In this article, I will answer one of the most common questions I’m asked by beginners is: Can guppy fish and goldfish live in the same tank?
Normally, when you visit the aquarium store, you will witness many different species of fish living in the same aquarium. It seems like, they are in perfect harmony. However, when you try to put them together in your home aquarium, you will run into some problems.
In most cases, the unfrequented water parameters are the problem. That is why you have to be careful and selective when it comes to choosing the fish species for your aquarium.
Keeping Guppy Fish and Goldfish in the Same Tank
So can you keep goldfish and guppies together? The answer is YES, guppies and Goldfish can coexist together. However, bigger goldfish have the capability of eating the smaller guppy fish. That said, you should beware of what type of goldfish you choose to keep with your guppies.
Although both, goldfish and guppy fish have peaceful behavior, you still need to take some precautions in order to protect your guppies from the goldfish.
Protecting the Guppy Fry
Guppies are notorious for breeding. A female guppy gives birth to 20-120 fry once a month. Providing the right conditions, guppy fry can reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 months. Thereafter they are also able to breed.
The only problem is, that guppy fry will not survive in a tank where a big goldfish is present. Guppy fry are around 0.25 inches (6 mm) when they are born. For a goldfish, guppy fry will be a good snack. If you want to protect your baby guppies from the goldfish, you can do 2 things:
- Breeding box: put the pregnant female in a breeding box, just before she is about to give birth, and keep the fry in the breeding box until they reach a reasonable size.
- Separate tank: the next option which you have is to remove the guppy fry from the tank altogether. You can grow them in a separate tank. However, this is a cumbersome process as you will have to maintain 2 or more tanks.
Most people who keep goldfish and guppies together, simply do not care about the fry or keep only male guppies so they don’t need to deal with reproduction.
Plants in a Goldfish-Guppy Tank
Goldfish will eat anything that fits into their mouth. Plants are no exception to this. There are however some plants that you can keep with goldfish. But please take in consideration, that there is no guarantee, that they will remain intact.
If you really want to risk it and want to keep the plant in your fish tank, here are a few that I recommend:
- Java fern
- Water sprite
- Water lettuce
These plants are low maintenance and grow really fast (expect the Anubias). Even if the goldfish will take a bite from these plants, they will still be able to regrow pretty fast. Of all the enumerated plants, probably the duckweed is the best choice. It removes nitrates very effectively and grows super fast. Goldfish love to eat duckweed and because it is high in protein and contains vitamins too. Even though goldfish will consume duckweed, they can’t all of it.
Also, you should know that a well-fed goldfish will ignore plants for a while. So if you have a planted guppy and goldfish tank, make sure your goldfish is not very hungry.
Also, keep in mind that you should use a weighted base for the plant in order to ensure that goldfish do not uproot the plant.
Good Filtration & Regular Tank Maintenance
With weekly water changes you can remove most of the nitrates from the water, but you also need to deal with ammonia spikes. For this, I recommend implementing a good external or internal filter with good bio-filter media.
Having a filter on your tank can’t skip water changes, but will help in keeping the water quality at levels where both guppies and goldfish can thrive.
Get a Larger Aquarium
This is actually commonsense which you can take into consideration. Needless to say, depending on the number of guppies and goldfish, you can choose a larger size fish tank. You have to ensure that both of them can be easily accommodated in the aquarium.
A larger aquarium will provide more space for the big goldfish and the water parameters will be more stable.
Set the Right Water Temperature
Goldfish generally can support cooler water temperatures. That is why they are so easy to maintain. When you are populating your aquarium only with the goldfish, chances are you will not need a water heater. But, when you want to keep guppies with goldfish, you need to keep the temperature of the water stable.
Guppies require warmer water, 72-82 °F (22-28 °C ) in order to stay healthy. Goldfish, however, can support a water temperature of 40-78 °F (5-23 °C ).
When setting the water temperature for your tank, you should ideally aim to achieve a temperature around 70 °F. This will be cold enough for the Goldfish and warm enough for the guppies. Thus, both species will be comfortable and can live together.
Set the Right Water pH Level
Most of the aquarium owners overlook this requirement. However, it is pretty important to maintain the right water conditions and pH level. Goldfish prefer acidic water. On the other hand, guppies prefer alkaline water. In order to find a middle ground, it is a good idea to always keep the water at a neutral pH level – try to aim for 7 pH. This also means that you will have to measure the pH levels of the water quite frequently if you want to keep your fish healthy.
Keep in mind that if you’re not changing the water frequently, it will turn acidic. That is why you need to have a pretty regular water-changing schedule. You should not skip on water changes.
A high amount of waste can also turn the water acidic. This is where my above-mentioned precaution of having a strong filtration system will come in handy.
So, if you want to keep guppy fish and goldfish in the same aquarium, you can certainly do so. However, there are a few things to consider when creating an aquarium for these two species.
The key is to do regular water changes and tank maintenance, have a good filtration system, heat the water but keep it cool enough for the goldfish and monitor the pH level.
By keeping my advice, you can’t go wrong keeping guppies and goldfish together in the same aquarium.