Have you ever wondered if female guppies and goldfish can live together in the same tank? Many new betta owners make mistakes when it comes to tank size, as both species require different gallons. Additionally, it’s important to consider the water temperatures that each fish prefers. It’s a common question among fish enthusiasts: can big goldfish live with guppies? The compatibility between big goldfish and guppies, especially male guppies and adult guppies, is often a topic of interest.

Compatibility between different fish species, such as common goldfish and male guppies, is crucial to ensure the well-being and harmonious coexistence of these aquatic creatures. Guppies and goldfish are both popular choices for home aquariums, but they have distinct needs and behaviors. When it comes to guppies, it’s important to consider their tank requirements. The recommended tank size for guppies is around 10 gallons. Additionally, regular water changes are crucial for maintaining the health of guppies in the tank.

Guppies are known for their vibrant colors and active nature, making them popular choices for a big pond. Goldfish, on the other hand, are known for their graceful movements and hardy nature, making them suitable for both small and large gallons. Creating a suitable environment for both freshwater fish and guppy fish in a fish tank can be challenging due to their differences in temperament and requirements. However, with careful monitoring and proper pond setup, guppies and goldfish can peacefully coexist.

We’ll delve into the compatibility of guppy fish and other peaceful freshwater fish in a fish tank, potential challenges that may arise, as well as tips on how to create an optimal living space for these two species. So let’s dive in!

Compatibility between guppies and goldfish

Guppies are small, peaceful fish while goldfish can be larger and more aggressive. This difference in size and temperament raises the question of whether guppies and goldfish can live together harmoniously in the same aquarium.

Goldfish, known for their curious nature, may exhibit territorial behavior towards smaller fish like guppies. They might nip at the fins of guppy fish out of curiosity or to establish dominance within their shared environment. This behavior can cause stress to the guppies and potentially lead to health issues if not addressed.

Another concern when considering housing guppies and goldfish together is the potential threat posed by goldfish towards guppy fry, which are baby fish. Goldfish have been known to view these tiny fry as a source of food, posing a risk to their survival in a mixed tank.

It’s important to note that individual fish temperament plays a significant role in determining compatibility. While some goldfish may show aggression towards guppies, others might coexist peacefully without causing harm. Similarly, certain guppies may display resilience against any nipping attempts by goldfish.

To ensure successful cohabitation between guppies and goldfish, here are some tips:

  1. Tank size: Provide ample space for both species to swim freely. A larger tank reduces territorial disputes and provides hiding spots for smaller fish.

  2. Tank setup: Include plants or decorations that create separate territories within the aquarium, allowing each species to establish its own space.

  3. Guppy numbers: Introducing multiple guppies can help dilute aggression from goldfish by diverting their attention among several targets.

  4. Monitor behavior: Observe interactions closely during the initial stages of introduction. If any signs of aggression persist or if fins become damaged, it may be necessary to separate them into different tanks.

  5. Feeding strategy: Ensure all fish receive sufficient nutrition without compromising their safety. Consider using sinking pellets for goldfish and floating food for guppies to avoid competition during feeding time.

  6. Fry protection: If you are breeding guppies, it is important to provide separate breeding tanks or mesh enclosures within the main tank to protect the fry from being consumed by goldfish. A breeding net can be used to keep the fry safe.

    Guppies are well-known for their remarkable ability to reproduce. They are livebearers, which means that they do not lay static eggs. Instead, the babies are born swimming and are skilled at hiding. They can quickly seek shelter among plants, such as Java moss, which provides the first fry food, infusorian.

    To ensure the growth of your guppy stock, there are a few options you can consider. One option is to use a breeding net to protect the fry until they are fully grown. This net can be placed inside the main tank, providing a safe space for the fry away from potential predators. Another option is to transfer the fry to a different tank using a breeding net or by floating Java moss until they are grown. This allows you to create a separate environment specifically for the fry, ensuring their safety and growth. Whichever option you choose, it is essential to provide a suitable space for the fry to thrive.

