Betta or Siamese Fighting Fish is famous for its gorgeous appearance. With a wide caudal fin (approx. 2-3 times its body height) shimmering each time it moves, it is really hard for one to resist that beauty.
However, this is not the only reason why Betta is well-known for. If you learn about them, you may find what lies beneath the beauty is an aggressive temperament. Indeed, Betta Fish is too aggressive to the extent that earns them the title Fighting Fish. You also find out here and there the recommendations of keeping only one Betta in a tank for its benefit.
That said, you still can find friends for them. Considering their characteristics, we list out below 5 best tank mates for your Betta.
(learn more about how to care for your Betta properly, read our article Care Guide For Your Betta Fish)
1. KUHLI LOACH
(Image of Kuhli Loach)
This Loach is really a perfect candidate for Betta’s friend. They are peaceful, nocturnal, love hiding most of the time, bottom dwellers, great scavengers (the best combination since Kuhli Loach can pick up any excess food your Betta drops). What makes them even the best choice is that their living conditions quite match Betta’s.
Generally, Betta shows more aggression to those fish having similar appearances. This cannot happen to Kuhli Loaches as they are best known for their unique eel-like body. Further, Kuhli Loach has no long fins. So even if your Bettas want to nip Kuhli Loach’s fins, they will have nothing to nip at. Look for more information about care guide for Kuhli Loach at our article Care Guide For Your Kuhli Loach if you go for them.
2. EMBER TETRA
Another potential roommate for your Betta is Ember Tetra. Only an inch long with an orangish-red coloration, this fish is a burst of colour to your aquarium community, especially when they are kept with bright blue or solid white Betta fish. Ember Tetra is schooling fish so make sure you keep them in groups of at least five to six. This also makes it harder for Betta if it wants to single anyone out. Further, Ember Tetra’s diet is similar to Betta’s. Such advantage makes your feeding task much easier if you are going to keep them together.
Here is what you need if heading for this fish:
Ember Tetra is hardy. They thrive in the temperature of 73°F to 84°F with pH level in the range of 5-7 and water hardness around 5-17 dGH.
3. MALAYSIAN TRUMPET SNAIL
Mentioning Kuhli Loach without Malaysian Trumpet Snail in this list is a big mistake. Like Kuhli Loach, Malaysian Trumpet Snail is nominated for its peace, bottom-dweller and being active at night. Moreover, they are not intermediary-to-hard-to-care-for ‘pets’. This means you do not need to prepare many things to start with. Their living conditions are quite compatible with Betta’s, pH level of 7.0-7.5 and water temperature of around 70°F to 78°F. Further, their diet is not hard to find since they can feed on any popular kind of fish food such as fish flakes, bottom feeder tablets, pellets, algae wafers, etc.
One can say there is no other friend who could be better than Malaysian Trumpet Snail.
4. HARLEQUIN RASBORA
Another fish that shares the shimmering appearance with Betta is Harlequin Rasbora. Such feature with iconic markings on its body makes this Rasbora fish really stand out in the aquarium community.
Unlike Betta, the beauty of Harlequin Rasbora comes with an easy-going temperament. That explains why they can be kept with Betta.
Harlequin Rasboras are shoaling fish which means you need to keep them in groups of at least six Rasboras. It is not a big deal since they are quite small (around 2 inches). If you keep them with Betta, you may need a tank of 10 gallons or more. For parameters, you can refer to the below:
- Water temperature: 72°F to 80°F
- pH level: 6.0 to 7.8
- Water hardness: 2 to 15 KH
Regarding their diet, you can consider brine shrimp, Daphnia, tiny pellets or flakes. They are all acceptable to Harlequin Rasbora.
5. CORY CATFISH
(Image of a Julii Corydoras Fish)
Last but not least, the very common name when speaking of peaceful fish, Cory Catfish. The easy-going catfish is not picky about diet nor living conditions, prefers crawling on the bottom of an aquarium most of the time. They are also comfortable with the parameters which are similar to that of Betta. Further, there are dozens of commonly available Corydoras species, such as the albino cory, panda cory, and pygmy cory for you to choose to keep with Betta. Like Harlequin Rasbora, Cory prefers living in groups so make sure you have a tank large enough for both groups of Cory and Betta. For more information about care guide for Cory, you can find it in Care Guide For Corydoras.