Can Goldfish And Minnows Live Together?

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Last Updated on 2023-05-24

When you’re wondering what fish you can keep with your goldfish, at some point, you’re probably going to wonder, “can goldfish and minnows live together?” If you are, then wonder no more!

This article is going to answer the question for you. PLUS, it will also explain the best steps you can take to ensure the best chance of success!

So keep reading to find out!

Can Goldfish And Minnows Live Together?

Can Goldfish and Minnows live together? The short answer is yes! However, we want to divulge the reasons, so we can best equip our tank to accommodate these fish!

One of the reasons Goldfish and Minnows pair so well together is due to the fact that they are from the same family! Goldfish and Minnows are from the Cyprinidae family and are cold-water fish, so they will thrive in the same environment.

Fish Temperament

When building your own community tank, it is very important that you match the fish’s temperament. Having lots of fish with aggressive temperaments in one tank can mean big problems within your tank. Problems that include stress, fighting, and even your pets dying!

Peaceful fish remain passive in a tank. They will most likely stick to their own school if they are that way inclined, or some may even be happy by themselves.

Always research your chosen fish’s temperament before placing it with other fish. If you don’t, it can cause stress, disease, and even death if they aren’t matched properly! Temperaments can range from passive/peaceful to aggressive, which means some fish may need their own tanks, or to only be placed with their own kind!

Goldfish Temperament

Goldfish are known for being peaceful fish and are pretty low maintenance on the scale of fish as pets. That is not to say you can leave them to just get on with things, as they are reliant on you for everything in captivity.

Goldfish will spend their time swimming the range of the entire tank, so space is essential with this particular pet! Goldfish are also very social creatures, believe it or not! If you are thinking of getting a Goldfish, it would be wise to get them in pairs or more, as long as you are able to provide the room and upkeep!

Goldfish all have their own personalities, which you will get to know after a while. It is also important to pay them close attention, as if their habits or traits change at all, it could be a clear sign that something may be wrong!

(Have you ever wondered if goldfish can live with shrimp?)

Minnow Temperament

Minnows are schooling fish, so they would thrive best in a group of around 8 to 10. Being in a school encourages the peaceful nature that minnows maintain. They are quick fish that will spend their time swimming in schools around your tanks. They have a tendency to react quickly to danger and food by darting around the tank on instinct.

Minnows remain peaceful in community tanks as long as they are matched with fish that require the same conditions and are kept in schools.

Habitats And Tank Requirements

Just like you would with any other pet, it’s important to give your fish what they need to survive and be as happy as they can be. A lot of fish are bred in captivity, but it is still important to replicate their natural habitats. This helps to reduce any risks of stress, disease, or any other issues that may arise.

A Goldfish’s Habitat

Goldfish originated from freshwaters across the world and were used to eat pests such as mosquitos! Goldfish were also thought to bring luck and good fortune in Chinese culture!

They are usually found in slow-moving waters, which include streams, lakes, and ponds, so they will seek these habitats in captivity.

In the wild, goldfish will live in murky waters, which may translate to a fish tank, as these are notoriously dirty fish that produce a large amount of waste!

Goldfish Tank Requirements

Goldfish are best when kept in pairs or more, as they are very social. For one goldfish and your first tank, it is best to invest in one that holds 40 gallons of water, then an additional 20 gallons for each new goldfish. Using the pairing method is great in keeping your goldfish happy, so a 60-gallon tank is a great first investment for a starter tank.

Time and time again, we see people keeping goldfish in a small fishbowl which is cause for a short and lonely life! Goldfish need space to live a long and happy life!

The pH level of your tank is also a factor that needs to be researched. Goldfish need to live in a space that has a pH level of 7.2 – 7.8. This maintains a neutral to a very slight alkaline environment.

The temperature of your tank is also important, and you will want this to remain between 20-23 degrees celsius. This is the optimum temperature range for goldfish, which will help them to remain active as it replicates that of the water they are used to in the wild. The temperature also dictates the oxygen levels of the fish tank, which we want to keep steady to avoid any stress on the fish.

We recommend doing temperature and pH level checks every day to keep on top of any issues that may crop up. You may find that when going to feed your fish, it’s a good time to just make sure everything is all okay at the same time. Also, ensure you are doing around a 30% water change every 7 to 10 days.

When thinking of adding plants, gravel, and ornaments, we again want to replicate what the goldfish would come across in the wild. We want very leafy plants such as Java Ferns/Moss, PennyWort, Cabomba, which won’t affect the water purity. Goldfish are considered dirty fish; due to how much waste they produce, they dirty their tanks up enough!

