Betta and shrimp 10 gallon

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Can Betta Fish Live With Cherry Shrimps?

Betta fish can get along with few tank mates. They are an aggressive-territorial species and will attempt to chase just about anything away that they feel is “too close.” This likely stems from the male’s instinct to protect and care for his young. He can’t exactly keep them safe if he lets fish swim close by.

However, when they are in a tank, the other fish doesn’t have anywhere to go. This can lead to a great deal of aggression and injuries. If you are not careful, the Betta will kill just about anything you put in their tank with them. They often fight without thoughts of self-preservation, so they can get injured as well.

There are a few tank mates that are sometimes successful at housing with Bettas, including Cherry Shrimp. It is important to emphasize the “sometimes” here, however. Some Bettas are simply too territorial and vigilant for Cherry Shrimp to survive in a tank with them.

If you’re looking at keeping Cherry Shrimp with Betta fish, you’ve come to the right article. We take a look at everything that you need to know about keeping these two species together.

Table of contents

Ensuring the Survival of Your Cherry Shrimp

While there is no way to guarantee that the Shrimp will survive, there are a few things that you can do to help.

We recommend introducing the Shrimp to the tank first. This allows them to figure out what’s going on and find a place to hide. It also makes them part of the environment that was always there as far as your Betta is concerned, not a new invader.

You should provide them with plenty of hiding places, as this will be their main advantage over the Betta. Carpeting plants and small caves are recommended. If you basically cover the whole bottom, then your Betta likely won’t find the Shrimp. Your Betta may use these hiding places as well, though they will likely spend most of their time at the top of the tank. 

Aim to purchase a bigger tank if you’re expecting the Betta and Shrimp to get along. You don’t want your Betta to notice the Shrimp, and the easiest way to prevent this is to give the Shrimp more room to roam. 10 gallons is the absolute minimum, though we recommend looking into a 15-gallon for the easiest time.

Setting Up a Tank for Bettas and Cherry Shrimp

When it comes to setting up a tank that works for both these species, cover is your main priority. Use either real or silk plants to provide cover on all levels of the aquarium. While the bottom layer is the most important, you also want to ensure that there are plenty of tall plants for your Betta to hang out in as well.

If your Betta feels safe and protected at the top, they likely won’t travel to the bottom. This will prevent them from noticing the Shrimp and therefore, increasing the latter’s odds of survival.

Both your Betta and your Shrimp will enjoy heavy cover, so we recommend adding as much as you can possibly fit. Of course, you still want to see your fish, so there should be enough room for them to move around. However, there shouldn’t be that much open space, especially at the bottom of the aquarium.

Be sure to use an appropriate substrate for Shrimp. It should be large enough to avoid being too heavy with many gaps. This can cause the Shrimp to get their legs caught, which is obviously not good for them.

The filter is also important because many Shrimp are small enough to get sucked into the intake. Betta fish can’t stand a heavy water current, anyway, so you’ll likely be using something like a sponge filter already. Consider adding an air stone if you’re adding multiple Shrimp to your tank. Bettas don’t need oxygenated water, but Shrimp do.

Water Parameters for Cherry Shrimp and Betta Fish

These species don’t have exactly the same needs as far as water parameters go. However, they are close enough that you can finesse your way into getting the perfect parameters for both species.

Betta fish prefer a temperature between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Cherry Shrimp prefer a temperature somewhere between 77-81 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, you’ll probably want the water somewhere between 77-80 degrees Fahrenheit. The higher end is often better because it provides Cherry Shrimp with optimal breeding conditions.

The water pH should be as close to 7 as possible to make both species happy. Cherry Shrimp are a bit less finicky about the water pH, but Betta fish need it to be a 7.

What Size Tank Do Betta Fish and Cherry Shrimp Need?

Generally, we recommend at least a 10-gallon tank. This is the minimum for keeping a Betta the happiest. Otherwise, their waste will build up far too fast. It is also difficult to find heaters for anything under 10 gallons, which makes keeping the water at 80 degrees difficult.

However, a 15-gallon tank is likely best. This will enable the Shrimp to hide better and prevent the Betta from feeling quite as nervous about trespassers. Bigger is always better.

Will Female Betta Fish Eat Shrimp?

Yes, males are not necessarily more aggressive than females, though they are sometimes marketed as such. Male Betta fish tend to be more aggressive toward other male Betta fish. However, both males and females are equally aggressive toward other species, including Shrimp.

Females will hunt and attack Shrimp just like a male would. In fact, females may be a bit better at attacking Shrimp, as their lack of a long tail makes them better swimmers.

How Do You Feed Betta Fish and Shrimp?

You should continue to feed your Betta fish high-quality floating pellets. These should include mostly meat ingredients, as Betta fish are carnivores. Your Shrimp will likely enjoy these too if a few happen to fall to the bottom. However, you shouldn’t overfeed your Betta fish in the hope that your Shrimp might enjoy a few of the pellets.

In many cases, the Shrimp will eat whatever they happen to find on the bottom of the tank. This includes algae and the shells that other Shrimp have shed. They work as your clean-up crew, basically.

However, most tanks aren’t dirty enough to sustain a bunch of Shrimp. You’ll probably need to supplement their diet with a sinking algae wafer. You can drop this at the same time that you’re feeding your Betta fish — just do it in a different spot.

Feeding these two species at the same time isn’t difficult, fortunately.

How Many Shrimp Can Be in a Betta Tank?

You can keep about 10 Shrimp in a 10-gallon tank with a Betta fish. This assumes that you’re taking care of the tank and using a filter and an air stone. It is big enough for them to hide from the Betta and generally survive as long as they are fed appropriately. Shrimp shouldn’t need much extra care. However, they will need to have their food supplemented. 10 gallons is not enough for them to find their own food naturally, especially with just a Betta fish in the tank.

If you plan on keeping this many Shrimp, you should also plan on adding plenty of ground coverage. Ten Shrimp will be fairly obvious to a Betta fish in a tank this size. It is vital that they have the proper cover, or they will be found out quickly.

If you take these few extra steps to care for your Shrimp, then you should have no problem keeping 10 in a 10-gallon tank.

Related Read: 10 Best Tank Mates for Cherry Shrimp (Compatibility Guide 2021)

Betta Fish and Cherry Shrimp: Unlikely Friends?

You wouldn’t imagine that Betta fish can be kept with Cherry Shrimp. After all, Cherry Shrimp are prey animals, and Betta fish are aggressive carnivores. They wouldn’t seem like the best tank mates.

However, Cherry Shrimp are good at preventing themselves from getting eaten. If you provide them with enough cover and caves to hide in, they will stay out of the Betta fish’s way. Plus, Betta fish spend all their time at the top of the tank, while Cherry Shrimp will stay near the bottom. They won’t see each other that often, which prevents predatory behavior.

Both are fairly easy to care for when together. Feeding them is not needlessly complicated because a Betta fish is not going to attack an algae wafer. They require similar water parameters.

In the end, Cherry Shrimp is likely one of the better tank mates for a Betta fish. Just be sure to take care of their needs because they’ll be spending much of their time hiding from the Betta fish. If you don’t provide them with enough cover, they can quickly find themselves the Betta fish’s target.

Featured Image Credit: Alex DeG, Shutterstock

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How To Keep Cherry Shrimp And Bettas Together

Believe it or not, you can keep cherry shrimp and bettas together. And I don’t mean, topping up your tank with more cherry shrimp every few months. But continued survival and reproduction of the cherry shrimp in your tank!

While some bettas won’t live with any other tank mates, there are a lot of circumstances that can cause this to happen other than their temperaments. Keep reading to find out what you can do to give your red cherry shrimp the best chance of survival with your betta!


If you think your betta will get along with cherry shrimp, then the next step is for you to introduce them to the tank. Here are a few things you can do to make sure that your betta is going to leave your shrimp alone.

Pick A Betta That Already Lives With Shrimp

If you haven’t bought your betta yet, the best thing you can do is pick one that already lives with shrimp and other fish. This is a clear indicator that they can be a good tank mate and they won’t kill your shrimp.

Don’t pick a betta that’s on his own. Not only does this signify that he could be too aggressive, but it could also show that he’s sick.

Give Them Plenty Of Hiding Spaces

The number one thing you can do is give your cherry shrimp plenty of hiding places. Your tank should be abundant with driftwood and java moss which are both going to act as the perfect shelters from your betta.

Not only are these going to be beneficial to your red cherry shrimp but your betta will love them too. Lots of hiding places are going to make your betta feel safer. And counterintuitively, the safer your betta feels, the more likely he is to stay out in the open.

Make Sure The Tank Is Big Enough

This is probably the second biggest factor that will determine whether bettas will attack or not. If there’s not enough space then your betta may feel frustrated. He may also notice your shrimp more often and be prone to attack.

