Can Clown Loaches Live with Goldfish?

Clown Loaches cannot live with Goldfish due to their different temperature requirements and potential size differences.

While Clown Loaches and Goldfish cannot coexist in the same tank, it’s important to understand the unique needs of each species. Clown Loaches are tropical fish that prefer warmer water temperatures, while Goldfish thrive in cooler water.

Additionally, Clown Loaches can grow quite large compared to Goldfish, which can lead to compatibility issues and potential harm to the smaller Goldfish.

In this article I will dive you why it’s not a wise decision to keep Goldfish with Clown Loaches. Keep reading to discover more!

can clown loaches live with goldfish

Why Clown Loach and Goldfish Should Not Keep Together?

Clown Loaches and Goldfish are two popular fish species that are often kept as fish pets. However, they should not be kept together in the same tank due to several important reasons.

Here are 15 detailed points explaining why Clown Loaches and Goldfish should not be kept together:

  1. Temperature Requirements: Clown Loaches are tropical fish, while Goldfish are coldwater fish. They both need different temperature preferences, with Clown Loaches requiring warmer water (around 77-86°F or 25-30°C) and Goldfish thriving in cooler temperatures (around 65-75°F or 18-24°C). Maintaining a suitable temperature for both species can be challenging and stressful for the fish.
  2. Size Differences: Clown Loaches can grow much larger than Goldfish. While Clown Loaches can reach lengths of 8-12 inches (20-30 cm), Goldfish typically grow to around 6-8 inches (15-20 cm). The size difference can lead to potential aggression and harm to the smaller Goldfish.
  3. Feeding Habits: Clown Loaches are omnivorous and have specific dietary requirements, including live or frozen foods. Goldfish, on the other hand, are primarily herbivorous and thrive on a plant-based diet. Meeting the diverse feeding needs of both species can be challenging and may result in nutritional deficiencies for one or both types of fish.
  4. Tank Setup: Clown Loaches prefer a well-decorated tank with plenty of hiding spots and soft substrate. Goldfish, however, prefer open spaces with minimal decorations and gravel or larger substrate. Creating a suitable tank environment that meets the preferences of both species can be difficult.
  5. Water Quality: Clown Loaches are sensitive to water conditions and require pristine water quality. Goldfish, on the other hand, are more tolerant of varying water conditions. Balancing water parameters to suit both species can be complicated and may lead to stress-related health issues for one or both types of fish.
  6. Speed and Activity Levels: Clown Loaches are known for their energetic and fast swimming behavior. Goldfish, although active, have a more leisurely swimming style. The contrasting swimming speeds and activity levels can cause stress and discomfort for both species.
  7. Disease Susceptibility: Clown Loaches are susceptible to certain diseases, such as Ich (white spot disease). Goldfish, on the other hand, have their own set of common health issues. Housing them together increases the risk of disease transmission and makes it more challenging to address and treat specific ailments.
  8. Compatibility with Tankmates: Clown Loaches can be territorial and may exhibit aggressive behavior towards other fish. Goldfish, although generally peaceful, may become targets of aggression from larger Clown Loaches. Ensuring compatible tankmates for each species separately is crucial for their overall welfare.
  9. Water Flow and Filtration: Clown Loaches prefer moderate water flow and can be stressed by strong currents. Goldfish, on the other hand, require good filtration and oxygenation due to their higher waste production. Striking a balance in water flow and filtration for both species can be difficult.
  10. Potential Injury: Clown Loaches have spines beneath their eyes that can cause harm if they feel threatened or stressed. Goldfish, with their slower swimming style, may inadvertently trigger defensive behavior in Clown Loaches, leading to potential injuries for both fish.
  11. Breeding Considerations: If kept together, Clown Loaches and Goldfish may attempt to breed, but successful breeding is unlikely due to their biological differences. Mixing the two species for breeding purposes can result in hybridization and genetic complications.

While Clown Loaches and Goldfish are both fascinating fish to keep as pets, it is essential to understand and respect their individual needs and requirements.

Due to differences in temperature preferences, size, feeding habits, tank setup, and other factors, it is not advisable to keep Clown Loaches and Goldfish together.

Clown Loach vs Goldfish: Major Differences

Here are some major differences between Goldfish and Clown Loach. That might let you quick overview of their differences and reasons not to keep them together.

