Most fish hobbyists pay attention to the food and habitat needs of their goldfish. However, not everyone thinks about whether their goldfish will be fine if kept alone. If you are unsure whether you should get your goldfish a companion, let us help you. So, can goldfish live alone?
Yes, goldfish can live alone. Even when they are kept alone, they live a long and healthy life if they get good nutrition and a clean environment. However, it’s a good idea to keep goldfish with other fish. They will benefit from the interaction and companionship and will live happier lives.
To evaluate when and how to keep goldfish with other tank mates, let us explore the characteristic traits and needs of this creature in closer detail.
Do Single Goldfish Get Lonely?
Goldfish are peaceful, community fish. Although they are not schooling fish, they enjoy the company of other fish.
When kept in groups, these fish continuously interact with each other.
So, goldfish benefit from companionship and can be kept in pairs or groups.
However, goldfish can do just fine on their own.
A single goldfish will perform the same activities every day without displaying signs of loneliness.
Keeping it alone will also not affect its lifespan or health. Some of the longest-living goldfish in captivity have been raised alone.
So, you do not have to get a second fish just to keep your goldfish company.
Now, if you decide to get another fish, make sure to consider all the factors that affect the well-being of either fish.
Recommended Further Reading:
- How To Take Care Of A Goldfish? (Goldfish Care In 3 Simple Steps)
- 6 Common Goldfish Tank Mates + (How And Why To Choose Them)
Factors To Consider When Keeping Other Fish With Goldfish
Given below are the various factors that you should consider while keeping your goldfish with other fish.
The habitat needs of a fish will depend on the type of species and where it originates from.
Tropical fish do best in temperatures above 75°F, while cold water fish need lower temperatures of 70°F or less.
In the wild, fish can move to a more comfortable microenvironment if there is any change in temperature or water condition.
However, this is not possible in a small aquarium.
So, you should maintain consistent and correct temperature conditions for your goldfish to survive and grow.
When adding other fish to your goldfish tank, choose species with similar temperature needs.
Common varieties of goldfish need temperatures between 60°F and 70°F while the fancy varieties prefer 68°F to 74°F.
Related Further Reading:
- How Do Goldfish Adapt To Their Environment? (Wild + Captivity)
- Can Goldfish Live In Dirty Water? (Some Interesting Facts)
Your fish may have originated in a pond, stream, river, lake, or ocean.
The pH level of each of these water bodies is different. So, no single pH applies to all fish by default.
Nonetheless, it is an important parameter. Fish that are young or ill are susceptible to pH changes.
Additionally, breeding occurs only at a specific pH in some fish.
Goldfish thrive in water with pH levels between 7.4 and 8.
Find fish with similar pH level requirements to keep with your goldfish.
An easy way to determine this is to check whether the fish originated in similar habitats.
- Can Goldfish Live In Ponds? How To Setup The Pond For Goldfish?
- What Do Goldfish Eat In A Pond? What To Feed Them In Ponds?
- Can Goldfish Live In Well Water? (Yes and No, Here’s Why)
Fish with similar personalities are generally compatible.
If their dispositions are drastically different, it will disrupt the harmony of the aquarium.
When a timid species is mixed with an aggressive type of fish, the active fish is likely to bully the quieter ones.
The fish which gets chased and attacked will be under constant stress. It will be unhappy and fail to thrive.
Mixing fish with different behavior patterns can also lead to territorial disputes and competition for food.
Similarly, fast-swimming fish can annoy slow swimmers.
Goldfish do not usually attack or chase other fish.
However, they may display aggressive behavior traits when threatened with a lack of space or food.
However, the exact behavior traits will also depend on the specific species of fish.
Related Further Reading:
- Do Goldfish Eat Other Fish? (Why And When They Attack Other Fish)
- Do Goldfish Eat Each Other? And How To Keep Them Together?
The ideal goldfish diet may not be suitable for other types of fish. It can become a problem in a community tank.
Some fish are aggressive at feeding time and tend to gobble up the food meant for other fish.
In such a situation, it is a challenge to ensure that all the fish receive enough food.
The solution is to keep fish with similar feeding needs together and offer all of them enough food.
It will eliminate competition. Additionally, you can also use the same type of food for all the fish.
Related Further Reading:
- What Do Goldfish Eat In The Wild? (Typical And Ideal Goldfish Diet)
- Can Goldfish Eat Bread? (Why It’s Bad And What To Feed Instead)
- Can Goldfish Eat Chocolate? Is It Really Safe and Healthy?
Size Of The Fish
Fewer problems are likely when all the fish in an aquarium are of similar size.
One of the biggest problems with goldfish is that they will eat small fish, including its offspring.
So, it is unwise to keep goldfish with smaller fish. Goldfish will also feed on fish fry and eggs.
So, it is a threat to other inmates of the tank and their offspring.
Remember that the fish you bring home from a pet store will not be fully grown.
Make sure that their size will be similar when they achieve full growth to ensure compatibility.
You will need a bigger tank when you have more than one fish.
Since each fish will need a lot of water to swim, a big aquarium is always the better choice.
Overcrowding will restrict freedom and limit the growth of your fish.
So, avoid adding more fish that the tank can comfortably accommodate.
Another factor to consider is that goldfish are very messy. Their waste causes the ammonia levels in the tank to rise.
You will have to frequently change the water or invest in a filter to ensure that the water quality is maintained.
When keeping more than just one goldfish, you will have to clean the tank more often or use a strong filter.
Goldfish grow considerably big. It needs a big space to swim comfortably.
Additionally, the growth of a goldfish is restricted by the size of its enclosure.
Make sure that the tank has enough space to accommodate as many fish as you decide to keep.
Interesting Further Reading:
- What Do Goldfish Eat? What To Feed (And Not Feed) Your Goldfish
- Can Goldfish Bite? [Actual Facts You Should Know]
- Can Goldfish Live Together? [Tank Requirements And Maintenance]
Can a goldfish be moved from a tank to a pond? A pond is an ideal habitat for goldfish. It provides enough space for the fish to grow to its full potential. Since it closely resembles the natural environment of a goldfish in the wild, the fish will survive and even thrive in it. However, you must assess the suitability of this habitat before transferring your goldfish into it. The pond should have a large surface area. It should not freeze in winter. You will also have to prepare your fish to ease the transition. For this, make the water parameters of their tank like that of the pond and give the fish time to adjust to it before moving it to the pond.
Is it fine to keep two goldfish together in an aquarium? You can keep two goldfish in the same aquarium if it has enough space to accommodate both the fish. The two goldfish should also be compatible with each other. When mixing fancy goldfish with common varieties, the fancy fish may not get enough food as they are slower and less aggressive than the smaller varieties. The enclosure should be able to hold at least 40 gallons of water. Since goldfish can grow quite large and they are messy fish, you must either use a filter or continuously cycle the water to keep it clean.