Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Choosing Fish that can Live with Bettas
For a list and description of fish that can live with with Bettas, take a look at Fish that can Live with a Betta Fish (part 1). Below I’ve outlined fish that really shouldn’t be paired with Bettas (as well as some borderline fish).
Some of the species below are sometimes thought to be fish that can live with Bettas, but they are generally not a good match. Either they require significantly different water temperatures than your betta, they produce too much waste and will make it difficult to keep a clean betta fish tank and healthy water conditions for your betta, or they are too active and will keep the Betta on edge.
These fish are occasionally compatible fish that can live with Bettas, but you need to check on them when you first introduce them to make sure they are not antagonizing your Betta or getting bullied by him.
Zebra Danios – The Zebra Danio will sometimes nip and bother Bettas, so are not a perfect tank mate. However, they are tough creatures and can stand up to some Betta harassment. They prefer lower temperatures, a large tank, and friends (they are a schooling species), so are not ideal.
Guppies – Wild or Feeder Guppies are fish that can live with Bettas, however their brightly colored cousins, fancy guppies, are a definite no no. Wild guppies tend to be grey or dully colored, peaceful, and small. Both wild and fancy guppies have long, flowing fins which can cause conflict with the male Betta sometimes mistaking them for another male and starting to fight with them.
Neon Tetras – Neon Tetras share a lot of the same requirements as Betta, such as water temperature, pH, plants and lighting. But they can sometimes nip the fins of your Betta, which can cause conflict. They also prefer large groups (a minimum of six fish) so a 10 gallon tank or larger is necessary.
Rasboras – These fish can live with Bettas on occasion, since they prefer similar environments, but due to their high activity level they are not ideal. They are also a schooling fish that need friends of the same species to be happy.
These fish are not fish that can live with Bettas, and should never share the same tank as them:
Gouramis – Gouramis are very similar to Bettas – they swim at the top of the tank, use bubbles to nest, and love to hide behind plants. However, they are a little too similar – both Gouramis and Bettas are very territorial and should definitely not be put in the same tank.
Cichlids – This is another aggressive species and is not a fish that can live with Bettas. While they enjoy the same pH and other water conditions, their aggression makes them a bad tank mate.
Swordtails – These fish need an aerated tank and can be stressful to Bettas.
Chinese Algae Eaters – This species grow way too large and become territorial as adults, and should be kept away from your Betta.
Platys – These fish prefer a higher pH balance than a Betta. While your Betta can survive in a higher pH, he won’t be happy and this will probably shorten his life expectancy. Platys can also be aggressive and chase and bite your Betta.
Goldfish – Goldfish require cooler water and also release a lot of waste, which will be very bad for your Betta. They are a terrible match for your Betta and are definitely not a fish that can live with Bettas.
Do You Want to Ensure Your Betta Lives a Happy, Healthy Life?
If you answered YES to the above question, then I highly recommend you get Caring for Betta Fish: a Guide for Betta Lovers by Marcus Song.
This regularly updated, essential guide includes the right plants to keep water clean and free from ammonia, ways to acclimate your Betta to other fish, and much more. Your Betta Fish will thank you for the rest of his life! Click Here to get it now!