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You should be very selective while choosing betta tank mates and should be very careful in this process if the required steps are not taken properly then you may end up losing the life of the other fishes that are living with the betta. When finding suitable tank mates, be sure to do some background research. Some things worth looking into would be the type of water requirements, water temperature, what is the temperament of species, etc.

Things to Consider While Buying Betta Tank Mates

Never Put Male Pettas Together

Male bettas should NEVER be placed in a tank together because male bettas tend to be fairly territorial and it’s best to house them alone. Males should also never be placed with a female unless you intend to mate them. Female bettas tend to do well by themself or in groups of three or more where they will form a hierarchy. Many people have found it unsuccessful to only keep two female bettas together as one usually dominates the other. A male should only be placed with a female if you have done extensive research about the mating ritual and are fully prepared to handle the possible outcomes. Mating bettas is not an easy task and should never be tried “just for fun.”

Some bettas can get along with other tank mates depending upon that individual betta’s preferences. A situation that may work for one betta could be completely different for another. Always monitor all tank inhabitants to make sure that there is no chasing, nipping, or other negative behaviors. It is a good idea to keep an extra bowl and treated water on hand in case your betta needs to be swiftly removed from a community tank.

Snails Are An Acceptable Tank Mate

Snails can be an acceptable tank mate for bettas, but remember that some snails produce a lot of waste and the tank may need to be cleaned more than usual to prevent an Ammonia reading. A common type of snail that is acceptable to keep with bettas is an Apple Snail. Another thing to keep in mind with snails is that some bettas may nip at them and try to eat them. If this becomes a problem, you will want to consider removing the snail from the tank. Keep an eye on how many snails you have because if a betta eats too many snails it could lead to constipation and other digestive illnesses.

Other Fish Mates for Bettas

Some folks with larger community tanks sometimes consider adding a betta. Each betta is different, however, and may not like being with other fish. If you notice that your betta is stressed, has nipped fins, or is chasing other fish in the tank, it is best to remove him and place him in his own tank. When picking out compatible fish mates for a betta, keep in mind the general rule that you should have 1-gallon of water per 1-inch of fish the tank contains.

Also, you do not want to pair your betta with aggressive or fin nipping fish. A few types of fish in general that have worked for some people are Cherry Barbs, Cory Catfish, Zebra Danios, Platies, and some Mollies. Make sure to research the species ahead of time for similar environmental requirements of a betta, etc. Always remember to monitor how each tank mate is doing and have an extra bowl ready if your betta needs to be removed.

Note: I personally have not, and would not, house a betta with any other type of fish. It’s important to avoid putting bettas among any other fish if it is suffering from some disease or especially fin rot which is a very contagious disease.

Ghost Shrimp & Other Small Creatures

Speaking from personal experience I can say a healthy betta will try to eat anything that is small and moves freely in their tank. At one point I attempted to house Ghost Shrimp in a divided 5-gallon cycled betta tank. Within 5 minutes both bettas in their half of the tank were determined to kill the shrimp for a snack. Although Ghost Shrimp are often baited food for some fish, that was not the intention of housing them with my bettas. They were promptly removed and placed in their own tank with an air stone until further arrangements could be made.

Top 10 Betta Fish Mates

Neon Tetra

Neon Tetra - Betta tank mate

It is not at all aggressive which makes it comfortable with betta fish. It is a freshwater fish that was found in the Amazon river.

It is not suitable for a cycled aquarium tank and eats various types of food like pellets, flakes, frozen, or even live. So you do not need to worry about the food. Some of the food is Tubifex, Blood Worm, Brine Shrimp.

The color of the fish is so vibrant because its origin is from an Amazon river which is very dense and is covered with a lot of trees blocking the sunlight which made it appear so beautiful.

Molly Fish

Molly Fish - Top Betta Tank Mates
source

It is peaceful most of the time but when bullied it can turn very aggressive. It has very good at adapting to different types of water and it can also stay a quite long time in the dark water.

But it is not comfortable in smaller tanks like 5-gallon tanks. It is recommended to use a 10-gallon fish tank. It is a freshwater fish found in native America There are almost 30 different types of Molly’s. These fish eat algae and plant-like spinach etc

Kuhli Loach

Kuhli Loach - Betta mate

It is one of the best Betta fish mates that you can have in your aquarium. Because of its peaceful behavior. one of the unique things about this fish is that is far active at night than in the morning just like an owl due to which they are known as demersal fish.

