Can Goldfish Freeze and Come Back to Life? How To Protect Your Fish?

Raising goldfish is an all-year-round task. It means that even though the weather is getting extremely cold out there, you also need to take care of your fish. 

You may be wondering: “Can goldfish freeze and come back to life?” The answer is no. Goldfish cannot withstand being frozen for extended periods of time.

Goldfish are cold-water species by origin. They can adapt to a broad range of conditions in your pond. However, they can only exist at a particular temperature, which is frozen for a few minutes. The goldfish may eventually die from temperature shock.

Goldfish, on the other hand, can withstand cold water by reducing their metabolism and physiological processes. Yet, they can only suffer from a limited condition. The consequence may be worse if the weather is too hostile. 

Additionally, there are some kinds of goldfish. You need to pay more attention during the cold days if you raise fancy fish. They are less likely to stand the cold weather.

GA Pet Sitters explains the reasons why goldfish cannot come back to life after the freeze. We also include some methods to take care of them during that period. Let’s read on to discover!

Why Goldfish Can Freeze And Not Come Back To Life? 

Goldfish, to restate, can’t survive in a frozen condition. As a result, they may not resurrect. There are some causes for this issue. Biological factors determine whether the goldfish can live or die.

Cell biology

The cell membrane of a goldfish contains a very thin membrane that may break. Water will expand when it transitions from a liquid to a cold environment. When water flows, it requires more space to expand. If the water gets into your fish’s cells, catastrophe occurs.

Once the cold freezes your fish, the liquid inside its cell membrane hardens. Because water makes up the majority of the liquid, it grows when the liquid freezes. The freezing condition causes the fish cell to burst.

Bursting cells is not a good thing. This leads to the death of your goldfish.

Cold endurance

Goldfish have grown to withstand temperatures of 5ºC. While living at this rate of temperature, their bodies start to hibernate. 

In this time, they don’t eat, and then become inactive. They will gradually die if you expose them to this environment for an extended period of time.

Fancy goldfish can’t live at temperatures below 15ºC. They may lose more gene digestibility than a robust ordinary or comet type of goldfish.

Most goldfish can stand the temperature of at least 5ºC

Most goldfish can stand the temperature of at least 5ºC

Length of time

A goldfish may endure subzero conditions for some hours before its entire body freezes up. They have died when they are rigid and coated in ice crystals. Warming your goldfish can cause them to degrade fast and create an awful smell.

If your goldfish live in a frozen place, they may likely live for a while before dying to the cold. Fancy goldfish can’t survive in freezing ponds. 

Hence, the significance of avoiding the pond from freezing over is important. 

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Experiments with the freezing goldfish

There are several videos on the internet that explain this. One guy even submerged the goldfish in nitrogen before immediately returning it to the warm water. The goldfish were still swimming about.

Goldfish In A Frozen Pond

The goldfish won’t die from the cold water until the temperature is too low for such a long time that the pond water becomes solid. 

Your fish, on the other hand, can survive till spring if the water is cold yet hasn’t frozen. You’ll probably discover the goldfish alive and also well after the weather gets warmer and the pond thaws.

Helping the Goldfish not to freeze

This part is useful for individuals who live in a region where the winters are extremely severe, too cold to freeze the pond.

Here are some prevention strategies you can do to keep your goldfish alive:

Clean The Pond

Preparing the pond for winter is not complicated. You can puff it off like the way you prepare your house.

This method entails washing the pond and eliminating every dead plant, trash, and anything else. If not, they would irritate your fish or emit poisonous gasses.

Remember to check the filtration system and wash it if your pond includes one. You don’t want to quit operating without your understanding during the winter.

Clean the pond to prepare for the winter

Clean the pond to prepare for the winter

Aerate The Pond

It may be hard for your fish to acquire oxygen when the pond freezes over for the wintertime. You may construct a small fountain to simplify things.

The fountain can keep the water moving by circulating it constantly. Thanks to the continuous flow, the water won’t freeze up.

Even if you follow both of these steps, you may still sacrifice a few fish, particularly those who risk the chilly water to rise to the surface to obtain air. They will become engulfed in the ice water and freeze.

Make A Hole On The Pond Surface 

In the winter, ice can be a powerful threat. The pond cannot freeze entirely if your pond is about 3 feet in depth. 

