Can betta fish coexist alongside goldfish?

In this post, we will learn a little about the relationship between Betta fish and Goldfish. We will also learn more about their requirements and explain if they can be set up together in a community tank.

Can betta fish coexist alongside goldfish?

Goldfish and Betta fish should not be kept in the same tank for several reasons. The primary cause, however, is the amount of hostility frequently displayed by Betta fish. While certain Betta fish may be successfully maintained in communal aquariums, this is not recommended. Male Bettas commonly attack other Betta-like fish, and a male Betta fish may readily confuse a goldfish for another male Betta.

The other major reason these fish should not be housed together is that their water conditions are somewhat different. Goldfish are a kind of cool water fish that thrive in cool surroundings. They can be maintained in warm water, although this significantly reduces their lifespan. Betta fish, on the other hand, are true tropical fish that thrive in warm water. If kept in very chilly water, Betta fish become prone to sickness and often have a shorter lifespan.

Goldfish are high bioload producers, meaning they contribute a significant quantity of waste to their habitat. They require extensive filtration to maintain a high standard of water purity.

Goldfish grow significantly larger than Betta fish, and as a result, they may develop fast and begin to overproduce waste in the tank, causing stress and jeopardizing the Betta fish’s health. Betta fish have limited swimming abilities and require a very slow stream to survive.

Increased filtration may result in a strong current, which is stressful for Betta fish and can eventually result in fatigue.

Betta Fish Fundamentals

The Siamese fighting fish also referred to as the betta fish, is a member of the Osphronemidae family. Bettas are tropical fish native to Southeast Asia. While there are 73 identified species of betta fish, the majority are hybridized (bred in captivity), resulting in spectacular colors and elegant fins desired by fish owners.

The Chao Phraya and Mekong river basins in Thailand are home to a natural population of betta fish. Bettas like shallow, slow-moving waterways such as floodplains, marshes, and rice paddles. These individuals are referred to as “labyrinth breathers.” This implies that bettas have evolved a unique respiratory system that enables them to suck air from the surface.

Due to their incredible organ, they are able to survive in waters with low oxygen levels caused by dry seasons. According to fish owners, this evolutionary quirk enables bettas to live in small bowls or tanks due to their ability to capture air from the surface, although this is not true. Bettas require a minimum of two gallons of aquarium space for heating, lighting, and filtration.

Goldfish Fundamentals

Due to goldfish’s popularity, this species is now accessible in practically every pet store worldwide. Goldfish are derived from wild Prussian carp found in Central Asia (Carassius gibelio). Goldfish come in over 125 kinds, all of which are grown in captivity.

Furthermore, goldfish enjoy slow-moving bodies of water such as rivers, ponds, lakes, and ditches. Unfortunately, similar to captive bettas, the majority of goldfish owners maintain their pets in tiny tanks or bowls with inadequate filtration. Lack of filtration is especially detrimental to goldfish since they create enormous volumes of waste.

Betta fish and Goldfish temperament

Bettas are well-known as very aggressive and attack fellow bettas, but they can also attack the majority of other fish. A remedy to this is to divide the tank in half and isolate your betta from other fish. Conversely, there are notable outliers, such as the Otocinclus catfish (Otocinclus affinis) and certain tetra species.

In comparison to bettas, goldfish are extremely calm fish that coexist nicely with other species. That is one of the reasons why many people prefer to maintain goldfish over other types of fish. Bear in mind that goldfish are omnivores, so keep them away from small fish that they may ingest.

Aggression and Nipping at the Fins

When placed in the same tank, betta and goldfish may fight one another. Goldfish are referred to as fin-nippers, which is an awful thing to maintain with a betta fish since their fins must be kept in excellent condition at all times. Consequently, if you keep them in the same tank, your betta’s fins are highly likely to be nipped. If the goldfish is not a fin nipper, he may be attacked by the betta fish.

Betta fish and Goldfish requirements

The following are the requirements to both Betta fish and Goldfish:

Tank filtration 

A goldfish aquarium requires an outstanding filtration system capable of thoroughly cleaning the water in the aquarium and maintaining a healthy environment for the goldfish. Such filtering systems will generate an excessively powerful water flow that is unsuitable for your betta fish.