Understanding the differences between guppies and goldfish

Guppies and goldfish are two popular types of fish that many aquarium enthusiasts consider keeping together. However, before introducing these two species into the same tank, it is essential to understand their differences to ensure their compatibility and overall well-being.

Origins and Appearance

Guppies are tropical freshwater fish native to South America, while goldfish originate from East Asia. This difference in geographical origin has influenced their physical characteristics. Guppies boast vibrant colors, long fins, and a smaller body size compared to the rounder shape of goldfish. Their striking appearance often makes them a favorite among hobbyists looking for an eye-catching addition to their aquarium.

On the other hand, goldfish exhibit a more subdued color palette with shades of orange, red, white, and black. They have a distinct body shape characterized by their rounded bellies and flowing tails. The contrast in appearance between guppies and goldfish can create an aesthetically pleasing display when both species are housed together.

Waste Production

One crucial factor to consider when contemplating keeping guppies and goldfish together is waste production. Goldfish produce more waste than guppies due to their larger size. As such, it is essential to ensure adequate filtration and regular water changes in the shared tank environment.

The higher waste production of goldfish necessitates stricter maintenance routines compared to tanks solely housing guppies. By staying on top of water quality management, you can create an optimal habitat for both species.

Reproductive Habits

Another aspect that sets guppies and goldfish apart is their reproductive habits. Guppies are known for their prolific breeding behavior, with females giving birth to live young rather than laying eggs like most fish species. This trait can lead to unexpected population explosions if not carefully managed.

Goldfish reproduction follows a different pattern as they lay adhesive eggs that attach themselves onto aquatic vegetation or any available surface within the tank. Unlike guppies, goldfish eggs require specific conditions to hatch successfully.

Tank requirements and habitat considerations

It is crucial to create an environment that caters to the needs of both species. This means taking into account their different requirements for space, water temperature, and hiding places.

Individual Fish Temperament

The temperament of individual fish plays a significant role in determining compatibility between guppies and goldfish. Some male guppies may have long fins that resemble those of fancy goldfish, which can lead to potential fin nipping. It is advisable to avoid keeping guppies with goldfish that have a history of aggressive behavior.

When introducing adult guppies to a tank with multiple goldfish, it is crucial to monitor their interactions closely.

Spacious tank with ample swimming space

Both guppies and goldfish are active swimmers and need plenty of room to move around. A small tank can lead to stress and health issues for these fish. To ensure their well-being, it is recommended to provide a spacious aquarium with ample swimming space. The size of the tank will depend on the number of fish you plan to keep.

Consider the following points when selecting a tank for guppies and goldfish:

  • A 20-gallon tank is suitable for a small group of guppies or one or two goldfish.

  • For larger groups or multiple goldfish, opt for a larger tank with at least 30 gallons or more.

  • Keep in mind that goldfish grow quite large, so they will require more space as they mature.

Water temperature considerations

One important consideration when housing guppies and goldfish together is their differing preferences for water temperatures. Guppies thrive in warmer waters ranging from 72°F to 82°F (22°C – 28°C), while goldfish prefer cooler temperatures between 65°F and 75°F (18°C – 24°C).

To meet the needs of both species:

  1. Maintain a stable temperature within an acceptable range for both guppies and goldfish.

  2. Use a heater if necessary to maintain warmer temperatures for guppies during colder months.

  3. Avoid overheating the water as higher temperatures can be detrimental to goldfish.

Providing hiding spots

Creating hiding places within the aquarium helps reduce stress levels for both guppies and goldfish by providing them with sheltered areas where they can retreat when needed. Adding live or artificial plants, rocks, and decorations will provide hiding spots and mimic their natural habitat.

Consider the following options for creating hiding places:

  • Plant live aquarium plants such as Java fern or Amazon sword that provide both cover and oxygenation.

