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Can Betta Fish And Goldfish Live Together? All You Need To Know!

Bettas and goldfish are the two most popular aquarium fish species. Therefore, it is common to consider coupling a betta with a goldfish because, why not?

Well, betta fish and goldfish both enjoy connecting with humans and receiving affection in return, but that is the extent of their similarity. Betta fish species are reputedly aggressive, whereas goldfish are calm. Although this arrangement may look ideal, housing them together is a recipe for catastrophe.

The incompatibility of the two fish species extends beyond their temperaments. Learn why bettas and goldfish are not the most suitable tankmates after all by reading "Can Betta Fish and Goldfish Live Together? All You Need To Know!" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

Betta Fish and Goldfish

Bettas and goldfish are highly sought-after aquarium fish species. They are favored pets, especially among children, because to their graceful appearance and simplicity of care, more so than cats and dogs. However, that’s it!

The care requirements and temperaments of these two kinds of fish are vastly distinct. Examine the two to see what makes them so dissimilar that they cannot be matched.


Goldfish seen in pet stores are distantly related to a type of wild Prussian carp native to Central Asia. According to reports, there are over 125 kinds of goldfish, all of which evolved through intense hybridization and captivity crossbreeding.

In contrast to bettas, which are still present in the wild, there are no known wild goldfish.

Betta Fish

Bettas are members of the Osphoromidae family of Southeast Asian tropical fish. There are over 73 types of betta fish, which are largely produced in captivity and intensively hybridized to develop glitzy finnage and dazzling colors that fish enthusiasts crave.

In contrast to goldfish, which are intentionally grown, these fish are found in the wild.

8 Reasons Why Betta Fish and Goldfish Shouldn't Live Together

1. Temperaments

Bettas are commonly referred to as “Siamese Fighting Fish” with good cause. These fish adhere to one rule: all other aquatic organisms are their enemies.

Male bettas are notoriously violent, fiercely territorial, and dominant, assaulting and protecting themselves against anything that swims, including the relaxed goldfish. Their fighting behaviors extend back to the 1880s in Thailand, when bettas were bred deliberately to fight.

Bettas and goldfish would be brought together on purpose so that onlookers could gamble on who would win. Unfortunately, current bettas are identical to their progenitors, which means that if they share an area, goldfish will likely frighten them and provoke fighting.

On the other hand, goldfish are tranquil, however most species may be fin nibblers, a feature that bettas dislike. The goldfish will nibble at the betta’s fins, and if it is not a fin-nipping kind, the betta may attack it.

2. Water Temperature Variation

Betta fish may appear aggressive and ferocious, but don’t be fooled into believing they are robust and tolerant of harsh water conditions.

They are perfect tropical fish that require water temperatures between 75 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit in order to flourish and be content. Anything outside of this range might cause serious stress and death.

A betta might get a temperature shock if the water temperature goes below 75 degrees. It will reduce the body’s metabolic rate, stop it from eating, and cause it to become excessively sluggish. These factors will impede circulation owing to inactivity, which can lead to the development of illnesses such as fin rot.

Goldfish, on the other hand, enjoy water temperatures between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures above 72 degrees Fahrenheit might cause goldfish to become ill owing of their higher metabolism. The fact that these fishes require distinct water temperatures to thrive precludes their cohabitation.

3. Water Hardness

It is possible to identify whether water is hard or soft based on its mineral concentration. As part of their dietary requirements, fish require minerals in their water, but not all species have the same mineral preferences and tolerance levels.

For example, bettas thrive in soft water with nearly no calcium and a pH level close to 7.0. The lower the calcium levels, the lower the pH, and the happier the betta will be. However, goldfish prefer aquariums with a greater calcium concentration and a pH level between 7.2 and 7.4.

4. Bettas find goldfish “too dirty”

Goldfish produce an excessive amount of waste, which raises the ammonia level in the water, making them “filthy” creatures. This is because they lack stomachs, therefore whatever they consume is expelled directly into the ocean.

For this reason, the tanks require a filtering system that can handle waste and regulate the nitrogen cycle. In order to maintain a clean tank, pet owners must constantly replenish the water, a practice that can stress bettas and potentially compromise their immunity.

Additionally, bettas are typically clean and do not thrive in unclean water. As a result, they are particularly sensitive to ammonia, and exposure to higher quantities can result in ammonia poisoning and their death.

5. Goldfish Need Large Aquariums

If you have a betta fish, you must keep it in a 5-10 gallon aquarium. Bettas are little fish, reaching a maximum length of around 2 inches, thus these tank dimensions allow them to survive.

However, goldfish may reach heights of 6 to 8 inches in captivity and 12 inches in the wild, necessitating tanks of at least 20 gallons.

Important to a fish’s lifestyle, tank decorations like hideouts, plants, caverns, and ornaments that are suitable for goldfish will not work for bettas.

6. Flow Rate of Water

To guarantee sufficient water circulation via the filtration system, a Goldfish tank must have a moderately vigorous water flow. This is vital for maintaining clean water.

While the goldfish thrives in a tank with a high flow rate, your betta cannot tolerate such conditions. These fish species have spectacularly long, flowing fins, yet they are largely ineffective for swimming.

Due to its large fins, a betta will struggle to swim in stronger water currents. Living in an environment that restricts its mobility and being continually buffeted by the sea will cause stress. It can expose it to potential health risks.

7. Bettas Are Diminutive Fish

As you may have already seen, a goldfish is larger than a betta. Goldfish are omnivores, therefore housing them with little fish that can fit within their jaws is not a smart choice.

8. Goldfish Eat Rapidly and Mindlessly

Bettas are predators and have little interest in vegetation. These fish species demand a greater amount of protein in their diets, hence they prefer to consume more flesh.

However, goldfish are omnivores and have no trouble consuming a mixture of plant and animal matter. They are also quick, opportunistic eaters that will consume nearly everything you supply, including betta food.

Your betta may starve to death. Worse still, the dietary needs of the two species differ; feeding bettas goldfish food or vice versa might severely hurt them. For instance, the betta may devour too much flora while the goldfish may take too much meat, resulting in a dietary imbalance and associated health issues.

Can Bettas and Goldfish Live Temporarily Together?

If the situation is grave, you may temporarily house the two fish in the same tank. For instance, if the betta’s tank heater has broken, you may temporarily house it in a goldfish aquarium while you fix it.

This should not be a long-term relationship, as it is STRONGLY discouraged. You may, however, set up a transfer tank or transport one to a veterinarian’s tank if you need to switch either of them.

They may end up seriously hurt, unwell, or dead if you simply group them together for convenience!


Can Betta Fish and Goldfish Live Together? All You Need To Know!” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has hopefully clarified that there is no need to have a betta fish and a goldfish in the same aquarium. These fish species have distinct requirements and are typically antagonistic toward one another.

You may only permit them to share temporary housing if the circumstance calls for it.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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