Can Platies Live With Goldfish?

Platy fish and goldfish are excellent species for newcomers to aquarium hobby as they don’t require too much effort to raise, so if you are just getting familiar with aquarium fish, they are a very good starting point. However, due to this fact, the majority of people think they are compatible species and it is fine to place them together in the tank. In this article, we are going to debunk this myth and answer one of the most frequently asked questions – can platies live with goldfish?  

Platies and goldfish can technically live together but it is highly inadvisable for several reasons. They require different living conditions such as water temperature, tank size, feeding, and the behavior issues won’t let them live in comfort.

This is a popular topic among aquarium enthusiasts and we can see different viewpoints about whether platies are able to live with goldfish. Some people consider that if you establish proper aquarium conditions, they will be able to live comfortably together. However, it is extremely hard to do that and experts advise not to raise goldfish with platies as the drawbacks greatly outweigh the advantages. We are here to expand this subject and provide thorough information. Let’s start!

Why Goldfish Should Not Be Kept With Platy?

As we have mentioned, it is highly recommended not to contain platies and goldfish together in the aquarium. They are completely different species requiring a certain type of living environment. They are not able to adjust to each other’s needs which will disturb the comfort zone of these two fish.

There are several reasons to keep Goldfish separate from Platy. First of all, they need totally different aquarium settings including water temperature and tank size. These are the most important factors underlying their incompatibility.

Additionally, the issues with behavior are pretty noticeable. Generally, goldfish are much larger in size compared to platies and oftentimes, your platy fish will be oppressed and even eaten by them.  Aggression occurs in the process of feeding as well and if you don’t pay attention one of them will steal all the food leaving another hungry.

Can Platy Live With Goldfish?
Can Platies Live With Goldfish?

These are the major reasons why you should not place platies and goldfish together in the aquarium and in the next part of this article, we would like to describe these differences in depth.

Aquarium Size

We have already mentioned above that the size of the goldfish is considerably bigger compared to platies. They grow approximately 12 inches and needless to say, you have to get a large aquarium for them.

Usually, they require a 50-gallon tank to reside comfortably and there are some species that need up to 75 gallons such as shubunkin and comet. As you can see, if you are willing to raise a lot of goldfish you are going to need a pretty large aquarium.

As for platies, they are extremely small individuals and the standard size of them is 2.5 inches. Therefore, they will do very well in both small and spacious tanks and we can’t say the same for goldfish.

The majority of people think it’s fine for goldfish to live in a small space. We want to emphasize that it is absolutely false as they grow very large when they reach adulthood and you simply can’t afford to place them in small tanks. Furthermore, they produce way more waste and the water in small aquariums will be poisoned quickly if you don’t perform regular changes.

Water Temperature

Platy fish and goldfish both are freshwater fish but they require different water temperatures. Goldfish usually enjoys cold waters with a temperature between 60 and 74 Fahrenheit and you don’t need to set up a heater in the aquarium for them.

On the other hand, platies are tropical fish and they love to reside in warm waters and the temperature should be 72-78 F. Also, unlike goldfish, they do require a heater to survive in the tank.

As for the water parameters, they are quite similar as they both require water pH around 7.0-8.4 and water hardness up to 12 dGH.

As you can see, they belong in totally different waters and if you try to locate them together in the aquarium it will induce a serious risk of health issues and the results can be fatal in most cases.

Behavioral Problems

We have noted above that sometimes you will encounter aggressive behavior from goldfish as well as platy fish. Goldfish will be dominant in your aquarium do its big size and you should be aware that your platy fish might become a meal for them. Needless to say, you can’t breed your platies in the presence of goldfish if you want the fry to survive. Otherwise, they will be gone as soon as goldfish notices them.

Goldfish behavior matters
Aggressive Goldfish can’t be compatible with Platy

As for the platies, usually, they are pretty peaceful individuals and it is unlikely that they will disturb neighbor fish. However, we would like to highlight that they are extremely fast-moving fish, and most of the time, they will be the first ones to catch the food in the aquarium. Therefore, if you don’t pay attention platies might leave goldfish without their meal and cause some serious stress.

It’s very clear that these kinds of behaviors don’t make platy fish and goldfish compatible. People have indicated many instances of nipped fins and aggressive behavior such as shoving and pushing. Therefore, they can’t be good tank mates.


When it comes to maintenance you will have a pretty hard time taking care of goldfish rather than platies. As we have said above, they grow extremely large and as a result, you need a big aquarium. Also, they have a quite high bioload and they produce a lot of waste.

In order to keep the aquarium fresh and clean, you need to change the water every once in a while, or else there is a high risk of developing different poisonous chemicals such as ammonia and nitrates. They can be deadly for any type of fish including your goldfish and platies, so it is a mandatory process.

Additionally, if you have goldfish, it is best to set up a strong water filter into your tank to prevent any of the above. As for platies, although the filter is recommended for them as well you can get away without it.

In conclusion, goldfish puts your platies in danger of some dangerous diseases due to their high bioload and this is one more reason why you should refrain from placing them together in the tank.

Recommendations To Keep Them Together

Although we have noted several reasons why you should not raise goldfish and platies together people still find some beneficial ways to make a suitable tank environment for them. If you still want to make this collaboration work, we would like to give you some suggestions that will be helpful for you.

Goldfish compatibility with Platy
How to keep Goldfish and Platy together?
  • First of all, you have to get a large aquarium. Goldfish requires big space to live comfortably on its own let alone having neighbors. If there is a sufficient place for your platies to move around without disturbing goldfish the chances of fighting and nipping get smaller.
  • Secondly, you have to regulate the temperature of the water to make it suitable for both fish. You should make it a little cold for goldfish but not too cold for platies. Make sure it is balanced and this way both parties will be satisfied.
  • You should also pay attention to the feeding process. As we have mentioned, platies are able to move around much faster compared to goldfish and they will often steal every food you provide. You have to control the diet of both fish and ensure that everyone gets their own share of the meal.
  • If you decide not to breed your platy fish then it’s fine to keep them together with goldfish in the tank. Platy fry becomes very easy prey for goldfish and they will certainly extinguish them as soon as fry is visible. Therefore, if you don’t have a problem with this feel free to contain them together.

As you can see, there are still some convenient ways to raise these two species together and if you put a lot of effort, it might be possible. However, the general recommendation is that they are not compatible and they don’t make good tank mates. So, you should accept this fact and be ready for disappointing results.

The Takeaway

In this article, we have described the relationship between one of the most popular fish species. Goldfish and platy fish are very easy to care for individuals and as a result, they are often recommended to beginners. However, you need to know that they are not compatible and you should refrain from placing them together in the aquarium.

They are entirely different species requiring a certain type of care and living conditions. The major distinguishing features are water temperature, aquarium size, and their conflicting behavior. Due to these factors, they are not able to live comfortably together and it will be best for everyone if you don’t do it.

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