What are good Betta Tank Mates?
This question is asked often. Many people want to keep the fish known as the Siamese Fighting Fish but also want to keep other fish too. This is perfectly normal. People want the betta fish to be the centerpiece of their aquarium tank with some other species to keep it company.
First, lets start off by eliminating one betta tank mate that can never be kept with your male betta fish. You should never keep two male betta fish together in the same aquarium.
Now, you could keep multiple males in one tank if you use a tank divider, but never in the same tank. Tank dividers allow for you to use one aquarium and divide it up into sections. This allows for you to keep multiple fish in one tank separated so they can not harm one another. You can use one heater and filter and essentially have multiple “tank areas” for your bettas.
Using tank dividers is a smart and economical way to keep multiple Male Betta Fish in one tank. Check out these tank dividers..
The reason for separating males is because they are going to naturally fight until one eventually ends up dead or close to it. Betta fish are called Siamese fighting fish because in ancient Asia, these fish were caught and used in fighting contests. So never attempt to keep more than one male in a single aquarium tank.
When shopping for suitable betta tank mates remember that you do not want to purchase anything that is labeled aggressive. Most tropical fish stores will have color codes or stickers labeling the temperament of the fish in the tanks. You always want to purchase peaceful community tank mates.
Betta Fish Fins
So what happens when you house aggressive fish with the Siamese Fighting Fish that has long fancy, flowing fins?
Answer: The fins will be long no more!
Housing aggressive fish such as cichlids will result in your betta being harassed and their fins being nipped and torn. When bettas have their fins and tails nipped, two drastic things happen.
First, the betta loses it’s ability to swim properly. The long, fancy fins when torn or distressed will hinder the fish from swimming properly. This will lead to stress.
Second, the ripped fins will lead to betta fish diseases. Fin rot, bacterial infections, ich, and other illnesses set in and can lead to betta fish death.
Female Betta Tank Mates
Female betta tankmates need to classified the same way. Select peaceful, community fish for their tankmates. One main difference on tank mates when comparing to male betta fish is the ability to keep multiple females together in one aquarium tank. The important rule here is to keep more than two female betta fish in the same tank. When you keep just two, they may fight often resulting in stress or death. If you have more than two, the aggression is spread out over 2-3 fish and there will be less stress on the betta.
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Male and Female Betta Tank
Now, if you choose to keep one male and one female, it will be a gamble as to the outcome. Some setups like this work fine with very little aggression while others have bad luck and the male beats up the female or kills her. I strongly suggest trying it out if you really want to try to breed or just want two bettas. Ensure there are plenty of hiding spots in the tank. I suggest that you use floating plants in the tank so the female can hide when distressed. You can purchase artificial floating plants or live. You can purchase artificial plants and cut the bases off to allow them to float on the surface. The betta fish naturally stays near the top of the water so therefore you should offer shelter near the top.
Other Betta Tank Mates
Now, if you prefer to have one male betta or one female betta fish and want some other fish to help keep the tank busy, here are some suggestions.
- Black skirt tetras
- Neon or cardinal tetras – Over aggressive bettas may chase, nip, or kill smaller tetras.
- Corydoras catfish
- White clouds
- Silver Dollars
- Guppies – Guppies are hit or miss. Some bettas will chase and nip at the Male guppy tails.
- Ghost Shrimp
The guppy and other fish that display bright colors may be picked on by the betta. Some Gourami species and mollies may also clash with your betta.
Please note that each fish has an individual personality and what works for some people may or may not work with you and your betta. My advice is try it out and see what happens. Just watch closely to ensure nothing is terrorized in your freshwater aquarium tank.
Have SUCCESS with betta tank mates?
Please share with others the tank mates in which you have had SUCCESS or bad luck keeping with Bettas. Let others know what you keep your betta with in your Aquarium!