For beginner and even experienced fishkeeping enthusiasts, goldfish are one of the most popular fresh-water fish to have in an aquarium. They are rich in color and fun to maintain, but they may not be the best goldfish tank mates you’d thought they would be or vice versa.
This why it’s important to understand that as you start building up your fish tank, you will have to make sure their personalities won’t clash with other breeds. In this article, we’re going to look at the best goldfish tank mates so that you can prevent any problems in your aquarium.
Proper Goldfish Tank Conditions
In order to find the best goldfish tank mates, you need to consider the conditions that are already set for your goldfish. You will also need to look for certain fish types that are also compatible with these same fish tank conditions to make it less stressful for everyone.
Goldfish Tank Space
Remember that any new fish you add will need space of their own, so make sure the tank is large enough for each specific breed that you have.
Fish Tank Temperature
Unlike betta fish, goldfish don’t originate from tropical climates. They aren’t comfortable in high-temperature environments, so make sure you keep their tank temperature low.
You’ll need to look for fish that also thrive within these lower temperature ranges. Lower temperatures such as 74 degrees Fahrenheit will not be too high to stress your goldfish but be high enough to encourage a good growth rate.
Goldfish stress out the most when kept in waters above 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fish Mate Size is Important
Goldfish will eat just about anything they can fit their mouths around – and that may include smaller fish. Make sure the tank mate you get is bigger than the biggest your goldfish can potentially get.
Your goldfish is likely not finished growing, so make sure you don’t get a tank mate that will eventually be dwarfed by your goldfish.
5 Best Goldfish Tank Mates
When you consider all the goldfish tank conditions above, you get a summary of what you need to look for in a goldfish tank mate.
Goldfish scales can be damaged easily, so you need a fellow fish that will not do any harm to your goldfish. They need to like similar temperatures and be big enough for your goldfish to not eat them for lunch.
Again, we can’t stress this enough, make sure your goldfish tank mates have enough space together in their tank.
Sounds complicated? It can be.
Tank Mate Risks
Not choosing a proper goldfish tank mate is one of the most common mistakes goldfish keepers can make. In fact, goldfish are so sensitive that some experts even recommend you not mix several goldfish that are different in size.
The most sensitive goldfish, the fancy goldfish, have the poorest vision. Because of this, they tend to move slower than other tank mates, making it harder for them to compete for food and being prone to be bullied as well.
Having a tank full of goldfish that are alike in variety and size is still rewarding. The lionhead goldfish, fantail, and telescope eye goldfish all eat and swim slowly, so they make great tank mates.
Likewise, the fancy goldfish, shubunkin, and comet goldfish are all active and fast. They are predators that can get along in the same environment.
If you’re set on adding different breeds to your fishtank collections, here are our top 5 best goldfish tank mates.
Fellow Schooling Fish
If you have a big enough tank, schooling fish like the Zebra Danios or the White Cloud Mountain Minnow are another type of fish you could add to your goldfish tank.
As they are schooling fish, they live in groups. You’ll want to add at least three, but preferably closer to six – thus the need for the big tank.
If you do go for the Danios or Minnows, make sure your goldfish is also not going to be so big that they end up becoming a snack.
Most plecoes are aggressive; a horrible option for your goldfish. The bristlenose pleco is the exception.
Big enough fish, they’re gentle enough to not damage or mark their fellow tank mate. They also keep algae under control.
Goldfish are sensitive and need specific tank conditions, so a pleco keeping the algae under control is ideal.
Also known as weather loaches, Dojo Loaches are a common tank mate for goldfish. They can grow to be 11 inches long, so they don’t risk being eaten by their goldfish roommate.
They could stress your goldfish, however, so it’s important to keep an eye on the first few weeks of them interacting. While they are a common tank mate, every fish has their own personality.
Some personalities clash no matter how compatible the two fish types are supposed to be. This goes for any fish type with your goldfish.
Your goldfish may just be harder to befriend than other goldfish, so they need a tank mate that will match their needs.
The Axolotl is really only an acceptable tank companion for the more slow-moving goldfish. You must also introduce them at the right time.
Axolotls too big may tear up or even eat your goldfish. Goldfish that are too big could also do harm to the Axolotl.
There is some risk of introducing these two fish types, but possible under the right conditions. It’s important to remember that if you do try to introduce an Axolotl into your goldfish tank, the temperature will need to be no more than 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Axolotls are even more sensitive to temperature than goldfish and can stress so much that they die in temperatures that are too hot for them.
The Giant Danio is a top dweller that’s a perfect balance to many goldfish tanks. They need a temperature between 72- and 75-degrees Fahrenheit.
Goldfish tend to stay towards the bottom of their tank, so the Giant Danio is a great addition. They have a large mouth, so make sure your goldfish is not too much smaller than them.
Also, make sure that you don’t keep White Cloud Mountain minnows or Zebra Danios in the same tank as they will be eaten.
The tank mates we listed as recommendations are still only second to other goldfish. Filling a tank with only fellow goldfish keeps them at their healthiest.
They can thrive in an environment that isn’t aggressive among fish that are just like them. Other fish can make the cut, but they don’t hold up to how well a school of goldfish can brighten up an at-home aquarium.
Also, consider only getting goldfish in their own school together. If you do want some other fish companions for them, try to introduce one of the varieties we mention above.
Whether you decide to diversify your aquarium with different varieties or just keep a school of goldfish, we hope this guide gave you the information you were looking for.
In the end, the health of your goldfish and their ability to live a long, healthy, and happy life is what matters most. Finding a tank companion that needs the same tank conditions will only give your goldfish company to help them grow larger and faster.