A List of Fifteen Gorgeous Betta Tank Mates

Every time a customer walks onto my shop floor there is always one section that captures their attention, and for good reason too, the fish in this section are truly beautiful fish. The Betta Barracks isn’t a large system but almost every customer will begin asking questions about them, firstly is why they’re in a small tank, and secondly and most importantly what other fish can they put with them.

best betta fish tank mates

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This question is never an easy one to answer, my personal recommendation is that they are kept alone, I’ve found with this fish that they have their own personality more than any other, it is a fish that you have to get to know before introducing tank mates.

Aside from this, I do know many people who have mixed these into a community aquarium and have thrived, in fact, most have done well and if you walk into my workplace you will see a select few that I’ve had for a while mixed into the communities.

Below is a recommendation of tank mates that if decided to mix will be the best additions to your beautiful Betta paradise.

Tetra

By far the most common fish in an aquarium store, in the trade they are considered a staple fish that any good fish store should have. The amount of different species of tetra on the market is staggering and with so many it's difficult to tell whether your local fish store will have exactly what you are looking for.

There is a common misconception that all tetras will go into any peaceful community setup, species such as the Black Phantom Tetra are known to be fin nippers and therefore definitely will be no good to house with a flamboyantly finned fish such as the Betta, so always check with your local expert to make sure they’re compatible.

Cardinal Tetra

Paaracheirodon axelrodi

Upto 2 inches

The Cardinal Tetra is quite possibly my favourite of the tetra species, you might see in pictures online that they are similar in colour to the neon tetra but if given good quality foods the blue and the red of this fish really do pop. A beautiful fish.

Rummy Nose Tetra

Hemigrammus bleheri

Upto 2 inches

With its bright red face, this fish is one that customers always refer to as being cute. It has an incredibly peaceful nature and along with its small size makes it a perfect tank mate to Betta fish.

Silver Tip Tetra

Hasemania nana

Upto 2 inches

Another standard tetra with simple yet stunning colours along with a peaceful nature and no spectacular fin displays make it an ideal fish.

Rasbora

On a quick glance, and to the beginner aquarist this type of fish appears to just be a tetra with a slightly different name, which to an extent I can understand, both characteristically and visually they are very similar. However they are from different families of fish, Rasbora belongs to the family cyprinidea, whereas tetras are characins (not really very important to most aquarists).

All Rasbora I have kept and sold have always been peaceful fish my favourites being Harlequins which will feature in this section.

Purple Harlequin Rasbora

Trigonostigma heteromorpha

Upto 1.5 inches

I fell in love with the standard Harlequin Tetra from a very young age, and then I discovered the same fish but with my favourite colour instead, a beautiful deep purple.

The Harlequins are the most peaceful fish I've ever had and if you come into my fish house you’ll see that I have a small group of Purple Harlequins in with a red Lyre-tail Betta.

Galaxy Rasbora

Danio margaritatus

Upto 1 inch

Now we get to the good stuff, again it has one of my favourite colours but that's not just why it's in my top list. This fish goes to prove that small fish can be gorgeous too. It has a lovely deep dark purple ‘background’ to its body and then small yellowish white dots over the top, true to its name it looks like a Galaxy. A beautiful accompaniment to a Betta.

Fire Rasbora

Rasboroides vaterifloris

Upto 1.5 inches

The Fire Rasbora is said to be that peaceful it is often the victim of bullying in an aquarium, with it being housed with a Betta it should be given some form of refuge, just so it can retreat if stressed. However, with only having the one other fish I don't believe it will be picked on.

Livebearers

Some readers may look at this section and think I have gone a little mad when they scroll down and see guppies and mollies but if given room and chosen correctly they will be more than acceptable tank mates. Read the little bits of information below to find out why I’ve added these fish

Guppy (female only)

Poecilia reticulata

Upto 2 inches

I don't really need to say much about these fish, everyone knows about them, as I've stated, no males allowed, this is because males use their fins as a display in order to attract a mate, much in the same way that Betta fish do, this will be seen as a threat and there is a high chance that the Betta will kill the males. The females are beautiful too.

Mollies (standard finned common Mollies)

Poecilia sphenops

Upto 4 inches

You can get many varieties of Mollies nowadays but only choose the standard finned varieties, others like the sail-fins or even the veil tails have the highest chance of being nipped at. Make sure your tank is definitely big enough as a competition for space with these will result in casualties.

Bottom Dwelling Fish

This is my favourite section of a tank to fill. There’s nothing like a good clean up crew to put a smile on my face, I believe that the best aquarium set ups have a solid group of varied cleaners.

I haven’t put the fish into separate groups like I have the others just because it's easier to ask at your local store what good clean up crews they have for aquariums rather than going through the different species and taking forever to come to any sort of half attempted list.

Goldstripe Corydora

Corydoras sp

Upto 3 inch

Beautiful yet more expensive, see behaviour on Albino Corydora.

Albino Corydora

Corydoras aeneus

Upto 3 inch

One of the strongest fish I've ever come across, nothing easily kills any of the Corydora Catfish, peaceful in nature as they keep to themselves and a marvel to watch in an aquarium.

Kuhli Loach

Pangio kuhli

Upto 4.5 inches

If you don't like worms or snakelike creatures then skip this one. The Kuhli Loach is an excellent cleaner capable of getting into those hard to reach places in the aquarium.

Otocinclus

Otocinclus affinis

Upto 2 inches

A beautiful, effective, non-disruptive algae eating fish. A fish chose by professional aquascape artists. Not much is needed to be said other than that. We cover more with an in-depth article.

All fish up to this point are best kept in groups, I suggest getting 5 or more, keeping less than this will go against their natural behaviour and may result in out of character aggressive fish

Oddball - Random Species

Last of all we come to the selection that is most varied and quite possibly a strange selection of, well, these aren’t fish so I will call them critters. Some might be very boring to you but the job they do is fantastic, others, on the other hand, might seem to be very unique but don’t do much in terms of helping with aquarium maintenance. However, it's for you to make your own mind up on these.

Bamboo Shrimp

Atyopsis moluccenis

Upto 5 inches

My favourite shrimp, a filter feeder but also an incredible hider. Simple colours and a slightly bigger size than other shrimps to avoid it being easy prey.

Dwarf tropical Frogs

Hymenochirus curtipes

Upto 2.5 inches

An interesting character and surprising addition to this list, I've housed them together before when struggling for room in the fish house and they actually proved to be incredibly peaceful tank mates.

Zebra Snails

Neritina natalensis sp.

Upto 1 inch

Just a snail, helps clean, slow to reproduce, looks fairly simple but every good tank needs some snails in my opinion.


Final Thoughts

Although this list has probably provided inspiration, take care when adding fish to your Betta tank, always ask for methods they have found successful, I recommend moving the décor around before releasing new fish.

Also, not all of these can go together happily, I wouldn't put the frogs with the shrimp, or Mollies with the Galaxy Rasbora, choose your favourites and then ask at your local fish store which can be put together.

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