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. Below are our top five favorite tank mates that you and your betta fish can enjoy.
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’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. Kuhli loaches are great roommates for aggressive betta fish by sharing different “shifts”. Make sure you give your kuhli loaches lots of sinking food such as Repashy gel foods, frozen bloodworms, frozen community pellets, 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 bright, lively, and colorful red-orange tetras will add color to aquariums that are 10 gallons in size or more. 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 tends to swim around the middle of the tank and generally eats the same foods as your betta, which makes the whole community tank easy to feed. 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. Malaysian Trumpet Snails
Like the kuhli loach, Malaysian trumpet snails are great with bettas because they’re mostly active at night and spend their daylight hours burrowing 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. This hard-working snail will remove algae from your aquarium and eat organic waste without adding any extra bioload or waste to it. 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 2-inch, beginner-friendly fish features a bright orange body with a distinctive black triangular patch that really stands out in an aquarium. Like the ember Tetras, a school of six or more rasboras will allow them to interact with one another. Because of their peaceful nature, they won’t dominate the food during mealtimes and will stay out of your betta’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. 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 that are readily available, including the panda cory and albino cory. Growing about one to three inches in length, they love scavenging around the tank floor and looking for leftovers, but you must specifically feed them a variety of sinking foods to make sure they get enough to eat. You can read our entire article about cory catfish to learn more.
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.