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 oddball fish look like an eel and can grow to approximately 3.5 inches. They are excellent scavengers, picking up any food left over by your betta. Because they are nocturnal, they will hide in groups during daytime, then emerge to play at night when your betta is asleep. By working different “shifts,” kuhli loaches can make great roommates even for more aggressive betta fish. Make sure you give your kuhli loaches lots of sinking food such as Repashy gel foods, frozen bloodworms, frozen community pellets, and live blackworms. For more information on caring for your kuhli loaches, view our full care guide here.
Kuhli loaches love to squeeze themselves under plant roots, rocks, and 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. The gentle tetra will swim in the middle of your tank and eat the same food as your betta. This makes it easy to feed the entire community tank. You can pair them with a solid blue or bright white betta fish to create a stunning display for everyone to enjoy.
Ember Tetras are active schooling fish that can stand out in heavily planted tanks.
3. Snails of the Malaysian Trumpet
Malaysian trumpets snails work well with bettas like the kuhli loaf. They are active during the night and spend their day digging in the substrate. As a live-bearing snail, you don’t have to buy that many to start with because they readily reproduce if given 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, much like bamboo shrimp. We prefer them to the larger mystery snail, which likes to feed during the daytime and may attract unwanted attention from your betta fish (who might mistake the snail’s long antenna for a tasty worm).
Malaysian brass snails can be considered pests due to their prolific breeding. However, if they are fed less, their population will decline.
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. They are peaceful and won’t take over the mealtimes. Although they may not be able to catch them, your betta fish might try to chase them. This provides enrichment and exercise for your fish. You can read our full care guide to learn more about this easy-going, gentle rasbora.
Harlequin and lampchop rasboras both make excellent schooling fish that will provide your betta with hours of entertainment.
5. Cory Catfish
Corydoras are another great schooling fish that, unlike tetras and rasboras, prefer to dwell at the bottom of the aquarium. These playful catfish like to shoal together (or swim loosely in a group), so get at least three to six of the same species so they feel safe and comfortable. There are many species that are readily available, including the panda cory and albino cory. They can grow up to one to three inches long. Check out our complete article on cory catfish for the specifics.
Corydoras are one of the most popular community fish because they’re so happy-go-lucky, easy to breed, and helpful as a clean-up crew.
These animals are all peaceful and easy-going, making them ideal tank mates. 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.