There are so many different kinds of fish in this world that you would probably find it hard to know about all of them. Betta fish is one of those kinds, and it is also known as the Siamese fighting fish.
It has a very vibrant color, and you can often see it swimming alone in ornamental vases, kept for both home and office use.
Betta was discovered in Southeast Asia first, and it makes its home using rice paddies and can be found in flood plains of the region as well. It is called a fighting fish because it got its name from a clan of warriors found in ancient times, called Bettah.
This fish became popular in the 1800s, particularly in Thailand, which is why the King of Siam had the fish taxed.
Betta likes to swim alone and will fight with its own kind. They always need a comfortable place to hide, which is why aquatic caves are their favorite place.
Interesting Facts about Bettas
Betta is different from normal fish, as they prefer acidic water of pH value 6.5 and 7 and warm water. If they live in cold water, then that suppresses their immune system and makes them ill.
Their tales are of different shapes, like veil tail, half-moon tail, double tail, and crown tail. They live for 2-3 years, but some even live until they are teens. In Thailand, a betta is known as ‘played’, and they have also been termed as ‘The Jewel of the Orient’.
Betta Fish and Tank Mates
If betta fish keeps fighting with their own and other fish, then the question is whether they can be kept with other fish or not. When people keep this fish, they usually keep them alone in a tank.
However, if the betta fish is colorful and happy, then it can have tank mates as well. There are some fish, which after careful research, can be kept with betta fish.
Betta fish don’t need companions, because they do pretty well on their own. They just need a good tank for them to move around, with the right requirements.
However, if the tank is large, then you would surely want to put other fish in there as well. It is a myth that betta fish can’t live with others in a tank, peacefully. You just need to know which tank mates are the right ones for the betta.
This article is going to discuss the top 10 betta fish tank mates, which you can keep in the tank and not worry about starting a fight!
If the water in the tank is 2.5 gallons, then it is best to keep zebra snails as a tank mate for betta fish. It is easy to care for them, and their size is only 1 inch.
The temperature requirement for the fish is 73-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The pH range required for zebra snails is 7.5.
This type of fish is popular in freshwater aquariums, and they don’t breed that easily as compared to other snail species. They remove debris from the tank, which keeps the tank water cleaner for a long time.
Even though they start with 1-inch size, they do increase in size. They can be easily identified by their black and gold stripes and is a peaceful species. They are an ideal tank mate, which is why it is best to keep them with betta fish.
This is one of the betta fish tank mates 3 gallons, and they are easy to care for. Their size starts from 1 inch, and they can hide easily in the tank.
One of the reasons why this fish can exist alongside a betta fish is because they can hide very well. This type of fish breeds quickly, and they can also overtake a tank.
The temperature requirements for the fish is 80-degree Fahrenheit, and the pH range needed is 6.8. If the water in the tank is one gallon, then it is best to keep 2-5 cherry shrimps.
When placing cherry shrimp inside a tank, make sure that there are denser plants inside. Moss plants are the best for them, because they help the cherry shrimp hide properly. They need real plants because they eat debris and keep the water clean.
This fish comes under the betta fish tank mates 5-gallon category. These are one of the best tank mates for betta fish, and they feed on uneaten food. They also help clean algae, which is a great advantage of having them in an aquarium.
Mystery snails have a docile nature, which is why they do so well with betta fish. If a betta nips at a mystery snail, then the snail won’t face any problem because it has a hard shell.
If mystery snails have to retreat, then they can. The adult mystery snails can grow up to 2 inches, and they have a lifespan of 1 year. They navigate around and using a siphon for air on the surface of the tank.
This type of fish comes under the betta fish tank mates 10-gallon category. They are a good addition to the tank because you can easily care for them, and they enjoy the same water conditions as betta fish do.
The cory catfish is also known as corydoras; they live on the bottom, feed on the bottom, and can live with four other catfish in 10-gallon water.
The range of their size is 1-2.5 inches, and the average lifespan of is 2-3 years. They are not very aggressive, which is why they are an acceptable betta tank mates fish.
They are active, and can make a tank very lively. The pygmy corydoras are a type of corydoras catfish, and they have a dull color.
They are also an acceptable betta tank mates fish, and they come in bronze color. The best part about catfish is that they can be looked after by beginners as well. So if you have a freshwater aquarium, and you have betta fish, then you can get cory catfish as well.
The scientific name for this fish is Trigonostigma heteromorpha. This fish is available in colors like orange & pink, distinct black triangle, and red hue.
