Betta Fish Tank Mates: Comprehensive Guide


Betta Fish Tank Mates: Comprehensive Guide

Betta Fish are one of my favorite fish to keep in an aquarium. Best known for their beautiful coloration yet territorial nature, many people don't know you can keep Bettas with other fish!

The Dilemma: Lonely Betta vs. Potential Tank Terror: Introducing new tank mates can either result in a harmonious underwater symphony or a disastrous battle royale.

The Buzz: Fish forums and aquatic aficionados are divided. "Do Bettas prefer a solitary existence, or do they crave companionship?" "Which tank mates won't provoke a Betta into showcasing its Siamese fighting fish heritage?"

You're not looking to host an underwater 'Hunger Games.' You just want some tank tranquility!

The Lifeline: Hold onto your fishnet, because we're here to clear those muddy waters. Dive in as we embark on an enlightening journey through the world of Betta companionship:

  • Friend or Foe? Discover the species that play nice with Bettas.
  • Safety First: Learn the rules of introducing a new member to the Betta kingdom.
  • Harmony Hacks: Tips and tricks to maintain a peaceful coexistence in your aquatic realm.

Get ready to find the perfect roomies for your Betta, creating a vibrant, interactive, and peaceful tank that's a treat for the eyes and a haven for its residents.

This guide will focus on other fish species you can keep with your Betta! 🐠

Betta Fish Care and Information

Characteristic Detail
Temperament Peaceful
Care Level Easy
Diet Bloodworms, Brine shrimp, Daphnia, and Vinegar eels
Adult Size 2.5 — 3.5 inches
Lifespan 2 — 5 years
Water Temperature 75°F — 82°F
Water pH 6.5 — 7.5
Tank Size Minimum of 5 Gallons


What Makes An Ideal Tank Mate For Betta Fish?

First things first, let's get to know our star: the Betta fish. Originating from the shallow waters of Thailand, they're often called Siamese fighting fish "Tropical Fish". Their radiant colors and flowing fins make them a popular choice among fish keepers. Betta fish prefer slightly acidic water with a temperature around 75°F — 82°F.

But a betta is more than just one fish. There are male and female bettas, and they have different preferences and temperaments. It's like trying to decide between chocolate and vanilla... or, you know, something fishier.

Choosing the best tank mates for your betta isn't just about picking the prettiest fish in the store. Factors like fish size, temperament, and even their swankiness (brightly colored fish might cause jealousy) are critical. A good tank mate shouldn't outshine or antagonize our betta superstar.


A Betta tank mate should complement its beauty and not compete or provoke.

🐟 Fishy Rundown:

  1. Corydoras Catfish: These bottom feeders won't steal your betta's limelight.
  2. Feeder Guppies: With their subdued colors, they won't incite betta jealousy.
  3. Neon Tetra: Small, peaceful, and easy on the eyes — a betta's kind of friend.
  4. Clown Plecos: No, they're not here for comic relief but as peaceful co-residents.
  5. Endler's Live-bearers: They bring life and vitality without causing a fuss.
  6. Platies: Colorful, yet non-threatening — the perfect combo.
  7. Kuhli Loach: Think of them as the intriguing underground neighbors.
  8. Mollies: Active and lively, they're the life of the fishy party.
  9. Harlequin Rasbora: Graceful and non-aggressive. Betta-approved.
  10. Otocinclus Catfish: Small, gentle, and they help with cleaning. What more could a betta want?

These fish, like the right plants, provide not just company but also bring a sense of the outdoors, right to your living room aquarium.

If you're serious about curating a seamless blend of betta fish and their companions, further insights await in our detailed guide. Dive deeper into understanding their dynamics and ensure your tank is the talk of the town (or at least among your fish-loving pals).

Dive into the Complete Betta Companions Guide here! (LINK)


The Best Betta Fish Tank Mates

To help you narrow down your choices, we have compiled a list of The Top 10 Best Betta Splendens Tank Mates based on customer reviews, ratings, and expert opinions;

In a hurry? I recommend Corydoras Catfish


Here are some of the favorite tank mates that Betta enthusiasts often opt for.

1. Corydoras Catfish


  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 3 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 4 years
  • Social Requirements: Best kept in groups of 4+

Corydoras Catfish are a perfect tank mate for your Betta Fish as they are relaxed bottom swimmers that can also help clean up the tank!

