If you would like to make a community of fish that includes Betta fish, you will need to know which fish are compatible with the Betta fish and, of course, which ones are not compatible with Bettas. Armed with this bit of information, you can start planning your new community of fishes so that everyone will remain happy and healthy and get along with each other. Happy campers - that’s what we like!
First of all, do not put 2 male betta fish together. They are territorial and will fight. Since, in an aquarium, there is no place to retreat to, the fight will many times end up with one of the fish dying.
Also, never put a male and a female betta fish together unless you are mating them. Of course, mating betta fish is a whole other story discussed in another article. Mating must be approached with the knowledge and preparation necessary. In nature, female betta fish stay away from males if they are not mating. Otherwise, the male could kill the female.
As far as having female betta fish together in a community; well, that can be tricky since betta fish are not schooling fish! It could be possible if you have a large tank with a lot of places for the girls to hide, but you will need to be on your toes because (It’s true.) bettas have individual personalities, and in this situation, there may be a bully if there are 2 females and if there are four or more you will still have to keep an eye on them constantly to be aware of any aggressive females.
There are quite a lot of fish from other species that you cannot mix with Betta fish. It takes careful research and preparation to mix bettas in an aquarium with other types of fish, so for the moment, we will just talk about which ones not to put in the same tank with the bettas. You want to help your fish be happy and healthy by creating a stress-free environment for them.
So, let’s start with not mixing any very small fish with your betta because these may be eaten. In addition to that, fish with long, flowing fins may get their fins nipped! Bettas are quite fast, so avoid slow-swimming fish like fancy guppies. To further avoid tragedy, never put a molly in with your betta because the molly bite the betta's fins off and may even kill your betta! Other fish who like to bite off your betta’s fins are schooling fish, but especially never put in barbs or certain tetras with your beautiful betta fish. Another bullet to dodge will be to, of course, not add any aggressive fish such as piranhas or bluegills since they will push around and probably eat your betta. Maybe this article should be entitled “Ways to Avoid a Horror Show in Your Aquarium” in view of the fact that there are so many fish to definitely never ever mix with your beloved Betta fish. To fish keepers, compatibility issues like this have to always be considered when considering who will be a part of your aquarium community.
Let’s remember that fish who may be similar in appearance to a betta fish may attack your betta, too, as they belong to the same biological family - including the Paradise Fish and gouramis.
Goldfish, on the other hand, are others who are not appropriate as tank mates for bettas, but for a different reason. Goldfish prefer cold water and are high ammonia producers. Betta fish are tropical fish and require higher water temperatures - and clean water is one of the best ways to keep your betta healthy. Plus, goldfish and bettas have been known to bite each other. In their case, either one can become the attacker of the other. So…not good on several levels!
Later, we’ll go into which fish you can mix with your betta. For now, read up before you attempt to try this at home! Best Fishes!