Best Betta Tank Mates: What Fish Can Live With Bettas?

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If you are here to know about what fish can live with bettas, then you are at the right spot. In this article, we will discuss why should we be careful about choosing tankmates for betta fish, what fish can live with bettas, what fish can live with male and female bettas, and other tankmates for bettas. So let’s get started!

The Betta spenders, also known as Siamese Betta, are freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia. It can measure up to 6 cm and, his life expectancy can be up to three years. With its spectacular fins and bright colors, it is a coveted fish.

However, many people adopt it without knowing which fish are compatible with the Betta Fish and introduce any species into their aquarium. These fish are very sensitive to changes and do not adapt to any other species. It is therefore important to know the best tank mates for betta fish.


Why We Should Be Careful About Choosing Betta Tank Mates:

Fish are best known for trips in large groups, but the betta prefers to be independent both in captivity and in the wild. This is why, in captivity and placed in the same tank, the male bettas are fighting against each other. But, some bettas do not fight at all.

In the wild, this species has more leeway to be independent and withdraw, but in an aquarium, this can lead to territorial matches. After breeding, a male can also fight against the female. Therefore, they must be separated immediately after breeding. If male betta gets bored, he can start biting his fins, which can cause illness.

A tank of at least 2 gallons containing plants and hiding places is recommended to avoid this. Betta fish can live with other fish and play nicely as long as other fish have small fins. Other inhabitants who have bright colors and large fins will often encourage the betta to start biting and killing these fish.

Female bettas belonging to larger groups may live together in the same tank as long as their size is at least 10 gallons. It is still necessary to be cautious and the owner will have to monitor the “sorority” of the female bettas to make sure that they do not start fighting each other. If one of the fish seems to be the aggressor, it may be necessary to eliminate it and transport it alone to a new tank.

betta fish swimming


Which Fish Species are Compatible with Betta Fish:

 The Betta Splendens is also known as Siamese Betta is a very aggressive species. This quality is predominant in males, who are very territorial with other males of their species. Male bettas can never live in the same aquarium (which does not happen with females, who can share the same space).

Water from the Betta Aquarium must be maintained between 24 ° C and 30 ° C. It is best not to use tap water as these fish are best kept in acidic water. Therefore, before adopting a companion for your Betta, the first thing to be interested in is whether it could adapt to this type of habitat.

The more fish you want to collect in the same aquarium, the bigger it will be. Because of its territorial nature, the Betta needs a lot of space to live comfortably with others.

If you are going to have two or three fish together, an aquarium of 30 to 40 liters will be more than enough. However, if you want to create a larger community, you will need an aquarium of at least 100 liters to avoid potential conflicts. Vegetation and places where fish can hide them will also be essential.

The fish species compatible with the betta fish are:

  • The Ancistrus
  • Hemigrammus Rhodostomus
  • Freshwater mussels or snails
  • Corydoras or Pangio kuhlii
  • The Daphnia
  • The honey Gourami
  • The Pearl Gourami
  • The blue Gourami
  • The blue neon
  • False neon
  • The Platy
  • The Barbus cherry
  • The Pleco
  • The Otocinclus
  • The Scalar
  • Neon of the poor


10 Best Tank Mates for Betta Fish:

 A male and a female Betta sharing the same aquarium are not recommended as the male could be violent and kill the female to show dominance.

Fortunately, some fish can stay your Betta. In the following, we discuss the top 10 best tank mates for betta fish.

1. Bristlenose Plecos

Bristlenose Plecos are great for Betta aquariums – for a while. we say “a while” because they will eventually grow. This pleco, which is only 2.5 cm in size at the fishmonger, can grow to seven centimeters within one year.

Your Betta may still be able to get along with him, but you need an aquarium big enough to cope with his size. Other types of plecos also come with Bettas but are even larger than the Bristlenose Pleco; sometimes they are over 30cm long.

Bristlenose Plecos
Bristlenose Plecos


2. Neon Tetras

 Neon tetras are beautiful fish, with a blue-red stripe that almost seems to glow. Believe it or not, these fish get on well with most Bettas.

