Can Betta Fish Live with Other Fish? Top 4 Tank Mates

For aquarium enthusiasts who’ve been keeping betta fish for a while and are finding them some new tank mates or someone who is thinking of adding some new bettas to your aquarium, they maybe keep wondering that “Can betta fish live with other fish?”. If you are also looking for the answer to this question, fortunately, you have we’re here to help.

It is good news for you that betta fish is not a terrible tankmate. However, whenever you are looking for tank mates for your betta, you should always be sure that the fish and other aquatic animals will thrive in the same water and habitat conditions as your little guy. Therefore, before deciding on choosing any tank mates, it is essential to consider factors such as the aquarium’s condition and the characteristics of the betta and the tank mates.

Can a betta fish live with other fish
Can a betta fish live with other tank mates?

In this article, you’re going to figure out, “Can betta fish live with other fish?” and “What are the 5 best bettas tank mates?”.

Can betta fish live with other fish?

Although betta fish are known as ornamental fish with fierce characteristics and erratic temperament, you can still raise them with other fish species. However, not all cases are okay, and nothing is certain unless you give it a try. So, firstly, we recommend that you consider the following factors to minimize risks.

Betta Characteristic

Since bettas are known for their unpredictable personalities, it can be difficult to guarantee that your fish will always get along with other tank mates in an aquarium. Searching for a tank mate will not be difficult if you have a calm betta fish. In the meantime, an aggressive betta fish may find it hard to live peacefully with other fish in the same tank. Thus, it is crucial to consider how aggressive your betta fish is. However, each individual’s aggression level is different, and there is no specific formula to help you measure this factor. The best way is observing betta fish when they are around others at the pet store. Watch for aggressive behaviors such as flares and wild actions. The betta you are looking for should be a fish that tries to avoid conflict and does not actively display aggression.

Tank Conditions

To begin, make sure that your tank is big enough. Keep in mind that betta fish should never be kept with other fish in a tank with less than 10 gallons of capacity. When you have to share a tank with other fish, your fish may become very stressed. Essentially, the smaller the betta fish and the smaller the environment, the more determined they are to dominate it. If you have a tank of 10 gallons or more, your beta will most likely coexist peacefully with other fish species.

Besides, you also need to pay more attention to the aquarium’s decoration. Add some of the plants and other hiding places to your beta since they will need space when you feel stressed. However, cramming too many unnecessary decorations into the tank can make it feel smaller and lead to backfire consequences.

Tank Mates

Before deciding to choose a tank mate for your betta fish, be careful! Overcrowding the tank will make your Betta fish feel like their territory is being invaded. Betta prefers calmer tank mates instead of being hyperactive and swimming around constantly. In addition, avoid keeping your bettas with bright-colored fish or fish with flowing tails. One of the typical examples is guppies; they can become a threat and provocative in the eyes of Betta fish. As an alternative, in this case, the dull fish like Corydoras catfish is a great choice.

Meanwhile, each type of fish requires pH, temperature, and other water conditions. Therefore, when you want to add another fish to your betta fish tank, you must be sure they have the same requirements. If not, the chances are one of the fish will die.

Another important note is that you should not leave two male betta fish together. If you do so, the most likely result is that they will fight to the death. Furthermore, the other one who survived would often die from his last wounds.

In some cases, snails are another good choice. For example, nerite snails and mystery snails can both coexist well with Betta. This is because they are too small for bettas to notice them.

Top 4 tank mates for betta fish

Corydoras catfish

Corydoras are one of the most popular community fish since they are cheerful, easy to care for, and helpful as a cleaning group. Instead of living at the top of the aquarium, they prefer to live at the bottom of it. Remember that in small groups of at least 3 to 6 individuals, corydoras often perform better as they feel more secure and comfortable. When they reach about one to three inches in length, they love to scavenge around the tank floor for food scraps.

Cory catfish prefer living in a small group of at least 3 to 6 individuals
Cory catfish prefer living in a small group of at least 3 to 6 individuals

There are over 160 species of cory catfish in the world, and some of them can grow quite large, so make sure the one you choose is appropriate for the size of your tank.


As you all know, tetras are predators that live in groups of at least six and spend most of their time in the water. They are small, fast, and work well with more horizontal swimming space than vertical. At the same time, betta fish are the species that mainly work in the top half of the water column. Consequently, they will not interact much with each other.

Here are some species of cory catfish that may be suitable for keeping with your bettas: neon tetra, ember tetra, cardinal tetra, and diamond tetra.

Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin Rasboras is a small fish, 2 inches in length, with a bright orange body with a distinctive black triangular patch. As with the two fish species mentioned above, purchasing a group of at least six fish is advisable. Their peaceful nature will not dominate the food during mealtime, and they will stay away from your betta.

With this species, it is recommended to choose males of the moon, double or plain tail variant, to go with Harlequin Rasboras. While they are slightly more aggressive than Veiltails, they are less aggressive than the Plakat variants.

Clown Plecos

Another candidate that will get along well with your betta fish is the clownfish. Clown Pleco is an algae eater, the shortest member of its species, with a maximum length of about 4 inches. This is a hardy and easy-to-care-for fish with an average lifespan of about ten years in captivity. Given the not-so-showy appearance of this species, bettas will become somewhat less aggressive.

How to introduce a new fish to the tank

Firsts of all, a new fish can harbor bacteria and parasites that are easily spread to other fish in your tank, so make sure your new little fish is free of disease and parasites. Accordingly, you should keep your new fish in quarantine for at least 14–21 days before introducing them to their new home. 

Next, you need to help these new friends acclimate to the water tank environment. Temperature is always a major concern when it comes to raising aquarium fish. Changing the water environment involves adjusting the temperature and pressure. Place the new fish in a plastic bag or small cup of water, then slowly release it into the tank. Be patient, as your fish will need some time to adjust before they can swim around freely. 

In the beginning, you should spend time regularly monitoring the activity of the tank to prevent conflicts between the fish. Things do not always go smoothly; in the worst case, you must separate the conflicting individuals. Consider using a tank divider if you have a tank of at least 10 gallons. In fact, with this method, you can even get two male bettas like this if the divider is blurred.


Can betta fish live with goldfish?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. There are different reasons why bettas and goldfish cannot live in the same tank. The first thing you need to know about bettas is that they require water temperatures between 78 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, goldfish prefer cooler waters, around 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can 1 male and 2 female betta fish live together?

If the answer is yes, that probability is also extremely slim. Male and female Betta fish cannot coexist in a tank because they will fight to the death. Male bettas are notoriously aggressive fish, attacking any fish approaching their territory, including female bettas.

Video: Compatible Tank Mates for Betta Fish


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