By: Chubby Squirrel
If you have a Betta Fish, you are probably pretty happy with it. The bright, shining colors almost blind you with their awesomeness. No doubt about it, the Betta is one of the most beautiful and easy to care for fish out there. But, now that you think about it, wouldn't the tank look better if you had another fish or animal in there? I definitley think it would. Perhaps a snail or two, or maybe a school of Neon Tetra? This article will help you make the choice of what animals you might want to put with your Betta. It will also tell you about the fish that cannot go with the Betta, which is really important. After all, Betta are called Siamese Fighting Fish for a reason!
First off, Betta are very territorial animals, particulary the males. That means they will kill other fish if they think the other fish are stealing their territory. Depending on your Betta's personality, the size of your tank, and the circulation in your tank, you may be able to put in a lot of colorful fish, or maybe just a small, dully colored snail. If your Betta is living in a 2 gallon tank with no filtration system, than you might not want to get another fish, as first of all, most fish require a filter, and second of all, there's not a lot of space inside the tank. That can lead to stress for the Betta and then because of that stress, a fight. On the other hand, give me a 50 gallon tank with a filter, heater, and all the neccesary equipment (see Chubby's Aquapage for more details), and I'd have a Betta, along with an entire school of Neon Tetras as well as around 5 snails to be the clean up crew (obviously you'd still need a filter because of the Neon Tetras, and also because snails produce waste too). Since Bettas have long tails, you shouldn't put "tail nippers" (fish who nip other fish's tails) with them, as they will fight back and maybe kill the nippers. Now, time for the Betta-Friendly fish/animals!
RULE OF THUMB: EVERY 1 INCH OF FISH SHOULD HAVE AT LEAST ONE GALLON OF WATER FOR ITSELF. EX: THREE 1 INCH FISH SHOULD HAVE THREE GALLONS OF WATER. THIS WAY, THE FISH WON'T GET OVERCROWDED!!!
Marimo Moss Balls
African Dwarf Frog
Sort of a disclaimer: Of course there's more animals that live well with Betta than just the ones mentioned above, but these are the more popular ones and the ones that are easier to get hands on. Below is a brief description of all the animals listed above. For more information, you should search up the names of the animals that you're interested in online. I am not an expert, and a good portion of this information I got from other websites such as TFCG, PetHelpful, and Betta Fish Care. If you are really interested in these animals, than you should get more information from different websites, as I am not an expert. The purpose of this article is for entertainment (but of course I'm not purposefully leaving you wrong information, in fact, I'm pretty sure almost all the information on this page is true) but also to open your eyes to the possibility of another animal living with your Betta. This is not meant to be an in depth description of the animals that can live with your Betta. Of course, all Bettas have their own personality, and so they may react differently to a new tankmate, even if that new animal is on my "approved" list. I do not take responsibility for your pet, as it is not mine. Didn't mean to sound mean there ^_^, just wanted to make sure nobody complains that their fish died because of me (although unlikley, it could happen!)! Anyways, to the animals!
The above is a Harlequin Rasbora. These guys are really peaceful tropical fish that will do well with your Betta. This is a shoaling fish, and can live up to six years. Because it's a shoaling fish, you should have a minimum tank size of ten gallons so that you can put a lot of buddies with them. You should have at least 8-10 Harlequin Rasboras in the tank so that they don't feel lonely. Ideal temperature is 73-82 degrees farenheight.
Zebra Snails, a type of Nerite Snaill, will go very well with your Betta, as it's very peaceful and has a hard shell, so even if your Betta does get curious, it won't get hurt the snail. Most people get the snail because they're known for eating all types of algae. Aditionally, there are species of Nerite Snails that can live in saltwater. Zebra Nerite Snails are more common than other Nerite Snails, but there are other typesas well. They can live for 1-2 years. The best temperature for them is 72-78 degrees farenheight.
The Mystery Snail is a great escape artist, so it might escape from your tank. If you have a strong filter4 intake, the snail might be sucked into it, and may cause it to die. Prevent this by attaching a sponge pre-filter to the intake tube before getting the Mystery Snail. These snails can survive in a range of temperatures, from 68-82 degrees farenheight. Unlike Nerite Snails, they can't live in salt water.
The Clown Loach is a very peaceful fish that you can keep with almost any tankmate. Unlike most other loaches, the Clown Loach is not nocturnal, so you can see it feeding. They also help with your tank by eating those annoying small snails that sometimes come out of nowhere in your tank, though I'm pretty sure they can't eat bigger snails such as the Mystery Snail and the Zebra Nerite Snail. This animal, though it looks like a Catfish, swims on all levels. It can grow a foot in length and live around ten years with the appropriate care. The Clown Loach is a carnivore and can live in waters 75-85 degrees farenheight. Have fun!
