Betta Tankmates: To Go Solo Or Find A Companion?

Bettas are solitary fish and can keep themselves entertained with their decorated tank. They are territorial and will bite, nip, or eat up other smaller and slower companions like guppies.

Males are preferably isolated. You can try to have a single betta co-exist with other docile species who will not invade the male’s territory.

In case you want your betta to co-exist with other fish species, you can introduce your betta to the community tank. If it happens the other way round, bettas can feel threatened or stressed.

If you observe aggressive behavior, prepare to separate the fish in another tank. This will prevent your aquatic creatures from harming themselves.

Females are less aggressive, though they are also temperamental. They can be kept in sorority tanks with other fish species. Yet, you can observe them so that you can isolate any aggressive bettas.

If you want to try letting your betta co-exist with other fishes, you can follow these set of recommendations:

  • The companion fish should not be a fin nibbler. Fin nibbling will only result in stress, and both fish can be harmed or killed.
  • It should not be bigger or colorful as it will intimidate the betta and lead to stress.
  • Bottom feeders that will not invade the territory of bettas are safer.
  • Bettas can become stressed with fast-moving and very active fishes around.
  • The tankmates must survive in the same environment and have similar diets.

Choose the right barb for your tank.

Barbs are hardy, colorful fish. Their living conditions are similar to bettas. They prefer soft acidic water. Barbs live in the temperature range 60-79°C. This is slightly cooler than the temperature for a barb’s existence. However, the temperature can be adjusted to suit both the fish.

Unlike bettas, barbs are schooling fishes. It is best to keep them occupied with each other to not become aggressive and disturb their tank mates. Barbs are also active fishes that may not be compatible with bettas that are easily stressed. But, there have been success stories, and this varies from one fish’s personality to another.

Learn more about the peaceful cherry barb and see if it will fit in with your betta:

These fishes are shy and timid, unlike the other barbs. They do well with other noninvasive species. Cherry barbs prefer low lights and need lots of vegetation cover so that it can live among them. They are mid-dwelling fishes with a peaceful temperament. You can try letting a betta and a school of not less than 5 barbs co-exist. Barbs in a school usually fight among themselves and do not mess with other tank mates, find more betta fish tank tankmates on AquariumFish City.

Other suitable companions for betta aquariums:

Mystery snails

They are great additions to betta tanks. Mystery snails help keep the tank for longer. They feed on the food debris and algae.

These snails are docile creatures with an average lifespan of one year.

Ghost shrimp

They are scavenging creatures that feed on debris on the substrate. These shrimps can become food for bettas if they are too small. Pick at least four bigger shrimps to introduce them to a betta tank.

Cory catfish

These are non-aggressive, bottom-dwelling species. They are great for community aquariums and are best kept in groups of up to four. The downside is that they can be very active sometimes, which may stress a betta if the tank is not big enough.

Neon tetras

These fishes are bright-colored, yet, they can survive with a betta because of their speed. Neon tetras are schooling fishes and can be put together up to 6-10 numbers in a tank.

Kuhli Loach

These are docile companions that prefer to disappear into tiny crevices. Kuhlis feed on brine shrimp, and they do not disturb other tank mates.

These loaches are also bottom dwellers. They have short fins, which give no reason for bettas to nip their fins.

Marimo moss balls

A great addition to your betta tank, these balls are filamentous algae. They provide a great pastime to roll or lay on for the bettas.

Making a betta co-exist with other species is a task. If you do want to take the risk, you can try out any of the companion options given. If you think it’s not worth the risk, that’s up to you.