Figuring out which fish can live with goldfish is not very tricky. Goldfish are friendly and easygoing, so they can be tank mates with many aquatic creatures. However, they generally prefer peaceful friends to live in harmony. In this list of the 10 best goldfish tank mates, you’ll find options that are most similar in size to goldfish. This is to avoid your goldfish getting eaten or bullied. It also helps to prevent goldfish from bullying smaller tank mates that have been included.
What Fish Can Live With Goldfish
In a community tank, you can create one of the most visually stunning environments depending on the fish species you put together. Goldfish are pretty peaceful and co-habitable well. Certain traits will help you determine if certain fish species can be in the same tank as your goldfish.
Fish With Peaceful Temperament
Compared to goldfish, there aren’t a lot of aquarium fish that can be described as genuinely peaceful. Still, some manage to be more understanding than others. With goldfish, there are tendencies to eat smaller fish, but aggression isn’t something they usually turn towards.
Plus, they are not very good at defending themselves against pushy fish. So if you add a tank mate, it makes sense to avoid territorial species known to cause stress with other fish.
Goldfish enjoy swimming around the entire tank, and their pace is relatively slow, so they may be unable to outrun bullies. Unfortunately, this could lead to your goldfish being attacked and having to deal with injuries.
Your tank has to be comfortable. If there’s one thing that you’ve repeatedly seen in your journey to be the best aquarium owner, this has to be the most common one. Tank temperature can make or break the health of your fish. Goldfish are one of the types of aquarium fish that prefer relatively lower temperatures. Due to this, you need to find tank mates that also thrive in temperatures that sit at 68 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit.
Choosing tank mates might take some consideration. You’ll find that most aquarium fish are tropical fish that require higher temperatures. Keep their requirements in mind when selecting a tank mate.
Best Tank Mates For Goldfish
1. Rosy Barbs
A peaceful freshwater fish that matches the aesthetic of goldfish, rosy barbs are an excellent choice for your tank. These fish species are the schooling type, meaning they prefer to live in groups. If you’re adding them to your tank, include about five. Like with most fish, it’s best if the females are more than the males.
They are pretty hardy, so you won’t need to constantly check on them or watch out for specific behaviors. It’s easy to keep them happy with their broad dietary preferences. You can feed them frozen foods like bloodworms and shrimp, and you can also feed them pellets from your local aquarium shop. Their chemistry with goldfish is honestly incredible. Be sure to use a large tank to house them and your goldfish.
2. Banded Corydoras
A South American catfish and one of our top picks among the 10 best goldfish tank mates. The banded corydoras is excellent for a large community tank. They are social creatures capable of forming bonds with tank mates and other fish species.
Banded corydoras also have a unique look, showing off sloped foreheads and a mouth that looks similar to barbels. It is unsightly to some aquarium owners, but most find it charming. This large mouth also serves a great purpose for your tank. They can use their mouths to get rid of algae buildup and other substances around a tank. They are super peaceful and a good match for goldfish. With these guys around, you’ll never have a dull moment in your tank.
3. Zebra Danios
A swift fish with a simple look, zebra danios get their name from the zebra-like stripes that are on their bodies. These stripes tend to appear in blue and yellow. It’s a fantastic and unmistakable design. Among goldfish, zebra danios are some of the most playful tank mates you’ll ever see. They enjoy swimming and interacting with other fish under different conditions.
They are fast swimmers, so you’ll be best suited to pair them with breeds of goldfish like the comet goldfish.
They enjoy swimming around in groups of 5, so you’re bound to enjoy seeing them move around in sync. Zebra danios tend to avoid confrontation with tank mates, and even if a conflict is brewing, they are fast enough to evade attacks and escalate a situation. With similar diets and tank conditions, it’s safe to say that these are among the 10 best goldfish tank mates.
4. White Cloud Mountain Minnows
If there’s a type of fish that looks mellow but has a childlike behavior, like on a sugar rush, this has to be the pick. White Cloud Mountain minnows are some of the most active fish species, and watching them move around is a treat. However, they have a peaceful temperament, so it’s not like all their movement is due to aggression.
Living with your goldfish, there’s bound to be a lively atmosphere among all the fish. This small fish is a gem, and the looks are also pleasing to observe. It has a bright red fin and an iridescent stripe that goes across its body from its tail to the nose.
They swim faster than goldfish, which is also good for survival as they will always avoid being eaten. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how easily Goldfish and White Cloud Mountain minnows get along in a communal tank. These two fish species both prefer to avoid conflict.
