While a Betta fish tends to be a solitary animal, there is no reason why you can’t pair up a female Betta with some tank mates. However, it is vital that you choose the right female Betta tank mates. You will run into fewer issues like that.
On this page, we want to run you through what we believe, and what other fishkeepers believe, are the best animals to share a tank with a female Betta.
Do bear in mind that this information only applies to female Bettas. You will have a tougher time getting a male to share a tank with other fish.
What Makes a Tank Mate Good/Bad?
When you are looking for a tank mate for your female Betta fish, there are a few things that you will probably want to consider. We will go through those in a second. However, we want to start by giving you a couple of bonus ‘tips’.
First and foremost, a Betta should never live with another Betta. While there are some people that have had success with pairing a couple of female Betta fish together, you have to be aware that they may fight. This is because the Betta absolutely hates sharing space with a similar species.
A lot of it is going to be dependent on the Betta that you have too. This is a naturally aggressive fish. However, some Bettas are going to be more aggressive than others. This means that you will probably want to pay attention to your fish’s personality. If they look like they are going to start a lot of fights, then you shouldn’t be placing them into that tank with other fish at all. It would be best just to have them living alone.
You do not have to worry about your Betta fish eating other fish. While the Betta is a carnivore, it doesn’t tend to eat other fish. It doesn’t really have a large enough mouth to do it. Attack other fish? Yes. Never eat them.
Where In The Tank The Fish Will Live?
Betta fish swim near the top of the tank. This is due to how they breathe. On occasion, they take oxygen from the surface of the water. This is why it is never a good idea to put a Betta in a vase. It wouldn’t be able to breathe properly.
Of course, betta fish are territorial animals. In the wild, they live alone. The only time that they ever really come into contact with other fish is if they are breeding.
This means that you do not want to have other fish swimming around on the same levels. Fish or other animals that live at the bottom of the tank tend to do better living with the Betta because the two of them are likely not to come into contact with one another.
No Other Aggressive Fish
Two aggressive fish paired together is not exactly going to be a match made in heaven. The two of them will fight while trying to compete for control of the territory in the tank.
The same can probably be said with solo fish. Fish that travel alone tend not to be good fits for being in a tank with a Betta. This leads us neatly onto the next point.
Fish that travel in groups tend to be a better fit for being inside of a tank with a Betta.
The reason for this is that fish in groups are less prone to being bullied. Despite being an aggressive fish and really not a fan of other fish, it is still on the smaller side of things. A Betta fish wouldn’t be able to take down an entire group of fish, so it tends to steer clear of them. So, fish in groups will be better-protected. That is not to say that a particularly aggressive Betta wouldn’t try, but the chances are much lower.
Coloring Of The Fish
Fish experts suggest that you steer clear of any fish with bright red coloring or other sorts of bright, eye-catching colors on them. It seems that the Betta is more likely to see these animals as a threat and will attack them, particularly if that fish wanders into what the Betta believes to be their turf.
Betta fish are carnivores. Therefore, it would probably be wise not to have other carnivore fish in the tank. This is because the two of them may end up competing for resources. When animals compete for resources, it is never going to end well.
Finally, you will want to ensure that you have a fish that has similar tank requirements to your fish. This includes:
- Water temperature between 75F and 80F.
- PH value between 6.8 and 7.4
The Betta is a fish that hates being annoyed. If you choose fish that are incredibly active and dart through the tank all day, then your Betta is likely to attack them. The best tank mates for a female Betta tend to be those that are calmer and relaxed. Basically, do not get a fish that has too much energy. You will be asking for trouble.
Top 12 Female Betta Tank Mates
Now that we know what factors you should be considering when looking for a tank mate for your Betta, let’s go through some of the best tank mates, shall we? We have 12 of them. We are going to tell you the ideal tank conditions for each of them too. Hopefully, this will lead to you selecting a better fish.
The Pygmy Corydoras is one of the smallest catfish on the planet. In fact, they are among the smallest of fish that you can add to your tank. They do tend to travel in groups, but they are never going to be taking up a huge amount of space. This means that they are great for smaller tanks.
These are non-aggressive animals. This means that they are not going to cause any issues for your female Betta. In fact, it is unlikely that they will ever come into contact with the Betta fish.
The Pygmy Corydoras loves to swim around the bottom of the tank. They do especially well if you have some real plants that they can swim in and out of.
The Pygmy Corydoras requires a temperature between 72F and 79F. The PH should be between 6 and 8. You will need to have a minimum of 2-gallons of water per fish, with the minimum of 6 fish in a group. So, that is 12-gallons of water on top of at least 5-10 gallons that your Betta requires.
These fish are omnivores. This means that they can eat the same food as the Betta, but because they live on different levels of the tank, the Pygmy Corydoras will just take whatever floats to the bottom.
Guppies are smaller fish which also like to travel in groups. Ideally, you will have one per 2-gallons of water. This means the same ratio as the Pygmy Corydoras.
