Betta Tank Mates: 30+ Fish That Can Live With Bettas

Last Updated on 2024-07-02

There’s a lot of information on the internet that says that you can’t keep bettas with other fish in a community tank. That they’re too aggressive and if you did try, it would result in death and injury. Well, the truth is that’s simply not true. There are plenty of fish, snails, and shrimp you can keep your betta with. In this article, you’re going to find out the best betta tank mates for your tank.

Table of Contents

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.

What To Look For In Betta Tank Mates

If you’re planning on keeping bettas with other tank mates, there are a few things you should look out for. Such as:

The Same Water Requirements

Before anything, make sure you’re choosing tank mates that have the same water requirements. Bettas do best in tanks which are 78°F with a pH of 7.0 or slightly more acidic. Changes in water parameters will stress them out, and could end up making them sick.

No Fin Nippers

You also need to avoid fish that are fin nippers. With their long flowing fins, bettas are a prime target for fin nippers. If you do know that a fish if going to be a fin nipper, make sure all their needs are met to reduce the chance of it happening.

No Flashy Fish

You also want to avoid flashy fish with bright colors as this will attract your betta. This is why I personally loved keeping corydoras with my betta. He’d see them but completely ignore them. If you have flashy fish in the tank, then this may not be the case.

No Long Tailed Fish

For the same reason as avoiding flashy fish, you should also avoid long tailed fish. Betta’s will see them as a threat and will end up constantly harassing them. If you don’t move them from their tank this can even result in death for your fish.

Avoid Aggressive Fish

Aggressive fish will also constantly harass your betta. And since your betta is so slow to swim, they probably won’t be able to escape. Overtime this will severely weaken your bettas immune system and could end up killing them.

Betta Tank Mates For 5 Gallon Tanks

5 gallons is the minimum size tank you should keep your betta in. If you plan on keeping tank mates with them in a 5-gallon tank then your choices are going to be a little bit limited. While it’s unwise to add fish to the tank, you can still add snails and shrimp.

As well as keeping snails and shrimp in smaller tanks, they’re also a great way of determining whether your betta is going to be aggressive, without spending lots of money.

Before we go on, I am an affiliate for Flip Aquatics and The Shrimp Farm. If you’re interested in any of the tank mates for your betta’s below, then I’ll leave a link for where you can buy them! I make a small commission from this at no cost to you, however, if you do plan on buying your fish online, I couldn’t recommend them enough!

Here are some of the best choices.

Malaysian Trumpet Snails (Melanoides Tuberculata)

malaysian trumpet snail care sheet

As you can guess by their name the Malaysian Trumpet Snail is found in Malaysia as well as other parts of Asia. They’re common aquarium snails, however, just remember that you’re going to need to keep an eye on them.

While they make great tank mates for bettas, if they’re left to breed uncontrolled they can quickly overrun a tank. They can grow up to 1.5″ in size and live for about a year.

Lastly, they survive best in a pH between 7.0 – 8.0 and prefer a temperature between 70-79°F.

NameMalaysian Trumpet Snail
Lifespan1 Year
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Ramshorn Snails (Planorbarius Corneus)

ramshorn snail care sheet

If for whatever reason you don’t want to have Malaysian Trumpet Snails in your tank, another great choice is Ramshorn Snails. They look completely different, as you can guess, with their shell looking similar to a ram’s horn.

In most cases, your betta will leave Ramshorn snails alone and this is one of the reasons they make great tank mates. However, caution is advised if you’re adding them to a planted tank. It’s very hit and miss whether they’re going to eat your plants or not and it will all depend on the individual snail.

Just like Malaysian Trumpet Snails, Ramshorns grow up to 1″ in size and live for up to a year. They like temperatures between 70-80°F and a pH between 7.0 – 8.0.

NameRamshorn Snail
Lifespan1 Year
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Cherry Shrimp (Neocaridina Davidi)

Cherry Shrimp Care Sheet Big

If you’re looking for a shrimp that’s a little more colorful, then cherry shrimp may be the choice for you. Depending on the grade you get they could be slightly orange, to a bright fiery red.

However, beware that they are a little bit more expensive than other shrimp, so make sure you know your betta won’t attack them before adding them to your tank.

Apart from that, they’re peaceful tanks mates, that won’t bother your betta and they’re also good algae eaters. Just make sure you’re they’re not solely relying on algae in your tank and you’re feeding them algae wafers as well.

Cherry shrimp are slightly smaller than ghost shrimp only growing to about 1.25″ in length but they can live for up to 2 years. Lastly, they like temperatures between 72-82°F and a pH between 6.5-8.0.

Learn more about cherry shrimp.

NameCherry Shrimp
Lifespan1-2 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Nerite Snails (Vittina Natalensis)

Nerite Snails Care Sheet Big

When you’re choosing snails for your tank, nerite snails are often the best choice. They’re the best algae eaters, and they’re also the least likely to eat the other plants in your tank.

If you plan on purchasing nerite snails then you should be aware that they come with a variety of patterns and colors. One type of nerite snail even has horns growing out of its shell!

Nerite snails can live up to 2 years and can grow up to 0.75″ in size. They like a tank with a pH level between 7.0 – 8.0 and a temperature between 72 – 78°F.

NameNerite Snails
Lifespan1-2 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy
4 best betta tank mates for 5 gallon tanks

Want to know more about keeping bettas with tank mates in a 5 gallon tank?

Betta Tank Mates For 10 Gallon Tanks

If you have a 10-gallon tank or you plan on upgrading soon, then the amount of betta tank mates you can choose from increases massively. However, one thing to remember is that 10 gallons is the minimum. You should always be looking to place your fish in a tank as big as possible.

With that being said, here are some more fish your betta can live with!

Chili/Mosquito Rasboras (Boraras Brigittae)

mosquito/chili rasbora care sheet

If you’re interested in Rasboras, then why not consider adding chili rasboras to your tank! While Chili Rasboras may be small, you’ll still need to ensure you’re keeping them in a tank that’s a minimum of 10 gallons, if you plan on keeping them with a betta. It’s not just because of their size but how active they are as swimmers. Without enough room to swim, they’re going to become stressed and in all likelihood more aggressive.

You’ll also need to keep them in schools of 6 or more.

Just remember, that because of their small size it’s vital you add a lot of plant life to your tank to ensure they don’t get attacked by any other fish you’re keeping with them.

Chili Rasboras can live for 4-8 years and grow up to 0.8″ in length. They need to live in temperatures between 72-82°F and need a pH level between 5-7.

NameChili Rasbora
Lifespan4-8 Years

Mystery Snails (Pomacea Bridgesii)

mystery snail care sheet

Mystery Snails are one of the most common snails you can get in the aquarium trade, and in some cases, you may notice them appearing in your tank without you even buying them. This is because they often smuggle themselves in on plants that you purchase.

They come in all colors with varying patterns and each one in your tank is going to look unique. Just remember, that when you have mystery snails you need to make sure they don’t breed too much and overrun your tank.

And when adding mystery snails to a tank caution is advised if it’s planted. While they will happily live off algae and dead plant matter in your tank, there’s no surefire way to be certain they won’t eat your plants as well.

Lastly, mystery snails grow up to 2.5″ in length and can live for 1-2 years. They need a pH between 7.0 – 8.0 and a temperature between 68-82°F.

NameMystery Snail
Lifespan1-2 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Ghost Shrimp (Palaemonetes Paludosus)

Ghost Shrimp Care Sheet Big

Ghost Shrimp are some of the best shrimp to get started with if you’re not sure how your betta is going to behave with other tank mates. They’re extremely inexpensive, and worst-case scenario they’ll be a nice meal for your betta.

As you can guess by their name they’re essentially transparent which gives them a unique appearance similar to glass catfish. And the best part is when you add ghost, shrimp not only are you going to have some great betta tank mates, but you’re also going to have some great algae eaters as well!

Ghost shrimp can grow up to 1.5″ in length and live for a year. They like a pH between 7.0-8.0 and a temperature between 65-80°F.

Find out more about ghost shrimp.

NameGhost Shrimp
Lifespan1 Year
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Dwarf Crayfish (Cambarellus Patzcuarensis)

dwarf crayfish care sheet

Dwarf Crayfish are truly unique looking tank mates and as you’ll find out each one of them has their own interesting personality.

One of the best reasons for keeping dwarf crayfish with your betta is because they’re bottom dwellers. So the chances are they’ll rarely come into contact with your betta who will prefer staying at the top of the tank.

If you’re going to add dwarf crayfish to your tank just remember that they are invertebrates so you should never add copper medication to your tank. If you do it will kill them.

Dwarf crayfish grow up to 1,6″ in size and can live for 3 years. They need a pH between 7 – 8 and a temperature between 68-82°F.

Learn more about dwarf crayfish.

NameDwarf Crayfish
Lifespan2-3 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Ember Tetras (Hyphessobrycon Amandae)

Ember Tetra Care Sheet

Ember Tetras are smaller than a lot of other tetras, but don’t let that put you off. They’re incredibly quick swimmers, so the chances of your betta getting close to them are slim. They are fiery red in color and have slim, streamline bodies to swim fast.

One thing to know about ember tetras is that they should be kept in groups. If they’re kept alone they’ll quickly become unhappy and stressed, which will result in a premature life.

Ember tetras grow up to 0.8″ in size and can live for 2-3 years. They like a temperature between 73 – 84°F and a pH between 6-7.

NameEmber Tetra
Lifespan2-3 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Guppies (Poecilia Reticulara)

guppy care sheet

When adding guppies to your tank, of course, caution is going to be advised. And while they aren’t the most compatible, they can still be a great tank mate for bettas.

The trick is to avoid adding male guppies to your tank. Instead, you should keep female guppies with male bettas. Females aren’t as vibrant as male guppies, so the chances of them being attacked are a lot slimmer.

If you do plan on keeping guppies with bettas, make sure you have a backup plan ready in case something goes wrong.

