A Guide (+ Chart) to Choosing Glofish Tank Mates

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glofish tank mates header

You’ve been enjoying the magnificence of your Glofish for some time, but now you’ve decided to add some diversity to the picture.

Choosing good tankmates for Glofish-based aquariums usually results in a fairytale-like aquascape.

However, not all beauties of the water world want to be part of that.

For example, can Glofish live with goldfish without tearing each other apart?

Are there general rules to follow when coming up with a companion?

There are 6 main types of Glofish – black skirt tetra, zebra danio, tiger barb, corydora, betta, and the rainbow shark.

These are the species genetically modified with “fluorescent genes”.

The modification only concerns the color of the fish.

This means that their typical distinctive behavior remains the same as their non-glowing counterparts. A 2011 study established that transgenic (genetically modified) fluorescent fish are more vulnerable to predators in the wild.

Careful selection of companions in captivity, however, can provide them with a long and happy life.

Picking the right Glofish tank mates

There’s a general rule to selecting compatible Glofish tank mates:

In short, it depends on which kind of Glofish you have or want.
Small tropical schooling fish from communities such as gouramis, guppies, rasboras, dwarf cichlids, and others are a reasonable fit in general.
Bear in mind that peaceful bottom-dwellers such as loaches and plecos should not be put along a Glo shark.

On the whole, Glo Danios will enjoy the company of other fast swimming community fish and so will Glo tetras. Just be sure the water temperature requirements of each species match.

Glo sharks are a little more aggressive in their nature so they should be kept along with other tough or fast fish.

Below you can see my 4 hour-long effort to craft a detailed chart where you can check compatible mates on the go.

You can bookmark this page in your browser if you think you’d want to look at it again later.

Take a look at the full Glofish compatibility chart here:

Tank mate: Compatibility by glofish type:
Tetra Glofish Danio Glofish Tiger Barb Glofish Rainbow shark Glofish Betta Glofish Corydora Glofish
Angelfish Yes Yes Caution Caution Caution Yes
Barb Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Betta Yes Yes No Caution No (Unless in a sorority tank) Yes
Catfish (bigger ones) No Caution Caution Caution Caution No
Cichlid (Malawi) No No Caution Caution No No
Cichlid (Tanganyika) No No Caution Caution No No
Cichlid (African) No No Caution Caution No No
Cichlid (New World) Caution Caution Caution Caution No No
Cory cat Yes Yes Yes Caution Yes Yes
Danio Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Discus fish Yes Yes Caution Caution No Yes
Goldfish No No No No No No
Gourami Caution Yes Yes Yes Caution Yes
Guppy Yes Caution Yes Caution Caution Yes
Hatchet Yes Yes Caution Caution Yes Yes
Killifish Yes Yes Caution Caution No Yes
Loach Yes Yes Yes Caution Yes Caution
Molly Yes Yes Yes Caution Yes No
Minnow (other) Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Platy Yes Yes Caution Caution Caution Yes
Pleco Yes Yes Yes Caution Yes Yes
Rainbowfish Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Rasbora Yes Yes Yes Caution Yes Yes
Shark (other) Caution Yes Yes Caution Caution No
Swordtail Yes Yes Caution Caution Caution Yes
Tetras Yes Yes Yes Caution Yes Yes

Did you find what you were looking for?


But I will not stop here as I know we fish keepers would like our fish to be happy.

At least, I know I want mine to be.

glofish tank

by IRideZs

Though compatible, some tank mate choices could be better than others. Therefore I find it necessary to share with you what I’ve found are the best companions for every single type of Glofish.

Best fish tank companions for a Glofish Tetra

black skirt tetras

by speeds_03

Black Skirt tetras (or Widow Tetras) are schooling fish that are comfortable living with others of their kind.

If you’re aiming at Glofish tetras you should acquire at least 5 of them.

Whenever the school is not large enough this species can become aggressive.

Lonely Glo-tetras are known to nip the fins of long-finned fish like bettas or angelfish.

This is, however, easily avoidable if you keep them in a school large enough.

Provided they are in a group of no less than 5, Glofish tetras would love to hang out with:

  • Neon Tetras
  • Cardinal Tetras
  • Black Neon Tetras
  • Tiger Barbs
  • Plecos
  • Danios
  • Dwarf cichlids (visit the link to see a selection of those)
  • Rasboras

Best fish tank companions for a Glofish Danio

glofish danio

by SilentStriker00

Glofish danios are quite the active swimmers.

They will restlessly dash through the aquarium.

They are also schooling fish, which means that they don’t like to be alone.

Keep them in groups of at least 6, to suppress their semi-aggressive personalities.

Small community fish are perfect as companions.

Here’s a list of Glofish danio tank mates that will ensure a happy aquarium:

  • Guppies
  • Mollies
  • Platies
  • Swordtails
  • Barbs
  • Rainbows
  • Gouramis (similar size)
  • Tetras
  • Loaches
  • Plecos
  • Corydoras
  • A single small shark

Best fish tank companions for a Glofish Barb

A school of Glofish Barbs

by MarcMatta123

The Glofish tiger barb is a well-known fin nipper.

Aggressiveness can be significantly reduced if you keep them in a school though.

From what I’ve seen a group of 7 is enough for them to only pay attention to themselves.