This fish is easy to keep, which is why even beginners can keep it in a tank. Harlequin Rasbora comes under the category of betta fish tank mates 10 gallons.
This is a shoaling fish and can live with 5 to 6 other fish. They are good mates for betta fish in a tank because they leave plenty of space for other activities.
They like to eat brine shrimp, and grow up to 1.5 inches. Their life span is 5 years, and this species is very peaceful, which is why they are a good tank mate for the betta. They can coexist with them, without troubling the betta fish.
White Cloud Minnows
These fish have a very appealing look and come under the category of betta fish tank mates 10 gallons. It is easier to care for white cloud minnows, and their size is about 1-2 inches.
The temperature required for white cloud minnows in 60-72 degrees Fahrenheit. This fish is usually found in Chinese mountain streams and is compatible with betta fish.
They are a peaceful species of fish, which are not a threat to the betta fish. They have the same diet and water pH level as bettas, which is 6-7, and they thrive perfectly in such balanced water.
Even if they thrive in cold water, they can easily adjust to the same water temperature as the bettas.
African Dwarf Frog
It might come as a surprise, but frogs can be good betta fish tank mates as well. The scientific name for African Dwarf Frog is Hymenochirus boettgeri.
The frog comes in grey or brown colors and has tiny, noticeable spots on them. The frog comes under the category of betta fish tank mates 10 gallons. They are one of the betta fish compatible tank mates because they are of peaceful nature.
Even if you are a beginner, you can look after dwarf frogs very easily. They grow to 2.5 inches in size, and they have a lifespan of 5 years.
The male dwarf frogs are smaller than females, and they can be put in pairs together, in a tank. The dwarf frogs are very active, and they like to move around in their tank.
They have to come to surface to get some air, because they don’t have any lungs or gills. After every 1-2 weeks, the frogs shed their skin; it is a very speedy process, and when they are done shedding their skin, they eat it.
If you’re lucky and quick enough, you can watch them shed and eat their skin in the tank!
Ember Tetras is the orange-red color fish, which almost everyone has seen in an aquarium. They are slightly difficult to look after, but they are a good companion for betta fish.
Ember Tetras comes under betta fish tank mates 10-gallon category, but they can live in water more than 10 gallons as well. Their size is 1 inch, and for adequate schooling, a group of 4-6 tetras can be kept in one tank.
If you want to put them in a tank, then make sure that the tank is heavily planted, because they prefer that. Also, they find brine shrimp very tasty.
They have a lifespan of 4 years, and they make a tank look more lively, mainly because of their color. They are acceptable for keeping betta fish company, because they prefer the middle of the tank, and the betta fish prefer the top half of the tank.
They are surface feeders, and it is best if someone who is an expert on the topic of fish looks after them.
The name may sound weird, but this is a fish that is found in most tanks; we just don’t know its name. The scientific name for Clown Plecos is Panaque Maccus and Dwarf Loricariid.
They come in different colors like light brown and black, and they have orange and white stripes on them.
This fish is best for a freshwater tank because it eats algae. It is also compatible with betta and its size is 4 inches. The best part is that it can be easy to look after Clown Pleco, and its lifespan is about 10 years.
They like to move around and explore a tank. Clown Pleco acts as a perfect mate for betta fish because they have tough skin.
If betta fish ever gets curious and starts poking Clown Pleco around, then their skin protects them. This fish doesn’t come under the betta fish tank mates 10-gallon category, but a 15-gallon category. It would be a best choice if you try a 55-gallon fish tank and put them all in it.
Kuhli Loach has a very striking look, because its skin is of blue and white color, with yellow stripes. If you put it in a tank, then it will be the most visible fish of them all. A full community with neon tetra fish.
The scientific name for Kuhli Loach is Pangio Kuhli. However, to look after it, a person needs good knowledge about fish, and how to look after them.
The reason why they are an acceptable betta tank mates fish is because of their docile temperament. The fish are long and are shaped like eels. They like to move around and disappear.
Kuhli Loach doesn’t like to interact with other fish, and pretty much mind their own business. They are the perfect betta fish tank mates if the betta fish is in 20 gallons of water.
They like to eat brine shrimp, like most of the other betta fish tank mates. However, it is best if you don’t get clown loach, because it grows more than a foot, while Kuhli Loach doesn’t. If there is sand in your aquarium or tank, then this fish will most likely bury itself in it.
