Betta fish are known for their fierce attitude, which is why most betta fish owners get in a dilemma while searching for their cohabitants. Well, in this article, I have done some research on the fish that can live with betta fish despite betta’s complex personalities.
Many fish can live with bettas (peacefully) and the most common ones are Guppies, Harlequin Rasbora, Kuhli Loaches, Ember Tetras, Cory Catfish, etc. However, there are other considerations you must make if you want your betta fish and these other species to coexist harmoniously.
The factors are largely related to the aquarium section. Because mainly the betta fish are super aggressive and feisty when it comes to protecting their territory. Therefore, below I have discussed all the factors elaborately and also added details about the fish that can live with bettas.
Therefore, stick to the last word of this article in order to know your answer.
Because of having complex personalities, it is very hard to determine the fish that can live peacefully with your bettas. However, there are other factors that also play an important role but I have tried my best to find the 12 best tank mates that can live with bettas peacefully.
Here are the favorite 12 tank mates for bettas that tops the list:
Cory catfish are known for their gentlemen personalities as most of the time they dwell on the bottom of the tank as well as they love to maintain peaceful relations with other tank mates. These fish belong to the catfish group and they always roam in groups. Therefore, whenever you are going for cory catfish make sure you buy them in groups.
If you are looking for different species of cory catfish then it will be better to buy them in a mix as different other species of cory catfish are available such as albino cory, pygmy cory, etc. One thing that is really important to remember is you have to make sure that food reaches the bottom of the tank as the cories are bottom roamers, therefore, they mostly eat the leftovers.
Kuhli loaches are one of the best tank mates for the most aggressive bettas. They are also bottom dwellers similar to the cories and eat the leftover foods that your betta drops. The kuhli loaches belong to the eel group and they don’t grow more than 4 inches.
One of the main benefits of buying kuhli loaches is that they are highly nocturnal fish which means they will hide in the daytime and will only come out at night time. It is a plus point for the betta owners because at night the bettas remain asleep when they come out, therefore, you will not need to worry about any sort of aquarium feud.
Ember tetras are one of the small tank mates that you can get for your bettas. They roughly grow around the size of 1.5 inches and love to roam around in groups. However, they will need a big tank of 7 to 11 gallons of water despite their small sizes. The reason for this is that ember tetras are extremely speedy fish that prefer to school around in big groups in a large area.
In addition, it will be also best for the bettas to keep a big tank as they are super aggressive when it comes to protecting their territory. One of the eye-catching things about the tetras is that they have attractive colors which is why if you pair them with your bettas then it will add an extra essence to your tank.
Neon Tetras are one of the best tank mates that you can go for bettas. These fish are super fast and roam around the whole tank in a group. These small fish can be compatible very easily with small fish like bettas. However, you will need a bigger tank of 10 to 12 gallons of water if you are planning to keep a group of neon tetras and bettas.
Because the neon tetras will need much space to roam whenever the aggressive bettas will come chasing them. Neon tetras will not be involved in any sort of fight with the bettas regarding domination over food and they will eat the leftover food from the bettas.
Harlequin rasboras are one of the most peaceful tank mates that you can have for your bettas. These small fish love to roam around in groups and their super attractive orange colors with black patches take the aquarium into a whole new dimension.
These super cute fish don’t even dominate whenever they are eating food with bettas because of their peaceful nature. Whenever you are buying rasboras make sure you buy them in groups also you can add 4 to 6 tetras with the rasboras as the rasboras love to vibe with the tetras.
Guppies are little fish and because of their tranquil temperaments, these fish make a lot more tranquil atmosphere for your betta fish. You may add a couple more guppies to your aquarium to really liven it up because guppies appear in a range of colors.
Their tiny form would help your betta feel more relaxed knowing that they are not the tiniest species in the aquarium and that they get together with various fish too though.
Clown plecos are one of the toughest fish ever to live in a fish tank. Basically, their tough shells make them more powerful, and also your bettas won’t be involved in a dispute so easily. Therefore, clown plecos and your bettas can live peacefully inside the tank.
However, make sure you go for the small size of clown pleco as they can grow more than 2.5 feet. In addition, one point to remember is always to keep an eye on both of these fish because sometimes they can be involved in a feud which can turn into a big dispute regarding territorial control.
Bristlenose plecos are excellent aquarium mates for Betta fish. The bristlenose pleco is simple to maintain and doesn’t need much utmost assistance, like most of the previous species on the list. The bristlenose plecos are beneficial because they contribute to the cleanliness of your aquarium.
