There are many questions and challenges that you need to deal with once you make a decision to introduce a tank mate to your betta. Which kinds go together, will my betta attack it, what can I do to make the habitat appropriate for both kinds? Before you decide which kind to keep you have to be well informed and know as much as possible. If you know your betta and the way it behaves, think again. It can change once you present a mate because once when the surrounding changes your betta might change too. Introducing a tank mate can be a trigger for unpredicted behavior and extreme aggression that bettas have in their genes.
However, it is proven that there are many kinds that can go together with bettas and how about goldfish. Here we don`t have a simple answer and you will see why. So, after reading our story you can decide on your own whether to join these two or not.
In this article:
- Water Conditions for Goldfish and Bettas
- Goldfish behavior – Do they get along with bettas?
- Can Goldfish Eat Betta Food?
- How to choose a Goldfish?
- How many Goldfish can I keep with my Betta?
- Final thoughts about keeping Betta fish with Goldfish
Water Conditions for Goldfish and Bettas
The most important thing is installing the tank and setting water parameters. That can be especially challenging if the kinds you want to join do not match. You need to think carefully to level the parameters not to harm your pets. When it comes to joining a betta and a goldfish you need to know that they like different things and it will be a difficult task for a new owner to please both fish. Let’s see what you need to deal with.
Water temperature difference
Talking about temperature Bettas like warm water and the range of temperature for them should be between 76 and 82 F. Goldfish, on the other hand, like their water cooler and tolerate temperature from 68 to 74 F. Each of them can survive within their optimal range and keeping the temperature low, between 74 and 76 F is not recommendable for your betta because it can become stressed or get into shock. Cool water will slow bettas metabolism and cause stress and furthermore illness. A similar thing will happen with a goldfish if the temperature goes over 74 F. Warmer waters over 74 degrees which will suit a betta more will increase the metabolism of a goldfish and cause another kind of condition that will harm a goldfish. In order to please your pets, it may cross your mind to meet in the middle at 75 F but we do not recommend it. 76 F is borderline where a betta can survive but not thrive and everything below it will do a lot of damage to your betta.
Different fish have different tolerance to water hardness Bettas like softer water that hardly contains calcium which is connected to the PH of the water. PH will be lower if the level of calcium is low. Bettas prefer PH of the water at 7,0 while goldfish like it between 7,2 and 7,6.
Here we see another difference but this can be tolerated if you keep it at 7,0 to 7,1.
Another thing that you should know is that goldfish are very filthy fish in terms of hygiene. They export a lot of waste and therefore increase the level of ammonia. This leads to another problem for your betta called ammonia poisoning which causes a quick death.
If you want to reduce the waste you are sentenced to more often cleaning and water changes. There comes another problem with your betta since they are very sensitive to changes. Your betta will become stressed which will affect the immune system and lead to illness. Here you need to decide either to clean your tank more often or to let the waste from a goldfish cause ammonia poisoning. There is a solution to this problem, you can provide a strong filter that will reduce the level of waste and ammonia level. With this, your betta will only have problems swimming. Strong flow is something a betta doesn’t like so it will be a bit stressed.
Size of a tank
Bettas are rather small and they reach up to 2 inches when they grow fully so if you want to satisfy your bettas need 5 to 10 gallons tank will be great. It will be happy and will have enough space to hide, swim and enjoy.
Goldfish on the other hand grow bigger; they mostly grow up to 6 to 12 inches and more when they reach maturity. They need at least a 20-gallon tank and new 10 gallons for every additional goldfish.
Setting up the tank
When it comes to setting up a tank we have already spoken about the size. Now, the position of the tank is basically similar for both bettas and goldfish. Sunlight can raise the water temperature and warm the water so it can harm both fish. Do not place it near the sources of heat or cold and pieces of equipment like machines, stereos, TV and others that you have. All the noise and movements caused by them will stress your pets.
Put the tank in a peaceful corner where there is not too much light and you can easily approach to enjoy your aquarium.
Bettas like the caves and other ornaments in the tank and goldfish are very destructive. They enjoy foraging the ground, rearranging the tank and uprooting the plants. Since goldfish are poor swimmers if you have too many decorations in the tank, they can even get injured.
Goldfish behavior – Do they get along with bettas?
Bettas and goldfish are the most common fish that people keep in their homes especially due to their beauty. With their colorful scales and magnificent looks they enrich every tank. Now you are wondering if your betta can live with a goldfish. The answer is a bit complicated. In general, yes, they can live as tank mates but the tank arrangement will not be ideal for either of them.
Another thing is that bettas do not like any fish that looks like a betta, and goldfish does resemble. Brightly colored fish with long flowing fins will most surely provoke aggression with your betta.
Goldfish usually swim during the day and sleep at night which is the same as bettas so they will be meeting quite often which is not ideal.
What is also a part of their behavior is playing and exploring the tank and while doing that they can destroy the tank arrangement.
Two basic characteristics of these two kinds are that bettas are known to be aggressive and goldfish are known to be fin nippers. If you join these two in a tank then there’s a big chance that your betta will end up with fins nipped or a goldfish will be attacked by aggressive betta.
Can Goldfish Eat Betta Food?
Yes, a goldfish can eat bettas food but only occasionally and as a treat. Goldfish are omnivores and are not picky eaters, they would eat almost anything. Their food in general should contain less protein and more carbohydrates. If you run out of goldfish food you may use something from your kitchen like peas, broccoli, zucchini or cucumber.
Pay attention when feeding your betta which may get too many vegetables because a goldfish might get its meal. This may result in problems; a hungry betta becomes aggressive and a goldfish that is fed too much.
How to choose a Goldfish?
Before you buy a goldfish, you need to be sure what to look for. First, observe the tank and check if the water is clear and fish look happy, active and perky. Look for a fish whose scales are clear and all there. Also, check the fins, especially the dorsal which should stand straight. Observe pectoral and anal fins which should be the same size. Avoid any specimen with bumps, spots, patches or cuts.
How many Goldfish can I keep with my Betta?
People usually go with one male betta or sorority of females but when we talk about bettas and goldfish, we do not know the answer for sure. Goldfish grow big so many owners make a decision to keep just one. When it comes to sharing a tank, the best advice would be to keep one of each kind until you see that it works.
The most important is to reduce aggression by providing a tank that is big enough and fill it in with a lot of plants and decorations, that way each kind of fish will have its own space and things to be entertained with.
So, depending on the temperament of your fish you can keep a betta and a single goldfish preferably a female betta because they tend to be less aggressive. With a male betta and goldfish, you will most probably have aggression and fight all the time.
Final thoughts about keeping Betta fish with Goldfish
As you can see from everything above, a betta can theoretically live with a goldfish in the same tank but there are way too many obstacles to handle. Even if you believe that you can manage it all it’ll be very stressful to handle all these things simultaneously.
More importantly, it is very risky for your pets as well. So, our final recommendation is not to put a betta and a goldfish in the same tank. Both of them are remarkable, and they’re excellent pets to have.