Normally you can keep cherry shrimp and bettas on their own in a 5 gallon tank. However, when you’re putting them together I wouldn’t put them in anything smaller than 10 gallons. 10 gallons gives both species plenty of space to move around, without constantly being under each other.

However, as always bigger is better. The bigger your tank the less likely your betta will be to attack.

Introduce The Cherry Shrimp First

Sometimes your betta will attack tank mates who he believes are in his territory. However, if it’s possible you should try adding shrimp first so your betta thinks they were there first.

You should make sure that your tank has fully cycled before adding shrimp as they’re very sensitive to parameter changes.

Signs Your Betta Will Attack Cherry Shrimp

While you can never know for sure when your betta is going to attack cherry shrimp, there are often a couple of signs. Obviously, if your betta is attacking other tank mates then the chances are he’s going to attack your cherry shrimp.

People also report that when they add cherry shrimp to their tank, their betta immediately attacked them. And kept going after them no matter how much they ran away. If you notice your betta doing this, then the chances are he’s not going to stop until he kills them.

Knowing the different behavior, tank requirements and diets of multiple fish is a difficult task to accomplish. In fact, there are fish that can live with your betta you haven’t even thought of yet! If you want to know about every fish that can live with your betta then click here.

Is It That Bad If Your Betta Eats Your Cherry Shrimp?

Another thing you should consider if you definitely want cherry shrimp is how bad would it be if your betta ate them?

After all, he is a predator, and it would be a good way to fulfill his hunting instincts. This could reduce his levels of stress, entertain him and give him a nutritious meal.

This will all come down to how you feel about it morally. If you don’t mind that the shrimp have no place to escape to and you want to keep feeding him then go ahead.

However, remember there are other alternatives, such as daphnia, mosquito larvae and brine shrimp. But cherry shrimp so make a nutritious snack for your betta and they’re reasonably cheap to replace.

How To Set Up Your Tank For Both Species

If you think your betta is going to leave your shrimp alone, the next step is setting up your tank.

First of all, you’re going to want to match the natural habitat of both species. Cherry shrimp are used to a rocky substrate, lots of dense vegetation, and loads of places to hide.

Bettas will also love this setup. As well as having small crevices for your shrimp to hide in, you should also add larger ones for your betta.

If you’re going to add plants then java moss is the best for shrimp. When it grows long enough they can hide within it and underneath it, if you’ve attached it to something.

Most plants are going to be great for bettas. I’d definitely recommend anubias and betta bulbs though. Their large leaves will give your betta plenty of places to hide and rest on.

When you’re adding substrate make sure the gaps aren’t too big, and the gravel isn’t too heavy. Often times if this happens your shrimp can get a leg caught.

As well as this, when you have smaller gravel, your shrimp will be able to forage through it easier so they can eat more debris.

And one last thing, you really need to be careful with the filter you plan on adding to your tank. It’s a common problem that shrimp end up getting sucked into the filter and die.

Sponge filters are best, but for best results, you should try using a canister filter or HOB filter with some filter sponge on the intake tube. This will stop your shrimp crawling up and getting stuck.

If you’re adding a lot of shrimp, they’re going to need an air stone as well. This will oxygenate the tank, which they’ll need to breathe.

Ideal Tank Conditions For Both Species

When you’re adding any tank mates together you want to make sure the water parameters match. And luckily cherry shrimp and bettas love the same conditions!

Bettas need a temperature between 76-82°F and a pH level as close to 7 as possible. Cherry shrimp, on the other hand, can survive in a temperature between 77-81°F, and a pH level between 6.2 – 7.3.

But if you want the best results for your betta and cherry shrimp then you should be even more specific than that.

While a betta does like a pH as close to 7 as possible, if you can keep it at 6.8 then your shrimp will be happiest. Likewise, if you should keep your tank temperature at 80°F. While it’s a tiny bit warmer than your betta is used to, it’s going to be the ideal breeding temperature for shrimp.

If you’re interested in knowing about 30 other tank mates that can live with your betta then check out this HUGE list of betta tank mates!

What Size Tank Should You Use?

As previously mentioned, while cherry shrimp and bettas can live on their own in 5-gallon tanks. However, when you’re putting them together you should use a 10-gallon tank. A 10-gallon tank will make your betta feel less territorial.

As well as this, you’ll also be able to provide a lot more hiding spaces for your cherry shrimp in a 10 gallon. They’ll also have more space to get away from your betta as well.

Diet & Feeding Time

When you’re keeping cherry shrimp with bettas you’re not going to have to do anything too specific. Of course, you’re going to want to feed your betta a variety of food.

High-quality pellets are the standard in most cases, however, they should also be supplemented. Adding daphnia, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp and the occasional bloodworm are also going to be beneficial.

Your cherry shrimp are going to love anything you feed your betta. And not only will they eat it, but they’ll also get to work eating any algae/plant matter in your tank as well.

In fact, you should only be supplementing a shrimps diet roughly once a week with a sinking algae wafer. If you supplement it too much, they won’t eat the rest of the algae in your tank.

(Here are 17 other great algae eaters for your betta’s tank.)

General Info About Cherry Shrimp

If you are going to keep cherry shrimp with your betta there are some things you’ll need to remember. The most important one is to never add copper to the tank.

Copper is extremely toxic to shrimp and even a small amount will kill them quickly. If you need to add copper medication to your tank then you should quarantine your betta. Even tiny amounts of copper can be fatal to shrimp.

Secondly, remember that your cherry shrimp is going to molt. When they molt they are at their most vulnerable and your betta may try to eat them. Make sure you’re giving them plenty of placed to hide.

And don’t worry about removing their old exoskeleton. All the cherry shrimp in your tank can eat it for the nutrients.

Lastly, make sure you’re keeping the ammonia and nitrate levels under control. Cherry shrimp are sensitive to ammonia spikes and they can kill them quickly. The best way to reduce the chance of an ammonia spike is by adding lots of plants to your tank, filtering the water and performing frequent water changes.

Conclusion & Recap

In conclusion, keeping bettas and cherry shrimps together can often work and they make excellent tank mates. With that being said if you know you have particularly aggressive betta then you should avoid adding any tank mates with them.

Here are the main points you need to remember.

  • For best results you should try picking a betta that already lives with shrimp, give your cherry shrimp plenty of hiding places, and don’t place them in a tank smaller than 10 gallons.
  • When setting up your tank make sure you add lots of plants such as java moss, anubias and betta bulbs.
  • You should also add driftwood and caves to give your betta and shrimp places to hide.
  • Make sure the gravel isn’t too big or a cherry shrimp might get their leg caught.
  • You should keep the temperature of the tank at 80°F and the pH at 6.8 if you want your cherry shrimp to breed a lot.
  • You should be feeding your betta a mix of live food and pellets, and let your shrimp scavenge from the floor. Only occasionally dropping in a sinking algae wafer.
  • Never add copper medication to the tank or it will kill your cherry shrimp.
  • Cherry shrimp molt, leave the exoskeleton for them to eat afterward and give them plenty of spaces to hide.
  • Keep the ammonia levels low or your cherry shrimp will die.

If you liked this article make sure you check out the rest of the website. And if you’re interested to know more about tank mates that can live with bettas then you have to check out the Ultimate Betta Tank Mate Guide. You’ll learn about 68 different tank mates that can live with your betta, as well as fish to avoid. You’ll also learn how to create the perfect environment for mates, how to introduce tank mates and much more! So check it out!

Betta Tank Mate Guide

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Other Common Tank Mate Choices

While Cherry Shrimp are great choices for tank mates, however, they’re not the only choice. If you’re not quite ready to check out the e-book then here are some more great choices.

Tank Mates To Reconsider

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Bettas are compatible with many aquatic pets, and they make for a colorful community tank. Knowing which species to couple up with bettas will spare your tank of aggression, injuries, and even death.

Shrimps are excellent tank cleaners, and they will actively scavenge for leftovers and algae in an aquarium. For the most part, shrimps and bettas will co-exist peacefully, although you should know the kinds of shrimps that will be good tank mates.

Shrimps are especially vulnerable during molting, where they shed their outer skin once a month and grow another one. Hiding spaces will allow the shrimp to shelter away as their shell hardens, as they can easily get stressed during this period. 

Can Cherry Shrimp Survive in a Betta Tank?

Betta fish will easily eat cherry shrimps, especially since the latter grows to around one inch or smaller.

You can try and give your cherry shrimp the best chances of survival in a betta tank by setting up your tank in a favorable way for both fish. To start, get a betta that has been raised in an aquarium with shrimp in the hopes that the betta will tolerate your cherry shrimp.

The most crucial factor is giving the shrimp many hiding places. Include plants like java moss and use driftwood and decorations to shelter your shrimp safely. Bettas love densely planted spaces too, and it makes them feel confident enough to swim in open areas.

Another thing to observe is the size of your aquarium. If the aquarium or betta jar is very small, betta fish will feel stressed, frustrated and very territorial and will attack other fish on impulse. Ten gallons is a good tank size to keep bettas and cherry shrimp together.