They mostly consume algae and waste, which keeps your tank looking gorgeous. Bristlenose plecos have highly durable skin, therefore even if your betta becomes a bit fussy, your pleco will not get scared.
Well, cardinal fish can live by maintaining a peaceful relationship with the bettas. The cardinal fish roam around the middle of the tank by eating the meals that you offer them. However, they roam around in groups which is why it is best to buy the different species in a group.
But you have to make sure that you buy only female cardinal fish for your male bettas as there can be chances of dispute whenever the female cardinal fish start to lay eggs. At the time of reproduction, the male cardinal fish will be overprotective of the female ones and can get involved in a fight with male bettas.
Similar to the clown pleco, the otocinclus is a small sucker fish that lives bottom of the tank by eating algae and other external materials. This fish will roam around the bottom of the tank and will hide under the rocks or plants.
The otocinclus is a peace-loving fish but if they are triggered then they can be involved in a fight which can worsen the situation. Therefore, you will need to observe the situation carefully after you add the otocinclus with your bettas as tank mates.
The swordtail fish or brackish fish is one of the most colorful fish that will perfectly cope with the female betta fish. This fish will need a bit of salt in the water as they lay eggs in salt water. Therefore, you might need to add extra aquarium salt to the tank and they will live peacefully with the bettas.
Apart from this challenge, the brackish fish will not cause any harm to the bettas as well as they will not be involved in any kind of dispute regarding territorial protection or domination over food.
The platies fish is almost similar to the swordtail apart from their color and shape. The platies are best compatible with female bettas as they have silent nature. They will hide behind the rocks or live plants in the daytime and will roam only whenever the lights are off. However, similar to the swordtail, the platies will need salt for reproduction.
Therefore, you will need to consult with an expert about the salt level in the tank. You have to make sure that the salt isn’t above the level because it can highly affect the bettas.
Well, when it is about the fish that can live with bettas in a 5-gallon tank, you have to look for the fish that have calm nature and live around the tank by hiding. Because the space in a 5-gallon tank is much less and the betta fish can easily catch the fish by chasing them whenever they are aggressive.
For easing your task of choosing 5-gallon tank fish, I have listed down the names of fish that can live in a 5-gallon tank with bettas:
- Brigittae Rasbora
- Pygmy Corydoras or Cory Catfish
- Ember Tetras
- Dwarf Rasbora
- Neon Tetras
- Phoenix Rasbora
- Celestial Pearl Danio
- Strawberry Rasbora
- Least Killifish
- Ramshorn Snails
- Pond Snails
These are the best tank mates you can go for your bettas if you have a 5-gallon tank. But it is recommended by the experts that you should observe the situation after adding them to the tank with your bettas. If the situation turns the opposite then you should separate them as soon as possible.
My recommendation is, 5 gallon itself is a very small tank for one betta. So don’t keep any other fish with the betta. Better you try to upgrade the tank to a 10 gallon one at least.
In a 10-gallon tank there is much space for different species of fish to thrive more freely. Also, you have the option to keep additional fish to live with the bettas. However, there are different requirements for different fish and if you are keeping them with bettas then the requirements of other fish need to be compatible with the bettas.
You will need to go for those fish which are super fast, and calm in nature as well as roam around the bottom part of the tank. Here are some of the fish that can be best mates for bettas in a 10-gallon tank:
- Cory Catfish
- Neon Tetras
- Kohli Loaches
- Ember Tetras
- Harlequin Rasboras
- Zebra Danios
- Cardinal Fish
If you have a 15-gallon tank where you are searching for betta mates then you should go for fish that are the medium size as well as super fast. As in a 15-gallon tank, there are many spaces which is why you can buy medium-sized fish for your betta.
But make sure the fish doesn’t exceed the size of an adult beta. Here is the list of fish that can be compatible with a betta in a 15-gallon tank:
- Mosquito Rasboras
- Zebra Danios
- Clown Plecos
The 20-gallon betta tank is one of the biggest and most space-containing betta tanks. You can keep a variety of fish in your betta tank, however, you will need to go for those species of fish that are compatible with a betta. Here are some of the names:
- Cardinal Tetras
- Otocinclus Catfish
- Black Neon Tetra
- Scissortail Rasbora
- Rummy Nose Tetras
At the start of the article, I have given a light idea about some factors that play a vital role in keeping a peaceful relationship between bettas and other fish. These factors are mostly related to the aquarium space and water as the bettas turn into alpha when it comes to marking their territory.
Therefore, below I have discussed all the factors elaborately in simple words so that you can understand them very easily:
One of the most important factors that you will need to focus on is that your fish tank needs to be big enough. Because most of the small fish are super fast and love to roam around in a big area. Therefore, there is a high chance that your bettas will be in a dispute as they are super aggressive when it comes to marking their territory.
