Last Updated on July 5, 2020 by Anne Thynne
Siamese fighting fish, or, most popularly known as Betta fish, is a highly territorial fish. So, they will fight to the death to protect their territory. Breeders have taken advantage of it to make the betta a popular fighting fish for the competition from a pre-historic period.
And even after years of captivity, Siamese fighting fishes haven’t left their fighting instinct. Thus, betta owners, these days keep asking us, “What fish can live with Siamese fighting fish?”
Luckily, despite betta’s bull-fight like attitude, our research has found the following facts.
Many fish can live with the Siamese fighting fish and can even turn out to be a perfect tank companion. But You need to be very cautious while choosing tank mate for your betta.
So, what are those fishes? Also, do you need special treatment in the fish tank for these fishes to thrive with the betta?
To get proper answers to these questions, read through the article – you will thank yourself for making one of the best and effective decisions for your betta.
Table of Contents
- The Checklist for Betta Tank Mates
- Tank Mates That Can Live With Siamese Fighting Fish
- Precautions to Introduce Betta with a Community Tank:
- Frequently Asked Questions:
- The Bottom Line
The Checklist for Betta Tank Mates
Before you pick the best betta tank mate from our suggestions (you will get it in the next section), there’s a twist.
Even if you have a fish that can survive with the Siamese fighting fish, you need to maintain the tank and make sure you put tick marks in the following checkboxes.
- At first, check the water holding capacity of your fish tank. Ideally, a betta fish needs at least 5 gallons of water to live happily. Once you are prominently assured that you have sufficient water in the tank for the other fish, you may think of picking them.
- Don’t select big fish species to live with the betta. The big fishes will be intimidating and might engage with a fight. Do you want such moments?
- Avoid fish species that nibbles betta tail. The last thing you wouldn’t want is nibblers inviting betta into a fight by biting their tails.
- Betta mainly lives in the upper and middle sections of the aquarium water level. Hence, bottom feeder fishes are a perfect choice to live with Siamese fighting fishes.
- You will have to maintain a different dietary for the other fish species since those will have a distinctive affinity for various food items. It might not match with the betta diet.
Once you have tested the checklist and ready to maintain it, you can choose the betta fish companion that might live with the fighting fish. However, we recommend you to use a few ornamental plants so that the betta companion might hide, in case it needs.
An interesting fact:
Did I forget to tell you that Betta is known as Japanese Fighting Fish also?
Well, the naming might lead to confusion for you since they originated in Thailand and not in Japan. Still, they bear the Japanese title with them since they were first named after a Japanese Warrior Clan, Bettah.
Later, somewhere in the middle of the 18th century, both names formed a uniformity to get the present-day title.
In fact, betta fighting became so popular in Thailand that King of Siam had to impose taxation on the fighting competition. He even had to set regulations for betta fighting.
Tank Mates That Can Live With Siamese Fighting Fish
Owning betta along with other species is fun once you know which fish can live with the Siamese fighting fish or betta. But for that, you must know which fish can survive with a betta without being harmed and without harming the betta.
So, here’s our suggestion on the ten best betta fish mates that will bring fun in your aquarium life based on our extensive research and practical experiences.
If not the most popular, undoubtedly, feeder guppies are one of the most popular and famous tank mates for a betta. It is an ideal betta mate mainly because of its lacking, not the additions. It means-
- Feeder Guppies aren’t brightly colored.
- They also don’t have a long fin.
Due to these two qualities, betta will mostly ignore the feeder guppies that permit them to live peacefully with the warrior.
Moreover, guppies are very resilient and thrive in the same pH and water temperature as the betta. Next, these fishes are docile and love being on their own. All these make them easy to pet with the betta.
Although we strongly discourage betta owners to not include colorful fish species in the betta tank, Neon Tetras are a big exception to it. Despite their bright appearance, Neon Tetras live successfully with bettas because of their Michael Phelps like swimming speed.
However, you may need to introduce several neon tetras in the community tank since they love roaming around in a pack. Also, these are suitable for a long narrow-bottled tank with exemplary hiding space and swimming space.
The advantage of petting neon tetras with bettas’ is that the bright red color of them looks attractive and can even be visible in the night time. Also, they are very resilient, making it easy to own them.
Snails may not look attractive besides the colorful betta and neon tetras. Still, they survive perfectly with bettas. Also, keeping snails with the betta in the same tank will further act as a natural filter system within the container.
It happens because snails mostly live on algae, uneaten betta food vegetables. Furthermore, their docile nature helps them remain unnoticed to bettas. And even if betta develops an interest in mystery snails, don’t worry. The hard shell of snails will keep them safe.
Finally, they don’t reproduce asexuality that blocks their growth in numbers within the tank. If you have them in the betta tank, watching them meandering the tentacles looks attractive.
