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 eel-like oddball fish grow to about 3.5 inches long and are great scavengers for picking up any excess food your betta drops. They are safe because they are nocturnal and tend to hide together during the day and then come out to play after dark falls. Even more aggressive bettas can be made to feel at home with kuhli locaches by working in different shifts. Just make sure to feed these little water noodles lots of sinking foods such as community pellets, Repashy gel food, frozen bloodworms, and live blackworms. You can find our complete care guide here for more information about caring for your Kuhli Loaches.
Kuhli loaches like to hide under plants roots, rocks, or 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. Make sure to get at least five to six of them, so that they can school together and make it harder for the betta to single anyone out. This gentle tetra swims in the middle tank, and will eat the same foods as your Betta. It makes feeding the community tank easier. Pair them with a bright blue or solid white betta fish, and their contrasting colors will make a striking display for all to admire.
Ember Tetras are active schooling fish that can stand out in heavily planted tanks.
3. Snails of Malaysian Trumpets
Malaysian trumpet snails, like the kuhli locach, are great for bettas. They’re active mostly at night and spend most of their day burrowing in the substrate. Because they are a living-bearing snail you don’t need many to get started. They can reproduce quickly if they have enough food. The hardworking snail will clean your aquarium of algae and eat organic matter without adding much waste or bioload. We prefer them to the larger mystery snail, which likes to feed during the daytime and may attract unwanted attention from your betta fish (who might mistake the snail’s long antenna for a tasty worm).
Malaysian brass snails can be considered pests due to their prolific breeding. However, if they are fed less, their population will decline.
4. Harlequin Rasboras
This fish is a great beginner-friendly size at 2 inches. It has a bright orange body and a distinct black triangular pattern that really makes it stand out in an aquarium. Like the ember Tetras, a school of six or more rasboras will allow them to interact with one another. They are peaceful and won’t take over the mealtimes. Although they may not be able to catch them, your betta fish might try to chase them. This provides enrichment and exercise for your fish. Read our full care guide for more details on this easy-going rasbora.
Harlequin and lampchop rasboras both make excellent schooling fish that will provide your betta with hours of entertainment.
5. Cory Catfish
Corydoras, which are great schooling fish, prefer to live at the bottom of the aquarium, unlike tetras or rasboras. 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 are one of the most popular community fish because they’re so happy-go-lucky, easy to breed, and helpful as a clean-up crew.
All of these animals are peaceful and easy to get along with, making them the ideal tank mates for a betta fish. If you have enough aquarium space, your Betta can live with any of these potential roommates. So, have fun looking into them and choosing the best one for you.