Some aquarists will add the cherry shrimp first and then the betta. The betta can feel protective of their territories and attract additional species.

If you add your shrimp in a tank with bettas, watch how the latter behaves and act accordingly. Your betta may keep chasing the cherry shrimp away no matter how much the shrimp hides.

The cherry shrimp will eat anything you give your bettas, in addition to any algae in your aquarium.

Amano Shrimp and Betta Fish

The amano shrimp are bigger than the cherry variety, although bettas can still chase them. They can reach over 2 inches in size, and the chances of getting eaten by bettas are quite low.

The amano shrimp is an ornamental variety named after the famed Japanese aquarist Takashi Amano, who praised them as a natural aquarium cleaner crew. Amano shrimp are coveted for their cleaning behavior since they will remove any algae in your tank.

These shrimps are a dull grey, and they will not seem to be a considerable threat to bettas as another brightly colored species would.

You will need to set up the aquarium in a way that is favorable for both species. You can keep three amano shrimp and one betta in a 5-gallon tank, although a bigger aquarium would be ideal.

Give your amano shrimp places to hide in the form of caves, tubes, plants, and driftwood. Bettas love planted tanks too and you can experiment with varieties like anacharis, hornwort, and Java moss. Do not keep large rocks at the bottom as they may trap the legs of the shrimp.

Amano shrimp loves to hide, and you can fail to spot them for several days. Their clear color can also conceal their activity, although they mostly forage around for algae. You also want to keep amano shrimp in groups of three to five to make them comfortable.

Amano shrimp and bettas will thrive in similar water conditions that include a temperature range of 76-82 °F.

Bamboo Shrimp and Betta Fish

Bettas and bamboo shrimp make a mismatched pair because the shrimp loves strong water flow in contrast to the weak currents in a betta tank.

The bamboo shrimp likes to swim through the water, and it filters the flow of water to get food. They congregate around the filter to get nearer to the current unlike other shrimps which forage on the tank’s bottom.

Ghost Shrimp and Betta Fish

Bettas and ghost shrimps can live together, but there is a high risk of the ghost shrimp being eaten. The ghost shrimp may have a transparent body, but the betta will easily find and eat them.

Some aquarists will add the ghost shrimp anyway to assess the temperament of bettas. Although bettas are quite aggressive, some individuals are more tolerant than others.

If you are going to keep ghost shrimps and bettas, you can minimize the risk of the former being eaten. Ensure that your aquarium is large enough for the two species by investing in a 10-gallon tank or larger.

Wild ghost shrimps are adapted to streams and rivers with crevices, caves, and fine sediment. Use caves, plants, and driftwood to mimic the shrimp’s natural habitat. Use a fine gravel or sand substrate to protect the shrimp’s body from injuries.

Ghost shrimps thrive in temperatures of 65-80 °F and bettas 76-80 °F. You will need to strike a sweet spot that will suit both species.

If your ghost shrimp comes up to eat your betta’s food, you may notice some aggression, which makes the tank inhospitable for your shrimp. Your tank should have enough algae to ensure that the shrimp is well-fed, and you can supplement it with algae wafers.

Will Shrimp Attack Betta Fish?

Shrimps are naturally peaceful, and apart from creating a pecking order among their own, they will stay clear of other tank mates.

Shrimps have, however, been known to eat betta fry, leaving many aquarists puzzled as to the whereabouts of young fish. Most shrimps will leave the fry alone, but you can keep the betta fry in their tank until they are large enough.

If you leave breeding bettas and shrimps in the same tank, ensure it is large and densely planted to give the fry a fighting chance, but I would recommend keeping betta fry with shrimp.


Shrimps and bettas can live peacefully, depending on the type of shrimp in your aquarium. You will have more luck with amano shrimps since they grow a bit bigger.

Bettas will readily feed on ghost and cherry shrimps, although you can reduce the risk of predation with lots of hiding spaces. Do not keep bamboo shrimps and bettas since they need different degrees of water flow.

Betta Fish, Shrimp
BETTA WITH RED CHERRY SHRIMP?! My Nano Planted Aquascape!

betta fish and shrimp header
Spicing up your new aquarium with some exotic freshwater crustaceans is always a good idea.

People have always asked me if Betta fish and shrimp can live together peacefully.

It seems reasonable to think that the Betta would attack the shrimp because these fish eat meat.

However, many hobbyists report that some shrimp species, such as the Ghost Shrimp, the Cherry, and the Amano Shrimp make good tank mates for their Betta fish.

Why is that and what makes it possible for shrimp to harmoniously coexist with a Betta in the same tank?

Can Betta fish and shrimp live together in the same aquarium?

The Betta fish is a carnivore which means that it will not miss the chance to eat any small insects that would boldly cross its path.

The digestive system of Betta fish has evolved to extract and process nutrients from the chitin exoskeletons of small crustaceans and insects.

This could affect a Betta’s relationship with freshwater shrimp, because the fish may potentially see the crustaceans as a quick meal when hungry.

That, being said, here is if Betta fish and shrimp can live together in the same aquarium:

The individual personality of your Betta plays a key role in its compatibility with shrimp. It’s likely that a non-aggressive Betta fish and some agile shrimp species would manage to peacefully live together in the same tank. Keeping the Betta fed, and providing artificial hideouts or dense aquatic plants, for the shrimp, improves the chances of peaceful coexistence.

It may also help if the aquarium is big enough to provide both species with more personal space.

Crown tail betta fish and red cherry in the same tank.

By zbrnwsk

Some Betta fish have no problem sharing their tank with almost any other fish or shrimp.

On the other hand, there are the hot-tempered ones who won’t let anything in their territory and will attack every intruder who dares to enter their kingdom.

Take a look at the most common shrimp species that may be kept with a Betta fish:

1. Ghost Shrimp

A ghost shrimp in a planted tank.

By ironbamboo

In the majority of cases, Betta fish and Ghost shrimp are compatible and may live together with no conflicts.

The Ghost shrimp will mind their own business on the bottom of the aquarium and won’t be interested in the rest of the tank mates.

The almost transparent coloration of these shrimp won’t attract your Betta’s sight, and the fish won’t perceive them as an intruder in its territory.

Ghost shrimp are also large enough to not get eaten by your Betta since they reach a size of about 1.5 inches when mature.

However, if your individual fish is really aggressive in nature, it might still try to attack the shrimp.

For this reason, there are a few things to have in mind when mixing Betta fish and Ghost shrimp in the same tank.

If you’d like to breed the shrimp, I would recommend that you use a separate aquarium for the purpose.

A Betta will probably eat all the Ghost shrimp babies it comes across.

Anyway, the shared aquarium should also have enough plants in order to prevent any potential conflicts.

A 10-gallon planted tank could sustain a small colony of Ghost shrimp while giving them enough space to hide from the Betta when needed.

Author’s note: Do make sure that you’re getting Palaemonetes Paludosus when shopping for Ghost shrimp though.

Sometimes pet stores may mistakenly sell a larger, more aggressive Ghost shrimp species called Macrobrachium Lanchesteri.

Macrobrachium Ghost shrimp can actually turn the tables and start picking on the long fins of your Betta, which could lead to some serious damage for the fish.

The easiest way to spot the difference between the two species of Ghost shrimp is to take a look at their front claws.

Macrobrachium Lanchesteri has visibly longer front claws, in comparison to the ones of a Palaemonetes Paludosus.
Illustrated comparison between Macrobrachium Lanchesteri and Palaemonetes Paludosus shrimp.

2. Cherry shrimp

A cherry shrimp on an aquatic plant.

By Odin343

The Cherry shrimp are a beautiful and noticeable species of freshwater shrimp, that reach a size of 1 to 1.5 inches when fully grown.

If you want your Cherry shrimp to live with a Betta in the same aquarium, I recommend that you put both species in the tank simultaneously.

If that is not an option and your Betta is already the royalty of its tank, you should temporarily relocate the fish in another container.

After that, rearrange the decoration in your main aquarium, put the Cherry shrimp in, and bring back the Betta.

This way, you’ll likely reduce the chance of the Betta attacking the shrimp since it won’t perceive them as intruders in its personal space.

The Betta won’t recognize its old tank, perceiving it as a completely new place.

Needless to say, there isn’t a 100% guarantee that your Betta won’t try to eat or attack the Cherry shrimp.

If you see any early signs of an annoyed fish, such as flaring at or chasing the Cherry shrimp, separate them.

Note that the Cherry shrimp are quicker and more agile than Ghost shrimp and stand a better chance of evading the attack of a more aggressive Betta.

The slightly higher price of Cherry shrimp is the only reason they are not my top recommendation for shrimp that can live with a Betta.

In terms of survival, however, I think that the Cherry shrimp stands the best chances from the smaller shrimp species that are commonly sold in pet stores.

AQUAnswers TIPIf you enjoy having brightly colored aquarium creatures, try the Blue Velvet shrimp, which is a variation of the Cherry shrimp.

This variety has a beautiful and intense blue coloration, which is also less likely to stand out in your Betta’s eyes if the fish tank is decently planted.

A photo of a blue velvet shrimp that's pregnant.

By Ohaple

3. Amano Shrimp

An amano shrimp roaming around plants.

By ml-photo

These small creatures are often nominated as one of the best shrimp to keep with a Betta or other fish.

My personal experience with these shrimp confirms that opinion.

Amano shrimp are peaceful and are very helpful with cleaning the algae in a fish tank.

If you want to try keeping them with your Betta fish, put enough live plants and driftwood decorations to avoid potential aggression.

The aquarium decor will serve as hideouts for both the Betta and the shrimp.

The tank you use should hold 10 or more gallons of water, as the Amano shrimp are larger compared to other aquarium shrimp, such as the Ghost ones.

An important thing to remember here is that Amano shrimp and Betta fish have different dietary needs.

Betta fish are carnivores and will need some freeze-dried bloodworms, Daphnia, and, possibly, live insects.

The Amano shrimp will eat algae directly from the aquarium’s interior but you should still supplement their diet with some algae wafers, dried pellets, or zucchini.

Sometimes, when the Amano shrimp see new food falling on the tank’s bottom, they get somewhat dominant and try to get their meal first.

This may stress out your Betta and provoke the fish to defend its food.

Considering that the average size of mature Amano shrimp is 2 inches and upwards, no Betta will be able to eat them.

They are also more agile than Ghost shrimp but you should still observe the aquarium for any chasing, nipping, and possible injuries.

4. Bamboo Shrimp

Bamboo shrimp in an aquarium.

By ThisPeachIsSubpar

Unlike most aquarium shrimp, the Bamboo shrimp may swim through the water column in search of food.

If you want to have Bamboo shrimp in your aquarium, the water filter should provide a decent amount of current.

Also, apart from the live plants, Bamboo shrimp like the presence of stones or rocks in their tank.

Those will be used as a ladder to provide the shrimp with access to the filter’s current.

A larger tank is one of the most important conditions when it comes to keeping Bamboo shrimp and a Betta fish together.

Bamboo shrimp reach up to 3.5 inches when fully grown and remain very active throughout their life.

They can easily catch the attention of your Betta.

Also, the Bamboo shrimp prefer waters with a moderate-to-strong flow, unlike a Betta.

The large fins of the Betta could make swimming in a current really exhausting for the fish.

A 20-gallon “Long” aquarium has dimensions of 30.25 x 12.5 x 12.75 inches and thus provides enough vertical space for both species to live in peace without bumping into each other too often.

Make sure the fish tank is heavily planted while having areas that are not affected by the filter’s flow.

These areas will act as hideouts for your Betta.

5. Crystal shrimp

A Brightly-colored Crystal Shrimp.

By belleri7

The beautiful Crystal Red Shrimp could be a colorful addition to a peaceful community aquarium.

Unfortunately, my experience shows that the Crystal Red shrimp are the least suitable match for a Betta fish.

Not only does their bright red and white coloration draw attention, but they are also a dwarf shrimp species, reaching only about 1.25 inches in body length.

The Crystal Red shrimp will inevitably end up as a favorite snack of the Betta and the two species can’t really live together in peace.

From what I’ve observed, the coexistence lasted no more than a few days and it did not matter what tank size I had them in, or whether or not my Betta was well-fed.

If you really want to try and make it work, planting a lot of live plants in the tank would be a good start.

Feed your Betta regularly, and, fingers crossed, you won’t end up overpaying for live food treats.

6. Vampire Shrimp

Giant Vampire Shrimp

By beingevolved

Also called the Giant African shrimp, the Vampire shrimp is quite interesting to observe.

Peaceful and nocturnal by nature, Vampire shrimp need lots of live plants to explore.

They are filter feeders, which means that they will catch small food particles in the water column of the aquarium.

Vampire shrimp can tolerate a wide variety of water conditions, which makes them a great tank mate for peaceful fish species.

However, with their average mature size of 4 inches that comes with a thicker body, they will likely draw the attention of a Betta fish.

The Vampire shrimp are large enough to not get eaten by the Betta and are also extremely timid.

If your Betta comes off as more aggressive, the Vampire shrimp will likely stay hidden most of the time.

What’s more important to consider if you want these two to live together in harmony is the tank’s size and its aquascape.

Same as the Bamboo shrimp, Vampire shrimp are filter feeders and thus prefer a stronger water current in their tanks.

To successfully keep Betta fish and Vampire shrimp together you’ll need a 20-gallon Long aquarium that has low and high flow areas.

Use aquatic plants, driftwood, and artificial decorations to block the water flow in certain spots where your Betta could retreat when exhausted.
Huge vampire shrimp hanging out with dwarf shrimp.

By Taggyz

How to make it work?

There are some precautions to take before you place a Betta fish and crustaceans such as shrimp together.

Follow these steps to make the shrimp and Betta combination work:

  1. Add plenty of live plants and other decor.
    Betta and shrimp in a carpet of dwarf hairgrass.

    By thebettaguy1

    All Betta fish love having plants and decorations in their tank.

    It’s quite entertaining to watch them swim around those with curiosity.

    Also, Betta fish need some personal space at times.

    Surprisingly or not, the same applies to freshwater shrimp.

    Shrimp actually need to hide from time to time, because they have a natural instinct to do so when they molt and change their exoskeleton.

    Dense aquatic plants are the perfect hiding spot for shrimp in the case of a Betta attack.

    The two species would not be able to live together if there are not enough hiding places, as the shrimp are extremely vulnerable after molting.

    This applies to any crustacean from the dwarf Crystal Red shrimp to the bulky, 5-inch long Vampire shrimp.

    For me, it makes sense to also add driftwood, artificial caves, and some rocks.

    Java Ferns are ideal as beginner-friendly live plants that basically look after themselves.

    The Moneywort, Amazon Frogbit, and Water Wisteria are just a few of the floating freshwater plants that could make for a beautiful underwater jungle in an aquarium with shrimp and a Betta.

    A tall Dwarf Hairgrass carpet can also prove enough of a shelter for the smaller dwarf shrimp.

  2. Keep your Betta well fed.
    A hand feeding a Blue betta fish.

    By Austin913

    If you ask any Betta, there’s no such thing as “enough” food.

    But if you want your Siamese Fighter Fish to not see its shrimp tank mates as a potential snack, don’t forget to feed it enough and on time.

    Give your Betta its portion of tasty food every day, but be mindful to not overfeed it.

    Overfeeding may lead to bloating issues for the fish and it may also cause green or cloudy water in the aquarium.

    Giving your Betta the right portion of food however will keep its belly full enough to suppress its killer instincts when it comes across shrimp.

    Ghost, Cherry, and Crystal Red shrimp may get eaten anyway if they are too slow to react or too bold.

    Also, feed the Betta something that’s high in exoskeleton fiber to further suppress its appetite for crustaceans.

    Freeze-dried Daphnia and Mysis shrimp are among the best fiber-rich foods you could get for a Betta fish.

  3. Choose a big enough tank.
    Beautiful shrimp in a heavily planted aquarium.

    By nntnam

    Even though I’ve listed the Betta as one of the best fish to look after in a 5-gallon tank, its potential cohabitation with shrimp sometimes demands a more spacious aquarium.

    Strictly speaking, Ghost, Cherry, and Crystal Red shrimp will do perfectly well in a 5-gallon tank by themselves.

    However, I recommend that you use a tank that’s at least 10 gallons if you want the two species to peacefully live together in the same place.

    This way you’re making sure the fish and the shrimp have enough personal space to explore without coming across each other too often.

    The bigger the fish tank, the less likely it is for the Betta to attack the small crustaceans.

    Even having a female Betta (less aggressive than males) is not a guarantee against hostility in smaller tanks with shrimp.

    Still, rapidly breeding species such as the Cherry shrimp and (sometimes) the Ghost shrimp can establish a self-sustaining colony in large enough tanks, despite having a more aggressive Betta in the same space.

  4. Make sure the water parameters are stable at all times.

    PH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test kit image.

    By obri3

    Both Betta fish and shrimp need to live in a fully-cycled aquarium with the right temperature and pH to be happy and healthy.

    Before you add any shrimp to your tank, do some research on what water parameters they would need to thrive.

    For example, the Cherry shrimp has very similar needs to a Betta when it comes to water conditions – they both prefer to live in aquariums with a water temperature of between 72 and 81 °F (22 to 28 °C).

    The best pH level for the Betta is the neutral one of between 6.5 and 7.5, which is also suitable for most shrimp species.

    Note that freshwater shrimp are very sensitive to Nitrate levels in the water, so make sure you keep those at no more than 10 to 15 PPM.

