If you’re interested in keeping a betta fish as a pet, they aren’t that hard to maintain. But if you’re looking to keep multiple fishes along with the betta, there are a number of unspoken rules you need to follow. And the first one is choosing the best tank mate for your betta fish.
Betta fish can actually survive on their own and wouldn’t get very lonely in a tank. But if you still believe that they can use a friend or two make sure to separate them according to the size of the tank. And make sure that the fish you have a betta fish’s companion isn’t aggressive in any way possible. And if you want to learn more, read below to find out the best tank mate for your betta fish.
Best Betta Tank Mates
For 5 Gallon Tank
Here are the fishes perfect as betta fish tank mates for a five gallon tank.
Malaysian Trumpet Snails
Malaysian Trumpet Snails are a common aquarium snail. They’re found mostly in Malaysia and other parts of Asia. These snails are quite and peaceful.
They hide under the sediment in the daytime and are active at night. So, it makes them a perfect fit as betta fish tank mate.
They live for about a year and grow up to a size of 1-inch. And prefer a temperature between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit and pH between 7-7.5. But they’re fast breeders and can reproduce uncontrollably if you’re not paying attention.
Another great alternative is the Ramshorn Snail. Their shell looks like ram’s horn and that’s where they get their name. These snails aren’t aggressive and betta fish can gel well with them in a tank.
But if you’re planning to add plants to your tank, there are possibilities that these snails will eat them all. So, be careful of this behavior as they might eat up all of the betta’s hiding spots.
Ramshorn snail prefers a pH level between 7-7.5 and temperature between 70-78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ghost shrimp is the perfect fish to start off as a test for your betta fish in a community tank. The ghost shrimp gets its name from its appearance. They have transparent body, hence the name.
Ghost shrimps are affordable and easy to take care of as well as peaceful. And they even clean out the tank as they eat all the algae grown inside. But be careful because there is a possibility that your betta might eat them up.
Ghost shrimp live or a year and grow up to 2-in. They prefer a temperature between 65-80 degrees F and a pH level between 6.5-8.
Cherry Shrimp is a little bit on the expensive side but their colorful bodies are a perfect compliment as a betta fish tank mate.
They’re peaceful fish species that won’t be a bother to the betta fish’s aggressive nature. And they’re also great tank cleaners as they eat up all the algae that form in a tank. However, there are chances that betta fish might eat them so you need to be careful.
Cherry shrimp live for up to two years and can grow up to 1.6-inch. They prefer a pH level between 7-7.8 and temperature between 72-78 degrees F.
Nerite snails are probably one of the best choices as a betta fish tank mate. They’re peaceful and won’t bother betta fish at all. They’re also great algae eaters but won’t eat the plants that are present in the tank.
There are a variety of options available when it comes to Nerite snails and you can choose the one that compliments your betta fish’s design.
The Nerite snail live up to two years and grow up to 1-inch. They prefer a temperature between 72-78 degree F and a pH level between 7-8.7.
Dwarf Crayfish is one of the best tank mates for your betta fish as they are bottom dwellers. So, both the betta and the dwarf crayfish won’t be a bother to each other at all. And can live in harmony.
Since dwarf crayfish are invertebrates, you shouldn’t add copper medication to your tank as it might kill them.
The dwarf crayfish can live up to three years if taken proper care. And they grow up to 2-in. They prefer a temperature between 65-80 degree and a pH level between 6.5-8.
For 10 Gallons Tank
Here are the fishes perfect as betta fish tank mates for a 10 gallon tank.
Feeder guppies are tiny but aren’t as bright and colorful as fancy guppies. And they’re also very peaceful so they are a perfect match for betta fish’s tank mate.
They live for up to five years and grow up to 1.5-inch. They prefer a temperature of 74-82 degrees and a pH level of 6.8-7.8.
Ember Tetras are really tiny but are incredibly fast swimmers. They have slim, streamlined bodies that help them swim faster. And bettas, on the other hand, are slow. So, they’ll make a great tank mate.
But if you plan to keep ember tetras in a tank, make sure you keep them in groups. If ember tetras are kept alone, chances are they’ll be stressed and unhappy which leads to death.
Ember tetras can live up to four years and grow up to 0.8-inch. They prefer a pH level between 5-7 and a temperature of 73-84 degree.
African Dwarf Frogs
African dwarf frogs are bottom dwellers making them a good enough companion as betta fish in a tank. They’re peacful most of the time but you should be careful when feeding them. They might get aggressive if betta fish tries to eat their food.
Also, if you’re planning to get African dwarf fish as betta fish tank mate, make sure that the tank isn’t too high. African dwarf frogs love swimming to the top to catch some breath from time to time. So, it’s crucial that the tank isn’t that high.
The African dwarf frog grows up to 3-inch and lives for at least five years. They prefer a pH level between 7-8 and a temperature of 70-80 degree.
These snails might be named assassin snails but they’re not much of a threat to betta fish. Assassin snails are carnivores and they mostly feed on other snails. But any live food that bettas eat can also be perfect for them.