It is recommended by the experts that you should always go for tanks that can literally hold 8 to 10 gallons of water. In addition, you have to also make sure that there are proper hiding places for the betta’s tank mates.
If your tank is big enough then surely you will keep more fish inside the tank. This will make your tank dirtier as a large variety of species in your tank indicates that there are more creatures generating metabolic waste materials.
The breakdown of these compounds could lead to the release of ammonium and other potentially harmful elements, raising the ideal acidity of your aquarium and upsetting the fish in your tank, and increasing the likelihood that they will become ill. Therefore, make sure you clean the tank once a week and also add pure water with fewer impurities.
It is also recommended by the experts that you should add a proper filtration system to the tank so that it can filtrate out all the external compounds. In addition, you have to keep a close eye on the fish whether they are showing stress signs. If the signs prevail then it will be best to keep your betta fish in a quarantine tank.
It is really important to monitor the betta fish’s behavior after adding the other fish because if they become aggressive towards the other fish then you will need to separate the fish immediately. Otherwise, the betta fish can make things worse for the other fish.
If you want to create a friendly environment among them then it will be better to keep the bettas and the other fish in a separate tank. Then keep the two tanks close as much as possible and observe the situation.
It is recommended by the experts that you should buy the fish from reputable fish stores or breeders. Because sometimes the breeders or local fish stores can give you sick or unhealthy fish which can later trigger the environment of the tank. Also, the bettas can get more aggressive towards the weakfish which later can worsen the situation.
Therefore, always check the health of the fish and also follow the expert’s advice while purchasing the mates for your bettas.
Male and female bettas should indeed always be put alongside for a brief instant and solely for the goal of reproducing, even though pairing will undoubtedly aid female bettas in reproducing. A skilled fishkeeper alone should handle this but not a novice.
It is also important to remember that you can certainly keep a large number of female bettas in a tank but you cannot keep two male bettas together as the two males can get involved in a fierce fight.
Female betta fish can mix well with other fish but there are some conditions that you will need to abide by. These conditions are suggested by the experts and you have to strictly maintain them if you want to ensure peace between female bettas and other fish. The conditions are noted below:
Make sure your tank is a 10-gallon tank because there will be much space for the betta to thrive. Also, your betta won’t tolerate any fish in a tank that is under 10-gallon. As bettas are more aggressive when it comes to protecting their territory and also they won’t tolerate any sort of fish in their territory. Therefore, you should offer spaces to both species of fish so that they can live peacefully.
Make sure you don’t go for the bettas that are over-aggressive. Because sometimes choosing over-aggressive bettas will not let you add more fish to the tank. These bettas will fight every fish you add to the tank and eventually, you will be out of every other fish except your betta. Therefore, you should always buy female bettas that are calm in nature and less aggressive.
You may increase the probability that your Betta will cohabit happily with other fish by selecting appropriate other fish in your aquarium. In order to avoid making your Betta sense as though his habitat has been taken, take very good care not to overpopulate the aquarium.
Bettas won’t be content in tanks with a bunch of “moving” fish that are energetic and constantly move past. Fish that are more subdued and subdued in appearance are preferred rather.
The male bettas are one of the most aggressive fish but only towards the other male bettas. However, they can be aggressive to other species of fish if they are trying to take over the territory that belongs to the male betta. That is why you will need to find those kinds of fish that lives and hides under the rocks at the bottom of the tank.
As a result, there will not be any chances of a dispute as both species of fish will be busy with their work on the top and bottom of the tank. Here is some name of the fish that can live peacefully with the male bettas:
- Corydoras Catfish
- Clown Pleco
- Neon and Ember Tetras
- Harlequin Rasboras
- Kuhli Loaches
- Otocinclus Catfish
- Cardinal Fish
But one thing you have to make sure that they don’t get involved in any sort of dispute and somehow if the situation goes against the tide then you will need to keep them in different tanks.
Betta fish will live alone instead of with tetras or loaches, the social groupings of other fish that prefer to dwell together. They may just not need you or another “nagging” tankmate to bother them at moments. That does not, however, indicate that they are not open to engaging in any sort of conversation.
Male betta fish can be hostile against other male betta fish instead of other tiny fish, despite the fact that they are not as violent as they are portrayed as being. In the case of female betta fish, you can certainly keep them with other fish but you will need to follow some conditions.
However, by concentrating on a few parameters and through reading my article, you may thus keep betta fish and other tiny fish together, but you should never try to pair up two betta males.