As a relatively tiny fish in comparison to goldfish, bettas have difficulty swimming, which is why they prefer extremely slow currents or even none at all. Consider utilizing a moderate bubbling sponge filter, which is ideal for betta aquariums.

Water temperature

Even while bettas look to be robust fish, do not be fooled into assuming they can withstand extreme temperatures. Bettas, like tropical fish, prefer water temperatures between 75° and 85° F. Temperatures outside of this range will cause stress or even death to your betta.

By contrast, goldfish are mostly classified as cold-water fish, thriving at water temperatures ranging from 65° to 75° F. Goldfish, on the other hand, will not suffer if their water temperature is outside of this range. Goldfish are extremely versatile, withstanding temperatures as low as 32° F and as high as 95° F.

Water purification

There is one further point to consider, determining if goldfish and betta fish can coexist in the same tank. It is a matter of aquarium hygiene. Goldfish are notorious for their filthiness. It is not a matter of their manners, but their nature, as goldfish lack stomachs and excrete a large amount of waste, boosting ammonia levels.

Despite their toughness, bettas are quite sensitive to ammonia sickness. If a betta gets poisoned, it will die rapidly. Because goldfish produce a great deal of waste, your aquarium will require frequent water changes and cleaning. All of this can also affect betta’s health since it is extremely stressful and can weaken the immune system of bettas.

Tank Capacity

Bettas are tiny species that typically reach a mature size of between 2 and 3 inches. Therefore, providing betta a 10-gallon tank will make it a very happy fish, as it will have plenty of space to swim, hide, and rest.

Even though bettas are quite small, it is simply not appropriate to keep them in a small bowl because they prefer to explore their surroundings. A two-gallon tank is the minimal minimum size for a betta tank. However, offering a 5 or 10-gallon aquarium for your tropical fish will make it a much happier pet.

When it comes to goldfish, some of them may easily reach a mature size of 6 inches or even more. With only one goldfish, you’ll need a 20-gallon aquarium, plus an extra ten gallons for each additional goldfish in the same tank.

Additionally, plants in a tank with goldfish will not live long due to the goldfish’s destructive nature. They frequently uproot plants and rummage through the substrate in search of any residual food crumbs.

Is Keeping Betta Fish and Goldfish Together Worthwhile?

Given what has been mentioned so far, the answer to the question “can betta fish coexist alongside goldfish?” should be self-evident. Both fish have nutritional, health, and environmental requirements that are quite distinct. As a result, mixing them in the same tank is not a good idea.

There is a prevalent assumption that goldfish will adapt to their environment, which is accurate to a degree. However, this is a bad thing since it would reduce their lifetime and make them more prone to numerous ailments. 

Is It Possible to Keep Them Together Temporarily?

Under extreme circumstances, you may keep your goldfish and betta together, but only for a limited length of time. This is, however, Highly discouraged. If you need to move one of them from their normal tank to a transfer tank or a hospital tank, build up a transfer tank or a hospital tank. Don’t just throw one in with the other for the sake of convenience. Even if they do not become ill or die, the shock of the new water and ecology might cause long-term damage.


In this article, we understood the relationship between Betta fish and Goldfish. We also discussed their requirements and explained if they can be set up together in a community tank.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can betta fish coexist alongside goldfish?

Are goldfish and betta fish compatible?

No, goldfish and betta fish are incompatible for a variety of reasons. It has nothing to do with their personality, but rather with the many habitat situations they are accustomed to, among other factors.

Is it possible for betta fish to consume goldfish food?

Yes, betta fish can consume goldfish food and will digest it normally; however, avoid feeding your betta goldfish food regularly. Bettas demand a high protein diet, and goldfish food will not suffice.

Can goldfish be fed betta fish food?

Yes, goldfish may consume betta fish, but only seldom and in small amounts. While betta fish food is a good source of protein for goldfish, it can cause kidney failure, swim bladder infection, and intestinal gas due to the goldfish’s incredibly small digestive tract, which is incapable of digesting large amounts of protein-rich foods.

Is it possible for a betta fish to kill a goldfish?

No, but these two fish should not be kept together.


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