    Don’t forget that the best way to estimate the water’s parameters in your aquarium is with a freshwater Master Test Kit because test strips are usually inaccurate.

  5. Get the right type of filter.

    A small sponge filter would be ideal for scavenger dwarf shrimp such as the Cherry shrimp, the Amano shrimp, the Ghost shrimp, and the Crystal Red shrimp.

    Both the scavenger shrimp and the Betta would prefer the lack of flow a sponge filter provides while benefiting from the biological filtration and water oxygenation.

    If you’re after the bulkier, filter-feeding shrimp such as the Bamboo and Vampire shrimp, then you’d need to get a filter with a stronger current that could be dissipated and regulated if needed.

    In that case, canister filters make sense for a 20-gallon or a larger tank as they usually have a spray-bar outlet that can be directed, and an adjustable flow rate valve.

How many shrimp to put inside a non-aggressive Betta tank?

Too many shrimp in a planted tank

By hWatchMod

The dimensions of your aquarium will be the determining factor when deciding on the number of shrimp that could live with your Betta.

That being said, here is how many shrimp I’d recommend putting inside a tank with a Betta:

  • in a 5-gallon tank:
    • Ghost shrimp: 4
    • Amano shrimp: 2
    • Cherry shrimp: 4
    • Crystal shrimp: 6
    • Bamboo shrimp: It’s not a good idea to keep Bamboo shrimp in a 5-gallon tank, because of their size and food requirements.
    • Vampire shrimp: not suitable for a 5-gallon tank, they need at least 20 gallons of water volume.
  • in a 10-gallon tank:
    • No Vampire shrimp.
    • Ghost shrimp: 8
    • Amano shrimp: 5
    • Cherry shrimp: 8
    • Bamboo shrimp: 1
    • Crystal shrimp: 12 to 15
  • in a 20-gallon tank:
    • Vampire shrimp: 1
    • Ghost shrimp: 20
    • Amano shrimp: 8
    • Cherry shrimp: 20
    • Bamboo shrimp: 2
    • Crystal shrimp: 30

Those are approximate numbers, based on my own experience and research.

Of course, you can add less or more shrimp, but take into consideration the bioload, temperament, and needs of both parties in relation to the tank’s gallon capacity.

Related:Starter Tank Kits for Betta Fish

I prefer to leave more space for both species to avoid potential conflicts between them and to make sure all of the tank inhabitants have their favorite spots to themselves.

However, you can safely double the numbers of the smaller shrimp species I listed above.

A well-decorated Betta fish tank.

By vacationday

It’s all about the good setup

Choosing the right companion shrimp to live with your Betta takes just a little bit of research, preparation, and knowledge about the personality of your pet fish.

Whatever shrimp species you choose, make sure the water parameters are stable and that there is enough food and space for all of them.

Feel free to leave me a comment below if you want to share your experience or ask something else about this setup.

Sharing is caring!

Categories Betta Fish, Freshwater AquariumSours:

10 betta gallon shrimp and

Bettas are pretty solitary creatures. They don’t typically like to be around their own kind, much less a bunch of other fish. That’s not to say you can’t have happy, healthy betta in a community tank, but there are definitely considerations.

I’d guess that most people are going to have a betta tank on the smaller side between 5 and 10 gallons. Even if you’ve upgraded your betta from an even smaller tank to a 5 gallon (and good for you if you have!), you still don’t have a lot of options when it comes to tank mates for your betta.

Betta tank mates for 5 Gallons

In a tank this small, you’re pretty much limited to shrimp or snails. Any other fish that are small enough to be in this tank are schooling fish and thus need more space so they can be in a group.

Luckily, there are a number of varieties of snails and dwarf shrimp that should be pretty easy to find in pet stores around you or, of course, online. Most of them will feed on decaying plant matter, algae, and/or leftover fish food. If you’d like to supplement their food, algae pellets or blanched vegetables are always a good option. Zucchini is a favorite in my tanks!

Mystery snails

Mystery snails are a popular option since they come in a variety of colors like black, pink, and blue; they can breed in freshwater and can grow fairly large. However, their large antennae may become a target for aggressive bettas.

Nerite snails

Nerite snails are another popular option. They can be found in black, orange stripe, and other colors. While they can’t breed in freshwater, they will leave small, white eggs around. They also need to be able to feed on algae growing in the tank, so they may be a slightly better option once your tank has been established for a while.

There are other kinds as well like an assassin, trumpet, pond, and bladder snails, but they tend to be small or come in fewer colors. If you have live plants, don’t be surprised if you discover ramshorn snails in your tank, and they often come along on plants as hitchhikers.

2 Female Betta in 10-Gallon Tank

Ghost shrimp

Ghost shrimp are the cheapest option, often found for less than $0.50 each. Also known as glass shrimp and named for their semi-translucent bodies, these little guys are often sold as feeder shrimp and can breed in freshwater, although bettas will typically eat the babies before they grow unless there are a lot of hiding spots. They grow to be around 1.5″ in length with the females being larger and more aggressive than the males.

Some may be fine with your betta, while particularly aggressive females may try to grab at your betta’s fins, particularly if they’re long. Also of note is that juvenile freshwater prawns look incredibly similar to ghost shrimp and are sometimes accidentally sold as them. These prawns are carnivorous and can hurt or kill your betta after they grow! If you notice aggression, remove the shrimp/prawn immediately.

Amano shrimp

Amano shrimp are another great option. They’re a bit larger than ghost shrimp and do not reproduce in freshwater tanks. While not overly colorful, they will have more dots on them and may gain color over time if they’re consuming a varied diet; I have some Amano shrimp that have turned a lovely rusty color. There shouldn’t be any aggression issues, although, as with any shrimp, betta fish will probably eat very small ones.


Betta Splendens With Red Cherry Shrimp

Finally, Neocaridina is another great option. Smaller than the other two types, the red color is known as “cherry shrimp” tends to be most easily found. These shrimp now come in a ton of colors including black, blue, yellow, orange, green, white, and more. If you get different colors, they will interbreed and start reverting to their plain brownish wild coloration over time. However, because of their size, even adult cherry shrimp may become a meal for hungry betta. It’s completely a gamble and depends on the size and aggressiveness of your betta.

Betta tank mates for 10-Gallons

You have a few more options here, but not all that many, and you pretty well need to pick one type of schooling fish and stick with it rather than getting 1-2 of different types. In general, schooling fish should be kept in groups of at least 6, although more is better. Remember, betta would be perfectly happy alone even in a 10-gallon tank, so “friends” beyond the aforementioned shrimp or snails really aren’t necessary. If you do want to keep other types of fish with betta, it’s a smart idea to add the betta last to avoid confusion over territory and aggression issues.

Ember tetras

Ember tetras are a great option for a small schooling fish. Smaller than their ubiquitous and sometimes tail-nippy cousins neon tetras, ember tetras are a lovely orange color. They’ll eat pretty much the same thing as your betta and prefer calm, dark environments with lots of places to hide.

Larger groups are better with these fish, as they can be shy in smaller schools.


Corydoras Catfish And Betta Tank Mates

Corydoras are another option. Also known as cory catfish, these bottom-feeders come in a couple of varieties and are small and peaceful. They will eat algae pellets designed for bottom-dwellers or sinking fish food. Because they spend most of their time eating off the substrate, they need sand instead of gravel so they aren’t hurt by any sharp pieces in there.


Like corydoras, rasboras come in a number of varieties and colors. They tend to be kept in slightly larger groups and different types may prefer different water parameters, so it’s important to check with your local fish store or google to make sure they’re compatible with your water.

Betta tank mates for Bigger Tanks

Above 10 gallons, your options start opening up to things like guppies, other types of tetras, barbs, and plecos. However, it’s very important to do research before buying instead of just buying whatever looks appealing at the moment.

Bettas may be aggressive to other colorful or long-finned fish, mistaking them for other bettas. Or you may discover that your other fish are the aggressors; neon tetras and zebra danios, both extremely common in the aquarium hobby, have been known to nip at a betta’s tail.

Fish you shouldn’t add to your betta’s tank

Many fish aren’t compatible with bettas. Sharks (which are actually a kind of catfish but look like small sharks), goldfish, gouramis, mollies, pygmy pufferfish, and cichlids are all poor tankmates, whether it’s from aggression issues or different water and temperature requirements.

Don’t forget that the fish you see in a store tend to be young—some of them may grow way more than you expect! A perfect example are plecos, an algae eater similar in appearance to corydoras. The common plecos I see for sale in large pet stores are less than two inches in length… and they grow up to two feet. Other varieties like the bristlenose are smaller, but they still require a much larger aquarium than people would expect looking at them.


Blue Halfmoon Betta Fish

I don’t recommend these for inexperienced aquarium owners, as females can be just as aggressive toward each other as males. Females, like males, do just fine alone. If a betta sorority is something you might be interested in, be aware that they need to be in groups of at least six in a 30-gallon tank and added at the same time so they can establish a pecking order.

A good rule of thumb when it comes to pretty much anything to do with aquariums: when in doubt, Google it out! Heck, even if you’re not in doubt, Google it out anyway. Taking a few minutes of your time is definitely better than making a mistake and accidentally hurting or killing your fish.


Sean B.

Hi, my name is Sean, and I’m the primary writer on the site. I’m blogging mostly about freshwater and saltwater aquariums, fish, invertebrates, and plants. I’m experienced in the fishkeeping hobby for many years. Over the years I have kept many tanks, and have recently begun getting more serious in wanting to become a professional aquarist. All my knowledge comes from experience and reading forums and a lot of informative sites. In pursuit of becoming a professional, I also want to inspire as many people as I can to pick up this hobby and keep the public interest growing.
Read more about Sean.
Please join also my Facebook group.

Categories FishTags Betta, Betta fish, Betta tank mates, Betta Tank Mates for 10-Gallon Tank, Betta tank mates for 5 Gallons, Betta with ShrimpSours:
Top 10 Tank Mates For Bettas

It is very exciting when you get your first betta. But after some time you realize something is missing!

My Betta fish is lonely!

But what are the best tank mates for my betta fish and more importantly which other fish can live in 3, 5 or 10-gallon betta fish tank?

No worries!

I got you covered.

In this blog post, I’m going to show you what fish is compatible with your betta fish no matter what tank size you have.

So let’s get started.

Betta fish has a reputation of a very aggressive fish and it can’t tolerate any other fish (even other bettas) in its tank.

Keeping tank mates with Betta fish is not recommended for beginners because it could be very challenging.

Even if you keep Betta fish with compatible tank mates, it really depends on the behavior of your Betta fish if it can live with them.

Some Betta fish will tolerate other tank mates and others could be very territorial and attack them.

So you will have to test some tank mates listed in this blog post with your Betta fish and see what fish your Betta fish can tolerate.

When it comes to tank mates for Betta fish You should keep the tankmates which are small in size, peaceful and usually stay near the bottom or in the spectrum of the tank where Betta fish usually don’t hang out.

Also, you should avoid keeping fin nippers with your Betta fish.

Best Mates for Betta Fish image

Do Betta fish really get lonely?

Betta fish really don’t need any other fish in their tank.

They don’t get bored because of the loneliness.

Betta fish may attack other fish but there are some species that you can keep with the betta fish.

But in the end, it all comes down to the behavior of your Betta fish towards other fish.

Other Betta fish as tank mates for your Betta fish?

You can keep other Betta fish as tank mates for your Betta fish.

But there is a caveat to that.

You may have heard that you cannot keep two male Betta fish in the same tank and that is completely true.

If you keep two male Betta fish in the same tank then they will fight with each other until only one remains.

They do so to protect their territory and eggs from the other male.

Can you put male and female Betta fish together?

You can keep male and female Betta fish together temporarily for breeding purposes.

But you cannot keep them together permanently.

If you keep them together permanently then the male will attack the female Betta fish.

While breeding Betta fish, breeders slowly introduce male and female Betta fish.

They put them into the same tank and keep a clear divider between them.

Then they watch their behavior for a few days.

When the male Betta fish builds a bubble nest for the eggs then the breeder removes the divider.

After the eggs are being released by the female Betta fish then the male Betta fish can attack her that’s why breeder keeps them separately after the eggs are laid by the female Betta fish.

Can two female Betta fish live in the same tank?

Female Betta fish usually tolerate each other.

They usually don’t fight with each other if there is a sufficient amount of space in the tank.

If you keep two female Betta fish in a relatively small tank then they will fight with each other.

 3 gallons per female Betta fish is a good starting point and obviously the more space the better.

Can Betta fish live with other types of fish?

There is no single answer to this question.

Betta fish are very aggressive and it really depends on the behavior of your Betta fish.

Basically, you will have to introduce other fish into the Betta fish tank slowly and watch its behavior with the other fish for a couple of days.

Some Betta fish don’t tolerate any other fish in their tank and some will tolerate other tank mates.

There are some things you should keep in mind while selecting tank mates for your Betta fish.

Betta fish tankmates should be peaceful fish that don’t get very big.

Usually, bottom dwellers are good tank mates for Betta fish because Betta fish usually don’t stay at the bottom so there will be no conflict between the bottom dweller and your Betta fish.

You should avoid keeping fin nippers with your Betta fish.

Best tank mates for betta fish in 3 Gallon tank

1. Mystery Snail

See more images at Amazon here

SNAILMystery snail
SCIENTIFIC NAMEPomacea bridgesii
WATER pH7 - 8
WATER HARDNESSOn the hard side
BREEDINGEgg layers

Mystery snails are a very good option if you have a small tank of about 2.5 to 5 gallons.

This snail can grow up to 2 inches and it is very easy to care.

Ideally, you should keep only one mystery snail if you have a small tank.

Primarily they will eat algae from your fish tank. You can also supplement them with some algae wafers.

If you have sand substrate then they will get lost into the substrate during the day and they will come out during the night.

Calcium is very important for the proper development of their shells so you may need to add some calcium supplements in your aquarium from time to time.

You should add calcium supplyments during water changes.

This snail breeds very easily so you should keep an eye on it or you will end up with a lot of snails.

Check price at Amazon here

2. Nerite Snail

See more images at Amazon here

SNAILNerite snail
SCIENTIFIC NAMENeritina natalensis
MAXIMUM SIZEUp to 1 inch
WATER pH8.1-8.4
BREEDINGEgg layers

Nerite snails are a very good addition for small Betta fish tanks of 2.5 to 5 gallons.

Nerite snails can grow up to 1 inch and they lived for 1 to 2 years.

They are very peaceful and they are very easy to care for which makes them ideal for the beginners.

Primarily they will feed on the algae in your fish tank but you can also feed them algae wafers and green vegetables.

They require brackish water for breeding so as you are keeping them in freshwater, you don’t have to worry about the booming population of this snail.

If you are planning to breed them then you should keep them into brackish water.

They are egg layers and they are very easy to breed.

Female produces the eggs and the main fertilizers it.

Check price at Amazon here

3. Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp

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FISHGhost shrimp
SCIENTIFIC NAMEPalaemonetes sp.
MAXIMUM SIZE1 - 2 inches
WATER pH6.5 - 8
BREEDINGEgg layers

Ghost shrimp is a bottom dweller and aa very good cleaner for your tank.

Ghost shrimp are considered as a feeder so if you keep small ghost shrimp into your Betta tank then your Betta fish may eat them. 

But ghost shrimp are very cheap so it will not cost you a lot of money.

If you have a planted tank then it will provide them hiding places and they make survive in your Betta fish tank.

Ghost shrimp only grow up to 1-1.5 inches and they live for about 1 year.

Because of their small size, you can keep them in a small 3-gallon tank with Betta fish.

Ghost shrimp sometimes eat algae but usually, they eat the leftover food so they will help to keep your aquarium clean.

Besides, you should also treat them with pallets from time to time.

Check price at Amazon here

4. Cherry Shrimp

See more images at Amazon here

FISHCherry shrimp
SCIENTIFIC NAMEPalaemonetes sp.
MAXIMUM SIZE1 - 2 inches
WATER pH6.5 - 8
BREEDINGEgg layers

Cherry shrimps are very popular invertebrates

They come in Vibrant color and they are very easy to care for which makes them ideal for the beginners

Micro maximum 1.5 inches and live for one to two years

They are algae eaters and they will help to keep algae in control in your tank.

Cherry shrimp extremely peaceful And they spend most of their time grazing in the aquarium.

Cherry shrimps are good tankmates for your small Betta fish tank of 3-5 gallons.

Cherry shrimp are omnivorous and they eat both vegetarian and nonvegetarian food.

They feed on algae in your aquarium.

You should supplement their diet with pallets and some vegetables.

Just be sure to boil vegetables before feeding them.

You can feed them spinach, zucchini, carrot, etc.

Check price at Amazon here

Best Tank Mates for Betta Fish in 5 Gallon Tank

5. African Dwarf Frog

African dwarf frog
FROGAfrican dwarf frog
CARE LEVELIntermediate
WATER pH4-15
BREEDINGEgg layers

African dwarf frog is a very peaceful frog.

They can grow 3 inches and live for 5 years.

African dwarf frog has found nipping fins so you should be careful with it.

But many people have successfully kept it with their Betta fish.

So basically you have to test things and see how the frog behaves in the Betta fish tank.

Besides, you can also keep this frog with female Betta fish who have relatively small fin than the male Betta fish.

African dwarf frog can live with your Betta fish in at least a 5-gallon tank but a 10-gallon tank is better.

They are fully aquatic amphibians so they will spend most of their time inside the aquarium and will come on the surface very few times to breath.

