Betta fish, Siamese fighting fish

Fish That Can Live With Bettas (+ Tank Mates to Avoid)

Does your betta want new friends? Find some fish that can live with bettas. Here are your best bets! 

Some people say you can’t keep bettas with other fish, but that’s complete B.S. (BettaSh*t).

In fact, many animals can live with bettas and be Best Friends Forever in your tank. You must find the right ones that don’t clash with your aggressive betta.

Let me tell you about a few fish, snails, and creatures you can add to your tank to make your betta less lonely.

What are Betas? Behavior, care requirements, and compatible tankmates

siamese fighting fish betta

Bettas, often referred to as Siamese fighting fish, are colorful, vibrant freshwater fish native to Thailand and Cambodia. They are famous aquarium inhabitants due to their bright colors and interesting behavior.

Bettas are known for their aggressive nature towards other bettas, so it is important to keep only one per tank. In addition, they require warm water temperatures between 74-82°F, and you should feed them small amounts of high-quality food two to three times a day.

When choosing tankmates for bettas, selecting compatible species, such as snails or shrimp that can tolerate the same temperature range and won’t bully the betta (if they dare to do so, they’ll be sorry!) or competing for food, is essential. Also, ensure that any tankmates you choose will stay within the size of your aquarium.

Finally, adequate filtration and regular water changes are necessary for all aquariums housing bettas. With proper care, these hardy fish can live up to 3-5 years in captivity.

Factors to consider when choosing fish that can live with bettas

When considering which fish to pair with a betta, it is essential to look at the size and behavior of the fish.

Avoid aggressive fish, as they can taunt or even attack the betta. Peaceful species are better suited for living in harmony with a betta. Additionally, it is crucial to consider the care requirements of each type of fish, such as preferred water parameters and diet. You’re creating a community fish tank – not stew.

Finally, consider the fish tank size; if it is not large enough to accommodate all of the inhabitants, overcrowding can occur, leading to stress and illness in all of the inhabitants.

Considering all these factors, you can ensure that your betta and other fish live happily together in their shared environment.

13 Tank Mates for Betta Fish That Can Live Happily Together

blue half moon Siamese fighting fish in a fish tank with a snail

Don’t let the name confuse you. Bettas aren’t some passive betas; they’re aggressive alphas! They are known as “Siamese Fighting Fish,” so if there’s a conflict in your community aquarium, they can turn into total savages. To maintain a peaceful community tank, you must put in other water animals with an obedient nature so they don’t declare war over the limited tank territory (the bettas don’t bow down to anybody).

Here are 13 types of betta fish tank mates for a peaceful fish tank:

  • Mystery snail
  • Nerite snail
  • Ghost shrimps
  • Red cherry shrimp
  • African dwarf frogs
  • Cory catfish
  • Tetras
  • Harlequin rasboras
  • Guppies
  • Clown pleco
  • Kuhli loaches
  • Platies
  • Malaysian trumpet snail

Snails

Snails, such as mystery- and nerite snails, can be a good fit for living in the same tank with bettas because they are peaceful and have a low impact on the tank environment. 

They do not compete with bettas for food or territory, and they can help keep the tank clean by consuming algae and other debris. Their colorful shells add life and decoration to the bottom of the tank.

Shrimps

fish that can live with bettas

Shrimps, such as ghost shrimp and red cherry shrimp, are candidates for best tank mates because they are small and peaceful, shy away from conflict and welcome new fish and male bettas. 

A bonus about keeping shrimps is that they help keep the tank clean by eating algae and debris, and they blend in well with any vegetation in larger tanks.

African dwarf frogs

African dwarf frogs make great tank mates for bettas! They don’t fight or compete with each other and add excellent diversity to your tank – a great way to provide your tank with a more varied environment and not only consist of fish. 

African dwarf frogs are peaceful creatures to keep with your betta and not cause any trouble. They only take up a little space, making them perfect for small tanks, so you can fit more animals in the tank without overcrowding it. 

Adding an African dwarf frog to the tank will allow your betta to experience new things and companions. They provide visual interest with their unique behavior and appearance that you won’t see in most tanks.

Cory Catfish

Cory catfish (corydoras catfish) are the perfect mate for your betta fish. They come in many types, patterns, and colors, with shines, spots, and stripes that increase the diversity in your tank.

