Can Betta Fish Live With Guppies | How Can They Live Together

If you’re like me, you probably love spending time watching your fish swim around in their tank. It’s always so relaxing to watch them dart around and play. And I am a betta lover!

Betta fish are one of the most prevalent fish kept in aquariums, and for a good reason – they’re beautiful, durable, and easy to care for.

However, many people aren’t sure if betta fish can live with other types of fish. Can betta fish live with guppies? Well, you may be wondering if guppies are a good option as a betta tank mate. 

In this post, we’ll take a look at whether or not guppies can live with betta fish. Keep reading to learn more!

Can Betta Fish Live With Guppies?

Betta fish are familiar as Siamese fighting fish, and true to their name, they are famous for their aggressive and territorial nature. Because of that, even the most seasoned tank owners are hesitant to put other fish species with them. Bettas tend to be fierce and violent towards other fish species. 

Although betta fish can live happily with other peaceful fish and those who don’t have fin nipping tendency. But, can betta fish live with guppies? 

YES! Bettas are indeed aggressive and wild, but they will do well in the company of a calmer fish like guppies. Their opposite personalities are good for compatibility and establishing a common ground between them.

However, there are still some causes to consider before introducing betta fish to guppies. In the subsequent section, I’ll highlight some of the precautions you must take before placing guppy and betta in the same tank. 

Do the Genders of the Fish Matter?

YES! Gender makes a difference! The possibility of harmonious coexistence is influenced by the gender of the fish living together.

Male bettas are known to be more aggressive than females, but that doesn’t imply females can’t be aggressive as well. Instead, they might be more aggressive and move quicker than males in specific situations.

Both Males

It’s the worst possible combo for your tank. Keeping male species of bettas and guppies together can be dangerous and lead to territorial violence. 

That is for a specific cause. It’s best to avoid choosing betta tank mates with flashy colors. The reason for that is it may elicit betta aggressiveness. 

Male guppies have long flowing tails and brilliant colors. These things will drive betta fish to become aggressive and attack guppies.

As a result, male bettas and male guppies should not be housed in the same aquarium.

Male Betta Fish With Female Guppies

It’s safer to have male betta fish in the same tank as female guppies. Because of their smaller size, male guppies don’t represent a threat to betta fish. 

However, if you have colorful ladies, be cautious! Your male betta can attack them.

Ensure everything works out smoothly in your aquarium by keeping an eye open for any trouble signs before it gets too late.

Female Betta Fish With Male Guppies

Betta fish females aren’t nearly as aggressive as their male counterparts.

This frequently leads to new tank owners believing it is acceptable to mix male guppies with female bettas. However, it’s a wrong concept!

Male guppies frequently confuse female bettas as female guppies because female bettas are smaller. So, they try to breed with the female bettas. Obviously, the female betta won’t be pleased, which causes them to become aggressive and attack guppies. 

Be aware that your male guppy is unlikely to make it out alive.

Both Females

It’s the best combo for keeping guppies and bettas together, and it’s highly recommended. The best bet is to pair female betta with female guppies since they likely cohabit amicably.

Even though female bettas are still aggressive, they will not be triggered in the presence of female guppies. As a result, they may coexist in the same tank.

Choose the Right Betta Fish Breed

Betta fish come in a variety of breeds, and their aggression varies greatly depending on which one they are. Some are more aggressive in character, while others are more peaceful.

If you plan to keep guppies alongside your betta fish, it’s critical to pick the proper breed. The breed that is less aggressive and more docile is the ideal choice. Below are two betta fish breeds that I suggest.

  • Delta Betta Fish
  • Halfmoon Betta fish
Delta and Halfmoon Betta Fish

Rather than assuming and experimenting, it’s best to stick to these specific betta breeds. That will ensure that guppies can live happily with betta fish. 

Choosing a smaller breed is also a smart idea. Your guppies will be more at risk if the betta fish grows to be larger.

How Can Betta and Guppies Live Together (Make Perfect Home!)

Now, you already know, what’s the best way to pair the betta fish with guppies in terms of gender and breeds. Let’s have a look at the perfect tank conditions you’ll need to create to match both the fish’s requirements.

1. Tank Size

A large tank is usually beneficial and advised. Both guppies and bettas will be able to travel freely in a large enough tank without fighting or bothering each other.

A small tank, on the other hand, needs more regular maintenance since waste accumulates faster. Furthermore, your fish will swim into each other’s domain. Fighting over food and territory is a possibility.

Constant battling will stress your fish and lead to disease transmission. As a result, the mortality rate may rise dramatically. Therefore, the first thing you need to can do is get a fish tank that is large enough for your fish.

