Do goldfish fight each other? What to do if your goldfish fight

If you’d like to keep more than one goldfish in your tank then you may be wondering whether goldfish fight each other. And if they do, what you should you do to stop goldfish fighting?

The answer is yes. Goldfish do sometimes fight each other. However, it’s difficult to know in advance whether your goldfish will be aggressive.

Different goldfish have different personalities, so some goldfish will fight more than others.

Goldfish are far more likely to fight when they have something to compete over. For example, food or territory.

To prevent this, you should make sure your goldfish are well fed and that your tank contains lots of plants and decorations to hide behind.

How to prevent goldfish from fighting

The best way to stop goldfish from fighting is really quite simple – only keep one goldfish in your tank!

If you only have one goldfish, we suggest thinking carefully before getting another. Goldfish don’t get lonely, so you don’t need to get them a tank mate. It’s far better to keep one fish in a healthy environment than risk problems caused by having more than one fish.

But what if your goldfish are already fighting each other? How do you stop them being aggressive towards each other?

How to stop goldfish fighting each other

If you notice one goldfish chasing another goldfish all the time, or biting them, then they are fighting.

If this is happening in your tank, you’ll need to do something about it. Keeping goldfish can be a really peaceful and rewarding hobby that even helps to alleviates stress, but it won’t be so relaxing if your fish are fighting all the time!

So, how do you stop goldfish fighting?

  • First, check that you have a big enough tank. A lack of space is one of the main causes of goldfish fighting.
  • If your tank is definitely big enough, try adding or rearranging plants to create hiding places.
  • Be sure to feed your goldfish enough, while also taking care not to overfeed them. Try adding a small amount of food to each end of the tank. This way, your fish can eat separately rather than competing for food.
  • If none of this helps, consider purchasing a tank divider that will permanently keep your goldfish apart.

Will goldfish fight other fish?

As well as fighting other goldfish, your goldfish may fight with other fish in their tank too. If you’re going to keep other fish with goldfish, please choose their tank mates wisely.

10 thoughts on “Do goldfish fight each other? What to do if your goldfish fight”

  1. I have 4 sarassa 4 shubunkin 5 goldfish in a 5,000 litre pond and they seem to single out 1 fish every couple of weeks and chase it for hours . There are plenty of hiding places ,plants and feed them everyday . I do t understand why that do this .

  2. I have had 2 shubunkin gold fish in a 127L tank for over a year with no problems but they now seem to be fighting. Why would they start fighting now?

  3. So I have 3 gold fish in a massive tank, 1 is white/silver and 2 are gold and white the 2 coloured ones are picking on the silver one and have been doing on and off for months. I have a divider that I use in the tank to give then a “time out” which works for a while but they always end up going back to picking on the silver one. They have plenty of room, I do not have any plants or ornaments in currently as they were causing issues with the silver one having enough space to maneuver out of their way and they are fed plenty so can’t be fighting for food or space….. any suggestions or do I have to admit defeat and get the silver one it’s own tank away from the bullies? BTW they are all fantail goldfish too. Tia

  4. I have 2 gold white goldfish and one coloured goldfish slightly larger than them
    The larger one bite one of them and got her eye out and now the bitten one cannot eat or can’t see the food i don’t know what should i do ???

  5. Following. My docile oranda is in a tank with 2 small shubunkins. They’ve been tank mates foe almost 3 weeks. Today I noticed my white/blue shubunkin’s tail looked messed up so I observed them for a while and then saw my otherwise docile and slow oranda biting the tail of my white/blue shubunkin. My shubunkins are fast and always seem to steal all the food so maybe my slow oranda is hungry – is only explanation I can come up with. When my 3 fishes were intro, my 2 shubunkins seem to bully my oranda a bit the initial first few days but my oranda is bigger than my shubunkins so she shook them off. Then it appeared the last 2 weeks they were living in harmony until this morning…so just took my oranda out and try to give her food of her own but she’s scared that I took her out of the tank and is barely nibbling on the food… it feels like taking care or kids‍♀️

  6. i have one oranda and 2 common goldfish.i added the last goldfish last week and don’t know if they get together well.when i feed them my newer goldfish won’t go after food and the other 2 almost everytime get all the a result i think it chases and bites them because it doesn’t eat.but why doesn’t it make a move to get fed and instead chases the other ones?

    • Hi Pete, thanks for your comment,
      It sounds like your goldfish are establishing to their new environment, it is best to keep a close eye for any illness as this can be a common cause for goldfish fasting themselves.
      It may also be them just settling in with the others and getting used to their new tankmates.
      If you are worried about them not feeding, try feeding them at night time or with the lights off, this can bring out confidence in less dominant fish and encourage them to feed.
      Hope this helps.

  7. I only have 2 fish in an 80L/22 gallon tank, the larger fish has already killed another small one I had in there but now he’s attacking the other one too, even though they were coexisting happily for the past few months.
    He’s a shubunkin(about 3 inches long) and the other one is a white fantail (about 2.5 inches).
    I don’t have many decorations in the tank (only some artificial leaves and a divers helmet) because I didn’t want to crowd the tank.
    Also I’m in Australia and it’s summer here now, I don’t know much about fish breeding seasons but I’m not even sure if these two can breed or if they’re male or female tbh.
    Any suggestions on why they’re fighting or how I can fix it?

    • Hi Kaitlin, thanks for your comment
      when the tanks gets very warm in summer, goldfish can become irritable and will display aggressive behaviour.
      it is strange that it has outright killed your other fish however, perhaps test the water to see if there is anything wrong, maybe you need to do a water change to keep the water clean and cool down the temperature.
      perhaps heat and poor water quality has made your fish irritated enough to bully its tankmate.
      80Litres is also a fairly small space for goldfish, and with nothing better to do they probably will just pick on eachother.

      With this, we also suggest not housing shubunkins or comets with fancy goldfish, fancy goildfish are poor swimmers, cant really defend themselves and are more vulnerable than a shubunkin, which is powerful and streamlined.
      Both fish are the same species, and can interbreed, but we dont suggest keeping streamlined common goldfish with fancy fantailed goldfish.
      hope this helps


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