There is a question about the Ghost Shrimp: Can it live with the Betta Fish? Sometimes. Sometimes the Betta fish will leave it alone, and other times, the Betta Fish will "get hungry" and eat it. For that reason, I'm not really recommending this guy, so I'm not including any info on him. If you want more information, you can search it up on google. If you really want to, you can take the chance; Ghost Shrimp don't cost that much! (<--is that mean?)
Feeder Guppies are good to have with a Betta because of their dull colors and peaceful nature. As stated previously, the Betta might fight any fish that has more vibrant colors than itself, so these guys are good for your Betta tank. They are tropical fish, so temperatures of 74-82 degrees farenheight would suit them just fine. My guppy tank is 82 degrees, and they are doing just fine. They aren't expensive, and if you buy a male and a female, they will most likely mate, and get you some cute guppy fry. You can feed these guys tropical flakes as well as live food such as mosquitos and mosquito larvae, but they are not carnivores. Enjoy!
Neon Tetras are very cool shoaling fish that can go well with almost any tankmate. They are a beautiful neon color, and are very peaceful. Since they are shoaling, you might want to get at least 6 of them. I've had some of these guys before in a community tank, if you're looking for fish easy to breed, this isn't your guy, but they do look amazing when in shoals. In the wild, they can live up to 8 years, but in the tank, 5 years is probably the max. They are tropical fish from the Amazon, so you want your tank to be heated to a temperature of 70-81 degrees farenheight. They are very sensitive to water changes, including changes in temperature. My tetras died after I did my weekly water change. They died because the water that I added was colder than the water in the tank. R.I.P. Well, good luck with these guys!
Marimo Moss Balls are actually not moss, but algae. There's no stone in the middle, it's completely and purely algae. The reason people like this is that, well, it won't harm your fish, that's for sure, and also because it can live for 100 plus years, growing at a rate of 5 milimeters a year. These guys don't need too much light, and if they turn brown, they are overheated, so move them to a cooler area. These moss balls have been found to grow 12 inches in diameter in the wild, but that probably won't happen in your tank. If the moss balls are floating, squeeze them lightly to let out the air bubble. The moss balls can absorb harmful nitrates, and act as a mini filter! Enjoy!
Clown Plecos are rather small catfish, which is unusual. These guys usually stay around three and a half inches long and are peaceful, bottom-dwelling fish that help to eat leftover food as well as algae. They will eat driftwood and algae, but that is not enough. Be sure to buy some sinking pellets that sink to the bottom of the tank for them or else they won't get enough nutrients. One reason you might not want to put the Clown Pleco with the Betta is because when it eats wood, most of it comes out the rear end because it's hard to digest, so you need a filter. They live up to ten years and live in temperatures ranging from 73-82 degrees farenheight.
Cory Catfish! I have had a version of these guys before, and they are really interesting to watch. Of course, you need to feed them pellets that sink to the bottom, but they also eat leftovers that fall to the aquarium floor. When getting Cory Cats, be sure to get at least two or three of them because although they won't die if alone, they like to have companions and sleep together, sometimes on top of each other. They will do most things together, and if you only have one Cory Cat, it would probably get bored and not healthy. If there are six o more of these guys, they will school, not shoal, which is pretty cool to witness. These guys are bottom-dwellers and enjoy temperatures of 72-78 degrees farenheight.
I went to the pet store one winter night a couple years ago. Once inside the store, I got some treats for my awesome cute little dog. Then, I went to the back of the store... Okay, that was where the fish was located, not where I was doing some cool secret black market trade. I went to the tank that said "African Dwarf Frog", and looked inside...IT WAS EMPTY!!! So guys, that's how I decided to stock my tank with Guppies and Zebra Danios instead, but more about that later. Maybe. Anyways, African Dwarf Frogs can only come onto the land for about 20 minutes before dying. Just pretend they are fish without gills. Try to handle them minimally, to prevent injury. They are really shy, and for the first few days you might have to use a straw to push the food down to them as they are too shy to come to the surface for food. These guys need temperatures of 75-82 degrees farenheight, so they are tropical animals. Be sure to include plenty of hiding space for these guys, as they might want to hide from the other animals in the tank. Well, that's it! Have lot's of fun and I hope your animals don't die!
This is the end of this article! I hope I will be making more articles like these, as it is fun and I have lot's of time (sort of). I appreciate that you took the time to read this article, and if you have any suggestions about the article or about the website, as always, feel free to tell me that in the place where you can leave a message on my profile page. Again, thanks, and best of luck!
I DO NOT TAKE CREDIT FOR THESE PICTURES. THE OWNER OF THESE PICTURES ARE THE PEOPLE WHO TOOK THEM.