Can Platies Live with Goldfish?

If you’re looking for a couple of easy-going aquarium fish that don’t require much effort to raise, you can’t go wrong with platies and goldfish.

While these platies and goldfish may share several physical characteristics, it’s not advisable to put them together in one tank due to each species requiring different water parameters.

This is actually an ongoing debate in the world of aquarium fish. Some believe that all you have to do is find a nice compromise when it comes to tank conditions that suit both fish species.

However, others are convinced that the disadvantages of keeping platies and goldfish together far outweigh the benefits.

So, which is it? Read ahead to find out what the experts believe.

Can Platies Live with Goldfish?

Technically speaking, no one can stop you from putting platies and goldfish in the same tank. Yet, it’ll only make your fish weak, susceptible to diseases, and may even lead to their death.


Well, the biggest reason is that each species requires a different living environment than the other. Since they can’t adjust to each other’s needs, their comfort levels will be significantly disrupted, which can’t be good for either one.

Another reason is their general behavior. Platies are somewhat smaller in size compared to goldfish. As a result, the more dominant goldfish is seen as a threat by the smaller, more docile platies.

Not only that, but goldfish can be bullies in the tank. They’ve been known to harass their smaller tank mates and hog all the food. This leaves the platies vulnerable, weak, and hungry.

Orange Platy on Gravel

Platies vs. Goldfish Aquarium Guide

We mentioned that the primary reason why platies and goldfish can’t live together is that they require different tank conditions.

Let’s take a look at what each species likes and doesn’t like in their aquarium.

Tank Size

Goldfish can grow up to 12 inches long. Thus, they do better in large-sized tanks that are at least 50 gallons.

Some species even require bigger tanks that are 75 gallons and more where they can swim freely and have ample space to explore.

Considering that platies are usually about 2.5 inches in length, you don’t really need that big of a tank.

They do well in a minimum sized tank of 10 gallons and a maximum of 20 gallons. That said, they’ll still acclimate to living conditions if you put them in a larger tank, as long as they have adequate space to roam around.

Plus, they prefer to have a nook or cranny that they can call their own. It’s their safe space where they can enjoy some peace and quiet.

Water Temperatures

When it comes to water parameters, both goldfish and platies like the same thing. They prefer their water pH levels to be around 7.0 to 8.4 and their water hardness to be up to 1 degree of general hardness (dGH).

Nevertheless, it’s the temperature of the water that they disagree on.

Goldfish are one of those freshwater fish that like their water cold and refreshing. Therefore, they do well in temperatures that range between 60°F and 74°F.

The good news is that you don’t have to bother with the hassle of setting up a tank heater.

Platies are also a freshwater species, but they’re tropical. Hence, they love living in warm waters where temperatures are between 72°F and 78°F.

This means that, unlike goldfish, you will need to install a heater for your platies.


As mentioned above, goldfish can show a bit of hostility towards smaller-sized species like the platies. They like showing off their dominance and may even turn their tiny tank mates into lunch.

Needless to say, this also means you can’t breed platies when you have goldfish around. Not only will the goldfish likely eat the parents, but it’ll also definitely snack on the fry as well.

Platies, on the other hand, are known to be peaceful, easy-going, and friendly. Yet, these traits slowly subside when they have the bigger, more assertive goldfish as their tank mates.

Gold fish or goldfish floating swimming underwater in fresh aquarium tank with green plant. marine life.
Gold fish or goldfish floating swimming underwater in fresh aquarium tank with green plant. marine life.

Care and Maintenance

Goldfish require more care and maintenance than platies. First off, there’s the bigger aquarium to consider, which makes cleaning the tank harder and more time-consuming.

Furthermore, goldfish have a higher bioload and produce more waste. This means you have to change the tank water more frequently than other fish species.

Experts recommend changing at least half the water once every 3 – 7 days. It’ll help reduce the risk of harmful chemicals, like nitrates and ammonia, from building up in the tank.

Therefore, a heavy-duty water filter is a must to ensure the safety of your goldfish.

As for platies, their bioload is minimal. So, while it’s always recommended that you install a water filter for your fish, it’s not a necessity for your platies’ safety and well-being.

Platies vs. Goldfish: Finding Suitable Tank Mates

Now that we’ve decided against keeping these two together let’s look at some of the other fish species they can live with.


Platies are active but relatively peaceful tropical freshwater fish. So, you should keep them with fish that share the same temperament and living parameters.

Here are some of the best tank mates for your platies.

  • Swordtails
  • Zebra danios
  • Mollies
  • Neon tetras
  • Plecos
  • Endlers
  • Guppies


Remember that goldfish create a considerable amount of bioload. Plus, their preferred water temperatures are a bit on the cooler side.

So, to maintain a stress-free environment, you must place them with compatible mates that share similar qualities, such as:

To Sum Up

In this post, we tackled a common question among aquarists: can platies live with goldfish? Sadly, they can’t.

The latter is larger and tends to act more aggressively when surrounded by smaller fish. Plus, they require different maintenance, water temperatures, and tank sizes.

All these factors combined make them not ideal tank mates, to say the least.

The best thing for their health and safety, as well as your peace of mind, is to find suitable mates for each other. This way, they’ll be happy to share their home with other fish species that share similar characteristics and living conditions.