Ideal tank size for betta fish and guppies

As a bare minimum, I recommend purchasing a 10-gallon tank. Always be cautious about stocking density, as overcrowding poses a threat to fish survival. Make an informed selection by reading my post on how many fish per gallon.

To keep things simple, a 10-gallon tank can hold 3-4 guppies and 1-2 betta fish at most. I’d also add three more guppies for every five gallons. When housing guppies, one male for every two females is recommended. However, due to the greater potential of hostility, stick to females to reduce the risk of being attacked.

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2. Limit the Number of Betta Fish

To ensure peace, keep the number of betta fish in the tank with the guppies to a minimum. In an aquarium with guppies, you should only introduce one betta fish at a time.

It’s not a good idea to keep more than one betta fish since they can fight. Although betta sorority can only be founded with female bettas, as males are more violent, proceed with caution. Betta sorority is only for experienced fishkeepers; newbies are not advised.

Limit the betta number

Betta fish are hunters; thus, they can nibble on the guppy fish’s fins, causing severe health problems. The ideal option is to keep several guppies with a single betta fish. In that manner, betta fish won’t be able to focus just on one single guppy.

3. Tank temperature and pH

Guppy fish may be found all across South America, whereas bettas are the most common fish in Southeast Asia! Their origins are vastly different, yet their tank needs are nearly identical.

  • Guppies flourish at a pH range of 6.8 to 7.8 and a temperature range of 74-82 °F.
  • Bettas need a pH of 7, and the ideal temperature is 78-82°F to thrive.

As you can see, guppies and bettas may coexist in the same environment. As a result, mutually agreeable tank characteristics can be attained at 76-80 °F and a neutral pH. Maintaining this will ensure that your fish enjoy a long and happy life.

ank parameter to maintain for keeping guppies and bettas together

To keep the water temperature between 76 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll need a dependable aquarium heater. Operating below that range will be challenging since betta fish can’t survive for long in cold water (under 72 degrees). 

Place your heater near the pump outlet so that heat can dissipate evenly throughout the tank. It is a good idea and suggested to install a thermometer to keep track of the tank temperature. Place the thermometer at the other end of the heater to ensure that the temperature remains uniform and stable throughout the tank.

4. Filtration System

A clean water environment is a basic need for all fish in the aquarium to thrive. A sound filtration system is necessary for that. An effective filter and routine maintenance will keep your nitrate and levels in check. 

Filtration system

The fish’s ideal ammonia and nitrate levels are nothing but 0 (zero) and not more than 20 ppm, respectively. Use a reliable test kit to keep track of tank parameters, including ammonia and nitrates. If the levels get too high, you must act quickly to decrease them.

Related Article: 

When choosing a filtration system, opt for having an adjustable flow rate because betta fish prefers gentle current. They can’t tolerate fast-flowing streams, which may push them towards the corner or a low current point (such as laying at the bottom). 

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A HOB filter with an adjustable flow rate is the ideal solution for tanks ranging from 10 to 75 gallons.

To keep things naturally clean in your aquarium, you can add some bottom feeder fish (for example, cory catfish) or Amano shrimp as they get along well with betta fish. 

Finally, based on the rate of waste buildup (nitrate level), establish a water change frequency (weekly or bi-weekly) and execute a 25% water change to keep your tank free of dangerous chemicals.

Provide Plenty of Hiding Places

In your aquarium, provide plenty of hiding spaces in the shape of décor, cave, driftwood, and so forth. Both fish will enjoy it since they will be able to seek refuge when they are threatened. In addition, they can play around so as not to feel lonely anymore.

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Add in Live Plants

Adding live plants to your aquarium will give the fish a more natural atmosphere. Bring in a variety of plants to make a lovely tank where both the fish thrive. Guppies and bettas may be seen lurking among the leaves and enjoying their time with the plants since plants offer hiding spots.

Plants will act as a barrier between the two fish, preventing your betta from attacking the guppies. When dealing with a hostile marine animal, it’s usually a good idea to bring in some live flora to help counter any aggression.

Plants provide resting or sleeping places for bettas and guppies. Plants will also help with the filtering system in the tank. For example, some plants are good at reducing nitrates

The following are some great live plants for your aquarium:

  • Amazon Swords
  • Anubias
  • Java Ferns
  • Hornworts
  • Guppy grass
  • Watersprite

When picking plant species, keep in mind that some are toxic to betta fish. Furthermore, for a rookie aquarist, introducing live plants can be stressful and comes with a lot of maintenance responsibilities.

In that instance, silk plants can help you make a gorgeous aquarium with little effort. Silk plants cannot contribute to the natural ecosystem of the tank, but they can give resting or hiding places.

Feeding Betta Fish and Guppies

Proper food and timing are essential aspects of keeping a healthy aquarium. To raise your bettas and guppies as happy, healthy fish, you should provide them with nutrient-rich food, much like other pets.

