Nothing beats keeping a goldfish at home. They are easy to take care of and they look so beautiful swimming around in the tank.
Goldfish is the top choice of people because these little creatures are known to remain happy and healthy in small bowls.
Nevertheless, you may wonder:
Can a goldfish live with other fish? If yes, what fish is the best tank mates for them?
Well, let’s discuss the answers in detail!
Can a Goldfish Live with Other Fish?
The answer is yes! Goldfish are not aggressive by nature and so, they can easily be placed with other fish in the tank.
They are social creatures that love to live in a community and interact with other fish regularly.
Do Goldfish Need Tank Mates to Stay Happy?
Since goldfish naturally like social environments, they stay happy in the company of other tank mates. These fish need social interaction. Otherwise, they tend to get bored in the tank.
While it is not quite possible to determine how your goldfish is feeling while swimming around in the tank, you may sense that he requires a companionship when he exhibits certain behaviors.
Researchers suggest that goldfish may start showing negative behaviors when they feel lonely and bored.
A bored goldfish is likely to be less active than one that is genuinely happy with the living situation. Solitary goldfish tend to show signs of lethargy.
This behavior is similar to depressive symptoms in humans and some high-cognitive animals, like dogs and rabbits.
Experts refer to such behavior as ‘goldfish depression.’ The takeaway is that you shouldn’t underestimate the mental capacities of fish. They too have social needs.
What Fish Can Live with Goldfish?
Choosing the perfect tank mate for your goldfish can be a little more confusing than you think. There are some fish that you should never keep in the same tank as your goldfish.
To begin with, goldfish like to share a tank with other goldfish. They have the same needs and preferences when it comes to living conditions, so nothing gets better than putting them all together.
Goldfish like to stay with like-minded fish.
Before you choose tank mates for your fish, you must know that:
- Every fish prefers different water temperatures. The tank mate should be able to live in the same environment as your goldfish. Goldfish generally stay in water temperatures of 65° to 75° F (18-24 degree Celcius).
- Make sure the fish don’t attack or eat the other. Your goldfish will require ample space to swim and grow, so the two fish should get along well.
Important Questions to Ask before Choosing Companions for Your Goldfish
Ask yourself the following questions before adding any fish in the tank with your goldfish.
- Does the tank have enough room to accommodate all the fish?
- Is there a possibility for the fish to chase each other in the tank?
- Can your goldfish eat the other fish?
- Will the other fish bite your goldfish’s fins?
- Is there a chance for the fish to get competitive for food?
- Are there any risks involved in adding new tank mates to your goldfish’s tank?
- Will the fish look good together?
10 Best Tank Mates for Your Goldfish
If you want to introduce new tank mates to your goldfish, you must consider the following options.
All these fish can live happily with goldfish in a similar living environment.
Getting a regular goldfish is one of the easiest ways to give your goldfish a new tank mate.
In fact, your fish may need another goldfish to fight loneliness and prevent depression. You can add different types of goldfish to the tank if you are looking for variety.
Goldfish come in a wide range of colors. You may have seen one in orange, yellow, red, gold, silver, and white color. Regular goldfish, shubunkins, and comets are all excellent choices for building a community tank.
Ideally, you would want to add a goldfish of the same size and variety to the tank. Although goldfish are not aggressive by nature, they can be predatory since they are omnivores. Large fish can easily eat the smaller ones, so the size does matter.
If you have a fancy goldfish, never make the mistake of keeping it with a regular goldfish.
The fancy ones are super delicate and can’t escape or fight bullies. They are typically slower than regular goldfish and don’t tend to compete for food.
A fancy goldfish should always be kept with the same variety.
Because of their smaller size, Bristlenose Plecos make good companions for goldfish. They are small enough to fit in the tank but not too small to be eaten by a goldfish.
Besides, adding a Bristlenose Pleco to the tank offers a major advantage.
These fish like to feed on algae, so they will keep the tank clean! Moreover, they are usually not the ones that suck on goldfish’s scales.
And they prefer to stay at the bottom of the tank. Hence, they draw attention to the area that otherwise would be empty.
Please note that Bristlenose Plecos are big fish up to 5 inches, so you must have a big tank to keep them with your goldfish.
White Cloud Mountain Minnows
White Cloud Mountain Minnows are the fish of cold temperatures, meaning they will do good with your goldfish.
On top of that, you don’t have to worry about their safety, as they can run quite fast and there are little to no chances of them becoming the prey of your goldfish.