Cory Catfish thrive when you keep them in a school of four or more. Sinking pellet foods are the most appropriate for them as they are bottom dwellers. Corys also do well when in water conditions similar to Betta Fish.

Why They’re Compatible
The Corydoras, with their armored plates and calm demeanor, make excellent tank mates for bettas. They typically scavenge on the tank's bottom, far from where bettas usually hang out. This separation of 'territories' ensures they rarely, if ever, clash with the betta's naturally territorial nature.

Random Review
"Since introducing Cory to my betta tank, it's been smooth swimming. They mind their business and give my betta his space. Plus, watching them sift through the substrate is oddly satisfying!"
- Alex M.

2. Feeder Guppies


  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 1 – 2 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 2 – 5 years
  • Social Requirements: Can be kept alone or in a group.

Feeder Guppies are normally bred as food for larger fishes. As they don't have fancy coloration, this makes them an ideal tank mate for Betta Fish. They have a docile temperament, similar to the Betta Fish, so you don't have to worry about them nipping your Betta's fish. Male guppies tend to have longer tails, so they may be less optimal versus keeping females in the same tank.

Why They’re Compatible
Feeder guppies aren't as brightly colored as their fancy counterparts, which means they don't invoke the betta's natural rivalry instincts. They're peaceful and tend to stick together, leaving the betta unbothered.

Random Review
"Love my guppies! They add a touch of subtle charm without stressing my betta out. And they're so easy to care for!" - Jordan P.

3. Neon Tetra


  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 1 – 2 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 5 – 10 years
  • Social Requirements: Group of 6+

Neon Tetras are one of the most suitable tank mates for your Betta Fish. They should live together peacefully as long as the tank conditions are favorable.

It is better to keep them in a school as they will grow stressed if kept alone. Similarly, you should include a lot of plants and places to hide. Neon Tetras are fast-moving fish, and their beautiful coloration make them a great compliment to your Betta!

Why They’re Compatible
Neon Tetras, with their dazzling blue and red stripes, move swiftly and tend to stick in groups. Their quick movements and schooling behavior make them less of a target for bettas. Plus, their vibrant colors don't seem to trigger the betta's territorial aggression.

Random Review
"Neon Tetras are like the little blue gems of my tank. They've co-existed with my betta for months, and I've had zero issues." - Riley T.

4. Clown Plecos


  • Care Level: Medium
  • Adult Size: 4 inches. They are the dwarf members of the species.
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 10 – 15 years
  • Social Requirements: Can be kept alone as a single fish.

Clown Plecos are dwarf members of the Pleco family, which will keep them at a suitable size to live with you Betta Fish. The bigger members of species can grow up to two feet long!

Clown Plecos are one of the best algae eaters you can keep with Betta Fish, so they should help with the cleaning of your tank. You should supplement their diet with plant based sinking pellets.

Why They’re Compatible
Being bottom dwellers and having a relatively calm temperament, Clown Plecos don't compete with bettas for space. Their unique appearance also adds diversity without causing any territorial disputes.

Random Review
"The Clown Pleco is a hidden treasure in my betta tank. It's so fun to spot him when he's out and about. Best purchase this year!" - Morgan L.

5. Endler's Live-bearers


  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 1 – 1.5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 3 – 4 years
  • Social Requirements: Group of 6 or more

The Endler's Live-Bearers are of the Poecilia genus, which happens to be the same as Mollies and Guppies! They are beautiful live bearers that you can expect to breed if you keep in a group. These are mid-level swimmers which makes them a great match for your Betta Fish. Endlers liverbearers – and especially male endlers are great choices to keep with your betta tank. Endlers livebearers with betta are a very popular combination for these reasons.

These fishes also love their tank fully decorated with natural vegetation and algae to keep their fries safe after spawning.

Why They’re Compatible
Endler's Live-bearers are peaceful and tend to mind their own business. They don't compete for the same food as bettas and tend to occupy different sections of the tank.

Random Review
"I adore my Endler's! They add so much life to the tank without ever pestering my betta. Such an underrated choice." - Casey F.

6. Platies


  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: Up to 5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 5 years
  • Social Requirements: Best kept in pairs.

Platies are one of the easiest fish to keep that coexist with many other species peacefully. Coming in colors from red, yellow, and blue, Platies are a beautiful and fun fish to keep in your tank!

As another live bearer, you should keep plants such as Java Moss if you plan on breeding them with your Betta Fish in the tank.

