8 Betta Fish Tank Mates

Betta Fish Tank Mates

Betta Fish Tank Mates, photo by Paulo Ordoveza

Betta fish tank mates are certainly a possibility without a doubt. Most people will say “Bettas can’t have tank mates or companions”, but the truth is… they can. Although bettas are aggressive fish, there are still possibilities of housing more than just a betta in your fish tank. I personally have my betta fish with many other fish in my 55 gallon fish tank. I have had this setup for a year now with no problems. How? Well, I just put in non-aggresive fish that require the same tank requirements in with my betta. I also have a big fish tank which gives all my fish the space they need. If you are wanting to have tank mates with your betta, the size of your fish tank will definitely play a huge role on how things will play out. The more space you have, the more peace and harmony you will have between all your fish.

 

Below are a few betta fish tank mates that can possibly be housed together with your betta. Of course, always use caution when mixing fish. If you see any aggression being done, simply separate the fish.

African Dwarf Frogs

African Dwarf frogs are great tank mates for bettas because they do not look anything like a betta or any other fish. African dwarf frogs also stay fairly small which is good because there won’t be any chances of the frog trying to eat the betta, like other large frogs might try to do. Being relatively small, these types of frogs produce very little waste, so you don’t have to worry about nitrates/nitrites/ammonia.

Apple Snail

The most common snail being sold in pet stores today is the apple snail. Apple snails can be put into a bettas tank with no problem due to its large hard shell. The betta can’t possibly harm the snail. If housing an apple snail is in mind, just know that they can get up to the size of a softball, meaning you will be needing a large tank.

Cardinal Tetras & Neon Tetras

Tetras have the same requirements as bettas when it comes to water conditions and can make any tank look beautiful. Being soo bright in color, tetras can cause the betta to become aggressive towards them. Being very fast, tetras can counter a bettas attack easily though. So there is barely any chance of the tetras being harmed. Just make sure to have lots of ornaments and hiding spots for the tetras to hide and maneuver around. Tetras do better in schools of 5 – 10.

Corydoras Catfish (Cory Catfish)

Cory catfish are very calm and peaceful fish. It’s almost unheard of that they’d be aggressive. They are very friendly fish, especially with themselves. Be sure to get a good sized group of cories, they need a minimum of five to feel secure and happy. Adding fake or real plant will also help make the cories feel secure and safe. Also, make sure to use sand substrate so the cories don’t hurt themselves or lose their barbs.

Feeder Fish

Feeder fish can make good tank mates too as they are very dull in color and are somewhat faster than the betta. I have a few feeder fish in my tank with my betta as well and have yet to see any aggression whatsoever.

Ghost Shrimp and Red Cherry Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp stay very small and are usually sold as food for other fish, but can be a great addition to your betta tank. They won’t harm your betta in any way.

 

Red cherry shrimp are another awesome type of shrimp tank mate for bettas because they can help do two things. Serve as food when the betta is hungry (sometimes) and serve as algae eaters. They help clean the algae that may be forming in your bettas tank daily. But be careful on how many red cherry shrimp you buy. They breed quite well so make sure they don’t overcrowd the tank, or your betta will be very stressed. If you see the red cherry shrimp latching onto your betta, remove them as they will cause a lot of stress to your betta.

Loaches

Loaches are great tank mates because they are mostly bottom feeders that will stay away from most of the fish in your tank (including your betta). They are very calm and peaceful fish that will cause no harm towards your betta. Be careful when choosing a loach though, as some can reach the length of 16 inches. I personally recommend khuli loaches, dwarf loaches, , and zebra loaches. These loaches stay smaller than 5 inches.

Pleco

Plecos make good tank mates for bettas because of their size and calmness. Most plecos spend their days eating algae on rocks and glass, not bothering anybody. I personally have 2 plecos with my 1 betta with no problem. Just have in mind, I have a 55 gallon tank which allows the room for 2 plecos. If you are wanting to get a pleco, get one based on the size of your fish tank. Some plecos get big, while other stay small (5 inches) like the clown plecos, bristlenose plecos, and rubber lipped plecos.

A Guide in Choosing Betta Fish Tank Mates

  • No nibblers – do not get any fish that will nibble at your betta. This will cause stress and sometimes fights.
  • Bigger or colorful fish – Anything that looks big or colorful will intimidate your betta. Intimidation will cause stress or fights.
  • Tank size – If you are getting tank mates for your betta, you will be needing a fish tank, not a fish bowl. Fish need their space, especially when housing more than one fish together.
  • Bottom Feeders – Many bottom feeders are fish that can live well with bettas. (Plecos, catfish, loaches)
  • Diet & Water Requirements – Make sure to choose only fish that require the same diet and water conditions as your betta.

 

Below is a video from SmokeNlark, which shows which tank mates make great betta fish tank mates

 

13 comments to 8 Betta Fish Tank Mates

  • april

    My male betta did fine with mystery snail and kuhli loaches and dojo weatherloach and bristlenose pleco. But I removed him when I got clown loaches and 2 more bristlenose plecos because I wasn’t sure about compatibility. Is it safe to add him back in or no?

    • Billy

      Hello April,
      Your new tank mates should be fine with the beta. We have housed a beta with a pleco before without any problems. Just be sure to monitor the tank for the next few days to make sure there is no aggression going on between the fish. Please update us on how it goes.

  • Jessica Williams

    I am getting some African dwarf frogs and I am wondering if my male betta will enjoy the company. I know Bettas don’t necessarily need tank mates but the bigger tank( 20 gallon) is a upgrade to what he was in. Any info will greatly be appreciated.
    🙂

    • Billy

      Hello Jessica,
      The male betta and the dwarf frogs should get along just fine. However, if you house both together, you will need to feed them separate foods. The african dwarf frogs will not normally eat the betta food and vice versa. So make sure you get the proper food for each.

  • Jessica Williams

    Thanks but I decided to put my betta and my frogs in seperate tanks because my betta does have certain territorial traits. I figured this would be best for both my frogs and my betta.😊

    • Billy

      Hey,
      Totally understandable. I’m not sure if you saw April’s comment, but she was telling a story of a not so happy ending with and African dwarf frog and a territorial betta.

  • April Devost

    My betta was fine with African dwarf frogs until I had to do tank maintenance than it attacked one of my frogs viciously and killed it. Even being in a 20 gallon tank with lots of room. Things were peaceful until I started my tank cleaning than the male betta got aggrivated

  • Jessica

    OH goodness well I figured it wasn’t worth a chance and I didn’t want to risk the frogs life so seperate tanks is what I decided.!!!:-)

  • Connor

    I also heard that nerite snails are good tank mates. I kept 1 in a 3 gallon planted tank with my dragon scale. No need to worry about size, they grow to at most an inch. They are small, dull colored, and have a hard shell, so they won’t be bothered. They will eat algae off of everything! Tank walls, gravel, filter sponges an even plant leaves on larger plants. Also, they only breed in brackish water, meaning you won’t have a hundred roaming around. Just letting you know, they poop. A lot. Also they are tidal snails, so they may escape. Make sure you keep a strong lid on.

  • April

    Kuhli loaches and bristlenose plecos do well with aggressive bettas I also had a dojo weatherloach that lived peaceful with my betta.

  • Jessica

    My beta has been living with my goldfish, pleco, and 3 synodontis catfish for years, they don’t bother each other at all! The only problem I’ve had is my beta picking on my black moor, so I did separate them, but common goldfish do just fine with him.

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