The invertebrate species, with its see-through or transparent appearance, truly step up to its naming. Thankfully, the translucent appearance of the species makes them nearly invisible in the tank. So, it’s no wonder why they make the perfect companionship with the Siamese fighting fish.
Additionally, their inexpensive pricing and natural caring are beneficial for you to introduce them to the betta. Also, Ghost Shrimps will live mostly on the unattended food of betta that keeps the tank water clean and healthy.
People love to see their transparent appearance in the tank-indeed; it’s a magnificent sight.
Thankfully, Cory catfish shares the same water parameters, likewise, betta. These are also easy to take care of. These qualities make them an instant choice for betta fish tank to accompany the fighting fish.
The Cory fish is a non-aggressive variant and lives happily in the bottom layer of the tank water. So, you can easily choose and pet them along with the bettas. What’s more, their combination of black and bronze color and hyperactivity brings life in the tank water.
Note: If you dislike taking risks of possible fights, you may select the dwarf or pygmy corydoras. These have a flat color pattern that won’t call for betta attraction.
Dwarf frog from Africa:
Dwarf frogs are famous for their peaceful attitude and easy caring survival. So, they are an excellent tank mate for the Siamese fighting fish. Since they have lungs (not gills), the frog receives oxygen directly from the air.
African dwarf frogs are hyperactive, likewise, Cory catfish. Henceforth, watching them exploring their territory is a treat to eyes. Believe me; it is a splendid scenario.
The Harlequin Rasbora perfectly coexists with the betta, thanks to its peaceful attitude and lasting resilience. However, they are shoaling fish and always live in a pack of four to six.
Thus, you will need a bigger fish tank for them, approximately 10 gallons of water. You can feed them with brine shrimp, a delicious treat for your favorite betta. So, you won’t have to think about Harlequin’s diet separately.
Marimo Moss Ball:
This time we introduce to you not with a fish nor an invertebrate but a living plant that keeps moving around (instead of floating around) within the betta fish tank. Yes, I am talking about the lovely looking Marimo Moss Ball.
It produces the right amount of oxygen within the tank, which is an excellent benefit for you. Other bonuses of the moss ball include nitrate and algae-eating capacity of the plant that keeps the tank water filtered.
A shocking information-
Marimo Moss Balls are literally indestructible and live nearly for 100 years- astounding!
If you don’t want to introduce neon tetras to bettas, opting for the ember tetras is a brilliant alternative for you. These are schooling fish and roam around in a pack of four to five.
Ember Tetras have an attractive bright golden appearance that is visible even in the dark conditions. So, it immediately adds color and life to your betta tank. Moreover, ember tetras follow the same diet of bettas and live in the middle part of the container. So, it negates any chance of fights.
The last in our list for the perfect betta tank companion is Clown Plecos. Growing at about 4-inches only, the dwarf version makes an excellent betta companionship.
Also, it is incredibly hardy that requires almost no care in the tank.
Note: Don’t pick the common plecos since they can grow even to giant 2-feet size, probably larger than your tank space.
Precautions to Introduce Betta with a Community Tank:
- When you choose a betta fish companion, make sure it fit and free from diseases.
- Clean the new community tank thoroughly.
- Make sure all the required water parameters are maintained within the community tank.
- Acclimatize the fishes slowly with the tank water using a plastic bag or cup to float the fish. It helps to reduce stress.
- Make sure ardently there are ample hiding spaces for the newly introduced fish in the tank.
Once you keep both betta and other fish species in the community tank, closely observe them for the next 72 hours. It will help you know how the species are behaving in the tank. If you feel like bettas are feeling insecure or getting into fights with the new species, it would be better to remove them.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can I keep two male bettas in the same tank?
Ideally speaking, male bettas are highly territorial, and they never like intruders in their location. So, keeping two male bettas within the same tank will most likely engage them in fatal fights. However, if you have a large tank suppose with more than 10 gallons of water, two bettas will live happily within their territory.
Can two female bettas live in the same tank?
Yes, unlike the male counterparts, female bettas can live together peacefully. But it requires an especial community tank condition, namely sorority. The sorority community tank refers to betta fish living in a group of 4-6 numbers. Hence, it requires a fish tank with 10+ gallons of water.
The Bottom Line
Here is a quick recap of the write-up on “What fish can live with Siamese fighting fish?”-
To introduce betta in a community tank, you must ensure that you have ticked the boxes in the checklist.
Next, there are at least ten fish, invertebrate, amphibian, and plant species, which are excellent Siamese fighting fish companion.
Lastly, make sure you have met all the precautions, such as maintaining water parameters and acclimatized the fishes before starting to put them together.
Once you have done all these with perfection, there’s only one result-
Your betta or Siamese fighting fish will live happily with the chosen companion for the rest of its life.