Can Betta Fish Live With Goldfish: What You Need To Know

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Once you first get your betta, you may wonder what fish can live with it. Goldfish are among the most common fish around, so you may ask, “Can Betta fish live with goldfish?” While both are hardy, having them together might not be a good idea. Read on to find out why you might want to avoid keeping together a Betta with goldfish!

Can Betta Fish Live With Goldfish? (The Shortened Answer)

Given the fact that Betta fish require warmer temperatures than that of goldfish, they require clean water (where goldfish are incredibly dirty), goldfish need even larger tanks, and also mainly because goldfish are fast eaters, and fin nippers. 

It is certainly not advised to have Bettas with goldfish. However, cohabitation between the two species is possible for brief periods of time and in severe situations, but this would only be in desperate times. 


Why Goldfish Cannot Live With Betas (A More In-Depth Look)

Filtration & Cleanliness

As for cleanliness, these two fish couldn’t be any different. Bettas usually stay clean, but wont respond well to polluted water or high amounts of ammonia.

On the other side, goldfish produce a lot of waste that can increase ammonia levels rapidly.

Goldfish require regular water adjustments and a good filter to hold the ammonia levels down. Indeed, repeated water adjustments are rather stressful to a Betta, preferring a gentle filter to one with high efficiency.


While being sold in small plastic bins in pet shops, Bettas will ideally be housed in 5-10-gallon tanks with a wide area. Finally they gulp oxygen from the water.

Regarding Goldfish, it’s a growing myth they can live in a small tank. Goldfish need plenty of space, preferably 20-gallons for only one goldfish.

They ‘re supposed to grow considerably bigger– some can touch a foot long! – A lot of space would be needed to achieve their maximum potential.


Bettas are considered to be aggressive, but goldfish are smaller in size and usually grow to be much larger than Bettas, so they can stay away.

Goldfish, on the other hand , prefer nipping fins or tails that will agitate Bettas, who hates nipping. It’s not a good mix.

Water Temperature

One of the main distinctions is that Bettas are tropical. They need water to be about 78-80 degrees F. Goldfish enjoy cooler water no warmer than 75 degrees F and appreciate seasonal changes that fall into even 60 degrees F.

A goldfish wouldn’t live in a Betta’s mild temperatures and vice versa. When a goldfish is kept in very warm water, it is exhausted and more vulnerable to parasites , viruses, and other conditions.

Some of the most severe is swim bladder disease while swimming upside down, leading to fatigue and other health problems.

Bettas contained in too cold water often become nervous, vulnerable to pests and diseases. Their movement often decreases considerably, and they are likely to only hang in the tank instead of their normal whirlwind of action.

Water Current

The water movement in a tank is another place where bettas and goldfish vary. They have abnormally long fins, which can hamper swimming. Betta fish are not fast swimmers, sometimes struggling in the filter flow.

Bettas fish can tolerate small or no flow in the tank. It means they will either get a softly bubbling sponge buffer or a baffle. A baffle is something that reduces a filter’s current, but holds flow speed the same.

Whereas goldfish enjoy mild to high wind. They  enjoy messing around in the filter ‘s current, and a sponge filter can’t keep them satisfied, nor can a puzzled filter. In fact, goldfish produce a large amount of waste, and a sponge filter can not keep up with waste production.

What Other Fish Can Live With Bettas?

betta fishBy now you should already know the answer to the question of whether can Betta fish live with goldfish. Although females in a group tank are more social, they aren’t as appealing as their male counterparts, and seem to be less popular. It’s important to know what fish will stay with bettas to build a serene social tank where your male Betta is the primary concern.

Bettas normally target scales, gills and tails and react if bitten by hostile fine nippers like angel fish or red tail sharks, dwarf gourami and goldfish should also be avoided, as well as fish bigger than the beta or ones having similar fins.

Here are some good fish to put with Bettas:

  • Ghost shrimp
  • African dwarf frogs
  • Cory catfish
  • Kuhli loaches
  • Guppies
  • Neon and ember tetras

Further tips on what sort of fish to keep with Bettas can also be found from Animal Planet’s book titled “Aquarium Treatment of Bettas.” 

Introducing Your Betta Fish To Your Aquarium

If you’re about to mix beta fish with other fish in your home aquarium, follow these few simple steps before adding them: 

  • Ensure that they are disease-free and parasite-free 
  • Clean the aquarium
  • Checking water’s state 
  • Keep temperature optimally at 79 degrees Fahrenheit 
  • Acclimatize them by tossing them in a plastic cup or container 
  • Launch your Betta fish and track encounters with other species.
  • Provide him with plenty of hiding spots to hide if he gets nervous, and make sure the tank is wide enough for all the fish.

If you see any problems or find your Betta hidden in a corner, crowd life may be too hard for him, and he may prefer to have his own small Betta tank system such as the MarineLand 5 Gallon Portrait Glass LED Aquarium Package with adequate circulatory filtration and heating. 

You may also incorporate a water conditioner such as Aqueon Betta Bowl Plus Water Conditioner, specially designed to encourage good health, bright color and natural safety for slime coat protection. It also immediately conditions tap water, keeping your fish free.

Can Betta Fish Live With Goldfish: Final Thoughts

It’s not easy to choose a Betta tank mate, so, to tell the truth, they’re sometimes best left alone. That being said, there are several other species that suit well with goldfish. By choosing the right tankmates, everybody is going to be satisfied.

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