6 Types of Fish Compatible with Goldfish

Fish Compatible With Goldfish

Taking care of a goldfish is easy, but finding a suitable tank mate for them takes a little more effort.

Though goldfish are resilient, that doesn’t mean you can simply just throw in any type of fish in their tank. Otherwise, the life and well-being of your goldfish might be put at risk.

For example, adding the betta – an aggressive, warm water fish – to your goldfish’s home is a terrible idea due to their incompatible temperaments and living conditions.

So when finding a tank mate for your goldfish, it’s important to choose the one that prefers the same tank conditions, has a gentle temperament, and meets several other requirements so as to ensure the health and safety of everyone in the aquarium.

Here’s a list of the best tank mates for goldfish:

1. Other Goldfish: Common, Comet, Shubunkin, etc.

Shubunkin
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Max size: 4 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water temperature: 65-72° F
  • Water pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Aquarium hardiness: Very hardy
  • Min tank size: 15 gallons

There are many different types of goldfish breeds. These include, but are not limited to, the common goldfish, comet, shubunkin, ryukin, ranchu, telescope eye, and celestial eye goldfish.

Though goldfish generally have no trouble getting along with their own kind, putting widely varying breeds in a single tank is not a good idea. For this reason, it’s crucial to find breeds that are a good fit for each other.

For instance, slim-bodied varieties, such as the common goldfish, comet and shubunkin goldfish, are known for being fast and strong, and putting them in a tank together with fancy breeds that are slow swimmers and eaters like the lionhead, fantail and telescope eye goldfish will cause the latter group to struggle competing for food and eventually suffer from malnutrition.

Aside from that, large goldfish species are predators and tend to eat smaller goldfish breeds. And if ever the bigger one doesn’t eat the smaller one, the one with the size advantage obviously has the upper hand whenever it’s feeding time. So as much as possible, refrain from mixing large and small goldfish in a single tank. Their size should be roughly the same to ensure order in the tank.

2. White Cloud Mountain Minnow

White Cloud Minnow
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Max size: 1 ½ inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful and sociable
  • Water temperature: 64-79° F
  • Water pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Aquarium hardiness: Very hardy
  • Min tank size: 10 gallons

Beautiful, inexpensive, peaceful, and easy to care for - white cloud mountain minnows are an excellent beginner fish that make a great companion for goldfish. But these qualities aren’t the only reasons why the white cloud mountain winnow is a suitable tank mate for our goldfish.

These peace-loving creatures are also cold water fish themselves, so they thrive well in the same environment as goldfish. Their capability to live in lower water temperatures is one of the primary reasons why minnows are great goldfish tank mates.

Aside from that, the white cloud mountain minnow is a cool and calm fish that doesn’t like the idea of competing for food, so it would rather wait for the leftovers than fight with its tank mates. This means that your goldfish are never at risk of starving or being underfed when they have white cloud mountain minnows as their companion.

In order for white cloud mountain minnows to do well in a goldfish community tank, you’ll need to get at least 5 or 6 minnows. The minnow is a schooling fish that doesn’t do well on their own, so it helps to increase the size of their school.

3. Weather Loaches

Weather Loaches
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Max size: 12 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water temperature: 40-77° F
  • Water pH: 6.0-8.0
  • Aquarium hardiness: Hardy
  • Min tank size: 20 gallons

Weather loaches, also known as pond loaches or oriental weather loaches, is a fish widely known for its interesting behavior, which scientists often leverage to predict weather changes and even natural disasters. This meteorologically gifted fish is also a cold water species that has no problem living in the same environment as goldfish.

The weather loach has a peaceful temperament and is quite easy to care for, which makes it an excellent tank mate for the peace-loving goldfish, and a good starting pet for beginner fish owners. And like every other social fish, weather loaches prefer to be in the company of their own kind, and should be kept groups of at least 3 or more.

Weather loaches have an elongated body that can grow up to 12 inches, so it’s essential to get a bigger tank that has enough space to house them and your goldfish. Plus, the favorite pastime of weather loaches is burrowing, so the provision of sand or fine grain gravel substrate is recommended to keep them happy and away from stress.

4. Zebra Danios

Zebra Danios
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Max size: 2 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water temperature: 64-74° F
  • Water pH: 6.5-7.0
  • Aquarium hardiness: Very hardy
  • Min tank size: 10 gallons

The zebra danios, or the zebra fish, is a popular aquarium fish whose preference for relatively low temperatures makes them a good tank mate for regular goldfish. But remember that the temperatures shouldn’t be kept too low. Otherwise, the fish’s health will suffer and become more vulnerable to disease.