You can expect your guppies to live for up to 5 years in some circumstances, however, anywhere between 1-3 is more normal. As well as that they can also grow up to 2.5″ in length for females and 1.5″ in length for males.

Guppies also need a pH level between 6.8 – 7.8 and a temperature between 74-82°F.

As well as this, while keeping guppies in a 5 gallon tank is normal, when adding them with a betta, you should never go smaller than 10 gallons.

Learn more about guppies.

Lifespan1-3 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

African Dwarf Frogs (Hymenochirus Boulenger)

african dwarf frog care sheet

If you’re not interested in fish, shrimp or snails then another great choice of tank mate for bettas are African dwarf frogs. Contrary to what you might think, they’re actually bottom dwellers, so they’ll spend most of their time out of your bettas way.

If you do want to add African dwarf frogs to your tank then you need to make sure that your tank isn’t too high. They need to regularly swim to the top to breathe, and if they can’t do this they’ll suffocate.

Also, you need to be careful when feeding African dwarf frogs. They’re normally peaceful until feeding time, and if your betta tries to take their food then they may end up attacking him.

African dwarf frogs live for up to 8 years and grow 2.5″ in length. They can be kept in temperatures between 70 – 80°F and a pH level between 6.5-7.5.

Learn more about African dwarf frogs.

NameAfrican Dwarf Frog
Lifespan5 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Amano Shrimp (Caridina Multidentata)

betta tank mates

Hailed as the best algae eating shrimp, Amano shrimp also make great betta tank mates. They aren’t colorful, and their large size means they’re a lot less likely to be eaten by your betta.

They’re not aggressive, however, during feeding time it’s not uncommon for Amano shrimp to grab their food and run away with it. And the best part is, Amano shrimp can’t breed in fresh water so you don’t have to worry about your tank becoming overrun with shrimp once you’ve added them.

Just remember, like with all shrimp you should make sure there’s plenty of hiding spaces for them.

Amano shrimp can grow up to 2″ in size and commonly live for 2-3 years. They need a temperature between 70-80°F and a pH between 6.5-7.5.

Learn more about Amano shrimp.

NameAmano Shrimp
Lifespan2-3 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma Heteromorpha)

harlequin rasbora care sheet

Harlequin Rasboras are some of the best fish you can keep with your betta. They’re docile and peaceful, however, they’re also quick swimmers, so you won’t have to worry about your betta attacking them.

On top of this, while they are colorful, the coloring they have isn’t going to cause aggression in your betta.

If you want to keep Harlequin Rasboras with your betta then the good news is they aren’t going to require any special conditions as they are native to the same habitat bettas come from!

Harlequin Rasboras can live for up to 5-8 years and grow 2″ in size. They need a temperature between 72-81°F and a pH level between 6.0 -7.5 (but as close to 7.2 is ideal).

NameHarlequin Rasbora
Lifespan5-8 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Pygmy Corydoras (Corydoras Pygmaeus)

pygmy corydoras care sheet

Pygmy Corydoras catfish are another great choice of tank mate. In fact, they’re the opposite of everything that triggers a betta fish. They’re not brightly colored, they don’t have flowing tails, and they don’t inhabit the same areas.

All of these reasons, combined with the fact they are peaceful and have hard armor-like scales are exactly why you should choose them. In fact, if you’re new to betta keeping, or you’re not sure your betta will be aggressive then these are your best choice.

And lastly, because of their small size, you don’t have to worry about keeping them in a large tank. They can live happily in tanks as small as 10 gallons.

If you want to keep Pygmy Corys you should be aware they can live for up to 3 years and grow up to 1″ in size. They need a temperature between 72-79°F and a pH between 6.0-8.0. You also need to make sure that the nitrate levels are low too.

NamePygmy Corydoras
Lifespan2-3 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Bronze (Common) Corydoras (Corydoras Aeneus)

bronze/common corydoras care sheet

If you want a corydoras that’s a little bit bigger then bronze corydoras’ are a great choice. They’re brown in color and often do best in groups of 3 or more. And don’t worry about their slightly larger size, they still live happily in a 10-gallon tank. Just make sure you keep the water pristine.

Just like other cory’s they’re also ideal tank mates for bettas because they don’t have any of the features that trigger aggression in bettas. While bronze corydoras’ are bottom dwellers, it’s not uncommon for them to swim to the surface to breathe air either.

If you wanted to keep bronze corydoras catfish with your betta then you should be aware that they can live for up to 10 years and grow up to 2.5″ in length. On top of this, they’re going to need to live in a tank with a temperature between 68-82°F and a pH between 6.0-8.0.

NameBronze Corydoras
Lifespan10 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Dwarf Rasbora (Boraras Maculatas)

dwarf rasbora care sheet

If you’re looking for some smaller fish to fill your tank then dwarf rasboras are a good choice. They grow up to 0.8″ in size, however, their quick speed makes it incredibly difficult for your betta to attack them.