5. Mystery Snails
This article mainly covers what fish can live with goldfish, but we also can’t afford to let you miss out on one of the best non-fish tank mates for your goldies. A mystery snail can be that special something your tank needs to thrive. These tiny snails are some of the most adaptive creatures, meaning their tank care requirements are not demanding. They also come in a wide range of colors. You’ll find albino, golden, brown, and black mystery snails.
The best part about having mystery snails in your tank is their ability to eliminate algae buildup. These natural waste cleaners will ensure that your tank is habitable by getting rid of biological waste from food leftovers. If your goldfish get curious, the mystery snails can always retract back into their shells to avoid confrontation. It’s a win-win.
6. Hoplo Catfish
Yet another type of fish that matches the needs of goldfish. The hoplo catfish certainly has a unique look among the many types of aquarium fish that exist. Some may find them intimidating, but they are quite charming and, most importantly, peaceful. You won’t find hoplos swimming around and causing mayhem within your tank. Instead, they stick to themselves and are relatively shy.
If you want them to be more active, keeping a group of 5 in the tank is best. They also feed during the daytime, so you can get a good daily dose of their presence. Most times, they tend to hang out underneath foliage and plants. Among the 10 best goldfish tank mates, hoplo catfish are a pleasant pick. At 6 inches, your goldfish will pose no threat to their behavior or activities.
7. Cherry Shrimp
If you’re not looking to add some new fish to the tank, consider adding some cherry shrimp instead. These tank creatures tend to hang around the bottom of a tank, scavenging for bits and pieces of food that they can find. Spotting them is also super easy, so they can always be in your sights. The vibrant red adds some depth to the colors in your tank.
Goldfish can sometimes show interest in eating cherry shrimp, but most times, this can be avoided. If you’re able to provide multiple hiding spots for your shrimp, they will be fine. Use foliage like plants and shrubbery and keep stones around. Shrimp can scurry around quickly, so with solid hiding spots, your goldfish wouldn’t stand a chance at eating them. Shrimp tend to reproduce quickly, so it wouldn’t be too much of a problem if your goldfish eat a few of them once in a while.
8. Bristlenose Pleco
A freshwater fish and an effective algae cleaner, these unique creatures are capable of living in peace with your goldfish. They tend to grow quite big, so your goldfish won’t be nibbling at them. Usually, bristlenoses are not aggressive in an aquarium. However, they can get quite confrontational if a difficult situation arises.
One thing that can get them angry is when the tank is overcrowded. The stress is usually overwhelming, causing the bristlenoses to attack or lash out at tank mates.
You can’t go wrong with these if you want a species that can completely prevent an algae problem. They are helpful with removing algae buildup around your tank. In addition, occasionally sinking some algae pellets can work as a food source, preventing them from competing with your goldfish for food.
9. Hillstream Loach
The Hillstream loach is a type of fish that sports a distinct look. Their patterns are striking, almost giving them the appearance of a toad or tiny stingray. They are usually the type to keep to themselves, staying out of the way of your goldfish.
You’ll find your loach hanging onto the glass in your tank and scavenging for scraps of food that can be found. If not hanging onto the glass, you’ll usually find them at the bottom of a tank.
Similar to goldfish, they can endure cool temperatures easily. They tend to evade any goldfish that show up in their way, so you won’t notice any conflicts among the tank mates. This is one of the most appealing species among the 10 best goldfish tank mates as they are very attractive creatures.
10. Dojo Loach
The biggest fish species on this list, the dojo loach, has a slim and long body, but it doesn’t really get in the way of any tank mates. This is thanks to their preference for the bottom of a tank. So you’ll likely find your dojo loach population lounging around, being peaceful, and burrowing in the sand.
At night, dojo loaches prefer to search for food and become active. You should keep up to 3 of these in your tank as a way to create company apart from the goldfish. Plus, your dojo loaches can do a great job of keeping your tank’s substrate free from any spoiled food at the bottom. The barbels on its face act as a tracker at the bottom. They definitely require a bigger tank, so if you want your large tank to feel occupied, these are the right fish to get.
Figuring out what fish can live with goldfish is not a complex process. Once you’re aware of your tank size, needs, and preferences, it’s possible to find a type of fish that matches your requirements. In this list, we’ve compiled the 10 best goldfish tank mates that can be kept in an aquarium. Some of these suggestions aren’t even fish at all. Caring for goldfish can be a relaxed affair with different types of tank mates.
Remember to closely observe all the fish in your tank and ensure that they are able to coexist peacefully. After a week or two, you’ll be able to determine if you’ve got the perfect fit based on their behavior.