While they have different diets, they do have some common choices. 

Bettas are carnivores by nature and prefer meats alongside flakes and pellets. As a result, live worms, tiny insects, bloodworms, and daphnia should be included in their diet.

Feeding guppy and Betta

Betta fish loves variety in their diets. Try to provide at least 3 to 4 different types of food for your bettas and rotate them so that they get all of the vitamins and minerals they require. 

Be careful while feeding, as it’s easy to overfeed your betta, as they are voracious eaters. Always provide the amount they can finish within 2-3 minutes. 

Guppies are omnivores, making it much easier for you to please them. They’ll eat almost everything you put in front of them! While guppies may eat the same foods as your bettas, it is crucial to avoid too much protein for them. 

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Instead, give your guppies some vegetable pallets and fortified flakes every now and again to give them the diversity they require. You may also chop up some vegetables from your refrigerator for the guppies; they’ll devour it right away!

Guppies consume algae in your aquarium as well. They won’t be able to keep your tank clean, but they will assist in the removal of some of the algae buildup.

It’s also okay for guppies to go a day without food every now and again, much like bettas. 

Figuring out the Feeding Times

It might take some trial and error to figure out the best feeding periods for your bettas and guppies because it depends on their temperament. 

Guppies and Betta fish have similar feeding schedules; however, guppies consume one extra meal that bettas do not require. Therefore, feed your bettas last and feed your guppies first.

That way, the guppies won’t try to steal food from the bettas and risk being attacked in the process. However, they can still fight over food. So you may try feeding your betta at one end of the tank and your guppies at the other end.

Precautions You Can Take

Even if you’ve chosen the proper betta fish breed and size, you’ll never know until you add guppies to your tank. However, there are a few safeguards you may take before putting both the fish in the same tank: 

Use a tank divider: 

Before combining bettas with guppies, make sure you have a tank divider to keep your fish separated. Place it between the two fish so that they can see and interact with each other while being safe.

It may even assist your bettas in becoming used to the guppy’s presence and reducing hostility. After a few days, you should remove the partition and let both fish travel freely in the aquarium. Cooperation and cohabitation will be more likely as a result of this approach.

Using Separate Tanks: 

You should keep your Guppies in a separate tank for a week after acquiring them. This will let you figure out whether your new fish has any illnesses that might be passed on to your Betta.

You may also relocate your Guppy tank adjacent to your Betta tank during this period.

Make sure that both types of fish are visible to one another. This will help them become familiar and lessen the likelihood of fighting when placed in the same tank together.

Bettas can be introduced last: 

It’s sometimes best to add a betta fish after you’ve added all the other species. In this manner, it will not feel threatened because it has no established territory yet. In addition, this will help betta fish to become less aggressive towards other fish. 

What Can Go Wrong & What If they Fight?

Even if you follow all instructions, your fish may refuse to cooperate and live together. So not all tank configurations indeed work out.

Your Betta may swim near to your Guppies when you initially put them in the tank to get an understanding of who they are. This is normal behavior and should not be seen as a reason for alarm.

If the bettas start attacking your guppies, the first thing you should do is separate them. It may be inconvenient, but you don’t want any of your fish to get damaged or die.

Use a fishnet to securely scoop up the guppies and transport them to a temporary fishbowl or another tank. It’s better to relocate guppies than Betta fish since they may readily blend in with a range of different fish.

You may reinstall the tank divider to prevent your tanks from fighting. However, it’s best to wait a few days before attempting to combine the two fish again. If the second attempt fails, your Betta may be incompatible with Guppies.

It’s also likely that your Betta may feel terrified by the Guppies that have been added to their aquarium. When this happens, your Betta may retreat into a corner as soon as the other fish is spotted.

Some people may be relieved to learn that their Betta isn’t attacking other fish in their aquarium. But, on the other hand, Your betta may be under a lot of stress. Fish with long periods of stress have a shorter lifespan and are more susceptible to disease.

This is why you should ensure both fish are content in each other’s company.

Final Thoughts

As we’ve seen, it’s possible for betta fish and guppies to live together. There are a few things you’ll have to consider before deciding if this is the right living arrangement for your pets, though. 

First of all, the betta needs a large tank where it can swim around freely without touching anything else because they have long-flowing fins. The other thing is that you need to make sure the water temperature stays within 76-82 degrees Fahrenheit. 

You should always make sure you introduce the right genders and breed of each fish and watch out for any signs of aggression.

Additionally, while they can coexist peacefully at first, there may come the point where one or both of them could attack their tank mate out of fear or territoriality. So make sure that you have an escape route ready just in case! 

If you have any other questions about how these two species might get along as tankmates, feel free to leave a comment below, and I’ll do my best to reply back to your questions.

Sujit Modak

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