15 Best Goldfish Tank Mates For Your Home Aquarium

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Written By Matt Stevens

Hi, I'm Matt! I've been obsessed with fishkeeping for over 15 years now and created this site to share my knowledge with others.

The iconic Goldfish are much more than the signature red, yellow, and orange bodies we’ve been quite fond of in the aquarium hobby. But what fish can live with Goldfish?

While it appears easy at first, finding the right Goldfish tank mates is more challenging than many assume. And that’s because of the specific compatibility issues you must contend with when selecting the new companions.

This guide highlights the 15 best Goldfish companions you can introduce to the freshwater aquarium anytime. If you have a favorite species in mind, there’s a good chance it will appear on our list.

1. Goldfish

Now, this is a no-brainer. The first place to find ideal Goldfish tank mates is within the same family. Naturally, the Goldfish is a friendly, peaceful, and fun-loving species that won’t have any problem living alone in the same habitat.

Oranda Goldfish swimming in tank.

You know you have succeeded in raising a thriving Goldfish community if they don’t shy away from showing their striking display by swimming uncontrollably at any position inside the tank.

And we could go as far as saying their biggest strength in captivity is displaying their schooling behavior.

An important aspect of effective Goldfish pairing rests on the fish’s activity levels and typical behavior. Always ensure that the chosen species have the same swimming ability and size to eliminate any possible vulnerabilities that the more powerful fish could exploit.

2. Giant Danios

Giant Danios go hand in hand with their cute-looking cousins, Zebra Danios. However, they are bigger, stronger, and more powerful than the tiny Zebra varieties.

Giant Danio swimming in tank.

They take on a lustrous gold and steel-blue coloring, making them just as stunning as the Zebra Danios. Because a typical Giant Danio measures just over 4 inches in maturity, they are naturally secure in a schooling community, with every species readily showing off its sparkling look.  

A single aquarium should hold at least 5 Giant Danios with valuable additions like hiding spots and artificial plants always an important part of their daily lives.

While they can be great when matched with the right Goldfish varieties, always ensure the selected Goldfish species can match their speed and agility inside the tank, seeing as the Giant Danios are such an active, fast-swimming fish.

Size: 4 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

3. Zebra Danios

Like the aforementioned Giant Danios, Zebra Danios are easily recognized by the beautiful silvery coloring and blue stripes running the length of their bodies.

Zebra Danio swimming in tank.

They can readily light up a home aquarium when kept alone. But they are even more exciting when matched with the right Goldfish species.

See, the Goldfish is a stunning species, taking on a visually striking red, orange, or yellow coloring that stands out in any tank. On the other hand, the Zebra Danios appeal to many aquarists with their natural silvery appearance.

Now, a combination of the two fish can only be described as the perfect match, with both species complementing one another to create a visually striking aquarium that’s so hard to ignore.

It can be risky to keep the Giant Danios together with adult Goldfish, but who’s a passionate aquarist if not a risk-taker?

Size: 2-2.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

4. Dojo Loach

If you don’t want to stress about stringent care requirements, here’s a species that can flourish readily with minimal monitoring. Dojo Loaches are popular freshwater fish that can coexist with the Goldfish in a sizable community tank.

A Dojo loach or the weather loach swimming in a fish tank.

They are one of the best tank mates for Goldfish, but one of the biggest challenges you may face at home involves their large body sizes.

With a typical 6-12 inch body length, keeping the Dojo Loaches at home is only recommended if you can set up a 75-gallon tank at a minimum.

Also, ensure their tanks are clean with a soft sandy substrate and proper filtration system. Keep them together with your favorite Goldfish, and you might have just found the perfect way to light up a dull aquarium.

Size: 6 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons

5. Platy

Platy fish are another attractive goldfish-friendly fish that thrives in groups. They have plenty of color morphs within the broader family, and the choice of what species to go with depends on the complementary colors you want to include in the tank.

platy fish swimming in the tank

A Platy-Goldfish combination can be promising right from the start. However, pay attention to the Platy’s young fry and other juvenile fish that the Goldfish may confuse with an ordinary meal.

