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20 Best Betta Tank Mates with Pictures

It’s true that bettas have a hard time getting along with their own kind.

However, it is not impossible to find tank companions for your fish. This could be in the form of a different fish or aquatic species.

If you plan on doing this, you want to carefully select a tank friend for your betta. You must consider the gender of your fish and the personality of your fish.

Many bettas are aggressive, but not all bettas are alike.

Some bettas can be peaceful and potentially be attacked by more aggressive fish. It’s not a likely situation, but you still want to keep this in mind. All fish have unique dispositions.

Best Betta Tank Mates With Pictures

When you are looking for the best betta tank mates, you want to consider a few factors. Gender plays a big role in your decision. As we stated before, male fish are more aggressive and violent than female fish. So with bettas that are male, you won’t have nearly as many options to choose from.

Fish or pets going in with your betta should not be colorful or have long fins. The other fish should not be aggressive either.

With female bettas, it’s a different story.

Yes, you can definitely have issues with female betta and other fish but they are less likely to occur.

Due to this, you will find more options for your female betta fish. In the next portion of this guide, we will give you a few options for your bettas. Some of the fish we introduce will work for both male and female bettas.

Some of the fish we introduce will only work for your female bettas. In either case, you will learn about each of these betta tank mates. This way you can pick the best betta tank mates.

There are plenty of calm beautiful fish and other pets to put in with your betta.

1. Neon Tetras

Neon Tetra or Paracheirodon innesi

Neon Tetras are perfect for both male and female bettas. While these fish do have quite a bit of color on them, this won’t be a problem with any betta. This is because of the swiftness of the Tetra.

Neon Tetras can swim very fast and will be able to swim away from conflict with a betta. So they are less likely to be harassed by aggressive betta fish. When you get this fish, don’t get one of them. The Neon Tetra likes to be in a group of its own kind. Ideally, you should place them with six to ten other Tetras.

A group of Tetra will swim together best in a long shaped tank. Tanks with a long horizontal length are the best for these fish. This type of tank also works well for betta fish. Get at least ten gallons to accommodate all your fish!

Tetra live for a long time and enjoy having lights in their tank. The light will keep their color from diminishing. In addition, you should probably put plants in with your tetra. Tetras like to find refuge in long plants. Your betta shares this same trait and will benefit from any plants in your tank.

Overall this species of fish is great to add in with your betta. Tetras are one of the best betta tank mates for your aquarium.

2. Kuhli Loach

Kuhli loach in aquarium
Kuhli loach (Pango kuhli) by Iidkk (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Kuhli Loach is another great fish to put in with a betta. Males and female bettas will get along with this fish. Kuhli fish are mostly black but have bits of color interspersed on their bodies. You can find them with pinkish and yellow scales.

The most fascinating thing about the Kuhli is the shape of its body. These fish have the look of an eel and like to swim at the bottom of tanks. They are gorgeous fish that will stay even-keeled around your betta with ease.

Kuhli tend to stay to themselves and stay out of your betta’s way. They often hide in the corners and edges of your tank. So you can buy one of these fish or get a few. Make sure you stick with the Kuhli loach.

Other fish of this species are too big for betta tanks. And when you do get a tank, get one that holds twenty gallons minimum.

3. Clown Plecos

Clown Plecos are muddy colored fish that like to eat the algae in aquatic tanks. If you are looking for a simple fish without a lot of hassle the Clown Plecos is a good option.

Clown Plecos don’t get too big, only around four inches. Other fish in its species can become massive, even reaching lengths of a couple of feet. So ensure you are getting the right fish before you put it in your tank.

Plecos are sturdy fish with very tough scales. Your betta won’t be messing with these fish. And the Plecos will likely outlive your betta. It has a long lifespan and can live for up to a decade. These are great fish for any fish tank owner.

4. Cory Catfish


When you put in other fish with betta, you want a fish that will be comfortable in the same type of water conditions.

Cory Catfish fit this bill and will adapt to your betta’s water with ease. These catfish are another bottom feeder type of fish. They won’t bother bettas and can stay with betta alone or with other fish of its kind.

If you get more than one Cory Catfish try to get four of these fish.

