20 Best Tank Mates For Betta Fish

The Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, appear in their distinctive color and have a vast variety.  Their long and vibrant-colored fins can bring satisfaction to the eyes as you watch them sway gracefully through the waters.

These fish, however, are known to be aggressive and territorial that they can harm other fish that they live with. Although they may injure other types of fish, some types can live with a betta.

Can A Betta Live With Other Fish?

Female bettas are the ones that can live peacefully even in an ample space. The males, however, will injure other species of fish so they can solely live in their space.

While the male bettas may be naturally aggressive, bettas can generally cohabit with certain types of fish as long as the tank they live in is in a suitable state for them.

Like humans, each betta fish possesses a different temperament. Some can mingle with others and most cannot.

Females, being less aggressive than males, can live with a larger community. Brightly colored fish, for instance, will most likely not to disturb female bettas. Generally, females can simply tolerate more species of fish than males.

It is recommended that you should not put both female and a male betta in the same tank. As they have a different variety from their unique shade of color and patterns to their fin variation, they also possess different personalities in which some female bettas may not have the same temperament as other females. Simply take precautions and supervision when forming cohabitants in your tank.

Forming cohabitants might be a trial and error phase which requires you to have some patience to check out which species works best with the bettas.

Species of Fish That Can Compatibly Live With Betta Fish

Just like humans, bettas may get bored sometimes. They may find pleasure having companions in the same tank, although this is quite tricky and complicated. Proper assessment is required when applying a new introduction into the tank.

Before anything else, the tank size should have 5 or more gallons of water to accommodate a sum of bettas. I’ve seen people keeping Bettas in a gallon tank which is so not adequate.

20 Best Tank Mates For Betta Fish
20 Best Tank Mates For Betta Fish

Some Compatible Tank Fish Mates with Bettas include:

  • Feeder Guppies

These tiny fish with grey or white color and spots do not have bright coloring and they have short fins. Their appearance makes them ideal to live with a betta. Furthermore, they are just fine on their own that you do not need to add a school of fish into the tank.

Guppies are very resilient and their temperament is relatively docile. You can certainly leave them with the bettas without having to worry.

  • Cory Catfish

Similar to a betta, a cory catfish can be easily taken care of and they can enjoy the same water condition. They may either live on their own or in schools depending on the tank. Being non-aggressive makes them suitable in a betta tank. They may even liven up your tank with the bettas.

The recommended quantity of a cory catfish school is about 4 or more. They would also need a tank size of 10-gallons or more.

  • Harlequin Rasbora

Rasboras are shoaling fish which means they need to keep at least 8 to 9 of them in an aquarium. With the given number, a larger tank is needed to be filled with 20 gallons of water. The wide space is suitable for the fish to swim around comfortably.

Harlequin Rasboras and Bettas have a lot of things in common. They are peace-loving fish that can both thrive in the same conditions. This is the reason why they are most likely to thrive when put together.

  • Dwarf Rasbora

These tiny fish are a good choice when you want your tank to have small fish. They may be small in size but they have the speed to avoid the bettas and would make them difficult to attack.

To bring them enjoyment, give them some hiding places from the bettas. They could also enjoy a spacious tank filled with 10-gallon water.

  • Neon Tetras

This neon silver-blue fish may seem to be incompatible with a betta because of its bright colors that may trigger the betta to fight, the neon tetra can be fine living with a betta because of its speed. They, however, prefer to be in a school of 6 to 10.

They are expected to last for 5 years on average and can grow up to 4 centimeters. In their latest phases, you may notice their red stripe feature begins to slowly fade and completely disappear. But before this happens, you can amusingly watch this school of fish navigates the tank.

  • Ember Tetras

Embers Tetras are species with orange-red color appearance. Same with the other fish species, these would also require groups of 4-6 tetras. They are quite similar to bettas in which tetras also prefer planted tanks. 

During their time in the tank, they may be mostly seen in the middle of the tank while the bettas may be seen to be at the top half. This characteristic would make them suitable to live together.

