Updated on: December 27, 2022 by Praveen Ghoshal | Reading Time: 7 minutes
Some time ago, I made a planted tank with guppies. I also got a Betta fish but hearing about its fighting nature, was forced to keep it in a separate bowl.
At first, everything was good but then it was quite boring to watch the single Betta fish for long hours. So I researched and also thought of doing a real-life test to see what happens when we keep them both together.
And in this article, I am going to share everything that I learned along with my experience. I promise you that after reading this you won’t need to read any other on the same topic. So stick with me till the end. Let’s start!
Can Guppies Live With Betta Fish?
Yes, but only if the betta fish is less aggressive like the halfmoon, delta, or female bettas. Many fishkeepers have succeeded in keeping a betta fish with guppies in a community tank. The temperature and pH requirements of both guppies and bettas are similar.
So you can keep them together and observe. But if something goes wrong then just immediately separate them.
Bettas are also known as ‘fighting fish’ as you may already know. In wild, betta fish live in rice paddies and shallow pools. Wild bettas are highly territorial and aggressive. They fight with any fish that seems like a threat to them.
But such bettas are not so good-looking. So the domestic betta fish have been selectively bred to increase their beauty but also to increase their aggression. (Gambling was done on betta fights just like cockfights in the past.)
As a result, male betta fish are quite aggressive when they see other male bettas. But that doesn’t mean that it keeps on fighting with every tank mates.
Most of the time it attacks only other male bettas or if when assumes any other fish as its rival by mistake. As I said if you have a calm betta fish then there is no issue.
Here Are The 5 Things You Need To Consider For Keeping Guppies And Betta Fish Together:
1. Betta Fish Behavior With Your Guppies
Guppies, especially the males have bright colored fins which might trigger the betta fish to attack. But if you have less aggressive betta fish like the halfmoon betta and delta betta. Also remember that while males bettas are aggressive, but female bettas are calm comparatively.
The female bettas can even be placed together with other female bettas in the same fish tank while the male bettas can’t be kept in that way. Although there is a downside to this, female bettas are not so beautiful and gorgeous looking as their male counterparts.
Another thing you should keep in mind about the bettas and guppies is about the gender. In case you are a beginner here’s an image that will help you to determine whether you have male or female bettas and guppies.
Male bettas are decorative and gorgeous looking compared to females. And there is a high chance of you having the male betta fish.
Male guppies are more beautiful than females because they have colorful tail. Also The anal fins of male guppies are pointed whereas that of females are triangular.
Now here’s a table that will guide you about each of the possible combinations of bettas and guppies and how to deal with them. I prepared this table taking reference from bettacarefishguide.
|Bettas And Guppies||Combination||Explanation|
|male betta + male guppies||Worst||‘Aggressive’ betta fish may attack the male guppies mistaking them as other male bettas.|
|male betta + female guppies||Moderate||If female guppies are not so colorful then no such problem with male bettas. But still, you need to be careful if the female guppies are too colorful.|
|female betta + male guppies||Moderate||Male guppies may think of female bettas as female guppies and try to breed with them and harass them.|
|female betta + female guppies||Best||Female Bettas are less aggressive and no such issue with female guppies.|
However, the only downside with the last combination I discussed is both female bettas and female guppies aren’t attractive like their male counterparts. So you may probably end up in the first combination.
This was just to give an idea. Don’t worry even if you end up with male bettas and male guppies. In such a case, your problem can be solved by introducing the less aggressive betta breeds or bettas with a less aggressive personality (5th point you need to consider – discussed ahead).
2. Tank Size
Tank size is important to consider especially because you are going to keep a fish that is well known for being territorial and aggressive.
If you small tank like a bowl then it is not a good idea to keep bettas with guppies. Japanesefightingfish.org suggests that your betta fish should have 5 gallons of free personal space.
So larger the tank better it will be for both guppies and the bettas.
3. Size Of The Betta Fish And The Guppies
Size also matters apart from other factors. If you have very small size guppies then the betta may get tempted to think them as their food.
So make sure that you put the guppy fries only after they are big enough and be compatible with the betta.
4. Hiding Places
Hiding places are necessary not just for providing your fish places to relax but also to hide in case attacked by other fish.
You can have a planted aquarium and in that, you can try out this combination. In case your guppies are chased by the betta then they can just hideaway.