Why They’re Compatible
Platies come in various colors, but their peaceful nature ensures that they don't bother bettas. They tend to hang out in the mid-section of the tank, minimizing territory disputes.

Random Review
"My platies are both vibrant and peaceful – the perfect neighbors for my betta. They've added so much zest to my aquarium setup." - Taylor W.

7. Kuhli Loach


  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 2 – 3.5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 3 – 4 years
  • Social Requirements: Best kept in groups of 3+

Kuhli loaches love to squeeze themselves under plant roots, rocks, and driftwood, and if you have sand as substrates, Kuhli will bury themselves during the day and come out to play at night or when the light is off.

Kuhli Loaches are a perfect fit for your Betta Fish, as they will tend avoid each other even if your Betta Fish is a more aggressive one. They also help clean up the tank as they are bottom dwellers and will help pick up the excess food at the bottom of the tank.

Why They’re Compatible
Kuhli Loaches, with their eel-like bodies, love hiding in the substrate and crevices. Their secretive nature means they rarely cross paths with bettas, ensuring a peaceful coexistence.

Random Review
"The Kuhli Loach is like the ninja of my tank – elusive but so fascinating. They've been a great addition and haven't caused any issues with my betta." - Jaime K.

8. Mollies


  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 3 – 4.5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 3 – 5 years
  • Social Requirements: Best kept in pairs or more

Our last live bearer on the list, Mollies are one of my all time favorite fish to keep! I've even transitioned them from living in a freshwater aquarium to cohabitating with Tangs in my reef tank! While it sometimes will depend on a betta's personality, even male bettas tend to get along quite well with smaller mollies.

Mollies are foragers and will swim at all levels of the tank. Try to avoid the forms with longer fins, as Bettas may be more aggressive with them.

Why They’re Compatible
Mollies are versatile and can adapt to various environments. Their non-aggressive demeanor makes them great tank mates for bettas, as they don't challenge or stress out the betta.

Random Review
"Mollies are so adaptable! I've had them with my betta for a while now, and they just go with the flow, literally and figuratively." - Ryan G.

9. Harlequin Rasbora


  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 1.5 – 2 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 5 – 8 years
  • Social Requirements: Group of 5+

Harlequin Rasboras are peaceful fish that won't try to compete with your Betta Fish in the tank. Even if your Betta Fish decides to chase them, they are fast swimmers.

They should be kept in a group of at least five, and will ad very fun dynamic to your tank!

Why They’re Compatible
With their distinct black triangular patch, Harlequin Rasboras are a visual treat. They're schooling fish that don't compete with bettas for territory, ensuring a harmonious tank environment.

Random Review
"Harlequin Rasboras are the unsung heroes of my tank. They're low-maintenance and get along so well with my betta." - Dana H.

10. Otocinclus Catfish


  • Care Level: Easy
  • Adult Size: 2 – 2.5 inches
  • Temperament: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: 3 – 5 years
  • Social Requirements: Group of 6+

Octocinclus Catfish are another suitable tank mate for your Betta Fish; they are bottom swimmers, so you don't have to worry about territorial disputes. The Octocinclus is an algae feeder as well, so they do will also be a nice part of your clean up crew!

Why They’re Compatible
Otocinclus are algae eaters, so they won't be competing with bettas for food. They're small, non-aggressive, and prefer to stick to the tank's sides or plants, avoiding any potential confrontations.

Random Review
"Otocinclus are like the quiet but efficient workers in my aquarium. They keep things clean and are a perfect match for my betta." - Pat N.


🛍️ Where to Dive In and Buy? 🐟

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Disclaimer for Aquariums For Beginners: Hey, just a quick heads-up! Any links on this page that lead to products on Amazon and other partner stores are affiliate links. "Aquariums For Beginners" earns a commission if you make a purchase. So, you're not only getting some top-notch products but also supporting our aquatic aficionado efforts. Win-win! 🐠🌱👍


Additional Betta Fish Companions Worth Mentioning

There are other tank mates that could be considered based on their compatibility and temperament. You're thinking, "I need more options!"

