Can You Put Catfish with Goldfish: 7 Vital Tips for Success

You may have wondered if you’re a fish enthusiast, “Can you put catfish with goldfish?” The answer is more loop than a simple yes or no. While catfish and goldfish can coexist in the same aquarium, there are some essential tips you need to keep in mind to ensure their compatibility and well-being.

Catfish are known for their scavenging behavior, sometimes leading to aggressive behavior towards other fish.

Goldfish, on the other hand, are peaceful creatures that prefer a calm environment. So, creating a suitable habitat for both species to thrive together is crucial.

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This article provides seven vital tips for success when putting catfish with goldfish. You’ll learn about the critical factors, such as tank size, water quality, and feeding habits.

We’ll also discuss the types of catfish compatible with goldfish and those you should avoid. Following these tips can avoid potential disasters and ensure harmony in your aquarium.

So, let’s dive in and explore the world of catfish and goldfish cohabitation.

Can You Put Catfish with Goldfish?

Can you keep catfish with goldfish? Yes, you can put catfish with goldfish, but some factors must be considered. Choosing the correct type of catfish as a tank mate for goldfish is essential to ensure a peaceful and healthy environment for both species.

In general, catfish that are not aggressive and have a similar diet to goldfish are good choices. Some recommended catfish species to keep with goldfish include bristlenose catfish, otocinclus catfish, and corydoras catfish.

It’s important to avoid aggressive catfish species like Redtail catfish, Pictus catfish, and Clown Plecos as they may harm or stress out the goldfish.

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Another factor to consider is the size of the catfish. Catfish can grow much larger than goldfish, so choosing a species that will not outgrow the tank and potentially harm the other inhabitants is crucial.

Additionally, catfish may produce more waste than goldfish, so proper filtration and regular water changes are essential to maintaining good water quality in the aquarium.

With proper research and care, it is possible to keep catfish with goldfish in a harmonious and healthy environment. 

7 Tips for Keeping Catfish and Goldfish Together

1. Compatibility Factors

Temperament and Behavior

Goldfish are generally peaceful but can exhibit occasional aggression, especially during feeding. Therefore, it is crucial to choose catfish species that can tolerate or avoid confrontations and won’t become targets for the goldfish.

– Size and Growth Rate

Goldfish grow larger over time, and their active swimming patterns may intimidate smaller fish. Selecting catfish species that can withstand the size difference and won’t be outcompeted for resources is advisable.

– Water Preferences

Consider the water parameters preferred by both catfish and goldfish. While goldfish thrive in cooler temperatures, some catfish species prefer warmer waters. Finding a balance between temperature and water quality is crucial for the well-being of all fish in the tank.

2. Choose the Best Catfish Species for Goldfish Tanks

Not all catfish species are suitable tank mates for goldfish. Here are some best fish species that have been observed to coexist successfully with goldfish:

– Corydoras Catfish

Corydoras catfish are small, peaceful bottom-dwellers that can tolerate similar water conditions as goldfish. They are known for their playful nature and can add a lively element to your aquarium.

– Bristlenose Pleco

Bristlenose plecos are excellent algae eaters and can help keep the tank clean. They have unique bristle-like appendages on their faces, which add an attractive visual appeal to the tank.

3. Suitable Tank Conditions

It’s essential to ensure the following tank conditions: To provide a conducive environment for both catfish and goldfish, 

– Sufficient Space

Goldfish require ample swimming space due to their dynamic nature. A spacious tank will help prevent territorial disputes and ensure the comfort of all fish.

– Hiding Places

Including hiding places, such as rocks, caves, or plants, is essential for catfish to retreat when they feel stressed or threatened. It also adds aesthetic value to the aquarium.

– Proper Filtration

Maintaining excellent water quality is crucial for the health and well-being of both catfish and goldfish. Invest in a reliable filtration system that effectively removes waste and toxins from the water.

– Suitable Substrate

Choose a substrate that is appropriate for both catfish and goldfish. Smooth gravel or sand is recommended, as it allows catfish to forage without causing harm to their delicate barbels.

– Adequate Oxygenation

Goldfish and catfish both require well-oxygenated water. Consider adding an air stone or a water pump to ensure sufficient oxygen levels in the aquarium.

4. Feeding Considerations

Proper nutrition is vital for the overall health of your fish. When feeding catfish and goldfish together, keep the following tips in mind:

– Balanced Diet

Provide a balanced diet that caters to the nutritional needs of both species. Goldfish typically require a diet rich in plant matter, while catfish are omnivorous and may consume both plant-based and protein-based foods.

– Food Sources

Ensure that all fish in the tank have access to enough food. Goldfish are notorious for their voracious appetites, so it’s crucial to monitor feeding sessions to prevent overheating and potential health issues.

– Feeding Techniques

Consider using sinking pellets or tablets for catfish to prevent goldfish from consuming all the food before it reaches the bottom. This ensures that catfish have adequate time to feed without competition.

