Do Bettas mix well with other fish?

Kosplath(z7 TX)May 7, 2005

I recently rescued two bettas from a pet store (male and female) both are separated. I was wondering if they got along with other small fish, if so which ones? I would hate to rescue another and have no place for them to live if they didn't get along.

Also, would a tank light irritate them?

I've noticed a big change in the female. It's almost as if she doesn't know what to do with all that space! Vonnegut, the male is such a beauty though!

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I got my betta from a plastic cup at walmart. He is now the king of his own 10 gallon aquarium.

He does not have a light. My friend has killed 5 bettas in her tank and the only difference I see between our set-ups is that I couldn't afford a light when I got mine. Other people may disagree with this. I am no expert.

Other fish don't generally mix well with bettas and female and male bettas should not be in the same tank.

A betta will attack any fish it sees as a threat. Any fish that is the same color or even close to the same shape FORGET IT! Someone is gonna die. The guy at the pet store told me that if it's small, has no big tail or fins, and is not brightly colored, it should do okay with a betta. I choose not to risk it.

My betta lives alone and he is happy (or at least he isn't complaining). It took him some time to adjust to the space, but he now zips all over the place.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 2:22PM
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Kosplath(z7 TX)

Thanks for such a prompt response!

I think I will get them both a heater. I figured the light at first because of the heat it sets off, but I don't know if they would like something bright shining in their face all day.

I think I will keep him alone, but I'm reading now that female bettas get along. If so, that's great! I'd get to rescue a couple more.

Vonnegut is not zipping around, as of yet. I hope that changes, but he likes to flash his fins at me. I hope that's a good thing!

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 2:33PM
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If you are getting a heater, get a seperate thermometer too. Heaters, if unwatched, have a bad habit of cooking fish.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 2:54PM
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isis_nebthet(8b/11suns SoCA)

It depends on the females some don't get along..most will though.

Males can get along in a community tank (the only betta however)again it depends. An agressive male won't work but a more laid back one will. My last betta was in the community tank with gouramis which is supposed to be a no no but he never attacked them or any of the other fish. My new one has a 10 gallon tank with ghost shrimp because I needed something to go in the tank to keep it from getting used for rodent housing.


    Bookmark   May 8, 2005 at 8:40AM
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Definitely depends on the individual betta and size of tank. If there's enough space for inidividual territory to be set up and lots of floating plants to hide in, I've been able to keep bettas in a community tank (70 gallons) with gouramis angels, rams, platys, various tetras and bottom dwellers. Recently had to remove the bettas because the killies were getting out of hand! But the two male bettas left each other alone.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 10:39AM
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they seem to pick on everything. i would mix them with alot of feeder gold fish and add them to the tank with a very large clown knife. should mix very well.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 4:58PM
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oceanbubbles(Newport Bch CA)

Make sure if you get a heater for your tank you watch it very closely. A temperature increase too quick will surely cook your little guy. If you want to put him in with other fish.. make sure there are NO other male bettas Duh! ALso... make sure you are putting him in with fish that arent "fin-nippers". The betta's beautiful fins make them prime target for fin-nipping from other fish. I have my betta in a 2.5 gallon alone. He loves it cuz its his own space.. I have a 60 gallon in the living room.. I thought about putting him in there... but I think Id feel bad because hes used to having his own little kingdom. But a betta in there would be a beautiful addition! Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 3:17PM
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Bettas usually do well with quiet tank mates who dont fin nip and a tank that doesnt have alot of turbulance in it. Sometimes the males will harass or kill a female if he is in breeding mode and she is not. Bettas live alone in the wild except for the small amount time they come together to fertilize the eggs so they are ok alone or with a few quiet tankmates.
As for light they really are ok in an average lit room. A light can overheat a small tank or container if its too big and we keep a tank lit more brightly then nature for our viewing benefit, so a nice bright area of the room is fine, just not in front of a window.
Good luck with your finny friends!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 5:01PM
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Kosplath(z7 TX)

Oceanbubbles: I purchased a junior heater for tanks sizes 2-5 gallons. It doesn't have a setting though, so I find myself checking it frequently. Don't want to burn the poor guy!

