The secrets to adding your betta to a community tank

The secrets to adding your betta to a community tank

Hello! BettasAreSuperior here! So, the first time I set up a community tank was my planted
20 gallon long. I was quite excited BUT I wanted to add a betta to my peaceful community tank. Yes! A betta. But bettas are known to be fierce fighters. They are called Siamese fighting fish for a reason. Is my dream of a betta in a community tank crushed? Noooo! Okay, okay calm down. Just got to do some research.......

The age-old question and myth: Can bettas be in peaceful community tanks?
Two words. It depends. I know that is not the answer you are looking for but there is no for-sure answer and if I told you yes, I would be lying. So, it totally depends on the betta's personality. Some bettas are just not cut out for community tanks, while some are perfect for a peaceful tank. In order for a betta to "Qualify" for a community tank the betta needs to be peaceful, non-aggressive, and it can't get irritated and it can't have a temper easily. So, yes and no, bettas can be kept with community fish in a peaceful tank and it depends on the betta

How do I pick a peaceful betta if that even exists?
Well, yes, peaceful bettas exist despite the name. (Siamese fighting fish) Now, when I needed a peaceful betta for my 20 gallon long tank, I scoured the internet for how to find a peaceful betta. So, let's jump into how to pick a peaceful betta. So, bettas are kept in cups. In order to see which betta is peaceful place the cups next to each other. The betta that doesn't flare a lot and it ignores the other bettas, and isn't interested in fighting is the one to go with.
That is a peaceful betta. That betta will be perfect for a community tank. The betta that flares a lot and is interested in fighting is aggressive, don't pick it. It is an aggressive betta that will not be good for a community tank. You can also hold the bettas up to the guppy or tetra tanks at the store to gauge their reactions to them, I think that can be an even better indicator than the neighbor bettas. You may seem apprehensive about this technique but trust me. I have tried, multiple others have tried it and it works wonders. Don't pick a betta that even flares a little. Pick the betta that doesn't flare at all.

Help! I accidentally picked an aggressive betta! What do I do?!

Here are some options.

1. Rehome the betta. Don't return it. The betta will probably go back in that cup. Save a life. Rehome it to a reliable person.

2. Get it a 5-gallon tank and put it in there by itself with live plants, sponge filter, and heater. Feed it some good food.

3. Put it in a breeder basket and see if things get better if not do one of the options listed above.

How do I add my betta into a community tank?

So, for this you need:
  • A breeder basket
  • Food that ALL your fish love and go cray cray for.
  • Your betta

So, add the breeder basket in the tank and add your betta in the breeder basket. Wait 1 hour. Then, drop a piece of food in one corner. (preferably sinking but any food is fine) When everyone is at the buffet, release your betta into the tank. Now, you MUST watch the tank like a hawk the first week. You have to watch for ANY signs at all of the aggression from the betta or toward the betta. Make sure to add the betta last, not first. Also, consider picking a plakat, female, or koi betta. there is less chance of him/her getting nipped. Besides, if you pick a plakat, female, or koi betta there will be less chance of fin rot, less chance of tail biting, and less chance of fin nipping from other fish.

Other helpful tips and tricks to consider

1. There's a reason to go with both short-finned and long-finned bettas. If your other fish are small and more likely to be chased/hunted by the betta, get long fins- he'll never be able to keep up with the little ones and they'll be safe. If you have tankmates that are more prone to fin-nipping and more likely to bother your betta, go with short fins so the betta can escape.

My top 2 personal favorite tankmates for bettas in a 5 gallon

1. Shrimp. Shrimp have a very low bioload so, it is completely safe to add them. BUT wait. Bettas are carnivores and might attack shrimp. Besides, it is always helpful to add a cleanup crew. I have heard many success stories of betta with shrimp but I have heard many horror stories of betta attacking shrimp colonies like there's no tomorrow so, try at your own risk. One tip if you are adding shrimp with your betta. Get Amano shrimp. They are bigger than most shrimp and there is less chance your betta will eat them.

2. Snails. It's kinda a thing you hate or love. I don't like them but they are great tankmates for bettas and they are a clean-up crew which is always helpful. They have a hard outer shell so, if your betta attacks them it doesn't matter, the snail is safe.

My top 3 tankmates for a betta in a 10 gallon:

1. Pygmy corydoras. These fish are great with bettas, they are cute, and they are a cleanup crew! Which is always much appreciated!

2. Peaceful schooling fish. Any peaceful schooling fish that won't bother your betta. it has to be sized for a 10 gallon and hardy.

3. Otocinclus. They are mostly wild-caught but if you give them repashy soilent green and blanched veggies they will gobble it right up and warm up to you. Not sponsored, but aquatic arts sells tank raised otocinclus. They are also very amazing at eating algae. Well, most types.

Thank redmare 's suggestions in the discussion and from P.M's. Thank you so much redmare !

Good luck!
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Great info! Good job!
Thanks so much!! :D
  • redmare
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Great article! Covers all the important basics. In the end, it all comes down to the betta!
Thank you redmare! I agree. It completely depends on the betta. Some bettas are just not cut out for community tanks, while some are perfect for a peaceful tank. It really depends and there is no for sure answer since every betta is vastly different. I will also add the edits you suggested yesterday I didn't have time to edit it.
This is a great resource for people unsure of how/if to keep a betta with other fish. I have a betta who hates goldfish (my qt is close to his tank) in particular, but is ok with everything I've tried to keep with him so far. You're right, for some bettas it just depends. Caution is the key word!
I fully agree. it really depends and there is no for sure answer since every betta is vastly different.
Very good information that will be useful for beginners who are looking to start a community tank with their betta! Great job!
Thank you very much AcornTheBetta!
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