  • Use artificial plants specifically designed for aquariums to create a natural-looking environment.

Plants in a Goldfish-Guppy Tank

Goldfish will eat anything that fits into their mouth. Plants are no exception to this. There are however some plants that you can keep with goldfish. But please take in consideration, that there is no guarantee, that they will remain intact.

These plants are low maintenance and grow really fast (expect the Anubias). Even if the goldfish will take a bite from these plants, they will still be able to regrow pretty fast. Of all the enumerated plants, probably the duckweed is the best choice. It removes nitrates very effectively and grows super fast. Goldfish love to eat duckweed and because it is high in protein and contains vitamins too. Even though goldfish will consume duckweed, they can’t all of it.

Also, you should know that a well-fed goldfish will ignore plants for a while. So if you have a planted guppy and goldfish tank, make sure your goldfish is not very hungry.

Also, keep in mind that you should use a weighted base for the plant in order to ensure that goldfish do not uproot the plant.

Goldfish are notorious for being greedy eaters, devouring anything that fits into their mouth. This includes plants, which are no exception to their voracious appetite. However, there are certain plants that can be kept with goldfish, although there is no guarantee that they will remain intact.

If you are willing to take the risk and want to keep plants in your fish tank, there are a few that I recommend.

If you really want to risk it and want to keep the plant in your fish tank, here are a few that I recommend:

  • Java fern

  • Anubias

  • Water sprite

  • Water lettuce

  • Duckweed

These plants are low maintenance and grow rapidly, with the exception of the Anubias. Even if the goldfish take a bite out of these plants, they have the ability to regrow quickly. Among these plants, the duckweed is probably the best choice as it effectively removes nitrates and grows at an astonishing rate. Goldfish are particularly fond of eating duckweed due to its high protein content and vitamin composition. Although goldfish will consume duckweed, they cannot consume it entirely.

It is important to note that a well-fed goldfish will ignore plants for a while. So, if you have a tank with both planted guppies and goldfish, please make sure that your goldfish is not overly hungry. Additionally, it is advisable to use a weighted base for the plants to prevent goldfish from uprooting them.

Goldfish are accustomed to cold water and may struggle to survive in tropical temperatures. This can be a problem if you have a mixed tank with both goldfish and tropical fish, such as the female guppy. The survival rates of goldfish in such conditions may be compromised.

Overall, while goldfish are greedy eaters and may pose a threat to plants, there are options available for keeping plants in a goldfish tank. By selecting the appropriate plants and providing proper care, it is possible to create a harmonious environment where both goldfish and plants can thrive.

Maintaining water quality and proper filtration

Regular water testing is essential to ensure optimal conditions for both guppies and goldfish. Monitoring the water parameters such as pH level, ammonia levels, and temperature on a regular basis allows you to promptly address any issues that may arise. By maintaining stable and suitable water conditions, you can promote the health and well-being of your aquatic pets.

Goldfish are notorious for producing a significant amount of waste compared to guppies. Therefore, it is crucial to have a powerful filtration system in place to keep up with their waste production. A robust filter will help remove excess ammonia from the water, which is produced by both species’ waste products. Ammonia buildup can lead to health problems for the fish if left unchecked.

To establish a healthy environment in your aquarium, proper tank cycling before introducing new fish is vital. This process involves allowing beneficial bacteria to colonize the tank, which helps break down toxic substances like ammonia into less harmful compounds. Cycling typically takes several weeks and requires patience but ensures a stable ecosystem for your aquatic friends.

In addition to filtration systems, regular water changes play a pivotal role in maintaining water quality. Partial water changes should be performed every one to two weeks or as needed based on test results. During these changes, it’s essential not only to remove old water but also treat tap water with appropriate conditioners to neutralize chlorine or chloramine that might harm your fish.

Creating an environment that mimics natural habitats can contribute significantly to the overall well-being of guppies and goldfish alike. For example, providing hiding spots with live or artificial plants allows fish to retreat when they feel stressed or threatened. Incorporating rocks or driftwood can mimic their natural habitat while adding visual interest to the aquarium.

