Can You Put Other Fish With Bettas?

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Many fish keepers love to keep community fish tanks where all the inhabitants interact peacefully and in harmony with each other.

A Betta fish can be a show stopper and be the perfect centerpiece fish for your tank but can you put other fish with Bettas?

Can You Put A Betta Fish With Other Fish?

Yes, you can keep Bettas in the same aquarium as other fish but there are a couple of factors involved that will determine whether it will work or not. 

Some Bettas will just not tolerate tank mates while others are super chilled and seem to get on with everyone.

Below are two of the most important factors that you need to consider.

Your Betta’s Temperament

This is probably the most important factor.

Every Betta has a very different personality.

Some of them are super chilled while others live up to their name and just want to kill anything that moves.

When I was looking for a suitable Betta fish to add to my peaceful community fish tank, I observed all the Betta Fish in their jars at the Pet Store.

I was looking to see which of the male Bettas were not flaring at their next-door neighbor.

When I found a beautiful male Betta that seemed peaceful, I took the jar and placed him next to another male Betta.

Even though the other Betta started to flare, my boy Sailor just ignored him and swam around with lowered tail and fins.

I knew right away that this was the Betta for me.

He was super chilled.

If you want to add a Betta to your community tank then do what I did and observe how they behave.

 Avoid the aggressive ones and pick out a calm one.

Betta fish in community tank

Size of the Tank

The next step is to confirm that your fish tank is adequate in size. A 10-gallon tank is suitable for a single Betta.

You’ll need a larger tank if you want to keep your Betta with other fish, though.

The size of the fish tank will be determined by how many fish you would like to keep in it as well as which species you choose.

If you want a small community tank then a 20-gallon is the perfect size.

It is big enough to allow for a small assortment of fish yet small enough for you to handle and look after.

Plants and Places to Hide

Adding many plants and other hiding spots will also help your Betta stay peaceful.

If your Betta is stressed, they will have a haven in your aquarium if you add lots of plants, hiding spots, and other decor.

As a result, they’ll feel more secure, which lowers the risk of an attack.

Plants and decor will break lines of sight while also giving them a sense of security.

Your Betta is less likely to attack if it cannot see the other fish.

Finally, providing your Betta with decorations, plants, and the like will keep them occupied and prevent them from getting bored.

Can 2 male Betta Fish live together?

I would strongly suggest that you only have one male Betta per fish tank no matter what their personalities are like or how large the fish tank is.

Can 2 male betta fish live together

You should avoid putting male Betta fish in tanks together.

They’re called fighting fish for a reason, and if you put them in the same tank they’re going to do exactly that.

I personally think it is irresponsible to put two males together and hope they will be okay.

I know some people have done this and they say that the fish are fine but I would not risk it.

Can 2 female Betta Fish live together?

You have a bit more leeway when it comes to females.

However, the best is to have at least 5 female Betta fish in the tank to form a  female Betta sorority. 

There must also be a lot of hiding places and plants for them to get away from each other.

Male and female Betta fish in same tank

Male and female Betta fish should only be put together for breeding purposes and then separated as soon as the breeding is finished.

An experienced fishkeeper can try and house both sexes together but there is a risk that they will fight so if you are a beginner keep them separate.

Female Betta Fish

Fish With Flowing Tails Should Be Avoided

Avoid keeping fish with long flowing tails with Betta Fish as well as those with bright colors.

Show Guppies are a good example of this. 

Bettas are known to prey on guppies due to their bright colors and long, flowing tails.

My Betta Fish (Sailor) unfortunately destroyed my guppy’s tails.

I ended up moving him to a separate tank.

No Fin Nippers

Betta fish with their flowing fins and tails are prime targets for fish that love to nip. 

For this reason, you mustn’t add any fish that are known to nip at fins, eg Tiger Barbs.

The stress of being nipped will not only make your Betta fish sick but it will also cause them to become aggressive in their attempt to keep other fish away from themselves.

Make sure you do proper research to avoid this kind of fish.

Tank Mates

Choosing your tank mates wisely is one way to increase the chances of your Betta coexisting peacefully with other fish.

Avoid overcrowding the tank, or your Betta will feel as if his home is being invaded.

Bettas do not do well in tanks with a lot of ‘busy’ fish that are hyperactive and constantly darting around.

They prefer fish that are calmer and less colorful.

The only way to have brighter fish safely is if your Betta does not exhibit any aggressive behavior.

Pygmy Corydoras, female Guppies (as they are not usually brightly colored), Ember Tetra, and Harlequin Rasboras are all possible tank mates.

All of these fish are calm and, more importantly, do not nip at the fins.

Snails are another viable option. Both Nerite and Mystery Snails get along well with Bettas.

If you have a very calm Betta, you may find that platys and swordtails will also work.

Everything depends on your fish’s level of aggression.

Final Thoughts

Bettas are naturally inquisitive creatures who enjoy exploring their surroundings.

Keep in mind that tank size, tank mates, and your Betta’s temperament are all extremely important.

If you have any doubts about their compatibility with another fish, it is best to leave your Betta alone.

You want your Betta to live a long, happy, and healthy life as a Betta owner!

Going away on vacation? Wondering if you can leave your Betta alone for a few days?

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Irma Bense is the founder of She has over 42 years of experience in keeping fish.She has kept both freshwater and saltwater fish through the years.She has extensive knowledge in breeding numerous species of fish from Show Guppies, Cory Catfish, German Blue Rams to Apistogrammas.You can learn more about Irma on the 'About' page.

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