Do Goldfish Eat Guppies: Things You Should Know

Goldfish are very well known for being the fish you can keep in a bowl with nothing but water and food. Goldfish are very popular pets and have been around for a very long time. Their popularity has risen dramatically in recent years and they have brought various benefits as pets such as being great companions for you or your children. But if you’re planning to get them as an addition to guppies, there might be factors and risks that need to be considered.

In this article, we are going to answer if goldfish eat these tropical fish and dive deep into their compatibilities.

Do Goldfish Eat Guppies?

Yes, guppies are considered a type of fish that goldfish will eat. These small fish, most especially their fry, are considered prey to the bigger, more aggressive, and territorial goldfish. The more aggressive goldfish will eat the guppies as they see them as a threat to their territory. However, some of the guppies can be hardy enough to survive and even reproduce in a tank with goldfish.

Guppies tropical fish

Can I Keep Guppies and Goldfish Together?

With that said, it is better if goldfish and guppies won’t be kept together, especially if you don’t know how to properly provide for them. Still, nothing is impossible. You can always be sure if the guppies and goldfish will get along or not by carefully observing them in a tank together for some time before making any decisions about their compatibility.

If you notice that your guppies are scared of the larger fish and try to avoid it, then move on from keeping both types of fish as companions when you adopt them from an aquarium supply store or place where they propagate the guppies and keep them in a separate aquarium.

Freshwater aquariums are generally considered a safe habitat for guppies and goldfish as long as you maintain proper water quality and temperature. Provided that your tank is adequately sized for two different types of fish, it can be extremely beneficial to make goldfish the sole inhabitant in an otherwise empty setting since they will create some sort of social structure for themselves.

What Makes These Two Fish Good Tank Mates?

While it is not advisable to make guppies and goldfish tankmates, some things make these two fish good tank mates.

  • Goldfish are a lot less active than guppies and they don’t tend to jump out of the water as much. This can be helpful for guppies who would rather avoid attention from their goldfish tank mates.
  • Both types of fish need plenty of space in their tanks so they won’t feel cramped up and stressed. Goldfish also like areas with little to no current, so they prefer a quieter tank that has a steady flow of water and not too much sudden changes in their environment.
  • Some guppies also love spending some time at the surface during the day, but it’s okay if goldfish don’t enjoy this behavior since they do tend to stay underwaters most of the time.
  • Both types of fish like to eat the same type of food. So it’s okay if they prefer eating high protein foods and guppies don’t want all those ingredients added in their diet with too much salt or additives.

These two fishes generally get along perfectly fine even among themselves, although some individuals do become aggressive against others whenever their water temperature or water level change or even once every few days when their tank water is cloudy.

What Makes These Two Fish Poor Tank Mates?

Goldfish and guppies have their peaceful ways to get along. But if you do not have time for such lengthy introductions, getting them familiar with one another can be a bit challenging when these two species are put together in close vicinity.

  • One of the main issues that cause poor tank mate compatibility between these two is if you have limited aquarium space because popular goldfish species need a lot of space to live with certain tankmates in the aquatic environment. They need a lot more room than most pets would end up needing, and an undersized aquarium or inadequate water volume will result even with their small size which leads to further stress from overcrowding as well as potential injuries to themselves if they try to escape over time but are unable due.
  • Goldfish tend to be territorial and conflictual, especially to smaller fish. They do not like sharing their space with other goldfish or new tankmates even if they are of a smaller size on occasion unless the new fish species is introduced in small portions into the tank which provides them enough room to move around without any harm.
  • Guppies usually have tiny habits so it would take time for you as an owner of these two species of fish to become familiar with them. This could cause stress to the goldfish when you finally start taking on a guppy as a pet, but it does not have any of these potential issues.
  • Guppies are quiet water dwellers that make excellent tank mates for small-sized fish. They love displaying their colors in larger groups which won’t sit well with goldfish.
  • Living in the same environment can sometimes lead to competitive behavior, especially when it comes to territories and food. Fish are mostly fed by pellets or live foods so there is a strong possibility that goldfish will compete for these items with guppies.
  • Both fish have finned, soft bodies though and they can both bite each other’s fins as well. It is normal for guppies to pick on each other fin but it’s best not to keep them together in the same aquarium because this might cause some harm including death.
the guppy fish (poecilia reticulata)

How to Protect Guppy Fry From Goldfish

As mentioned earlier, goldfish will not hesitate from eating your guppy fry but here are a few things you can do to protect your guppy fry from their adult goldfish tank-mates:

  • As soon as your guppies give birth to their babies, keep the goldfish separated. While you still need to keep goldfish away, this will help your guppies feel more comfortable.
  • Use a towel as cover to prevent goldfish from bothering your fry, also make sure it is safe enough and sturdy like HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) plastic. If there are any other kinds of fish(s) with your guppies in your aquarium then these need to be either only one goldfish pair, or you must use mesh wire covered with a plastic bag so that the goldfish do not go on the towel itself to eat the guppy fry.
  • Provide shelter for the fry. If you want to breed your guppies, then what some people want to do is just throw a lot of small twigs or leaves (or even pieces of PVC pipe) into their water but I think this generates too much waste.
  • Be careful about putting too much food in your aquarium as this will make the water dirty enough that some predators could end up attacking your baby guppies so it is best if these are just filled with a lot of water and left there for some time.

What Are the Best Tankmates for Goldfish?


Loaches and goldfish are both cold water fish and are similar in many ways. They are both very peaceful and make for great community fish. They are both easy to keep and get along with each other very well. Most people will be surprised that goldfish prefer loaches as their companions. They can be kept in a tank as long as a 55-gallon aquarium, as long as they are in a group.


Rubber-lipped plecos are a quiet algae-eating fish that will not bother your goldfish, and with a variety of tank algae, vegetables, and commercial foods, the pleco will most likely survive without bothering you.


Minnows are also a perfect choice for your goldfish tank. One of the reasons goldfish can do so is because they are members of the same family, which is the Cyprinidae family of cold-water fish.


The white variety of snails will not harm the goldfish and some are even beneficial because they feed on the food scraps that fish waste often. They also absorb nitrates from your water which is particularly useful for tropical aquariums.


Invertebrates like shrimp can also be an excellent alternative for tankmates for goldfish. Some of these species might pick off the fry from their gill plate but will not harm them at all.