For substrate purposes, we want a sandy tank bottom or medium to small rocks. Goldfish are able to forage in these sorts of substrates and promote good bacteria growth due to the surface area.

(Find out if goldfish and glofish can live together.)

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Minnow Natural Habitat

Identical to the Goldfish, Minnows are found in freshwaters such as streams and rivers. Minnows live for around 2 to 5 years and will spawn in shallow, gravelly waters between April and June.

In their natural habitats, these schools will find things to hide under, especially as their predators are mostly birds and large fish. They may live in either clean or murky waters, which match that of the goldfish.

Minnows Tank Requirements

Even though Minnows are small fish, they still require plenty of room due to being schooling fish. They require around 20-gallon water tanks per school, which needs to be taken into consideration if combined with goldfish. We also need to continually remember that overcrowding a tank will impact your fish negatively.

Just like Goldfish, Minnows’ range of pH level is around the neutral mark. However, there is some movement on either side, being that it can remain between the levels of 6.5 to 7.5. We need to remember that once the pH scale is at a certain level, this must be maintained, so no damage comes to your fish. If pairing with goldfish, we want to keep the pH level at around 7.3.

The temperature for your Minnows tank should be 18 to 22 degrees celsius. This temperature best matches the temperatures that the Minnows would experience in the wild and should be monitored regularly to ensure no sudden changes.

Decorations and plants for your tank are great for Minnows! These small fish like to hide amongst leaves and rocks from predators by instinct, so ensure there are plenty around! You will also benefit from having a rock substrate for your Minnows as they can use this to rest. However, ensure that the rocks aren’t too small, as Minnows can be known to swallow and choke on these rocks!

If combining the two fish, ensure that the rocks in the substrate are small to medium to benefit both the Goldfish and Minnow equally!

(Find out if goldfish and guppies can live together.)

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A varied diet is important for your fish as it provides energy and ensures they stay healthy. However, a fish’s diet varies depending on the type of fish it is. Some fish may be carnivores, while others are omnivores or even herbivores.

Before owning a Goldfish or Minnow, let’s discuss what they will need to eat!

Goldfish Diet

A goldfish is an omnivorous fish, which means they require a varied diet of both animal matter and greenery! In their natural habitats, goldfish will likely eat various crustaceans such as shrimp, insects, such as mosquitoes, and plants.

In our own aquariums, we are able to replicate this diet, which is important for Goldfish growth and maintaining good health. However, we also have the option of using food flakes,  pellets, and freeze-dried food such as bloodworms.

It is important not only for their health to produce variety for goldfish, but these fish are also able to smell and taste their food and can get bored of the same thing constantly! So think about changing up their food every once in a while!

Minnow Diet

Just like Goldfish, Minnows are omnivores! In the wild, Minnows will survive on a diet of insects such as flies and mosquitoes. They will also eat algae and plants, so replicating these things prove easy. In a combined tank, Goldfish and Minnows may be fed the same sorts of things.

Being omnivores, Minnows aren’t fussy about what they eat just to make sure it’s varied for them. Feed your minnows things like brine shrimp, freeze-dried bloodworms, fish flakes, boiled green vegetables, or the insects listed before.

As with many other fish, Minnows have a tendency to continue eating, which will cause them harm. Use the age-old method of feeding them only what they can consume within 2-3 minutes to avoid overfeeding!

(Ever wondered if goldfish and mollies can live together?)

How To Make It Work

Too many fish in one tank will alter the temperature and the pH level. As these fish prefer a pair or a group, it’s imperative that you do not overfill your tank! This can become stressful for your fish, but also increase the chances of parasites disease and ultimately lead to killing your fish! Always make sure you stick to the guidelines of how many gallons to a fish that is recommended, or even extra if possible!

Following the criteria recommended in this article, managing a tank of Goldfish and Minnows should be relatively straightforward. These two fish complement each other, as they require similar care and attention!

(Check out more great tank mates that can live with your goldfish!)


Can Goldfish and Minnows live together? The answer is yes, and now you have all the basic information on how to implement the cohabiting of these two fish.

To find out more about other types of fish that may be just as ideally suited or fish that should definitely not live together, read on for more information!

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Hey! I'm Nicolas from Iguane Media !

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2 thoughts on “Can Goldfish And Minnows Live Together?”

  1. I’d like to know if goldfish and minnows will breed together??!!!?? A goldinnow? Same family solo…..??

    • Fortunately, goldfish and minnows are unable to breed with each other as they’re from two different species, so you don’t need to worry about this!

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