5 Best Tank Mates for Betta Fish
Betta fish are known to be fierce fighters, especially towards their own species, but did you know you can add tank mates to their aquarium? Yes, depending on your betta’s personality, he or she can peacefully cohabitate with other fish and invertebrates. However, make sure their aquarium is at least 10 to 20 gallons with lots of cover and live plants or else the betta fish may become overly territorial. For you and your Betta fish, here are our top 5 favorite tank mates.
1. Kuhli Loaches
These oddball fish look like an eel and can grow to approximately 3.5 inches. They are excellent scavengers, picking up any food left over by your betta. They are safe because they are nocturnal and tend to hide together during the day and then come out to play after dark falls. Kuhli loaches are great roommates for aggressive betta fish by sharing different “shifts”. These little water noodles should be fed lots of sinking foods like Repashy gel food and frozen bloodworms. For more information on caring for your kuhli loaches, view our full care guide here.
Kuhli loaches love to squeeze themselves under plant roots, rocks, and driftwood.
2. Ember Tetras
These brightly colored, 1-inch red-orange Tetras are a great addition to any aquarium with a 10 gallons or greater size. At least five to six are recommended to ensure that there is enough to go around and they can all school together, making it more difficult for the bettas to separate anyone. The gentle tetra will swim in the middle of your tank and eat the same food as your betta. This makes it easy to feed the entire community tank. They look great paired with a betta fish in bright colors or solid whites.
Ember are vibrant, active schooling fishes that make a statement in a tank with a lot of plants.
3. Snails of Malaysian Trumpets
Malaysian trumpets snails work well with bettas like the kuhli loaf. They are active during the night and spend their day digging in the substrate. You don’t need to purchase many of these live-bearing snails as they will reproduce easily if you give them enough food. The hardworking snail will clean your aquarium of algae and eat organic matter without adding much waste or bioload. They are preferable to the larger mystery snail because they can be fed during the day and may draw unwanted attention from your betta fish (who might mistakenly think the snail’s long antenna is a tasty worm).
Malaysian trumpet snails are sometimes considered pests because of their prolific breeding, but if you cut back on feedings, their population will decrease.
4. Harlequin Rasboras
This beginner-friendly fish measures 2 inches and has a bright orange color. The triangular black patch on the body makes it stand out in an aquarium. As with the ember tetras, buy a school of at least six rasboras, and they’ll happily socialize with each other. Their peaceful nature means they will not dominate your betta fish’s meals and will keep them out of harm’s way. Your betta fish may attempt to chase them, but it is unlikely that he will succeed. It provides him with exercise and enrichment. For more information on this gentle, easy-going rasbora, please refer to our complete care guide.
Harlequin, lampchop rasboras are excellent schooling fish and will provide hours of entertainment for your betta.
5. Cory Catfish
Corydoras are another great schooling fish that, unlike tetras and rasboras, prefer to dwell at the bottom of the aquarium. These playful catfish love to swim in groups and shoal together, so make sure you have at least three to six of the same species. You can choose from dozens of commonly available species, such as the albino cory, panda cory, and pygmy cory. They are about 1 to 3 inches long and love to explore the tank floor looking for leftovers. However, you need to feed them a variety sinking foods so they have enough food. Check out our complete article on cory catfish for the specifics.
Corydoras have become a very popular species of community fish. They are so happy-go lucky, easy to breed and a good team member for cleaning up after the fish.
All of these animals can be peaceful and get along well with each other, making them great tank mates for betta fish. With enough aquarium space, your betta may do well with any of these potential roommates, so have fun researching them and deciding which one works best for you!