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In this article, you’ll learn which fish species make good Betta tank mates and are compatible with either a male or female Betta. You’ll learn which Fish we recommend because they get along, are safe, and will comfortably live with your Bettas.

You’ll also learn which Fish to avoid because of territorial or aggression issues. By the end of this post, you should have no problem choosing the ideal betta fish companion.

Lastly, we’ll answer some of the following questions; what Fish can live with bettas? What Fish can you put with a betta? Fish that get along with bettas?

Further Reading: If you’re setting up a new tank for your Betta make sure you know what the ideal Betta Fish tank size is and give your little buddy some room to swim.

Let’s begin.

Betta Fish Tank Mates Overview

A few things you should know about your betta fish.

To keep your betta happy you’ll need to make sure he has enough space that he can call his own territory.
Betta fish can have very different personalities, some are more aggressive than others and may tend to harass one another, and others may not.

The Betta is a fish with lots of vibrant colors so when selecting tank mates to keep with male bettas or female bettas in a community, you’ll want to provide Fish that are not aggressive and don’t have any long fins or colors that may intimidate the males.

Aquarium Maintenance Checklist [Free Guide]

Animals such as snails, shrimp, or frogs can be kept with Betta fish and they aren’t going to require any special conditions as they have similar habitat requirements as Bettas.

Here are a few of my favorite to start with.

My Top 5 Favorite Betta Fish Companions

What Are The Best Tank Mates For Bettas?

Before we get into the bulk of the list, here is a complete list of all the best tank mate options for Bettas.

Keep in mind that the size of your aquarium plays a huge role in which tank mates you’ll be able to keep in your Bettas aquarium.

Watch this quick video for five really easy ideas.

Here is the quick list:

1. Misc Fish Species:

  • White Cloud Minnows
  • Otocinclus
  • Glass Catfish
  • Cherry Barbs
  • African Dwarf Frog
  • Marimo Moss Balls

2. Snail Species:

  • Zebra Snails
  • Nerite Snail
  • Mystery Snails

3. Shrimp Species:

  • Ghost Shrimp
  • Bamboo Shrimp
  • Cherry Shrimp

4. Guppies:

  • Feeder Guppies
  • Female Guppies
  • Endler Guppies

5. Livebearers:

  • Platies (Short-finned)
  • Mollies (Short-finned)

6. Tetras:

  • Neon Tetra
  • Black Neon Tetra
  • Silver Tip Tetra
  • Diamond Tetra
  • Glowlight Tetra
  • Silver Tip Tetra
  • Ember Tetra
  • Gold Tetra
  • Blue Tetra
  • Red-eye Tetra
  • Penguin Tetra
  • Dawn Tetra
  • Green Neon Tetra
  • Colombian Tetra
  • Head and Tail Light Tetra
  • Rummy Nose Tetra
  • Cardinal Tetra

7. Rasbora Species:

  • Mosquito Rasbora
  • Fire Rasbora
  • BlackLine Rasbora
  • Harlequin Rasbora
  • Celestial Pearl Danio [Galaxy Rasbora]

8. Cory Catfish:

  • Pygmy Cory
  • Albino Cory
  • Cory Catfish (General)
  • Panda Cory

9. Plecos:

  • Bristlenose Pleco
  • Clown Pleco
  • Snowball Pleco
  • Candy Striped Pleco

10. Loaches:

  • YoYo Loach
  • Guntea Loach
  • Zebra Loach
  • Clown Loach
  • Kuhli Loach

Now that you’ve seen all the fish that can live with your Betta fish, we wanted to help you even more by letting you know which Fish would be the best companion for your Betta, depending on tank size.

Tank Mates For Bettas Depending On Tank Size

It’s not only the Fish, and the temperament that makes a great tank mate, but you also need to consider the size of the tank you will be placing your Fish into.

For example;

A fish that will grow to be 2-3″ would not likely be the best tank mate for a male Betta in a 2 Gallon tank.

To help with your search, here is a quick list of some of the most popular and peaceful fish species, grouped them by the tank size, that can be added to your aquarium that your Betta will love.

Let’s dive in.

