Do Goldfish Need Friends?

Do you have 1 goldfish and are wondering do goldfish need friends?

Will they be ok alone or do they need company? If they need company what are the best tank mates for them?

I will cover everything you need to know below.

Do Goldfish Need Friends

Goldfish are generally social animals and can benefit from companionship. While they don’t require friends in the same way humans do, keeping goldfish in groups or pairs can provide them with social interaction, stimulation, and a more natural environment.

It is important to consider the compatibility of different goldfish breeds, their size, and the size of the aquarium or pond when determining the number of fish to keep together.

Providing appropriate tank or pond size, proper filtration, and monitoring their behavior and health are essential for their well-being.

Do Goldfish Need Friends

Do Goldfish Mix Well With Other Fish

Yes, Goldfish can coexist with certain species of fish, but it’s important to select compatible tank mates that have similar temperature and water parameter requirements.

Additionally, consider the size and behavior of potential tank mates to avoid aggression or fin nipping. Here are a few fish that can generally mix well with goldfish:

Remember to monitor the interactions between the goldfish and the tank mates, and be prepared to make adjustments if any signs of aggression or incompatibility arise.

Always research the specific needs and behavior of the potential tank mates to ensure a harmonious and suitable environment for all the fish in the tank.

Can Goldfish Live Alone Happily

Yes, goldfish can live alone and
still be content. While goldfish are social animals, they do not require companionship in the same way that some other species do. They can thrive and lead happy lives in a well-maintained tank or pond with appropriate care, sufficient space to swim, and environmental enrichment.

It’s important to provide a stimulating environment with suitable decorations, hiding spots, and regular interaction and attention from their human caretakers.

11 Best Tank Mates For Goldfish

Here are 11 best tank mates for goldfish:

1. White Cloud Mountain Minnow

These small, peaceful fish can coexist with goldfish due to their similar temperature and water requirements. They add activity and color to the tank.

2. Weather Loach

Also known as Dojo Loaches, they are peaceful, bottom-dwelling fish that can handle similar water conditions as goldfish. They are active and interesting to watch.

3. Rosy Barbs

Active and hardy, Rosy Barbs can tolerate cooler water temperatures and are relatively peaceful, making them suitable companions for goldfish.

4. Hillstream Loach

These loaches have a flattened body and are adapted to fast-flowing waters. They can handle cooler temperatures and provide interesting behavior in the tank.

5. Bristlenose Pleco

These bottom-dwelling algae eaters can help keep the tank clean by consuming algae. They are generally peaceful and can tolerate the same water conditions as goldfish.

6. Corydoras Catfish

Small and peaceful bottom-dwellers, Corydoras catfish are excellent tank mates for goldfish. They help keep the substrate clean and add variety to the tank.

7. Snails

Certain species of snails, such as Nerite snails or Mystery snails, can coexist with goldfish. They help with algae control and are generally compatible.

8. Golden White Cloud

This variety of White Cloud Mountain Minnows has a similar temperature and water requirement as goldfish. They have a striking golden coloration.

9. Paradise Fish

These labyrinth fish have vibrant colors and can tolerate cooler water. However, be cautious as they can be aggressive, so choose tank mates carefully.

10. Zebra Danio

These small, active fish are hardy and can tolerate similar water conditions as goldfish. They add movement and energy to the tank.

11. Giant Danio

With their active swimming behavior, Giant Danios can keep up with the fast-moving goldfish. They require similar water conditions and make good tank mates.

When selecting tank mates for goldfish, it’s important to consider factors such as size compatibility, temperature requirements, and aggression levels.

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What Environment Needs Do Goldfish Have

If you are looking to select a tank mate for your goldfish you need to make sure they are compatable with the goldfish’s needs.

Goldfish have specific environmental needs to thrive and stay healthy. Here are some key considerations for creating an optimal environment for goldfish:

Tank size

Goldfish require ample space to swim and grow. A larger tank or pond is ideal to provide them with enough room to move around. The general rule of thumb is to allow at least 20 gallons (75 liters) of water per goldfish.

Water quality

Maintaining good water quality is essential. Goldfish are sensitive to ammonia and nitrite levels, so regular water testing and appropriate filtration are necessary. A reliable filter should be capable of handling the tank’s size and providing mechanical, biological, and chemical filtration.


Goldfish are cold-water fish and prefer temperatures between 65-75°F (18-24°C). Avoid exposing them to extreme temperature fluctuations, as it can stress or harm the fish.


Goldfish need well-oxygenated water. Aeration through air stones, water movement from filters, or using a water pump helps ensure sufficient oxygen levels for the fish.

Decorations and hiding spots

Providing tank decorations like rocks, caves, and plants offers hiding places and helps create a stimulating environment. Ensure the decor is smooth and free of sharp edges to prevent injury.


Choose a substrate that is safe for goldfish, such as smooth gravel or sand. Avoid using sharp or small gravel that goldfish could accidentally ingest.


Goldfish do not require intense lighting, but they benefit from a regular light-dark cycle. A light period of 8-12 hours a day is sufficient. Natural daylight or low-intensity aquarium lights are suitable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Put New Goldfish in With Old Ones?

Yes, you can introduce new goldfish to an existing group, but it should be done gradually and with caution. Quarantine the new fish first to ensure their health, then acclimate them slowly to the tank. Monitor their behavior closely and provide hiding spots. Not all goldfish will get along, so be prepared to separate them if conflicts arise.

Do Goldfish Like Having Friends?

Goldfish are social animals and can benefit from companionship. While they don’t require friends in the same way humans do, keeping goldfish in groups or pairs can provide social interaction, stimulation, and a more natural environment.

How Do You Introduce a New Goldfish to a Goldfish?

To introduce a new goldfish to an existing one, quarantine the new fish first to ensure their health. Gradually acclimate the new fish to the tank water by floating their bag or container in the tank. Monitor their behavior closely, provide hiding spots, and be prepared to separate them if aggression occurs.

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Put Goldfish in a New Tank?

You can put goldfish in a new tank once the tank has been properly set up and the water parameters are stable. Ideally, this process takes about a week. However, it’s crucial to ensure the tank is fully cycled and the water conditions are appropriate for goldfish.

Can You Put Two Goldfish in One Bowl?

No, it is not recommended to keep two goldfish in one bowl. Goldfish require ample space to swim and grow, and a bowl does not provide the necessary space or filtration for their well-being. Goldfish produce a lot of waste, which can quickly accumulate in a small bowl, leading to poor water quality and health problems.

Do Goldfish Need to Be in Pairs?

Goldfish are social animals, but they don’t necessarily need to be kept in pairs. They can live contently alone or in groups. If you choose to keep multiple goldfish together, ensure the tank is spacious enough to accommodate their size and provide adequate hiding spots.


Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.