Last Updated: March 22, 2023 by Flora Gibbins
Can Guppies and goldfish live in the same tank? This question has raised numerous debates and discussions among many aquarists.
But can they? Honestly, it depends. On what exactly?
This guide explains why goldfish and guppies can and cannot live together. Once you are done reading, you can decide whether to keep these two colorful fish in your tank.
- Can Guppies and Goldfish Live Together?
- Reasons Why Guppies and Goldfish Can Live Together
- Reasons Why Guppies and Goldfish Should Not Live Together
- Tips for Keeping Guppy Fish and Goldfish in the Same Tank
- How Many Guppies Should You Keep with Goldfish?
Can Guppies and Goldfish Live Together?
Yes. Guppies and goldfish can live together if you meet certain conditions. Guppies and goldfish share several similarities. For instance:
- Both fish are omnivores.
- Guppies and goldfish have undergone selective breeding to improve their aesthetics.
- Both guppies and goldfish are freshwater fish.
Here are reasons why goldfish and guppies are compatible tank mates.
Reasons Why Guppies and Goldfish Can Live Together
Reasons, why guppies and goldfish can live together, include:
Their calm nature makes it easy to live together since none of them will bother the other fish.
Overlapping Water Conditions
In addition, you can create balance for the two fish to coexist since their preferred water temperatures overlap. Goldfish, also known as pond fish, thrive in cool to temperate conditions. These cold-water fish enjoy cooler waters, between 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
On the other hand, guppies live in temperate to tropical water. The ideal water temperature for these tropical fish in their natural habitat is 74 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
With this in mind, you can set the ideal water temperature between 72 and 74 degrees F, so both species live happily. Remember that this range is too warm for goldfish and too cool for guppy fish.
Goldfish and guppies enjoy eating pests. They will happily eat mosquito larvae, hydra, Ramshorn snails, and bladder.
Moreover, guppies help clean up the fish tank by eating algae and biofilm.
There is no denying that guppies are colorful fish. Breeders selectively breed guppies to create unique colors and patterns. Like guppies, goldfish also have impeccable colors.
Keeping these fish species in the same aquarium will improve a home’s or office’s décor. Moreover, watching these graceful fish swim is calming and mesmerizing.
Check out this video of guppies and goldfish living together:
Reasons Why Guppies and Goldfish Should Not Live Together
As great as these fish are, it is not advisable to keep them in the same tank. Why? Keep reading.
Aggressive Male Guppies
Guppies, especially male guppies, get aggressive on rare occasions. If you house more male guppies than females, the males will constantly fight to establish dominance and mating rights. To prevent this, we recommend keeping one male guppy with three females. Doing so will reduce aggression and prevent the male from stressing the goldfish and female guppies.
Guppies are fin nippers who live in groups to thrive. If you paid attention to how they interact with their kind, you would note that they are constantly chasing each other. The males, in particular, enjoy bugging other tank mates.
However, goldfish do not live in crowds but are comfortable living with other goldfish.
The guppies may harass the goldfish by nipping at their relatively long fins.
Constant fin nipping can harm and stress goldfish, making them sick. This, in turn, can drastically reduce the goldfish’s lifespan.
But you can correct this by housing the two species in separate tanks. Alternatively, get a bigger tank to increase their living space. But again, the two species will still cross paths one way or the other.
Even though they are generally peaceful fish, the size of the goldfish determines whether both species will live happily.
The law of nature dictates that bigger fish eat small fish. Although you will buy a small goldfish from the pet store, it will get bigger with time.
Adult guppies are generally 2 inches long. Meanwhile, small fancy gold fish grow to 6 inches while other common goldfish grow to 12 inches long.
There is no denying that one day, your big goldfish will view your smaller guppies as tasty snacks and devour them. If the guppies fit into your goldfish’s mouth, they will become a meal.
Goldfish are indeed greedy eaters. They will eat anything and everything you add to the tank. Most goldfish have no problem pushing other peaceful species in the tank aside during meal time.
So, when you keep guppies and goldfish in the same aquarium, the reality is these greedy eaters will eat guppies’ food. This will mean not all the guppies will consume enough food.
