Betta Fish Tankmates Introduction
It is great now that you have chosen the Betta Fish as your pet.
You will be thinking if it is advisable to have some betta fish tank mates or companions. There are some types of fishes that are compatible with the Siamese fighting fish inside the fish tank.
There are types that are absolutely a no-no to be inside the fish tank with the betta fish.
I will be outlining several common fishes that you find it available at the local fish store and will be including some recommendations.
As I have mentioned many times on my other articles that the male betta fish is highly territorial and very aggressive and in fact it is best to be kept by itself.
Whereas the female betta fish, are more subtle and can be kept in a community fish tank with fishes that have to be in similar size with them otherwise their razor-sharp teeth will eat them.
These creatures are extremely intelligent and they are always observing and waiting for prey on the surface.
For a betta fish to be very comfortable and able to live a long 2 to 3 years of life expectancy the recommended fish tank size is advised to be around 5 gallons with all the necessary equipment.
Since you have decided to have a community fish tank then it would be best to have a 10 gallons fish tank as the absolute minimum requirements with 3 to 4 fish tank mates.
Here is a sample of a community tank where all my tropical fishes live in harmony, it is essential that there are a lot of hiding places so that they have privacy.
It is a policy that you have to provide at least 1 gallon for every inch.
Let’s say if you are adding 2 cory`s which is about 2 inches x 2 pieces then you will be needing an extra 4 gallons.
So the default 5 gallons of a lone betta fish tank will be at least 9 gallons if you are adding 2 cory`s that are around 2 inches each (fish) and since there are no available 9 gallons in the market then it would be around 10 gallons.
For 10 gallons sometimes you can put around 5 to 6 fishes which is a common sight in many homes and there is no problem in maintaining it.
Just be sure to add the fish mates slowly for the bio load to adjust as outlined on the nitrogen cycle education 101.
What is Bioload?
If you have around 6 fishes in a 10-gallon fish tank then there will be waste and ammonia and it would be tantamount to have the proper filtration system and proper water parameters.
Betta Fish Tank Mates Summary
When you normally visit your local pet store the most common tropical fishes that you find are: Goldfish, Tetras, Barbs, Guppies, Patties, Mollies, Catfish, Snails, Cichlids, Oscars, Danio.
It is advisable not to put the aggressive tiger barb because it is a very nimble and quick swimmer and will nip the betta fish long fins. The betta fish will too slow to react with these fast species.
Long Finned Tiger Barb, Rosy Barb
These barb species is very safe to keep with the betta fish since they have almost the same reflexes on swimming behavior and the long-finned species are also fast enough to avoid the betta fish when they are confronting each other.
This fish is easy in a community tank with betta (fish) and has no known problems co-existing together. Tetras generally are very peaceful. These species needs to be in a school of at least 4 to 6 pieces in a community tank. They are extremely fast swimmers and can avoid the betta fish if it comes to face to face.
They also like to mind their own business, by swimming back to forth in the fish tank horizontally. They grow up to 4 centimeters and can live up to 5 years.
Neon Tetra info.
Black Skirt Tetra, Black Phantom Tetra, Bleeding Heart Tetra
These species of tetra are very hardy and somewhat shy when there is a betta fish in the fish tank. These species likes to swim in a school, so it would be best to have pairs of them.
These eat share the same types of food with fighting fish.
There are just so many kinds of tetras available locally and it is perfectly fine to be with a betta fish in the community fish tank.
These types of fish are very active swimmers. They are found in southeast Asia where they normally swim in rivers with the current.
Danio is very similar to tetras where they just mind their own business and likes to swim in school minding their own business.
Very peaceful and also suitable in a community fish tank. Very brightly colored too as compared to tetras.
This is very good for all kinds of fish tanks. This is your clean up, crew. They mainly go for the uneaten food debris and also clean up the algae on the fish tank glass.
Mystery snail is a great addition on a betta tank.
You can add 2 mystery snail to do its job. They have a lifespan of 1 year and can get as big as 2 inches which is perfect if your fish tank is around 10 gallons.
They do not reproduce by themselves so it is a very good addition to keep your fish tank clean!
As I have mentioned before that this a perfect betta fish tank mate. I have my own betta fish tank even if it is under 5 gallons, I keep a cory and betta fish.
They can co-exist peacefully without any problems. The cory catfish just dwells underwater all the time and busy looking for uneaten food.
