Why are Goldfish Aggressive?

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. September 26, 2016
Why are Goldfish Aggressive?

The goldfish is a very popular fish. Even though it is called a "gold" fish, there are actually many types that can vary in color. In this article we are going to talk about the common goldfish (Carassius auratus).

Maintaining an aquarium is a delicate task as you will need the right balance of water, extreme cleanliness and, if you have different species, temperament of the fish. Despite the calming effect they can have on their owners, goldfish have been known to be quite aggressive. This does not mean they are going to start giving you rude gestures with their fins, but that small habitats can be the perfect incubators for disputes.

This doesn't happen every time, as the goldfish is not a particularly aggressive fish. However, if you find yourself with a particularly upset little pal, let AnimalWised enlighten you as to why are goldfish aggressive?

You may also be interested in: Are Raccoons Aggressive Animals?

Space, compatibility and lack of food

You should first analyse the current situation in your aquarium. You should know that goldfish are not compatible with all types of fish. For this reason, we recommend avoiding the following examples at all costs:

  • Angel fish
  • Betta fish
  • Gouramis
  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platties
  • Neon tetras
  • Prawns

However, if you want to enjoy a community aquarium you can add other fish that are compatible:

  • Koi cap
  • Pumpkinseed
  • Tetras
  • Paradise fish
  • Varieties of Corydoras
  • Varieties of Carassius
  • Others

In addition, besides taking into account the compatibility of the fish, it is also fundamental to know if the space is another incentive for aggression. You should get hold of a big tank with sheltered areas so that your fish can move around and hide as they wish. If not, your goldfish will become aggressive and dominant. Each fish should have at least 40 litres.

Furthermore, it is vital to give the appropriate amount of food to your fish, or otherwise problems may arise. For example, goldfish will not hesitate to feed on Chinese neon fish if they have the chance.

Finally, we add that some healthy fish may end up attacking other sick fish.

Why are Goldfish Aggressive? - Space, compatibility and lack of food

Other causes of aggression in goldfish

Sexuality has a significant influence on problems of aggression. You should ensure you have enough females for each male. Otherwise, males can soon begin to harass the females.

However, sometimes it may be the case that new arrivals to the aquarium are chased by those that were already established. Even though the goldfish is not an aggressive fish, they sometimes can be, especially when factoring in the aforementioned aggravating circumstances. Read on to learn what to do.

Why are Goldfish Aggressive? - Other causes of aggression in goldfish

Hospital Tank

If you are passionate about the world of fish, you should get a "hospital tank". A hospital tank is can be a smaller fishbowl, and you can use it to observe and treat a weak, sick or aggressive fish. It is basically for those fish that need some quiet time while their wounds heal.

Some aggressive fish can also benefit from a hospital tank, calming their behavior. It is very important that you separate your fish if you see aggressive behavior among them, and using the hospital tank will be good for this.

Why are Goldfish Aggressive? - Hospital Tank

If you want to read similar articles to Why are Goldfish Aggressive?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.

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How long should I leave my aggressive goldfish in the hospital tank before trying to put it back in the main tank?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Melissa, if you fish is being aggressive with other fish, should you be putting them back at all?
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