Keeping Bettas In A Community Tank: Do’s And Don’ts

Bettas, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are often thought of as solitary creatures that can’t coexist with other fish. However, with the right setup and tankmates, Bettas can thrive in a community tank environment. In this article, you’ll find out how to keep your betta in a community tank successfully!

Can Bettas Live In Community Tanks?

Many people wonder if bettas can live in community tanks with other fish. Although this is possible, it’s important to remember that it requires careful planning and consideration of the following factors.

To keep a betta fish in a community tank, you need to make sure that the tank is big enough, you’ve chosen compatible tank mates, the water quality is high, and even after that, you will also need to monitor your betta to make sure everything is still running smoothy.

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Choosing Compatible Tank Mates

Bettas are known for their territorial behavior and will become aggressive to other fish, especially ones with long flowing tails and bright colors. Therefore, it’s important to choose fish that aren’t like this as well as peaceful, non-aggressive fish that won’t nip at your betta’s fins or provoke them in any way. Some compatible tank mates for bettas include small tetras like neon or ember tetras, corydoras catfish, and snails.

Ensuring Adequate Tank Size

Before introducing your betta to a community tank, it’s important to ensure that the tank size is adequate. A general rule of thumb is one gallon of water per inch of fish. If you’re just starting out, I’d recommend a minimum of 20 gallons to reduce the chance of aggression from your betta

Introducing Bettas Slowly and Carefully

When introducing a betta to a community tank, it’s essential to do so slowly and carefully. Sudden changes in their environment can stress betta fish, so gradually acclimating them over several days can help reduce stress levels. Additionally, providing plenty of hiding places and plants can help reduce stress levels for your betta and make them feel more comfortable in a community environment.

Regular Monitoring

Regular monitoring is also crucial when keeping bettas in community tanks. Keeping an eye on the behavior of all the fish can help you identify any potential issues early on before they become serious problems. If you notice any signs of aggression towards your betta or other tank mates, it may be necessary to remove one or more individuals from the tank.

So, while it is possible for bettas to live in community tanks with other species of fish, it requires careful planning and consideration of various factors such as choosing compatible tank mates, providing adequate space and hiding places, gradual introduction techniques, and regular monitoring. With the right setup and approach, you could have a beautiful display aquarium with multiple species coexisting peacefully together!

betta care sheet

What Community Fish Can Live With Bettas?

Keeping bettas in a community tank with other fish species can be challenging. Betta fish are known for their aggressive behavior towards other male bettas and brightly colored fish that may be mistaken for rival males. Therefore, choosing compatible tank mates is crucial for the health and well-being of all the inhabitants in the aquarium So, let’s consider some community fish that can live peacefully with bettas.

Factors to Consider

Before we dive into the specific types of community fish that can coexist with bettas, it’s important to consider a few factors when selecting tank mates:

Tank size: Make sure your aquarium is large enough to accommodate multiple fish species comfortably.

Water parameters: Different fish species have different water requirements in terms of pH level, temperature, and water hardness. It’s important to choose species that have similar water requirements.

Aggressiveness: Avoid aggressive or territorial species that could provoke or harm your betta.

Size: Choose smaller-sized fishes so they won’t compete with your betta for resources.

Betta Tank Mates

Here is a quick list of some fish that you can keep with your betta. If you want a fully comprehensive list, however, I’d definitely check out this article about the best tank mates for bettas!

1. Harlequin Rasboras

harlequin rasbora care sheet

Harlequin rasboras are peaceful and non-aggressive schooling fish that make great companions for bettas. Their calm temperament and small size make them less likely to compete with your betta for resources.

2. Kuhli Loaches

Kuhli Loach Care Sheet

Kuhli loaches are bottom-dwelling fish that help keep the tank clean by eating leftover food and debris. They are peaceful and non-aggressive, which makes them suitable tank mates for bettas. Their unique appearance adds an interesting contrast to the betta’s vibrant colors.

3. Cherry Barbs

Cherry Barb Care Sheet

Cherry barbs are colorful and peaceful fish that make great companions for bettas. They have similar water requirements as bettas, making it easier to maintain consistent water parameters in your aquarium.

4. Pygmy Corydoras

pygmy corydoras care sheet

Pygmy corydoras are small bottom-dwelling catfish that make excellent companions for bettas due to their peaceful nature and small size. They enjoy being in groups, creating an interesting display in your aquarium.

5. Zebra Danios

zebra danio care sheet

Zebra danios are active schooling fish that can coexist with bettas if introduced carefully into the aquarium environment. Their fast swimming speed makes them less likely to get caught by the slower-moving betta.

6. Bristlenose Plecos

bristlenose pleco care sheet

Bristlenose plecos are bottom-dwelling algae eaters that help keep your tank clean by consuming algae growth on surfaces within the aquarium. They have a peaceful temperament which makes them suitable companions for bettas.

7. Endler’s Livebearers

endler's livebearers care sheet

Endler’s livebearers are colorful and active fish that make great additions to a community tank with bettas due to their peaceful nature and small size. Where possible choose females over males since male endlers have bright colors on their tails, which could provoke aggression from male bettas.

The Betta Tank Mate Sheet

How Do You Introduce Bettas To A Community Tank?

Betta fish are some of the most beautiful and unique creatures you can keep in your aquarium. With their vibrant colors and playful personalities, they’re sure to bring joy to any space. But if you’re considering adding other fish species to your tank, introducing your betta to a community tank can be tricky.

Don’t worry, though; we’ve got you covered! Here are some tips and tricks on how to introduce your betta to a community tank:

Step 1: Choose Compatible Tank Mates

Before adding any new fish species to your aquarium, make sure they’re compatible with bettas. Some great options include small tetras, corydoras catfish, snails, or guppies. Avoid aggressive or territorial species that could provoke or harm your betta.

Step 2: Prepare the Tank

Make sure your aquarium is large enough for multiple fish species comfortably. A general rule of thumb is one inch of fish per gallon of water. Also, ensure that you have an adequate filtration system in place for healthy water conditions.

Step 3: Rearrange Decorations

Rearranging decorations in the aquarium can help reduce aggression between different species by breaking up established territories. Move plants or decorations around so that there are plenty of hiding places for all inhabitants in the tank.

Step 4: Introduce Betta Last

When introducing new fish into an existing community tank setup, it’s important to introduce your betta last after other inhabitants have already established themselves within their territories. This will allow your betta time to adjust gradually without feeling threatened by new neighbors.

Step 5: Monitor Behavior

After introducing your betta into the community tank environment, closely monitor its behavior for any signs of aggression towards other inhabitants in the aquarium. If necessary, remove any incompatible species from the tank immediately before they become injured or stressed.

With these steps in mind, you can successfully introduce your beloved betta into a welcoming and thriving community tank environment!

How Big Should Your Community Tank Be?

When it comes to keeping fish in a community tank, the size of the aquarium is an important factor to consider. The general rule of thumb is that the larger the tank, the better. A larger aquarium provides more swimming space for your fish and allows for a greater variety of species to coexist peacefully.

Additionally, a larger volume of water can help dilute any toxins or waste products produced by your fish.

The minimum tank size I’d recommend for a betta community tank is 10-20 gallons, however, you can go as small as 5! The size of tank you choose will largely depend on what fish you want.

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For example, if you want a larger fish like a bristlenose pleco, then you’ll need at least a 30 gallon tank!

It’s also important to consider the bio load of your fish when determining tank size. The bioload is the amount of waste (such as ammonia) your fish produces. A higher bioload requires more water volume and filtration capacity to maintain healthy water conditions.

In addition to considering tank size, it’s important to research each species’ specific requirements for water temperature, pH levels, and compatibility with other species before adding them to your community tank.

Overall, when it comes to choosing an appropriate tank size for your community setup, bigger is usually better. Investing in a larger aquarium will provide a healthier and more enjoyable environment for both you and your fish!

betta care facebook group

How To Feed Betta Fish In A Community Tank

If you’re planning to keep a betta fish in a community tank, it’s important to know how to feed them properly. Here are some helpful tips on how to feed betta fish in a community tank.

Feed in Small Amounts

Betta fish have small stomachs, so feeding them in small amounts is important. Overfeeding can lead to digestive issues and water quality problems in the tank. A good rule of thumb is to feed your betta fish two to three pellets or flakes at a time, twice a day. If there are other fish in the tank, make sure to adjust the amount of food you give them accordingly.

Choose the Right Type of Food

When feeding your betta fish in a community tank, you want to choose the right type of food. Betta fish are carnivorous and need a diet that is high in protein. Pellets and flakes specifically designed for betta fish are a good choice, as they are formulated to provide the necessary nutrients for optimal health. You can also supplement their diet with frozen or live foods such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, or daphnia.

Target Feed Your Betta

In a community tank, other fish may quickly consume the food before your betta has a chance to eat. To ensure your betta gets enough food, target feed them by using a turkey baster or pipette to squirt food directly into their mouth.