I think I will keep my male betta in his 2.5 gallon, he seems to enjoy his privacy and as he grows I'll upgrade to a 5 gallon.

The female however, is in the 10 gallon tank, all by her lonesome. I am worried the longer she stays in there alone, the more difficult it will be for her to adjust living with other fish. I was thinking one or two more female bettas (though two might be pushing it) along with some school fish, like the cory cats.

Anyone have suggestions on other small school fish that are harmonous with the bettas?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 10:25PM
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Hi there,

Your female betta will get along just fine with many other small fish. Neon tetras, any of the livebearers...guppies, platies, and swordtails. Look for fish that stay small and take the same water conditions. Corys are a good idea as well....remember though that they are socialable little fishes so you should keep 3 or more of the same kind together.

It sounds like you may have bought a preset heater. Its always good to keep an eye on this type of heater.

Happy fish keeping!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 11:40AM
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Kosplath(z7 TX)

I've seen the neon tetras and considered them as well. I'll have to check the others out in person next time I visit the fish store.

Thanks for the response :]

    Bookmark   May 11, 2005 at 12:41PM
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oceanbubbles(Newport Bch CA)

In my 2.5 gallon, there is no heater. But I do have a light that is inside the top of the tank (its the size of one of those little bulbs you usually have on the back of a nightlight). My betta is about a year old, these conditions seem fine for him. When I clean the tank, I refill with water a little warmer than room temp. I think the light keeps it on the warmer side too. Im too paranoid to get a heater. But my methods seem to be working great.

Kosplath- Let me know how the tetras work and how many you get. Mabey Ill add some in with Kolohe.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2005 at 3:40PM
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Glow_AZ(8 AZ)

Does anyone know...can snails be put in with the Betta's?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 8:59PM
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james_ny(z7 NY)

Yes but the snails will multiply rapidly.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2005 at 8:06PM
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lama(z7a NM)

I put my male betta in a 10 gal community tank, only to have him totally beat up on all the other fish. I came in once to find a neon sticking out of his mouth! At a later date I had a different betta, I actually had him in a large bottle inside the tank to keep him separated from my large goldfish. One morning I came in to find that the bottle had fallen over, the betta had got out, and the goldfish killed him. I haven't had any luck with my male bettas and other fishes, but maybe I just happened to have got a couple of the extra fiesty bettas!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2005 at 7:01PM
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eileenaz(9, Sunset 12)

Goldfish killed a betta? That's a new one. BTW- they should never be housed together because goldfish are coldwater fish and bettas are tropicals, but then at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant there's an arowana and some big fat goldfish living harmoniously in a tank there- go figure.
My first betta spawn produced the meanest little SOBs I ever saw- one killed an adult gold gourami outright, and one of the females bit my finger and hung on until she was halfway out of the water. Later on I had a spawn of yellows live to adulthood in the same tank and nobody bothered anybody.
Usually, bettas won't bother anybody that doesn't look like a betta (male guppies get mistaken sometimes) and if the tankmates are mello, nobody bothers bettas. Just make sure they're getting their share of food- that long drapey finnage puts them at a speed disadvantage sometimes.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2005 at 6:44PM
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woeisme(z7b NC)

Ancient Chineese Proverb- If fish fit into another fishes mouth. It usually will end up there.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2005 at 2:41PM
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My male betta is getting along with tetras, gold barbs, and a dalmation molly. He was a bit of a bully when I introduced him to his first tankmates, 4 gold barbs, but within a few hours he seemed to forget that they were there.
I've added different fish since, and not once have I seen any aggression, even with my dalmation molly, who is constantly zig zagging into the beta's personal space.
I recently added another tetra fish into the tank, and while he was adjusting to the tank in his bag, the betta would not leave him alone. He tried to attack the fish through the bag several times, and I thought for sure that the tiny tetra would have to go back to the store, but once the tetra was set free in the tank, the betta completely ignored it.
I would love to see how he does with gouramis.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2007 at 11:02PM
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the male betta i had was in a tank with about 20 gouramis and they got along. the blue paradise gourami and my betta were always

