Do goldfish need to be in pairs?

No, goldfish do not need to be in pairs. In the wild, goldfish tend to be quite solitary, and because they’re not schooling fish either, you don’t need to keep them in pairs. Goldfish can live alone with no problem.

With that said, even though they don’t need any companions to stay happy, your goldfish will certainly appreciate having some tank mates. Just make sure the taken isn’t overcrowded as it can cause stress. You can keep 3–4 small goldfish in a 40-gallon tank.

Alternatively, you can also keep your goldfish with other friendly fish or aquatic creatures, such as: