You love betta but you cannot put multiple Bettas in the same tank. However, did you know betta fish (aka the Siamese fighting fish) can be kept with other fish? If you dont like to watch tank with single betta, keep reading to discover our list of 10 compatible Betta tank mates!
What to Look for In the Best Tank Mates for Betta Fish
Shortly, we’ll give you a list of some of the best choices for a betta tank mate. But, if you prefer to choose your own, here’s a checklist of characteristics your new fish should have.
Betta Tank Mate Checklist
Qualities to look for include:
- Non-aggressive / no fin nibbling
- Won’t compete for the same food in the same zone (top, middle, bottom)
- Likes water with a pH from 6.0 to 7.5
- Likes water temperature between 76F and 81F (24C to 27C)
- Middle to top swimmers should be no more than 2-3 inches
- Prefers slow-moving water
List Of Fish That Can Live With Bettas (For Those Short On Time)
If you’re short on time then here’s a list of fish that can live with bettas as well as shrimp and snails:
- Ember Tetras
- Guppies (Under Certain Conditions)
- Harlequin Rasboras
- Lambchop Rasboras
- Dwarf Rasboras
- Pygmy Corys
- Bronze (Common) Corys
- Endlers Livebearers
- Chili/Mosquito Rasbora
- Dwarf Loach
- Zebra Danios
- Rummy Nose Tetras
- Cardinal Tetras
- Neon Tetras
- Black Neon Tetras
- Scissortail Rasboras
- Otocinclus Catfish
- Redtail Sharks
- Glass Catfish
- Malaysian Trumpet Snails
- Ramshorn Snails
- Mystery Snails
- Nerite Snails
- Ghost Shrimp
- Cherry Shrimp
- Dwarf Crayfish
- Assassin Snails
- Amano Shrimp
Do Betta Fish Need Tank Mates?
Before getting tank mates for your betta you may be wondering whether it’s necessary? You may even be asking whether tank mates will make him happy. Well, the answer is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no.
On the one hand, some bettas are too aggressive to be put with other tank mates (unless you’re using a large enough tank with plenty of hiding spaces) so it’s better to keep them on their own.
On the other hand, bettas need stimulation to stop them from getting bored and even depressed. While using mirrors, adding lots of plants, hiding places and spots to explore in your tank can help stimulate your betta, there’s no denying that other tank mates in your tank are going to be a constant source of entertainment.
However, just remember, that to keep your betta happy you need to make sure he has enough space in the tank he can call his own territory. So when adding tank mates with your betta it’s important that you use a tank that’s big enough.
Can You Keep 2 or More Bettas Together?
The answer to this question is no. And yes. I’ll explain.
Yes, you can put two or more betta fish together, but you must follow some rules to prevent not only duels-to-the-death but the more common bullying.
But no! Don’t put two males together. They will fight until one is dead.
Male & Male
Don’t put two males together. They will fight until one is dead. If this is your idea of entertainment, please leave the fish-keeping hobby. Don’t do this combination!
Female & Female
You can put two or more females together, but this is something that must be done cautiously. If you put more than two females together, then you must introduce the same number at the same time. If you want to have three females, you must introduce them all at the same time. If you add 1 + 2, then there will be bullying of the one. Consider these possibilities:
1 + 1
1 + 1 + 1
2 + 2
Anything other than 1 + 1 requires a tank that is already “cycled” to accept a load of three fish. If you have no filtration system, then a tank with three female bettas would require a 30 gallon tank. (A heater, a lid, and a few other common aquarium items would still be necessary). Don’t combine 1 + 2 female bettas.
Male & Female
You can put a single male and single female together without fighting. It’s the breeding that would ensue eventually that would overwhelm your skills as a beginner aquarist. Don’t do this combination unless you’ve had a couple of years of success with keeping an aquarium. And don’t breed bettas if you haven’t read extensively about the needs of the pair and their offspring. Breeding is not for beginners or people who think it would “be fun” to breed them. Don’t do the male + female (breeding) combination until you have experience.
Will Your Betta Attack His/Her Tank Mates?
Once again, there’s no way to know until you add tank mates into your tank. If you’re not sure it’s often a good idea to add tank mates you won’t mind losing such as shrimp. The good news is that if you add some cheap shrimp then even if your betta does kill them they’ll become a nice meal for him!
But the truth is you can never tell how your betta is going to be with tank mates until you give it a try. But as long as you’re giving them enough space, then in a lot of cases, it’s going to work out just fine.
Before you do plan on adding tanks mates for your betta you should always have a backup plan just in case. Normally people have a spare tank they can transfer their betta too if things go south. However, if your tank is big enough a tank divider is also a great alternative.