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Why Do Goldfish Chase Each Other?

In this article, we answer the question: Why do goldfish chase each other? We’ll explain how to address aggressive behaviors, answer questions like, do aquarium fish eat each other, and more.

In their natural habitats, goldfish may chase one another for various reasons. These could be due to mating urges, territorial defense, playful behavior, or several other motives.

What’s essential is to provide them with an adequately large and clean aquarium that meets their needs. Additionally, we have answered the question: How many liters of water does a goldfish need to live in?

Why Do Goldfish Chase Each Other?

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Goldfish are not naturally aggressive aquarium fish. However, at times, one or several goldfish might chase each other, leading to potential injuries. To prevent this, it’s important to first understand the reasons behind the chasing.

Reasons why goldfish chase each other:

  1. Mating Desires: A male goldfish, once mature enough and under suitable conditions, may desire to mate. Therefore, the female goldfish can be chased by the males.
  2. Territorial Dominance: Even though they are docile, goldfish, like other aquarium fish, can be territorial. They might choose a specific area as their own and chase away any other goldfish that come near it, signaling “this is my spot”.
  3. Playful Behavior: If the aquarium has an adequate volume and appropriate conditions, they might chase each other just for play.
  4. Food Competition: Goldfish are slow-moving and bulky aquarium fish. If there is limited food, and the feeding is not done according to the number of fish, they might compete for food and chase each other.
  5. Stress Issues: Stress is not only a problem for goldfish but for many fish. They can become stressed due to overcrowded aquariums, poor water conditions, lack of hiding places, sudden temperature changes, and more. When stressed, they might feel threatened and chase each other.
  6. Illness: If one or several fish in your aquarium are sick, the healthy ones might isolate, chase, and even kill them.
  7. Incompatible Fish Species: Before getting a goldfish, it’s crucial to research which different species are compatible with them and choose your fish accordingly. Some species are very aggressive and might chase the goldfish.

The above reasons answer the question of why goldfish chase each other. By observing your aquarium fish, you can understand why they chase each other and, if needed, take the necessary actions promptly.

Do Goldfish Eat Each Other?

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We know that many species of fish eat each other in the wild, but do goldfish eat each other? The answer is both yes and no.

Goldfish are not aggressive or dangerous towards other fish. However, there have been instances where one goldfish eats another. Goldfish are constantly searching for food, and if they find something edible that fits in their mouth, they will eat it immediately.

An adult goldfish cannot eat another one (unless it’s dead). If you have a large goldfish in your aquarium along with baby goldfish, the larger fish might eat the babies when given the opportunity. Similarly, they might eat the young of other fish species.

In short, the saying “Big fish eat small fish” perfectly applies in this case.


How many liters of water does a goldfish need to live in?

The amount varies depending on the species and size. For species of the size of Ryukin and Oranda (20-25 cm), they require 40 liters. For larger species like Shubunkin, they need aquariums of 70 liters or more.

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