Even a small coating of ice on the top, however, retains dangerous gases and prevents oxygen from traveling. Your fish may die if these gases don’t escape.

Pour some warm water into one small area of your pond to fix the issue. The water creates a hole on the surface. Hence, it helps dissolve the ice.

You don’t need to make a large hole. Typically, a diameter of 12 inches is enough. However, it must remain open until the winter ends. 

Make a small hole on the pond surface

Make a small hole on the pond surface

If you see fish swimming close to the hole, it implies there’s not enough air in the lower layers. Then, widen the hole for more oxygen.


An afloat deicer can aid you in maintaining the hole available in your pond. It has a heat source that prevents ice from accumulating in the near area of the device. 

It doesn’t cover the full area or provides enough heat for the fish to survive. It is, nevertheless, successful in reducing ice formation in specific areas.

Put a deicer around the stems of plants whose roots stay underwater if you’re placing them in your pond. The deicer may protect the ice from your plants while yet allowing air to pass through.

Adjust The Goldfish’s Diet

As the weather gets cold, you need to switch up the type of food you give your goldfish. Changing the amount of food is necessary too.

When it comes to food, you can get something that will help you get rid of the waste. 

However, remember to ensure you don’t overfeed your fish. The right nutrient content can help keep your fish healthy during the cold period.

Feed your fish a high-protein meal. This nutritional profile allows them to build fat reserves to keep them alive throughout hibernation. 

Finally, gradually reduce the food volume you give your goldfish. You may put less effort into the food content when the weather heats up in the spring.

You won’t only limit the quantity of waste the goldfish creates by following the steps above. Nonetheless, you need to make sure that your goldfish save energy by not using it to digest food in their organs.

You need to adjust the fish’s diet

You need to adjust the fish’s diet

Check The Pond Regularly

Goldfish are sensitive to cold weather. As a result, you should keep an eye on your pond during that period.

You need to check whether your fish are frequently swimming to the surface.

If you notice a lot of bubbles, it means something is happening beneath the surface. To figure it out, you should look into it. You may lose some of your goldfish if you don’t.

How to Revive a Goldfish in Temperature Shock

If you live in an area with cold winters, it’s best to take your goldfish inside during those months. You can set up a temporary indoor pond aquarium or use a kiddie pool or plastic storage container.

Goldfish are coldwater fish and can’t tolerate cold weather well. If the temperature in your area falls below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, your goldfish may start to experience health problems.

One way to help keep your goldfish healthy during the winter is to slowly add dechlorinated hot water to their tank every five minutes. You should not rapidly increase the temperature – ensure a degree goes up every 45 minutes. Once the thermometer reads 10 degrees Celsius, you can stop the hot water method and place your fish in a warm and insulated room. They should start to become more active, but they may not be their usual self. As the temperature reaches over 15 degrees Celsius, they should become more active.

Should I move my goldfish inside during winter?

Goldfish are a popular pet, and many people choose to keep them in outdoor ponds during the summer. However, when winter arrives, some people wonder if they should move their goldfish inside. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of moving goldfish inside during winter, and we will help you make the best decision for your fish.

The first thing to consider is the temperature of your home. If your home is too cold for your goldfish, then you should definitely move them inside. Goldfish can tolerate temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but they will be much happier in a warmer environment.

Another thing to consider is the amount of light your home receives. Goldfish need at least eight hours of light per day in order to stay healthy. If your home does not receive enough light, you will need to provide artificial light for your fish.

Finally, you should consider the amount of space your fish will have in your home. Goldfish need plenty of space to swim, and they will be happiest in a large tank. If you do not have enough space for a large tank, you may want to consider keeping your goldfish in an outdoor pond.

Overall, there are pros and cons to both keeping goldfish inside and keeping them outside. If you can provide a warm, sunny environment with plenty of space, your goldfish will be happy inside. However, if you live in a cold climate or you do not have enough space for a large tank, your goldfish will be happier outside.


In general, goldfish can’t come back to life once they freeze. The only solution to protect your fish is to avoid them from freezing. 

Please put more time and effort into observing the pond during the wintertime. If you follow the instructions above, your goldfish can thrive in a healthy way after the cold days.

If you need any further information, please feel free to ask. 

Thank you for reading!