Feed at the Right Time

Timing is important when it comes to feeding your betta fish in a community tank. Feed your betta fish at the same time each day, and avoid feeding them too close to bedtime. It’s best to feed them in the morning and early evening, giving them time to digest their food before going to sleep. This will also help prevent uneaten food from sitting in the tank and polluting the water.

Watch for Signs of Overfeeding

Overfeeding is a common problem in fish tanks, and it can lead to health problems for your betta fish and other fish in the tank. Watch for signs of overfeeding, such as uneaten food, cloudy water, or an increase in algae growth. If you notice any of these signs, reduce the amount of food you’re giving your betta fish and make sure to clean the tank regularly.

Use Feeding Rings

Feeding rings are small plastic devices that float on the surface of the water and keep food contained in one area. This allows your betta to easily access their food without having to compete with other fish.

Monitor Feeding Behavior

Keep an eye on your betta’s feeding behavior to ensure they’re getting enough food and aren’t being bullied by other species in the tank. If necessary, adjust feeding strategies or consider separating your betta into its own tank if they’re not thriving in the community setup.

Can You Keep A Female Bettas In A Community Tank?

Yes, female bettas can be kept in a community tank with other compatible species. However, there are a few things to consider before adding a female betta to your community setup.

Tank Size

Bettas need plenty of swimming space, so it’s important to choose an appropriately sized aquarium for your community tank is important. The minimum recommended tank size for a female bettas in a community setup is around 20-30 gallons. A larger aquarium will provide more space for all the fish and help prevent territorial conflicts.

Compatible Species

When choosing other species to coexist with your female betta, look for peaceful, non-aggressive species that won’t nip at their fins or trigger aggressive behavior. Good options include small schooling fish like tetras or rasboras and bottom-dwelling species like corydoras catfish.

Introducing Your Betta

When introducing your female betta to the community tank, it’s important to do so slowly and carefully. Start by placing them in a separate container within the aquarium for a few hours each day so they can get used to the presence of other fish without being overwhelmed. Gradually increase the amount of time they spend in the main tank until they’re comfortable living among their new tankmates.

Monitoring Behavior

Keep an eye on your female betta’s behavior after introducing them to the community setup. Watch for signs of aggression or stress, such as fin nipping or hiding away from other fish. If necessary, remove any incompatible species or consider separating your betta into its own tank if they’re not thriving in the community setup.


Are Betta Fish Considered Community Fish?

Betta fish are not usually considered community fish because they are known to be territorial and can become aggressive toward other fish, especially males. However, female bettas can sometimes be kept in a community tank with compatible species if the tank is large enough and there are no aggressive or fin-nipping fish present. It’s important to research the specific needs and behaviors of any fish you plan to keep together in a community tank to ensure they will coexist peacefully.

Can Neon Tetras Live With Bettas

It is generally not recommended to keep Neon Tetras with Betta fish as they have different water temperatures and pH requirements, and the flashy colors of the tetras can sometimes trigger aggressive behavior in Betta fish. Additionally, bettas are known to have a tendency to nip at the fins of other fish, which could harm or stress out the delicate neon tetras. 

Can Guppies Live With Bettas?

It is generally not recommended to keep guppies and bettas together in the same aquarium. Bettas are known to be aggressive and territorial, especially towards fish that have long and colorful fins, such as male guppies. The betta may mistake the guppy’s long, flowing fins for another male betta and attack it, causing injury or even death.

Will Betta Fish Breed In A Community Tank?

It’s possible for Betta fish to breed in a community tank, but it can be challenging. Breeding Bettas require specific water parameters and conditions, such as warm water, plenty of hiding places, and a well-planted aquarium. Additionally, male Bettas can become aggressive toward females during the breeding process, which may cause harm or stress to other fish in the tank. I

Can You Keep A Betta In A 20 Gallon Community Tank?

Yes, a Betta fish can be kept in a 20-gallon community tank with other peaceful fish. The larger tank size will give the Betta plenty of space to swim and explore, reducing stress and aggression toward other fish. However, it’s important to choose tankmates that are compatible with Bettas and won’t nip at their fins or provoke aggressive behavior. Good options for tankmates include small schooling fish like neon tetras or rasboras and bottom-dwelling species like corydoras catfish.

Keeping Bettas In A Community Tank_ Do’s And Don’ts


In conclusion, keeping a Betta fish in a community tank can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for both the fish and the aquarist. However, it’s important to provide proper care, including appropriate tank size, water parameters, and compatible tankmates. By doing so, you can create a peaceful and thriving community aquarium that includes the beautiful and fascinating Betta fish.

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