Guppies and bettas are both beautiful fish with attractive colors. However, when it comes to behavioral traits, they are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Guppies are peaceful community fish. Meanwhile, bettas are semi-aggressive, easily intimidated, short-tempered fish. Nevertheless, behavioral compatibility is only one of the many criteria to decide whether two fish species can live together. So, can guppies live with bettas?
Yes, guppies can live with bettas. Both these fish need the same water temperature and pH. Their dietary needs are different from each other. This makes it easy to feed them their respective foods. However, to prevent the betta fish from attacking the guppies, you will have to monitor the pair.
With that said, let’s take a look at how you can keep guppies and bettas together.
Guppy Requirements Vs Betta Requirements
Two types of fish cannot live together unless their environmental needs match.
When it comes to guppies and bettas, this factor does not pose a problem as their environment needs are comparable.
Guppies need water temperatures between 75°F and 82°F. Bettas thrive at a temperature of 78°F.
Although guppies would be better off at low temperatures, they can adapt to slightly higher temperatures that a betta fish needs.
Their pH needs are also similar. The ideal water pH for guppies is 7 to 7.2 while it is 7 for bettas.
Since these numbers overlap, you can easily find a middle ground that works for both fish.
Betta fish prefer soft water that is unsuitable for guppies.
However, bettas can adjust to hard water when they are gently acclimated to it.
Additionally, guppies and bettas are clean fish that are sensitive to ammonia levels in the surroundings.
They thrive in clean tanks. Unless other fish that quickly make the aquarium very messy, frequent water changes will not be necessary.
So, guppies and bettas will be comfortable in the same tank if certain conditions are taken care of.
Now, let us look at the more challenging aspect – the temperaments of either species.
Related Further Reading:
- How Guppies Mate? (Entire Process + Ideal Mating Conditions)
- Do Guppies Need Oxygen? + Ways To Increase Oxygen Levels
- Do Guppies Need A Heater? (Ideal Heater Types + Wattages)
Behavioral Compatibility Of Guppies And Bettas
Guppies actively interact with their kind and other fish in the tank.
They rarely attack or fight. However, bettas have entirely different personalities.
Bettas are territorial and aggressive.
They do not get along with other fish and even attack other bettas. So, you should choose tank mates for your betta fish with caution.
If you keep bettas and guppies together, problems are more likely when your guppies are males.
Guppy males have bright colors, just like bettas. It may cause the betta fish to assume that the guppy is another betta.
In such a situation, the betta will try to establish its dominance by attacking the guppy male.
Guppies, being passive fish, will not fight back.
However, constant attacks from the betta will cause immense stress, and it will fail to thrive.
The female guppies are dull and not as colorful as the males.
Hence, they will not intimidate the betta.
Although bettas are always wary of other fish, it usually does not bother with fish that it does not perceive as threats.
Nonetheless, always remember that bettas are hunters.
Even when they are around guppy females, they may attack the fish and nibble on its fins.
Truncated fins cause health problems for guppies.
The best way to avoid this is by keeping several guppies with one betta fish to reduce the chances of attack.
It will reduce the risk of the betta being obsessed with a single fish.
Now, if the guppy is tiny, the risk factor increases drastically. Your betta will undoubtedly chase and devour the guppy fry.
So, if you wish to keep guppy fry alive, introduce it to the betta’s tank only after it is big enough to survive.
Fortunately, not all bettas are aggressive.
Choose from less aggressive betta varieties, and your guppies will be better off.
Halfmoon bettas and Delta bettas are not as aggressive as other bettas. They will not cause much trouble to guppies.
Female bettas are generally more docile than males. So, choose a female betta if you wish to maintain harmony in the tank.
Recommended Further Reading:
- What Do Guppies Eat – The Ultimate Food Guide For Guppy Owners
- Can Guppies Live In A Bowl? (Why Bowls Are A Bad For Guppies)
Do Guppies Eat Bettas?
The elaborate and beautiful fins and tail of bettas can provoke fin-nippers like tetras and goldfish.
Since bettas do not like being threatened, they will flare up and display their terrible temper.
In such fights, both fish can get injured.
So, it is never wise to keep bettas with fin-nippers. Fortunately, guppies are not fin-nippers.
Guppies do not attack other fish.
However, they are omnivores that will eat anything that fits their mouth, including their offspring.
So, small fish are unsafe around guppies.
Adult bettas will be safe with guppies as they are too big to be eaten.
However, if you introduce betta fry to the tank, the guppy may eat it. Prevent this from happening by waiting until the betta is bigger.
How To Set Up The Ideal Tank For Guppies And Bettas
When you place a betta with guppies in the same enclosure, pay attention to the following factors to keep both fish safe.
Choose A Big Tank
Tank size is important for all fish.
However, it is more significant when the different fish in a tank are not 100% compatible.
Bettas are territorial. They do not like invasions into their space.
A bigger tank will eliminate the possibility of guppies trespassing into the betta space. It will reduce the chances of fights.
Provide Plenty Of Hiding Places
A tank with lots of plants will give guppies plenty of hiding spots.
The betta fish will also seek solace in the planted areas of the aquarium when it feels threatened.
So, both fish will appreciate the presence of live plants in the aquarium.
Your guppies may also end up nibbling on aquatic plants. So, choose plants that are not poisonous for guppies.
Feed Guppies And Bettas In The Right Order
The nutritional needs of bettas and guppies are different. Bettas are carnivores and need protein-rich food.
Since guppies are omnivores, they can eat betta food. However, it will not satisfy all of their nutritional requirements.
To prevent the guppies from eating up betta food, feed them first.
The betta will be disinterested in guppy food and will not cause any trouble.
Once the guppies are full, spot feed your bettas.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Can Guppies Eat Betta Food? (Here’s What You Should Know)
- How To Stop Guppies From Eating Their Babies (3 Perfect Ways)
- Can Guppies Live With Tetras? + Do Guppies Eat Tetras?
- Can Guppies Live With Shrimp? (And Will Guppies Eat Shrimp?)
Can bettas live with goldfish? Although bettas and goldfish can live in the same tank, they are not ideal companions. Bettas perceive big fish as threats. So, it will be intimidated by goldfish. At the slightest provocation, the betta will attack the goldfish. Some goldfish varieties are fin nippers and are drawn to the long and attractive fins and tails of bettas. Hence, it is best to avoid keeping bettas with goldfish.
Related Further Reading: 4 Main Reasons Why Goldfish Cannot Live With Bettas
Do bettas kill other fish? Bettas are called Japanese fighter fish because of their aggressive nature and tendency to attack. They are easily intimidated and will fight at the slightest provocation. They can cause injuries that may fatally wound other fish. However, bettas do not kill other fish to eat. Although they are carnivores, the meaty part of their diet is composed of insect larvae and aquatic worms. Due to the small size of a betta, it cannot usually find fish that is small enough to be eaten. The exception is if it comes across tiny fish fry, which the betta will devour without hesitation.