Can Turtles Live with Goldfish? (It’s Possible But…)

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Turtles and goldfish both these animals can be great hassle-free and low-maintenance pets to have in your home. But what if you want to keep both of them as pets together? Can turtles live with goldfish?

Turtles can live with goldfish but you have to ensure a lot of factors and create the right aquarium setup. Without that, they will surely have a lot of difficulties living together and for the most part, it’s not recommended.

Now, if you insist on keeping them together, here I will guide you through the whole process. So, stick till the end to find out how turtles can live with a goldfish.

Problems When Turtles and Goldfish Share a Tank

Before we go ahead with the process of keeping goldfish and turtles together, let’s go through some facts on why you shouldn’t keep them together.

Too much waste production

Whether it be goldfish or turtles, both these pets produce a lot of waste.

Their waste disposal rate is pretty high which makes the tank dirty very quickly. You have to keep cleaning the tank frequently.

The issue with too much waste in the tank is that there will be an excessive ammonia buildup in the water.

It can eventually lead to ammonia poisoning in aquariums which becomes a reason for the low mortality of your goldfish.

Turtles might eat your goldfish

Turtles are omnivorous, and so are goldfish. But if you compare the size of the two animals, turtles are much larger than goldfish.

As a result, they might end up gobbling your pet fish when you keep them in the same tank.

Goldfish are quite slow-moving and peace-loving fishes, which makes them a tasty treat for a turtle with a predatory instinct.

Even if your turtle doesn’t kill the fish, it can definitely chase the goldfish to stress it out.

Different water requirements

Ensuring the water quality management in goldfish is crucial for their well-being in the tank. The same goes for aquatic turtles.

While both these animals prefer to have alkaline water, the temperature they thrive in is a bit different.

Goldfish likes to be in cooler water, whereas turtles prefer a bit warmer water temperature.

Also, goldfish need a lot of water for more swimming space, whereas turtles like to have access to land and surface.

Dietary requirements are different

The two animals like to have two different types of diets. Turtles require a protein-rich diet for the best possible growth. Whereas goldfish like to live on a plant-based diet.

So, getting that balance of dietary needs can be a bit difficult in the same tank. 

Personality clash

Turtles and goldfish both have similar personalities and both of them show territorial instincts. This results in a clash where they may end up fighting for resources such as space and food.

It can cause aggression and stress buildup in both the animals, ruining the peace of the tank.

How To Keep A Turtle And Goldfish Together?

After going through the issues, if you still choose to keep turtles and goldfish together in the same tank, you need to give it a thought. You have to consider these factors first.

  • First of all, when you plan to keep turtle and goldfish together, you need to think about the space. It has to be enough spacious for both animals to freely roam around.
  • Next, you have to fulfill the tank requirement for both these animals and give them the perfect environment. You can’t use regular tap water, as it can get toxic for both the animals.
  • And the last thing you need to consider is the species of both animals. Many people have succeeded in keeping turtles and goldfish together with certain species of both these animals. Find the ones that are compatible with each other.
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Tank Essentials for Keeping Turtles and Goldfish Together

We are not going to discuss the space factor because you can figure it out yourself from the tank requirements.

Usually, when you want to keep turtles and goldfish in the same tank, you have to fulfill the following requirements.

Size Matter Most

The first thing you have to think about is the size of the tank which should be around 70-80 gallons.

It will give enough space for both turtle and goldfish to roam freely inside the tank. Also, it helps minimize the effects of waste production.

Tank decoration

Try to use certain types of tank decoration where you provide enough hiding spaces for your fish.

You can also opt for decoration that creates a separation of spaces where your turtles and goldfish can have their own swimming space.

Water parameters

You have to maintain a pH level of 7.0 and 8.4 to ensure that the water is alkaline. It’s suitable for both the animals.

As for the temperature, aim for a water temperature between 70 to 74 degrees Fahrenheit as both the animals thrive in it.

Filtration system

Turtles alone need a very strong filtration system. So when you add a goldfish to it that is notorious for waste production, you will need a much more powerful filtration.

Without the right kind of filtration, you will end up putting both the animals to suffer on their own.

Which Goldfish Species Can Coexist With Turtles?

When it comes to adding goldfish to your turtle tank, you have several options. Such as Shubunkins, Orandas, Comets, and Wakins.

These species grow quite large in size which is why turtles can’t end up eating them.

Which Turtle Species Can Coexist With Turtles?

If you are planning to add turtles to your goldfish tank, then you have very limited options. The only types of turtles you can keep with goldfish are:

  • Red-Eared Sliders
  • Northern Red-Bellied Turtles
  • Peninsula Cooter

No matter how many suitable ways you can find where turtles can live with goldfish, it’s still not recommended to do so.

While there might be some success stories, it’s always up to fate that your goldfish and turtle will go along well. So, it’s best if you don’t keep them together.