While guppies prefer slightly acidic water conditions around 6-7 pH, goldfish thrive better in neutral pH levels around 7-8 pH. Therefore, finding a balance that suits both species can be challenging. One way to address this is by maintaining the pH level closer to neutral and ensuring that it remains stable.

Feeding your fish an appropriate diet is another crucial aspect of maintaining water quality.

Addressing temperature differences in a mixed tank

Maintaining the right water temperature is crucial when considering whether guppies and goldfish can live together in the same tank. These two species have different preferencesWith guppies favoring warmer waters around 75-82°F (24-28°C), while goldfish thrive in cooler temperatures ranging from 65-72°F (18-22°C). Finding a balance that suits both species is essential for their well-being.

To ensure the optimal conditions for both guppies and goldfish, it’s important to regulate the temperature within an acceptable range. Here are some strategies to achieve this:

Using a heater and thermometer

Investing in a reliable aquarium heater and thermometer is a wise decision when setting up a mixed tank for guppies and goldfish. With these tools, you can closely monitor and adjust the water temperature as needed. Place the heater near the filter outlet to allow for even distribution of warm water throughout the tank. Position the thermometer away from direct sunlight or heat sources to obtain accurate readings.

Separating zones with different temperatures

If you have a larger tank, consider creating distinct zones with varying temperatures to accommodate both species’ needs. This can be achieved by using dividers or arranging plants and decorations strategically. By separating areas with warmer water for guppies and cooler regions for goldfish, you provide each species with their preferred conditions while still allowing them to coexist peacefully.

Optimal room temperature

Another factor that influences water temperature is the ambient room temperature where your aquarium is located. If your room tends to be colder than desired for guppies, you may need to raise the overall room temperature slightly using heaters or adjusting central heating settings. Conversely, if your room is warmer than ideal for goldfish, employing fans or air conditioning could help lower the overall room temperature.

Monitoring fluctuations

Temperature fluctuations can occur due to various factors, such as changes in weather or equipment malfunctions. Regularly check the water temperature and observe any fluctuations that may arise. Sudden shifts in temperature can be stressful for both guppies and goldfish, so it’s essential to address any issues promptly.

Diet requirements for coexisting guppies and goldfish

Guppies and goldfish may seem like an unlikely pair, but with proper care and attention to their dietary needs, they can indeed live together harmoniously. Understanding the diet requirements for both species is crucial to ensuring their health and vitality.

Guppies: Omnivorous Delights

Guppies are known for their vibrant colors and lively personalities. As omnivores, they have a diverse palate that includes flakes, pellets, and live or frozen foods. Offering a varied diet not only keeps them satisfied but also provides essential nutrients for their overall well-being.

Flakes are a staple in a guppy’s diet as they contain a mix of proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Look for high-quality flakes that specifically cater to tropical fish like guppies. These flakes often include ingredients such as brine shrimp, daphnia, or spirulina to meet their nutritional needs.

Pellets are another excellent option for guppies. They come in different sizes to accommodate various ages and mouth sizes of the fish. Opt for pellets that contain a blend of plant-based ingredients along with animal proteins to provide a balanced diet.

To truly indulge your guppies’ taste buds, consider incorporating live or frozen foods into their meals. Daphnia, bloodworms, brine shrimp, or mosquito larvae are all fantastic choices that mimic the natural food sources found in their native habitats.

Goldfish: A Digestive Adventure

Goldfish have specific dietary requirements due to their unique digestive system. Unlike guppies, they lack stomachs and instead possess long intestines designed for processing large amounts of plant matter.

Sinking pellets or gel food specially formulated for goldfish should make up the majority of their diet. These sinking options ensure that the food reaches the bottom where goldfish prefer to feed rather than floating at the surface like most other fish foods.

