Although many believe that bettas can only be housed by themselves because they'll "kill" anything alive in the tank, bettas CAN be housed with other fish/invertebrae. In fact, there are quite a few species that can successfully coexist with a betta. The general rule is that a betta can live with anything as long as it's
- Not colorful or resemble a rival betta's colors (guppies)
- Not a fin nipper (Tiger barbs are a big NO)
- The right size for the size of the tank (No common plecos in a 10 gallon tank since they get to 2 feet in length)
- Lives roughly in the same water conditions as a betta (no brackish fish)
If a possible tankmate qualifies for all 4 conditions, then they should make great tankmates with a betta. Another important condition is the betta's personality. Becuase every betta has his or her own unique characteristics, whether or not a tankmates will peacfully live with the betta varies widely. An overly aggressive betta should only housed by itself while a shy/ peacful betta can possibly live with guppies or other colorful fish. However, bettas are solitary fish meaning they do best by themselves. That's how they live in the wild. Additionally, adding fish to a betta tank may cause the betta to become aggressive because it thinks that another fish is swimming over his/her territory. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't get your betta a tankmate. As long as your betta doesn't show any signs of distress or become aggressive, everything will be alright. It's up to the owner to decide whether or not to get a tankmate. Now, on to the common tankmates!
Fish listed here are the best possible tankmates you can have with your betta.
African dwarf frogs
African dwarf frogs make excellent betta tankmates. Because frogs look nothing like bettas (obviously), there's little to chance of a fight to occur. The betta will just let the frog do whatever frogs do. Additoinally, african dwarf frogs produce little waste meaning that you don't have to worry about nitrates/nitrites/ammonia. The only problem is feeding them. Since they aren't particularly good swimmers, the betta will usually his own food and then proceed with eating the frogs food before the frog notices that food is ready.