Betta Fish and Angelfish – Can Live Together?

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If you fell in love with tropical fish, we are well aware of your concerns. Sometimes, it is just too hard to choose one breed above another. Tropical fish are so interesting, they usually feature amazing coloration and they remind us of some far, unknown lands.

That is exactly why we often aim to pair them up into a single tank, but not all of them can adapt to similar water conditions or even get along together.

So can betta fish and angelfish live together?

Well, I would certainly not recommend keeping angelfish and betta fish in the same tank, but there are several successful cases of such cohabitation, so it is not a mission impossible.

The outcome depends on many factors, such as the sex of your Betta, for example. If it is a male, the best would be to leave it alone and avoid any introduction to other fish. It will most likely fight them off.

So, if you want to keep angelfish and betta fish in a community tank, there are few things to consider.

Tank Size is Important

Although Bettas can live a happy life in small tanks, this is not the case when matching them with Angelfish. Indeed, those two fish are both quite temperamental and can get aggressive easily.

That is why they require enough space to avoid each other when they want to. And, additionally, Angelfish are generously larger than Bettas, so they certainly need more space. When Angelfish are kept alone or in pairs, a size of 20 gallons is recommended.

However, when you are getting ready to add a Betta to the community, please always choose a 30-gallon tank (at least).

Decent tank size is one of the basic requirements for a successful cohabitation, so please do not disregard it.

Water Requirements

When it comes to water conditions, there is luckily no need to make drastic adjustments. In fact, these two fish share extremely similar needs when it comes to that.

Being both tropical fish, they function best at a temperature range of 78-degrees Fahrenheit when kept together, although a drop or increase of a couple of degrees is perfectly acceptable. The pH level suits best when held at around 7.

Both fish are quite sensitive to water parameter changes, so it is vitally important to keep them stable to avoid highly stressful situations. And not only, but the importance of regular water changes and tank cleaning activities increases when owning such delicate fish.

Food & Diet

While both Bettas and Angelfish are carnivores in the wild, there is an exception when it comes to their life in captivity. In fact, to remain healthy and less prone to various diseases, Angelfish need to be fed with a mixed diet when held as pets.

That said, you should be prepared to share some food and occasional treats between the two, but their basic food (pellets or flakes) needs to be different.

Bettas are happiest when feeding on protein-based pellets and delicious meaty treats, while simple mixed tropical flakes should be fine for your Angelfish. Also, Bettas need to eat substantially less due to their tiny size, while Angelfish can be fed even 3 or 4 times each day.

Offer your fish various treats, so they don’t get bored of one food. Also, make sure you provide them with food that has all required nutritions.

Aggressive Angelfish

Angelfish tend to get quite aggressive over time. This is obviously not a rule and individual temperaments can vary, but they are surely more aggressive when compared to other, similar-sized fish.

This can happen especially when they feel as if they are losing their territorial space or even worse when a pair of Angelfish parents is waiting for their eggs to be hatched.

Therefore, placing a Betta into a tank where Angelfish are already living, or vice versa, is not the best idea. They will get overprotective over their space and fight off every fish which approaches.

Instead, try introducing them to their new community tank simultaneously, to avoid any fish feeling that it needs to protect its home.

Live Plants are Essential

When setting up a community tank for these two fish, please plant as much vegetation as possible. This will often be the only thing to avoid your fish getting into conflicts. Choose various higher plants, as their main purpose here will be breaking the line of sight.

Adding to that, live plants are always a great idea, for several many reasons. They will make the tank resemble a lot to their natural habitats, letting them feel more comfortable but also safe.

Also, plants and their leaves offer amazing hiding and resting spots for fish. But not only. Aquatic plants contribute to cleaning water and improving its oxygenation but, on top of that, also make your tank look amazing.

Finally, another thing to have in mind is the substrate type. Although Bettas can adjust to basically any (as long as it is not sharp), Angelfish prefers having a sandy substrate.

Can You Keep One Angelfish and Betta Together?

In general, Angelfish are happiest when living in pairs, or even in larger schools. However, this could potentially increase their aggressive behavior towards other fish, especially when they find themselves a mating partner. That is why placing a single Angelfish into a community tank is absolutely fine.

Also, if you have the possibility to choose, try selecting young Angelfish as they are less territorial. And, as previously mentioned, it is highly recommended to choose female Bettas for community tanks.

Wrapping Up

Both bettas and angelfish are beautiful tropical fish and many of us want to keep them both.

However, it does bring many uncertainties and basically no guarantee that they will manage to accept each other.

Even if you follow all of our tips, please make sure to have a spare tank or another backup plan ready, just in case. And remember to closely monitor their behavior and relationship development.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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