Goldfish are social aquatic creatures who prefer to live with their own kind. A fancy goldfish will be happier living with other fancy goldfish, while a pond goldfish will prefer other pond goldfish.
To make your goldfish happy, have them share a tank with other goldfish and not guppies.
Fun Fact: It’s risky pairing a goldfish with guppies! What about with mollies? Quench your curiosity by reading our post — Mollies And Guppies: Are They Happy Together In One Tank?
Different Water Parameters
It is true you can create a perfect balance of the water temperature. But what happens if the temperature gets too cold or too warm? Guppies will get stressed if the water gets too cold. The goldfish will also not feel comfortable if the temperatures get warm.
Guppies are tropical fish who enjoy living in warm water at 74 and 82 degrees F. On the other hand, goldfish are happier when in cold water with temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees F.
Goldfish have no trouble living in warm water, especially during summer. However, they can get stressed, fall sick, and have a weakened immune system if they have to live in warm water all year round.
On the other hand, guppies cannot tolerate cold water. When the temperatures drop below 70, these fish experience decreased appetite, decreased activity, stress, and become more prone to infections. Keeping guppies and goldfish together may mean reduced lifespan for both fish because their ideal water temperatures are quite different.
Moreover, goldfish prefer acidic water, but guppies thrive in alkaline water. If you forget to make water changes, the acidic water will stress your guppies. Experts recommend you maintain the pH levels at 7. This is because, even though your goldfish will be fine living in these conditions, sharing living conditions with sick guppies will make them ill.
Risk of Diseases
More than often, guppies fall sick from living in a goldfish tank. The goldfish’s greedy nature often results in underfed guppies. When guppies do not consume a balanced diet, their immune system can become weak and contract other infections.
Tips for Keeping Guppy Fish and Goldfish in the Same Tank
If you are sure you want guppies and goldfish in your tank, follow the following tips to create a peaceful aquarium.
1. Practice Regular Tank Maintenance
You must maintain the ideal water parameters for both guppies and goldfish. Goldfish have a high bioload, which, if not checked, can spike the ammonia levels. Therefore, always perform regular water changes. Additionally, get a good filtration system to clean the fish waste.
2. Invest in a Bigger Aquarium
A larger fish tank will accommodate goldfish and guppies better than a small one. Both species will have more space to move around. Moreover, water conditions are more stable in a larger tank.
3. Set Correct Tank Temperature
The guppy-gold fish tank will only work if the water temperature is balanced for both fishes. Guppies live in warmer water, while goldfish live in colder water in their natural habitat. Since both species live in different water conditions, you must find the perfect water temperature that suits them.
4. Opt for Fancy Goldfish
Guppies are relatively faster-moving than goldfish. But to maximize their survival rate, we recommend housing them with a fancy gold fish instead of a common goldfish. Fancy goldfish are slower and less likely to keep up with a guppy or guppy fry.
5. Add Hiding Spots
Also, include aquarium decoration to provide cover for your smaller fish. Guppies will hide in the provided plants, caves, or rocks when under threat.
6. Protect the Guppy Fry
There is a reason why guppies are called million fish. They breed fast and easily. A female guppy can give birth to over 50 live guppy fry in a month. Besides, it only takes three months for a female to reach sexual maturity.
However, you have to protect the guppy fry from their mother and the goldfish. Failure to do so will only see these little ones become high-protein snacks. We recommend removing the pregnant female from the community tank to save the fry by using a breeding box or setting up a separate tank.
How Many Guppies Should You Keep with Goldfish?
With this in mind, we recommend a minimum 20-gallon tank size for one goldfish and three guppies. If you are looking to raise multiple goldfish, get a bigger tank.
Fun Fact: Is it possible for a goldfish to thrive with a betta fish inside one tank? Read this article, Betta Vs Goldfish: Comparison Of Two Popular Aquatic Fishes and find out!
Can goldfish and guppies share a tank? Yes. However, there are several factors to keep in mind, including temperament, goldfish size, and tank water conditions. This is because goldfish and guppy fish live in different water conditions in the wild.
Nevertheless, if you consider all the above pointers, you can keep guppies and goldfish together.