As well as being fast, they aren’t brightly colored and they also lack flowing fins which are the most common causes of aggression in bettas. If you want to keep Dwarf Rasboras with your betta just make sure you’re giving them lots of hiding places. They love plants, however, driftwood, caves, and man-made ornaments are also great choices.

As previously mentioned dwarf rasboras are only going to grow up to 0.8″ and they also live for 5 years. They need a temperature between 68-82°F and a pH level between 4.5-6.5 to thrive.

One thing to note here is that if you plan on keeping Dwarf Rasboras and bettas together, you’ll need to keep your aquarium on the slightly more acidic side.

NameDwarf Rasbora
Lifespan2-3 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Endler’s Livebearers (Poecilia Wingei)

Endler's Livebearers Care Sheet Big

Endler’s livebearers are extremely similar to guppies, however, the good news is they aren’t as flashy. Both the females and males lack flowing fins and they’re also not as brightly colored.

There’s some speculation to whether Endler’s livebearers and guppies are one species or two separate species because of how similar they are and the fact they are found in the exact same area of the world.

When keeping Endler’s livebearers, the biggest thing you have to be aware of is how quickly they breed. Out of all the fish you can choose they are some of the most proficient breeders. This is good if your tank is big enough, but in some cases, can get out of control.

The good news is their babies will make a tasty snack for your betta and other fish in your tank. So as long as you make sure all the fry are getting eaten there isn’t going to be a problem.

Endler’s livebearers can grow up to 1.8″ in size and live for 2-3 years (however, this is normally slightly shorter for females). They need temperatures between 68-82°F and pH levels between 6.5-8.5.

Learn more about Endler’s livebearers.

NameEndler’s Livebearer
Lifespan2-3 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Lambchop (Esme’s) Rasbora (Trigonostigma Espei)

lambchop rasbora care sheets

Last on the list of the best betta tank mates for 10-gallon tanks is Lambchop Rasboras! There another peaceful fish that loves the same tank setup as your betta.

And because of their peaceful personalities, they are unlikely to be aggressive to your betta. Likewise, they aren’t extremely colorful so it’s unlikely that your betta will see them as a threat.

Lambchop Rasboras can live for 2-3 years and grow up to 1.5″ in length. They need to be kept in temperatures between 72-82°F and a pH level between 6.0-7.0

NameLambchop Rasbora
Lifespan2-3 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy
14 best betta tank mates 2

Betta Tank Mates For 15 Gallon Tanks

Once you have a tank that’s 15 gallons or bigger, you can become even more flexible with the tank mates you want to keep with your betta. Not only can you add more, but there are also different types to choose from.

However, remember it’s still important not to overstock your tank and no matter what give your betta plenty of hiding spaces to reduce the chance of him being aggressive.

Platies (Xiphophorus Maculatas)

platy care sheet

Another extremely easy fish to keep, platies can be another great choice for your betta. As long as you stay away from platies that have longer tails, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

They require a similar habitat to bettas, and they’re also going to benefit from any food that you feed your betta too. However, one thing to be aware of is that platies are livebearers. If you add a group of them to your tank, their numbers are definitely going to multiply. But if you think you can handle it, they’re well worth a purchase!

Platies can grow up to 3″ in length and live for 3 years. As well as this they’re going to need a temperature between 70-80°F and a pH between 6.5-8.5.

Learn more about platies.

Lifespan3 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Zebra Danios (Danio Rerio)

betta tank mates

Zebra danios are some of the hardiest fish in the aquarium trade. They can survive in a lot of water conditions and if you’re new to fishkeeping they give you more room for error than other fish.

One thing you should be aware of though, is that they typically like slightly cooler waters. When you add them to the water with your betta then the temperature in the tank will be breeding temperature for them.

They will live happily in the tank your betta is already in as long as it’s densely planted with plenty of hiding spaces. Just make sure they also have enough room to swim as well.

Zebra Danios can live for 3-5 years and grow up to 2.5″ in length. They need a water temperature between 65-78°F and a pH between 6.5-7.5.

NameZebra Danios
Size 1″

Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon Innesi)

Neon Tetra Care Sheet big

Neon tetras are some of the most popular tropical fish around. They’ve been a staple in fish tanks for many years due to how easy it is to keep them and how peaceful they are. They’re peaceful nature also means they make great tank mates for bettas.

However, neon tetras aren’t always peaceful. When they’re not kept in a large enough school they can often become fin nippers. You should also make sure that they’re in a tank which is big enough. (Which is why 20 gallons is recommended).

If you keep neon tetras in a big enough group and big enough tank then they should leave your betta alone. However, just remember it only takes one rogue tetra to do some damage to your betta.

Neon tetras can live up to 8 years and grow up to 1.5″ in length. They need a temperature between 72-78°F and a pH level between 4.0-7.5.

Learn more about Neon Tetras.

NameNeon Tetra
Lifespan8 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Betta Tank Mates For 20 Gallon Tank

If you have a tank that’s 20 gallons then here are some more tank mates you can keep with your betta. Remember, when you’re picking a tank for bettas and their tank mates, you should choose length over height. Not only will this give them more horizontal swim space, but it’ll be easier for your betta to reach the surface if he’s near the bottom of the tank.