CharacteristicsClown LoachGoldfish
Temperature Range77-86°F (25-30°C)65-75°F (18-24°C)
Size Range8-12 inches6-8 inches
Feeding HabitsOmnivorousPrimarily Herbivorous
Preferred Tank SetupWell-decorated with hiding spots and soft substrateOpen spaces with minimal decorations and gravel or larger substrate
Water Quality ToleranceSensitive to water conditions, requires pristine water qualityMore tolerant of varying water conditions
Social BehaviorThrives in groups, social and activeCan be kept in groups, less socially dependent
Swimming SpeedEnergetic and fastActive but with a leisurely swimming style
Tank Size RequirementLarger tanks with plenty of swimming spaceAmple swimming space, especially for fancy varieties
Disease SusceptibilityProne to diseases such as Ich (white spot disease)Has its own set of common health issues
AggressivenessCan exhibit territorial and aggressive behaviorGenerally peaceful, but may be targeted by larger aggressive fish
Water Flow and FiltrationPrefers moderate water flow, sensitive to strong currentsRequires good filtration and oxygenation due to higher waste production
Breeding CompatibilityBreeding may be attempted, but successful breeding is unlikelyBreeds readily under suitable conditions
Behavior PatternsPlayful, digs in substrate, and explores surroundingsActive but may not engage in the same playful behavior
Overall Care and Well-beingRequires specific care and attention to meet individual needsSpecific care requirements for optimal health and well-being

Understanding these distinctions is essential for creating appropriate environments, providing suitable diets, and ensuring the overall health and well-being of these fish.

What Will Happen If I Put Goldfish with Clown Loach?

Putting Goldfish and Clown Loaches together in the same tank can have several consequences due to their contrasting needs, behaviors, and compatibility. It is essential to understand the potential outcomes before attempting to mix these fish species.

This section will discuss the possible scenarios and consequences of putting Goldfish with Clown Loach.

  1. Nipping and Fin Damage: Clown Loach have barbels near their mouths that they use for foraging and exploration. These barbels can sometimes be mistaken as food by Goldfish, leading to nipping or fin damage. The Goldfish’s flowing fins can be particularly attractive to the Clown Loach, and repeated nipping can cause stress and injury to the Goldfish.
  2. Competition for Resources: Clown Loaches and Goldfish have different preferences for tank setups and hiding spots. They may compete for limited resources, such as hiding places or preferred territories, leading to stress, aggression, and compromised well-being for both species.
  3. Competition for Food: Goldfish are known to be voracious eaters and can quickly consume food, leaving little for the slower-moving Clown Loach. The Clown Loach may struggle to get enough nutrition, leading to malnourishment and weakened immune system.
  4. Disease Transmission: Introducing fish from different sources into the same tank increases the risk of disease transmission. Clown Loaches are susceptible to certain diseases, such as Ich (white spot disease), and Goldfish have their own set of common health issues. Mixing the two species raises the probability of spreading diseases and makes it more challenging to identify and treat specific ailments.

Combining Goldfish and Clown Loaches in the same tank can result in temperature conflicts, aggression, size discrepancies, feeding challenges, social dynamics issues, resource competition, and increased disease transmission risks.

These factors can lead to stress, injuries, compromised health, and overall reduced well-being for both species. 

So, It is best to provide separate tanks that cater to the specific needs of each fish species, ensuring a harmonious and suitable environment for their optimal growth and happiness.

Will Goldfish Survive in Saltwater?

Goldfish are freshwater fish and are not naturally adapted to survive in saltwater. They have evolved to live in freshwater environments, such as ponds, lakes, and aquariums with freshwater conditions. If placed in saltwater, goldfish would face several challenges.

The osmoregulatory system of goldfish is designed to maintain a balance of water and salts within their bodies, and they are adapted to the specific electrolyte concentrations found in freshwater.

Will Clown Loach survive in Fresh Water?

Yes, Clown Loaches are freshwater fish and are well adapted to thrive in freshwater environments. They are native to the rivers and streams of Southeast Asia, where they inhabit slow-moving or still freshwater with dense vegetation and soft substrate.

Clown Loaches have specific physiological adaptations that enable them to survive and thrive in freshwater. They have a well-developed osmoregulatory system that helps maintain the balance of water and salts within their bodies.

They are able to extract oxygen from the dissolved oxygen in freshwater through their specialized gills. Clown Loaches are also known for their ability to tolerate a wide range of water conditions, including variations in pH and hardness.

