Goldfish Mates

People often choose goldfish when planning to take care of aquarium species. The good thing about goldfish is that they can live along with plenty of fish, so there’s a lot of species to choose from if you’re searching for a new fish to add to your freshwater aquarium.

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However, some types of fish couldn’t make friends with goldfish in the aquarium. This is because there are different needs for each type of fish. Many fish prefer warm water, some like cold water, some like saltwater, while some like freshwater.

If you want all of your fish to be healthy and happy, choosing tank mates who like similar tank environments is important.

Goldfish are freshwater fish that lives at a temperature of 65-80°F. So fish who like this kind of temperature suits well with goldfish. Yet, the temperature is only one aspect of these circumstances, and there are still more factors that need to be considered.

Here are some of the best tank mates that can live alongside goldfish.

Fellow Goldfish

Guess what the best tank mate is for Goldfish? Their kind. Yes, their fellow goldfish. This is one of the best ways to generate more fish for your goldfish tank that matches its size and color.

Only note that these goldfish are omnivores, and they can also be predatory. It is important to pair tank mates that have close characteristics as of the goldfish.

However, be cautious when it comes to size. Large goldfish are going to eat smaller ones, so they have to be about the same size. Fancy goldfish often tend to move quicker than ordinary ones and are unable to compete for their food.

Rosy Barb Fish

Rosy Barbs like the same type of water as goldfish. They grow with a span of 4 to 6 inches, so they are also a good match in height. These fish are less likely to attack and might leave your goldfish alone. They are too large that your goldfish might not be able to eat them.

Also, it is important to consider that Rosy Barbs are schooling fish. They get a great deal of stress if they are alone or swimming in small groups. They should be swimming together with at least 6 groups in the aquarium.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow Fish

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are a perfect goldfish partner because they are also cold-water fish that would do well in the same setting as goldfish.  They’re also schooling fish and not doing well on their own, so you’re going to have to add at least 3, even though 6 is preferred.

These types of fish are also very agile and can typically compete with the goldfish, making them less likely to become predators.

Zebra Danios Or Zebrafish

The Zebrafish is also one of the good matches for goldfish as they like the same water temperature. Also, if they get hungry, they can compete with the other fish and outswim them for food.

These species are so big that they shouldn’t be combined with fancy goldfish because they’ll probably eat all their food. Zebrafish are also schooling fish, so they suit well with other types of fish, including goldfish.

Dojo Loaches Or Pond Loach

Pond Loaches or Dojo Loaches are other great options since they are cold-water fish that survive in the same environment type as the goldfish.

Dojo Loaches must be kept in 3 groups or more as they enjoy digging tunnels. Make sure they have a fine gravel or sand substrate environment. These types of fish do require a lot of their habitat, so you’re going to need a big tank to contain all of them alongside goldfish.

Bristlenose And Rubbernose Plecos

For a goldfish, both Rubbernose and Bristlenose Pleco are great tank friends. Plecos are calm and tranquil fish that are usually left alone with the goldfish.

These types of fish spend most of their day feeding rock and grass algae, which helps keep the aquarium healthy. However, keep a distance from common plecos as there are indications of them making a habit of sucking off goldfish’s slime coat.

Cherry And Ghost Shrimp

Other species that can be teamed up with a goldfish are shrimps such as Cherry or Ghost Shrimp. These shrimp, particularly Ghost Shrimps, are so tiny and are typically sold for people as food. They are an interesting addition to any aquarium and will not damage or harm the goldfish.

While cherry Shrimps are a great choice, these species are eaters of algae and can help keep the aquarium clean and at ease. Although Cherry Shrimps are rapidly breeding, they do act as goldfish food so that the population can be kept healthy.

Make sure to add plenty of tunnels and decorations while growing shrimp in an aquarium with your goldfish. It gives them a hiding place, a shelter that allows them to live for a long period.

Apple Snail

Apple snails are one of the most popular snails in pet shops. They are one of the few freshwater snail species that is well adapted to captivity life, and it is also a good match for a goldfish.

Goldfish may be tempted to eat an apple snail, but its hard shell and scale make it impossible for them to eat. If the snail is added to the tank while the goldfish is young, this will be a great combination as it gets used to sharing its habitat while the goldfish is growing.

Native Fish

More people have started to keep North American native fish in the past years. Though many tend to make African cichlids look docile, some species in their aquariums may be doing well with goldfish.

Several people have reportedly gained success with Goldfish holding Red Shiners, Stone Rollers, Madtoms, and Dace, but both are far from being confirmed.