The key is selecting pellets or gel food that contain a blend of plant-based ingredients such as soybean, wheat germ, or peas. These ingredients provide the necessary fiber and carbohydrates that aid in digestion for goldfish.

While goldfish can also consume flakes, it’s important to note that these should be specifically formulated for their digestive system.

Best Types of Goldfish to Keep with Guppies

It’s important to choose the right types of goldfish to ensure compatibility. Not all goldfish varieties are suitable companions for guppies, as some may pose a threat or create an uncomfortable environment for these smaller fish. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting goldfish breeds that can coexist harmoniously with guppies.

Fancy Goldfish Varieties: Ryukins and Orandas

Fancy goldfish varieties such as Ryukins and Orandas are generally more compatible with guppies due to their slower swimming speeds compared to slim-bodied breeds like Comets or Shubunkins. These fancy goldfish have rounder bodies and shorter fins, making them less likely to cause harm or distress to guppy fins. Their graceful movements complement the lively nature of guppies without overpowering them.

Avoid Single-Tailed Goldfish that Grow Large

It is crucial to avoid keeping single-tailed goldfish that grow very large when housing them with guppies. While these larger goldfish may seem impressive, they can pose a threat to smaller fish like guppies. The size difference between the two species may lead to accidental injuries or even predation. Therefore, it is best to opt for smaller-sized or medium-sized goldfish breeds when considering tank mates for your guppies.

Careful Observation of Individual Fish Behavior

When selecting compatible types of goldfish for your guppy tank, careful observation of individual fish behavior is essential. Each fish has its own personality and temperament, so it’s important not only to consider the breed but also the specific characteristics of each fish you introduce into the tank. Some goldfish may be more aggressive or territorial than others, which could disrupt the peace in the aquarium.

To ensure a harmonious coexistence between your guppies and goldfish, consider introducing new fish gradually and monitor their interactions closely. If you notice any signs of aggression or stress, it may be necessary to separate the fish to prevent harm.

How Many Guppies Should You Keep with Goldfish?

It is important to consider the number of fish in relation to the available space in the tank. Overcrowding can lead to poor water quality and stress among all inhabitants, so finding the right balance is crucial for their well-being.

A general guideline for stocking levels is to have one inch (2.5 cm) of fish per gallon (3.8 liters) of water. However, this ratio should be adjusted based on the specific needs of your guppies and goldfish.

To determine how many guppies you should keep with your goldfish, consider the following points:

Available Space in the Tank

The size of your tank will ultimately determine how many fish you can comfortably accommodate. Both guppies and goldfish require enough space to swim freely and establish territories. Crowded conditions can lead to increased aggression, competition for resources, and overall stress.

Ratio Considerations

While there isn’t an exact formula for determining the ideal ratio between guppies and goldfish, it’s generally recommended to have a higher number of guppies compared to goldfish. This helps minimize potential conflicts as goldfish tend to be slower swimmers and may struggle to compete for food in larger groups.

Monitoring Ammonia Levels

Regularly monitoring ammonia levels in your tank is essential when housing different species together. Ammonia is produced through fish waste and decaying organic matter, which can quickly accumulate in an overcrowded tank. High ammonia levels are toxic to fish and can cause health issues or even death.

By keeping an eye on ammonia levels using test kits or strips, you can ensure that they remain within safe limits for both guppies and goldfish. If adjustments need to be made due to high ammonia readings, reducing the number of fish or increasing filtration capacity might be necessary.

Stocking Recommendations

  • Base the number of guppies on available space in the tank rather than the number of goldfish present.

  • Aim for a balanced ratio, keeping in mind that guppies generally outnumber goldfish.

Risks of Diseases in a Guppy and Goldfish Tank

Mixing guppies and goldfish in the same tank can pose several risks. These two fish species have different characteristics that make them more susceptible to certain illnesses. Let’s explore the potential risks associated with keeping guppies and goldfish together:

  1. Increased Risk of Disease Transmission: When guppies and goldfish are housed together, there is a higher chance of diseases spreading between them. This is because they may come into direct contact with each other or share the same water, creating an environment where pathogens can easily transfer.