  • Pygmy Corydoras

These types of fish are not brightly colored which are perfect for bettas not to trigger their aggression. They are peaceful animals and have hard scales for protection. These are one of the best choices when you want your betta to have a companion in your tank and when you are not sure whether your betta is aggressive or not. These corydoras enjoy in a 10-gallon tank.

  • Bronze (Common) Corydoras

These are bigger than the previously mentioned corydoras. These brown-colored fish do best in a group of 3 or more, in a 10-gallon tank. They have a monotonous appearance that does not trigger bettas to be aggressive. If you choose this type, you can expect them to live in your tank for up to 10 years in a maximum length of 2.5 inches.

  • Endler’s Livebearers

These are similar to guppies but they appear subtly. They lack bright colors on their bodies which are great for the bettas to live with. You may also want to choose this if you are interested to have an amount of fish in your big tank if you have the space for them because these endler’s livebearers can quickly breed. From this, you could provide them more than a 10-gallon tank.

The offspring of these livebearers are great for the betta as they serve as a snack. This natural way of life may put you in a bit of ease that you won’t concern yourself in always providing your fish their food.

  • Lambchop (Esme’s) Rasbora

These resilient fish enjoy the same tank condition as the bettas. They can live peacefully with your bettas as they have passive personalities. They do not attract much because they appear in light colors, less likely posing a threat to the bettas. They live in a school of 8 or more so you will need a larger fish tank to accommodate them. They can thrive and happily swim in a 10-gallon tank.

The large school size will prevent your betta from attacking this species. However, fighting can ensue within this type of Rasboras. It will be a usual sight especially when males compete for females’ attention. This rarely results in any kind of injury though so you just need to observe them once in a while.

The downside is, these rasboras need to be fed a little bit more than your bettas. You have to feed them 3 times a day with the feeding time lasting up to 3 minutes.

  • Platies

These fish are easy to keep, but make sure not to choose the ones with the long tails. Platies are easy to be with for the bettas because you can have no problem with food. They can simply get the ones left from the bettas. They also live in the same condition as bettas and they both love ornaments and plants where they can use as a hiding place.

Betta fish tank mates
Betta fish with other fish in a tank

Platies are shoaling fish too so they need to be at least in a minimum group of 3. If you have a 10-gallon tank, it is recommended to add only 1 betta to the 3 Platies.   Similar to the endler’s livebearers, they easily multiply with another of their kind so if you don’t want to have a lot of platies, pick only one sex to stay in the tank. Otherwise, you can remove the ornaments and plants and wait for the bettas to eat the offspring.

  • Clown Plecos

The Clown Plecos are characterized to have a light brown appearance to black color with orange to the white striped formation. These are algae eaters and can grow up to 2 feet long.

From this, 15-gallons or more are needed to be able to properly care for this type of fish. You can take care of these fish in around 10 years, and they can even enjoy exploring the tank. Their hard and tough skin can also protect themselves when a betta gets too curious.

  • Chili/Mosquito Rasboras

This type of rasbora prefers to be in a larger gallon size. They are not bigger than any rasboras but they simply enjoy swimming around. Bettas can eat these rasboras but they can thrive together since rasboras are active swimmers.

Rasboras can hide in ornaments or other places in the aquarium making it avoid the bettas. Although this is not an ideal choice, you can still try it if you have set your heart to this specie. Just make sure to provide ornaments where they can hide and keep the light dim.

They get frustrated and aggressive when they are in a small space. So take into consideration to have a spacious tank for this type of fish living with your betta fish.

  • Zebra Danios

These types are recommended to be in a school of about 5 or more, requiring 15 gallons or more tank. They are top feeders like the bettas, but they can coexist depending on the betta’s personality and temperament.

Their hard body makes them have the ability to survive in many water conditions. If you’re a beginner, they are excellent for you to have with your bettas. But remember to take precautions in joining these two.

  • Otocinclus Catfish

This bottom-dweller is great when your betta fish doesn’t want other fish to swim around the middle to the top of your 20-gallon tank. But if you’re going to put them in the same water with your betta fish, make sure the water is perfect for the catfish because these may easily die in an unsuitable water condition.