These are fairly active fish but they will stay peaceful with any type of fish. It can be a little sketchy putting these in with male betta fish, but you should be fine.

Cory Catfish work the best with a sorority of female bettas though.

5. African Dwarf Frog

Sometimes, you don’t need to put another fish in your tank to give your betta company. One option is to put in an African Dwarf Frog. These small amphibians are fun, colorful and won’t cause any fighting in your tank.

Frogs are full of energy and spunk. These particular species will grow up to a few inches. Frogs are not hard to care for. They are also a great choice if you don’t want another fish in with your betta.

6. Feeder Guppies

feeder-guppie by Per Harald Olsen (CC BY 3.0)

A lot of guppies can’t be in the same tank as betta because of their colors and lengthy fins. The Feeder Guppies can be placed with your betta though. These are grey hued fish with very little color.

These pet fish are small and swift which makes them more than capable of living alongside betta. Fedder Guppies are loners so you don’t have to buy a ton of them. They are also adaptable fish that will survive in many conditions, including your betta’s tank.

Feeder Guppies definitely qualify as one of the best betta tank mates!

7. Cherry Barbs

Cherry-barb female and male by Akino yuugure (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Cherry Barbs are great for a sorority of bettas but can work well with male bettas as well. Just make sure to buy these fish in a group of at least five Cherry Barbs. These fish come in a nice red color and get along best with female bettas.

If you want to put these fish in with male bettas try getting a female Cherry Barb. Males of this species are more colorful while females are colored a little lighter. If your betta isn’t too aggressive you won’t have to worry about that though.

See how your fish reacts to a reflection of itself if you want to check for aggression. Also, make sure to get a big tank for these fish at least ten gallons. Twenty gallons might be better.

8. Dawn Tetra


Dawn Tetra or Panda Tetra are another breed of Tetra that will be able to swim alongside your betta.

The Dawn Tetra has black and white coloring that will not insight your fish to fight. These are calm small fish that are perfect for male bettas but can also be put in with female bettas.

As with other fish, you should get a few of these fish to create a calm environment. A larger tank will be good for the Dawn Tetra too. You can keep them at the same water conditions as your betta without issue.

9. Ghost Shrimp

Ghost Shrimp are an alternative option to fish. Like the African frog, this aquatic creature will live in the same area as a betta in peace.

The Ghost shrimp are translucent and have no color on them. Get a few of these shrimp to put in your aquarium. You won’t have much trouble caring for these sea creatures. They are low maintenance and add a nice aesthetic variety to your tank.

The Ghost Shrimp will also help keep your tank fairly clean. It likes to eat waste and leftovers on the floor of your tank.

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10. Mystery Snails

Apple snail by Chapulines (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Mystery or Apple Snails are another non-fish pet that can live with your betta. They can cohabitate with any gender of betta. The good thing about these snails is that you can get them in any color you want. Betta are not prone to attacking these critters.

Snails aren’t usually tank owner’s first choice in fish tank mates. But snails have their own charm. You can get them in blue, gold, brown, and other colors. Mystery snails, like shrimp, help clean up your tank and eat at built-up waste.

These snails are extremely friendly to your betta, and your plants as well. They are fun to have in a fish tank and should definitely be considered as the best betta tank mates.

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11. Harlequin Rasbora

Harlequin Rasbora by Stefan Maurer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

If you aren’t into shrimp or snails and want a pet with more color, try the Harlequin Rasbora. Harlequin are tranquil fish that like to be in groups of their own kind. So even with their splash of color, they shouldn’t disturb your betta.

Harlequin has a black stripe in the center of its body and gold and pink scales surrounding them. These fish have a nice look and are not likely to get into confrontations with your betta.

12. Ember Tetras

Hyphessobrycon amandae by Gordon Axmann (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Ember Tetras will not require a lot of territory in a betta tank. Because of this, they can get along well with betta fish.

Like other Tetra fish, the Ember is small and docile. Your betta won’t be disturbed by this fish or fight them. They also get along with other species of tetra. So you could add them to a school of neon tetra if you want.

Overall, these are ideal fish mates for betta. One of the best betta tank mates for your aquarium. They don’t occupy the same zones of a tank as a betta. Their disposition is just right for a fish community.

