Can a Red Eared Slider Live with Goldfish

Red-eared sliders make excellent pets, but their requirements can be unique and complex. Finding suitable tank mates for red-eared sliders can be a difficult task. In this article, we will answer the key question: “Can a red-eared slider live with goldfish?” and discuss the different factors to keeping red-eared sliders and goldfish in the same tank. Continue reading to find out more!

Can a Red Eared Slider Live with Goldfish?

Yes, a red eared slider can live with goldfish. However, you must take into account age, size of the tank, species, and filtration of the tank.

I have a goldfish in my red-eared slider tank, and they get along really well. You can see them interacting in my video below.

I only suggest putting a red-eared slider with goldfish if the goldfish are at least 3 inches long, and the tank holds at least 75 gallons. Read below for some more factors to consider.


Because goldfish are the perfect snack size for a red-eared slider when they are young, they are frequently eaten by most turtles. However, as goldfish grow, they become too large for most turtles to consume.

For this reason, it is best to introduce goldfish to baby red-eared sliders, who aren’t big enough to eat the larger goldfish.

Size of the Tank

If you want to keep red-eared sliders and goldfish together, you’ll need a large tank. There should be enough tank space and hideouts to keep turtles away from the younger and smaller goldfish. If you want them to coexist, provide plenty of hiding places for your goldfish.


Larger goldfish species, such as orandas, shubunkins, comets, and wakins, can grow at least 10-15 inches in length, which is impossible for a turtle to eat. However, these goldfish should only be kept in outdoor ponds.

If you are set on adding turtles, you should check out my article on how to make the perfect outdoor pond for a red eared slider.


Goldfish are naturally vile creatures that emit a large amount of ammonia into the water. As a result of the high ammonia levels in the water, you will need an extra-large and powerful filter for your tank with a well-established beneficial bacteria colony. If you don’t have an adequate filter, it can lead to a wide range of turtle diseases.

Tips for keeping goldfish with a red eared slider

If you decide to put goldfish and red eared sliders together, it is very important that you keep your turtles well fed. If your turtle gets hungry, they might get desperate and start hunting the goldfish. As mentioned above, you should also have a strong filter in the tank to ensure the water is clean.

If you do this, both the goldfish and turtle should live happy lives. I have a goldfish in my red-eared slider habitat, and they both coexist peacefully.

Will my red eared slider eat a goldfish?

Many turtles are picky about the fish they eat, depending on their size, age, and nature. The biggest indicator is size. If a fish is larger than the size of your turtle, your turtle will not bother trying to eat it.

Should I put goldfish with my red eared slider?

Aside from possibly being eaten, there are some other downsides of keeping goldfish with a red eared slider. The turtle might become territorial of its living space, which can cause it a lot of stress for both the turtle and the goldfish. Additionally, keeping goldfish together with any aquatic turtle will make the water very dirty.

What to do if your red eared slider eats a goldfish?

While goldfish are not very nutritious for a turtle, it most likely will not harm your turtle, especially if it just eats one goldfish. That being said, goldfish are very bony, so it might cause some digestive problems. Closely monitor your turtle for a couple days to make sure there aren’t any sudden changes in behavior.

Alternatives to goldfish

Aside from goldfish, your red eared slider can coexist with other species of fish. Before goldfish, I would suggest that you try adding either tetra fish, zebrafish, or guppies to your turtle tank. You can learn more in my article on can you have fish and turtles in the same tank.

If you want a fish that helps clean your tank, you should check out algae eaters that can live with turtles.


In conclusion, while you can have goldfish and red eared sliders live together, there are many factors to consider, such as age, size, and species. To add on, the two together will create an absurd amount of waste, implying a high level of maintenance. Hopefully, this article helped answer the question, “can a red-eared slider live with goldfish?” Good luck!

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