However, before you add one to your fish tank, you must know that they are schooling fish.
This means that they don’t survive well on their own. Therefore, you will have to add them in a set of 3 or 6.
Weather or Dojo Loaches
Weather Loaches or Dojo Loaches are also cold-water fish that can thrive in the same living environment as that of your goldfish.
All you will have to do is get a big tank to keep them with goldfish because they need a lot of space of their own.
Like White Cloud Mountain Minnows, these Loaches stay happy in groups of 3 or more.
Moreover, these fish enjoy burrowing, so make sure that the substrate is of sand or fine gravel.
Platies are small fish that come in a wide assortment of colors. Their breeding process is quick and easy, and they give birth to dozens of babies at a time.
However, you won’t have to worry about the tank getting overfilled because all the babies will likely be eaten by your goldfish or the platies themselves.
In case you don’t want to see that happening, you will have to stop them from breeding or perhaps just don’t buy any Platy fish at all.
Also read: How to Protect Fish Eggs in an Aquarium?
Despite their small size, Platies are not easy prey for a goldfish. Also, they are very peaceful and highly unlikely to nip at your gold fish’s fins.
These fish are super easy to take care of and you get to choose from a variety of colors and patterns!
Important: If you have large goldfish, you should keep a close eye on its interaction with a Platy to ensure it doesn’t attack it.
Rosy Barbs like to live in the same water temperatures as goldfish and they grow up to 4 to 6 inches, so they make great tank mates for goldfish.
They are too big for your goldfish to eat and they generally like to stay alone.
Keep in mind that Rosy Barbs may get stressed if you keep them alone or in small groups. Consider keeping them with at least 6 other fish or more.
Zebra Danios like the same water temperature as goldfish and hence, they make great companions in the tank.
These fish run super fast and can easily outrun your goldfish when they are hungry.
Zebra Danios need to be kept in groups of 6 or more, as they don’t like staying in small groups.
Just make sure that you don’t add them in a tank with fancy goldfish because they will likely eat all the food and the goldfish will be left starving.
Banded Corydoras are peaceful fish that is a species of South America catfish.
Growing up to 4 inches, these fish are extremely social and should be kept in groups of at least 5 or more.
These fish have a high-sloped forehead, flat belly, and cluster of barbels around their mouth through which they find their food at the bottom of the fish tank.
They help keep the tank nice and clean and are fun to watch in the tank.
Ghost and Cherry Shrimp
If you wish to have a diverse fish pool in your household tank, consider adding species other than fish as your goldfish’s tank mates.
Shrimp is one of the best choices, particularly the Ghost and Cherry Shrimp, as they tend to do well with goldfish.
Ghost shrimp are small species that people usually buy to feed to some fish. They don’t attack or cause harm to goldfish.
Red Cherry shrimp on the other hand likes to eat algae and hence, help in the cleaning of the tank. They also make great companions for goldfish.
They breed fast but also serve as food for goldfish, so you don’t have to worry about keeping the tan population balanced.
If you decide to add Ghost or Cherry shrimp to the fish tank, make sure that you provide them with enough hiding places and caves.
This will help them survive in the tank as long as possible.
Apple snails are one of the most common freshwater snail species out there that has adapted well to captive life. They make ideal tank mates for goldfish.
Once you introduce an apple snail in the fish tank, you may see that your goldfish is tempted to eat the snail.
However, the size and hard shell won’t ever make it possible.
Nevertheless, you should consider adding the snail to the tank when your goldfish is young so that both of them get used to each other and most importantly, your goldfish gets accustomed to the fact that they will live in a shared space.
Also read: How to Get Rid Of Snails in an Aquarium?
How Many Fish Should Be Kept with Goldfish?
Generally, you can add as many fish as you want to the fish tank, as long as it is big enough.
Keep in mind that your goldfish will require a lot of space to swim and grow, so it’s better not to add a lot of fish at once, especially if the tank is small.
You will require a tank size of 20 gallons at a minimum if you want your goldfish to have tank mates.
You may think it’s over the line but considering that goldfish can live up to 20 years, you must give them comfortable living space to grow in.
A big fish tank also makes it cleaning easier. Goldfish are notorious for being messy. So, a big tank will save you from the hassle of frequent water changes.
Just make sure that the tank is not overcrowded and all the fish have plenty of space to swim around.
Building a community tank for your goldfish may be overwhelming but with careful planning, you can do it perfectly.
The key is to add the right kind of fish and species and keep them all in a large tank so that your goldfish can live happily and for longer.
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