Well, you're in luck:

  1. Marimo Moss Balls: Technically not fish, but they're live plants that help in keeping the water clean. Plus, they're kind of adorable in such a small tank.
  2. Fancy Guppies: Although they’re brightly colored fish, female bettas often tolerate them. But maybe keep your male beta fish from them – they can be a tad territorial.
  3. Snails: Low maintenance, and they help to keep the tank clean. It's like having a cleaning lady, but slimier.
  4. Shoaling Fish: Fish like neon tetras make great tank mates. They're schooling fish, minding their own business and making the community betta tank lively.
  5. Cherry Shrimp: Small, non-aggressive, and they help keep the tank clean. Plus, they've got a vibrant flair – but not too much to upset our betta.
  6. Mystery Snails
  7. Ghost Shrimp
  8. African Dwarf Frogs
  9. Honey Gourami
  10. Bamboo Shrimp
  11. Ember Tetras

NOTE: Female betta tank mates can include smaller, less aggressive species as they generally have a calmer temperament than male bettas.


Tank Mates to Steer Clear From (AVOID)

While variety is the spice of life, some spices are just too hot for our betta:

  1. Brightly Colored Fish: Think of bettas as celebrities. They don't want to share the spotlight. Bright fish like guppies might not be the best betta tank mates for particularly territorial betta fish.
  2. Red Tail Sharks: Too aggressive. And no, they're not the kind of sharks you see in movies. But still, a no-go.
  3. Predatory Fish: I mean, it's in the name. We want tank mates, not a live-action thriller.
  4. Tiger Barbs
  5. Cichlids
  6. Angelfish
  7. Goldfish
  8. Nippy Tetras

REMEMBER: while some species are not suitable, there are many good tank mates out there that can peacefully co-exist with bettas.


Other Things To Consider for Your Betta Fish Tank Mates

Betta Fish are known to be aggressive – they love their territory and sometimes can't share with any fish. To avoid Bettas attacking other fish that you have, it is essential to plan ahead.

The compatibility of your Betta will depend on the specific fish, so it's a good idea to have an extra tank in case things don't go as planned after adding other fishes with your Betta.

When considering which star to cast alongside your betta, keep in mind

Minimum Tank Size


The first factor you should consider is the tank size. A five gallon tank is the bare minimum for a betta. Want more tank mates? Upgrade to a larger tank. They're like condos for fish!

Many fish love to have their own space, so get a tank big enough for all the fishes to have enough swimming space to avoid disputes in the tank.

How Betta Fish Benefit:

  • Larger tanks offer better water stability, decreasing stress.
  • More space allows bettas to establish their territory, reducing aggression.
  • Adequate tank size promotes natural behaviors, enhancing betta’s life quality.

Fish Size


Size is an essential factor to consider when selecting a tank mate for our betta fish. Betta Fish can be very aggressive towards other fish that look similar to them, and with full-flowing fins.

Smaller tropical fishes are excellent choices, but make sure you don't overcrowd the tank! At the same time, you should avoid keeping fishes that are significantly bigger and more aggressive than Betta Fish, as they might see them as a threat.

NOTE: Bettas don’t like competition. Adult fish that are too big might intimidate or harm them.

Care Level


As an amateur or professional, it is better to keep fishes with the same care level together. Keeping hardy fish with those that are more sensitive can cause stress for them due to inadequate water requirements.

NOTE: Bettas are generally difficult to keep with each other unless you take certain steps. A male Betta Fish should not be kept with another male, though female Betta Fish can coexist as a sorority. A sorority is a community tank of female betta fish, generally with four or more members.

Water Parameters


Water parameters are crucial for the overall health and well-being of your betta fish and its tank mates. Different fish have different needs when it comes to the water's chemical makeup, and it's vital to ensure that everyone in the tank is comfortable.

  • pH Level: Bettas prefer a slightly acidic to neutral pH, which is in the range of 6.5 — 7.5.
  • Temperature: Bettas thrive in warmer waters, with the ideal range being 75°F — 82°F.
  • Hardness: Soft to slightly hard water is ideal for bettas, with a range of 3-15 dH.

How Betta Fish Benefit:

  • Stable water parameters prevent stress, which can lead to disease.
  • Proper temperature ensures bettas are active and have a healthy metabolism.
  • Maintaining the right pH and hardness ensures optimal skin and scale health.

Food Management


Ensure that uneaten food doesn't pile up in the tank as it could attract unwanted pests and bacteria that could be harmful to both bettas and their tank mates.

Ensuring proper food management can make a big difference:

  • Avoid Overfeeding: Overfeeding can result in uneaten food which deteriorates water quality.
  • Varied Diet: Bettas benefit from a varied diet including flakes, pellets, and live or frozen food.
  • Regular Cleanup: Remove uneaten food after feeding to prevent the buildup of organic waste.