  • Kuhli Loach

Having a docile temperament makes the kuhli loach a compatible tank mate. Their characteristics show a long shaped like eels that they can even smoothly go into tiny crevices. They enjoy swimming around in a 20-gallon tank.

You should be mindful of choosing the right loach because some of their types can grow over afoot. You may also take into consideration putting sand in your tank for the loach to enjoy the habitat.

  • Rummy Nose Tetras

These tetras, packed in a school, are peaceful and you won’t even worry a bit about having a battle between these and your betta. Do not forget to place some hiding areas and a spacious area in about a 20-gallon tank for them to peacefully live their fishy lives.

  • Cardinal Tetras

These are similar to the neon tetras but bigger. Make sure to put these types in a school for them not to get aggressive. They can get bored when alone. Another thing, like most fish, make sure they have a hiding place and a wide area for them to freely swim around, 20-gallon tank size should suffice.

  • Scissortail Rasbora

Although this type of rasbora prefers a large tank size, they are gentle creatures. They don’t pose much of a threat to your bettas because they appear in a dull color. These gentle giants prefer to be in groups because they may get stressed resulting in their worst coloring.

  • Mollies

They have a wide variety in terms of colors and sizes like the bettas, but these do well together. However, some Mollies are recommended to be avoided like the lyretail mollies and balloon mollies.

As mentioned before, bettas are unique from each other in terms of their aggressiveness and temperament. Some bettas are docile and leave other types of fish alone, but for some, they may be a bit of a fighter.

When introducing a betta with another fish, make sure to prepare some barrier when necessary pulling is required. Harmful events happen in the tank so make sure to watch your tank and be prepared for any possible aggression or tension between the fish.

Beautiful fish together in a tank
Can A Betta Live With Other Fish?

In summary, here’s a table for the mentioned compatible fish that can live with a betta.

Name of FishCharacteristicTank Size
Feeder Guppies.Grey or white color with spots and do not have much bright coloring; short-finnedFine on their own8-Gallons or more
Cory CatfishBronze-colored fish that can enjoy the same water condition enjoyed by bettas. They may either live on their own or in schools depending on the tank, and they are non-aggressive.10-gallons or more
Harlequin Rasbora  Prefers to be with a school of approximately 5 to 6 in the aquarium10-gallons or more
Dwarf RasboraTiny fish that have the speed to swim away from threats.10-gallons or more
Neon Tetras  This neon silver-blue fish can be fine living with a betta because of its speed.Prefer to be in a school of 6 to 10 tetras.10-gallons or more
Ember Tetras  Species with an orange-red color appearance10-gallons or more
Pygmy CorydorasThey are not brightly colored, do not possess flowing tails, and have hard armored scales.10-gallons or more
Bronze (Common) CorydorasThese brown-colored fish prefers to be in a school of at least 3.10-gallons or more
Endler’s LivebearersSimilar to guppies but they appear in an unflashy presence.10-gallons or more
Lambchop (Esme’s) RasboraThey pose passive appearance and personality.10-gallon or more
PlatiesThese livebearers are social fish recommended to be in a group.15-gallon or more
Clown Plecos  Algae eaters that have a light brown appearance to black color with orange to white striped formation15-gallons or more
Chili/Mosquito RasborasThese active swimmers require a spacious tank size than any rasboras15-gallons or more
Zebra DaniosThese types are great in a school of about 5 or more danios.15-gallons or more
Otocinclus CatfishBottom dwellers that need proper water condition20-gallons or more
Kuhli Loach  Its characteristics show a long shaped like eels, and they have a docile temperament20-gallons or more
Rummy Nose TetrasThese slim and small fish are kept in a school.20-gallons or more
Cardinal TetrasBigger than neon tetras placed in a school20-gallons or more
Scissortail RasboraGentle giants that best do in a group20-gallons or more
MolliesSome of these do well with others but others are best avoided.20-gallon or more

The Following Are Non-Fish That Can Possibly Live with a betta

  • Mystery Snails

These snails are great as tank mates for they simply eat the leftovers and they can even clean up the tank. Furthermore, they do not disturb the bettas in the tank. Even the times when bettas get curious that they poke at the snails, the hard shell will protect themselves by retreating into it.