5. Observing Behavior and Health

Regular observation of your fish is crucial for early detection of any issues. Here are some key points to consider:

– Compatibility Assessment

Monitor the interactions between catfish and goldfish closely. If you notice excessive aggression or signs of stress, such as torn goldfish fins or hiding behavior, it may be necessary to reevaluate the tank mates.

– Disease Prevention

Maintaining a clean and well-maintained tank reduces the risk of diseases. Regularly test water parameters, perform partial water changes, and keep up with tank maintenance to create a healthy environment.

– Seeking Veterinary Care

If you observe any unusual behavior, loss of appetite, or signs of illness, consult a veterinarian experienced in fish care. They can provide guidance and appropriate treatment options to ensure the well-being of your fish.

6. Tank Maintenance and Cleaning

To keep your catfish and goldfish thriving, it’s essential to follow a regular tank maintenance routine:

– Water Changes

Perform partial water changes regularly to maintain optimal water quality. This helps remove accumulated waste, excess nutrients, and potential toxins.

– Cleaning the Tank

Clean the tank regularly, removing uneaten food, debris, or algae. Use a gentle aquarium-safe scrubber to clean the glass surfaces, but avoid disturbing any catfish hiding spots.

– Monitoring Water Parameters

Regularly test water parameters such as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH levels. This allows you to identify any issues promptly and maintain a stable and healthy environment for your fish. 

What Kind of Fish Can You Keep With Goldfish?

When choosing a tank mate to keep with goldfish, it’s essential to consider the fish’s size and temperament. Common goldfish and comet goldfish are hardy, active fish that thrive in groups so that they can be kept together or with other goldfish like fancy goldfish.

Full-grown goldfish can be pretty giant, so avoiding keeping them with smaller fish is better, as they may view them as food. However, some catfish species, like cory catfish, can make good goldfish tank mates, as they are peaceful and partial to the same water conditions.

It’s essential to research potential tank mates to ensure they are compatible with goldfish regarding temperature, pH, and behavior. With the proper research and care, many fish can coexist happily with goldfish.

Why Should You Not Keep Pictus Catfish and Goldfish Together?

Pictus catfish and goldfish should be kept together in different tanks as they have different needs and behaviors. While goldfish are cute and popular aquarium pets, they prefer to live in cold water with low currents.

Pictus catfish, on the other hand, are tropical fish that need warm water and a lot of hiding spots. Goldfish are known to be aggressive toward other fish species and might bully the catfish.

Additionally, Pictus catfish are active swimmers and might stress out the goldfish, which are slow swimmers. Therefore, keeping catfish and goldfish together in the same tank is not recommended.

If you are looking for a tank mate for goldfish, corydoras are an excellent choice, as they are also bottom dwellers and peaceful fish that will get along with goldfish. It is always best to research the best tank mates for your fish before introducing them to your aquarium.

Can Catfish Live With Goldfish and Guppies?

Catfish can live with goldfish and guppies. These fish species can be kept together in an aquarium as long as the catfish and goldfish are of similar size. It’s best to support smaller goldfish and smaller fish such as guppies. Catfish are freshwater fish that scavenge for food sources at the bottom of the aquarium.

When it comes to keeping catfish and goldfish together, providing enough space and hiding places for both species is essential.

Additionally, it’s best to avoid keeping stronger and larger catfish with smaller goldfish or guppies as they may prey on them. Ultimately, a community of catfish, goldfish, and smaller fish can thrive together in an aquarium with the proper care and attention.

9 Algae Eaters With Goldfish – What Are the Best Choices?

Goldfish are fascinating creatures that are widely kept as pets. To keep your tank clean and your goldfish healthy, it is essential to have algae eaters in your aquarium.

Many algae eaters can live harmoniously with goldfish, but some are better suited. For example, some species may nibble on the fins of fancy goldfish with delicate, flowing tails.

do cory catfish eat algae

The best choices for algae eaters with goldfish include species such as the Siamese Algae Eater, Bristlenose Pleco, and Amano Shrimp. These species are peaceful, hardy, and efficient at cleaning algae. Siamese Algae Eaters are known for their ability to eat hair algae, which is a common problem in goldfish tanks.

Bristlenose Plecos are great at cleaning up algae on the bottom of the tank, and they are also a popular option for keeping with goldfish. Amano shrimp are small and efficient at eating algae, but they may be eaten by larger goldfish, so you’ll want to keep them in a large enough group to ensure their safety.

Whichever algae eater you choose, please research and provide a suitable environment for them to thrive in. You can keep your tank clean and your goldfish healthy and happy with the sensible algae eaters.

Which Goldfish Companion is Right For You?

Choosing the right companion for your goldfish is vital in creating a harmonious and healthy environment for your aquatic pets. When considering tank mates for your goldfish, selecting species that can coexist with your goldfish without posing any threats or competition for resources is essential.

