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Do Plecos Get Along with Goldfish? What You Need To Know.

Many pet lovers get it difficult to find the best suitable companion to goldfish in an aquarium. Moreover, claims exist of Plecos being a good option for the same. Enough homework and research have been done to clarify whether Plecos do surely get along well with goldfish in this article.

Yes, plecos are good goldfish companions in aquariums. However, it is not all the species of Plecos that serves this purpose. It is only two Pleco species that can comfortably live with goldfish without harm.

You are here to get your doubts cleared and fully informed on which and why Plecos are good goldfish companions. There is more that you need to know about this. It is all here, complete reading the article to unfold all these facts.

The best species of Plecos that thrives with Goldfish

The Rubber-lipped and longfin Bristlenose Plecos are algae eating fish that are able to survive the low temperatures associated with goldfish aquariums. The fact that these two Pleco fish species can comfortably live within the temperature range of Goldfish makes the best choice as companions in aquariums.

The temperature limit is the greatest determinant of the species which can share the same captivity with goldfish. It is not recommended to modify the temperature of the aquarium in order to accommodate the type of companion which you need for your goldfish. These imbalances in the modified environment are neither suitable for the optimum living of both the species.

Finding a species that can therefore naturally live within the optimum conditions of goldfish is the best deal. In addition, these two Pleco species do not easily prey on the slime covering the goldfish. They are not aggressive and leave the goldfish alone giving ample time for the goldfish to enjoy their space without distraction. This makes them good choices if not the best as goldfish companions.

A companion is necessary for the best survival of the goldfish. Normally, goldfish feeds on algae and other substrates while in the natural environment. Therefore, adding some sources of algae into your goldfish aquarium helps diversify the diet of the goldfish. In addition, this creates a micro-environment that mirrors the natural world. Goldfish tend to enjoy nibbling on the algae all the time. However, algae can when not controlled overgrow in the aquarium and create stains on the walls of the tank. This may not only be dangerous to the goldfish but to the environment as well.

Besides needing a strong filter that can help you manage the algae growth in the aquarium, live algae feeder fish is the best option as they play as both the algae controllers and at the same time give the goldfish company. There are some factors that limit the fish that can serve as companions for goldfish. Among these factors, two are the main. They include:


Goldfish are cold-water fish that thrive in the temperatures that range from 68 Fahrenheit to 74 Fahrenheit. This limits the possibility of most tropical fish to thrive in such cold aquariums. It should be remembered that the said temperatures are quite low temperatures which may be impossible for most other warm water fish to thrive in. A Goldfish is capable of even living in the deep of an ice pond when it is deep enough.

Biotic interactions

Even when a fish is capable of living in the said temperature, its biotic interaction may limit it to live with a goldfish. The fact that some species prey on the slime that covers the goldfish making it susceptible to infection limits the number of fish that can comfortably accommodate a goldfish without harming it. This is the second factor that makes it hard to get the best suitable companion for goldfish in aquariums.

What is the suitable aquarium space for Goldfish and Plecos companion?

Goldfish naturally requires some good space to comfortably thrive in. They are messy with their environment from the much ammonia they excrete. Therefore, a constrained environment will be stressful to live in. Goldfish species do not have high needs of families. However, having alone fish is not a good idea. You can however keep a goldfish and a Plecos to roam the space. The minimum standard requirement is at least 20 gallon capacity of an aquarium for a goldfish. If you wish to keep more goldfish or a companion, you will need to increase the capacity of the aquarium.

Can a Pleco eat a goldfish?

Generally, Plecos do not feed on live goldfish. The Plecos can only feed on a goldfish when it is dead and sink at the bottom of the aquarium. Again Plecos are not aggressive to other fish. They are only aggressive to other Plecos. This happens when a single Pleco has grown bigger than most of the others. It becomes aggressive and defensive. That is the only time when a Pleco could be aggressive and attack other Plecos. Plecos are fast swimmers and therefore avoids the attempt of a goldfish to disturb it.

These two species do not also share niches. They may interact through swimming in the tank but there is where you will always find each of them at most of the time. It is however recommended that the two Pleco species that get along well with goldfish be introduced into the tank when they are small and of the same size with the goldfish. This gives the goldfish time to get along and grow together with the Pleco.

Big size difference may cause the bigger fish to become disturbing to the smaller sized fish. This can result in the two fish having aggressive interactions and messing the tank always. Food competition may also become an issue here as the bigger fish may outcompete the smaller one causing bad health and even death to some severe cases.

How to introduce your Plecos in a goldfish Aquarium

Plecos as any other fish is not dumped from one environment to the other. This may cause serious acclimation problems that can hurt both the new and the old fish in the aquarium from aggression.

How to avoid the Plecos that can overgrow your tank

Choosing the pleco that comes to your tank is important. Start the emphasis on your pet store or aquarium club where you are purchasing your pleco. Emphasize that you need a pleco that can only grow to a maximum length that is manageable. Plecos can really grow to several feet. This may be uncomfortable and dangerous to live with your goldfish. They may look small at the time of purchase but can overgrow in your aquarium. You however need a breed that can be manageable even after attaining maturity size.