Guppies and goldfish are incredibly popular aquarium fish. However, they are also very different species with very different needs.
So, can guppies and goldfish live together?
In this article, we will look at how guppies and goldfish are similar, how they differ, and find out if goldfish and guppies can live together in the same aquarium.
How are guppies and goldfish similar?
Guppies and goldfish are similar in many ways.
Firstly, guppies and goldfish are types of freshwater fish. This means that they come from water bodies with a very low salt content.
None of the species could survive in salt water such as the seas or oceans. Guppies live in the freshwater streams of South America, while goldfish are descended from carp, which were originally found in the slow-moving freshwater bodies of China.
Guppies and goldfish are also omnivores, which means they will eat both plant and animal food.
You can feed guppies and goldfish similar foods, including flakes, small/crushed pellets, brine shrimp, bloodworms, and vegetables. Although guppies will benefit from a higher protein diet than you might choose for goldfish.
The last big similarity between guppies and goldfish is that both have been selectively bred to exhibit certain characteristics.
Guppies were bred to display certain colors on their bodies and fins, as well as certain tail patterns and shapes.
Meanwhile, goldfish have been bred to display specific colors, fin shapes, body shapes, eye sizes, and head heights.
As you can see, guppies and goldfish are very similar in many ways. But there are also many differences between them!
How are guppies different from goldfish?
There are a number of big differences between guppies and goldfish.
First, it probably goes without saying that the two types of fish are completely different species. (So if you were hoping to create an amazing mix of guppies and goldfish, you are sadly in for a disappointment!)
One of the most obvious differences between the two types of fish is that guppies are much smaller than goldfish. Guppies grow up to a maximum of 2 inches in length, while goldfish can reach 10 inches in length (and sometimes more!).
Goldfish can also live much longer than guppies. While the average lifespan of a guppy is around 5 years, a goldfish can easily live 10 years and sometimes decades.
Last but not least, another important difference between guppies and goldfish is how they reproduce.
Guppies are “viviparous”, which means they give birth to live young, while goldfish are laying hens.
So, while the female guppy will give birth to babies (also known as fry), the female goldfish will lay eggs, from which, after a while, baby goldfish will hatch.
What temperature is suitable for goldfish and guppies?
Good temperature for guppies is in the range of 72 to 82°F (22-28°C).
For goldfish, a cooler aquarium with a temperature of 68 to 74°F (20 to 23°C) is ideal.
While guppies and goldfish have different ideal temperature ranges, the good news for those looking to keep guppies and goldfish together is that these ranges overlap.
Guppies and goldfish can be kept in the same aquarium. The temperature just needs to be around 72-74°F, which is hot for goldfish and cooler for guppies.
Of course, temperature is not the only consideration when deciding whether fish can live together.
Can goldfish and guppies get along?
Guppies and goldfish are peaceful fish that get along well with other peaceful species.
Although each individual fish is different, neither guppies nor goldfish can generally be described as aggressive and they are unlikely to fight each other.
The only reason guppies and goldfish fight is if they are kept in a tank that is too small and lacks food, or if they are fighting another male of their species over a potential mate.
Otherwise, both types of fish are likely to get along with their tankmates, both with members of their own species and with other species.
However, there are two main problems that can prevent guppies and goldfish from getting along.
The first problem is that both fish tend to bite the fins of their tank mates. And to make matters worse, both guppies and goldfish have relatively long fins that just beg to be bitten!
One fish choosing to constantly nibble on the fins of another fish can cause stress and injury. Stress makes the fish more prone to disease, and injury can lead to infection, which is a serious problem.
The second problem with keeping guppies and goldfish in the same tank is that goldfish can grow large enough to eat or at least try to eat smaller guppies.
While your goldfish probably won’t be able to eat the guppies, they may well try. Like fin biting, this can lead to stress and injury.
Another risk is that your goldfish could get stuck in the guppy’s mouth and suffocate, potentially killing both fish!
Even if it seems at first that your guppies and goldfish live happily together, this problem of goldfish trying to eat your guppies can become a problem later on. As the goldfish continues to grow, guppies may look more and more like an attractive snack.
Can goldfish and guppies live together?
While it is technically possible to keep goldfish and guppies in the same tank so that they can live happily together for many years, we would not recommend it.
The three main reasons why goldfish and guppies are actually incompatible are:
- Guppies are tropical fish that prefer warmer water than goldfish. Although they can tolerate certain identical temperatures, they do not have the same ideal temperature. You will always be in a situation where your aquarium is too warm for goldfish or too cold for guppies.
- There is a serious risk of fin biting, which can lead to stress or injury to one or both fish.
- Once your goldfish is big enough to fit the guppies in its mouth, it may try to eat them. This is obviously dangerous for your guppies and also potentially dangerous for goldfish.
In general, our conclusion is that guppies and goldfish should not live together.
It is much better to choose to keep only one species or to house them in ideal conditions in separate tanks.
In the aquarium trade, there are many types of fish that get along perfectly in one aquarium. For this reason, we believe that there is really no need to compromise and try to keep fish like guppies and goldfish together when they don’t fit together.