Will Clown Loach Kill Goldfish?

Yes, Clown Loaches have the potential to kill Goldfish if they are kept together in the same tank. Clown Loaches can become aggressive and territorial, especially as they grow larger. Their aggression can lead to chasing, fin-nipping, and attacking behaviors toward the Goldfish, which can result in stress, injuries, and even death. 

Additionally, Clown Loaches have sharp barbs near their mouths that they can use as defense mechanisms. If they feel threatened or stressed, they may use these barbs to harm the Goldfish, causing wounds or fatal injuries.

Will Goldfish Kill Clown Loach?

No, Goldfish are generally not known to kill Clown Loaches. Goldfish are typically peaceful and not aggressive towards other fish species, including Clown Loaches.

However, it’s important to note that individual fish behavior can vary, and there may be rare instances where a Goldfish displays aggressive behavior towards a Clown Loach. In such cases, it is usually due to specific circumstances such as territorial disputes or stress-inducing factors in the tank.

Still Want to Keep Clown Loach with Goldfish? Read This Guide

If you are determined to keep Clown Loaches and Goldfish together, try it at your own risk. It is crucial to follow certain guidelines to minimize potential conflicts and ensure the well-being of both species.

Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

Tank Size and Setup

Provide a spacious tank with plenty of swimming space and hiding spots. A larger tank helps reduce territorial disputes and provides enough room for each fish to establish their own territories.

Tank Mates

Avoid keeping aggressive or fin-nipping fish species with Clown Loaches and Goldfish. Choose tank mates that are compatible with both species, such as peaceful community fish like tetras or peaceful bottom-dwelling species.

Group Dynamics

Clown Loaches are social fish that thrive in groups. If you plan to keep multiple Clown Loaches, it is advisable to have a group of at least three individuals to reduce aggression and stress.

Observation and Monitoring

Pay close attention to the behavior of both the Clown Loaches and Goldfish. If any conflicts or aggression arise, be prepared to separate the fish into separate tanks to prevent harm.

Feeding Strategies

Provide a varied diet that meets the nutritional needs of both Clown Loaches and Goldfish. Goldfish are primarily herbivorous, so offer them a balanced diet with a mix of plant-based foods. Clown Loaches are omnivorous, so include live or frozen foods along with high-quality pellets or flakes.

Water Quality

Maintain excellent water quality by regularly monitoring and performing water changes. Both Clown Loaches and Goldfish are sensitive to poor water conditions, so ensure proper filtration and regular maintenance.

Size and Compatibility

Consider the size difference between Clown Loaches and Goldfish. Clown Loaches can grow significantly larger, which may lead to potential harm or stress for the smaller Goldfish. Ensure that the tank provides enough space for both species to thrive comfortably.

It is important to note that even with these guidelines, there is always a risk of aggression or compatibility issues when keeping Clown Loaches and Goldfish together.

FAQs & Answers

Can Clown Loaches live peacefully with Goldfish?

No, Clown Loaches and Goldfish do not typically live peacefully together due to potential aggression and compatibility issues.

Do Clown Loaches and Goldfish have similar water temperature requirements?

No, Clown Loaches and Goldfish have different water temperature requirements. Goldfish prefer cooler water temperatures, while Clown Loaches require warmer tropical water.

Can Clown Loaches and Goldfish be kept together in outdoor ponds?

Yes, Clown Loaches and Goldfish can be kept together in outdoor ponds as long as the pond is large enough to accommodate both species and provides suitable water conditions.

Can Clown Loaches and Goldfish display schooling behavior together?

No, Clown Loaches and Goldfish do not typically display schooling behavior together. But clown loach in particular (while alone) shows schooling behavior too often.

Do Clown Loaches and Goldfish have similar lifespan expectations?

No, Clown Loaches and Goldfish have different lifespan expectations. Goldfish can live for several years, with some varieties reaching up to 20 years or more, while Clown Loaches generally have a lifespan of 10 to 15 years.


It is not advisable to keep Clown Loaches and Goldfish together in the same tank. While both species are popular and fascinating fish, they have distinct differences in their temperament, behavior, and specific needs.

Considering the potential harm and incompatibility between Clown Loaches and Goldfish, it is best to provide separate tanks for each species to ensure their safety and well-being.

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