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 4:28PM
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I have female in large tanks with on gourami.... LUV what type of gouramis where 20 get along? wow. I also have found (females only never tried with males as all are resuces and only one male now) that gourmais and bettas can do ok if enough space.

re: light - all things need light (vitamins, hormones, night day circadian cycles so on) so I assume you mean bright light in its face, not completely dark? If in place where indirect light is enough then would be ok, but plants maybe not. I use Annubius for bettas (most) as they can take simple conditions and very low light. Bettas love plants, sit in them, forage for things and algae, and sleep on them (butterflys of Asia) and or under them at night.

If you have appropriate light for size of tank (can be low) and live plants which they love and really appreciate as that is what their natural habitat (many diff wild types so for the most part) provide them. It will shelter them as well.

I have my one male in large 2 gallon (tried large he didn't do well) happy in 2 gallon round tall vase, plants and lid and low light from small eclipse tank not in use. Room hot so doens't need a heater (would not put heater in small sized tanks) and small attached filter (those small cartrige ones) was a resuce and doing very well after trying time with flexibar.

As far as roomates depends on personality and size. NO more room in that small of size tank... I tried a guppy with female (a real jumper so in huge round globe 1/2 filled with all as all tanks, filtered light (low) and low light plants. saw splasing and betta was chasing large female (males will get slaughters often due to tails) around tank she would try to jump to avoid and betta was jumping out after her. Out went guppy betta alone.

My best match was in 20 long and huge round 30 or more gallon globe, wood and plants low light. one betta (female) each with one gourami... both agressive and perfect match...One blue however was too agressive even for female betta.

so, have to try but larger well planted tank, with hiding places so on, will help a lot. Also remember esp with males and longer tales, that water speed difference have to be considered. some fish like faster moving water, they will get exhausted and possible tear down fins and wear them out.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2007 at 2:50AM
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i have loads of snails i need to keep under control would a betta and a blue gorami be ok in my tank with tetra, platty's, guppys and clown plec's?

    Bookmark   July 31, 2008 at 1:35PM
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I haven't kept an aquarium for a couple years, but I have successfully kept betas and tetras (neon tetras and head-and-tailight fish) and guppies all together in one tank. I never had a problem with that mix. Give the beta a little hiding place in the corner and the other schooling fish will leave him be.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2008 at 11:37PM
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I've been keeping fish for many years, and my male betta does wonderfully well in my community tank. "Shamu" is in a 20 gallon tank with guppies, swordtails, tetras, a pleco, a catfish, and a coolie loach. The tank is equipped with a light, a heater and a bubblestone. I highly reccomend keeping bettas in larger tanks. Shamu is so much happier than any other betta I've ever seen, and his color is spectacular!

    Bookmark   August 12, 2008 at 5:17PM
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I have 1 betta, and 9 fantails in a seperate 2 foot tank. What would happen if i put it in with them? First of all i dont use a heater and The Betta is in a 2 gallon ( about 5.5 liter) bowl. if i put it in with my tank with 9 fantails which are well behaved will it go bad? 3 are around medium sized and the other 6 are small.plants and and small peices are there to furnish their home. i didnt know betta needed to be warmed so ill fix that i just wanna know what would be an informal response please. i would appreciate any response. Mabe it will be a reasonable reference to Kosplath's question. any answer would be appreciated. thanks :) ps. im aware that large fins,tails and nippy fish can be a prob, mine are 99% non nippi..Thats why i wanna know for sure. ty oscar wants to know :) ty from oscar and myself

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 12:38PM
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i have my betta in a 20high with several other fish.

catfish, ottos, loaches, 1 guppy, mollies, and a golden wonder killifish.

when the betta feels upset everyone backs off. but usually the female guppy runs the

you can always give it a try and if it doesnt work then its ok to take it back out.

breading bettas might be worth a try too????
lots luck.

oh yeah in my other tank i have a dwarf puffer and a spotted leopard fish.....the big one is about 5 times the size of my puffer.......but puffer are puffers no matter the


    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 4:25PM
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i am wondering what specific types of fish do well with bettas also i have a female and am wondering if it's ok to put her in with another male i have gotten mixed answeres from everyone is it ok to mix them

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 10:41PM
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I save 33 Betta fish from Walmart! They wouldn't give me any discount for buying them all - even though these poor fish were barely surviving in cups stacked on top of each other and only half filled with water.

