Do goldfish get lonely? Should you get another fish?

Do goldfish get lonely if kept in a tank by themselves? You might be surprised to learn that, no, they don’t. At least, not as far as we know.

Based on everything we know about goldfish, it is very unlikely that goldfish feel loneliness.

It’s normal to wonder whether your goldfish will get lonely if kept in a tank on their own.

You see your goldfish swimming around the same tank, all day every day, by themselves; looking at the same plants, sticking their noses into the same bits of gravel, swimming under the same ornamental bridge…

You leave for work or school for hours on end, so there’s nothing going on outside the tank for them to look at, they’re not being fed regularly throughout the day, and you just found out that the “three second memory” is a myth.

Surely a goldfish will get bored unless you get another fish for them to live with? Well, actually, no, they probably won’t.

How do we know that goldfish don’t get lonely?

There’s no definite way of knowing whether goldfish get lonely. After all, nobody can enter the mind of a goldfish to make absolutely sure. However, we can say that it is very unlikely that goldfish get lonely.

Goldfish are just not the same as humans – they’re not social animals in the same way that we are, and they don’t have the same capacity to get bored or long for companionship.

In fact, many of the longest living goldfish have been kept alone, with no obvious harm to their well being.

Can goldfish live alone?

So, if goldfish don’t get lonely, does that mean they should be kept alone? Or should you get other fish to live with your goldfish?

As it’s unlikely that goldfish feel loneliness, you certainly don’t have to get more fish just to keep your goldfish company.

However, there may be other reasons why you want to get other fish, in which case, that’s entirely up to you! Just be sure to consider the needs of each fish when choosing suitable tank mates.

1 thought on “Do goldfish get lonely? Should you get another fish?”

  1. My goldfish school like other fish. I have one Koi, a butterfly koi and a Comet. This seems to indicate to me (anecdotal scientific experiment) that the like companionship. Another tankhad 1 Shubunkin. I got a 2nd one a day later. The swim together. We’re they lonely? Might not be the correct word. Do they prefer having a fish buddy? I think so.


Leave a Comment