Aggressive Betta Fish
Betta fish are aggressive and they fight with other fish. It is in their nature, and they are very territorial. They are usually found in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, in their natural habitat, which consists of both canals and rice paddies.
While there are several betta fish tank mates, betta fight with their own kind as well, and this fight can be vicious. It will be interesting for you to know that in the 19th century, betta fighting was actually an entertaining sport.
The villagers started to breed betta fish so that they can contribute towards the sport and this genetic aggression is still present now.
If a betta fish hits someone or poke someone, then it can cause them severe injury, and may even lead to death.
Taking Precautionary Measures
Before adding betta fish to a tank, where they can live with other fish like crown tail betta fish tank mates, you have to take precautions:
- Make sure that the tank you are using is free from any disease and parasites
- Clean the tank on a weekly basis, and check its condition when you are not cleaning it
- The temperature of the water in the tank is very important; most fish require a temperature of 62-78 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why you need to know each and every fish’s temperature
When you release betta fish in a community tank, for example, then you need to monitor how it interacts with other fish.
There should be several hiding spaces in the tank, which will be hiding spots for the betta fish, when it feels stressed. When you put betta fish with its tank mates, then you need to monitor them very carefully.
Make sure that the tank is big enough for them, and if there are any conflicts or not. If the betta fish continues to hide, then that means it is not getting along with its tank mates.
Myths Surrounding Betta Fish
There are several myths surrounding betta fish when you are introducing it in a community tank. The first myth is that betta fish should be the last ones to go to an aquarium or tank.
However, betta fish can be accommodated, while other fish are in the tank. If you want to take precaution, then you can keep the new betta fish batch away for some while, rearrange the decorations of your existing tank, and then put the betta fish in the tank.
Make sure that the living arrangements and the water temperature are suitable for betta fish so that they can adjust quickly.
The second myth is that betta fish is going to kill all the other fish! There are some tank mates with which betta fish can live in harmony. The main problem that betta fish faces is that, they are not comfortable with unfamiliar movements and may respond with violence that results from frustration.
When you put betta fish with other fish, put the lights off for a while so that both parties can adjust fully. Regardless of what happens, tightly monitoring betta fish and other fish is important, as this will tell you whether they are in a conflict with each other or not.
Betta fish is territorial, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t have any tank mates at all. You just have to find the right tank mates, taking this guide into account.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are few of the most important questions that most people ask about betta fishes.
Can Beta Fish Have Tank Mates?
Beta fish can have tank mates, and they can be divided into categories of gallons. Under the category of 5 gallons, there are plenty of fish that can become tank mates of bettas.
These fish include Dario Dario, least Rasbora, Danionella Dracula, Chili Rasboras, Pygmy Corydoras, Nerite Snail, Male Endlers and Neon Blue Rasbora.
These fish are schooling fish, and they should be kept in a group of 5-6 fish. If it is a 5-gallon tank, then it gives you more choice for keeping tank mates. The fish mentioned above are ideal for a 5-gallon tank because they rarely grow.
Similarly, there are fish which grow in 10, 15 and 20 gallon respectively.
Do Betta Fish Need Tank, Mates?
Betta fish don’t really need tank mates, because they are territorial. They are very intelligent fish and know who their pet parents are. Even if they are kept alone in a tank, they won’t get lonely, but it is a must to feed them delicious treats.
The reason why people look for betta fish tank mates is that if they are going to get a tank for fish, they wouldn’t want to just keep one type of fish.
There are restaurants and hotels, which keep fish tanks, and they want their guests and customers to see a variety of fish. Moreover, a variety of fish means that the tank would look more colourful, lively and vibrant.
Do Betta Fish Like Tank Mates?
Betta fish like their tank mates, if they are able to get along with them. While choosing tank mates for betta fish, make sure that you choose the ones which have a thick skin, and can stand an attack from betta fish.
As betta fish are territorial, they might not interfere with their tank mates. However, even if they do, choosing the right fish would still keep them alive and happy.
How to Choose Betta Fish Tank Mates?
The choice of betta fish tank mates depends on the tank. If the tank is of 20 gallons, then you have multiple choices. You can keep zebra danios, lipped pleco, banjo catfish, cory catfish, neon tetras, glass catfish, black widow tetras, and kuhli loaches.
However, as their size is more than 1 inch. it is best to have them in fewer numbers. Neon tetras are small in size, and fifteen neon tetras can be kept in a 20-gallon tank, along with betta fish.
You can also keep a group of three platies, mollies or harlequin rasboras in a 30-gallon tank.