It is also called the cleaner fish as it keeps the fish tank clean. It is a bottom feeder as they are a scavenger. They love larvae and the remains of the plants which can be found at the bottom of the river bed or in a fish tank.

Celestial Pearl Danio

Celestial Pearl Danio

It is a freshwater fish that is suitable for living in tanks which has a lot of green plants and a lot of other colorful fish. Now, of course, you can not fully replicate the natural habitat of the fish.

But you can do it to a certain extent by adding real plants and pebbles to the fish tank. which will not only keep the tank clean but also makes a good place for the fish to hide and even lay eggs.

These hiding spots are very necessary because if the fish feel afraid or will be bullied which will not happen. But just in case then Celestial Pearl Danio fish can hide. But this is one of the Recommended betta tank mates.

Cory Catfish

Cory Catfish

These are bottom-dweller fishes that feed at the bottom of the pond. These fish are not very active in the morning, They generally hide in the morning, and in the evening they are found most active.

One of the unique things about these fish is that they can intake or absorb the oxygen from the atmosphere too. So do not panic when they come to the surface, they dart in order to take oxygen from the atmosphere.

One more impotent point to notice is that it releases venom when it is stressed and can be toxic and can kill other betta fish mates.

All the fishes of this species do not release venom but you should be very careful while selecting this fish. You can select this fish at your own risk.

Zebra Loach

Zebra Loach - Best mate for betta fish

It belongs to the Cobitidae family and was originated in Karnataka, the Southern part of India. They are also bottom dwellers and prefer to live in larger tanks(Minimum 20gallons) and need a lot of hiding spots.

Like Aquarium plants, pebbles. They are omnivores and can consume a wide variety of food. They love bloodworms, glass worms, and brine shrimp.

They require water of pH value between 6-7 and temperature between 23 to 26 C. One of the disadvantages of the fish is that it is very bad at handling the fluctuation in the water condition.

Snowball Pleco

Snowball Pleco

It is the best and the most beautiful betta tank mates you can have. It is Omnivorous which is also like bloodworms.

It also acts as a scavenger by eating the food that remains and keeping the fish tank clean. It grows up to 5.5 to 6.3 inches.

It requires a minimum of a 40gallon tank. It is a very friendly and peaceful fish. It is comfortable in temperature between 22 – 30? C.

Albino Cory

Albino Cory - Betta Tank Mate

It is peaceful fish and feeds at the bottom and will not mostly compete for the food. They are comfortable in a 10-15 gallon fish tank.

The water of the tank must be cleaned about every week at least 20%. This fish also acts as a good indicator of the oxygen level in the fish tank.

If the oxygen level decreases in the tank then in order to intake the oxygen they come to the top of the fish tank to take in some air. The temperature in which they are comfortable is 22.2 to 26.1? C.

Colombian Tetra

Combian Tetra

It is very easy to take care of fish that grows up to 2 inches. It is recommended to keep them in a school of fish.

Do not keep them with other fishes because they bully smaller fishes and are very aggressive at times. By keeping them with Betta fish which can be a perfect tank mate as it is already aggressive it can not bully the fish.

It requires a comparatively larger-size tank like 20gallons. They can eat frozen food, flakes, or even live food. The recommended pH value of the fish should be 6-7pH.

The water temperature should be maintained between 24– 27 degrees Celsius and the average lifespan of the fish is 3-4 years. The scientific name of this fish is Hyphessobrycon columbianus.

BlackLine Rasbora

It is the most shinest fish that you can put with a betta. Its silver color attracts like some glowing object or a Syron in a fish tank.

It is one of the most attractive betta tank mates that are compatible with they belong to a peaceful family. Well even if the fish is very small it requires and large space for movement(minimum 20 gallons tank) and very little water movement is slim to none.

Top 5 Betta Tank Mates

If you are looking for a tank mate for your betta fish other than a fish mate. Then you can check some of these beautiful tankmates.

Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp

It is originated from North America. It is mostly used as a bait for catching other fishes as it acts like an insect. It is also used to feed other fishes.

