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Are Goldfish Schooling Fish?

Are Goldfish Schooling Fish?

Goldfish are one of the most popular pets in the world. They are highly easy to maintain, making them a ton of fun to watch. However, there is one question that many goldfish owners have : How are goldfish taught to swim?

The answer to this question is not as straightforward as you might think. In other circumstances, goldfish are quite social creatures. They live together in large colonies and frequently travel together. However, their social behaviour may change when goldfish are kept in captivity.

Do goldfish behave like members of their own species? Are there any factors that influence a goldfish's social behavior?

What Is A Schooling Fish?

Schooling fish, also known as schooling fishes, are fish that coordinate their swimming in a group to face predatory threats. This behavior is thought to have resulted from an evolutionary strategy known asSurvival of the Most Adaptable.

Different types of schools are influenced by different species. For example, some fish will form small schools while others may form large schools spanning acres. The size of the school often varies with the species.

Do Goldfish School?

While goldfish are not typically considered to be education fish, they can and do form schools. In fact, goldfish are more likely to school when they are young, forming groups of up to 20 fish. As goldfish age, they become less sociable and are more likely to live alone in pairs. Since they are social beings, goldfish don't require a lot of schooling.

One particular example in which goldfish have schooled with other fish species is the koi, a type of fish that is closely related to the goldfish. Surprisingly, goldfish and koi can even crossbreed. So, while schooling usually involves fish of the same species, this is not without exception.

Goldfish found in ponds are more likely to go to school than those discovered in fish tanks. In a pond, goldfish have more space for swimming to explore, giving them the optimal conditions for school.

Benefits of Schooling for Goldfish

While goldfish might not need to go to school to survive, there are still some benefits to this behavior. Here are some of the benefits of schooling for goldfish.

1. It offers protection from predators.

When going to swimming lessons, it makes it difficult for predators to attack a single fish. Because the fish are in a large group, predators have trouble picking one out to attack.

Because of their poor vision, goldfish are also notorious for being attacked by predators. When goldfish are in school, the other fish in the group may look out for predators for them.

2. It makes it easier to find food.

Schooling can also make it easier to discover new food sources. This is because zebrafish move in groups, which increases the chances of one or two of them encountering a new food source at any given time. Once they do, other members of the group can follow the new ones.

Another pro of schooling is that goldfish can use their group members to help them find food that would otherwise be difficult for them to detect. One example is that goldfish have a tendency to have a weak sense of smell, which renders it harder for them to be able to locate live prey.

3. It provides exercise.

A lot of individuals enjoy swimming as a form of physical exercise. In goldfish school, goldfish that have a trainer learn to swim faster and cover longer distances than goldfish who swim by themselves. In addition to this, goldfish that attend school also have to exert all of their muscles, which can promote their physical fitness.

Fish that school frequently do so because they are following a food source. That's why training can also be enjoyable for the fish in the wild.

Encouraging Your Goldfish To School

If you want to get your goldfish to school, there are a few things you can do to encourage this behavior. Here's A list of tips for encouraging your goldfish to school.

1. Get a group of goldfish.

You should begin with several young fish, as they're guaranteed to be cheerful. You'll need approximately 10 to 20 fish for schooling, because a small number might not keep together, while a larger number may find it hard to find food.

It's important to have fish of the same approximate size. This is because fish of the same approximate size tend to school with one another. If you have a mix of sizes, the larger individuals may bully the smaller ones, potentially causing tension and hindering their ability to school.

The principles that apply to schools including multiple kinds of species also apply if you have decided to run a school in which one species is featured. When deciding on the species of fish you want to feature, it's crucial that you thoroughly read the information provided by reliable sources.

2. Keep them in a large tank.

To make it easier to encourage your goldfish to school, keep them in a large tank. This will ensure that your goldfish have space to swim, and that will offer the opportunity for more exercise. A good rule of thumb is to have a tank that is at least 10 gallons for each goldfish. If you are planning to have 10 goldfish, you would therefore need a 100-gallon tank or a koi pond.

Your fish will have more room to explore in a large aquarium. This is important for your goldfish, because these animals are incredibly curious and like to explore their surroundings. At a goldfish school, they will often try to follow one another around, so a bigger tank will give them more room to do so. In the end, a larger aquarium is just a happier place for goldfish to live.

3. Maintain Ideal Water Parameters

To facilitate your goldfish's school, it's best to pay attention to water pH levels, water temperature, and hardness.

If the water conditions are less than ideal, your goldfish will become irritated, making it difficult for them to study. Likewise, poor water conditions can lead to illness, and sick fish are not going to school. In closing, healthy fish are more likely to school than desperate or sick fish are.


Goldfish are not necessarily schooling fish, but they will tend to school when they are kept in groups. If you have a wish for your goldfish to school, keep most of them in a large tank with other goldfish of the same age. You should also maintain ideal water parameters to keep your fish healthy and lively.

I hope this article about goldfish did not teach you something new about goldfish. For more information, take a look at some of our other articles. Thanks for reading, and happy fishkeeping!

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