Betta Compatible Tankmates

Learn the “do’s” and “dont’s” About stocking bettas with other tropcial community fish.

Betta Tip

Remember to stimulate your betta everyday. By allowing the bettas to see itself in the mirror for about 5 minutes aday will be good for both your betta’s mental and physical state.

Read First

Remember that every betta is different, so some are more mild and others are more aggressive, Remember this when stocking you betta tank.  The best way to find out is by trying. I have seen some male bettas eat a whole guppy and others who will live fine with mal guppies.  Another factor to consider is filter capability and tank size.  You never want to overstock a fish tank or betta tank.

The Right Tankmates

Most bottom fish-cory catfish, otto catfish etc… Nothing that can eat the betta.Tetras- most tetras will do fine,  Again it depends on your bettas personality.  livebearers- Again depends on your betta,  But some will tolerate guppies, andlarger livebearers such as mollies and swordtails.Labyrinth- depends on your betta,  but gouramies and generally safe.  other betta species might not be lucky.

The Wrong Tankmates

Barbs- Most barbs are fin nippers which will cause your betta problems. Certainly tiger barbs jump to the top of the list.  I have experiented with rosy barbs.  They seem to work.Oddballs- Never a good choice with bettas and small community tanks.

Betta Fish Illness

Bettas like most fish rely on their slime coat to provide them a source of protection against paracites.  When the animal becomes stressed or is touched by ojects that can remove slime coat, the scales are exposed.  Which can lead to internal and external illness.  Certainly bettas and other fish can get cancer. Im not really the one to ask when it comes to fish sickness, but the following is what i would do.  Please refer to my forum, where the people can help you better than i can.

Paracites- For fish in general, paracites like velet and ich are common and treatable. Paracites can be spotted by the naked eye as little whitish dots on the external part of the fish. While their can be internal paratcites like worms, most of the common paracites are external.  One of the best ways to treat is to use aquarium salt. Alot of freshwater paracites can not handle saltwater. So by giving your fish a saltbath, or just adding aquarium salt to the fishtank will be all for the best.  Remember not to use table salt.   The next thing to do is increase the water temp.  Paracites will speed up development in heated water. This is good for ich.  There are plenty of medications out there for fish and are effective on bettas.  Also their are products out there, that can be used to treat internal paracites by coating the fish food with this kind of medications.

Fungal- Fungus can develop on open wounds.  You can remove the fungus by hand with a net or tweezers,  but the best thing to do is add salt and treat with medications. 

Inverts For Bettas

If your tank is small and not really good for other fish, try looking at freshwater invertibrates.  Such as snails, clams, mussles, and shrimps. 

Inverts will give your betta cleaner water, and something to have in the tank that is living.  When thinking about ghost shrimps, always expect the betta to kill and eat it.  They can be small enough that the betta ma take it for food and eat it.  Nevertheless, they can be used for foods as well as cleaning crew.

Again shrimps like ghost shrimps might be eatten.  But conside ghost shrimp and red cherry shrimps.  Both are become more popular and easy to care for.  They will molt so remove extra skin if you see any.  They will help keep the bettas tank clean.  When you remove the shrimp from water, be aware. They can and will jump very far. 

Snails, Personally i am not much of a snail fan, But apple snails and ramhorn snails seem to be common.  They can exit the water so keep a good lid on.  I dont know very much about snails nor do i wish to learn, but that is just me. So you might like to try a snail in your betta tank.

Clams,  Love them.   I just started to get golden clams.  These guys i though would be very hard to keep, but they are quite the opposite.  Mines do just fine in gravel and in larger betta tanks.  They can move themselves with the lip that can come out, and they will feed/ clean your water with the tube that comes out.  They are not harmful to your betta and help clean the water.  Remember they are animals so dont remove them from the water for too long.  

Fresh water mussles.  I have seen these in petstores, never had a chance to try them out yet, but they cant be much more difficult than clams.  Probably great for larger betta tanks with moving water.

Crayfish.  I would probably say no, I have had a few crayfish in the past, and they have never been friendly with me. When i experimented with bettas, the bettas was kill and the fins were eatten.  I would try and stray away from crayfish.

Frogs,  ADF or african dwarf frogs are not inverts, but good forr betta tanks. Your betta may be alittle aggressive for the frog, but they will make good companions.  ADFs stay small, but will usually eat only worms.  Stay away from african clawed frogs.  In petstores these are often larger and albino.  These frogs will kill fish and eat a betta.

Heaters and Filters For Your Bettas

Bettas come from the hot waters of thailand. These rice paddies can get very hot due to the shallowness of the water. Bettas have a wide  tolerance range when it comes to water temperature. Their have been reports of the bettas lasting the night in peoples cars.

Bettas can also handle warm temps such as 90*F.  Room temperature is just fine for bettas, but remember the basics.  The warmer the water, the more active the betta is, and the faster the metaoblism rate is. Heaters come in a wide range of wattage and sizes. So there are a few out there good for ten gallons or smaller.  While it is a good thing to have a heater, it isnt really required when it comes to bettas.

Filters are not required, but like heaters they are recommended. Filters are great because they help keep the aquarium water in the best condition for your fish.  Long fin male bettas however, have special needs.  The current that power filters create isnt all that great for bettas. Their long fins often get stuck in the filter intake and cause the fish to have swimming problems.  Gentle filters such as sponge filters are best for bettas. These filters pick up solid waste in the water and also provide some chemical/ biological filteration.  Being air powered these filters can be adjusted to fit your bettas needs.  They dont pose any threat to bettas and would be a good addition to any betta tank.

Plants for Betta Fish

Betta like most Tropical fish would like to be in a tank with live plants. While some plants may require a ton of special attention, Live plants shouldnt be that scary to think about. 

Live Plants

Betta tanks can be bare, but it would look and run better with live plants to help purify the water.   This is a list of just a few types of live plants that are easy to care for and will do great with your betta.

Java Moss

Java moss is just like a natural form of algae that will just grow and grow in your fishtank. It is great as it provides protection for your bettas as well as great protection for baby fish.  It is very easy to grow and provides a great look in a betta tank.

Java Fern

Java ferns are out there in many different forms and sizes. Getting small cuttings would be good for smaller betta tanks. Most java ferns will grow tall so get ready to move the plant when it gets large.  Very easy, just burry the roots in the gravel.  The leaves are alittle toxic, but bettas wont eat them.


Duckweed is a good out door or pond plant, but it will do fine in a betta tank. The only thing to watch out for is it will grow and mutlipy fast. So make sure you keep some of the surface clear so your betta can get a breath.


Anubias are somewhat extremely expensive, but very undemanding. They are a hard lead plant so it wont get eatten by fishes. 

Fake Plants

With fake plants you can go with plastic plants for silk plants. Both fake plants will require a rincing once and awhile. These may be a good choice for people who really cant keep live plants. While they provide protection, they dont give the benefits of live plants.

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