Betta fish and Guppies are two of the most preferred fish by aquarium owners.
A school of brightly colored guppies swimming about your tank can complement your majestic betta fish (Siamese fighting fish) quite perfectly.
Together, they can create a stunning tank environment that you wouldn’t be able to take your eyes off.
However, are Betta fish and Guppies really a match made in heaven or a potential disaster waiting to occur?
Let’s find out together!
Can Betta Fish (Siamese Fighting Fish) Live With Guppies?
When it comes to the Betta fish, even the most seasoned tank owners are hesitant in putting other fish species with them.
True to their name, bettas (also called Siamese fighting fish) tend to be fierce and violent towards other fish.
You will still need to be careful when first introducing your bettas to the guppies, though.
Certain combinations of each gender of the fish can be deadly.
In general, though, you are likely to have little to no problems with keeping your Siamese fighting fish with some guppies.
Do the Genders of the Fish Matter?
As a matter of fact, they do!
The genders of the bettas and guppies can have significant effects on the likelihood of a peaceful tank environment.
Since male Betta fish is more aggressive than their female counterparts, it is essential to be a little cautious with how you pair up your fish.
|Male||Male||Not a good idea (avoid it)|
|Male||Female||Can Live together. Some fighting may happen if the female is too colorful|
|Female||Male||Male guppies often mistake female Betta for female guppies (and this can lead to fighting)|
|Female||Female||No issues (safest option)|
Keeping male Betta fish with male guppies can be a lethal combination and will lead to extreme territorial aggression.
Male guppies are brightly colored and have long, flowing tails, both of these elements will trigger the male bettas and cause them to attack the guppies.
Male Bettas and male Guppies are best kept far away from each other!
Male Betta Fish With Female Guppies
Male Betta fish can learn to live with female guppies. It is mostly a result of their smaller size being less likely to appear as a threat to the male bettas.
However, if your female guppies are particularly colorful, it can lead to fights and aggression from your bettas.
So be careful and keep an eye out for trouble.
Female Betta Fish With Male Guppies
Female Betta fish aren’t half as aggressive as their males.
This often leads to novice tank owners thinking it’s okay to put in their male guppies with female bettas. But, it most definitely isn’t!
Female bettas are smaller and male guppies often mistake them for female guppies. They try to mate with the female bettas, resulting in aggression and attacks from the female.
Your male guppy probably won’t make it out alive, so be warned!
Pairing female bettas with female guppies are the safest bet and are highly likely to give you a peaceful tank atmosphere.
While female bettas can still show slight signs of aggression, they won’t be triggered by the female guppies, and so, they all can live in harmony together!
The Best Tank Environment for Both Fish
Now that we’ve established the best way to pair the genders of Betta with guppies let’s look over the tank environment that would suit both the fish.
The first thing to note is that guppies prefer swimming in the middle layer of the tank, often drifting up to the top.
If they cross into betta territory, it can cause the bettas to attack them and put them in danger.
However, the chances are that once your bettas have established their area, the guppies won’t venture into it anymore. They will be the perfect, peaceful co-inhabitants.
The very first thing you should do is get a big enough tank to accommodate your bettas and guppies.
Overpopulation will cause your fish to swim into each other’s territories, resulting in fights over territory and food. It can put both your fish under extreme stress and cause the spread of diseases.
All of these factors will significantly increase the mortality rate of your tank.
As a general rule of thumb, your tank size should be 10 gallons minimum, with larger sizes being better. Allow at least one gallon of water per fish for guppies and a little more for bettas.
So, in a 10-gallon tank, you can have three to four guppies and one or two bettas at maximum.
A vital point to remember is that bettas are jumping fish and use this natural instinct to search for food and mates during the dry season.
Be sure to get a tank with a lid or a fine-gauge covering to prevent them from falling out.
Tank Temperature and pH
Guppies can thrive in water temperatures of 75 F to 82 degrees F while bettas enjoy their water at 78 degrees F.
Hence, mutually comfortable waters for both can easily be achieved at a range of 76*F to 80*F.
Be careful in placing your tank heater near the pump to ensure the heat is evenly spread out all over the tank.
Install a thermometer to keep check of your tank temperature and put it on the opposite end of the heater. This will let you ensure the temperature is consistent and stable throughout the water.
Guppies can easily live in a variety of water conditions and pH, with the optimal range being 7.0-7.2. Your Betts fish needs the pH to be stable at 7.0 to stay healthy.
So, maintain a neutral pH, and both your fish will live long happy lives.
All tank fish need clean water environments to thrive in.
The ideal ammonia and nitrite levels of your fish tank should be 0 ppm while the nitrate level shouldn’t exceed 20 ppm. You can keep track of the levels using a testing kit.
When choosing a filtration system for the tank, remember that bettas don’t tolerate very fast-flowing currents. So opt for a system that has an adjustable flow rate and stick to low.
To keep the tank clean, you can also add in Amano shrimp, as they get along well with Betta fish as well as guppies.
Lastly, clear out at least 25% of the water every week and replace it with filtered water to keep your tank environment free of nitrites and ammonia.
Number of Bettas
To maintain a harmonious tank environment, try to limit the number of bettas you introduce to your guppies or vice versa.
Since bettas have a low tolerance for each other too, it is smarter to only keep one or two in a single tank.
Since betta fish are hunters, they will nibble on the guppy’s fins and cause severe health issues. So, try to keep multiple guppies with limited bettas for the best tank environment.
P.S. Having multiple guppies will ensure your betta doesn’t focus on one fish and make it a target.
