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Betta Fish Aquarium Tankmates

Updated on July 16, 2014
Betta tankmates
Betta tankmates

Betta Tank mates

Betta behavior is well known to be aggressive at times. However, this doesn't preclude housing Betta with other fish in your aquarium. It does mean, however, that you need to know which fish are the best Betta tankmates.

Betta fish are notoriously aggressive, especially the males of the species. Many people think this means that a Betta aquarium must have only Betta fish in it, but this is actually a falsehood.

When contemplating proper betta care techniques, rather than house your Betta in an aquarium with like fish, male or female, it is better to introduce Betta fish into an environment with peaceful fish in order to avoid conflicts that can disturb the fish in the tank. When choosing Betta tank mates, consider fish that like water the same temperature as the Betta aquarium.

Some suggestions for Betta aquarium companions include Tetras and Barbs and different kinds of cleaner fishes. Be advised that even with peaceful, companionable fish, a fight can break out. At the first sign of aggression, remove the fish exhibiting aggressive behavior. New fish should be introduced to your Betta fish aquarium slowly, as you don't want to overload your star boarder. Choose fish that don't have characteristics that resemble Betta fish (that is, long fins or bright colors) to avoid aggression.

Other Betta tankmates may also include:

· Glass Catfish, so named because of its transparent appearance. This sociable fish enjoys companionship, including that of the Betta fish.

· Coolie Loach tend to be a popular choice for a Betta tankmate because they are very peaceful and also act as scavengers, eating leftover food in the tank and preventing Bettas from overeating (an important aspect of Betta fish care).

· Rasboras also make popular Betta fish aquarium companions because the Southeast Asian fish require a similar living requirement to Bettas.

· Blue Gourami are found in beautiful shades of blue and also make popular additions, as they require similar aquarium care. There are also other types of Gourami that are suitable for Betta aquariums, including Croaking, Dwarf and Pearl Gourami. Each Gourami cousin may be chosen for its ability to enhance the appearance of your aquarium and to be a peaceful tenant.

Note: Not all Betta owners have had success with adding Gourami as Betta tankmates. Instead, you might prefer to try Guppies, White Clouds, Catfish, Platys, African Dwarf frogs and Ghost Shrimp (which are fun to watch but tend to eventually end up as Betta food).

Some experts say that female Bettas can happily coexist, but female Betta fishes can also be aggressive, so this may not work.

As Betta fish are naturally aggressive, it is important not to overload your Betta aquarium, even with peaceful species. The size of the tank dictates the amount of fish you can responsibly hold in the tank, with a general guideline of approximately one inch of fish to one gallon of water.

When adding new Betta tankmates, nothing is ever certain, so watch your new family carefully and be prepared to remove any violent offenders to prevent disruptions in the tank.

If you want to find out which fish should share the tank with your Betta, click here to watch this informative video about Betta aquarium behavior!


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      Ray Adling 3 years ago

      My betta only has three ghost shrimp in with him right now, and they totally own the tank. The closest he comes to eating them is their sheddings, and that's the only thing they have ever almost fought over. I'm thinking of adding tetras because he's so docile, but I'll just have to see.

    • SAM ELDER profile image

      SAM ELDER 4 years ago from Home

      great job :) though I had bad experience with male Betta fishes in community aquariums, only female bettas seem more peaceful towards their own kind and other tank-makes. Males are extremely aggressive and eventually they will start picking up some other fish tails.