Betta Tank Mates
Betta fish are natural loners. If you are thinking about adding tank
mates to your betta’s aquarium, make sure that you are using at least a five gallon tank.
A good rule of thumb is to add a gallon for each “inch” of fish you introduce
(e.g. five one-inch fish for a five gallon tank or four half-inch fish and eight one-inch fish for a 10 gallon
tank). This will ensure your Betta tank mates get along fine.
Adding More Bettas
Male bettas cannot live with other males; remember, the Betta’s nickname is
Siamese Fighting Fish! Bettas are very territorial, and regardless of the size of the tank, they will fight to the
death to protect their space.
Unless you want to breed Bettas, do not put a female betta in the same tank as a
male, as they will fight once they tire of mating. Bettas do not make good Betta tank mates!
Female Bettas can live with other female Bttas, as long as there is an odd number (at
least three) in the tank. This allows the females to establish a hierarchy. If only have two females share a tank,
the stronger female will constantly harass as the weaker female. To avoid a deadly territorial battle, add the
female bettas to the tank at the same time
When keeping female Bettas together, the tank should be ten gallons or larger and
have several plants for the Betas to hide amongst.Though the idea of having several Bettas in one tank sounds
appealing, pet stores generally do not sell female Bettas because they are less colorful and have shorter fins than
male bettas. You will most likely need to find a specialty aquarium retailer to acquire female bettas.
Adding New Fish
There are many kinds of fish, snails and other marine life that get along well
with bettas and vice versa. Just remember that each Betta has its own personality and some may not be willing to
play nice at all! Here are some general rules when selecting new Betta tank mates:
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- All tank mates must be adaptable to freshwater, tropical aquariums.
- Do not add any brightly colored or long-fin fish (goldfish, guppies), as your
Betta may mistake it for another betta. Betta tank mates need to be less flashy than your male Betta.
- Do not add aggressive, fin-nipping fish (angel fish), as they will prey on the
slow-moving betta’s fins, leading to infection and ultimately death. Pay attention to your Betta's fins.
- If you see small tears in the fins as if they have been bitten, you need to
remove your Betta's tank mate. Even the best planned aquarium does not always work out, so be careful and pay
- Bettas spend most of their time at the top of the tank and only go to the middle
or bottom of the tank to sleep. This makes mid-tank dwellers or bottom feeders ideal for betta tank
Tried and True Tank Mates:
Ghost Shrimp: These bottom feeders will keep the bottom of your tank spotless!
Bettas sometimes prey on the ghost shrimp, but not if they are the same size. If you choose ghost shrimp as tank
mates for your betta, the water temperature must remain below 78 degrees.
Neon Tetras: These mid-tank dwellers will avoid your betta at all costs and can
swim twice as fast as your betta! Because neon tetras are schooling fish, you must include at least six in your
tank at all times.
Zebra Snails: These well-armored snails are bottom feeders and clean your tank of
all algae build up. Unlike other snails, they are slow reproducers, so you will never be faced with a emergency
snail extermination. Plus, they are beautiful!
By following these simple rules, you can finally find some new Betta tank mates
while minimizing the risk of fish aggression.
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