This is also my next favorite clean up crew aside from the mystery snails.
The cory can live alone without any problems and also in schools around 4 or more.
The length is around 1.0 to 2.5 inches and I had one myself in a 10-gallon tank that is just slightly below 3 inches and very healthy.
These species are not aggressive and pretty shy can live up to 2 to 3 years inside a fish tank.
Sometimes you have to be careful not to have a super-strong filter because sometimes they might not be able to get out from the suction of the filter tip.
This is a very easy fish to take care of a community tank.
They are schooling (fish) and best to have around 4 to 6 inside a 10 gallons fish tank.
The size is just around 1.5 inches and this is perfect since there will be plenty of space in the tank with the other fish mates that you choose to include your betta fish.
The personality trait for rasbora is very peaceful and they just like to stay in groups and busy swimming around the aquarium. I guess if you are going to keep 4 to 6 pieces it would be better if the fish tank is around 15 gallons so there will be plenty of swimming space to go about.
The food type is also similar to the betta fish so there is no problem maintaining it with your fighting fish.
African Dwarf Frog
I myself have this African dwarf frog which is very peaceful and shy.
The male is slightly smaller than the female and it can live up to 5 years. Can grow up to 2.5 inches in length.
The problem is that they have very poor eyesight and just prefer to eat frozen brine shrimp. Sometimes you have to drop it to the area that they normally appear.
They are not like fish which is very good at maneuvering in finding food.
Normally these dwarf frogs go to the surface and gulp air because they have lungs instead of gills which is normally found in fish.
A lot of times it is very difficult for me to see them come out from the plants since they like to hide and will just come out once in a while.
It is very nice to see them eating since they use their small web feet to eat.
But I suggest for beginners not to buy these for the fish tank because it might be difficult to handle them. The reason is that there is a waiver here in Canada pet stores that they will not be responsible if you contracted salmonella from handling the African dwarf frog.
I suggest just not to buy this cute betta fish companion for the meantime.
The guppies are found everywhere in southeast Asia. The slow-moving stream of rivers is teeming with feeder guppies.
They are very hardy and can sustain life even if they are placed in stagnant canals.
These kinds of fishes multiples so fast that they are sold as feeders to most of the bigger fishes.
I remember that I used to have the Oscar in a 50-gallon fish tank since they grow to the size of a plate around 8 inches!
It would be more pleasant to the eyes if you can choose the fancy guppies to add more color to the fish tank.
Adding 1 or 2 fancy guppies can be a great addition to your betta fish tank.
Female grow from 1 to 2.5 inches while the male guppies are from .5 to 1.5 inches.
The lifespan is about 2 years. They are livebearers and reproduced like crazy if there are no predatory fishes and if they are always among themselves.
This is another hardy fish that can be in a community tank with your betta splendens.
You need to have at least around 15 gallons to 20 gallons of fish tanks to house the mollies since they are about 3 inches to 5 inches.
Their natural habitat is in Mexico.
These species are livebearer and very similar to guppies. They tend to propagate fast if there are no predators in the fish tank.
Sometimes you tend to think if the mollies are guppies since they look very similar livebearer cousins.
I suggest keeping the betta splendens with smaller fishes.
The mollies can be too big for the fish tank, so my suggestion is not to keep this with the community tank.
But if there are no guppies available at your favorite pet store then this can also be an alternative to guppies.
This is also very common in the fish store. It is also relatively cheap and very nice to look at.
They are very small and transparent.
These are kind of the cleaner crew type that you need in your fish tank.
They like to dart across the bottom and always busy scurrying for food particles and bacteria. The Betta splendens will not even bother them.
The ghost shrimp is about 1.5 inches. The problem is that they tend to disappear when they are placed inside your fish tank. The lifespan is about a few days and at most 1 year if there are no known predators in the aquarium.
If you just want to keep ghost shrimp by themselves and doesn’t disappear its best to have a tank by themselves with other forms of freshwater shrimps.
Betta fish tank mates are good to be kept in the same fish tank. They can act as social growth for your betta splendens. Also, these fish mates can also add a lot more life to your fish tank.
Some of them can be your cleaning crew.
You just have to decide slowly which tank mates is good for your betta fish.
For many of my setups.
I always try to go for just put a cory catfish.
If the tank fish has room to spare then you can consider adding the recommended tank mates gradually until everything is in equilibrium.
Decide slowly and choose wisely. Do not choose the betta fish companions in a haste.