Are you dreaming of setting up an exotic tropical tank for your living room?  Certainly that would make a focal point in any given space.   But if you're thinking of introducing a betta fish into the mix along with other fish, then you could be in trouble here unless you know what kind of fish betta fish can live with. 

In a human point of view, creating a community tank with a betta fish in would be an amazing part of the house interior.  Plus the relaxing feeling you get when seeing different colors and fish forms.  But this is totally opposite coming from a betta's perspective.  In fact, keeping a betta fish along with other fish may have more downsides than upsides.  For one, betta fish are aggressive in nature.  They prefer to live individually and they feel threatened by the mere presence of other fish in the tank.  They are not even comfortable with their own kind.  And the result is chaos.  It's either you see your betta with torn fins the next day or the other fish floating lifeless on the water.

So before you even rush to the nearest pet store to find some companions for your betta, here are the top 7 myths which you should first dispel to somehow guide you which species are somehow compatible with betta fish.

Myth #1:  A male betta and a female betta can be mixed together.
This is applicable if, and only if you're breeding bettas.  Otherwise, a male and a female betta should not be mixed together.  Male bettas tend to be the most aggressive, but it doesn't mean female bettas don't have their diva attitude in them.

Myth #2: Mix two or more male bettas together.
Bettas are territorial so if they see another male inside their territory, they wouldn't even think twice to defend their space.  The outcome may not be pretty. 

Myth #3: Female bettas can never live together.
Unlike male bettas which should never be mixed under any circumstance, female bettas can actually live (relatively) peacefully with one another.  But there are certain rules to follow.  For instance a betta sorority tank should contain 3-5 female bettas but never only two of them.  This is because female bettas would usually follow a pecking order and this would keep the peace among them.  For more info on female bettas click here.

Myth #4: Goldfish and betta fish are the perfect mix.
In no aspect are gold fish and betta fish a match.  Goldfish live in cool water while betta fish live in warm water.  Goldfish can grow so big while bettas remain petite.  Lastly, bettas need clean water to thrive but it's close to impossible to achieve clean water with goldfish around since they tend to excrete an excessive amount of waste.

Myth #5:  The more color the better it is for your betta fish community tank.
I know how excited you are to see your tank filled with a variety of colors.  But bettas hate it when there are colorful fish around other than them.  Reason why guppies or mollies should never be mixed with bettas.

Myth #6: A 2.5 gallon tank is enough to house one betta and other fish.
A 2.5 gallon tank is barely enough for one betta much less put another fish inside.  Again, bettas are territorial so you need to have a very large tank enough for the betta to create its own private corner in the midst of other fish swimming in the tank.

Myth #7:  Bettas can live with other fish for as long as they belong to the same family of Gouramis.
A betta cannot even stand another betta, how much more another relative?  Well bettas really have personal issues they really are not the family oriented type.  So better not include other Gouramis in the tank.

Keeping these myths in mind, you now pretty much have an idea of which species should not be allowed to interact with your betta. Examples of species bettas could peacefully live with are apple snails, otocinclus catfish, African dwarf frogs, and neon tetras.  But if you want to avoid future problems, it's still best to house betta alone with no other fish around.  This is what makes them the happiest!

About the Author: Clovis Calcara contributes articles to the leading betta fish care web site, Doesn't matter if you've got issues with feeding, sick fish, or other betta care problems. You'll find helpful articles on related topics of interest on that site.

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    April 2012