Goldfish and Betta Fish – Can You Keep Them Together?

There are many species of aquarium fish that you can keep as pets. But each species is different from the other in terms of appearance, feeding habits, size, temperament, tank water conditions, and suitable tank mates.

Betta Fish and Goldfish

Betta Fish and Goldfish

How about goldfish and betta fish? Can they live together in the same aquarium? The most appropriate answer to this question is “No”!

Keeping these species of fish in the same aquarium as tank mates is not a good idea. Let’s find out why you should never think of raising these vibrant fish in the same tank.

Even though the two fish – betta fish and goldfish – are hardy, the truth is they should not be kept together because of various reasons.

Betta fish need clean water, warmer temperatures whereas goldfish need larger aquariums (30 gallons and more), and are also quick eaters as well as notorious fin nippers.

Due to the fact that goldfish (mostly common goldfish) tend to nip fins, it will not be advisable to keep them together with bettas. Normally betta fish have a reputation for their large, colorful fins among other attributes.

This does not imply that the two species of aquarium fish cannot be entirely kept in the same tank water environment. But this should only happen when it’s extremely necessary and not for a long time.

Betta Fish and Goldfish – Not Good Tank Mates

If you are not yet convinced with why you should not keep your bettas and goldfish together, here is a more in-depth explanation regarding this matter:

Tank Water Temperature Differences

Betta fish belong to a group of tropical fish that need warm waters to thrive best. But the goldfish are known to be borderline cold water species of fish.

This is the first difference between the two species of aquarium fish and you should take them into account before introducing any of them to your aquarium.

To be specific, betta fish do well in water temperatures ranging between 76 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, goldfish prefer tank water temperatures ranging from 86 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

From these temperatures, you can easily draw a big difference between the minimum and maximum temperatures that each species requires when in an aquarium environment.

What if you set water temperature at 75 degrees Fahrenheit? Well, this won’t help much when it comes to bringing betta fish and goldfish to share the same tank environment.

For instance, at 76 degrees Fahrenheit, you can easily tell that this is the lowest (or borderline) temperature that your betta fish can survive in.

Apart from that, your target is to maintain the tank water temperature at 78 degrees Fahrenheit, which is way higher than what goldfish need to be comfortable.

Keep in mind that anything below 76 degrees Fahrenheit will definitely cause a lot of trouble for your bettas. This means that your fish will most likely go into what is known as temperature shock (a very fatal moment), a condition that can slow down its metabolism if no drastic measures are taken in time.

Slow metabolism is believed to cause constipation or swim bladder disease in bettas. At the same time, this condition can increase stress, thus causing a range of illnesses. A slow metabolism can also make your betta fish prone to fit rot and become more lethargic. This condition comes about due to the failure of your fish’s blood flow to other parts of the body.

For the goldfish, the situation becomes different when the temperatures go beyond the maximum. If that happens, then your goldfish will be subjected to temperature shock.

This condition can become fatal and cause sudden death or increase their metabolic rate, leading to more stress in their bodies. In the end, this can cause some illnesses or diseases.

Worst of all, an increase in metabolic rate due to higher water temperatures will lower your goldfish lifespan dramatically and this is not what you are looking forward to.

Betta Fish Need Clean Water, Unlike Goldfish

The other problem that may prevent you from keeping bettas and goldfish together is the quality of water each species needs. Goldfish are considered extremely dirty, especially when they are in the tank.

In other words, the presence of goldfish in an aquarium means that ammonia levels will rise sharply due to their tendency of making their environment dirty.

Bettas, however, are hardy fish but extremely susceptible to higher concentrations of ammonia in the tank water environment. These fish can not survive the effects of ammonia poisoning for too long and they will eventually die if the conditions in the tank don’t improve.

It’s not just ammonia that is a major problem for the betta fish in any given tank. Only the cleanliness of the tank water can determine the survival of these fish.

Even if goldfish are dirty naturally, their tank water environment should be kept clean with water change taking place frequently. But such changes can have a negative impact on your betta fish, especially on their immune system in the long run.

As you can see, your bettas will not be comfortable with the frequent changes in water in favor of goldfish. So, you may choose whether to stress them and provide a clean water environment for the goldfish or vice versa. But this won’t be of any help considering that all these species are equally important to you.

In addition to keeping your aquarium clean, you will also need to install a powerful filter to reduce ammonia levels in the water. This will work in favor of your goldfish but not for bettas because the latter have trouble swimming where the filtration is creating stronger currents. Based on this fact, it will be difficult to keep bettas and goldfish in the same aquarium for long.

Can Betta Fish Coexist With Fancy Goldfish?

Temperature and cleanliness of the tank are two factors that will make it difficult for the bettas and goldfish to be raised together. Do you think these two species of fish can get along with each other?

First, you need to remember that keeping more than one betta fish together will depend solely on the individual. Most of the bettas are aggressive but only a few are peaceful and can live with other aquarium fish without causing problems.

Bettas tend to be aggressive are aggressive, and they can also be fin nippers so they are not suitable as good tank mates for fanc goldfish. This should tell you that if you place bettas in the same tank with goldfish, there is a possibility that the fancy goldfish will have their fins nipped.

Likewise, your bettas will most likely end up attacking goldfish for presumably invading their territories. For that reason, you can say that the two fish cannot get along with each other when kept in the same tank.

Tank Size Differences

Goldfish prefer bigger tanks due to their sizes. On the other hand, betta fish can live comfortably in a tank with a capacity of 5 gallons or larger. Anything less than 5 gallons will make your bettas unhappy and uncomfortable as well.

But if you are looking forward to keeping goldfish, then you must go for a bigger tank. This is because a typical goldfish grow as big as 12 inches in length, which makes a bigger tank of about 30 gallons suitable for them.

Additionally, each goldfish will require at least 12 gallons of space to feel comfortable in its tank environment. Bettas, however, grow to about 3 inches in length, although this is not common. The differences in sizes should tell you that when you keep these fish together, goldfish (which is larger) will most probably turn bettas into their meal.

Diet and Feeding Differences

Goldfish eat almost anything that comes their way and they are fast eaters compared to betta fish. This implies that if you put the two species of fish in the same tank, one will eat faster and more food than the other. So, this disparity in feeding creates a huge problem when the two types of fish are kept together.

To make matters worse, bettas are carnivorous whereas goldfish are omnivores. As such, trouble can ensue if any of the two eat each other’s meals. Obviously, your goldfish will take up most of the food, leaving your bettas with less food or nothing to eat.

Can you Keep Goldfish and Betta Fish Together Temporarily?

It is possible to keep goldfish and betta fish in the same aquarium for a short period if you have no other alternative. If kept together temporarily, the two species of fish will not cause trouble given that goldfish are not aggressive despite their large size compared to bettas.

Also, a few days in warmer tank water temperature will not affect your goldfish in any way provided that you don’t let them stay there longer than expected. However, you may only take this option in extreme circumstances. Otherwise, it is not recommended to bring these two fish species in the same tank environment.


Bettas fish and goldfish cannot coexist in the same tank water environment for long. This is because of the two fish lack compatibility greatly.

Bettas prefer warmer temperatures, while goldfish survive on lower water temperatures; bettas are smaller than goldfish and their diet differs greatly as well.

With that in mind, provide each of the two species of fish its own environment if you want to see them happy throughout.

Betta Fish   Goldfish   Updated: October 14, 2019
avatar Hello, my name is Fabian, and I am the Chief Editor at Aquarium Nexus. I have over 20 years of experience in keeping and breeding fish. The aquarium hobby brings me immense joy, and I take great pleasure in sharing my experiences with others.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *