The Best Bottom Feeder Fish for Betta Tanks
The best bottom feeder fish for your betta tank are those that create a healthy tank environment for your betta fish.
What is a bottom feeder fish?
Bottom-feeder fish swim near the bottom of the tank and primarily feed on plant material, detritus, and algae. Some are scavengers because they also eat small amounts of food left behind by other fish.
Adding these types of fish to a betta tank can be beneficial in several ways:
- They help to keep the aquarium clean by consuming what would otherwise be considered waste.
- They add life to the community tank
- and improve your fish tank’s aesthetic with different colors and shapes.
Bottom-feeding fish reduce waste and algae build-up and look great in your aquarium. There are many different species of bottom feeders, and you may pick one over another depending on the size of your tank and water conditions. A good bottom feeder is a small animal with a small bioload, which requires minimal care, and is compatible with living with bettas.
Let’s dive into which ones are the best tank mates for your betta fish and great options for beginner aquarists.
Top 5 bottom feeder fish for betta tanks
These are the best feeder fish to live with your betta:
- Corydoras catfish
- Otocinclus catfish
- Amano shrimp
- Plecostomus (common pleco)
- Ghost shrimp
Corydoras catfish are small and peaceful fish that live in warm waters. If you put them in your small tank, you should provide plenty of hiding spots. They can eat live or frozen food, bloodworms, and brine shrimp. Corydoras catfish can be betta tank mates or live in small groups with them. In terms of care, they are relatively low-maintenance fish that require a weekly water change of at least 25%.
Otocinclus catfish are small shoaling fish that do best in clean, warm water on river banks or in a freshwater aquarium. Their diet consists of vegetables, algae wafers, and other plant-based river foods. These fish are compatible with both male and female bettas. They are peaceful and shy schooling fish and will not attack bettas, but I can’t guarantee that your male betta is as friendly towards them. Prepare before you introduce them to your tank. Change their water every week or two for optimal health.
Amano shrimp is a popular aquarium choice because of their vibrant colors and fascinating behavior. They are excellent algae eaters and enjoy heavily planted aquaria, where they have plenty of hiding places and proper substrate as they swim around the tank digging the bottom floor for food scraps. These shrimps can live with a betta if the tank size is big enough. Amano shrimp need regular water changes at least once a month or more often.
Plecostomus (common pleco)
Plecostomus is a larger species of bottom-dwelling fish that needs plenty of space and many places to hide and relax. These fish are omnivores and can eat anything. They’ll feed on live plants, meats, pellets, or algae. Pleco is a fish compatible with bettas; however, ensure your aquarium is big enough, as both pleco and bettas can become aggressive if it’s overcrowded. Given a bigger tank with enough space and careful introduction to each other, they should be able to share a tank peacefully. Plecostomus is another fish that need frequent water changes (at least once a week).
Ghost shrimp are one of the best feeder fish to live with bettas. They require low care and thrive in a 10-gallon tank. They are also a good choice if you want to add more life to your 5-gallon tank. Because they are so peaceful and swim at the bottom, they make great tank mates, won’t stress your betta, and like the same pH levels. Furthermore, ghost shrimp can help clean the tank by scavenging for food and debris, as they are not picky eaters. Put a ghost shrimp in your freshwater tank, and it will happily accept any food, but it needs a balanced diet to stay healthy.
These are just a few fish that can live with your Siamese fighting fish, and you may also consider snails and other water animals.
Tips for adding bottom feeder fish to a betta tank
Consider the size of your tank
When adding bottom feeder fish to a betta tank, consider the size of your tank. A female betta is typically 2-3 inches long and can live happily in tanks as small as 5 gallons. However, when adding other fish to the tank, you may need a bigger one, 10 gallons or more.
As a responsible fish owner, ensure that all the fish in your tank have enough room to swim without feeling cramped or threatened by other species.
Introduce bottom feeders gradually
Additionally, it is vital to introduce bottom feeders gradually so that the tank looks balanced, your betta won’t feel threatened by them, and they get time to get used to changes without causing too much stress.
Monitor the betta’s behavior around the new fish
Monitor the betta’s behavior around the new fish; if they are getting too aggressive, remove them immediately.
Properly acclimate new fish to the tank
Before introducing any new fish into your tank, ensure it acclimates to its new environment.