Question: Can I introduce an algae eater or pleco fish into a goldfish tank to control the algae growth?

Answer: Algae eaters should NOT be in the same tank as a goldfish for many reasons.

  • The pleco and algae eater live in waters around 78-82 degrees and the the goldfish prefers 66-74 degrees
  • Many plecos and algae eaters can grow up to 18 inches which would reduce the amount of goldfish you can stock
  • Goldfish have a tasty slime coat that plecos and algae eater like to snack on; leaving your goldfish susceptible to disease.
  • You would need multiple plecos and algae eaters since they
  • Algae is also in your goldfish’s diet. It acts as a laxative and combats constipation.
  • Some algae is beneficial to the overall health of your goldfish aquarium by creating oxygen and feeding on extra nutrients.
Algae Eater
Aquarium snails are another algae eater that you should also avoid introducing into your goldfish tank. Your goldfish are likley to nibble on the snails eyes and end up killing it eventually.

Photo: Beckie

7 comments on “Goldfish and Algae Eaters
  1. cathy osborn says:

    my algae eater ate the tail off one of my godfish i had three goldfish and the algae eater bought them about 8 months . got rid of that one got another kind and this mornin my fish was dead caught the algae eater stuckonit.

    • admin says:

      Usually you shouldn’t have an algae eater and a goldfish in the same tank but mainly for the water temp needs. algae eaters like a heated tank while goldfish like cool water around 70*f. If your algae eater attacks goldfish, don’t put any more goldfish in that tank.

  2. Sharon says:

    I had like three gold fish and 1 algae eater in a 10 gallon tank…my fish and algae eater did fine together…

  3. billy c says:

    how do u tell the sex of a algae eater

  4. Gwen says:

    I was givin a goldfish, he is huge to me, he is about 6 inches in length. I have never seen one this size. I was also givin an algae eater, & a small catfish, I am not sure how long the goldfish & algae eater have been together. Do I need to seperate these two? Also, the water is getting really cloudy how do I take care of this problem? I had the water analized ealier too it was high in ammonia. Will this kill the fish? I really dont want to il this fish, cause he is good size he has lived this long. The fish were pretty much abandoned. Thanks Gwen

    • admin says:

      Hi, yes I would separate the goldfish from the other two fish. The goldfish like cool water, unheated and the algae eater needs a heated tank. I’m not sure about the catfish though. High ammonia levels will kill your fish. this is a sign that you need to change the water. High ammonia levels are caused by having too many fish in not a big enough tank. ( you should buy an inexpensive ammonia test kit so you can know when it’s time to change the water.) A six inch goldfish will probably require a 20 gallon tank with a filter.

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