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. Here’s our top 5 list of favorite tank mates for you and your betta fish to enjoy.
1. Kuhli Loaches
These oddball fish, which look a lot like eels, can grow up to 3.5 inches in length and are great for picking up food that your betta has left behind. They’re a pretty safe choice because, as nocturnal creatures, they tend to hide together in groups during the daytime and then come out to play when the lights are off and your betta is asleep. Even more aggressive bettas can be made to feel at home with kuhli locaches by working in different shifts. These little water noodles should be fed lots of sinking foods like Repashy gel food and frozen bloodworms. Our full care guide contains more information about how to care for your kuhli loaches.
Kuhli loaches love to squeeze themselves under plant roots, rocks, and driftwood.
2. Ember Tetras
These 1-inch, red-orange tetras make a lively, colorful addition to any aquarium that is 10 gallons or larger in 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. 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. You can pair them with a solid blue or bright white betta fish to create a stunning display for everyone to enjoy.
Ember Tetras are active schooling fish that can stand out in heavily planted tanks.
3. Snails of the Malaysian Trumpet
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. As a live-bearing snail, you don’t have to buy that many to start with because they readily reproduce if given 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 tromp snails are often considered pests for their prolific breeding. But if you reduce their feedings their population will drop.
4. Harlequin Rasboras
This 2-inch, beginner-friendly fish features a bright orange body with a distinctive black triangular patch that really stands 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. Because of their peaceful nature, they won’t dominate the food during mealtimes and will stay out of your betta’s way. 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 or lampchop Rasboras make great schooling fish for your betta. They will entertain you for hours.
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 enjoy shoal (or swimming loosely together), so ensure you get at least three to six of each species to make them feel secure and comfortable. There are many species available to choose from, including the albino, panda, and pygmy cory. They can grow up to one to three inches long. Check out our complete article on cory catfish for the specifics.
Corydoras is a popular fish for community because they are happy-go-lucky and easy-to-breed. They also make a great 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.