Small & Safe Betta Companion Ideas For a 2.5 Gallon Tank

Small & Safe Betta Companions For a 2.5 Gallon Tank

Below you’ll find a few betta tank mates that would be perfect for a 2.5 gallon tank.

1. Zebra Snails

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1 Inch
  • Temperature Requirements: 73-75 °F
  • PH Range: 7.5

Zebra (Nerite) Snails are very popular in freshwater aquariums mainly because it’s challenging to breed them in a freshwater tank, so they are doubtful to multiply like other snail species.

These snails also help remove/eat debris and algae from your tank, which helps keep things clean.

They can grow up to 1″, and you can identify them by their vivid black and gold stripes. They are super easy to care for, very peaceful, and help keep things clean, making them an ideal friend for your male Betta.

Compatible Tank Mate Ideas For a 3 Gallon Tank

Compatible Tank Mates For a 3 Gallon Tank

Next, we’ve featured two awesome betta tank mates for a 3 gallon tank.

1. Marimo Moss Balls

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: Varies
  • Temperature Requirements: 72-78 °F
  • PH Range: Wide Range

Marimo Moss balls are one of the best things you can put in your Betta’s tank. They are hardy and also help keep the water clean and free from toxins.

2. Cherry Shrimp

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1 Inch
  • Temperature Requirements: 80 °F
  • PH Range: 6.8

These tiny red shrimp are another partner for a male Betta fish because they are very unobtrusive and excellent at hiding.

One thing to keep in mind is they breed quickly so they could overtake your tank quickly. That said, they are relatively hardy and would work well in a Betta tank.

Awesome Betta Tank Mates For A 5 Gallon

Awesome 5 Gallon Betta Tank Mates

Next, we’ve got two options for a 5 gallon tank.

1. Mystery Snails

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 2 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 68-82 °F
  • PH Range: 7.0-7.5

Another snail species that are not only unobtrusive and will stay out of your Betta’s way, but they also have a hard shell for protection and can quickly retreat inside of it if your Betta starts to get aggressive. And snails are scavengers and algae-eaters, so they will do a lot to keep your aquarium clean and healthy.

Nerite snails, in particular, are excellent Betta fish companions. They are some of the best algae-eaters around, they stay relatively small at about an inch in length, and they don’t excessively reproduce like some other freshwater snails.

2. Feeder Guppies

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 2.5″
  • Temperature Requirements: 65-80 °F
  • PH Range: 6.5-8.5

Feeder Guppies lack the bright hues of Fancy Guppies, and their small fins and muted colors won’t attract the attention of your aggressive Betta. They are also tiny, peaceful and won’t harm your Betta by nipping at his fins.

Feeder Guppies are usually bred as food for larger Fish, but their overall blandness makes them great tank mates for Betta fish.

They are also very hardy and can survive in a wide variety of tank conditions, so you won’t have to worry about balancing your tank to accommodate them.

Fantastic Betta Tank Mates For A 10 Gallon Tank

Fantastic Betta Tank Mates For A 10 Gallon Tank

The next list is a bit bigger as since a 10 gallon tank gives you a little more room to work with, that said, be careful to go overboard when stocking your tank.

1. White Cloud Minnow

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1-2 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 60-72 °F
  • PH Range: 6.0-7.0

Native to Chinese mountain streams, the White Cloud Mountain Minnow is an ideal fish compatible with Bettas. This is a peaceful and easy-to-care-for fish that won’t nip at the fins of your Betta and won’t be seen as a threat.

They also enjoy a similar diet and water pH as Bettas, so you won’t have to find that perfect chemical balance for all your Fish to thrive.

White Cloud Mountain Minnows are used to colder water temperature than Bettas, but setting your temperature around 75 degrees (F) should keep both species happy.

2. Neon Tetras

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1.5″
  • Temperature Requirements: 68-77 °F
  • PH Range: 6.0-7.5

Neon tetras are small freshwater Fish that get along well with Bettas, they will also add color and activity to your Betta tank, and they are great for beginners.

Because neon tetras stay quite small and have a peaceful temperament, they are often found in small community aquariums and can live up to 10 years if kept healthy.