Smaller fish such as tetras, zebra danio, hillstream loach, and Corydoras can make great tank mates with goldfish as they are peaceful and won’t hassle your goldfish. It’s vital to ensure that your goldfish is well-fed, as they tend to eat smaller fish that fit in their mouths. 

Additionally, ensure you have a well-sized aquarium with ample hiding places and decorations to provide a comfortable home for all your fish. With proper research and care, finding the right companion for your goldfish can create a thriving and beautiful aquarium environment.

Commonly Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can goldfish live with smaller fish like Corydoras catfish?

Yes, goldfish can coexist with smaller fish like Corydoras catfish. However, it is essential to monitor their interactions and ensure that the smaller fish have ample hiding places and are not bullied or stressed by the goldfish.

What are some other suitable tank mates for goldfish?

Some other suitable tank mates for goldfish include bristlenose plecos, giant danio, dojo loach, white cloud mountain minnows, rosy barb, and Japanese rice fish. These species have been observed to coexist peacefully with goldfish.

Can goldfish be kept in a community tank with other tropical fish?

Goldfish have specific temperature requirements and prefer cooler water compared to tropical fish. It is generally not recommended to keep goldfish in a community tank with tropical fish due to the differences in temperature preferences and potential compatibility issues.

Do goldfish prefer to live alone or in groups?

Goldfish are social creatures and can be kept in groups. However, providing sufficient space and ensuring the tank is not overcrowded is essential. It is generally recommended to have a ratio of 1 – 2 inches long of fish per gallon of water to maintain a healthy and balanced environment.

Will goldfish eat smaller fish like platies?

Goldfish tend to eat smaller fish, especially if they can fit into their mouths. It is best to avoid keeping tiny fish like platies with goldfish to prevent predation or harm.

How often should I clean my goldfish tank?

Regular tank maintenance is crucial for the health of your goldfish. Perform partial water changes every 1-2 weeks, regularly clean the tank and filter, and remove any uneaten food or debris to maintain optimal water quality.

What are the best goldfish tank mates?

The best goldfish tank mates can live peacefully and harmoniously with them. Some of the best options include white cloud mountain minnow, bristlenose pleco, and hoplo catfish. These fish are compatible with goldfish and can make a great addition to your community tank.

Can goldfish live with platy fish?

Goldfish and platyfish are not the best tank mates, as goldfish will eat almost anything they can fit in their mouths, including platyfish. It’s best to choose types of fish that can live peacefully with goldfish without being eaten.

Is hoplo catfish a suitable goldfish tank mate?

Yes, hoplo catfish are suitable goldfish tank mates as they are tough and won’t be harmed by the goldfish’s occasional nipping. They are also peaceful and won’t become aggressive tank mates.

What type of fish can live with goldfish?

Some fish that can live with goldfish include slim-bodied goldfish, bristlenose pleco, and other peaceful bottom dwellers like cory catfish. It’s essential to research each fish species carefully before adding them to your goldfish tank to ensure they are suitable tank mates.

What are the mistakes to avoid when choosing goldfish tank mates?

Some mistakes to avoid when choosing goldfish tank mates include adding aggressive tank mates, fish prone to disease, and too many fish in the tank. Choosing compatible tank mates and closely monitoring the tank environment are important to ensure the fish are healthy and thriving.

What makes a good goldfish tank mate?

A good goldfish tank mate is a fish that can live peacefully with goldfish, won’t compete for resources, and won’t be eaten by them. They should also be able to thrive in the same tank environment as goldfish and not pose a threat to the goldfish’s fins or health.

Can Amazing goldfish be kept with other fish?

Amazing goldfish can be kept with other fish, but choosing suitable tank mates is essential. While goldfish aren’t typically aggressive, they are known to eat smaller fish and will compete for resources, so it’s important to choose fish that won’t be intimidated by them.

What are the best community tank mates for goldfish?

Some of the best community tank mates for goldfish include peaceful bottom dwellers like bristlenose pleco, cory catfish, and loaches. Choosing schooling fish to keep up with the goldfish’s playful nature is also important, like the white cloud mountain minnow. 

Can food scraps be added to your goldfish tank?

Food scraps should not be added to your goldfish tank as they can quickly degrade the water quality and lead to issues like bacterial blooms and ammonia spikes. Feeding your fish a balanced diet and monitoring their food intake closely is essential.


So, can you put catfish with goldfish? In conclusion, it is possible to keep catfish with goldfish in the same aquarium, provided specific considerations are considered. By selecting compatible catfish species, maintaining suitable tank conditions, providing proper nutrition, and observing the behavior and health of your fish, you can create a harmonious and thriving aquatic community. Remember to prioritize the well-being of your fish by conducting regular tank maintenance and seeking professional advice when needed.

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About Me

I am the founder of, a devoted wife and mother, and an avid fish enthusiast. My aim is to assist fellow fish lovers worldwide in understanding how to properly care for and breed their pet fish.

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