Can Betta Fish Live with Goldfish? What to Do

While it is possible, keeping bettas and goldfish together is never encouraged since the two have different diets and environmental needs. Goldfish are omnivorous, while bettas are carnivorous. Additionally, bettas prefer warm water between 77°- 82° F, while goldfish need cooler water between 68°- 74° F.

Therefore, if you can have a bigger tank that can accommodate the two, that’s okay. This means that the tank should be big enough such that one side is warm and the other is cooler. It is also advisable that beginners should not keep the two together since their difference in survival needs can be overwhelming.

Betta fish needsGoldfish needs
Need warm water max 82° F.Need cooler water max 74° F.
Aggressive and teritorial.Like nipping.
Battas can’t sustain high ammonia goldfish waste.Can sustain lots of ammonia from their waste.
Moderate eating habits.Eat a lot.
Prefer soft water – max PH of 7.2.Prefer hard water – max PH of 8.4.
Challenges of keeping betta Fish and goldfish together

Goldfish is also a common fish species and popular among betta fans. If you are attracted to keeping both types of aquatic pets, you may feel the urge to put them in the same tank to save space or ease the process of caring for them.

Can Betta Fish Live with Goldfish?
Can Betta Fish Live with Goldfish?

How to keep betta fish and goldfish together

Despite the numerous challenges, you can adjust your tank using the listed steps and make it habitable for your betta fish and goldfish.

1. Set up

The tank setup should be precise and accurate enough to accommodate your betta fish and goldfish without harming them. Goldfish need approximately 15 gallons when alone, while betta fish need 30 gallons to survive alongside other fish types.

Therefore, the fish tank should hold at least 30 gallons to accommodate the betta and goldfish comfortably. Additionally, ensure that one side of the tank is warmer than the other since bettas prefer warmer waters, 77°- 82° F, as compared to goldfish, 68°- 74° F. The water PH should also be balanced so that it is not too soft or hard for both species. A PH between 7.5-7.8 should be fair enough for both.

2. Add plants and ornaments

After filling it with water, add rocks, gravel, plants, or other ornaments you prefer. This gives your fish privacy when they wish to hide away from others. Betta fish are likely to retreat after noticing other fish.

3. Get a water filter

It’s also advisable to have a water filter for your aquarium to eliminate the waste generated by the fish. Goldfish emit more waste that can cause discomfort to the betta, elevating its distress.

4. Start with bettas

You should put your betta in the tank before introducing the goldfish because the former is more temperamental and less likely to remain comfortable when cohabiting.

Let the betta stay alone in the tank for up to three days as they familiarize themselves with the surroundings. This also helps them mark their spot and territories before the new fish arrives.

Remember to maintain the tank conditions that suit your betta’s survival and comfort to avoid the distress that can lead to aggression.

5. Introduce goldfish after bettas

Introducing your goldfish to the tank already hosting betta fish is a gradual process requiring your patience. You must prepare both fish types to be comfortable with living together. The following steps will assist you in making this gradual transition:

●     Place the Goldfish in a Different Tank

Before adding the goldfish to the tank with the betta fish, keep it in a transparent fishbowl or tank to facilitate visual contact between both fish. Feed them simultaneously and ensure they are positioned in a manner that helps them see each other.

●     Divide the Fish tank

If you can’t maintain the fish in different tanks or bowls, use a divider to separate your main aquarium into two parts. These transparent dividers have holes that allow water to pass to both sides. Your goldfish and betta fish can see each other but can’t cross to either side.

This partitioning method requires leaving a larger space for the betta fish to give it a sense of control and relieve the stress of sharing space with the goldfish. Using the divider helps your fish maintain contact and acknowledge each other’s existence without hurting or feeling threatened by these changes.

●     Remove the Divider

After establishing a bond between your betta fish and goldfish from a distance, it’s time to remove the barrier and monitor their progress. If you notice the betta’s hostility toward the goldfish, you can separate them again using the divider and attempt to reintroduce them later when they are calmer.

Challenges of keeping bettas and goldfish together

Although challenging, housing betta fish and goldfish together is possible when you make a few adjustments. After understanding the separate features of betta fish and goldfish, you’ll be well-informed on handling the process.

You’ll also notice that betta fish have an edgy temperament that makes it difficult to cohabit with other fish. Further, feeding bettas goldfish food or the other way around can be a great challenge as each species has its own dietary needs.

Betta fish features

Betta fish come in a wide variety of beautiful and colorful aquatic pets. They are easy to spot, relatively independent inside the tank, temperamental and handy. They are easy to care for but can be aggressive in conditions.

Regarding living conditions, betta fish thrive in warm water under a temperature range of 76° F to 82° F. Lower temperatures that goldfish need can put your betta fish in a body shock, being a tropical fish. You may also need to place a filter and water conditioner on your betta fish tank to make them more comfortable.

Betta fish are more resilient to tough living conditions and can survive in low-oxygen habitats. They have a unique organ called a labyrinth designed like human lungs, capable of filtering oxygen directly from the surface. This is unlike most fish, including goldfish, that can draw oxygen from the water using their gills.

In addition, bettas live best in a tank with good lighting and a heating system. Betta fish also like music, which can be presented in low volumes and slow rhythms.

Goldfish Features

Goldfish are popular and readily available in most aquatic pet stores like betta fish. You can select your most suitable goldfish type from the 125 groups resulting from captive breeding.

Goldfish depend on specific factors like slow waters, a temperature range of 68° F to 74° F, and clean water with a stable pH and oxygen supply.

Keeping goldfish and betta fish together is always challenging because goldfish poop a lot. Their waste is rich in ammonia which can make bettas sick since they cannot sustain it for long like goldfish. This calls for an effective and regular filtration system in the tank if you want to keep the two fish together.


The answer to whether or not to rear betta fish and goldfish in the same tank remains affirmative, but it also raises another question: is it worth the struggle? This depends on your resources and your preparedness to make it work. Bettas have temper issues and can be aggressive in the presence of other aquatic species.

Goldfish, on the other hand, produce a lot of waste that can interfere with the living conditions of your betta, causing ammonia poisoning and other effects. Their temperature requirements also vary considerably and may put you in a dilemma of balancing them without hurting any fish.

If you can avoid this scenario, putting betta fish and goldfish in different tanks and caring for them separately is advisable.

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