Betta Fish Compatibility

Though they are nicknamed siamese fighting fish, bettas do not have to live alone. Every betta splenden will react differently to new tank mates. Some Betta fish get along with nearly anyone you put them with and some get stressed out and may become defensive. Remember that bettas require warm freshwater conditions, so be sure to only look at tropical freshwater fish.

Monitor the fish over the first few days to watch for any aggression or fin-nipping. Though they are nick named “siamese fighting fish” it is easy for the betta to actually be the victim. Due to their laid back attitude, be sure to place them with a calm-tempered species. They will typically do well with many community or schooling fish.


Non aggressive community fish are the most compatible with betta fish


Blue Male Betta Fish

Beta fish are loners and do not need nor want a companion. In fact, bettas will ignore all other fish unless being picked on.  Betta fish tend to be quite lethargic and choose not to race around the tank. This is why community fish of a calm nature would be best as tank mates.

Tip: Avoid any species that are known to be fin-nippers such as barbs. However, barbs could be kept in a large enough school making it likely that they will be too occupied to stray from their group.



Recommended Choices

Cory Catfish Platy Plecostamus
Tetra Rasbora Loach
Otocinclus White Clouds Molly


I know it is likely that you’ll experiment with other species of fish and you may even have great luck with it. I am merely giving you guidelines for higher success. Now here is a list of who should absolutely NOT be living with your betta.


Not Recommended for Betta Fish

Cichlid Goldfish Bettas
Puffers Gourami Fancy Guppy
Oscar Koi Pacu
*Note that when I mention bettas not being with their own kind I am referring specifically to male bettas. Female betta fish get along great together due to the lack of competition with each other.


Goldfish with Betta Fish


I know Goldfish are very tempting because bettas can live with them in harmony. I classified them as incompatible for the following reasons:

1. Goldfish require cooler water(65-75 degrees) whereas betta fish need warmth(75-80 degrees)

2. Goldfish are very active and can be aggressive by nature which could stress your betta out.

3. Goldfish will grow to at least 6 inches long and could eventually eat your betta.


Guidelines to follow when choosing a tank mate for your betta fish:


1. Betta fish do not have very good vision. It is important that you don’t place them with a fish they could confuse for another male betta such as fancy guppies.

2. Bettas are low key so be sure to pick fish that aren’t likely to chase him around the tank and nip at his fins. This will cause injury and stress which will lead to illness.

3. Look at the adult length when choosing a tank mate. For example, Bala sharks may seem like the perfect size but full grown their length is 12 inches!

If you follow this and find your betta isn’t very sociable you can put him back in a bowl or small tank. At this point I know that can be disappointing but at least now you have more freedom in choosing fish you would like to add to the aquarium. Owning fish is a commitment and an aquarium requires regular maintenance so take it slow and don’t be impulsive with your decisions.

Learn more of the basics with our Beginner’s Tanking Guide

Learn How To Set up a New Aquarium Tank

About Angela Soup

20 Responses to “Betta Fish Compatibility”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Cracker_shanna says:

    Can a male Betta be paired with a female? Or is that not a good idea either?

  2. Ram187 says:

    Can female bettas go with serpae tetras?

    • Angelasoup says:

      Yes, as long as you are pairing bettas with non aggressive community fish you should be ok. Just remember that tetras need to be purchased in groups of three because they are a schooling fish.

  3. Ram187 says:

    Oh yeah, have you ever heard that bettas can’t go with angelfish? Well, they are wrong! My passive male betta named Mr. Betta can go with angelfish!

  4. lexi says:

    I have experimented with bettas for a verylong time. I have even had two beautiful male bettas living in the same tank for years. The writer of this article was right, it really just depends on the betta. You just have to look at it’s temperament towards other fish, or you’ll never know how it will do with other fish.

    • Angela Soup says:

      Exactly! Thank you for sharing your personal experience with bettas. I think we all tend to get stuck on rules and stereotypes. If we take the time to learn, and the patience to try something new, we can find true fulfillment and fun new realizations.

  5. Ram187 says:

    I have 3 males and 1 female. We are not going to spawn them!
    That will be too many babies!

  6. Maria says:

    i have a beautiful male betta. just bought a 10 gallon tank and wanted to add some fish..but really wooried what kind of fish to buy.

    • Angelasoup says:

      Well just look over the article again. Do you have any ideas of what you want? I can truly say that mollies are a joy. Just be sure to have two females to every male. Otherwise any tropical community fish will do fine with your betta. If you are unsure, just let me know what species you have in mind and I will give you my insight.

  7. themightybasham says:

    Thank you, so much. I didn’t know they were so solitary. My kid and I thought he needed a friend. We saved him from a box store. He was, for sure, the oldest fish there.

    • Angelasoup says:

      Well good for you for saving a betta. Surprisingly bettas love to watch humans and some do seem to enjoy the company of having tank mates. However, it is always the safe route to have one as your special little buddy. Then he can have free reign of his tank. 🙂

  8. Alan says:

    I have 5 zebra danios and 4 gold platys, do you think those will work well with a betta?

    • Angelasoup says:

      Yes most likely. It’s hard to know because bettas vary in personality. If you pick up a betta in a cup be sure he doesn’t flare up at you. One that just sits there and looks at you will probably be tame enough for your tank.

  9. David says:

    Well I have five female and one male living with three Otto’s in a ten gallon tank and all healthy and always begging for more food whenever I walk by lol

    • Angela Soup says:

      Haha yep, bettas are always looking for more food! I love Ottos too, they remind me of little vacuum machines. 🙂


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