A typical Platy fish needs at least 10 gallons if they are part of a species-specific community. So, you will need a larger tank to introduce other tank mates like the Goldfish to the same aquarium.

Size: 2.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

6. White Cloud Mountain Minnow

If the White Cloud Mountain Minnows don’t capture your attention with their dart-shaped bodies, they should give you flexibility and peace of mind when choosing the right tank mates. And that list includes most Goldfish species.

White Cloud Mountain Minnow

If it’s all about visual appeal, the two species seem to complement one another, with the White Cloud Mountain Minnows taking on silvery green coloring on their scales with pink fins and a shiny band running the length of their bodies.

On the other hand, most Goldfish varieties are the little kings of the aquatic world, taking on impressive red, orange, or yellow coloring.

Many aquarists are never convinced that White Cloud Mountain Minnows can coexist with the Goldfish in the same aquarium. But their opinion quickly changes as soon as they understand the little Minnows’ actual cravings in the natural habitat.

Size: 1.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

7. Hillstream Loach

Now, this is the perfect combo you’ve been waiting for. With their exceptional coloring and distinct body shapes, these little critters are a great choice for a favorite pet fish.

Hillstream loach on a rock.

A Hillstream Loach-Goldfish combo is one for the books, with both species adored for their peaceful temperament that shows from the first time you introduce them to the aquarium.

Hillstream Loaches spend much of their time minding their own business, and if they aren’t scavenging for any freshly available food inside the tank, they will be attached to the rock surface.

Their daily routine sometimes involves latching onto the glass surface inside the tank, their carefree attitude allowing them to live their best lives at home.

Size: 2-3 inches

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

8. Bristlenose Pleco

If you weren’t aware of their natural beauty, Bristlenose Plecos are doubtless one of those species to pay attention to. They are many aquarists’ favorite fish because they come with little to no expectations regarding general care and maintenance.

Bristlenose Pleco swimming at the bottom of a fish tank.

A beautiful fish to watch, Bristlenose Plecos have an alluring look that begins with attractive bristles all over their bodies. This is complemented by a beautiful coloration of brown or black-gray, as seen in most species.

Their adaptability makes them easily compatible with the Goldfish, and as natural bottom dwellers, they may also help with clearing unwanted algae and other leftover fish food inside the tank.

If you want to maintain a peaceful community, feed your Plecos on enough algae and other high-quality food to limit any aggressive behavior when kept with the Goldfish in the same tank.

Size: 3-5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 25 gallons

9. Mystery Snail

Adding a beautiful snail to a Goldfish’s tank should never be as controversial as some aquarists make it appear. And that’s even more accurate if the little critter in question is as lovely as Mystery Snail.

Mystery Snail swimming in tank.

Whenever you need variety inside the tank, don’t go further than Mystery Snails, sometimes called Pomacea bridgesii.

Mystery Snails have a unique personality that might take your aquarium hobby to a whole new level. Everybody marvels at their attractive, distinct-looking bodies, but that’s just the first part of Mystery Snail wonder.

The next involves their ease of care, with a typical critter known to remain adaptable inside an aquarium, no matter the tank mates. Mystery Snails give endless color variations, from the common black, golden, and brown variants to the rarer albino species.

Size: 2 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons

10. Rosy Barb

A Rosy Barb-Goldfish combination always looks like the perfect match. And truly, these two species can readily complement each other inside the same tank, considering Rosy Barb is just as beautiful with the rare solid red-orange body coloring.

Rosy barb swimming in tank.

They are active, hardy, and undemanding, and as Goldfish’s tank mates, these fast swimmers will need close monitoring during feeding to ensure they get essential nutrients.

See, keeping these two species together carries no risk. However, the Barbs tend to be more active than the Goldfish. So, they can always snatch and eat all the food when the Goldfish isn’t even ready.