African daw frogs can not be kept outside water for more than 10 to 15 minutes because they will get dehydrated.

African dwarf frogs are omnivorous but they usually prefer a meaty diet so you should feed them mosquito larvae, brine shrimp, krill, earthworms, fish fry, etc.

6. Kuhli Loach

See more images at Amazon here

FISHKuhli Loach
CARE LEVELIntermediate
WATER pH6.0–6.5

Kuhli loach one of the best freshwater fish and it is a very good addition for a Betta fish tank.

It is an eel-shaped creature and usually hide behind things like plants, roots, substrate, etc.

They are very good tank cleaners so when you feed your Betta fish, kuhli loach will eat the leftover food.

This will help to keep the ammonia levels in control in your tank.

Kuhli loach stays active during the night and they are inactive during the day when the Betta fish is active.

So, you can easily keep kuhli loach with Betta fish successfully in at least a 5-gallon tank.

Still, Betta fish are very aggressive so you have to test it with your Betta fish.

Check price at Amazon here

7. Malaysian Trumpet Snail

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FISHMalaysian trumpet snails
SCIENTIFIC NAMEMelanoides tuberculata
DIET Omnivore
WATER pH7.0 – 7.5
BREEDINGEgg layers

Malaysian trumpet snails are very good tank cleaners and they are very easy to care for.

They can grow up tp 1inch live for about a year.

It is the most compatible snail for almost all the Betta fish

They stay active during the night when Betta fish is not active so it is a lot easier to keep both of them together.

You should keep them in a tank of at least 5 gallons.

These snails spend most of their time eating leftover fish foods like flakes, pallets, etc.

Also like other snails Malaysian trumpet snail will eat algae, fish poop, debris, etc.

They eat algae from the glass which helps to keep the glass of your aquarium clean.

You should supplement their diet with algae wafers and bottom feeder tablets.

Malaysian trumpet snails can breed very quickly and in large numbers so to keep their population in control you should limit their feeding.

Basically, the more food is available for these snails the more the population will be.

Check price at Amazon here

Best tank mates for Betta fish in 10-gallon tank

8. Neon Tetra

neon tetra

Image by H. Krisp under CC BY 3.0

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FISHNeon tetra
SCIENTIFIC NAMEParacheirodon innesi
CARE LEVELIntermediate
MAXIMUM SIZE1.5 inches
BREEDINGEgg scatterer

The neon tetra is a very peaceful fish so they can happily live with your Betta fish.

Neon tetra comes in many varieties like blue, red, translucent, etc.

Neon tetra can change its color according to the change in lighting conditions in its surroundings.

They are very hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters which makes them ideal for the beginners.

As neon tetra is a schooling fish you should keep them in at least a group of 6 of the same species.

Another reason keeping neon tetra in a group is that when you keep a single neon tetra with Betta fish then the Betta fish may chase the neon tetra until it gets tired and then kill it.

You can easily avoid this when you keep neon tetra in a group.

When you keep Neon tetra with Betta fish, the tank size should be at least 10 gallons.

You can feed them most of the fish food to Neon tetra like frozen or dried bloodworms, brine shrimp, flakes, etc.

Neon tetras are egg-layer and they are a bit difficult to breed because you have to maintain strict water conditions to breed them successfully.

Check price at Amazon here

9. Ember Tetra

image by Dawn Endico under CC BY-SA 2.0

FISHEmber Tetra
SCIENTIFIC NAMEHyphessobrycon amandae
MAXIMUM SIZE0.6–0.8 inch
WATER pH6.5-7.5
BREEDINGEgg layers

Ember tetra is a small schooling fish that can grow up to 1 inch.

Ember tetras are very peaceful fish and they don’t show any aggression.

They are red in color so you should avoid keeping them with red Betta fish.

As they are schooling fish, you should keep them in a group of at least 6 of the same species.

The natural habitat of Ember Tetra is consists of brackish water and lots of vegetation so ideally, you should keep them in a planted aquarium.

They require a large tank of at least 10 gallons or more.

Ember Tetras are an avid feeder and you can feed them small pallets, crushed flakes, frozen food, and sometimes live food.

10. Harlequin Rasboras

Harlequin Rasboras

Image by Stefan Maurer under CC BY-SA 2.0

FISHHarlequin Rasbora
SCIENTIFIC NAMETrigonostigma heteromorpha
WATER pH5.5 - 7.0

Harlequin rasboras are very peaceful and interactive fish.

They get about 2 inches maximum and they are very hardy fish.

They come in orange color which we don’t find in Betta fish so they are compatible with most of the Betta fish.

They are schooling fish so you should keep them in a group of at least 6 of the same species.

Betta fish are aggressive so you should test your Betta fish with the Harlequin rasboras and see how it goes.

When you keep Harlequin rasboras in a group then even when your Betta fish chase them, hopefully, they will not be able to hurt them.

You can feed a variety of food to Harlequin rasboras like frozen or live bloodworms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and flakes.

11. Celestial Pearl Danio

image by CheepShot under CC BY 2.0

FISHCelestial pearl danios
SCIENTIFIC NAMEDanio margaritatus
WATER pH6.5-7.5
WATER HARDNESS soft to medium
BREEDINGEgg layers

This is a very peaceful fish and it only grows up to 1 inch.

This is a pretty hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

The natural habitat of Celestial pearl danio is consists of lots of vegetation and plants so it’s a very good addition to your Betta fish tank if it’s heavily planted.

They are not truly schooling fish so you can keep them separately but in a Betta fish tank, you should keep them in a group of at least 6 so that the betta fish will not target a specific fish and harm it.

When you keep this fish in a group you will notice a difference in their color this is because of dimorphism.

When it comes to food for celestial for danios you should give it it a good variety.

You should not feed them with only one type of food.

Ideally, you should feed them the food that sinks into the bottom of the tank.

You can feed them a wide variety of food such as live or frozen brine shrimp, crushed flakes tabs, gel food, tiny pellets, daphnia, krill, etc.

Feeding krill to celestial pearl danio is very good for the red coloration of their fins.

Celestial pearl danios are egg layers and a female can lay up to 30 eggs at a time.

12. Corydoras


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MAXIMUM SIZE0.75-4 Inches
DIET Omnivorous
WATER pH7.0 – 7.8
BREEDINGEgg layers

Corydoras is a very peaceful fish.

This is a very common fish to keep in a Betta fish tank.

Corydoras can grow anywhere from 1 inch to 2.5 inches and they live for about 5 years.

It is a bottom dweller so it will not bother your Betta fish because Betta fish usually like to swim in the middle or at the top level of the tank.

Corydoras can do aerial respiration through their posterior intestine. They can live without breathing for up to 9 days.

Cory catfish is a schooling fish so you should keep it in at least a group of 5 to keep them happy.

You should keep them in at least a 10-gallon tank.

You can feed them flakes, pellets, and bottom feeder tabs.

They are also very good tank cleaners and they will eat all the remaining food from the tank.

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13. Otocinclus


Image source under CC BY-SA 3.0

MAXIMUM SIZE1-2 inches
WATER pH6-7.5
BREEDINGEgg layers

Otocinclus is a very peaceful and hardy fish.

It can tolerate a wide range of water parameters which makes them beginner-friendly.

This fish is very cheap as well.

They are algae eaters so they will help to keep algae in control in your tank.

This fish can live for 3 to 5 years and it can grow about 1-2 inches.

This is a schooling fish so you should keep them in at least a group of 6 of the same species.

You should keep them in at least a 10-gallon tank.

Breeding this fish is a bit difficult because they require perfect water conditions for breeding.

14. White Cloud Minnows

White Cloud Minnow

Image source under CC BY-SA 3.0

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FISHWhite Cloud Minnow
SCIENTIFIC NAMETanichthys micagemmae
MAXIMUM SIZE1.5 inches
WATER pH6 - 8

White cloud minnow is a very peaceful and hardy fish.

This fish is very easy to care for which makes it ideal for beginners.

This fish can grow a maximum of 1 inch and it lives for 3 to 5 years.

When it comes to keeping this fish with Betta fish you should test it with your Betta fish.

Many people keep it successfully with their Betta fish but it really comes down to the behavior of your Betta fish.

If your Betta fish is aggressive towards this fish then you should avoid keeping this fish with your Betta fish.

White cloud minnow is an omnivorous fish and it can eat a lot of different kinds of food like live for Frozen mosquito larvae, daphnia, brine shrimp as well as flake food.

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15. Platy

platy fish

Image by Marrabbio2 under CC BY-SA 3.0

SCIENTIFIC NAMEXiphophorus maculatus
WATER pH7 - 8

Minimum tank capacity 10 gallon

Platies are very peaceful fish.

They are also very hardy fish which makes them ideal for the beginners.

Even though they are bright in color Betta fish usually ignore them completely.

So you can easily keep them with your Betta fish in at least a 10-gallon tank.

Platy fishes very easy to breed and they breed very often.