I need to know where to go to try to prevent this from ever happening again! SHAME ON WALMART!!!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 11:20AM
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I have a male beta in a 45 gallon tank. Along with 8 neon tetras, 3 blood guppies, and 2 angel fish. The beta does seem to be bullying the other fish but he hasn't killed any yet. Then again ive only had him for one night now. Should i be worried? The guy at the pet store said that it should be fine as long as the beta has plenty of room. Is this right or should i be running back home to save my other fish?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2010 at 6:32PM
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I have a male betta. What type of fish would be good to put in there with him without them fighting or killing each other?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2010 at 2:15AM
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im still nervous to put BF with another fish! He has been alive for a yr now, and has always been by himself. My 2 yr old daughter adores him, we just lost her guinea pig :(, and i dont want him to die!

Should i just let him be, or get another fish to accompany him?

Oh, and as for wal mart. I almost got kicked out last week for yelling at an employee because of the condition of their, not only betas, but all of their fish!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2011 at 9:39PM
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My betta killed a frog. And yeah its a bit late but to the one who don't believe goldfish kill...I had a serial killer goldfish. He killed and ate over 30 tankmates and a few tropicals I was sick of until I fed him to the cat lol wanna see a betta flip? Put silver paint on the outside of your tank. It acts like a mirror and he will try and fight himself for weeks ohahaha!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2011 at 5:33PM
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Bettas are fish that are best left by themselves. They do have you - his/her owner - to interact with.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 2:11AM
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I have a Male Betta Fish. I was wondering if I could put some Angelfish and a Bottom Feeder. And what kind of other fish I could put with him.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2011 at 2:47AM
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Hi, after reading this blog I decided to try a bottom feeder to help with tank cleanup. I have a single male betta that has done well in his 2 gallon tank but there is always left over food on the bottom, so I thought a little catfish might help with the leftovers. So I introduce a albino Cory catfish. It havs been 24 hours, the two seem to get along fine, occasionally the bump into each other and the little catfish swims madly for a few seconds or so. But the betta only noses him once and a while. He is doing a fine job of keeping the gravel all clean.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 11:52AM
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I have a male betta in a glass bowl and he is always at the top of it. It's like he cant breath. Should I move him to a tank that has an air pump? Sorry for sounding stupid but don't know a thing about this kind of fish. He is really a sweet fish and I don't want him to die. Please help me what do I do?

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 1:02AM
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What type of plants do I put in with mixed fish in an outdoor 100 gal pond? Beta,gourami and bottom feeder. I have airation, Should plants be potted before being put in pond? Can I put more than one male betta in pond?What about the type of food. Thank you for your info.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 10:08AM
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no! whatever you do, don't put the fish together in the same tank. beta's are NOT supposed to be with other fish, whatsoever.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2011 at 6:34PM
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I have a unique tank I guess. It's 30 gallons and in it I have afri grey frogs, 2 Betta fish, gold fish, and various tropical fish. Oh I also have a small shark. I forget the type. This tank has been this way over a year and I have no problems. At first I did monitor carefully but all is well. Not sure if this is unique but everyone is in harmony. I do have a video available if anyone cares to see.
Take care everyone and good luck

    Bookmark   August 25, 2011 at 6:09PM
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Do not bother to try to mix Male Beta in the community tank...These loners like to be KINGS ...Their territorial behavior is known for...
I have lost many females betas by trying to match them......The male beta kills mercilessly when they feel their territory is invaded even by a harmless female beta!!!
Maybe, I am not good at being match maker for fish....
!!!! Hi hiihii ih

    Bookmark   September 10, 2011 at 4:09PM
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I just sat up a 75 gal community tank (54 fish total) I use

(canister filter, plastic plants and plenty of hiding

places). I bought different kinds of tetras,

zebra snails, three danios and one small red male betta.

