Platy and Goldfish: Can They Live Together?

Goldfish and platyfish are friendly to keep, even for new hobbyists. This is because their requirements are easy to fulfill. At times, you may think it is best to keep these fish together in the same aquarium, but it would not be the right decision.

Typically, platyfish and goldfish aren’t a good match. While you can ideally place them in a similar water tank, they won’t live together well, nor will they adjust to identical water requirements. Platies are large enough to avoid being eaten and won’t nip at the goldfish’s fins.

Platy and Goldfish

Can Platies And Goldfish Live Together?

Goldfish and platyfish will not thrive well together. This is due to differences in habitat requirements that are challenging to modify so that the two fish can live comfortably. 

To clearly understand why goldfish and platyfish can’t live together, we’ll discuss the dissimilarities that make them incompatible. Among the incompatibilities, the tank size and water temperature requirements are essential.

Here are the various reasons why goldfish and platyfish can’t live together:

Platies Goldfish 
Tank size15-20 gallons50 gallons
Water temperature72-78°F60-74°F
Behavioral issuesCan be aggressiveCan eat young platies
Feeding Aggressive feedersLess aggressive feeders
Maintenance Low maintenanceHigh maintenance

1. Tank Size

Platies and goldfish grow to different sizes. At maximum, platies attain a length of 2.5 inches while goldfish enlarge up to 12 inches.

This implies that platyfish can thrive in spacious 50-gallon water tanks or more designed for goldfish. On the other hand, goldfish won’t be comfortable living in 15 to 20-gallon water tanks designed explicitly for platyfish.

It is an illusion that you can keep goldfish in small-sized aquariums or bowls. Goldfish can grow for a long duration, increasing their length after attaining adulthood.

Also, they will produce more waste, which can easily affect the water chemistry in small-sized aquariums and pose health problems or death if there are unusual water changes.

2. Water Temperature

Platyfish and goldfish live in freshwater. However, they have different water requirements. Goldfish are tempered water fish. On the other hand, platies are tropical fish with low temperatures within 72°F to 78°F.

Goldfish can thrive within temperatures of 60°F to 74°F, performing best in cooler waters. Also, platyfish may require a heater in their fish tank where the water becomes too cold, whereas goldfish can’t do well in fish tanks with heaters since they thrive well in aquariums without water heaters.

Forcing fish to adapt to water conditions that aren’t favorable to them will later lead to health complications that are too hard to manage.

As per the water parameters, platyfish prefer water with a pH of about 7.0-8.3 and a hardness level between 4-12 dGH.

On the other hand, goldfish have minor sensitivity to the pH level as they have a preferred rate ranging between 7.0-8.4 and a water hardness level of up to 12 dGH. Therefore, according to these parameters, their requirements are pretty aligned.

3. Behavioral Issues 

Some aquarists confirm that platyfish chase goldfish around the aquarium. Although platies are calm and less aggressive, they can become harsh to other fish. However, it’s unlikely that they’ll invade other fish.

Similarly, goldfish may unwillingly eat young platyfish due to differences in size. Also, juvenile platyfish can be eaten by their type when kept together with adults. 

By analyzing these behaviors, it is evident that platies and goldfish are incompatible. Most aquarists have reported clipped fins due to aggressive behavior such as pushing and shoving. Therefore, this makes them lousy aquarium mates.

4. Feeding

Goldfish should not be kept with boisterous and aggressive fish. Although platies can be considered less aggressive fish, they may not be suitable for goldfish. This is because they may consume food faster than goldfish risking starvation in the latter. 

5. Maintenance

Goldfish are pretty hard to maintain compared to platies. Also, they produce lots of waste in their aquarium, quickly triggering ammonia spikes in smaller aquariums. This will require aquarium water test kits and strips to maintain steady water conditions.

It is best to install an effective filter and conduct frequent water changes when keeping goldfish. Changing the water in your aquarium regularly will prevent the build-up of harmful gases such as nitrates and ammonia, which can be deadly to your fish.

Although the filter is recommended for platyfish, you may keep platies without a filter when keeping a lower population in your aquarium. This is because fewer fish produce a smaller amount of waste. 

How Can You Keep Platies and Goldfish Together?

Although we have realized several reasons you shouldn’t raise platy and goldfish together, people have identified some helpful ways of making a suitable aquarium environment for both fish species. 

Here’s how to keep goldfish and platies together:

1. Use a large aquarium

Goldfish require sufficient space to thrive well on their own without having neighbors. Thus, if you have a large-sized aquarium where they can easily swim around without disturbing platies, chances of nipping and fighting will be minimal.

2. Regulate the aquarium temperature

Moderate the water temperatures in the aquarium to be favorable for both species. You can make it cold enough for goldfish but not too cold for platies. Ensure the temperature is balanced as this will ensure platies also survive.

3. Pay attention to the feeding process

As stated earlier, platies can swim around faster than goldfish, and they will consume more of the food you will supply in the aquarium. Thus, you need to control the diet of the two fish species to ensure each one gets its share of the meal.

4. If platies aren’t for breeding

Lastly, if you’re not planning to breed platies, it’s practical to keep them with goldfish in the aquarium. Platies are small-sized and easy prey for goldfish such that they will be quickly extinguished after becoming visible. Therefore, if you are okay with that, you can feel free to keep them together.

As you have seen, there are multiple convenient ways to raise platies and goldfish together in the aquarium. Thus, if you put in extra effort, these ways are practical. 

However, most aquarists recommend being less compatible and less likely to make good aquarium mates. Therefore, you should be fully aware of this and expect frustrating results. 

Which Types of Pet Fish Can Live with Platies?

Platies can be well-blend with other tropical freshwater fish. These may include:

  • Swordtails
  • Guppies
  • Endlers
  • Neon tetras
  • Minnows
  • Corydoras
  • Zebra danios
  • Plecos
  • Gouramis,
  • Rosy tetras

Platies are calm and active fish that can be kept with fish possessing similar water requirements and temperaments. 

Which Types of Pet Fish Can Live with Goldfish?

Suppose you are looking for the perfect fish species to match with goldfish. We recommend choosing from multiple fish species that may include rosy barbs, bristlenose plecos, zebra danios, rubbernose plecos, tetras, and white cloud mountain minnows.

Besides these fish, goldfish can also live with Apple snails (Mystery snails), bamboo shrimps, and ghost shrimps. Mystery snails eat brown algae which helps keep the aquarium clean.

Choosing a perfect aquarium mate for your goldfish will provide a stress-free and healthy environment where all the fish tank inhabitants can co-exist peacefully. However, if you see tiny snails in a fish tank that you didn’t place there, they’re not welcome and should be gotten rid of.

Keep Different Fish Species in Your Aquarium!

Platies and goldfish can’t live together. This is due to various reasons such as water requirements and behavioral characteristics. However, you can reliably choose the right approach to keep the two species together with the right steps. Various circumstances may allow you to breed the two fish types together.


Ultimate Aquarium Services. Different Fish Types.

University of Florida. Lymphocystis Disease in Fish.

University of Florida. Pretty Fish in Cold Places.

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