Guppies are active animals, but they tend not to bother the Betta all that much as they each spend time at different parts of the water. Not that the Betta is likely to go near them anyway due to the groups that they travel in.
Guppies are not aggressive at all. This means that you do not have to worry about them starting fights. Even with other fish in the tank, the Guppies tend to keep themselves to themselves.
They will eat roughly the same diet as a Betta but, once again, they will take whatever is left over i.e. whatever sinks down to their level in the tank.
Guppies require between 7.0 and 7.2 on the PH level. However, they can cope with a bit less than this. However, you wouldn’t really go less if you have a Betta anyway. The temperature will need to be between 75 and 82F. You will want this on the lower side of things since you have a Betta in there.
Once again, you are going to need to have at least 2-gallons of water per fish here. This is a fish that you will almost certainly want to buy multiple ones of. This is because they only really do well when in shoals. For around 5 fish and a Betta, you will likely need to have a minimum tank size of 15-gallons.
These fish hang around the mid-level of the tank. While they are more likely to come into contact with the Betta than the other two fish that we have discussed, there still won’t be any issues. The Raboras doesn’t have an aggressive bone in its body.
Rasporas are pretty hardy tropical fish. This means that as long as the tank conditions are fine for a Betta, then it is going to be fine for the Rasbora.
The two of them will be eating similar foods. However, Rasboras require smaller particles of food because they have tiny mouths. They may actually end up picking up some of the ‘crumbs’ that have been left behind by the Betta, although don’t count on it. You will need to buy smaller foods to cater to the Rasbora.
(Find out about 10 great rasboras you can add to your aquarium!)
While there are lot of shrimp that you can add to a Betta tank, we recommend the Ghost Shrimp. It is easy to obtain, and it tends to do far better in tropical tanks than other shrimps.
Because they are shrimps, the Betta is never going to come close to them. The shrimp will spend their days at the bottom of the tank feasting on live plants, and whatever floats their way from the top of the tank. In fact, they are fantastic tank cleaners, particularly in crowded tanks.
Shrimp do not need that much space. Ideally, the minimum size tank is 5-gallons when including a Betta and a shrimp. This is an animal that can live on its own perfectly happily, but if you go beyond 5-gallons, you can fit four shrimp into one gallon of water.
Tank conditions should be the same as for the Betta. Your only concern when raising shrimp is to ensure that there are plenty of plants at the bottom. They need to be able to hide when they molt at various times throughout the year.
The best snails for a Betta tank will be Turret snails. They can cope in the same conditions that a Betta fish copes in. They do not need a lot of space, and you could probably get 2-3 of them at the bottom of a tank that a Betta lives in i.e. a minimum of a 5-gallon tank.
These are cleaner animals. This means that they will be eating any foods that the Betta drops down to their level. They will also clean up any algae that forms on the substrate.
Your one concern with the Turret snails is that they can breed like crazy. As a result, a lot of people will add some Assassin Snails into the tank if the number of Turret snails gets out of hand. These Assassin Snails feast only upon other snails, so they are great for population control.
(Find out about 10 more great aquarium snails for your fish tank!)
Platies are active fish. However, they never tend to get in the way of the Betta. Ideally, you will have a ten-gallon tank for 4-5 Platies, coupled with the Betta.
There are a variety of different Platies that you can purchase. For Betta fish, we recommend the common Platy. Their temperature requirements and pH requirements are almost the same as that of the Betta.
Platies will need to have a lot of live plants that they can swim through. They tend to hang around the middle of the tank, so the live plants should stretch up to at least that point. The Platy also requires a gravel substrate, which is perfect for the Betta as you do not want lightweight substrates floating up and damaging their sensitive fins.
While the Platy is an omnivorous fish, the majority of their diet should be vegetables. This means that your typical fish flakes should be fine for them. However, you can add some bloodworms into the water once a week to really allow them to feast.
Mollies are aggressive fish. This means that this is one of those tank mates that you may be taking a risk with. However, many people report that they never cause that many issues. This is because Mollies tend to stick to the mid levels to the bottom of the tank. They also grow an inch or two larger than the Betta fish.
The Mollies require a decent tank size. At least 10-15 gallons if you are pairing them with Bettas. Mollies should have at least 2-gallons of water per Molly.
72F to 78F is going to be the ideal temperature for the Molly. The tank will need a pH between 6.7 and 8.5, so closer to 7 is going to be great for the Betta.
Mollies can eat a lot of the algae at the bottom of the tank, but they also need a diet that is rich in plants. So, adding some live plants into the tank that they can eat is going to be great. They should have some plants in there anyway. Mollies love a bit of cover.
With a lifespan of 8-years and the ease of raising them, Neon Tetras are among the most popular fish among tropical fishkeepers that are new to the hobby. This makes them a great addition to a Betta tank.
You will need to buy a lot of Neon Tetras, though. You cannot have under 15 Neon Tetras otherwise it stresses them out. Thankfully, you do not need a massive tank for this. A 10-gallon tank should be more than fine, but most people suggest going up to 20. This number of Neon Tetras should not bother the Betta as they will stay near the middle of the tank.