  • Ghost Shrimp

This transparent shrimp, which is also called the glass shrimp, is also great as a tank mate for the bettas in a 10-gallons or more tank size. Their transparency would secure them to even roam freely in the aquarium. They are resilient making them a fantastic companion of the betta.

They are easily cared for because they could just scour your tank to have excess food. Its recommended introduction is in a school of 2 to 4, but you may exceed 6 when it seems they seem to potentially coexist peacefully.

  • African Dwarf Frog

These are either grey or brown colored frogs with spots on their body. They have a peaceful personality when you plan to make them a cohabitant with your bettas. When you select them to live with your betta fish, select 2 for they enjoy simply in pair. Like the ghost shrimp, they also enjoy a tank size of 10-gallons or more.

  • Dwarf Crayfish

These bottom dwellers are great for keeping it with your betta fish because there’s a high percent chance that the two wouldn’t meet and become in contact creating tension. If you choose this one as a companion with your betta, do not add cooper medication for it could kill them.

If you are interested in learning more about your fish behavior, check out the links below:

Betta Fish Behavior

Studies show that bettas can recognize their owners. Their curiosity leads them to navigate inside the aquarium, then they can inspect things around them. They can even notice when you put new objects inside the tank.

Betta fish with other fish in tank
Betta Fish Behavior

Their curiosity helps them recognize their territory which comes in handy when you introduce a new type of fish inside the aquarium.

Betta fish that are in their native place lives in the shallow water of ponds and marshes. They are active during the day and rest during the night, just like humans. Also, they securely protect their child from predators. Despite having an aggressive personality, they are considered vulnerable and likely to become endangered species.

When those bettas are captured by market dealers, putting them in small bottles and cups for transportation puts the bettas in a suffering state and can further be put to inadequate care when they reached pet stores and be sold. You, as a fish owner of this sort, should keep in mind and make sure to know the proper management of taking care of betta fish.

Steps to Properly Care For Your Betta Fish

To ease up the possible fragile state of the betta fish when you purchase one, know how to properly take care of one. Studies show that betas are fragile creatures that need proper care. Necessary needs include being in warm water, a great space for exploration, appropriate and unpolluted space, and of course, regular feeding.

Food that bettas eat includes plant roots, but these are insufficient for them. Bettas are carnivorous creatures in nature. They need the proper nutrient and diet for them to strive. Feeding them with only plant roots can just keep them alive for a little while.  You can add insects, insect larvae, bloodworms, brine shrimp, and many others in their diet when you feed them but remember not to overfeed your fish.

For you fish to be happy and enjoy itself in your aquarium, its environment needs to feel like a home. You may add some decorations like small caves, plants, and rocks but make sure to have sufficient space for the betta to swim around. It needs a spacious area for its vibrant fins to freely expand. 

Things to Consider When You Put New Fish In Your Betta Tank

  • Provide a suitable water condition. Make sure the water condition is in a proper and suitable state for the fish you wish to put together.
  • Take precautions. When you put a new fish in your betta tank, prepare materials such as a net and a different container filled with the proper water state.
  • Set up proper decorations. Some fish enjoy their time when they know they are safe so make sure you give them some hiding places they can go when they feel threatened.
  • A Neutralizer is present. This is to adjust the tank in the right condition for your fish. But before putting your fish, patience is a must because it is recommended for you to wait for the water to be in the right state when you make adjustments in your tank.
  • A filter should be installed. Necessary adjustment should be in place when the new fish or fish you place in your beta tank would feel uncomfortable.
  • You should not put both your betta fish and the chosen cohabitant at the same time. Make sure your betta fish firstly adjust itself to the environment and set up its territory before you would put another type of fish.

You can research more on these Siamese fighting fish to know and select your preferred betta fish. Bettas have a wide range of variety and surely, you may have your distinct type.

Having a fish with a vibrant characteristic may be an amusing thing, but remember to properly care for those fish. When you plan to own a betta fish, it’s recommended to adopt one from adoption organizations because, in pet stores or dealers, it is most likely those bettas are exploited solely for financial gain.

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