The Siamese fighting fish, better known as the betta fish, is a colorful, freshwater fish. This beautiful, tropical species is originally from Asia. They are a handsome addition to any tank with their flowing fins and gorgeous coloration. Betta fish require a little more looking after than some other types of fish though. Behavior, habitat size and climate, and compatibility with other fish are factors that you have to consider before pairing betta fish with other fish in the same tank.
Bettas are a very aggressive species, the males more so than the females. They puff their gills to appear more impressive and intimidate other fish. Sometimes they will even respond aggressively to their own reflection or to a human outside the tank. For this reason, bettas should never be housed together in the same tank.
Betta fish are also naturally shy, so they require plants or rocks in which to hide. They are very possessive and may set up a territory and become increasingly aggressive toward others in the same tank.
Betta Tanks and Tankmates
Males bettas should never be in the same tank because they will fight and kill one another. Males and females should only be housed together when mating, and then the female should be removed directly afterward.
Female bettas can be kept together in small groups depending on the aggressiveness levels of the individual fish. Males bettas can be put in large tanks with many other fish that have the same tropical temperature needs.
If a betta is in its own tank, a minimum of 5 liters is required. For a community tank, 50 liters is a great size. They need room to swim and hide without being bothered by the other fish nearby.
Other species of fish may be kept in the same tank as the betta, provided the fish doesn’t have long fins that would cause the betta to mistake it for another betta, and provided that the fish isn’t that much smaller than the betta. Being that the bettas are a carnivorous species, the betta may eat a significantly smaller tankmate. Also, bettas may harass and nip at another fish with long fins.
Fish that may do well do well with bettas include:
-white cloud minnows
-African dwarf frogs
Again, all of these are subject to the individual personalities of the fish. Bettas can’t live with fin nippers or fish resembling a rival betta. They also need tankmates of a good size for your specific tank and that adapt to the bettas same water conditions.