Betta fish and Goldfish are two of the most common fish species owned by aquarium enthusiasts.
Their colorful scales and long fins make them desirable additions to any home tank. However, before housing these two fish species together, aquarium owners should learn about their compatibility.
If you’re seeking an answer to the question, “can Betta fish live with Goldfish”, the short answer is YES they can. However, the arrangement won’t be ideal for either fish.
Keep reading on to learn why keeping Betta in the same tank as Goldfish isn’t recommended.
Keeping Bettas with other fish
If you know anyone who owns Betta fish, they may have told you about the challenges of keeping them in the same tank as other fish. Betta fish is are incredibly territorial by nature and are known to get into scuffles with other fish they are sharing a tank with.
This behavior makes more sense when you consider the Betta’s more infamous nickname: the Japanese fighting fish. These fish were commonly pitted against each other in betting rings due to their aggressive nature.
A pair of Bettas kept in the same cramped fishbowl together may start attacking each other and keep doing so until one of them is exhausted or injured.
Some Bettas get agitated by the mere sight of another fish, so owners should think twice before keeping them with tank mates.
Individual Bettas tend to display different levels of aggression. In addition to this, it is believed that female ones are less aggressive than male ones. So if you absolutely must get a Betta fish, you should opt for a female one.
However, it’s not impossible to house Betta with other fish. Some other fish varieties can get along with them, but your choices are limited.
Keeping Goldfish with other fish
In contrast to Bettas, Goldfish get along with most community fish. They are not known to be aggressive towards other sea life, which makes them very popular with kids and first-time fish owners.
In fact, Goldfish would need one or more tank mates to remain happy and stimulated in their living space.
The only time you need to worry about your Goldfish harming your other aquatic pets is when they are smaller than your Goldfish’s mouth.
Goldfish are omnivores after all, which means they aren’t above eating their tiny tank mates if given the chance. However, this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re housing them with Betta fish, whose average size is around two and a half inches.
Can Betta Fish Live With Goldfish?
So can you keep Goldfish with Bettas?
The answer can be a little complicated.
Do they get along?
As mentioned earlier, Bettas can get along with certain fish varieties. However, they tend to be very picky when it comes to tolerating tank mates.
Bettas generally dislike any fish that resemble other Bettas.
This means bright-colored fish with long fins should not be housed with them. Unfortunately, many Goldfish varieties fit this description, so they may not be welcome in your Betta tank.
Betta and Goldfish also require different living conditions. The former are tropical fish who need warm water to thrive and be happy, while the latter prefer cooler water.
Your average Betta can tolerate temperatures between 76°F and 82°F, while Goldfish can handle temperatures between 68°F and 74°F. Each of these fish can only survive within their aforementioned narrow temperature range.
Keeping your water temperatures between 74°F and 76°F is not recommended either as your Betta will fall ill.
Colder temperatures could make this fish go into shock and/or slow down their metabolism. Over time they may develop diseases or even die from these temperatures.
Similar things will happen to your Goldfish if you keep them in water that is above 74°F. The warmer water can increase your fish’s metabolism, and this may eventually cause their bodies to fatigue.
Keeping a Goldfish in your tank increases the chance of ammonia spikes occurring in the water. Betta fish can die from ammonia poisoning very easily, so owners should avoid housing Goldfish with them.
In addition to causing ammonia poisoning, Goldfish can harm your Betta in other ways. These fish tend to be very messy, so your tank water will need to be changed regularly.
This shouldn’t cause any problems for your Goldfish, but your Betta will get stressed from tank conditions changing so frequently.
Adding an effective filter could solve this problem, but your delicate Betta may get stressed if the filter is too large or strong.
How to house Goldfish and Betta together
If you are still interested in keeping a Goldfish and Betta together, you will need to set up the right kind of tank and introduce both fish properly.
Setting up your tank
Betta fish that are being housed with another fish require a tank that is at least 15 gallons. However, Goldfish that are being housed with other fish need a tank that is at least 30 gallons.
So if you intend to keep both Betta and Goldfish together, the tank will need to be a minimum of 30 gallons in size.
In addition to this, your aquarium will need to feature plenty of rocks, plants, and ornaments. These objects give your fish a place to retreat or hide when they want to get away from others.
Bettas get especially stressed when other fish are in their line of sight, so remember to include plenty of items to make the tank feel less open.
As mentioned earlier, you will need to get a good water filter to keep your tank clean. This filter should not be too powerful as its filtering activity could make your Betta uncomfortable.
Introducing your fish
Betta can be temperamental fish, which makes it difficult to introduce them to other aquatic creatures.
If you plan to house a Goldfish and Betta together, you should start by allowing your Betta to live in the tank alone for a few days. This gives the fish time to get acquainted with their surroundings and establish their territory.
You can then gradually introduce them to your Goldfish. However, this process should be done slowly and using the right precautions.
If you simply dump your Goldfish into the tank without any prior preparations, your Betta may swim up to them and start attacking.
If the Goldfish is large in size, your Betta may get frightened and retreat. You can reduce the likelihood of these scenarios occurring by using the proper introduction method.
The best way to introduce both fish is by keeping your Goldfish in a separate tank or fishbowl and placing it next to the Betta tank. Position the tanks so that both fish can clearly see each other. Keep this arrangement for a few days before slipping your Goldfish into the Betta tank.
Alternatively, you could introduce both fish using a tank divider. Tank dividers are plastic or glass screens that can be used to partition your fish tank. These dividers have holes that allow water to flow between sections while preventing fish from getting through.
If you are using this method, you should set up your tank divider in the middle of your tank. This way, your Betta can still retain a large portion of its territory without feeling stressed by the presence of the other fish.
You should then add your Goldfish into the unoccupied tank section.
With this arrangement, both fish should be able to see each other, but they won’t be able to attack. You should then give your fish a few days to get acquainted through the divider.
Once you feel both tank occupants are comfortable with seeing each other, you can remove the divider. When you do this, your Betta may immediately swim up to the Goldfish to defend its territory.
However, this behavior is considered normal. Your Betta should calm down after a few minutes and retreat back to its space.
If your Betta starts attacking the Goldfish during their first encounter, you will need to remove the latter fish using a net and place them in a separate tank. Similarly, you could nudge them over to their side of the tank and place the divider back in the middle.
You can attempt this introduction again in the future when both fish have calmed down.
However, if your repeated introduction attempts aren’t working, you may have to keep both fish separately.
Is it worth keeping a Betta and Goldfish together?
As you can see, keeping a Betta and a Goldfish together is possible. However, this arrangement takes a lot of effort to pull off successfully.
Even if your fish don’t behave aggressively towards one another, the water temperature may still end up harming one of them.
Fish enthusiasts should think twice before housing a Betta with Goldfish if they care about their long-term well-being.
If you want to provide your Betta with some compatible tank mates, you could always get some neon tetras, cory catfish, or blue gourami.
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