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What Fish Can Live With Bettas ?

Updated on April 16, 2012

Betta fish, also sometimes known as Siamese fighting fish are a beautiful addition to any aquatic environment, however as the name would suggest, these are not the easiest fish to keep if you want to have other fish in the tank too. Thankfully, there is quite a lot of information about what fish can live with Bettas so, despite the aggression of these fish, it is quite possible to find other suitable fish to share the aquarium.

No Guarantees that any Fish Can Live With Bettas Without at least Some Risk

Betta fish are freshwater fish so obviously, any fish sharing the tank must also be; this goes without saying. Be aware also that much of the aggression of Betta fish comes from the fact that they are very territorial, so the smaller the tank, the more likelihood there is of aggression. It is not recommended to have a tank much smaller than a 5 litre one. Even with a larger tank however, males will attack each other and even attack females apart from when they want to mate. This means that male Betta fish do not make good mates for others of their own species and even a female should be removed once the mating process has taken place. Female Betta, although also aggressive, do tolerate other Bettas much better. Even so, this number should be limited to an absolute maximum of eight and preferably less and even this will depend on how aggressive each individual Betta fish is.

So what fish can live with Bettas to avoid the carnage that is likely to take place if a wrong choice is made?

Well, first of all, if your motivation is that you feel that your Betta will be bored on its own, don’t worry, they are solitary creatures and will not suffer from loneliness and in fact will see most other fish as a threat which is why it is difficult to find fish that can live with Bettas.

It should be said that the list below is NOT a guarantee. It can’t be emphasised enough how aggressive a Betta fish can be and they are still likely to attack other fish if they feel threatened or if the other fish is especially colourful so you will need to use trial and error I’m afraid. Because of this, it is wise to have a separate aquarium ready as you may need to remove any other fish pretty quickly if the Betta attacks them when you put them into the aquarium.

So, here are some fish that at least stand a reasonable chance of surviving alongside your Betta:

  • Ghost Shrimps
  • Apple Snails
  • African Dwarf Frogs
  • Some Catfish (especially Otoclinus or Corydoras)
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnows
  • Bristlenose Plecosomus

This is not an extensive list and it is important to get that specific breed and not for example try a different species of Catfish as this will nearly certainly not work.

A Betta Fish or Siamese Fighting Fish
A Betta Fish or Siamese Fighting Fish

It is also best to visit a pet store who have experts on hand that will be able to help you with your choices as some of these fish will require a larger tank if they are to co-habit with your Betta fish.

So, in summary, a Betta fish is a very beautiful fish but is very difficult to look after, especially if you are looking to have a tank full of fish. If you are, it is probably best to avoid Bettas but if you are determined to keep Bettas then hopefully this will have helped you to discover what fish can live with Bettas with the minimum amount of problems.


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      chicken wings rule 4 years ago

      goldfish will eat them

    • musictunes profile image

      Kris Weber 4 years ago from Saint Cloud, Minnesota

      How about just females with other females.. not to mention how many other fish can live with bettas (its a lot). I think the female is just all around a cooler fish because it can be kept with other fish. The male is grouchy and has to live on its own.. crappy. Did you know bettas are actually CARNIVORES.. ? I just shared this video on my hub about feeding them shrimp and they love it!

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      SMART 5 years ago

      You can put bettas with male guppies, but I only recommend this for advance hobbyist unless if your using betta simplex, they are drab in color, but peaceful.

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Charliegrumples: Great hub about the beautiful betta fish! I like that you pointed out they do not mind being solitary... because they really don't mind being alone. I use to raise and breed bettas They are quite an amazing fish. There are many fish that will do just fine with them if the aquarium is large enough that fish can move away from the betta if there is aggression. One basic rule of thumb is nothing with a big frilly tail... like goldfish or male guppies... the betta will think it is another betta and fight with it. Anyways... great hub!