  2. Guppies’ Susceptibility to Goldfish Diseases: Guppies are smaller in size compared to goldfish, which makes them more vulnerable to diseases carried by their larger tank mates. The immune systems of guppies may not be as robust, making them more prone to infections or parasites transmitted by goldfish.

  3. Poor Water Quality due to Goldfish Waste: Goldfish produce a significant amount of waste compared to guppies. Their larger size and higher food intake result in increased waste production, leading to poor water quality in the tank. Accumulated waste can stress out guppies, compromising their health and making them more susceptible to diseases.

  4. Temperature Preferences and Disease Development: Guppies are tropical fish that thrive in warmer waters, while goldfish prefer cooler temperatures. This difference in temperature preferences can create an environment conducive for specific diseases to flourish. For instance, certain pathogens thrive better at lower temperatures favored by goldfish but may cause harm or even death to guppies.

To ensure the well-being of both your guppies and goldfish when kept together, it is crucial to take appropriate measures:

  • Maintain excellent water quality by regularly cleaning the tank and monitoring ammonia levels.

  • Quarantine new fish before introducing them into a shared tank.

  • Provide adequate space for both species, considering their size and swimming habits.

  • Keep an eye out for any signs of illness in either the guppies or goldfish, such as changes in behavior, appetite, or physical appearance.

  • Consult with a knowledgeable aquatic veterinarian if you suspect any health issues in your fish.


Now that you have a better understanding of the diet requirements for guppies and goldfish in the same tank, you can confidently create a harmonious aquatic environment for these two species. Remember, maintaining water quality and proper filtration is crucial to their well-being. By addressing temperature differences and providing a balanced diet, you can ensure the coexistence of guppies and goldfish in your aquarium.

So go ahead and set up your tank with compatible types of goldfish and an appropriate number of guppies. With careful attention to their needs, you’ll be rewarded with a vibrant and lively underwater community that will bring joy to any fish enthusiast.


Can guppies eat the same food as goldfish?

Guppies and goldfish have different dietary needs. While goldfish are primarily herbivores, guppies are omnivorous. It’s best to provide them with specialized diets tailored to their specific requirements. Goldfish pellets or flakes rich in plant matter are suitable for goldfish, while guppies benefit from a varied diet consisting of high-quality flakes, freeze-dried or frozen foods like brine shrimp or bloodworms.

How many guppies should I keep with my goldfish?

The number of guppies you can keep with your goldfish depends on the size of your tank and the compatibility between these two species. As a general guideline, it’s recommended to have one gallon (4 liters) of water per inch (2.5 cm) of fish length. Keep in mind that both guppies and goldfish produce waste, so adequate filtration is essential when considering the stocking levels.

What types of goldfish are best suited to live with guppies?

When choosing companion fish for your guppies, consider selecting smaller varieties of goldfish such as Fantails or Black Moor Goldfish. These types tend to be more peaceful and less likely to nip at the fins of your guppies. Avoid keeping aggressive goldfish varieties like Comets or Shubunkins with guppies, as they may cause stress or harm to the smaller fish.

Can guppies and goldfish live together peacefully?

Guppies and goldfish can coexist peacefully if their tank conditions are suitable. It’s important to provide adequate space, proper filtration, and compatible tank mates. Closely monitoring their behavior and ensuring a balanced diet will contribute to their overall well-being and reduce the risk of aggression or stress.

What are the risks of diseases in a guppy and goldfish tank?

When housing different species together, there is always a risk of introducing diseases. It’s crucial to quarantine any new fish before introducing them into your main tank to prevent the spread of potential infections. Regular water testing, maintaining optimal water parameters, and practicing good hygiene when handling aquarium equipment can help minimize the risk of diseases in your guppy and goldfish tank.