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What is the Ideal Tank Size for 2 Goldfish, 1 Zebra Danio, and a Mystery Snail?


Dear VetBabble,

I currently have 2 young goldfish, 1 young zebra danio, and one black mystery snail in a 5.5-gallon tank. I know the tank probably isn’t big enough for all my fish, especially as the goldfish grow. What’s the ideal tank size for this little fish family?

Understanding Your Fish Family’s Needs

Firstly, it’s great that you’re aware of the growing needs of your fish family! When it comes to recommending the appropriate tank size for your little aquatic buddies, we must take into account both the size and type of the fish in question, as well as the environment they thrive in.

As you mentioned, goldfish can grow quite large and will require significantly more room as they mature. To give you a general rule of thumb, aim for 1 gallon of water per inch of your fish’s body length. With this guidance, you may find that your current tank is nearing its limit for your fish family. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that goldfish are typically not housed with tropical fish. It would be best for you to consider having two separate tanks: one for your cold water goldfish and another for your warm water tropical fish, like the zebra danio.

Goldfish Tank Recommendations

For your goldfish, we recommend a minimum tank size of 20 gallons. As goldfish can grow to significant sizes, providing a larger tank from the outset will help ensure they have enough room to grow healthily. To learn more about goldfish care, we invite you to read our article on Goldfish Care 101: How to Keep a Pet Goldfish.

Tropical Fish Tank Recommendations

On the other hand, we suggest looking for a separate 10-gallon tank for the zebra danio. Additionally, consider adding a few more zebra danios to your new tropical tank, as they are schooling fish that thrive best in the company of their own kind. Maintaining the appropriate tank environment is essential for the welfare of your fish family. For more information on tropical fish care, you can check out our Tropical Fish Care Guide.

Since you are interested in exotic pets, you might also be interested in learning about how to care for other popular aquatic pets like freshwater turtles and unique reptiles like iguanas.

We hope these recommendations help you make the right decision for your fish family as they continue to grow. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to ask!

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