Kuhli Loaches (Pangio Kuhlii)

betta tank mates

Kuhl loaches and bettas are great tank mates, thanks in part to he fact kuhli loaches have such a mild mannered temperament. This on type of the unique look of kuhli loaches, means they’re going to be a great addition to your tank.

Remember for best results, use a sand substrate in your tank so the kuhli loaches can burrow, and keep the tank well panted so both fish have somewhere to hide.

Apart from that, keeping kuhli loaches and bettas together is a great choice!

NameKuhli Loach
Lifespan10 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Rummy Nose Tetras (Hemigrammus Rhodostomus)

Rummy Nose Tetra Care Sheet

At 20 gallons you can begin to add a lot more tetras into your tank. The first great choice of tetra to choose is rummy nose tetras. Rummy nose tetras look fantastic, and luckily, they’re also extremely peaceful. The chances of them nipping your betta’s fins are extremely slim. However, just remember you do need to make sure that they’re being kept in a school of 6 or more.

When keeping rummy nose tetras in your tank you need to make sure that you’re giving them plenty of open space to swim in while still providing them with plenty of hiding places.

Rummy nose tetras can live for up to 5 years and grow to 2″ in length. They’ll need to be kept in a tank which is 72-84°F and with a pH between 5.5-6.5.

NameRummy Nose Tetra
Lifespan5-6 Years
Difficulty KeepingModerate

Cardinal Tetras (Paracheiredon Axelrodi)

Cardinal Tetra Care Sheet

Cardinal tetras may not be as well known as neon tetras, but they’re strikingly similar. The biggest difference between the two is that cardinal tetras are a lot bigger.

Although Cardinal Tetras are peaceful by nature it’s still important you don’t take this peaceful nature for granted. If they become bored or lonely then they can quickly become aggressive. To stop this from happening, make sure you’re keeping them in groups and not on their own.

As well as making sure they’re not being kept alone you should also give them plenty of hiding places and open spaces to swim in. If you’re not sure how to do this, it’s always a good idea to build up areas of plant life around the edges of your tank with the middle filled with open space.

Cardinal Tetras can live for up to 5 years and grow up to 2″ in size. They need a temperature between 73-81°F and a pH level between 5.3-7.8.

NameCardinal Tetra
Lifespan5 Years
Difficulty KeepingModerate

Otocinclus Catfish (Macrotocinclus Affinis)

Otocinclus Catfish Care Sheet

If your betta doesn’t take well to fish that are swimming around the middle of the tank then you may do better with bottom dwellers. And what better bottom dweller to choose than Otocinclus catfish?

Once your Otocinclus catfish have settled in your tank they’re not going to require much care at all to look after. However, you should be warned that when they’re initially introduced to your tank they can often die if the water isn’t perfect. The best way to get the water perfect is by matching the parameters they’ve come from as close as possible.

If you are going to keep Otocinclus catfish in your tank you’ll need to give them plenty of hiding places. They love hiding and it’s not uncommon for them to go missing for a couple of days before being seen again!

Otocinclus catfish can live for 3-5 years and grow between 1.5-2″ in length. They survive best in temperatures between 73-81°F and a pH between 6.0-7.5.

Learn more about otocinclus catfish.

NameOtocinclus Catfish
Lifespan3-5 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy-Moderate

Scissortail Rasbora (Rasbora Trilineata)

scissortail rasbora care sheet

While most Rasboras prefer smaller tanks, Scissortail Rasboras prefer something a little bigger. This is mainly because they grow a lot bigger than their counterparts.

But don’t let their large size scare you off. They’re actually gentle giants. And because they lack a lot of coloring you don’t have to worry about your betta seeing them as a threat.

One thing to know about Scissortail Rasboras is that they need to be kept in big groups. If you don’t keep them in groups then they can become stressed and you won’t see their best coloring.

Scissortail Rasboras can live for up to 5 years and grow up to 6″ in length. They need to live in tanks with a temperature between 77-82°F and with a pH level between 6.0-7.5.

NameScissortail Rasbora
pH6.0 – 7.5
Lifespan5 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Mollies (Poecilia Sphenops)

molly fish care sheet

Mollies are a great species of fish to add to your tank because they come in a variety of colors, and sizes, however, all of them get along together.

While most Mollies are fine, there are some that you should avoid. Lyretail mollies have long tails that can cause aggression in your betta.

As well as that avoid balloon mollies. While they won’t cause aggression in your betta they are incredibly unhealthy and the way they are bred is cruel, so they’re best avoided.

Mollies can live for up to 5 years and grow up to 4.5″ in length. They need a pH between 7.5-8.5 and a temperature between 71-82°F.

Learn more about mollies.

Lifespan3-5 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon Herbertaxelrodi)

black neon tetra care sheet

If you’re not sure about how your betta will react to neon tetras, then black neon tetras can also be a great choice. They don’t have the same coloring as neon tetras, instead, they have a long white stripe running down the side of their body with black shadowing on either side.