The temperament of the Glofish barbs varies so if you’re lucky enough to get the more peaceful ones – a school of 5 may be appropriate.

They should still be kept with caution though.

I am recommending that you house them with slightly larger fish as Glo-barbs will be less likely to attack and chase.

Avoid keeping them with anything long-finned such as bettas, goldfish, or long-fin tetras.

Here are some well-fitting tank mates for your Glofish barbs:

  • Mollies
  • Corydoras
  • Platies
  • Plecos
  • Tetras
  • Danios
  • dwarf Cichlids
  • A single rainbow shark
  • A single red-tailed shark
  • Other barbs

Best tank companions for a Glofish Shark

Two Glofish sharks alongside Glofish tetras

by ulreyjm

These guys are something else.

Glo-sharks (same as their non-glowing counterparts, the Rainbow sharks) can be really aggressive and are very territorial.

They will “claim” parts of your aquariums such as artificial caves and tunnels.

By definition, the Glofsh shark is somewhat a bottom-dweller.

Avoid housing them with other bottom-dwellers, no matter what you’re being told at the fish store.

Plecos and loaches, for example, may be large enough to not get eaten but they will become stressed from the chasing.

On the other hand, these small sharks will get along with schooling fish that prefer roaming the middle to top aquarium space.

Putting other members from the aquarium shark “crew” with a Glo-shark is, again, not at all recommended. That is unless you can provide them with a huge heavily planted tank (aquariums over 100 gallons).

Have a look at a list with suitable Glofish shark tank mates below:

  • Rainbowfish
  • Danios
  • Barbs
  • Gouramis
  • Rasboras

Best fish tank companions for Glofish Betta

A Glofish Betta in a fish tank swimming near multicolored aquarium decoration

by Belladonica

Glo bettas are one of the newest additions to the Glofish family.

Unsurprisingly, their behavior doesn’t stray away from that of a typical betta fish.

They’re as feisty, capricious, and ready to jump the gun on their own kind as you might expect.

So despite the advances in genetic engineering, you’ll still need to keep these bettas separated.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other fish species that don’t mind their temperamental nature.

These include small, fast swimming fish like rummy nose tetras and peaceful bottom dwelling species such as the cory catfish.

Here’s a list of the best tank mates for a Glofish betta:

  • Cory Catfish
  • Dwarf danios
  • Dwarf rasboras
  • A single small pleco
  • Short finned-tetras

If you want to browse other suitable betta fish tank mates, you can check out this post.

Best fish tank companions for Glofish Cory

A Glofish Cory on the gravel in a community aquarium

by Ashamed-Fig3827

Glofish corys are an extremely peaceful catfish that can be housed with a wide variety of fish species.

As long as their tank mates are non-aggressive and stay off the bottom of the tank, you’ll have no trouble keeping them with virtually any aquatic species you can think of.

However, since they can be quite timid, you’ll first need to provide them with enough cover.

Otherwise, they’ll be constantly stressed which will eventually lead to a host of health complications.

The most important thing you should keep in mind about Glofish corys is that they’re shoaling fish.

This means they need to be kept in schools of at least 5 for optimal health.

What a surprise, right?

Anyways, here are the best tank mates for a Glofish cory:

  • Neon tetras
  • Swordtails
  • Zebra danios
  • Amano shrimp
  • Platies

Just in case – more Glofish care tips

glofish schooling fish

by Wicked_Sketchy

As you can tell 3 of the 4 types of Glofish are schooling fish.

If it’s not the shark you’re after, then you should, in all cases get at least 5 of the same species.

Schooling fish will become aggressive and depressed if they’re forced to live a solitary life.

Don’t overstock your aquariums and provide your Glofish with no less than 15 gallons of habitat, but my personal advice is that you buy the biggest tank you can afford.

In case that’s still not a big tank at the moment, I wrote a pretty straight-forward guide on understanding the minimum Glofish tank size (click the link for that). Keep in mind that danio Glofish are super active and would prefer a long tank.

My conclusion

There is plenty of fish that will compliment your Glofish in a peaceful manner, as long as you go by a couple of very simple rules.

Soon after you get to know them you’ll be able to trust your guts and accurately make general predictions for a good tank mate.

Tell me, who did you pick?

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61 thoughts on “A Guide (+ Chart) to Choosing Glofish Tank Mates”


  2. Can a betta fish be kept with Glow Widow Tetras and Neon Tetras

  3. I have glofish tetras, guppies and green sumatra in my tank and they live happily altogether. I planted a lot of plants and put some aquarium accessories for them to enjoy and I guess it works. I sometimes saw my sumatra male were fighting. I put a ratio of 1male:2female and they still sometimes fight. Their fins were flaring. But it doesn’t last long. They will swim altogether as one after a minute of fight.

  4. I had several tiger barbs and they keep dying. Now I have no more so maybe I will get more fish to join my other fish who survived. 🙁
    PS I don’t remember what type was that fish.

    • Hi, Elissa,

      Please check my article on why fish keep dying in a new tank. I’m confident it could point you in the right direction.


  5. One of my guppies was killed by a flying fox fish just a bit ago and now he’s chasing my Glofish tetra and other guppy. Should I get another glofish so that they won’t be chased anymore?

  6. I have a couple of glo fish tetras along with a pair of guppies and two angelfish the thing is that the pair of glo fish fights each other than associating other fish lol

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