While your Betta will spend most of his time at the top of the aquarium, Tetras are middle-fishes, so they do not fight or collide for the same space. Neon tetras are omnivores and will eat algae and most high-quality flakes.

Neon Tetra
Neon Tetra


3. Ember Tetras

Like the neon tetras, Gluttetras are peaceful school fishes. They thrive under the same conditions as the Betta and require water somewhere between 20 and 29 degrees Celsius with a pH between 5.0 and 6.5.

They are also easy to feed, and like the Betta, they enjoy foods like saltwater shrimps, bloodworms, and flakes.

Ember Tetra and betta fish
Ember Tetra and betta fish


4. Harlequin Rasboras

Rasboras are the ideal aquarium companions for your Bettas because the two naturally exist together in the wild. Their food and water needs are the same, so aquariums should be a breeze for Bettas and Rasboras.

Remember that Rasboras are fish that prefer to live in schools of five to six. They are about 1.5 inches tall and live up to five years.

Harlequin Rasboras
Harlequin Rasboras


5. Clown Pleco (Panaque Maccus)

This type of catfish is hardy and lives well in a wide range of water parameters. Because they are bottom feeders and algae eaters, they will not compete with bettas for food.

They also have a very docile nature and moderate coloration, which the betta will not see as threatening. They grow to about four inches in length and will need a tank of at least 20 gallons because they like to swim around in spacious areas.

Clown Pleco
Clown Pleco


6. Pygmy Corydoras Catfish (Cory Fish)

 Cory fish are often called armored catfish due to the plates of bone-line material that covers their bodies. The pigmy variety grows to only 1 inch in length.

They are bottom dwellers and feeders, and will actively scavenge underneath rocks for food. Because they are a dull grey, they blend in well with the sand and gravel, so your betta may not even notice they are there.

Cories do like to swim in schools of four or more, so ideally, you should get a group of corries, and otherwise, they will be very unhappy.

Corydoras Catfish
Corydoras Catfish


7. Kuhli Loaches:

If you like smaller fishes and are especially interested in something that looks like an eel, then Kuhli Loach is for you. It is an unusual little fish that would make a perfect addition to your aquarium. They have the appearance of a small eel and float around the tank in a snake-like motion.

The Kuhli Loach is a fantastic cleaner fish that gets along with betta fish. Furthermore, they have an intriguing and distinct appearance that makes them a common freshwater fish in many home aquariums.

Kuhli Loach
Kuhli Loach


8. African Dwarf Frogs

African dwarf frogs can make great tank mates. If your betta is not very aggressive, they can get along together for years.

There are a few things to consider though. Dwarf frogs are shy, and even more so with big fish like bettas in the tank, so make sure they have plenty of places to hide.

Finally, your betta may get along very well with your frog, or it may choose to nip at and chase your frog. If this is the case, move your frog to another tank.

African Dwarf Frogs
African Dwarf Frogs By James Gathany


9. Zebra snails

Snails are also great for keeping your aquarium clean. In particular, the zebra snail is small and unobtrusive, but pretty for a snail. A single zebra snail will happily cleanse the algae from a 10-12 liter aquarium and wander back and forth in search of food.

Normally, your Betta ignores zebra snails, and if not, the slugs have decent armor to protect themselves. Zebra snails are not known to multiply uncontrollably, as other types of snails do.

Zebra snails
Zebra snails by Sandron Life


10. Ghost shrimp

A really good aquarium mate for your Betta is the ghost shrimp. These little boys are great at keeping the bottom of your aquarium clean. In general, your Betta will leave ghost shrimp alone. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule.

If your Betta is overly aggressive, you may find that ghost shrimp in your aquarium are staying on the corner. However, there is still a fair chance that your Betta leaves her alone. Ghost shrimp do not disturb other fish, so they may live together.

Ghost shrimp
Ghost shrimp by Chewy



What Fish Can Live with Male Bettas:

As you know, a male betta is more territorial and aggressive than a female betta. That’s why you have fewer options when it comes to choosing tank mates for the male betta. You need to be extra careful when you are going to choose his new tank mates.