Asides from looking like a darker version of neon tetras, they actually have similar needs. They’ll need to be kept in groups of 6 or more to make sure they don’t become fin nippers and to keep them happy. As well as this, they’re also going to need a mix of hiding places and open swimming space in their tank as well.

Black neon tetras can live for 3-5 years and grow up to 1.5″ in length. They need a temperature between 73-81°F and a pH level between 4.0-7.5.

NameBlack Neon Tetra
Lifespan5 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Read Next: Find out the 50+ best community fish for your tank, how to look after them, and what fish you definitely need to avoid!

Clown Pleco (Panaque Maccus)

clown pleco care sheet

Clown plecos are also great tank mates for bettas thanks to how calm they are and the fact they’ll stay out of your bettas way. They also thrive well in the same water parameters, and due to their feeding habits they won’t compete for food.

One thing to note that if you do plan on keeping clown plecos and bettas together, then make sure that you’re not keeping more than one male clown pleco together, as they can end up being aggressive towards each other.

NameClown Pleco
Lifespan10-12 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy – Moderate

Betta Tank Mates For 30 Gallons

Lastly, if your tank is bigger than 25 gallons then here are some of the tank mates you can put in them. At 25 gallons you’re really spoilt for choice, and the bigger your tank gets, the more great tank mates for you to choose from!

Glass Catfish (Kryptopterus Vitreolus)

glass catfish care sheet

Glass catfish really are some of the most amazing looking fish you can add to your tank (besides your betta of course). And for the complete opposite reason of why your betta looks so amazing as well.

While your betta is full of color, glass catfish are almost completely transparent. In fact, you can see their skeleton through their skin!

If you want to keep glass catfish then they are unfortunately as fragile as they sound. The water conditions will need to be pristine and they’ll need to be kept in groups to stop them from stressing.

Glass catfish live for up to 7 years and grow 4″ in size. They need a temperature between 75-80°F and a pH level between 6.5-7.0.

Learn more about glass catfish.

NameGlass Catfish
Lifespan6-8 Years
Difficulty KeepingModerate

Bristlenose Plecos (Ancistrus cirrhosus)

bristlenose pleco care sheet

Everyone loves plecos, but have you ever thought about keeping them with your betta?

Plecos and bettas make great tank mates, mostly because of how plecos are. Even though they’re large in size, they’re extremely peaceful, aren’t brightly colored or flashy, and won’t really bother your betta.

They’ll just keep to themselves at the bottom of the tank and mind their own business! And of course, the water parameters of both fish match up nicely.

If you’re going to keep a bristlenose pleco in your tank, make sure that you’re providing them with some driftwood and enough algae to eat!

NameBristlenose Pleco
Lifespan15 Years
Difficulty KeepingEasy

Assassin Snails (Clea Helena)

assassin snail care sheet

If you have snails in your tank that are breeding out of control then assassin snails are going to be a great tank mate. Unlike other snails that survive on vegetation, assassin snails are carnivores. And as you can guess one of their favorite meals is other snails.

But don’t worry if you haven’t got any snails in your tank. You can also feed them live food such as bloodworms which will sink to the bottom for them to eat.

Don’t be worried about their name either. While they do like eating live food, they aren’t going to be a threat to your betta.

If you plan on adding assassin snails to your tank then you should know that they grow up to 1.25″ in size and can live for 2 years. They’ll also need pH levels between 7-8 and a temperature between 75-80°F.

NameAssassin Snail
Lifespan2 Years
Difficulty KeepingModerate

Redtail Sharks (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor) (55 Gallons)

redtail shark care sheet

Last on the list is redtail sharks. You should only keep redtail sharks if you’re an experienced fishkeeper already. If you don’t set up your tank right for redtail sharks then they can often be as aggressive as your betta.

The trick to setting up the tank is to give them plenty of hiding places, especially caves. They’re bottom dwellers so your betta should keep out of their way. The issue lies more with keeping them with other bottom dwellers. Redtail sharks are territorial and may end up attacking other bottom dwellers in your tank.

If you do plan on keeping redtail sharks with your betta, then it is possible to keep juvenile redtail sharks in tanks that are 29 gallons in size, however, as they age they’ll need to be moved to 55 gallons.

Redtail sharks can grow up to 6″ in size and live for 5-8 years. They need a temperature between 72-79°F and a pH level between 6.8-7.5.

Learn more about redtail sharks.

NameRed Tail Shark
Lifespan8 Years
Difficulty KeepingHard

How To Increase The Chance Your Betta Will Get Along With Other Fish

If you’re going to add your betta with other fish, then you need to make sure they’re going to get along. Fortunately, there are ways you can increase the chances of this happening.

Here are some of the best ways to improve the chances.

1. Don’t Put Male Bettas Together

First of all, you should avoid putting males together. They’re called fighting fish for a reason, and if you put them together they’re going to do exactly that.

The only time this might not happen is if you put them in a big enough aquarium (150 Gallons+) which is densely planted. And even then there’s no guarantee they won’t end up fighting.