How Betta Fish Benefit:

  • Proper feeding ensures a robust immune system and fewer diseases.
  • A varied diet ensures all necessary nutrients are received.
  • Regular cleanup prevents the buildup of harmful bacteria.


🐠 Aquarium Setup for Betta Fish + their Companions 🌱

Setting up a conducive environment for your betta and its tank buddies is paramount. Not only does it ensure their health and longevity, but it also creates an enchanting underwater world that's a treat to the eyes.

Before introducing new friends, ensure the Betta's tank is clean and the environment is stable.

The Tetra Aquarium 20 Gallon Fish Tank Kit


This kit provides a spacious environment for your betta and its tank mates to explore. Combining a modern look with an LED lighting system and decorative elements, this kit is a favorite for both newcomers to the hobby and veteran fishkeepers.

Quick Setup Guide:

  1. Unbox & Position: Find a solid, even surface away from direct sunlight to avoid algae growth. Carefully unbox your kit and position the aquarium.
  2. Filtration System Setup: This kit features an efficient filtration system. Make sure it's fitted correctly and install the provided filter media.
  3. Substrate & Decorations: Pour in the recommended substrate for your chosen fish and plants. The kit comes with decor – ensure they're safely positioned without any sharp protrusions that might harm your fish.
  4. Water Introduction & Treatment: Gradually fill your tank with water. Should you opt for tap water, ensure to use a water conditioner or dechlorinator to neutralize harmful chemicals.
  5. Lighting & Temperature: Activate the LED lighting that comes with the kit. Considering bettas are tropical fish, set up an aquarium heater if it isn’t already included. Aim for a stable temperature in the vicinity of 75°F.
  6. Fish Introduction: After allowing the tank to stabilize (usually a few days to ensure the nitrogen cycle starts), you can slowly introduce your betta and its friends.

Pro Tip: Before introducing the fish, acclimate them by floating the sealed bag in the tank water for about 15 minutes. This helps them adjust to the new water temperature.


📖 Mastering Betta Basics: Worth Reading 📖

Can Betta Fish Live in Tap Water?


  • The pros and cons of using tap water for bettas.
  • How to treat and condition tap water for safe use.
  • Insights into water parameters crucial for betta survival.

Need to tap into more? Quench your thirst for knowledge by checking out our guide click here.

Keeping a Betta Fish with Plants


  • The symbiotic relationship between plants and bettas.
  • Best plant choices for beauty and betta well-being.
  • How plants can act as natural water purifiers and shelters.

Green is in, and so is knowledge! Deep dive into the realm of aqua plants with our guide – coming soon!

How to Use Aquarium Salt for Bettas?


  • Benefits of aquarium salt for betta health.
  • Understanding the right dosage and application.
  • The balance between salt and freshwater for optimal fish well-being.

Intrigued about the nuances? Explore our detailed guide on the subject – coming soon!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Betta Fish Need Companions?

While they don’t necessarily need them, a well-selected companion can make their tank life vibrant. But sometimes, a single betta fish enjoys its solitude.

One betta fish in a tank is more than enough to provide vibrancy and life.

How Long Can Betta Fish Live?

With proper care, they can strut their stuff for 3 to 5 years.

Can Male and Female Betta Live Together?

Generally, no. They might briefly for breeding, but the male betta is protective of its bubble nest and might become aggressive.

Separate tank is recommended!

Why Do Betta Fish Fight?

Because they're called Siamese fighting fish for a reason. Territorial disputes, mainly. Always avoid having more than one betta male in a tank unless you want a fishy Fight Club.

NOTE: Betta males are especially territorial, and their instincts drive them to establish dominance.

Betta Fish Tank Mates Summary


As you've seen, there plenty of fish that will make a great compatabile tank mate for your Betta Fish! You just need to make sure you have enough space for the species above, with plenty of hiding places to keep everyone happy.

And just before we go, keep in mind the wise words of fish keepers everywhere:

"It’s not about how many fish you can fit in a tank, but how well they can live together."

Till the next splashy adventure! 🐠🌊

Join our Facebook community group, Aquariums For Beginners!

Dive deep into a sea of knowledge, share your aquatic tales, get advice from seasoned fishkeepers, and make some fin-tastic friends along the way. It's not just a group; it's a community where every member is bubbling with enthusiasm. See you there!


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