The main reason why it has acquired the name is because of its transparent outer body. You can literally see the digestive system of the ghost shrimp.

You need not worry about the feeding because as they are very greedy they eat up any fish foods like flaked etc. They also eat up the food remains and the algae which are present in water. This also helps in maintaining the algae level in control.

African Dwarf Frog

African Dwarf Frog

Well if you want to keep some sort of frog as Betta tank mate then this is the best option. But keep in mind this is not for beginners. This tank is for intermediate fish keepers.

As you need to maintain a proper food diet and feed it regularly else the other fish might be its food. Although Betta is a fighting fish it is better to be on the safe side. It requires at least (Minimum of 5-gallon fish tank).

It has a huge life span of 9-15 years. They love brine shrimp, bloodworms, and tubifex worms but feed them these foods occasionally. You can feed them pellets. But keep in mind that the food must reach near the frog.

Nerite Snail

Nerite Snail

One of the advantages of this tank mate is that it can also act as decor. This is completely beginner-friendly and will need not worry about the adaptation. As they can easily adapt to minor temperature changes.

They majorly feed on different types of algae. algae are the main source of food. It grows up to 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch and has a lifespan of up to 1 year. There are also different types of Nerite Snail which you choose from. They are Black Racer, Tiger, and Zebra Nerite Snail.

Marimo Moss Ball

Marimo Moss Ball - Betta Mate in Tank

Last but not least Marimo Moss Ball. Yes! it is not a fish nor any shrimp or snail. It is a living plant. Well, you will be blown away after reading all the advantages of this plant.

It plays a huge role in keeping the nitrates level down and on top of it requires zero maintenance.

It also provides some oxygen in exchange for nitrates which helps a lot in maintaining the oxygen level. It becomes the HubSpot for other good bacteria to make a colony and maintain a good ecosystem in the tank.

It also adapts easily to high pH level water. It does not produce any residual or dead matter. It also acts as the hiding place for other betta tank mates.

Related posts:

Building a Betta Friendly Community Tank

Betta Care: Tank Temperature

Community Tank HeadCount

Frequently Asked Questions About Bettas

How to Differentiate Male vs. Female Bettas

10 COMMENTS

  1. Just would like to report i have a Male Betta and a Green Cory Catfish in a 10 gallon tank together and the are perfect pair never any fighting or territorial fin flaring…. I think the Betta I have is unique as I have seen other Betta Males attack anything and everything in thier tank! 🙂 this site was quite helpful thank you! I think I’mn bookmarking it!

  2. We had a male betta in a tank by himself and then moved him into an established community tank with 3 2 in neon tetra, a cory cat, a kohli loach. There haven’t been any issues.

  3. My boy use to be alone but when I had put him into his 10 gallon, I had added a snail to eat up dead plant matter and now he has four snails in his home and he often appears depressed if they are taken out of his home. He doesn’t bother any of them. 🙂

  4. My young male HM betta is doing well with a ghost shrimp in a 1 gallon tank, but there are plenty of plants for the little guy to hide, so I think it helps. So far, so good. It has been approx 3 wks.

  5. I have a male betta with 2 Giant Danio together in a 20 gallon tank. It has been a week and none of them bothering each other. I’m adding some live plants like Java Fern and considering adding some more fish into the tank for a near future.

  6. I have a male betta with two small African frogs and a fish whose breed I can’t currently remember, and they’re getting along famously. My betta, Smokescreen, even defends the froggies from the other fish when he gets nippy. 🙂

  7. i have a male betta in a tank with 2 dwarf frogs, 5 neon tetras and a silver tip shark. The only problem i had was once my dog scared the shark, and the shark slammed into a tetra and killed it.

  8. I’ve had Bubba for almost a year, with barbs and tetras. He’s a truly docile, laid back kind of guy, and the others don’t bother him.

    He loves following me around the tank when I do maintenance…..I have a 55 gallon, so he has lots of room, and he’s definitely the beauty of the bunch!

  9. Bettas seem to do well with most non nippy fish. Not long ago I started a 29 gal tank with a full size male betta, some rasboras and two small african chiclids. The betta bossed the smaller chiclids around for a while and then as they grew they all left each other alone. The betta got sick after a couple of years and died and I tried replacing it with a similar sized and colored betta. The Africans went after him immediately.

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