Like every other fish in this list, the peaceful temperament of the zebra danios is among the main reasons why it’s an excellent companion for goldfish. And even though goldfish tend to eat smaller fish when hungry, that’s not a problem at all because the fast-moving zebra danios are active swimmers who are quick enough to outswim its larger tank mates whenever feeding time is a bit late.

While the zebra danios is a good tank mate for regular goldfish such as the comet, shubunkin, and the common goldfish, they are not compatible with fancy goldfish breeds. Because zebra danios are incredibly fast swimmers, there’s a high chance that they’ll get the lion’s share of the food when competing against the slower fancy goldfish during feeding time. Also, the zebra danios thrives in schools and must be kept in groups of at least five or more of their own kind.

5. Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose Pleco
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Max size: 5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful and sociable
  • Water temperature: 73-81° F
  • Water pH: 5.8-7.8
  • Aquarium hardiness: Very hardy
  • Min tank size: 40 gallons

Originating in the rapid-flowing waters of the Amazon River Basin, the bristlenose pleco is a small catfish whose calm and peaceful temperament makes it one of the best goldfish companions out there. They are also quite sociable and will get along well with their tank mates of similar temperament.

One of the best things about bristlenose plecos is that they are herbivores who spend part of its time foraging through the aquarium for algae and other dead organic materials. As a result, your tank will be much cleaner and your aquarium maintenance requirements will be slightly reduced. But even with their eating habits, you should still feed them once or twice a day with spirulina wafers, bloodworms, granules, or more algae to ensure they are well fed.

Another reason why the bristlenose pleco is a great companion for your gold fish is that it has no trouble adapting to widely varying tank conditions, allowing you to tailor the environment based on the needs of your goldfish.

The only issue with this fish is that it tends to get extremely territorial when housed with another male, so as much as possible you need to refrain from putting two males together in a single tank. 

6. Rosy Barbs

Rosy Barbs
  • Experience level: Beginner
  • Max size: 6 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Water temperature: 64-72° F
  • Water pH: 6.5
  • Aquarium hardiness: Hardy
  • Min tank size: 30 gallons

This list about fish that can live with goldfish wouldn’t be complete without the rosy barb. Characterized by their peaceful temperament, vivid colors and torpedo-shaped bodies, rosy barbs are a good community fish companion that have no trouble getting along with goldfish. In fact, rosy barbs generally mind their own business and will leave your goldfish alone, given that their social needs are satisfied. 

The rosy barb is a schooling fish, which means that it requires the presence of fellow rosy barbs in the tank in order for it to thrive. To keep rosy barbs from being stressed and disturbing your goldfish, your tank should house at least five rosy barbs or more.

In addition, rosy barbs are hardy fish that enjoy cooler water and can adapt to different types of water conditions, making them a good tank mate for goldfish.

Requirements to Choose Fish Compatible with Goldfish

Requirements to Choose Fish Compatible with Goldfish​

Though it’s a tricky process, finding the best tank mate for your goldfish is doable as long as you do your own research. And since you stumbled upon this article, it means that you’re going in the right direction.

Just like every other living being, goldfish have specific needs that must be fulfilled for them to thrive and live healthy lives. When these needs aren’t met, the goldfish might suffer and eventually die.

Let’s discuss these requirements so you know what to look for:

  • Goldfish are cold water species who thrive in low temperature environments. This means that you also need to find other fish who likes similar temperatures in order for everyone in the aquarium to live happily and comfortably.
  • Goldfish are prone to stress in overcrowded tanks, so they must be kept in a tank that has enough space to accommodate their and their tank mates’ max size. Remember that slim-bodied goldfish are bigger than their fancy breed counterparts, so make sure to factor in their size when selecting a tank.
  • Goldfish love to eat and will try to devour fish that are smaller than them. That is why you should try to avoid mixing larger goldfish varieties with smaller fancy breeds or other smaller fish species in a single tank (unless they are fast enough to outswim the goldfish, or large enough to avoid being eaten). Similarly, you need to avoid mixing faster goldfish and other fish with fancy breeds (who are slow swimmers) in order to avoid underfeeding (unless it’s a zebra danios).
  • Goldfish are non-aggressive creatures who are all about peace and minding their own business. For this reason, you should avoid mixing goldfish with aggressive types of fish, such as bettas, cichlids, and tetras. Otherwise, the aquarium will either be too stressful or dangerous for your goldfish to live in.

Conclusion

If you want the best for your goldfish, then you need to provide it with everything that it needs. These include anything from tank mates with similar temperaments and water requirements, to an aquarium with enough space to accommodate everyone.

Keep in mind that goldfish are social animals that have social needs, and this particular need can be satisfied by providing them with the right kind of companions. You can use all of the information in this article to help you make a well-informed decision with regards to your goldfish’s future tank mates.