3. Ember Tetra

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1 Inch
  • Temperature Requirements: 75-82 °F
  • PH Range: 5.5-7.0

Like the other Fish on this list, the Ember Tetra is generally peaceful and submissive and is not known to nip at fins. Unlike bright Neon Tetras, Ember Tetras have a dull color that won’t attract a Betta’s attention.

These qualities make this Fish another great buddy for your Betta fish because they won’t annoy or seem threatening to your Betta. And if your Betta fish did try to start something, Ember Tetras are small and fast enough to escape unharmed.

Ember Tetras thrive in the same tank conditions as Bettas and enjoy tanks with a lot of vegetation to explore. A small school of Ember Tetras should peacefully coexist with your Betta Fish and will add variety to your tank.

4. Harlequin Rasbora

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1.5″
  • Temperature Requirements: 73-82 °F
  • PH Range: 6.0-7.0

Harlequin rasboras may be the ultimate Betta fish tank mates because they naturally coexist with Bettas in the wild without a problem.

Rasboras are small and not known to be aggressive or nip at fins, so the chances are low that your Betta will see them as threatening. They are also used to the same diet and habitat as Bettas, which will make setting up and balancing your tank much simpler.

Rasboras can add a touch of flash to your tank with their metallic orange coloring and signature triangular black markings. Throw your Betta into a tank with a school of 8-10 Rasboras, and you should have a peaceful community of beautiful Fish.

5. Celestial Pearl Danio [Galaxy Rasbora]

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 2 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 67-72 °F
  • PH Range: 6.0-7.5

The Celestial Pearl Danio is a relatively, easy-to-care-for fish. It does best in a peaceful aquarium or a well-planted aquarium of at least 10 gallons. And because of its small size and calm temperament is an excellent Betta friendly fish.

6. Silver Tip Tetra

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 2 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 64-82 °F
  • PH Range: 5.8-8.5

The Silver Tip Tetra is a quick, sleek tetra with shimmering white/silver fin tips. It will do best in groups of 6 in a community tank of small peaceful Fish.

7. Pygmy Cory

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1 Inch
  • Temperature Requirements: 72-79 °F
  • PH Range: 6.4-7.4

The Pygmy Corydoras is the smallest species of Corydoras Catfish, only growing to about 1 inch in length.

Corydoras are bottom feeders, so they generally won’t interfere with your Betta Fish, which prefers to cruise around the upper layers of the tank. They are also peaceful by nature, and their dull gray colors blend well with sand and gravel, so your Betta may not even notice that it has a tankmate.

Another advantage of Corydoras is that they enjoy similar conditions as Betta Fish and will do well in the same tank environment. Corydoras are the kind of fish that gets along without issue.
A school of 6-10 small catfish in a 10-gallon tank are the perfect companions for your Betta fish, and these two species should get along swimmingly.
Here are a few more Corydoras species you can use;
8. Albino Cory
  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1.5″
  • Temperature Requirements: 74-80 °F
  • PH Range: 7.0-8.0

9. Cory Catfish (General)

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1.5″
  • Temperature Requirements: 72-80 °F
  • PH Range: 7.0-8.0

10. Panda Cory

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1.5 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 72-80 °F
  • PH Range: 7.0-8.0

11. Ghost Shrimp

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1.5 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 72-80 °F
  • PH Range: 7.0-8.0

Ghost shrimp are almost translucent and are very pale in color, which means they are unlikely to attract the attention of your Betta fish.

They’re small and will stay out of the way, and your Betta will most likely leave them alone. They’re also scavengers, so they’ll work to keep your tank clean.

Ghost Shrimp prefer aquariums of at least 10 gallons with plenty of places to hide. With a small community of Ghost Shrimp alongside your Betta, you should have a clean and peaceful tank.

12. Nerite Snail

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 0.5-1 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 72-80 °F
  • PH Range: 7.5-8.0

13. African Dwarf Frog

African Dwarf Frogs are excellent companions for male Bettas fish because there’s no way your Fish will mistake them for another Betta, so it will have little reason to attack.

These frogs will also stay near the surface of your tank and will be out of your Betta’s way most of the time. They are also able to survive in similar conditions.

Even though you’re Betta won’t be provoked by the appearance of the African Dwarf Frog, you should still look to make sure your Fish isn’t nipping at your frogs from below.