Cory catfish are scavengers and tank cleaners, which makes them a great addition to any aquarium. Depending on how many fish you want to add to your tank, you may need a 5-gallon or 10-gallon tank.

When adding tank mates for a betta, remember that some fish, like Cory Catfish, prefer to live in the middle of the tank, away from the betta’s territory around the tank walls. Cory Catfish can live with a betta as long as there is plenty of space for each species.

Tetras

Tetras, such as neon tetras and ember tetras, can be the best betta tank mates for fish owners looking for a peaceful species to live along with their betta. 

These fish are small, peaceful, and won’t bother your betta in any way. They also add visual interest to the tank with their colorful appearance and quick movements. 

If the tank conditions are optimal, one of these community fish should work out fine in an ideal tank with your betta. They are relaxed enough that the betta won’t feel threatened or start trying to fight them off.

Harlequin rasboras

Harlequin rasboras are small, peaceful fish that add allure to the tank and cohabitate well with one betta in tanks at least 10 gallons or larger.

They are an excellent tank mate for your betta and can even help keep the water clean by consuming algae and other debris in the tank.

Some fun facts about harlequin rasboras include their lifespan of five to eight years, an average size of 1.5-2 inches, or up to 5 cm. Their diet consists of high-quality flake or freeze-dried food, artemia, daphnia, bloodworms, and tubifex worm. 

With vibrant colors and active swimming, harlequin rasboras can complement any tank housing a betta fish.

Guppies

guppies

Guppies are a colorful and hardy fish species that can be kept in your betta tank. They are livebearers, which means if you have both male and female guppies in the tank, there is potential to end up with baby guppies.

Guppies can live with bettas if the tank size is large enough. Keeping both guppies and bettas, they need enough room to swim around. Guppies are the cleaners of your fish tank, keeping algae under control. It’s an excellent addition for any betta owner who wants more variety and color in their aquarium.

Clown plecos

Clown plecos (Panaqolus maccus) are freshwater fish in the Amazon river basin. They are a small fish species with an attractive color pattern of black and white stripes. 

Clown plecos have a lifespan of around five years and can grow to four inches long. These fish can live in the same tank as bettas, provided they have enough space to swim freely and plenty of hiding places.

Clown plecos are bottom dwellers and feed primarily on algae, but they can also eat various other foods like frozen brine shrimp and freeze-dried bloodworms. 

Because they feed on algae, having a clown pleco in your aquarium can help keep it clean by eating away any excess algae that forms. However, they require regular water changes as they produce a lot of waste, which can harm other tank inhabitants if not removed.

One fun fact about clown plecos is that they have special plates on their heads with spikes that look like real clowns! These spikes act as camouflage to help them blend into their surroundings and hide from predators. Clown plecos also make excellent community fish because they are peaceful towards other tankmates and don’t cause any disruption in the aquarium environment when kept in the right conditions.

Kuhli loaches

Betta fish, Siamese fighting fish

Kuhli loaches are a type of bottom-dwelling fish native to Southeast Asia. They inhabit streams and rivers, typically in slow-moving water with plenty of vegetation. These small fish have an eel-like body shape and can grow up to 10 cm in length. One interesting fact about Kuhli loaches is that they are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night.

Keeping a Kuhli loach in your fish tank can be beneficial for several reasons:

  1. They act as scavengers, eating up any food scraps that land on the bottom of the tank.
  2. Their slimy mucus coat helps clean the tank by catching dirt from the water column.
  3. Because of their timid nature and positive behavior, Kuhli loaches make great additions to any community aquarium.

Although keeping one or two Kuhli loaches in your tank can be beneficial, there are some disadvantages. These fish prefer soft acidic water and should be kept in groups of five or more if possible – so it’s crucial to ensure you have a suitable setup before adding them to your tank. In addition, they may consume smaller species, such as shrimp or fry, so it’s best to avoid including them if you already have fragile inhabitants.

Platies

Platies are small, peaceful freshwater fish native to Central America. They come in various colors and sizes, so you can pick the ones that fit your home aquarium. Platies are omnivorous and will feed on plants, algae, insects, and commercial fish food. They are also very social animals that enjoy the company of others. They are schooling fish and will interact with other platies.