They’re bottom dwellers so they’ll have minimum contact with your betta fish in the tank. Thus, they make a perfect tank mate for bettas.
Assassin Snails live for at leat two years and grow up to 3-inch. They prefer a temperature of 70-80 degree and pH level between 7-8.
Pygmy Corydoras are probably the best tank mate for betta fishes. They don’t have flowing tails or bright colored bodies. They’re peaceful fishes that won’t be a bother to betta fish.
Pygmy Corydoras grow up to 1.3-inch and live for three years on an average. They prefer a pH level of 6.5-7.5 with low nitrate level. And temperature of 72-79 degree.
Dwarf Rasbora is another great choice fish as a betta fish tank mate. They are less colorful and really fast swimmers. It makes betta fish less intimidated and they won’t attach them.
Dwarf Rasbora are tiny in size and prefer lots of hiding places in a tank. They live for up to five years and grow up to 0.8-inch. They prefer a pH level of 6-7 and a temperature between 75-79 degrees.
Endler’s livebearers are strikingly similar to guppy fishes. However, what sets them apart is how they look. While guppy fishes are bright and vibrant with flowing fins and tails, Endler’s Livebearers lack that presence. But they still have similar characteristics.
Endler’s Livebearers are, however, frequent breeders. And if you don’t pay enough attention, they’ll fill up the tank in no time.
Be that as it may, the fries can actually become food for your betta, if you’re okay with it.
The Endle’s Livebearers live for up to three years and grow up to 1.4-inch. They prefer a pH level between 6.7-8.5 and a temperature of 72-82 degree.
Mystery snails can mysteriously appear in your tank as they like to smuggle themselves in on plants you get for your tank. They’re a good betta fish tank mate because they’ll mostly be dwelling on the bottom of the tank.
They mostly feed on algae and dead plant matters. But chances are they might eat up your plants as well. So be careful of that. And they’re also rapid breeders so make sure to keep an eye on them.
Mystery snails live for up to five years and grow up to 2.5-inch. They prefer a temperature of 64-84 degree and a pH level between 7-8.
For 15 Gallon Tank
Here are the fishes that are perfect betta fish tank mates in a fifteen gallon tank.
Clown Plecos are a type of armored catfish that are docile in nature. They get along pretty well with betta fish and are an excellent tank mate for them.
They mostly feed on algae keeping the tank clean. And they’re pretty peaceful in nature so you don’t have to worry about them fighting with the betta fish.
Clown Pleco has a long lifespan. These tiny fishes can live up to 12 years and grow up to 4-inches. They prefer a pH level between 6.6-7.8 and a temperature between 75-82 degrees.
Platies are an excellent choice to keep as a betta fish tank mate because they don’t need a lot of care. They feed on the same food as bettas so you don’t have to worry about what to feed them.
However, make sure that the platies you get don’t have long and flowing tail as that might provoke bettas.
Platies live for 2-5 years and grow up to 3-inches. They prefer a pH level between 7-8.3 and temperature between 70-80 degree.
Chili/Mosquito Rasboras are typically an active species of fish. So, they prefer a tank that larger than what other type of rasboras need. They turn aggressive if they don’t get to swim properly as it stresses them out.
Make sure to put plenty of hiding space and plants for Chili Rasboras to thrive in a tank.
Chili Rasboras have a lifespan of about 4-8 years and can grow up to 0.8-inch. They prefer a pH level between 5-7 and a temperature between 76-82 degree.
Zebra Danios have the ability to survive in various water conditions. They’re one of the hardiest fish species and a perfect one to keep as a pet if you’re a beginner.
They’ll thrive well in a tank with betta fish. But since they prefer a cooler temperature, the one where betta fish thrive is usually fit for them during breeding.
Therefore, filling the tank up with lots of plants and hiding places would be great for Zebra Danios’ survival along with a room to swim around.
Zebra Danios grow up to 2.5-inches and have a lifespan of 2-3 years. They prefer a pH level between 6.5-7.2 and temperature between 65-78 degree.
For 20 Gallon Tank
Here are the fishes perfect for betta fish as tank mates in a twenty gallon tank.
Another easy to care tank mate for betta fish is Kuhli Loach. These slender fishes have beautiful pink-yellow body with dark stripes all over making them visually appealing.
They’re mostly carnivorous and feed on flakes and pellet as well as frozen live foods.
They’re mostly active at night when betta fishes are asleep making them perfect tank mates as there isn’t much interaction.
Kuhli Loach live up to 10 years or longer and grow up to 3-4 inches. They prefer a temperature of 75-86 degree and pH level between 5.5-6.5.
Rummy Nose Tetras
Rummy Nose Tetras are tiny and peaceful fish species making a perfect tank mate for betta fishes. They’re not aggressive so you can keep them together with your bettas.
Rummy Nose Tetras feed on anything that fit into their mouth including small bits of plant, larvae or egges, debris, etc.