Medium Sized Betta Fish Tank Mate Ideas For A 15 Gallon Tank

Medium Sized Betta Fish Tank Mates For A 15 Gallon Tank

For a 15 gallon tank, you can continue to use all of the recommendations above plus the next two options that will need just a little more room.

1. Clown Pleco

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 5 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 75-82 °F
  • PH Range: 6.6-7.8

A type of armored catfish, they are docile algae-eaters and can be excellent Betta fish tank mates.

These Fish tend to be docile and submissive and get along great with territorial Fish like Bettas. They also do well in similar water conditions, and their algae-eating habits will help keep your tank clean.

These Plecos are strikingly beautiful with luminescent yellow and dark black stripes, so they will surely add to the aesthetics of your tank.

They are smaller than other types of Plecos, but can still grow to about 4 inches in length and will need a tank that’s at least 29 gallons.

2. Fire Rasbora

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 2 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 76-84 °F
  • PH Range: 6.0-7.0

Fire Rasbora is a shy fish species and should be kept in groups of at least 8. The tank should be calm and peaceful or well planted.

Because of their timid nature, Fire Rasboras are great companions for Betta Fish as they are likely to never disturb them.

Large Betta Tank Mate Ideas For A 20 Gallon Tank

Large Betta Tank Mates For A 20 Gallon Tank

In this next section, we’ve got five large and schooling Fish that are great betta tank mates for a 20 gallon tank.

1. Rummy Nose Tetra

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 2 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 75-81 °F
  • PH Range: 6.4-7.0

Rummy Nose Tetra is a small fish with a bright red spot on its head, with black and white stripes on the tail and silver body. The Rummy Nose Tetra can be kept with other peaceful Fish, including Bettas.

2. Cardinal Tetra

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 2 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 73-81 °F
  • PH Range: 5.5-7.5

The Cardinal Tetra is another brightly colored fish that will bring beauty to any home freshwater aquarium. The Cardinal is very peaceful and should be kept in groups of six or more.

Check out this roundup of some great Cardinal Tetra Companions! 

3. Short Fin Mollies

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 6-8 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 70-82 °F
  • PH Range: 7.5-8.2

Mollies are a favorite in the aquarium hobby because of their many good qualities. They are very peaceful, undemanding, and brightly colored.

You can find them in most aquarium stores and in many variations such as orange, rust, silver, black, green, gold, and combinations of some or all of these.

Be Careful:

When keeping mollies with Betta Fish, your Betta may confuse them for a male because Mollies are brightly colored. So be sure their fins are not too long.

4. Kuhli Loach

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 3-4 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 75-86 °F
  • PH Range: 5.5-6.5

The Kuhli Loach is peaceful groundfish which is more active in the evening and at night – which makes it an ideal acquaintance for Betta Fish, since they are likely never to see one another.

5. Bristlenose Pleco

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 6 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 75-81 °F
  • PH Range: 6.5-7.5

Bristlenose plecos are an excellent addition to most freshwater aquariums. They are one of the best algae eaters available because of the large amount of algae they eat, their hardy and easy to care for nature.

These guys go well with Betta Fish because of their peaceful nature and inactivity during the day.

Read our care guide for the: Bristlenose Pleco.

The Biggest Betta Fish Tank Mates For A 30 Gallon

The Biggest Betta Fish Tank Mates For A 30 GallonWe’ll finish this off with four of the biggest companions that are compatible with your bettas, just ensure you’ve got a 30 gallon tank or larger.

1. Bamboo Shrimp

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 2-3 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 68-77 °F
  • PH Range: 7.0-7.5

2. YoYo Loach

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 5-6 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 75-81 °F
  • PH Range: 6.5-7.5

3. Zebra Loach

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 4-5 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 73-79 °F
  • PH Range: 6.0-6.5

4. Clown Loach

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 6-8 Inches
  • Temperature Requirements: 75-81 °F
  • PH Range: 6.0-6.5

Phew! Now that that’s all done. You might be curious to know which of the above Fish might be best for either a male or female betta fish.

We’ve got you covered in the next two sections.

Read on.

Female Betta Tank Mates – Sorority Tanks

Since the female Betta is typically much less aggressive than the male betta fish, you can sometimes be a little more relaxed in your choice of neighbors.

