6 Common Goldfish Tank Mates + (How And Why To Choose Them)

Goldfish Tank Mates

There are literally hundreds of fish species in this world, but not all of them can be kept in a tank with goldfish. If you are looking for a little friend to keep your goldfish company day-to-day, then here are six great fish that you can keep with goldfish:

  1. Bristlenose Plecos
  2. Platies
  3. White Cloud Minnows
  4. Other Goldfish
  5. Hillstream Loaches
  6. Murray River Rainbow Fish

While it’s important to know which fish will get along with goldfish, what’s even more important is understanding how and why to choose a particular fish species as your goldfish tank mate. With the right information, you can choose fish species you’re confident in, even if they aren’t on this list.

So…

What Makes For Good Goldfish Tank Mates?

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a tank mate for your goldfish. So how can you make sure you’re making the best choice when picking a fish species to be kept with your goldfish? Here are a few essential things to keep in mind:

  • Goldfish like their tank a certain way. The fish you add as a tank mate needs to be compatible with these tank conditions. The most important thing to keep in mind is that goldfish prefer cooler waters, around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Any fish added to this tank must not only be comfortable with this water but should also be able to survive in it.
  • You need to have a big enough tank. Goldfish can be somewhat fussy about their tank size. They like to have a lot of room to themselves, and overcrowding a small area (with even just one extra fish) can cause a lot of fighting and distress. Make sure you have an appropriately sized tank to accommodate multiple fish.
  • They need to get along. This is another crucial factor when picking out a tank mate. The fish need to get along! This means that the fish you add shouldn’t nip at or suck on the goldfish’s scales, while not being so small that the goldfish ends up eating it.
  • Make sure they won’t compete for food. If you have multiple fish and one is stronger than the other, then one fish might miss out its food. So it’s ideal to have fish with different feeding habits, each having a type of food they enjoy best. If you can’t do this, then make sure that there’s plenty of food available so that they won’t be fighting each other for food. For further information on what goldfish eat, refer this guide: What Do Goldfish Eat? What To Feed (And Not Feed) Your Goldfish
  • They should pair together aesthetically. While this isn’t the most important thing when choosing a goldfish tank mate, it’s still something to consider. You have probably spent a lot of time, energy, and money to find decorations that are right for your tank. So you need to find a fish that will complement your goldfish and make your tank even more aesthetically pleasing.

With that said, let’s take a look at the six most common tank mates for your goldfish…

Recommended Further Reading: How To Take Care Of A Goldfish? (Goldfish Care In 3 Simple Steps)

Top 6 Tank Mates For Your Goldfish

Snails and shrimp are always excellent options if you are looking for a simple tank mate for your goldfish. You really can’t go wrong, as they will leave each other alone and each will have a different food course.

But if you’re in search of an actual fish to swim around with your little buddy, then you need to be more careful about the species you select.

So let’s dive into the top 6 choices of tank mates for your goldfish…

1. Bristlenose Plecos

This is almost always going to be a top choice for a goldfish owner. The Bristlenose Plecos is a reasonably calm species of fish and tend to keep to themselves. This means that they won’t bother your goldie or nip at its scales.

Recommended Further Reading: Can Goldfish Regrow Scales? (Here’s The Definitive Answer)

An added bonus to the Bristlenose Plecos is that they will keep your tank far more healthy thanks to their eating habits. They enjoy scavenging algae off rocks, grass, and the tank itself, leaving you with less work to do in the long run.

Keep in mind that you should never pick common plecos. The common species of plecos are known to remove the slimy coating found on goldfish. This coating is crucial for the health and safety of the goldfish, so ensuring that no fish is scavenging off of it is essential.

2. Platies

Platies, also known as the Platy Fish, is an excellent choice for tanking with goldfish. The Platies are easy to handle, don’t fight, and are relatively peaceful fish. You won’t have to worry about this species nipping at your goldies precious scales.

There are some fish owners though who get concerned about Platies. Being a small-sized livebearer, some fish owners think that the goldfish will eat the Platy. However, Platies are a chunkier species that are just big enough to avoid being eaten by the goldfish.

3. White Cloud Minnow

These lovely fish offer a beautiful contrast in color to your goldfish, which is why they are so appealing to fish owners.

But aside from their stark contrast and beauty, the White Cloud Minnow is also fast enough to avoid being eaten by the goldfish, which is a huge plus.

Recommended Further Reading: Do Goldfish Eat Minnows? (And How To Protect Minnows)

4. Goldfish

Why not toss in another goldfish? They like the same water temperature, enjoy the same types of decor (like things to hide in), and aren’t likely to fight. So can you keep many goldfish together?

While adding another goldfish may seem simple, you need to make sure that the goldfish are roughly the same size or else one might eat the others. They are a predatory species, so ensuring there’s plenty of space and food is also crucial.

Also keep in mind that fancy goldfish are not as fast as common goldfish, and shouldn’t be paired together. The fancy goldfish may end up missing out on food because they are simply too slow.

Recommended Further Reading:

5. Hillstream Loach

Also known as the Butterfly Loach, Hillstream Loaches are another great choice for tank mating with goldfish. They have a very calm temperament, and their mouths simply aren’t big enough to suck or nip at the scales.

Hillstream Loaches also have the benefit of being algae eaters, much like the Plecos. The Hillstream Loach will be able to keep your tank clean for an extended period, which means both of your fish will ultimately be happier and healthier while living in harmony.

6. Murray River Rainbow Fish

This exotic, beauteous species of fish is peaceful, making them an excellent mate for your goldfish. The Murray River Rainbow Fish also dazzle in a variety of colors, so it tends to spruce up any tank it is placed in.

This species is a great choice for goldfish tanks because they are big enough to avoid being eaten by the goldfish. They are also peacemakers and won’t harass your goldfish with nips at its scales.

Final Tips and Tricks for Successfully Choosing A Goldfish Tank Mate

  • Make sure that the tank is large enough to accommodate multiple fish.
  • Ensure the tank mate isn’t small enough for fish to collide and get eaten by one another.
  • Provide a space for the fish to hide and have some private time.
  • Have enough food for both fish.
  • More fish means more maintenance, so be ready to clean the tank and water more frequently.
  • Don’t choose to keep a territorial, fighting fish such as a Betta with a goldfish.
  • Some of the tank mates you choose will prefer to be in schools rather than alone, so keep that in mind when choosing your fish.
  • You will likely need to purchase two different sets of food to make both species happy and ensure they get enough to eat.

Many different fish species can live peacefully with a goldfish. Just make sure that they both enjoy the same living conditions, won’t fight, and the tank is large enough to keep them happy and healthy.

Happy fishkeeping!