8 Goldfish Tank Mates

Goldfish Tank Mates
Goldfish, photo by Genista

Goldfish keepers often ask: which fish make great goldfish tank mates? So we decided to make a little guide to help all the goldfish keepers out there. A single goldfish in a tank is kind of boring . Knowing which fish you can and can not put with goldfish will help you bring your fish tank to life.


One thing to remember about goldfish is that they are cold water fish, requiring a steady water temperature of about 65 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, goldfish are not compatible with any true tropical fish, which need warm water temperatures.


Below are a few Goldfish tank mates that can possibly be housed together with your Goldfish. Of course, always use caution when mixing fish. If you see any aggression being done, simply separate the fish.

Apple Snail

The most common snail being sold in pet stores today is the apple snail. Apple snails can be put into a Goldfish’s tank with no problem due to its large hard shell. The Goldfish can’t possibly harm the snail and the snail can’t harm the goldfish, so you won’t have to worry about fights. If housing an apple snail is in mind, just know that they can get up to the size of a softball.

Ghost Shrimp and Red Cherry Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp stay very small and are usually sold as food for other fish, but can be a great addition to your Goldfish’s tank. They won’t harm your Goldfish in any way.


Red cherry shrimp are another awesome type of shrimp tank mate for Goldfish because they can help do two things. Serve as food when the Goldfish is hungry (sometimes) and serve as algae eaters. They help clean the algae that may be forming in your Goldfish’s tank daily by eating it. But be careful on how many red cherry shrimp you buy. They breed quite well so make sure they don’t overcrowd the tank.


If you are going to house any type of shrimp with your goldfish, put some caves and ornaments your shrimp can hide and retreat to, because the odds of your goldfish trying to eat them is about 99%. But with hides and ornaments, they will usually survive quite a while.

Feeder Fish

Feeder fish can make good tank mates for Goldfish as they are very calm fish. Although they are not the prettiest fish and are mostly sold for food, they will still make a good addition to the fish tank.


Plecos make good tank mates for Goldfish because of their calmness. Most plecos spend their days eating algae on rocks and glass, not bothering anybody. I personally have 2 plecos with my 1 Goldfish with no problem. I have read that common plecos can sometimes cause goldfish problems by sucking the slime coat off of them, so be cautious when choosing plecos. Some good pleco choices include the Rubbernose and Bristlenose Plecos.

Rosy Barbs

Rosy barbs make great tank mates for goldfish and can add some great activity throughout your tank. They grow to be about 4-6 inches, so you won’t have to worry about them getting eaten. They prefer water temperatures to be about 65 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow

The white cloud mountain minnow fish is another type of cold water fish that is suitable for a goldfish tank mate. The temperatures may range anywhere between 45 – 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They do best in groups of at least 5, so make sure to get a few of them.

Weather Loach

Weather Loaches, also known as Dojo loaches, make great companions for goldfish, as they are coldwater fish themselves. Weather loaches do not swim much, but love to burrow into the substrate, so you will want to make sure you get a very fine gravel or sand substrate. Weather loaches do best in groups of at least 3, so make sure to get a few of them.

Zebra Danio

The zebra danio is a tropical fish exception, as zebra danios require temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Zebra Danios do best in groups of 6 or more.

A Guide in Choosing Goldfish Tank Mates

  • No nibblers – do not get any fish that will nibble at your Goldfish. This will cause stress and sometimes fights.
  • No small fish – It is known that some Goldfish will eat smaller fish (less than 2 inches).
  • Tank size – If you are getting tank mates for your Goldfish, make sure you have the room for all the fish to have their space.
  • Bottom Feeders – Many bottom feeders are fish that can live well with Goldfish. (Plecos & Loaches)
  • Diet & Water Requirements – Make sure to choose only fish that require the same diet and water conditions as your Goldfish.

Be cautious when dealing with fantail (fancy) goldfish. The fancy goldfish is a very delicate goldfish and is much slower than other goldfish. The slowness can deprive the fancy goldfish of food and can be a serious problem which may even lead to death. Another problem is their tail. Fancy goldfish have a very nice, long, and pretty tail which can be problematic for fish that like to nip at tails. The nipping can injure your fancy goldfish’s tail, so be cautious when choosing their tank mates.


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