if your Goldfish needs urgent medical care or if it is simply having a fun time being where it is, in the corner of the tank.

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