Platies are an excellent choice for your fish tank due to their small size, peaceful nature, and colorful appearance. They do well in tanks with plenty of hiding spaces like rocks or plants and plenty of swimming room. Platies also work well with bettas because they tend not to compete for food or territory and generally get along peacefully. The platy’s role in the tank mainly adds color and activity to the environment.

The pros of keeping platies include their vibrant colors, lively activity level, peaceful nature with other species, easy care requirements, and ability to thrive in most temperatures. The cons are that they have a short lifespan (2-3 years) and can overpopulate quickly if not carefully monitored as they are shoaling fish.

Malaysian trumpet snails

Malaysian trumpet snails are a type of freshwater snail that is native to Southeast Asia. They have cone-shaped shells ranging in color from yellow to brown, making them visually interesting for aquariums.

These snails benefit tanks as they help aerate the substrate and consume algae, fish waste, and uneaten food. They also do not eat live plants and will not bother other tank inhabitants such as bettas.

Keep Malaysian trumpet snails balanced with other tank inhabitants by removing excess snails when needed.

Betta Tank Mates to Avoid

Jumping Siamese Fighting Fish on white

When considering what tank mates to keep with your betta, you should know which animals to avoid putting together with your Siamese Fighting Fish (to avoid vicious conflicts and bloodbaths). Betta tank mates to avoid are:

  • Other male bettas
  • Tiger barbs
  • Cichlids
  • Goldfish
  • Gouramis
  • Puffers
  • Red tail sharks
  • Angelfish

Betta fish are known to be aggressive and can attack other fish by biting their gills, scales, and tail if they feel threatened. They may even respond with violence if they get fin-nipped.

Especially avoid any angel fish or red tail sharks, as these are more likely to cause a fight. Goldfish is also a bad idea, contrary to popular belief. To keep peace in the tank, choose mates that get along before introducing them into the same space.

Tips for maintaining a peaceful tank with bettas and other fish

When it comes to keeping a peaceful tank with bettas and other fish, several tips can help.

Firstly, providing plenty of hiding places and space for all fish to coexist peacefully allows them to have their personal space, which can go a long way in helping to reduce stress levels amongst the tank inhabitants.

Secondly, monitor the behavior of the fish and make any necessary adjustments to the tank setup as needed to ensure that everyone is getting along.

Lastly, keep the tank clean and adequately maintained to prevent conflicts. You should give enough food for everyone and keep water conditions optimal for all species in the aquarium.

These tips can help create a peaceful environment for bettas and other fish!

Frequently Asked Questions about Fish That Can Live With Bettas

Can bettas live with other fish?

Betta fish, Siamese fighting fish

Bettas are territorial, so they may only sometimes get along with other fish in the same tank. However, it is possible to keep bettas in a community tank with other fish if you choose compatible tankmates and provide plenty of space and hiding places for all of the fish.

What are the best fish to put with bettas?

siamese fighting fish betta

Some of the best fish to put with bettas are small, peaceful species that are not aggressive or territorial. Some good options include danios, tetras, guppies, corydoras, and African dwarf frogs. Research the species you are considering and ensure they have compatible care requirements and temperament.

Can bettas live with goldfish?

Bettas and goldfish are not compatible because they have different care requirements. Goldfish also produce a lot of waste, which can harm bettas.

Can bettas live with other male bettas?

fish that can live with bettas

Bettas are territorial and aggressive towards other male bettas if kept in the same tank. You better keep bettas in a single-species tank or with other peaceful, non-territorial fish.

Can bettas live with neon tetras?

Neon tetras are compatible with bettas if you give them enough space. They are small, peaceful fish that do not cause problems with bettas and can add visual interest to the tank with their colorful appearance and energetic movements.

Can male betta and female betta live together?

blue half moon bettas with a snail

Keeping male and female bettas together in the same tank is not recommended, as they can become aggressive toward each other. Male bettas will fight one another or any fish they feel is encroaching on their territory. Female bettas can also become aggressive if kept with males, although they generally tend to be more docile than males. If you want multiple female bettas in the same tank, you should have a large tank so that none feel threatened by the others. Keeping multiple female bettas together can be a rewarding experience and result in a healthy ecosystem!

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