With that in mind, basically, any of the Fish above will do, but you can also keep other female bettas in the tank to create a sorority tank.

What is a Betta Sorority tank?

Basically, it’s a group of female bettas in one community aquarium. The bigger the aquarium, the better so look at 15 gallons or larger, so if any of the females become aggressive, there is more than enough room to swim and hide.

With that said, here are some great options for female betta tank mates;
  • Neon Tetra
  • Black Neon Tetra
  • Silver Tip Tetra
  • Diamond Tetra
  • Glowlight Tetra
  • Silver Tip Tetra
  • Ember Tetra

Male Betta Tank Mates

Unlike the female Betta, males can’t be kept in the same aquarium as another male (with some exceptions).

With that in mind basically, any of the Fish above will do, just be careful not to crowd your male Betta and have the right sized tank for the Fish you want to keep.

Below are my favorite tank mates for a male betta fish;

  • Nerite Snails
  • Otocinclus
  • Most small Tetras & Rasboras

What Makes a Good Tank Mate for Your Betta Fish?

Before we get into the list of good playmates, here are a few things to look for when deciding if a fish will make an excellent addition to your Betta community tank.

  • Make sure you have the proper Betta fish tank setup and that your tank is big enough. If your Betta’s tank is less than 10 gallons, you shouldn’t try to add other Fish. As far as tank size goes, bigger is better.
  • Make sure there is plenty of vegetation and natural features. Bettas and other Fish need places to hide and take shelter.
  • It may be easier to add your Betta to an already-established community tank than to add other Fish to your Betta’s territory.
  • Avoid putting two male Bettas in the same tank.
  • Avoid Fish with long, flowy fins or bright colors that male Bettas might mistake for another male.
  • Avoid Fish that are known as “nibblers.” They will nibble at your Betta’s fins, injuring it and potentially causing it to become aggressive.

Introducing New Tank Mates To Your Betta [Video]

Check out this excellent video for a tutorial on introducing new tank mates into your Betta tank:

What Fish Are Compatible With Betta Fish?

Despite their reputation, it is possible for male Bettas to coexist with other Fish in a community tank.

In fact, a few examples of tank mates that can live peacefully with Betta Fish are White Cloud Minnows, Neon Tetra, Ember Tetra, Harlequin Rasbora. Most freshwater shrimp and snails can also live with your Betta.

Because of these potential issues, many people will keep Betta fish in a separate tank. But I feel that if you want a colorful and happy Betta make sure you do some research and be careful when adding a Betta to a community tank.

Can You Keep Betta Fish With Other Fish?

Betta fish are also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish for a good reason. They have an aggressive side and can be very territorial, which can cause them to nip the fins of other Fish or worse fighting, which can often lead to injury or death.

Do Betta Fish Need Tank Mates To Be Happy?

Bettas do not actually need any companions and do very well on their own, provided they have a large enough tank and the right requirements.

It is important to keep in mind that they in no way require any friends in the aquarium! HomeAquaria.com

However, if you’re tank is large enough, you can add a few companions that will no doubt add some fun for your little buddy.

If you believe your, little friend, is unhappy because he isn’t moving around as much, keep in mind there are many reasons Why Your Betta Fish Is Not Moving.

Can Betta Fish Have Tank Mates and Stay Peaceful?

Yes, Betta Fish can be kept with all kinds of community fish.

That said, it is essential to do your research and understand how big the Fish will get, their temperament, and their water parameters.

Keep in mind:

Tank size is also critical, and as you’ll see below, you’ll need to make sure to have a large enough tank size depending on which companions you want to keep with your Betta.

Final Thoughts On List Of The Best Betta Tank Mates

Any of the above species have the potential to make excellent male Betta fish friends. Even so, when establishing your community tank, make sure to monitor your Betta’s reaction to the other Fish and keep an eye out for any aggressiveness.

If done correctly and carefully, you should be able to create a thriving community tank around your beautiful Betta.

The success of creating a community tank with male Bettas ultimately depends on the temperament and personality of your individual Betta.

But the species listed here can make excellent buddies for your Betta Fish and will give you the highest chance of having a peaceful and happy aquarium.