The betta was very calm and stayed close to the heater. I

left thinking they were going to be fine. When I got home

the betta was dead on the bottom and the rosey barbs were

tearing the fins off. The betta only lasted 1 day. I also

had two gouramis, I raised them from babies that my

sister gave me. They are doing great in the community tank.

Maybe I will buy another betta for my 10 gal tank.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 10:36PM
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Bettas mix great with a small school of Neon Tetras, about 8-10 tetras. The tetras feel safe and not scared of the Betta. If you use less tetras, they can become aggressive if they feel threatned by the betta and might nip the bettas fins.

My male betta was in a 10 gallon tank alone, and loving it, then I floated a bag of tetras on the surface. He made some aggressive movements, but the tetras were safe in the bag. I left it there 1/2 hour, then betta lost intrest. Now both are in the tank, they even swim near each other with no aggression from either side. I plan to add 2-3 albino cories also. But put Lots of silk plants and few decorations in tank so everybody has somewhere safe to hide if they want to.

Prepare the water as needed for the betta, with water conditioner and one teaspoon (Not Tablespoon) aquarium salt per gallon. The tetras can handle this amount. Throughly dissolve the salt in some water before adding it so it dosen't burn the fish.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 1:05AM
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I have a Betta with about 20 or so other fish including guppies, danios, glofish, palties, and a shark. They get along just fine. My betta has been in the tank for about 3-4 months and has been doing OK. The only time that my betta is agressive to the other fish is when it is feeding time and the other fish steal his pellets, otherwise he doesn't mind them to much.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2012 at 12:31AM
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I have one male betta fish(named happy). I thought he seemed lonely (childish i know) But i bought him 3 friends; 2 neon tetras and 1 small gold fish. He is very happy with them and they all seem to get along fine. Although if you do do this you should have a filter because otherwise you would have to clean the water a lot.

Happy fish owning :)

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 5:45PM
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sbrow156(Cairns QLD Australia)

Male Bettas do not go well with any other fish fullstop. It does depend on the fish though...There are cases where a male betta with no fins goes ok in a female betta tank as the females see it as one of their own and as it is the same size as the female it doesnt attack them (plus is is outnumbered.) I have had bettas for 4 years. Lights for the tank are fine, no lights are also fine. Some people say to get a heater for winter but really if you keep the tank inside they are fine. If you put small fish in a tank with a male betta it will attack/ eat them. Similar size fish will either attack your betta or get attacked by the betta (gold fish same size get attacked as they are placid fish whereas any cichlids will attack the betta) bettas can survive in small tanks (as they originally lived in shallow puddles in the wild) though as with any living thing the more space you give it the happier it will be. Over the time ive had them ive had them in small containers and vases to larger tanks on their own so anything you feel like setting up should be fine for them. Dont feed them too much either. They are prone to getting smomach infections caused from eating too much. I have lost a few to that. Also i had to medicate one for fin rot once. All its fins rotted off and never grew back. Shame as he was one of my favorites. (Bright purple with white fins.) but he did live for another year before he died. Anyway the point of this thread was to say whether they go with other fish. The answer is no male should be with another fish. A female can go with other fish and even lots of other females but never a male with full fins. Even in a tank of 100 neons a male fighter will go on a killing spree.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:09AM
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Male bettas can definitely make great community fish. I always have one in each of my peaceful community tanks. I am watching my betta right now in my 55 Gallon. He is happily swimming around in his big tank. He is in there with angelfish, balloon mollies,guppies,neon tetras, polkadot loaches and a few small oranda goldfish.(the orandas are only in there temporaily while I get their pond finished.) My betta has yet to go on a killing spree, or even nip another fish. (He doesn't even notice the neons.) He flares at the balloon mollies once in a while when they go into his area, but thats about it. None of the other fish bother him either. I try to pick bettas that are more mellow and not overly aggressive. Not every betta will work well with other fish though. I have one betta that has to be in his own tank because he would just flare and chase the other fish and never relax. He has never attacked any of them, but I didn't want him stressed out all the time. I test the fish before I buy them by putting my finger on the cup and seeing if they are more likly to flare or be curious and I see how aggressivly they flare at other betta fish in the cups next to them. That's not a fool proof way to test them but it will weed out some of the overly aggressive ones. You have to find a betta fish with the right personality for a community tank, and there are a lot of them out there. A few pet stores that I have been to also keep single male betta fish in the tanks with their other fish without any problems. So it definitlely can be done and it isn't even that difficult. I think that people who say it is impossible haven't actually given it a fair try. Or tried it once with a super aggressive betta. I have had only one betta that didn't work with either of my community tanks. I have never had a betta kill any of my other fish either. I think it would be easier to add a betta to an exsisting community tank them to add fish to a betta's tank where he has already established it as his territory.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2012 at 2:15PM
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suzieque(z5 MA)

