Can Betta Fish Live With Goldfish?

Both Goldfish and Betta fish are probably the most popular two fish in the hobby of fishkeeping, and for good reason too. Not only are both fish species beginner-friendly, but they are also freshwater fish, which makes setting up their tank and water a much easier task.

One of the most important questions is: can Betta fish and Goldfish live together? The short answer is Yes, however, it is a lot more complex than just Yes or No.

 Goldfish and Betta fish

Sure, Bettas and Goldfish can technically live together, but it is certainly not advised due to both fish having very different habitat requirements. Additionally, both fish have completely different diets, Betta feeding habits are completely different to Goldfish, which will make feeding the tank a difficult process. Also, Goldfish are often referred to as "dirty fish" due to them producing a lot of waste that is full of harmful bacteria and ammonia, which can badly hurt your Betta fish and make them unwell.

Betta Fish vs Goldfish

Betta fish and Goldfish may be beautiful, unique, and ultimately, extremely popular fish, but they are completely different, and despite being both freshwater fish, their tank setups and general water requirements are completely different.

Why Betta Fish?

Betta Fish have always been a popular fish due to their special looks and interesting behavior. Their bright coloration and awesome patterns paired with their somewhat unstable personalities draw people towards them.

Unfortunately, due to their unpredictable temperament and aggressive nature, they do not get along with many other fish (even female Betta fish), so, finding compatible Betta fish tank mates is never an easy task and goldfish are not the answer.

Why Goldfish?

Goldfish are undoubtedly the most popular and widely discussed fish in the entire hobby. However, they are actually not a particularly good tank mate for Betta fish. Sure, on extremely rare occasions people have made this relationship work, but it is not common, and some serious considerations need to be made before you try it for yourself.

Both fish are extremely hardy, which is great, but still, keeping them in the same tank as one another is probably not your best bet. Despite not being the best choice, it is possible, so we will look into how you could set up a tank with both aquarium fish coexisting together, but also offer our own advice on the popular subject.

Can Bettas Live With Goldfish?

The good news is that they can live together, but it is far from recommended, so make sure to consider absolutely everything before making your final decision. Both fish species enjoy interacting with their human owners, and that is just about the only similarity both of these popular fish possess! They are incredibly different fish and require totally different care, making their compatibility a struggle for even the most experienced fish keepers. It is certainly easier to find other compatible Goldfish tank mates, and the same goes for Bettas.

Betta Fish General Information

Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish belong to the Osphronemidae family and originate from southeast Asia. This tropical fish is typically found residing in shallow waters such as swamps, rice paddies, marshes, ponds, and slow-moving streams.

Betta fish

There are 73 known types of Betta fish, which is truly remarkable! The majority are bred in captivity to specifically showcase their incredible colors and tremendously impressive fins. They are also known as "labyrinth breathers", which means that they have developed a totally unique breathing organ that allows them to take in air from the surface.

Unfortunately, due to having this useful organ, many hobbyists take advantage, believing that Bettas can live in jars or fashionable bowls and do not need heating, lighting, or proper filtration, which is not the case! They need to reside in a minimum sized tank of 2 gallons (9 liters) with heating and filtration if you want them to live for a long time.

Additional Betta Fish Care Information

  • Care level: Easy.
  • Temperament: Aggressive (especially with other Bettas).
  • Appearance: Vibrant array of different colors and amazing large fins.
  • Lifespan: 3+ years depending on how well you look after them.
  • Fully-Grown Size: 2 inches (5cm) for female Betta fish and 3 inches (7.5cm) for male Betta fish.
  • Diet: Carnivores (a mixed diet is healthiest).
  • Family: Osphronemidae.
  • Betta tank setup: Freshwater with a substrate.
  • Other names: Siamese fighting fish.

Goldfish General Information

Due to their insane level of popularity, Goldfish are readily available in pretty much any pet store or fish store in the world. Goldfish originate from the wild Prussian Carp (Carassius gibelio), originating from central Asia. In total, there are around 125 different types of Goldfish.

Goldfish, much like Bettas prefer slow-moving waters like rivers and ponds, lakes, and even ditches. Another similarity with Bettas is that Goldfish owners tend to neglect the fact that they need a good filtration system and keep them in bowls and jars because it looks "good" and many people can "get away with it".


The problem is, Goldfish do not technically have stomachs, which means that they produce food waste more quickly than pretty much any other fish in the hobby, which is why a good filtration device is 100% important so that the waste can be removed and the fish are not exposed to harmful toxins and bacteria.

Additional Goldfish Care Information

  • Care Level: Easy.
  • Temperament: Peaceful and friendly.
  • Appearance: Bright orange, red, gray, yellow, or a mixture of them all. They have large eyes too.
  • Lifespan: 10-15 years.
  • Full-Grown Size: 1 to 2 inches (5cm) in length.
  • Diet: Omnivorous.
  • Family: Cyprindae.
  • Goldfish tank setup: Freshwater with a pebble or gravel substrate.
  • Alternative name: Carassius auratus.

Can Goldfish And Bettas Eat The Same Food?

A common question that is often asked is: can Bettas eat Goldfish food? Well, Bettas do not particularly enjoy eating plants although they will accept them. Bettas are carnivores which means that they have a purely meat-based diet and require a lot of protein, which is the opposite to Goldfish who eat both meats and plants.

The answer to the question is a resounding NO. You cannot feed your Goldfish and Bettas the same food otherwise you will end up with some seriously health-compromised fish.

Is It Worth Keeping Bettas and Goldfish Together?

After careful consideration, we would suggest that it is not worth keeping both fish together. Additionally, and based on the information we have detailed in this article, it should be conclusive enough evidence for you to make your decision.

Yes, theoretically you can manage to keep both fish species together, however, the consequences are that you will end up with unhappy fish (both Bettas and Goldfish), potentially unwell fish from the water quality, and distressed Goldfish that are being continuously harassed by a Betta.

Will Betta Fish Kill Goldfish?

Ironically it isn't Betta fish that will end up killing Goldfish if both fish species are residing in the same tank. In fact, it is the other way round, but not how you might think. Sure, Betta fish are territorial and aggressive fish, and they might nip at your Goldfish, but the likelihood of them killing your Goldfish is almost impossible.

Goldfish in general are extremely dirty fish, dropping body waste almost every minute of the day. Excess waste in a tank will lead to increased ammonia levels, which is never good!

Betta fish

Despite Bettas being notoriously hardy and tough little fish, they are more than susceptible to ammonia poisoning, and if they get poisoned, they will start to die very quickly. Also, because of Goldfish's excess waste, it means that the tank will have to be cleaned and the water changed more regularly. Constantly changing a Betta tank will almost certainly lead to your fish becoming stressed and unhappy, which could lead to an early death.

Should They Be Kept Together?

To conclude this guide, the answer to the question, "should they be kept together" is a 100% NO. Yes, you could technically keep them together, but that doesn't mean that you should, and why would you want to create so much aggravation for yourself and your fish?

Goldfish and Bettas are such popular, awesome, and unique fish, but that doesn't mean they can or should live together. There are far too many risks and potential health disasters with keeping them together. So, stay away from it unless you are changing your tanks and have to temporarily house them together for a short period of time.