Betta fish are beautiful, playful aquarium pets that can brighten even the most dreary of days. They’re also notoriously picky about their tank mates. If you’re thinking about adding a betta to your collection—or upgrading from one of those tiny starter tanks that come with every pet store Betta—consider these tank mates and their compatibility with the Betta first. A lot of these fish are available as purchase options for saltwater aquariums or brackish water setups, but freshwater betta fish shouldn’t be kept with any other species. Their care requires different conditions, and the results could be disastrous for both the fish and any other organisms in the tank. Here are some Betta tank mates to consider when shopping for your first betta:
There are a lot of common names for betta fish, but few of them are accurate. In general, though, bettas are called Betta splendens, and there are a few other species that are sometimes referred to as betta fish, too. This article is mainly about Betta splendens, though. Betta fish are commonly sold at pet stores as “Bettas” or “Siamese fighting fish,” but they’re not actually related to the Siamese cat at all, nor are they fish at all. Rather, they’re part of the Betta genus, which is the same genus as Tilapia. Bettas are small, colorful tropical fish that originate from India. They’re sometimes called Siamese fighting fish, though they don’t have any sort of fight-or-flight instinct. They’re a tropical species that needs warm, tropical water conditions to thrive properly. If you live in a cold climate or your home isn’t warm enough for your taking care of betta fish, there’s a good chance it won’t live very long. If you do have a warm climate or a heated home, though, there are some other species that are more suitable as betta tank mates.
Compatibility List For Betta Tank Mates
There are a few species that are commonly recommended as the best tank mates for Betta fish. Here’s a compatibility list for those fish. Note that certain species may be common in certain areas, too. That said, the Betta species listed below are still mostly tropical and are best kept in tropical environments. When choosing a tank mate, keep these things in mind to make sure they’re the right fit for your betta fish.
– African Cichlid: These are common fish in many tropical aquarium setups, though they may be hard to find in some areas. They’re very social and should be the only fish in the tank.
– Cory Catfish: This is another fish that’s commonly kept in tropical freshwater aquariums, though it’s sometimes hard to find, too. Cory catfish may become territorial with other fish and may even attack or kill other fish in a tank. It needs a large tank and should be the only fish in the tank.
– Clownfish: These are another few species that are often kept in tropical freshwater aquariums. They too should be the only fish in the tank.
– Killifish: These may be one of the best Betta tank mates for beginner fish keepers. They have no specific care requirements and are relatively easy to care for.
– Molly Goby: This is another relatively easy-to-care-for species that is best kept in brackish water conditions. It’s a small angelfish that can add some color to an otherwise drab betta tank.
– Neon Tetra: Another excellent beginner fish, this is perhaps the best Betta tank mate for new betta fish owners. It needs a small tank and generally isn’t aggressive.
– Red Cherry Shrimp: These little crustaceans are one of the best Betta tank mates for freshwater fish. They’re known for cleaning tank surfaces and aquatic plants and can help keep your tank looking its best.
– Red Velvet Shrimp: This is another popular shrimp kept in brackish water tanks. It can be purchased as either a male or a female, and they both provide the same benefits when kept with a betta fish.
– Tridacna: This is a favourite fish tank cleaner. Though it may have some messy tendencies, it’s a tough and fascinating fish.
Care requirements table
Water conditions are always going to be the most important aspect of maintaining a healthy aquarium, but there are a few other items that could impact your aquarium environment, too. These are some important things to keep in mind when choosing tank mates for your betta fish:
– Temperature: This should be 82 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit for betta fish and the only compatible tank mates.
– pH: This should be between 8.0 and 8.4 for betta fish and their tank mates.
– Carbon dioxide: This is essential for fish tanks as it helps keep the water oxygenated, but it should be kept at a level of at least 2 parts per million.
– Ammonia: You want to keep the levels of this chemical at 0, but it should be kept at 0 in the tank with compatible tank mates.
Choose compatible tank mates for your betta fish
Bettas should be kept with only certain compatible species. Here are some recommended tank mates for your new betta fish:
– Cory Catfish: This is a very social and territorial fish that should be kept with a single betta in a 10-gallon tank. It can become aggressive if kept in with other tank mates and needs a large tank to thrive.
– Neon Tetra: This is another excellent beginner fish. It’s a schooling fish that should be the only fish in a 10-gallon tank.
– Red Cherry Shrimp: This is another popular tank cleaner that should be the only fish in a 10-gallon tank.
– Red Velvet Shrimp: This is another popular shrimp that should be the only fish in a 10-gallon tank.
– Tridacna: This is another favourite tank cleaner that should be the only fish in a 10-gallon tank.
Avoid incompatible tank mates for a long-term stable tank environment.
Some of the tank mates listed above are ideal Betta fish tank partners, while others may need to be avoided. Here are some that should be avoided with your new betta fish:
– Bluegill: The bluegill is a popular baitfish that should never be kept in a tank with any other fish. Bluegill is extremely aggressive and territorial, and it can cause damage to other tanks and their betta tank mates.
– Cory Catfish: These are aggressive fish that should be avoided with any other Betta species. They’re very territorial and aggressive, and they need very large tanks as well as plenty of swimming room.
– Killifish: This is another aggressive and territorial fish that should be avoided with any other Betta species. It needs very large tanks and could become territorial with your Betta.
– Molly Goby: This fish is best left in brackish water tanks, where it can be a nice addition to a freshwater tank but should be avoided with any other Betta fish.
– Neon Tetra: This is a small, easy-to-care-for fish that should be avoided with any other Betta species. It’s a great fish for beginners but shouldn’t be kept with a large, aggressive Betta.
– Red Cherry Shrimp: This is another aggressive and territorial fish that should be avoided with any other Betta species.
Bettas are beautiful and fun fish that can brighten even the most dreary of days. They’re also notoriously picky about their tank mates, which can be challenging to find the perfect fish. Luckily, there are a few tank mates that are commonly recommended for betta fish. These fish are best kept in warmer water conditions and should be the only fish in the tank.