Finding Betta tank mates can be a pretty hard task indeed. One thing that you definitely need to know about Betta fish is that you cannot keep them in a tank with other Betta fish because they will fight each other. In fact, male Betta fish are extremely territorial and will often fight to the death.
Betta fish can be somewhat peaceful if you get the right one, but even they can be very aggressive. Betta fish don’t really need mates in their tank, but if you do choose to get a mate for them, it needs to be a very specific type of fish companion. These fish are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish and their reputation definitely lives up to their name.
Can Betta Fish Live With Other Fish?
In short, yes they can but there are some important things you need to know first. we have summarized them in our quick tips list below;
- In order to house Betta fish with other fish and keep things peaceful, the first recommendation is that you have a fairly large tank. If you want to house your Betta fish with tank mates you should have a tank that is at the very minimum 10 gallons in size, preferable more than 20 gallons if possible. (More on Betta Tanks here).
- One of the biggest rules to follow when you have Betta fish and want to introduce other fish to the tank is to not get any fish which resemble the Betta. Betta fish are fairly territorial, aggressive, and they love to fight their own kind.
- The best way to avoid a fight is to get fish that do not have the same shape and coloration fish as Bettas.
- The next thing to keep in mind is that you don’t want any fish in the tank with your Bettas that like to nip at fins because this will cause damage to your Bettas, plus it will cause fights as well.
- Betta fish tend to get agitated in fast moving waters, especially when there are faster moving fish present that have an easy time dealing with the quick current, something that will also threaten the Betta and may cause it to fight. On that same note, so a Betta can relax and relieve pent up stress, it should have a few different hiding spots in the aquarium where it can get away from other fish which it does not like.
8 Of The Best Betta Tank Mates To Consider
1. Harlequin Rasboras
This is a really great fish to have along with your Betta fish because they actually live together side by side in the wild without any problems. They are naturally non-violent towards Betta fish and most other fish in general.
There is also another big reason as to why Harlequin Rasboras make good tank mates for Betta fish, that being that their coloring is non-threatening. Betta fish can mistake other brightly colored fish as being male Betta fish, or in other words, fish which they will attack.
These fish can grow to be around 2 inches in size and tend to do well with Betta fish when there are between 6 and 10 of them. Another reason as to why these fish make good tank mates for Bettas is because they require virtually the same water parameters. Moreover, both of these fish eat virtually the same things, making them more than easy to feed when they are put together in 1 tank.
2. Pygmy Corydora
One of the biggest reasons as to why the Pygmy Corydora makes a very good tank mate for a Betta fish is because they have a pretty dull coloration. This means that Betta fish will not feel territorial around them, nor will they feel threatened by them either. These are very peaceful fish found in South American waters and they do will with other species of fish that tend to be violent and aggressive such as Betta fish.
While they do not really have the same diet as Betta fish, the Pygmy Corydora feeds mostly on insect larvae, and moreover they are bottom feeders so the 2 types of fish won’t get in each other’s way during feeding time. Your best bet is to keep anywhere from 6 to 10 Pygmy Corydora with a Betta fish. Furthermore, the Pygmys do pretty well in the water parameters which Betta fish require.
3. Ember Tetras
One very good fish to house with your Betta fish is the Ember Tetra. These are great tank mates for Bettas because both of them require virtually the same conditions to survive. Both like to eat things like brine shrimp, blood worms, and even flakes.
Even better is that both of the fish are comfortable in the same water parameters. The Ember Tetra likes water that is anywhere between 20 and 29 degrees Celsius with a pH level anywhere between 5.0 and 6.5, making it a very versatile fish indeed.
What is even better is that Ember Tetras are used to fairly shallow water so you don’t need an overly large aquarium. Moreover they are around 2 cm long in size, which also means that the tank does not need to be all that large, plus there is the fact that they are gentle and submissive, meaning that they definitely won’t pick fights with the larger Betta fish.
One thing to note is that both of these fish like to swim around floating plants, so you want to make sure to have a tank that is planted with a lot of aquatic plants.
4. Clown Plecos
The Pleco is actually a type of catfish, a fish that is very peaceful and submissive by nature. They make for great tank mates alongside your Betta fish because they are relatively peaceful in nature. These are fish that like to swim around in pretty large areas, so a tank of no less than 20 gallons is required for them.
While these fish are fairly peaceful, they can also be quite large and powerful, which is exactly why they make good tank mates for Bettas.
A Betta fish won’t readily get into a confrontation with a Clown Pleco because it is most likely to lose that fight. Moreover, these fish won’t get in each other’s way during feeding time because Clown Plecos are bottom feeders and algae eaters, or in other words, they won’t compete for food.
Moreover, the Clown Pleco has a fairly moderate coloration which the Betta fish will not see as threatening, yet another beneficial aspect no doubt.
Another good fish to keep in a community tank with Betta fish are Loaches. These are some of the most popular fish in the world in terms of having them in community tanks. One of the best parts about housing Loaches with Betta fish is that both are tropical fish and they come from pretty much the same regions of the world, which means that they both thrive in the same water conditions.
There is also the fact that Loaches are bottom dwelling, whereas Betta fish like to be more in the center of the tank so they won’t be getting in each other’s way. Moreover, the coloring of Loaches is fantastic because it will not look threatening to Betta fish.
That being said, some Loaches are known to be slightly aggressive, but a good way to help these 2 species avoid confrontations is by having at least 6 Loaches in your tank alongside the Betta fish.
6. White Cloud Mountain Minnows
This is yet another good type of fish that you can have in a community tank with Betta Fish. They also have virtually the same dietary requirements as Betta fish, plus they also do well in about the same water parameters.
The only difference is that Betta fish like relatively warm water whereas White Cloud Mountain Minnows do better in colder water. However you can find a decent middle ground in water that is around 75 degrees, a temperature which is ideal for both of these fish.
You may have a slightly hard time finding these minnows as they have been declared as an endangered species by the government of China, but they are still available in high end fish and pet stores. These minnows are very peaceful, they don’t nip at fins, and their distinct coloration means that there is no chance of a Betta feeling threatened by them or wanting to fight them.
7. Feeder Guppies
These are fish that are more than ideal to house alongside Betta fish in a community tank. They are small, they are non-aggressive, they are not brightly colored, and they don’t really eat the same foods as Betta fish, all things which help avoid conformation.
Simply put, these are the perfect relaxed fish to have in a tank with Betta fish. Moreover, the Feeder Guppy can survive in virtually any kind of water in terms of pH levels and temperature, making it quite ideal for community tanks.
8. Various Snails
Another good tank mate for Betta fish is your average aquatic snail. Now, Betta fish may try and fight with them or pick them up, but snails have hard shells which they can hide in, making them more or less invulnerable to any Betta fish. There is also the fact that snails do a great job at cleaning your tank, a big bonus indeed. (We have covered 11 other aquarium snails here).
We hope you have found the article helpful and we would love to hear your experiences and comments on Betta tank mates.