Can Goldfish And Glofish Live Together?

Goldfish are freshwater fish that were domesticated by the Chinese 2000 years ago. These fish are common pets just behind cats and dogs, but are people given the right information on these fish? Said to bring luck and fortune, these peaceful fish are a great addition to a community tank, or even as a starter fish!

Glofish, on the other hand, are genetically modified fish that originate from Singapore. The Glofish was created from a mix of Zebrafish and genes from corals and jellyfish. Glofish were originally used to determine pollutants in water, but descendants are now common pets!

Can Goldfish And Glofish Live Together?

When doing research into the types of fish that can be placed together, there are always certain factors that come up for compatibility purposes. These include tank requirements, water temperatures, diets, pH levels, and temperaments.

So, can Goldfish and Glofish live together? First, we want to know how these fish live and get to know their natural habitats to find a fit. Usually, two fish with differing climatic needs cannot cohabit; however, Glofish have been genetically modified, so does this change things? 

(If this is putting you off, there are PLENTY more fish that can live with your goldfish!)

Fish Temperament

Matching your fish’s temperament is key to a happy community tank. Fish with opposing temperaments can create problems in your tank. These problems may include aggression which will induce stress, lethargy and risk your fish’s lives.

We want to maintain a peaceful community of fish to prevent any problems, so let’s divulge into the temperaments of Goldfish and Glofish.

Goldfish Temperament

Goldfish are happiest when in pairs or more! Just like us, they thrive with companionship, so this is something to keep in mind if thinking about owning a Goldfish!

Goldfish are able to tell the difference between their owner and other people! Some other intelligent traits they hold are being able to be hand fed and great memories, contrary to popular belief!

Goldfish are peaceful, so it’s adamant that you do not allow aggressive fish in the same tank, as they will tend to fight the Goldfish for dominance. This can really affect the health and well-being of your Goldfish and may cause it to become stressed and lethargic.

All Goldfish have their own personalities that you will get to know if owning them. Something to keep in mind if you want to add Goldfish to a community tank is that if a smaller fish fits in a Goldfish’s mouth, it is getting eaten!

(If you’re interested, you could also try keeping your Goldfish with guppies.)

Glofish Temperament

Glofish are peaceful fish by nature; however, this does come with conditions.

As Glofish are schooling fish, they will need to be kept in groups of 4 or more to be content. They will be known to fight and sometimes chase each other within their own group, but it’s normal and nothing to worry about.

If you do not keep these fish in appropriate-sized schools, they have a tendency to become debilitated due to stress and not want to eat, which will ultimately lead to a short life. In order to keep these fish, they must be kept in schools.

With regards to temperament, Goldfish and Glofish seem like a match, but is that enough?

Habitats And Tank Requirements

In order to keep fish as pets, it’s mandatory to remember that these are living animals that require certain things to survive. It’s important that a fish’s tank replicates its natural habitat as closely as possible in order to decrease any stress but also ensure they live as long as they should.

Assuming that tank size is the only thing that matters would be naive; we need to do great research into all fish if we want to keep them, so we know we are helping them to thrive.

Goldfish Habitat

A Goldfish’s natural habitat is anywhere you would come across freshwaters. This ranges from streams to reservoirs to lakes. In these sorts of terrains, you will expect a lot of rocks, plants, and other fish.

These vast waters mean that Goldfish are used to a greater area to swim around and will take great advantage of that. We always want to replicate this in captivity, so we will need to ensure we aren’t limiting our pets.

Having been domesticated by the Chinese, Goldfish have also been taken to other parts of the world to combat mosquito problems. Goldfish, being omnivores, love to eat these pests!

(Have you ever considered keeping Goldfish and minnows together?)

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Goldfish Tank Requirements

Now we know Goldfish need plenty of room to keep them happy! But just how much room? We recommend 40 gallons for the first Goldfish then an additional 20 Gallons per new fish. We know that Goldfish are social fish, so we want to think about a 60-gallon tank, to begin with.

Goldfish will swim the range of this tank, and while you may receive other advice on different sizes, we recommend this as it puts the fish’s happiness first!

We always want to maintain that we are not overcrowding our fish tanks, which can really affect your fish’s health, which we will explain further on.

pH Level

The pH balance of your tank is important as this is used to determine the water’s acidity or alkaline levels. Goldfish are from freshwaters, so we want to replicate that as best as possible in our fish tanks.

Your Goldfish will be happiest with a pH level of between 7.2-7.8. Others may say that because Goldfish are such adaptable fish, they can be acclimated to different types of waters; however, we do not. It may risk the well-being of your fish to change anything outside of what it needs. By exposing your Goldfish to quick changes, you risk it becoming stressed or even sick.


Just like the pH level, there is a certain temperature that your Goldfish like, which is between 20-23 degrees celsius. Again, others may suggest that a Goldfish may be acclimated to different temperatures, but it would be at your own risk, and whether you feel it’s worth possibly losing your fish.

Temperature is fundamental to monitor in your tank as it controls the oxygen levels, too cold and your fish become lethargic and risk dying. If too high, your fish may become over energetic, stressed, and exhausted.

We recommend doing quick temperature checks whenever you feed your fish! It is also important to remember that in a community tank, the temperature will increase!

Plants And Substrates

Plants, ornaments, and substrates are great to jazz up your tank, but we need to make sure that they are serving a purpose, rather than just looking nice!

Goldfish are rather dirty, so we want additions to their tanks that won’t affect the purity of the water any more than they already do. This is why we need plants such as Anubias, Java ferns and moss, Cabomba, and Pennywort. They are great plants that Goldfish like and don’t affect their environment.

Goldfish love to forage in substrate, so we want to keep the substrate a sandy texture or small to medium rocks. This type of substrate promotes the growth of good bacteria and won’t do damage to your Goldfish.

(Find out if you can keep Goldfish and shrimp together.)

Glofish Habitat

Glofish are tropical fish that thrive in a warm climate. As Glofish are genetically modified fish, their natural habitat is that of captivity. However, these fish need to remain in schools and tropical water climates.

Glofish Tank Requirements

Glofish being schooling fish need to be in groups of at least 4. We recommend that between 4-8 fish for each school, you will require a 20-gallon tank and 20 gallons additional for each new school. Again, the more you have in a tank, the more this will raise the temperature of the water, so be mindful.

Glofish swim the range of their tanks but will dart at any sign of danger or food! We have additional information on how to make them feel safer under plants and substrates!

pH Level

Just like the Goldfish, Glofish prefer a more neutral pH level of their water which ranges between 6.5-7.5 depending on the exact type of Glofish that you buy. It is always best to speak to an aquatic expert on the exact level, as some Glofish may differ to a more acidic level at 6.2.

It is also important that we check the water quality weekly so we know that our fish are doing well in their environments. We also want to maintain a 25% water change every 2 to 4 weeks!


As we know, Glofish are tropical fish, so you will need warmer water in your tank! Glofish will be happiest in temperatures between 22-27 degrees celsius. If you live in a colder climate, you will definitely need heaters for these fish! We suggest temperature checks when feeding your fish! This is to ensure that they are continually at a similar temperature each time to maintain health.

Plants And Substrates

Glofish being tropical fish, need plants that will survive in warmer waters. Glofish are also conscious of predators by instinct, so they will thrive with plants that they can hide in!

Good options for plants in a Glofish tank would be Anubias, Java Ferns, Amazon sword, or wisteria. These will all be fine in warmer waters and provide great hiding spots.

With regards to substrates, Glofish will be greatly suited to sand or gravel substrates. These both have their benefits; dirt will not penetrate through the surface of the sand, which makes it much easier to clean. However, dirt will be more visible! Gravel will allow the dirt to penetrate, which is good for visible reasons, but for cleaning, purposes can be difficult.


Fish are able to smell and taste their food! They also enjoy a varied and balanced diet just like us. Fish can also get bored of the same foods all the time, so it’s great to mix things up!

Goldfish Diet

Goldfish are omnivores that love vegetables, insects, and animal matter. Perfect foods to feed your Goldfish include brine shrimp, peeled vegetables, bloodworms, flakes, and pellets specially made for Goldfish and duckweed!

Feed your Goldfish 2-3 times a day and use the ‘only feed them what they can eat in 5 minutes’ method to avoid overfeeding and contamination.

Glofish Diet:

Glofish are also omnivores! They will be happy on a diet of tropical food flakes, pellets, and freeze-dried food, such as bloodworms. Feel free to use the same diet as Goldfish; just make sure it’s varied! It is also recommended to feed Glofish foods that contain beta carotene as this makes their colors more vibrant! Beta carotene is in food such as spinach, kale, carrots, and sweet potato.

How To Make It Work

Goldfish and Glofish may seem like a match with regards to feeding patterns and plant types; however, Glofish are tropical fish, whereas Goldfish are freshwater fish. These two species of fish will thrive best separately as they require different climates.

Some may recommend acclimating the Goldfish, but we do not! The advice we have given is for the best interests of these two fish.


You should now have the right information to feel confident about owning these two fish in separate tanks! Goldfish and Glofish make great starter pets or interesting additions as long as they are cared for!

To find out about other fish that can live together, read on for more information!

About the author

Hey! I'm Antonio!

Betta fish keeper for over 6 years now! Since owning a betta I've also housed all kinds of tropical fish, and have seen all manner of problems and how to look after them!

If you need any advice you can always message me or better yet join the Facebook group where a community can answer your questions!