Selecting tank mates for koi is crucial are coldwater carp type fish. You have to consider a lot of things before you put a fish with koi in a tank.
It is better to keep other coldwater fish that has the same size and diet of a koi. But you can select some of the tropical fish with koi as you are putting them in a tank, not in a pond. Because here temperature is not an issue as you can easily control it.
In this article, you will learn about some species of fo fish that can live with koi in a tank.
Table of Contents
Things to Consider Before Selecting Koi Tank Mates
- The first thing to ensure is that the fish isn’t aggressive so that it doesn’t attack the koi. Keep social fish with koi and other fish so that they live happily.
- Make sure the size of the fish is nearly similar to koi.
- The temperature requirement should be the same. Or, at least the selected fish can thrive at the ambient temperature for koi.
- Make sure the selected fish doesn’t require more care than a koi because you may find it hard fulfilling their demand.
- The selected fish species shouldn’t fight with koi for food.
- Stock large fish with large koi and small fish with small koi.
- It is better if the selected fish species is a bottom feeder.
- It is better if the selected species has the same characteristics of a koi.
Fish That Can Live With Koi In A Tank
Barbel (Barbus barbus)
Barbels are native to Europe. They can reach up to 4 feet although most of them are 40 inches. The lifespan of Burbel is up to 20 years. As their size are similar to koi fish and exhibits the characteristics of Carp, they are good as Koi tankmates. The temperature requirement and diet are almost the same.
They are a bottom feeder and hence keep the aquarium bottom clean by eating the excess food left by koi fish. As the size of Barbel fish is large, you have to keep them with adult koi fish. Also, the tank size needs to be large enough. You also have to maintain a good flow of water in the tank for them.
Barbs (Barbus tetrazona)
Barbs are originated from Sumatra and Indonesia. They have a slender body and can reach up to three inches in length. They are peaceful and not territorial. therefore they are good as tank mates for Koi and Goldfish. As they are small, they don’t require that much water volume.
If you like Barbs, then you can buy them online here.
Barbs can live up to 6 years in the tank if the water quality and a good diet are ensured. They are Omnivorous hence the diet is the same as Koi fish which is a major advantage when you keep them with koi fish. Barbs are colorful fish and available in a large verity of color. This makes them more beautiful when they are kept in a tank with good lighting. Also as they are small, try to keep at least 5 of them together.
This may sound weird to keep koi and catfish together, but there are many species of Catfish that will live happily with koi for a certain age. Although catfish are tropical fish, they have the ability to live in a wide range of temperature. The following catfish breeds can be stocked with Koi Fish in a tank –
- Bandit Cory Catfish
- Bumblebee Catfish
- Columbian Shark
- Iridescent Shark
However, there are some disadvantages of keeping a catfish in a tank with other fish. First of all the catfish are tend to disturb the bottom of the fish tank. Secondly, they are the bearer of parasites and diseases.
Again you should only keep the Iridescent Shark with large adult koi fish. If you keep an adult Iridescent Shark with small koi or other smaller fish, it will eat them up. So, be careful when you keep them together.
Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
Goldfish are most commonly kept with koi fish in the tank. The reason fishkeepers keep goldfish with koi in a tank is their characteristics are the same. In fact, goldfish are the nearest to koi. Both are coldwater fish and the diet is almost the same.
But Comet Goldfish from this link.
Again goldfish requires less care than koi fish. That means they don’t need any extra care when you put them with koi in an aquarium.
There are many types of goldfish available. But you can’t any of them with koi in a tank. Why?
Because, if your goldfish is small and the koi is large, the koi can eat the goldfish. So you have to be selective and careful while putting a goldfish and koi together.
Buy Shubunkin Goldfish from here.
You can put Comet and Shubunkin Goldfish with koi fish. They are large and strong enough to live with koi. But, never put a baby or fancy little goldfish with koi in a tank.
Golden Orfe (ILeuciscus idus)
You can barely differentiate between a Golden Orfe and a Golden Koi fish when they swim. Their body characteristics are almost the same as a Koi fish. Although they are bottom feeders, they also swim in the tank and pond surface like koi. Also being a bottom feeder, the keeps the tank bottom clean.
Golden Orfe is river fish. They require good water quality. Therefore, if you keep them with Koi in a tank, you have to maintain a good filtration and oxygenation of the water. Also, try to keep at least 3 in a group as they are social fish.
Tench (Tinca tinca)
Tench are called doctor fish. Do you know why?
People believe that they are physicians of fish. They also look somewhat like doctors because of their body shape. They can reach up to 70 cm and weighs up to 7.5 Kg. They are peaceful and social fish. Hence keeping them with koi won’t create any problem.
As tench are bottom feeders, they often tend to disturb the bottom of the pond and tank. Therefore, if your tank has fine sand in the bottom, you shouldn’t stock it there.
Pleco (Hypostomus plecostomus)
Pleco is a tropical fish that goes well with koi. It is very hardy and suits well for pond and aquarium. Plecos are widely kept by the fishkeepers because of their attractive colors.
There are two problems associated with keeping pleco. The first one is they can latch with slow-moving fish. And secondly, you have to maintain the tank temperature above 55 F as they can’t thrive at low temperature.
Sturgeon is a family of fish and there are 27 species in this family. Among them, 4 species are about to extinct. It is illegal in many places to catch wild sturgeon. Their evolution goes 245 to 208 million years back.
Sturgeon can get really big in size and weight. Although aquarium sturgeon will live happily with koi, their irregular movement can disturb the koi and the tank bottom. So be sure you have a large tank before you put them with koi.