5. Personality Of The Betta Fish
The personality of your betta is the biggest and perhaps the most important factor to consider while keeping the guppies with bettas. And one thing to note that fish do have personalities just like we humans have.
According to Science Daily, fish do have surprising complex personalities. The research was done on a group of guppies and it was found that each fish reacted differently to cope with the stressful situation.
So the bottom line is knowing the aggressive nature of betta fish doesn’t mean it will react in the same way always. It also depends on the particular betta fish on how it reacts with the tank mates and the surrounding.
Will Betta Kill Guppies?
Yes, Bettas can even kill Guppies if they get intimidated. Mostly, all Bettas are aggressive and territorial. So any fish that imposes a threat will be attacked by them. Guppies, especially males have colorful fins that may look like male betta fish and trigger the killer instincts of betta.
But if you less aggressive bettas or female bettas (which are calm-natured compared to male counterparts) then there wouldn’t be an issue. You just need to monitor them well.
The tank mate combination is like 50-50. Some fish keepers succeed while some don’t.
Real-Life Experience Of Keeping Guppy And Betta Fish In The Same Tank
As a fish keeper myself I know that for this kind of doubt you need a real-life experience and then come to a conclusion of whether to keep guppies with bettas.
So, I kept a halfmoon betta in our home fish tank along with guppy to just test what happens.
Then I observed for some time and to my astonishment nothing such happened. My betta didn’t bother them and instead just kept exploring every nooks and corner of the tank. He seemed to be very curious about the new place.
You can also watch this video from My YouTube channel eFishkeeping.
Can Betta Fish Live With Other Fish?
Generally, most Bettas especially the males are kept alone because their aggressive nature. But if they are not triggered then they can live with other tank mates with no problem.
In pet store you may have been advised to keep the bettas alone. Right? But I know that it is quite boring to see it standstill for long hours.
An enthusiastic fish keeper always wants to add life to the aquarium. isn’t it? Don’t worry, I have been in your shoes and so I have researched on this topic as well and now going to share it with you.
What Fish Can Live With Bettas?
Fish that are not so colorful and don’t trigger aggression in bettas, that don’t nip their fins, and fish that are smaller or comparable in size can be kept with bettas.
Here’s a list of some tank mates for bettas:
- Neon Tetras
- African Dwarf Frogs
- Kuhli Loaches
- Ghost Shrimp
- Blue Gourami
Can Guppies Live With Other Fish?
Guppies are generally calm and can live with any other fish as long as other fish don’t harass them. Guppies have long colorful fins which might attract other fish to nip their fin which can later cause health issues to guppies.
So a fish keeper must be careful of this issue. Other than that you can keep any fish that require similar environmental conditions.
Read Also: How Long Can Guppies Live Without Food?
What Fish Can Live With Guppies?
Here’s a list of some tank mates for guppies:
- Cory Catfish
- Kuhli Loach
- Red Cherry Shrimp
- Bristlenose Pleco
- Cardinal Tetra
- Nerite Snails
Try, Test & See what works for you!
At last, everything depends on how aggressive your betta fish is! So just try to introduce the betta with guppies and observe what happens. But yes, don’t forget to consider all the points that I discussed with you earlier and then make your judgment.
If you are lucky, (like me and many other fish keepers who have succeeded in this) then no problem. It is just fine to keep bettas and guppies together.
That’s it! Hope you found this article helpful. Now below are some of the related questions which you can read to clear more doubts. Till then, Thanks, and Happy Fishkeeping!
You might also like to read my following articles:
Can Betta Eat Guppy Food?
Yes, if the food is proteinaceous. Bettas are carnivores while guppies are omnivores. So bettas require protein foods while for guppies it is optional. Bettas love to eat insects and larvas.
Can Betta Fish Live With Gold Fish?
No, because the temperature requirements of betta fish and goldfish are different. Goldfish prefer colder water than that required for bettas. Also, some goldfish can nip the fins of bettas and goldfish make the water quite dirty which is not good for bettas.
Should I Get Guppies Or A Betta?
Both guppies and bettas are quite hardy, good looking, and less maintenance requiring so good for beginners. If you prefer to have lots of small fish with all the stated qualities then you should get guppies. But if you prefer a single gorgeous looking fish then betta is your perfect match.