However, anyone attempting to do so should be ready to remove the fish quickly if aggression issues come out in the fish tank. Tadpole madtoms were the only fish tested to worked very well with goldfish.

Anyone who tries to keep these catfish should be careful when handling the spines as it contains poison.

Platy Fish

Platies fish come in a wide variety of colors. These types of fish are relatively easy to breed and can give birth to dozens of fingerlings or baby fish at one time.

You won’t have to worry about getting your goldfish aquarium to be occupied with baby fish because the goldfish and the Platies themselves are likely to eat all of them.

So, if you can’t stand to see this occur, you will stop breeding them or keep in mind that the Platies may not be your fish for your aquarium.

However, recommending a tiny livebearer for a goldfish tank may seem unusual; Platy fish are skinny enough to avoid being eaten by large species. These fish are even placid with the goldfish, and they are unlikely to bite one another.

Platies are sweet and small, and these fish are easy to look and care for as Platies can be found in many colors and patterns.

Cory Catfish Or Corydoras

Corydoras are a popular type of catfish that is fairly easy to care for. The good thing about Cory Catfish is that they can dive down the bottom of the tank for food scraps, swallowing them instead of making them spoil, which helps keep the tank clean.

They are very friendly and will not cause any aggravation to your goldfish. The opposite, though, may not necessarily be accurate.

However, there are downsides to including Corydoras together with goldfish in your aquarium. Since your Corydoras live at the bottom of the tank, you may be struggling to feed them as your goldfish may first catch their food.

Corydoras are also a school fish, so you’re going to need space to keep together such a small group. And because Corydoras are approximately 2.5 inches in size, there is a higher chance that goldfish will try to eat them than other smaller species on this list.

Fish You Should Avoid Teaming Up With Your Goldfish

It is also important to consider both the setting where the fish thrives and their personality to realize whether fish can not survive with goldfish.

Goldfish grow at water temperatures between 65ºF to 75ºF, and it removes any tropical fish as a possible tank mate because they have too low a temperature for them to survive.

That being said, by maintaining the temperature somewhere within the middle of the recommended range for both, it might be difficult to try to team up the two fish. This might not be a good idea because it doesn’t give the best living conditions to any fish.

So here are the other fish species that you need to be avoided and what makes them incompatible to mixed with your goldfish.

Other Species Of Corydoras

Reviews have been made that Corydoras are also vulnerable to sucking the goldfish slime coat. These types of fish are quite aggressive on their tank mates, which you should avoid when planning to add fish to your aquarium.

Other Species Of Plecos

Although Rubbernose and Bristlenose Plecos seem to be fine with goldfish, typical plecos may still cause problems. They can take off goldfish to suck their slime coat. This leaves them at high risk of becoming sick.


Cichlids don’t fit well with goldfish because they are hostile predators. Although goldfish are predators, they are not particularly aggressive, and for a more hostile cichlid, they would be easy prey.

Tetra Fish

Tetras not only enjoy warmer temperatures, but they also find it difficult to live with messy goldfish. Keeping the water stable in a goldfish aquarium is not that easy because tetras may have difficulty coping with them.

Betta Or Siamese Fighting Fish

Aside from enjoying a warmer temperature, You can’t deny with its name that Bettas, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are a very hostile species that could strike the goldfish or at least bite their fins and scales.

Molly Fish

Mollies are another tropical species that will not get on with the cooler temperature preferred by a goldfish. They are also very hostile, and the goldfish will most likely be targeted. Also, this will not just result in an injury, and they will harass the goldfish as well.

Other Species Of Goldfish

Standard goldfish, particularly, do not blend well with fancy goldfish. Goldfish are much slower and more vulnerable, particularly fancy ones. They will fail to get enough food, and common species of goldfish might even attack them.

Recommended Quantity Of Fish You Can Have In Your Fish Tank

Once you’ve got an aquarium large enough for your goldfish, you’re most likely to be ready to start adding their buddies to the aquarium.

It is important to take note that there’s a lot of serious health impacts of fish overcrowding. The more species you put in your aquarium, the quicker the quality of the water goes worst.

Fish, moreover, begin to become aggressive and violent when they are overcrowded. This could result in injuries and possible infection with their fellow tank mates.

The quantity of fish you should add to your tank of goldfish depends on the type of fish. The best you can do is spend time researching the fish you will include in your tank to decide how much space they require and how it will affect the environment.


Combining a different group of fish species around your goldfish is not easy, but it can be possibly accomplished when you have careful planning.

In the right environment, a well-designed and organized mix of fish will create a successful aquarium that is fun to watch while inside a room. Just remember, it takes a lot of room for goldfish to survive.

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