Add in Live Plants
Introducing live plants to your tank will mimic the natural environment of the guppies and allow them to relax.
Try to bring in a variety of different plants to create a beautiful tank for both the fish to thrive in. You will also start to notice your bettas hiding among the leaves and enjoying their time with the plants.
Additionally, it creates natural boundaries between the two fish and will keep your Betta fish from attacking the guppies.
It’s always a good idea to bring in some live flora with an aggressive marine species as it can offset any hostility.
Even if your fish are already getting along, the plants can improve tank conditions, and you will surely see the improved health of your fish.
Some wonderful live plants for your aquarium include:
- Amazon Swords
- Java Ferns
- Guppy grass
Feeding Betta Fish and Guppies
A vital component of maintaining a healthy aquarium is food options and timing. Like other pets, you would want to feed your bettas and guppies nutrient-rich food to help them grow into happy, healthy fish.
While the two prefer different diets, they do share some food sources.
Bettas are bred as carnivores and prefer heartier, meatier food options. So, their diet should include live worms, small insects, or even other, smaller fish.
They love to slurp up frozen blood worms too! Try to have at least 3 to 4 types of different food for your bettas and rotate them so they can get all the requires vitamins and minerals.
Your guppies are omnivores and thus a lot easier to please. They will eat just about nothing you feed them!
While guppies can just follow the same diet as your bettas, it is best not to give them too much protein.
Instead, offer some veggie pallets and fortified flakes from time to time to give your guppies the variety they need. You can even cut up some veggies from your fridge for the guppies; they will gobble it down immediately!
Figuring out the Feeding Times
Figuring out the right feeding times for your bettas and guppies can require some trial and error as it varies based on your fishes’ temperament.
Both your Betta fish and guppies will have similar feeding times; however, guppies eat one extra meal that bettas don’t need. Try to feed your guppies first and then the bettas.
That way, the guppies won’t try to sneak into betta territory to steal food and get attacked in the process.
It will also keep the guppies from overloading on protein, which can cause potential health risks.
What if They Fight?
After all this talk of how Betta fish tend to be aggressive, you’re probably wondering what you should do if they end up attacking your guppies despite taking all the extra measures.
Well, it’s true that all tank arrangements don’t work out.
Even if you do everything right, there are chances your fish will refuse to cooperate and live together. If you notice that the bettas are attacking your guppies, the first thing to do is separate them.
It may be a hassle, but you wouldn’t want any of your fish getting injured or dying of course.
Use a fish net to safely scoop up the guppies and transfer them to a temporary fishbowl or a different tank. Since guppies can easily fit in with a variety of other fish, it’s smarter to move them than the Betta fish.
Another trick you can try out is using a tank divider. Place it in between the two fish so they can see each other and interact but from across a safe boundary.
It might even help your bettas get used to the guppy’s presence and reduce its aggression.
Eventually, you could even remove the divider altogether and let them live among each other in peace. Don’t get your hopes up too high, though. The chances of this occurring, especially if fights have broken out previously, tend to be slim.
Just be diligent in watching out for your fish and take all the necessary precautions to ensure they all live well.
How to Introduce Guppies to Your Betta Tank?
If you have chosen to introduce Guppies to your Betta tank, you will need to take some precautions beforehand.
Using Separate Tanks
After purchasing your Guppies, you should keep them in a separate tank for a week. This will help you check if your new fish suffer from any diseases that could be passed onto your Betta.
During this time you can also move your Guppy tank next to your Betta tank. Make sure that both fish varieties are within viewing distance of each other.
This will help them get acquainted and reduce the odds of them fighting when you place them in the same tank together.
Using a Tank Divider
Alternatively, you could place both fish in the same tank if it contains a tank divider. Tank dividers are plastic or glass panels that can be set up in the middle of fish tanks to divide them into different sections.
They usually contain small holes to allow water to pass through, but prevent fish from getting to the other side.
Add your divider to the middle of your tank, and place your Guppies into the section without the Betta.
Make sure to get a clear tank divider that allows both fish to see each other. Each fish may swim up to the divider to investigate the other, but they won’t be able to cause any harm.
After keeping this arrangement for a few days, you should remove the divider and allow both fish to freely roam the tank.
What Can Go Wrong When Introducing Guppies to Betta?
If the aforementioned introduction method has been performed correctly, both fish should be able to get along.
When you first add your Guppies to the tank, your Betta may swim close to them to get an idea of who they are. This is normal behavior and should not be cause for concern.
However, if your Betta begins attacking your Guppie, you should immediately separate them using the tank divider.
Alternatively, you could remove your Guppie using a fish net and place them back into their separate tank.
You should ideally wait a couple of days before attempting to introduce both fish again.
If the second attempt goes awry as well, your Betta simply may not be compatible with Guppies.
It’s also possible for your Betta to be afraid of the Guppies introduced to their tank. When this happens, your Betta may retreat into a corner as soon as they spot the other fish.
Some tank owners may be relieved to see that their Betta isn’t attacking other fish.
However, if they are behaving this way out of fear, your Betta may be experiencing a great deal of stress. Prolonged stress reduces the lifespan of fish and makes them more prone to disease.
This is why you should ensure that both fish are comfortable with each other’s presence before housing them together.
In conclusion, it is safe to say that Betta fish (Siamese fighting fish) can live with guppies, provided that the tank owners take extreme caution and care.
You should always make sure you introduce the right genders of each fish and watch out for any signs of aggression.
Also, keep in mind that the breed of guppy and bettas you choose can also play a significant role in how well they get along. So pick your aquatic pets wisely and take good care of them for a thriving and beautiful tank!
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