Betta Fish and Guppies – Can They Live Together?
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Many betta fish tank owners are wondering whether their bettas will be fine with keeping them together with guppies.
Fortunately, even though bettas can be aggressive towards other fish, guppies are one of the best tank mate species for the betta fish.
However, the answer is not as straightforward as it seems. In some cases, you can really make it bad for your betta, even if guppies are harmless little fish that get along with just about any fish species.
There are still some considerations that you have to make if you want to keep bettas and guppies together.
Bettas, especially the larger breeds of the betta fish, are known to be able to hunt down smaller fish like guppies, especially if the bettas are kept in larger numbers.
But worry not, if you set up everything right then you should have no problems at all. In this article, we will take a look at whether bettas and guppies can live together, and talk about everything around this question.
Betta Fish & Guppy Habitat
In terms of their natural habitats, bettas and guppies are relatively similar. In that regard, they can be kept in the same tank.
Guppies are far more adaptable to water changes and environmental changes than bettas. The latter demands a water temperature of at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit to live properly, while guppies can adapt and go lower. But the ideal temperature for guppies also floats around 75 degrees Fahrenheit; the ideal range of guppies is 72-79 degrees, while for bettas it is from 75-79 degrees.
In their natural habitats, bettas tend to live in slow-moving waters in tropical areas with relatively dense vegetation. Also, they like to live in shallow waters as they like to come towards the surface to get oxygen from the air. Guppies like to live in more brackish waters, but they are perfectly fine with clear water. Like bettas, they also prefer a lot of vegetation in the tank. It is also the best thing for them, as it allows them to hide from the bettas if they turn aggressive.
In terms of space requirements, it is quite normal to see a betta become aggressive and territorial if it doesn’t have enough space. Generally, about 5 gallons of water or more per betta is enough, while a single guppy can take 2 gallons of water or more. Ideally, if you want to mix them together, a larger tank would be required.
Betta & Guppy Fish Diet
The good thing about keeping bettas and guppies together is that they both eat similar types of food. While bettas are carnivorous in essence, guppies are omnivores, which means that they eat all types of food.
Flakes and pellets can be the staple of both fish’s diet. For bettas, it would be better to buy high-quality betta fish food in the shape of pellets or flakes. But remember to keep some variety in their diet; a mixture of live, frozen foods and pellets or flakes works best for bettas.
As for guppies, they will also eat flakes and pellets happily, and they also like some plant-based flakes. You can combine those and add them in their diets occasionally, while also providing them some meat-based foods. Live or frozen foods like bloodworms can be used as treats now and then to have some variety in their diet.
Best Tank Mates for Guppies and Bettas
The characters of guppies and bettas are slightly different. Guppies tend to be more friendly and peaceful, while bettas are generally friendly towards harmless fish if they have enough space, they can also turn aggressive in certain cases.
That is also down to the types of fish that you decide to keep with them. For guppies, the choices are almost endless. Just about every other small peaceful fish species can be kept well together with guppies, including:
- Platy fish
- Molly fish
- Cory catfish
- Swordtail fish
- Bristlenose pleco
- And many more.
For bettas, the number of tank mates is slightly smaller due to their semi-aggressive and territorial character. You will have to be very careful what fish you put together with bettas. In general, there are some good options out there:
- Mystery snails
- Cory catfish
- Harlequin rasbora
- Kuhli Loach
- White cloud mountain minnow
Can Betta Fish Kill a Guppy Fish?
If the betta is given enough space to live, then he will most probably not attack the guppies. But, if there are male guppies present in the near vicinity of a betta male, then attacks certainly can happen, and sometimes, they can even be deadly.
Luckily, if you provide them enough space and some hiding places for the guppies to hide, then there should be no deaths or attacks. However, it can happen. Another thing that can make matters worse is if you put more bettas together with a few guppies. If the guppies are outnumbered, they will eventually suffer and most likely get attacked from the bettas.
Will Betta Fish Eat Guppy Fry?
Betta fish are carnivores, and they are likely to eat the guppy fry as well. To prevent that from happening (if you want to prevent it, of course), you will have to separate the fry from the rest of the tank, as the bettas and even guppies are very likely to eat the fry.
But sometimes, it is desirable that the bettas eat the fry by some owners. It might sound cruel, but they can control the population of the guppies who like to spread really fast.
How Many Bettas to Keep With Guppies?
Ultimately, it is up to you. However, it is not recommended to keep more than one or two bettas together with guppies. They can attack the guppies, but also, if there are two male bettas, attacks between them can also happen. So keeping a betta (either a female or male) with more guppies together is probably for the best.
Guppies and bettas can live together, but there has to be a certain degree of caution from the owner. Provide the fish with enough space and proper care, and they will live together without any problems.