Totally agree with Melissa. I have always had one male betta in a community tank with guppies, neons, platies, catfish, etc. I have never found a male betta to be agressive - ever - with a possible exception of when I've had other fish with flowy fins (veiltails, etc.). But even then, the bettas may look interested and flare a bit, but when the other fish don't react, the bettas lose interest.

I am right now looking at my tank with all of the above fish, including a magnificent red and ice blue half moon betta male and 2 angels. They are all happily feeding aloneside each other.

Pish-posh to those who say that it isn't possible.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 3:31PM
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Bettas are best kept as solitary fish and they are quite content living life by themselves. After all, they do have you to interact with. That is all the companionship they ever need.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 1:49AM
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As far mixing concerned if you collect many fishes in a tank then obviously they will take some time to mix and as far betta concerned so its best to keep betta in a seperate tank as betta is a solitary fish because they can kill anything alive in the tank.

Here is a link that might be useful: UK best pet food shop

    Bookmark   October 20, 2012 at 4:01AM
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SERIOUSLY, of all fishes I've noticed bettas have biggest personality ....that means different individuality, .....I used to keep two pairs of bettas - RED & BLUE in two different 1ft tank ......I never had plans to keep them together in a single tank ......but all plans changed when I saw my friend have put two male bettas together in a large 3.5 ft long tank ......I said what the heck, I already have a even larger tank - 4 ft long and 2.5 ft high as soon as I came to my home I put both pairs in that tank

But let me tell you, its a cosmopolitan tank with goldfish of 6 different types, paired 2 different angelfish, paired loach, paired .......a few snails

At first they certainly had problems .....and were attacking any approaching fish showing the patch of skin under their gill .....within a few days it was no problem for any of the fishes .......although both betta pairs lives at two opposite poles of my tank

I know its a bad thing but i have a habit of feeding bettas by my own hand ......I take worms and dip my palm into water and bettas come to eat from there .....they still do i believe they're happy


    Bookmark   August 26, 2014 at 3:07PM
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eileenaz(9, Sunset 12)

Goldfish are NOT tropicals like the rest of your fish, they should not be in the tank with tropicals. Period. It's bad for everybody in there.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 5:21PM
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Personal experience - I have a 10 gal (20 gal split down the bottom in middle of night - will have to replace it - going with bigger tank) so for now I have a 10 gallon with a 70 gallon canister filter. Tank divided - each side has 1 male betta, 5 neon danios and a Siamese algae eater. Everyone is happy. I tried adding guppies (old tank) but the betta attacked him and the platy was hated from the moment he entered the tank and Harry killed him within 24 hours. Moral of story, get fish that do not have pretty tails and are fast. (the algae eaters stay at bottom, bettas at top but I do not think they will attack them anyway). I would love to put both bettas in a 70 gal tank but I am afraid they would kill each other. advice on this would be appreciated. BTW tank has plenty of hiding spots and one betta sleeps next to the adjustable heater (it is on his side) they ignore those betta leaf beds I bought

    Bookmark   January 12, 2015 at 11:45PM
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