Platy fish are livebearers.

If you are going to put platy male and female together in the same tank then they will breed and then you will require a larger tank so just keep that in mind.

16. Feeder Guppies

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Feeder guppies are very hardy fish so they are very good for beginners

Feeder guppies are very peaceful fish which makes them ideal tankmates for your Betta fish.

They are schooling fish so you should keep them in a group of at least six to keep them happy.

Another reason to keep feeder guppies in a group is that if you keep a single guppy in the tank then the Betta fish may chase and eat it.

You should keep them in at least a 10-gallon tank.

The male puppies are more colorful than the females and females are bigger in size than the males.

Feeder guppies are livebearers and they can give birth to anywhere between 4 to 60 or even more at a time.

They are not good parents and they eat their own babies.

You can feed them most of the fish food such as frozen or live fish food, vitamin-rich flakes, etc.

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17. Rummy-nose Tetra

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FISHRummy nose Tetra
SCIENTIFIC NAMEHemigrammus bleheri
WATER pH5.5 - 7.0
BREEDINGegg layers

Rummy nose Tetra is a very attractive and peaceful fish.

This fish grows a maximum of 2 inches and at live for 6 to 8 years.

It is a schooling fish so you should keep it in a group of at least 6 of the same species.

It is very easy to care for fish if you do just a little bit of research about it.

This fish is a good addition for your Betta fish tank because it is a very peaceful fish and when you get them in a group then your Betta fish will not be able to target anyone fish and kill it.

This fish is good especially for a planted aquarium because it will provide a lot of hiding place to it.

This is an omnivorous fish and you should feed it flakes, frozen and dried food as well as small live foods.

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18. Black Neon Tetra

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FISHBlack neon tetra
SCIENTIFIC NAMEHyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi
MAXIMUM SIZE1.5 inches
WATER pH5.5 - 7.0
BREEDINGEgg layers

The black neon tetra is a very energetic and peaceful fish.

It is a great addition to a planted tank because it will provide a lot of hiding places to the fish.

Black neon tetra is smaller than other tetras like cardinal tetra and neon tetra.

It can grow a maximum of 1.5 inches and it lives for about 3 to 5 years.

It is not that difficult to take care of this fish if you do a little bit of research about it.

it is a schooling fish so you should keep it in a group of at least 6 of the same species.

This is a very good fish for your Betta fish because it is a very peaceful fish and as it is very energetic, it will not get bullied by your Betta fish if you keep them in a group.

You can feed them small fish food like flakes as well as frozen foods like brine shrimp, krill, etc.

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19. Guppies

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SCIENTIFIC NAMEPoecilia reticulata
WATER pH5.5–8.0

Guppies are very popular freshwater fish.

They are very hardy fish and can tolerate a wide range of water parameters.

They are very easy to care for which makes them ideal for the beginners

Guppies grow to about two inches and live for about 2 to 4 years.

You can keep guppies with your Betta fish because they are very peaceful.

Ideally, you should keep them in a group because they are a schooling fish and also when you keep them in a group then the Betta fish will not target anyone guppy fish and kill it.

You should avoid keeping guppies with long and bright tail because Betta fish may mistake it as other Betta fish and kill it.

You can feed live or Frozen food like brine shrimp, bloodworms, etc to guppies.

You can also feed them human food like cooked peas, zucchini, etc.

Remember these vegetables should not be their primary diet.

They are livebearers and very easy to breed.

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20. Yoyo Loach

Yoyo Loach
FISHYoyo Loach
CARE LEVELIntermediate
MAXIMUM SIZEUp to 2.5 Inches
WATER pH6.5-7.5

Yoyo loach is a very peaceful and active fish.

The common name “Yoyo” was given to this fish after “yo-yo toy”.

There are also YOYO markings on the sides of this fish.

Yoyo loach can go grow up to 2.5 inches and they live for about 5-8 years.

This loach is a bit tricky to keep and it is recommended for intermediate fish keepers.

The thing that differentiates yoyo loach from other loaches is that it is not nocturnal and it will stay active during the day.

Yoyo loach is a good tank mate for your Betta fish because it is a very peaceful fish and it will spend most of its time near the substrate so it will not bother your Betta fish.

Yoyo loach is omnivorous and you can feed them various types of food like brine shrimp, daphnia and some vegetable food like algae wafers.

You can also feed them flakes and pellets.

21. Panda cory

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FISHPanda cory
SCIENTIFIC NAMECorydoras panda
CARE LEVELIntermediate
WATER TEMPERATURE68 to 77 degrees F
WATER pH6 to 7

Panda cory is a very peaceful and social bottom-dweller fish.

As this is a bottom dollar fish, you should keep a soft and fine substrate because hard and sharp substrate can hurt them.

This is can grow up to 2 inches and it lives for about 10 years.

You should keep them it in at least for a 10-gallon tank.

Panda cory are very good tank mates for your Betta fish because they are peaceful and as they are a bottom dweller they will not bother your Betta fish. 

They spend most of their time looking for food in the substrate.

Ideally, you should feed sinking food like tablets for pallets to panda cory.

You can feed them live or frozen food like brine shrimp, blood worms, insects, daphnia, etc.

Maintaining a varying diet is the key to the proper growth of panda cory.

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22. Cardinal Tetra

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FISHCardinal Tetra
SCIENTIFIC NAMEParacheirodon axelrodi
CARE LEVELIntermediate
MAXIMUM SIZEUp to 2 inches
WATER pH5.5 - 7

Cardinal Tetra is a very attractive tropical fish.

People usually get confused between cardinal tetra and neon tetra because they look very similar.

The difference between the two is that the Cardinal Tetra has a red stripe from its tail to head whereas neon tetra has the red stripe only till the middle of its body.

Cardinal Tetra can grow up to 2 inches and they live for 2 to 5 years.

You should keep them in at least a fish tank of 10 gallons.

Cardinal Tetra is a schooling fish so you should keep it in a group of at least six of the same species to keep them happy.

Cardinal Tetra is a good tankmate for your Betta fish because it is a very peaceful fish and when you keep them in a group then the Betta fish will not be able to target anyone fish and kill it.

You can feed most of the tropical fish food to the Cardinal Tetra like flakes, frozen or dried food like bloodworms, brine shrimp, etc.

You can also feed them flakes and pellets.

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Other good tankmates for Betta fish

23. Glass catfish

Glass catfish

Image by jacinta lluch valero under CC BY-SA 2.0

FISHGlass catfish
SCIENTIFIC NAMEKryptopterus vitreolus
WATER pH 6.5-7.0
BREEDINGEgg layers

The scientific name of Glass catfish is Kryptopterus bicirrhis or K. minor but a new study rename it to Teleostei: Siluridae.

Glass catfish are very cool looking fish and it really adds an element of surprise in your aquarium.

These fish have a transparent body and you can literally see their bones and organs.

They are very peaceful and calm fish.

This fish is difficult to care for because of the strict water parameters it requires to grow.

This fish can grow up to 5 inches and live for 7 to 8 years so you should keep it in a big tank of at least 30 gallons.

ideally, you should keep this fish in a heavily planted tank because it will provide it a lot of space for hiding.

When it comes to keeping this fish with your Betta fish you should test and see your Betta fish’s behavior with his fish.

You should keep this fish in a group of at least 6 with your Betta fish so that the Betta fish will not be able to target any single fish and kill it.

This fish is very timid so when you keep this fish with the betta fish you should keep it in a heavily planted tank so that when Betta fish fry to chase it, it will have a lot of space to hide.

This fish requires a bigger tank of at least 30 gallons for a group of 6.

You can feed frozen or live food like brine shrimp, daphnia, grindal worms, moina to glass catfish.

24. Bristlenose pleco

bristlenose pleco

Image by Pia Helminen under CC BY-SA 3.0

FISHBristlenose Pleco
SCIENTIFIC NAMEAncistrus Cirrhosus
WATER pH5.8 to 7.8

Bristlenose pleco are very peaceful fish and they are very good tank cleaners.

Bristlenose plecos are better than other plecos because they are smaller than other plecos and grow a maximum of 6 inches.

They are bottom dwellers so they will not bother your Betta fish and you can easily keep them together in at least a 25 gallons tank.

Bristlenose pleco is herbivorous and it will feed on algae in your aquarium

Besides, you can also feed them sinking pellets and algae wafers.

You can also feed them boiled vegetables like lettuce, carrot, spinach, peas, etc.


So these are the best tank mates for your Betta fish.

Remember, Betta is a very aggressive fish and it really depends on the behavior of your Betta fish when it comes to keeping other fish with it.

Some betta fish will not mind other tank mates and some will, no matter how compatible they are with Betta fish.

So at the end of the day, you will have to test the tank mates mentioned above with your betta fish and see what works and what doesn’t.

Let me know which tank mate you are going to try in the comments section below?

Happy Fishkeeping!


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