We should start by saying that betta fish can live perfectly happily on their own. They are not shoaling fish and are happy with their own company.
It’s also important to say that some betta fish will need to be kept alone, as they may attack any other fish in their tank.
However, if you have a placid betta fish, you may want to add some friends to their tank. That’s fine, but you must choose the right tank mates.
The first thing to say is that whichever fish you choose to house with your betta, you need to make sure the tank is big enough.
A tank of 10-15 gallons is a good size if you keep smaller fish, as there is plenty of space for the fish to keep their distance. Large fish potentially need to be kept in a 40-50 gallon tank if housed together.
Let’s take a look at some popular fish you may be thinking about putting with your betta…
Can betta fish live with angelfish?
The first thing that should be said is that angelfish need to be housed in a large tank. Even a single angelfish should have 20 gallons of space. The second thing is that angelfish have aggressive tendencies, which grow as they do.
It’s not a good idea for a betta fish to live with an angelfish, as they will usually fight!
Can neon tetras live with betta fish?
The question ‘can betta fish live with neon tetras?’ is not always easy to answer. It often depends on the individual betta. Although bettas have a reputation for being aggressive, some bettas are more placid than others. These fish can live amicably in a tank with neon tetras, though you may need to watch out for the tetras nipping at the fins of the betta.
You also need to be aware of the following when keeping betta fish with neon tetras:
- It would help if you had a tank that is at least 10 gallons in size.
- You should provide plenty of covers so that the fish can escape from each other.
- It would be best if you always kept a shoal of at least 5-6 neon tetras.
Can betta fish and discus live together?
There is some difference of opinion as to whether betta and discus make good tank companions.
The best advice is probably to apply caution if you want to keep these two fish species together. One of the first things to consider is that you are going to need a lot of space. 40 gallons is probably a good size of the tank to allow the fish to have their own space.
It would help if you also considered that bettas like to be dominant in their environment, while discus is often referred to as the king of the tank. Either fish may become stressed if housed with the other!
Can betta fish live with guppies?
The answer to the question “can betta fish live with guppies?” is… “sometimes!”.
That may sound a little vague as an answer, but it’s the truth. If your betta is very aggressive, it won’t take kindly to sharing a tank. If you have a more placid betta, then it may be just fine living with guppies.
There are a couple of potential issues you need to look out for.
- Male guppies have strong colouring and long fins that may remind a betta of another betta. This can lead to the betta attacking the male guppy.
- Guppies may nip at the long fins of a betta. As you can imagine, the betta won’t appreciate this!
If you are going to try keeping your betta fish with guppies, then you should ideally have a tank that holds at least ten gallons.
Can betta fish live with mollies?
As with some of the other fish we’ve discussed, the answer to the question ‘can betta fish live with mollies?’ often depends on the individual fish.
Some betta fish will attack mollies, especially the more ornate varieties. Others will live peacefully in the same tank.
Of course, it’s not just the betta fish that can be aggressive. You also need to be aware that mollies will sometimes rip the fins of your betta.
If you really want to try housing your betta fish with mollies, making sure they have lots of space vital; at least 10 gallons.
Conclusions about keeping other fish with betta fish
It is possible to house your betta with a variety of other fish. However, whether you will be successful largely depends on the individual personality of your fish. Some fish are more aggressive than others.
It’s important to remember that, although male bettas are generally more aggressive, females can also display aggressive tendencies.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to risk keeping other fish with your betta; they will be pleased on their own!