If you do put two males together the most likely outcome is that they’ll fight to the death. And the one that survives will often die from his wounds later on. So make sure you’re not putting two male bettas together!

2. Don’t Put Bettas With Brightly Colored Fish

You should also make sure you’re not putting your betta with brightly colored fish. This can often trigger aggression in them and they’ll begin to attack.

When you’re choosing fish it’s always best to pick dull looking fish like corydoras catfish. This way they’re going to ignore them as they’re not going to see them as a threat.

3. Avoid Fish With Flowing Tails

As well as brightly colored fish, make sure you don’t keep fish in your tank with long flowing tails.

A prime example of this are guppies. Guppies are extremely likely to be attacked by bettas, not just because of their tails, but their bright colors as well.

4. Buy Fish That Don’t Inhabit The Same Areas

When you’re thinking about adding more fish to your tank, you should try to add fish that don’t inhabit the same areas as bettas.

Your betta is going to inhabit the top and middle of the tank (but mainly the top) so if possible you should try to add bottom dwellers to the tank. Once again, corydoras catfish are a great choice.

As well as corydoras you could also try adding otocinclus catfish, glass catfish and if your tank is big enough, plecos as well!

(Remember, if your betta isn’t overly aggressive, you might be able to keep fish that live at the top or middle of the tank with him.)

5. Make Sure The Tank Is Big Enough

Next is to make sure that your tank is big enough. When you’re keeping a betta on their own, they’re only going to need a 5-gallon tank. However, when you want to house your betta with other fish, then you’re going to need a bigger tank.

The minimum tank size you should be going for is 10-gallons. However, the size will change depending on the tank mate. For example, neon tetras are going to need at least 15 gallons.

However, for the best chances of success, I’d never recommend a tank smaller than 20 gallons, when housing betta’s with other fish.

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6. Add Bettas At A Young Age

You could also try introducing their betta to other fish when they’re young.

When bettas are young they tend not to be as aggressive as adult bettas. In some cases, as they grow up, they’ll be so used to living in tanks with other fish that they’re less likely to be aggressive.

This is often one of the best ways to enable bettas to live with other fish, however, it always depends on the temperament of the fish.

how bettas can live with other fish

7. Add Them To A Community Tank

When you introduce fish to your betta’s tank he’s going to see them as a threat, especially if he’s been on his own for a while. However, if you add your betta to a community tank, they may be less likely to attack as they won’t feel like any of it’s their own territory.

Instead of being aggressive, they might just find their own corner of the tank to claim as their own.


  • Choose Compatible Tank Mates: Select small, non-aggressive species like tetras, corydoras, snails, or guppies.
  • Prepare the Tank: Ensure a spacious aquarium with 1 inch of fish per gallon and an adequate filtration system.
  • Rearrange Decorations: Modify the tank’s layout to create hiding spots and disrupt established territories.
  • Introduce Betta Last: Add the betta after other species to reduce stress and territorial conflicts.
  • Monitor Behavior: Observe the betta for signs of aggression and remove incompatible species if needed.

8. Make Sure There Are Lots Of Plants & Hiding Places

Adding lots of plants and other hiding places is also going to make it more likely your betta will remain peaceful.

When you add lots of plants, hiding places, and other decorations, it’s going to give your betta somewhere to go when they feel stressed. This is going to help them feel safer, reducing the likelihood they’re going to attack.

As well as helping them feel safe, they’re also going to break lines of sight. If your betta can’t see the other fish, then they’re less likely to attack.

Lastly, giving your betta decorations, plants, etc is going to keep them entertained, so they’re less likely to become bored.

9. Don’t Buy Fin Nippers

There are certain fish that are known to be fin nippers. Some tetras and barbs are prime examples of this.

If you know that a fish species are known to nip fins, then you should avoid putting them in your tank.

Not only is your betta likely to start attacking other fish in the tank if he’s being nipped, but he’s also likely to become stressed, as well as there being an increased chance of fin rot occurring.

10. Start With Shrimp And Snails

Adding shrimp and snails to your tank is a great way to figure out how your betta is going to react to other tank mates.

If he doesn’t like them in the tank, then there’s not much chance that he’ll like other tank mates either.

When you’re starting out, try adding nerite snails. Once you know he doesn’t mind adding them to his tank, amano, ghost and cherry shrimp are great choices for your tank.

Once you’ve seen they’re not displaying aggressive behavior, you can try adding fish.

11. Make Sure The Tank Mates Have The Same Requirements

Bettas have certain pH, temperatures and other water conditions they require. When you want to give them more tank mates, you need to make sure they have the same requirements

If they don’t have the same requirements then the chances are one of the fish will die. And it’s not just fish you need to worry about.

Some plants can only survive in certain temperatures which may not necessarily meet your bettas needs.

12. Try Using A Tank Divider

If your betta is aggressive it doesn’t mean you have to forget about tank mates just yet. If you have a tank that’s at least 10 gallons then you can split the tank and have one betta in one side, and another fish on the other.