Just give them a big enough tank to swim in. Ten gallons will do for the Ember Tetra.

13. Albino Cory

Albino Cory is a type of catfish that can live with a betta. Though they are a little larger than the other fish on this list, they don’t have much color. They also tend to stay at the bottom of your tank.

This is great for betta since they usually dwell towards the top portion of your tank. If your betta is not too aggressive they will be fine with this bigger fish.

Water condition needs are similar to betta, but you will need a twenty-gallon tank for this Albino fish.

14. Candy Striped Pleco

The Candy Striped Pleco is another variant of the Pleco species. This fish has many similarities to the Clown Pleco. It stays at the bottom of your tank and won’t bother with your betta.

The difference in this fish is the look of it. It has stripes and is less blotchy than the Clown. It also has a few more colors to choose from. As you know, Plecos live for a long time. They are great companions for betta and are not easily nipped at.

15. Glass Catfish

Glass Catfish are truly unique pet fish and make any tank look special. They are entirely see-through so you can see every part of these fish. The Glass Catfish are easy to take care of. And unlike other catfish, they won’t grow too large.

They are the perfect size and temperament for a betta fish.

Glass Catfish like tanks with plenty of planted greenery. They like to relax in the shade of aquatic leaves. You also want to get around five to six of these pets because they like the company.

Overall, these are fun and cool looking fish that will swim amiably with your betta.

16. Platy

Platy Fish likes to be around a lot of other fish. They are sociable pets that like to be in a sizable tank community. Keep these energetic little fish in at least ten gallons. This way they are satisfied with their home and are able to stay active.

Platy fish are shaped similarly to goldfish and boast a lot of colors. The color of Platy you will get will depend on the gender of your betta. Really male and female bettas should do fine with any Platty. Unless your fish is very aggressive.

17. Zebra Loach

Zebra loach by Tristan Ferne (CC BY 2.0)

Zebra Loach’s are members of the Loach fish family. They will get on with your betta well because of their nocturnal habits. Generally, they keep to themselves and like to roam your tank late at night. So your betta won’t have any problems with this pet.

Zebra Loach’s are not nearly as colorful as the Kuhli loach. They also look more conventional than the Khuli Loach. Zebra Loach’s tend to resemble catfish, not eels.

On the whole, though, these are nice looking fish. They have a fun striped pattern reminiscent of zebras.

Zebra Loaches have one of the longest lives of any fish on this list. They have a lifespan of up to ten years. So if you want to keep a fish for a long time and want it to get along with bettas go with this breed.

18. Shortfin Molly

Shortfin Molly sport very little color and, as you guessed, have short fins. These traits are a great match for male betta tanks. Still, you can also put a school of these fish in with your female betta sorority.

These Molly fish are known to be smaller and like to eat live critters such as shrimp and plankton. Give them places to hide by putting in caves and rock for your pet. This will keep them the most relaxed and temperate around a betta.

Molly fish are not demanding and will easily adapt to a betta environment. Simply provide them with a good-sized tank and clean water.

19. Fire Rasbora

Rasboroides vaterifloris by Rupert A. Collins (CC BY 3.0)

Fire Rasbora are meek pet fish that need to be bought as a group. With a school of Rasbora, your fish should stay safe with betta. Just in case though, you should get a cave or rocks to provide cover for your fish.

Other fish are known to antagonize these peaceful freshwater fish. But if you keep them in groups in a large tank your new fish will be fine.

Fire Rasbora have some color to them, mostly hues of orange. And they will be most at home with a group of female bettas. But male bettas should be able to swim with these fish as well. While these fish can be passive, they are social and pleasant pets for any type of tank.

20. Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus by AJ Cann (CC BY-SA 2.0)

The last fish on our list of best betta tank mates is the Otocinclus Catfish. Small catfish tend to be great companions for betta fish.

The Otocinclus is no exception to this. This breed of catfish is known to be peaceful and enjoy almost any tank conditions. If you have an algae problem, this catfish can clean up your tank in no time by eating it as well.

They are good pets for people new to fish keeping and are not hard to take care of at all.

Because of their small size, they produce less waste and won’t require massive tank-like other catfish. These fish have an interesting look and a great personality suited for bettas.

