Everyone thinks that bettas have to be kept as single fish – but is this really true? What if I tell you there are 11 suitable crowntail betta tankmates you can choose from?
Some fish keepers like to keep their female bettas in sororities. However, even males can live with certain fish species – provided that the tank conditions are right.
So, what types of fish and other aquarium animals can live with crowntail bettas? Let’s find out!
1. Female Bettas
Most fish keepers have had luck with keeping many female crowntail bettas together. Females are not as temperamental as males and they are less likely to fight with each other.
Still, I’ve always monitored my sororities for a few days after I’ve established them, just to stay on the safe side. Even females can be nippy from time to time!
2. Clown Plecos
Clown plecos are bottom-dwelling fish that prefer to munch on algae and sunken food leftovers. They rarely swim in the betta’s territory, so the two aren’t likely to have a dispute.
Not just that, but clown plecos are really easy to care for, and they can live for up to 12 years! This makes them a perfect choice for novice crowntail betta keepers.
3. Harlequin Rasboras
If you’d like to add some more color to the tank, harlequin rasboras might be an excellent choice.
They are fairly small fish that won’t threaten territorial bettas. As they live in large groups, most bettas will think twice about attacking them. If this isn’t enough, rasboras are rather fast, and most of the time they’ll escape a feisty betta with ease.
Just keep in mind that a small 5-gallon tank isn’t enough for all these fish. Choose a 10-gallon tank, or even a larger one.
4. Kuhli Loaches
Kuhli loaches are yet another bottom-dwelling fish that can coexist with bettas. They love nothing more than to hide in the caves near the bottom of the tank, eating leftover food from bettas and other tankmates.
However, due to their size, they have to be kept in a tank that has a capacity of at least 20-gallons. Anything less than that is a recipe for disaster!
5. Corydoras Catfish
Corydoras are fairly small and they prefer to stay on the substrate. Their sandy colors keep them from standing out, so bettas won’t even notice these fish are in the tank!
Not just that, but they are among the aquarium clean up crew. When you add them to the tank, you can be sure that they’ll eat all the leftovers. Some even consider them to be one of the fish species that eat poop in the aquarium!
6. Bristlenose Pleco
Bristlenose plecos are bottom dwellers – you can see the pattern by now, can’t you? They will stay away from the betta’s territory, ensuring peace.
Even if your betta decides to pick up a fight, pleco’s tough plates will keep this fish protected! This makes them some of the best crowntail betta tank mates you can get.
7. Cherry Barbs
Cherry barbs are perfect companions for bettas, as long as you have a rather large tank as barbs prefer to swim in a school. This will also give betta lots of space for itself.
Both species love having live plants and plenty of decorations and hiding spots in their tank, so make sure to add some caves and water wisterias to the mix.
If you manage to keep the two together peacefully, you’ll enjoy a colorful tank that’s like no other.
8. African Dwarf Frog
Fish aren’t the only animals you can keep with your crowntail betta. Some other aquarium animals might be an even better choice. The African dwarf frog is one of them.
These peaceful creatures aren’t a threat in the bettas’ eyes, so they can co-exist in peace. Not to mention they’ll add a sense of adventure to every tank!
Don’t worry – while these frogs will eat small fish or fish fry, they are too tiny to eat or even try to attack a crowntail betta.
9. Vampire Shrimp
Vampire shrimp are fairly large freshwater shrimp that can be kept with bettas. Their size and thick exoskeleton keep them safe from crowntail’s attack, and they prefer to stay at the bottom of the tank.
The biggest issue with keeping vampire shrimp and crowntail. bettas together is their environment. Vampire shrimps love moving waters and streams, so they can collect algae with their fan-like legs.
On the other hand, bettas prefer still water, as they aren’t the best swimmers out there.
If you can manage to tackle this issue (and have a 20-gallon tank, at the least!), you can peacefully keep the two together.
10. Assassin Snails
While crowntails will eat most snail species if hungry, assassin snails can reach a size of 3 inches, which is too much for a betta to bite. This makes them a perfect companion for this aggressive fish.
However, they should be kept in rather large tanks, so make sure you have an aquarium that can meet their needs.
11. Mystery Snails
Mystery snail is another snail you can keep with your crowntail. While they are not as large as assassin snails, they are still too large for bettas to eat.
Also, they don’t reproduce as quickly as some other snail species, and when they do breed, bettas will keep their population in control. There’s no need to think about ways to get rid of snails in your tank with this companionship!
How to Establish a Betta Community Tank
As you can see, there are species that can live with bettas. However, before you give your crowntail a tank mate, there are a few things you need to be mindful of.
First and foremost, you need to make sure your aquarium is as large as possible. 10-gallons is the smallest size I’d dare to use, although I prefer using my 15 or 20-gallon tanks for my betta communities.
Large tanks ensure your bettas won’t get territorial, and this will give other fish enough space to swim away or to hide.
Also, there are many notable differences between male and female crowntail bettas, and this includes their temperament. You should never keep two male bettas together.
In fact, I would advise against keeping male bettas in community tanks entirely. These fish are too temperamental, and you can never know when they’ll lash out.
Provide your fish with plenty of hiding spots, especially if you decide to keep crowntails with small companions. Not only will this keep other animals safe from bettas, but it will ensure everyone lives stress-free.
It is always a better choice to introduce your crowntail bettas to an established tank rather than adding other fish to a betta tank. This will slightly reduce the chance of bettas being overly territorial.
If you manage to do all this, your betta community tank will likely work.
Crowntail bettas can live with peaceful bottom-dwelling fish and shrimp and snails large enough to not become food. However, even this comes with a certain degree of risk.
There is no guarantee that a community tank will work. As such, I’d always monitor my betta to make sure it behaves nicely.
Crowntail bettas have their own personalities, and not all fish are friendly. It doesn’t have to be your fault if your community tank fails despite all your efforts. Some bettas, especially males, simply want to be left alone.
It’s a good thing crowntails look so pretty even when on their own!
Hi fellow aquarists, I’m Ava and I’ve been an enthusiastic aquarium hobbyist for over four years now.
I’ve been amazed by these beautiful creatures since I was a kid and I’m thrilled to be sharing everything I’ve learned over the years with anyone who’s as passionate about the topic as I am.