As long as you solve the feeding puzzle, everything else should be straightforward. Always prioritize high-quality flakes and pellets when feeding your Rosy Barbs at home.

Size: 6 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 20 gallons

11. Hoplo Catfish

Hoplo Catfish is a South American freshwater fish that thrives in cooler conditions. They can match the resilience of most Goldfish species, with their mellow personality already guaranteeing a perfect relationship inside the aquarium.

hoplo catfish swimming in tank.

We can’t fail to mention Hoplo Catfishes’ interesting activity levels in captivity. Unlike most fish, these species are more active during the day and have no problem showing off their attractive bodies in the company of the right tank mates.  

And that’s precisely what you would expect from an equally beautiful Goldfish tank mate.

Size: 6 inches

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons

12. Banded Corydoras

Many aquarists will agree that most Cory Catfish species aren’t ideal companions for the Goldfish. But the Banded Corydoras appear to break away from the norm.

banded corydoras swimming in the tank

Dominantly found in South America, these Corydoras are just as attractive to compliment the tank display and large enough not to be confused with a typical snack.

They are social fish, happy to live in groups of up to 5 species or even more at a time. And as natural bottom dwellers, Banded Corydoras are perfect scavengers in captivity, spending much of their time searching for food inside the tank.

Sometimes, you will see them touring the upper and middle sections of the aquarium, creating an addictive scene when matched with the suitable Goldfish species.

Size: 3-4 inches

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons

13. Rubber Lip Pleco

Rubber Lip Plecos are beautifully armored South American catfishes that happily cohabitate with most Goldfish species. They are one of the unlucky species that haven’t captured many aquarists’ attention despite their attractive bodies.

Rubber lip pleco swimming in aquarium

A typical Rubber Lip Pleco boasts a characteristic pleco appearance, with a big sucker mouth and slightly elevated eyes. The Rubber Lip Plecos are just perfect for any tank, with their discreet bodies always ensuring they blend seamlessly with the environment.

They are larger than most Goldfish species. So, ensure they are properly fed inside the tank, lest they treat your favorite pet as a typical snack.

Size: 7 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 25-30 gallons

14. Cherry Shrimp

Cherry Shrimp is a green-brown Taiwanese invertebrate commonly kept in the aquarium community. They are one of the best alternatives if you want to break away from the monotony of having freshwater fish as fancy Goldfish tank mates.

Cherry Shrimp in aquarium.

They are excellent scavengers keen to mind their own business inside the tank. And that means they can comfortably survive inside a Goldfish’s habitat. But then, everything depends on how your Goldfish will react to a strange-looking newcomer to their habitat.

It’s riskier to keep Cherry Shrimps together with large-sized Goldfish species. That’s why many aquarists turn to plenty of hiding spots, stones, and natural plants to make the little Shrimps safer and more comfortable inside a Goldfish’s habitat.

Size: 1.5 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons

15. Apple Snails

Apple Snails are one of the best freshwater aquarium snails you can keep with the Goldfish. While most Goldfish species are known to eat different invertebrates, the Apple Snails’ large body sizes might save them from the wrath of a hungry fish.

apple snail swimming in the tank

Proper planning is crucial to breed familiarity inside the tank. And that means your desired Apple Snails must be introduced to a Godlfish’s habitat early enough to promote friendliness.

The downside of introducing the Apple Snails to a Goldfish’s habitat is that these little critters produce enormous waste. But with a solid filtration system, that, too, shouldn’t be a challenge.

Size: 3-6 inches

Difficulty: Easy

Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Final Thoughts

If you read our guide to the end, you will agree that many fish that can live with Goldfish are virtually everywhere.

And all it takes is a keen eye to ensure the preferred tank mate is well suited to the same habitat and can complement your favorite Goldfish species without appearing overly bossy or aggressive.

One thing that stands out in most Goldfish tankmates is that they are all peaceful, medium-sized, and slightly active. The good news is all the species on our list are also hardy enough to thrive in any environment.

So, the next time you want a beautiful fish compatible with Goldfish, you know which species to consider.