In fact, with this method, you’d even be able to house two male bettas like this if the divider is opaque.

13. Don’t Pick Energetic Fish

You also want to avoid fish that are too energetic or boisterous. A fish that is constantly swimming around the tank is going to stress bettas.

So when you’re picking fish try to go for ones that swim around slowly.

Do Betta Fish Need Tank Mates To Be Happy?

Before getting tank mates for your betta you may be wondering whether it’s necessary? You may even be asking whether tank mates will make him happy. Well, the answer is a little more complicated than a simple yes or no.

On the one hand, some bettas are too aggressive to be put with other tank mates (unless you’re using a large enough tank with plenty of hiding spaces) so it’s better to keep them on their own.

On the other hand, bettas need stimulation to stop them from getting bored and even depressed. While using mirrors, adding lots of plants, hiding places and spots to explore in your tank can help stimulate your betta, there’s no denying that other tank mates in your tank are going to be a constant source of entertainment.

However, just remember, that to keep your betta happy you need to make sure he has enough space in the tank he can call his own territory. So when adding tank mates with your betta it’s important that you use a tank that’s big enough.

Will Your Betta Attack His Tank Mates?

Once again, there’s no way to know until you add tank mates into your tank. If you’re not sure it’s often a good idea to add tank mates you won’t mind losing such as shrimp. The good news is that if you add some cheap shrimp then even if your betta does kill them they’ll become a nice meal for him!

But the truth is you can never tell how your betta is going to be with tank mates until you give it a try. But as long as you’re giving them enough space, then in a lot of cases, it’s going to work out just fine.


Before you do plan on adding tanks mates for your betta you should always have a backup plan just in case. Normally people have a spare tank they can transfer their betta too if things go south. However, if your tank is big enough a tank divider is also a great alternative.

Without further ado here are the best betta tank mates!

Compatibility Chart

Knowing what tank mates you can keep with your betta is good, but knowing which ones of these can also live with each other is even better! With that in mind, here is a handy compatibility chart!

betta tank mate compatibility sheet


Here are some frequently asked questions about other great tank mates for your betta fish!

What Fish Can You Keep In A Betta Sorority Tank?

If you plan on keeping a betta sorority, then the tank mates you can keep will vary a bit.

Some great tank mates for your female betta fish include:

  • Pygmy Corys
  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Chili Rasboras
  • Platies
  • Mollies
  • Harlequin Rasboras

Find out more about female betta tank mates as well as how to set up a tank properly!

What Are Some Bad Tank Mates For Bettas?

If you’re wondering about some bad tank mates for your bettas, some you’re definitely going to want to avoid include:

  • Tiger barbs
  • White cloud mountain minnows
  • Goldfish
  • Cichlids
  • Oscars
  • Gouramis
  • Angefish
  • Discus

Feeding Betta Fish in a Community Tank:

  • Feed small amounts: Give 2-3 pellets or flakes twice daily to avoid overfeeding.
  • Choose proper food: Opt for high-protein betta-specific pellets or flakes and supplement with brine shrimp or bloodworms.
  • Target feed: Use a turkey baster to direct food to your betta, ensuring they get their share.
  • Time it right: Feed at consistent times, preferably morning and early evening.
  • Watch for overfeeding: Look for uneaten food, cloudy water, or increased algae, and adjust the amount accordingly.
  • Use feeding rings: Help your betta access food easier with floating feeding rings.
  • Monitor behavior: Ensure your betta is eating well and not bullied, adjusting the environment or separating them if necessary.

Keeping Female Bettas With Other Fish

Fortunately, female bettas are a little bit more tolerant than males. While the advice above is still worth remembering, you can be a little more lenient. For example, they’re not going to mind energetic fish as much as males. It’s also less likely that they’ll get their fins nipped as well.

However, with female bettas, it’s also important to note that they can be kept with their own kind on occasion.

Looking for a comprehensive guide about how to take care of your Betta fish? Click here!

Betta sororities are becoming more common, and in some cases, it’s also possible to keep a betta harem (1 male and a few females).

It is important to note that in both cases, it’s still going to depend entirely on the individual bettas’ attitudes.

(If you want to keep female betta fish, here’s everything you need to know about them!)

How Long Does It Take For A Betta Fish To Adjust To A Community Tank?

Your betta should adjust to a community tank after a 4-5 days. However, if you added new fish to your bettas tank, he may not adjust. So try rearranging

Betta Tank Mates – Final Thoughts

As you can see there is a whole range of betta tanks mates you can choose from. If you’re not sure where to begin then start with shrimp and snails then work your way up.

Whatever you choose, just make sure that you have a backup plan in case things don’t work. And be prepared for some trial and error, before you get it right!

Ultimate Betta Fish Care Guide
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Hey! I'm Nicolas from Iguane Media !

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2 thoughts on “Betta Tank Mates: 30+ Fish That Can Live With Bettas”

    • Hey, stendker discus are quite colorful so your betta may end up attacking them. As well as this, you’d eventually need to move them to another tank because of their large size. So in my opinion it’s best avoided!

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