Their tanks need to have a heavy amount of vegetation in them. They love to hide. Some people will also add some small amounts of driftwood so that the Neon Tetras can hide if anything stresses them out.
Minimum temperature for a Neon Tetras is 70F and a maximum of 81F. Their pH should be around the 7 level.
Neon Tetras should be fine feasting upon the algae in the tank coupled with a quality fish flake diet. However, they are omnivorous, so a few brine shrimp probably wouldn’t go amiss on occasion.
Glass catfish are among the most unique of fish that you can add to your tank. They have completely translucent bodies. They certainly won’t be catching the attention of your Betta like that!
They are going to need to have a larger tank size, though. They need at least 30-gallons for around 5-6 fish. They are schooling fish, so they will always need a minimum group size of 6. They will spend the majority of their time in the middle of the tank.
Some plants in the tank of a Glass Catfish would be ideal, but you do not have to go over the top. They are already adapted to staying invisible, after all.
The water temperature should be between 75 and 80F for these fish. pH levels should be between 6.5 and 7.0.
Do not pair these fish with guppies. They can eat the smallest ones. Other than this, glass catfish feast on plankton and small invertebrate animals.
African Dwarf Frogs
African Dwarf Frogs are fully aquatic animals, so, unlike other frogs, you do not need to worry about them having land that they can hop onto.
You will need to have at least a 20-gallon tank for four of these frogs. They will spend the majority of their time at the bottom of the tank, but they will often swim to the surface to grab air before heading all the way back down. This shouldn’t be an issue for your Betta.
It is worth noting that you will need to have a shallower, but wider, tank for the African Dwarf Frog. If you don’t, this frog would struggle to be able to swim to the surface whenever they need oxygen.
They will need some live plants that they can swim around in. With this frog, it is also important that you have a proper lighting system in the tank. This is because these are nocturnal animals, so you need that proper night to day cycle.
While African Dwarf Frogs can eat plants, they mostly need animal protein. This means feeding them protein pellets. However, they also love to feast on live animals such as small fish fry and brine shrimp.
The temperature of the tank should be between 72F and 78F. pH should be between 7.5 and 8.0.
While the Zebra Danio can live in tanks of 10-gallons for 5-6 fish, the more space they have, the better. Some people recommend a 20-gallon tank for 10 fish or so. This is in addition to your Betta.
It is important to note that while Zebra Danios can be good community fish, they can have an aggressive streak about them if they are paired with slow-swimming fish. They will bite their fins, so you will need to pay attention to the species you pair up with the Zebra Danios.
Like Betta, in the wild, Zebra Danios can often be found in smaller bodies of water. The conditions are much the same. The Zebra Danios absolutely loves lush vegetation. They do best with sand as the substrate at the bottom of the tank.
They can cope with a colder water temperature than Betta. The Zebra Danios needs between 65F and 77F. Obviously, have this close to 70F so your Betta can cope. pH between 6 and 8 is good.
Zebra Danios will mostly eat fish flakes, particularly those flakes rich in algae.
(Find out about 7 more great danios.)
A group of 5-6 Dwarf Loaches will be good for a 20-gallon tank. Yes, they are smaller fish, but they can start fights with their own species, so the more space they have, the better.
Water temperature can be between 68F and 88F. They should be at around 70F for the comfort of the Betta. pH between 6.0 and 7.5 is fine.
Rocks, hollowed out wood, and plants are vital for the dwarf loach as they enjoy hiding in the tank. Smaller pebbles are good for the substrate.
Most of the time, the Dwarf loach will eat standard fish flakes, but they also enjoy the odd bloodworm and brine shrimp.
Are Female Bettas Good Community Fish?
If you choose the right fish to pair with a female Betta, then they are good community fish. Female Betta fish tend to do best when they are in tanks with fish that travel in groups. This way, even if the female Betta did have an aggressive bout about her, she is unlikely to bully the grouping fish since she knows it is a fight that she is never going to be winning.
Are Female Bettas Aggressive?
Female betta fish do have an aggressive streak about them. However, we can promise you that a female Betta is going to be nowhere near as aggressive as her male counterparts. If a female does get aggressive, it tends to be towards other Betta fish. This will, mostly, be aggression towards females.
Can I Have Two Female Bettas Together?
While there are some people that will pair up multiple female Betta fish in the same tank, it is not recommended. The Betta is a very territorial animal. While it could probably deal with other fish in that tank, it is probably not going to be happy about another female on its turf so it will fight. They probably are not going to fight to the death. It is more to establish a hierarchy between the fish. However, one, or both of them, could end up becoming seriously injured.
While female Betta fish are not as aggressive as their male counterparts, you probably do still need to think long and hard about the other animals that you pair them up with. Not only should you be thinking about the ideal tank conditions for the tank mate, but also the behavior of the said tank mate. If you stick to the twelve examples that you gave above, then you probably won’t be going wrong. Just make sure that you keep an eye on your fish’s behavior during the first few days. You may end up with an overly aggressive fish.