While keeping Rummy Nose Tetras in a tank with bettas make sure they have plenty of space to swim around as well as hide.
Rummy Nose Tetras grow up to 2 inches and live for up to 5 years. They prefer a pH level between 6.4-7 and temperature of 75-81 degree.
Another great type of Tetra fish to keep as betta fish tank mate is the Cardinal Tetras. Their strikingly colorful bodies make the tank even better visually.
They’re usually peaceful fishes but when alone or lonely, they can become aggressive and attack their tank mates. So, it’s better to keep them in groups.
Cardinal Tetras feed on insect eggs or larvae but frozen live food can also be a great choice.
They grow up to 2-inches and love for at least five years. They prefer a temperature of 73-80 degree and a pH level between 5-5.7.
Otocinclus Catfish is another perfect fish to choose as a betta fish tank mate. They’re mostly bottom dweller so they’d be minding their own business in the tank without bothering your betta fish.
They don’t have a strikingly colorful bodies making them less provocative to betta fishes. And they require less care so it’s a win-win situation.
However, water parameter is very crucial in their case so make sure you have it right. Or else, they might lose their life.
The Otocinclus catfish mostly feed on soft algae buildup that grows on hard surfaces and keep the tank clean. You can also feed them fresh vegetables and algae wafers.
Otocinclus catfish’s lifespan is about 3-5 years and grow up to 2 inches. They prefer a temperature of 72-81 degree and a pH level of 6-7.5.
Scissortail Rasboras are a bit on the bigger side so they prefer a bigger tank where they can swim around freely. And they make a perfect tank mate for betta fish because they’re peaceful and aren’t vibrant and colorful at all.
However, they can’t survive alone so they need to be in a bigger group. Scissortail Rasboras mostly feed on insects but you can also give them frozen live foods and flake foods.
They prefer a temperature of about 73-78 degree and a pH level between 6-6.7. Scissortail Rasboras grow up to 3.5 inches and live for at least five years.
Molly fishes come in different sizes and colors. But they’re all peaceful enough to thrive well together.
While they can be a good tank mate for betta fish but a few types of mollies are better avoided, especially balloon mollies and lyretail mollies. Balloon mollies are extremely unhealthy and lyretail mollies are a bit on the aggressive side. So, it’s better to avoid them.
Molly fish mostly feed on algae, plants, and small invertebrates. You can also feed them high quality flake food as well as fresh vegetables.
They grow up to 3 inches and live up to five years. They prefer a temperature if 68-82 degree and a pH level of about 7-7.8.
Neon Tetras are tiny, colorful fishes that go along with betta fishes pretty well. They’re easy to take care of and don’t require much maintenance.
Neon Tetras have become one of the most popular fish species to keep in a community tank. But make sure that you keep them in a large group. If not, they become fin nippers, one thing betta fishes can’t stand.
Neon Tetras mostly feed on flake food or live frozen food.
The lifespan of Neon Tetras is about ten years and they grow up to 1.5-inch. They prefer a pH level of about 5-7.5 and a temperature between 70-81 degree.
Black Neon Tetras
Even though they’re both tetras, Black Neon Tetra and Neon Tetra look very different from one another. Still, Black Neon Tetra can also be a great choice as your betta fish tank mate.
They require a similar care as the neon tetras and have the same needs. They will also get aggressive if kept alone.
Black Neon Tetras mostly feed on live, frozen, fresh, or flake food, anything you give them.
Their lifespan is about 3-5 years and grow up to 1.5-inch. They prefer a pH level of about 6-7 and a temperature about 68-79 degree.
Fishes to Avoid
While it’s great to keep your betta fish in a community tank along with other fishes and aquatic animals. But they can also thrive well alone, all by themselves.
Yet, if you still feel like giving them accompaniment, you need to be careful of your choices of species. Here are some fishes you need to avoid as betta fish tank mates.
Other Male Betta Fish
The one thing you absolutely need to avoid if you’re planning to keep betta fish as a pet is keeping two or more males together.
Betta fishes are very aggressive as they have fighting genes in them. And when you put two or more male betta fishes in the same tank, the result will be deadly. There is no way that two male bettas will ever live in harmony and they’ll end up killing each other at the end of the day. So, if you don’t want to see your betta fish getting aggressive, don’t put two male betta fishes together.
Another terrible choice of fish to keep together with betta fish is gouramis. They’re both very aggressive and the end result is always death.
The two fishes will fight for territory, and become timid and stressed. They either start hiding more than usual or fight to death. So, it’s better not to keep them together.
Another fish to avoid as a tank mate if you want a healthy betta is barbs. Even though their water parameters are pretty similar, their aggressiveness is also on the same level.
The only thing that happens if you keep them together is that the barb will pick on bettas and nip their fins. It will cause stress to betta fish and expose them to infections.
Betta fishes are an amazing fish species to keep as pets. And if you keep them with the right fish species, they’ll be happy and healthy and thrive well.
But as an owner, you should also make sure that they control their aggressiveness towards their tank mates or else it might be a huge problem.