Bettas and Other Aquarium Pets

Betta fish are well known for their aggressive personalities. And really, this should not come as a big surprise. In the past, these fish were specifically bred to be aggressive and fight other fish. This is what gave them the name of fighting fish. In male bettas, this is especially true.

Male betta fish will fight other bettas in their tank to death. Even though these fish are not being used to fight in modern times. The natural instincts of betta have not been curbed by much. Keeping bettas together or with other aggressive fish can end in a blood bath.

This is why many people keep bettas alone in a tank, or with dividers. Male bettas are territorial and prone to bullying other fish. So you don’t want to place a female betta with a male betta for a prolonged amount of time.

Your female betta will end up dead most likely. The same can be said with two male bettas.

Female Bettas

Some female bettas can live with other female bettas though. But if you choose to put these aggressive fish together make sure you have a large tank. Tanks that are at least ten gallons will help your fish stay less territorial. And when you put at least five female bettas in your tank. female bettas can learn to live with a group of fish.

This is known as a betta sorority. Females aren’t as aggressive as males, but they can still be prickly and territorial. So you want to monitor your sorority and make sure your fish aren’t fighting. Most fish owners have good results with this setup. Keeping them together at an early age is best.

But still, it might be best to find different species of fish to cohabitate a betta tank.

More Fish, Less Problems

When you decide to put another type of pet in your tank, consider getting more than one other fish or pet. A lone betta and one other fish could lead to tension. Fish that live one on one could develop a bully dynamic. In this situation, one fish is a victim and the other is a bully.

You don’t want your betta to be an aggressor. Though this doesn’t happen with all fish put in with a betta. But if you are thinking of having only two fish watch both of them carefully. With more fish, this isn’t as likely to happen.

Five fish in a tank is a good place to start. And if you want the most ideal results, try putting in other fish two weeks ahead of time. This way your betta won’t mark the whole tank as its territory. And your other fish have time to claim a space of their own in your tank.

The Best Betta Tank Mates

Picking the best betta tank mates can be a little hard. You don’t want to purchase fish or pets that move slowly or have flowing fins like your betta. You also don’t want them to be much larger than your fish. Since this can bring out their aggressive tendencies. Or the larger fish could attack your betta. It’s all a delicate balance of finding the perfect traits that will match with your pet betta.

The other fish should not be very colorful or have fins that resemble your betta in any way. Bettas are primed to fight other betta. But if the tank mates look nothing like them fighting is less likely to occur.

A peaceful non-territorial fish or pet will keep your tank from turning into an all-out war.

Getting the Right Tank Size

As we mentioned before, you will want to consider the size of your tank when you put more than one fish in a betta tank. Tank size plays a big role in territory issues and aggression.

Regardless of this betta, tanks for your fish should always be at least five gallons.

Small tanks won’t do your fish any good, especially if you are planning to put more fish in. For tanks with more than one fish, we recommend getting a ten-gallon tank.

If you have more than five fish you will want to get a larger volume aquarium for your pets. When your betta fish has more space to swim in and feels less cramped.

In big tanks, your fish can have their own getaways and hiding places. As a result, they will experience less stress and will fight less over territory with your other pets.

Another consideration is the health of your fish community. When you have a small tank and many fish there is more waste produced in your tank.

Getting a bigger tank benefits all the fish in your tank. The waste in the tank will be less concentrated. And your fish will be happier and live a better quality of life.


There is no doubt about it, Betta fish can be hard fish to find tank mates for. But it is not impossible to find good fish and other pets to live with your fish. Betta can be aggressive and territorial in a tank. But if you find fish or pets that are calm your fish can live with several species.

In this guide, we provided you with many options. These fish and creatures can live with aggressive male bettas and sororities of female bettas. We wanted you to find the best betta tank mates for your pet.

Hopefully, you have found all the information you needed in this guide and can make your selection. Your betta will be happier with the right pets living in its tank.

Aaron Boyd
Aaron Boyd

Hello, I’m Aaron Boyd, the proud owner and author behind Aqua Movement. I hope my article was able to answer your questions. If you want to learn more about me, click the home icon above.

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