Male bettas are not only aggressive but also don’t even like their personal space being occupied. They become more aggressive when they see bright color fish in their space of a similar size. So, here you need to avoid some when choosing their tank mates things such as:

  • Don’t add the bright-colored fish in the male betta tank because it can heighten their aggression.
  • Also, it is advised that they don’t include slow swimming and long-finned fish species because there are a lot of chances that they will attack them.

So who will be the best tank mate for a male betta? The shoaling fish that are small in size and less bright in color would be a great mate for them. Here are some other fish that can be their tank mates:

  • Bristle Nose Pleco
  • Head and Tail Light Tetra
  • Zebra Loach
  • Green Neon Tetra
  • Colombian Tetra
  • Albino Cory
  • Snowball Pleco
  • Dawn Tetra
  • Candy Striped Pleco
  • BlackLine Rasbora


What Fish Can Live with Female Betta Fish:

Female bettas are less territorial and aggressive than male betta. It means you can freely choose their tank mates. Best of all, you do not need to worry about the size and color of other fish while choosing their mates in the aquarium. All you need to choose those species that are not popular for grasping at the fins of other fish.

If you choose those species who reside in the aquarium’s bottom would be great for your female bettas as they will not annoy them. Moreover, Fast swimming and Shoaling fish are also good choices when it comes to choosing tank mates for the female betta. Here are some other fish that can be their tank mates:

  • Gold Tetra
  • Yoyo Loach
  • Clown Loach
  • Red-eye Tetra
  • Penguin Tetra
  • Mosquito Rasbora
  • Clown Pleco
  • Blue Tetra
  • Panda Cory
  • Pygmy Cory


Sorority Tank Mates for Female Betta Fish

A Betta sorority a.k.a. betta harem is a tank that contains five female betta fish. As mentioned above, female bettas are less aggressive than male bettas and it all depends on each fish. But they still can be aggressive and territorial. So it is better to choose bottom-dwelling fish, shoaling fish, fish that are not known to nip fins, and fast swimming fish species.

Sororities should be kept in a larger aquarium. The aquarium should contain at least 30 gallons of water. Also, this aquarium should contain a lot of plants and a large area for swimming. Here are some species that would be ideal tank mates with female betta fish in a sorority tank are:

  • Cory Catfish
  • Neon Tetra
  • Black Neon Tetra
  • Cherry Barbs
  • Guppies
  • Guntea Loach


Betta Fish Tankmates depending on Tank size:

The size of the tank very is important when you add fish to your betta tank, please remember an important general rule: your tank should have one gallon of water per inch of fish.

If you have a 5-gallon tank, you can have up to five one-inch-long fish in it for optimal living conditions. If you want to keep more fish, you’ll need a larger tank.

The reason for this limit is that fish soil the water they live in, and unless there is a very good filtration system, you’ll quickly end up with sick or dead fish.


What Fish can’t Live with Betta Fish:


Male guppies are flashy and colorful, a little smaller than betta, and will very likely be attacked and killed. Female guppies are fairly drab, so they may work in a tank, but your mileage may vary. Read our other article on why guppies can’t live with betta fish.


Goldfish are shiny, gold, and (to betta) very much a threat. Even if your betta does happen to get along with them, goldfish is a bad idea because they’re dirty fish. They will upset your water pH very quickly and lead to a dead or diseased betta.


Most people think that clownfish would go great in a betta tank. Let’s make it clear. A betta fish is a freshwater fish. A clownfish is a saltwater fish. They don’t go together.



As we have discussed what fishes can live with betta fish, there is a lot of fish that are compatible with betta especially with a female betta.

If we talk about keeping betta fish with other fish species then the smallest size of aquarium is a 10-gallon aquarium. On the other hand, for a community setting, 30 gallons of the aquarium is good when it comes to keeping a sorority of Betta fish.

Let us know what is your favorite betta fish tank mate? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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