Choosing Your Goldfish’s Tank Mates

A group of goldfish is called a troubling but that doesn’t mean your goldfish will have any troubles with having tank mates. It’s the group that can be trouble not the individual due to their messy and sometimes destructive behavior. However, by nature, goldfish are social creatures and absolutely prefer to live with others and should be, given the right circumstances.

What Types of Fish Make for Good Tank Mates?

The best roommate for a goldfish is another goldfish.

Furthermore, if all of your goldfish’s tank mates are somewhat similar in size and type, you don’t have to worry about any problems with socializing. For instance, a large goldfish can eat a small goldfish given the opportunity but if they are similar in size that can’t happen. In regards to similar types, if you keep fancy breeds among the more common types, it is possible that the slower fancier breeds won’t be able to compete for food with the faster common types.

Ultimately, by keeping all your tank mates in the goldfish species and close to similar breeds, it will make it easier to care for them in terms of water quality, temperature, filtration, aquatic plants, feeding and so on.

three goldfish

How Many Fish in the Same Tank

It should be noted that in order to keep multiple goldfish in the same tank, you need adequate space. Always remember how many gallons each fully grown goldfish will need before stocking your goldfish aquarium or goldfish pond (10-15 gallons/goldfish). If you stock too many in the same habitat, be prepared and willing to upgrade your tank later. If you don’t make the you may quickly watch your goldfish become unhappy and unhealthy due to overcrowding and potentially poorer water quality.

group of common goldfish

Goldfish and Algae Eaters

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

Real Stories

My algae eater ate the tail off of one my goldfish. I got rid of that one and got another kind. This morning one of my fish was dead and I caught the algae eater sucking on it. – Cathy O

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

Reviewed By: Tim Winter

Tim Winter has a strong affection for pets and wildlife. His years of experience caring for various types of pets has led him to share his knowledge with others on the best practices in pet care. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communications.

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6 thoughts on “Choosing Your Goldfish’s Tank Mates”

  1. Can you put in white cloud minnows with them as a tank mate? I’m getting them for a class pet but people say no but theres more yeses and i’m Just confused as hell…

    • Sometimes goldfish change color over time. However, black or white coloration changes can also be a sign of an illness or poor water quality. If you change the water regularly, you can avoid those things from happening. You can snap a photo and go to the pet store to talk to the fish expert. They can help find the right medication if needed.

    • Usually goldfish only do well with goldfish of their own similar breeds. If the goldfish in question is a common goldfish and the guppy is a fancy guppy with a long flowing tail, the guppy could be at risk of having it’s tail fins destroyed. If the goldfish are the fancy ones, the guppies stand a chance. The real problem is that most fancy guppies like warmer water and goldfish like cold water. There are some guppies that can handle those temps. Ask the fish expert at the pet store which ones could live in cool water.


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