Certain tetra species like neon, ember, diamond, rummy-nose, and cardinal tetras can live with bettas. While serpae, bleeding heart, and black phantom tetras can’t be kept with bettas. The tank must be large to keep them together, and tetras must be in a school of eight or more of the same kind.
While tetras and bettas can co-exist in the same tank, the conditions must be appropriate. So, let’s see how you can successfully house tetras and bettas together.
Why Can Tetras Live With Bettas?
Tetras are famous for their peaceful temperament. On the other hand, bettas are known for their territorial aggression.
Hence, many people wonder how tetras and bettas are compatible with each other.
Given below are some of the reasons why tetras can live with bettas.
1. Temperament of tetras.
Tetras are docile fish, whereas bettas are aggressive. Bettas form their territory and don’t allow other fish to enter it.
Tetras being submissive, don’t try to enter the betta’s territory as long as they are kept in a large group of their kind.
So, bettas don’t look upon tetras as a threat and co-exist happily with them.
2. Similar diet of tetras and bettas.
One of the biggest reasons that tetras and bettas are good tank mates is that they share similar dietary requirements.
Both fish can thrive on flakes and pellets. They even have the same appetite when it comes to live and frozen food.
Bettas being carnivores, devour live and freeze-dried daphnia, bloodworms, brine shrimps, and tubifex worms.
As tetras are omnivores, they also prefer eating a protein-rich diet that bettas are fond of.
3. Tetras are bottom dwellers.
Another reason that tetras and bettas co-exist peacefully is that both these fish occupy different parts of the tank.
Tetras are bottom dwellers, meaning they largely occupy the middle and bottom parts of the tank.
On the other hand, bettas mostly spend their time at the top or middle of the tank.
Since both these fish occupy different parts of the tank, they stay away from each other. They don’t enter each other’s territory to cause any aggression.
4. Tetras are very active.
Bettas are a bit aggressive compared to tetras.
Hence, many aquarists think twice before keeping these two species together; thinking bettas may attack tetras.
However, if you have enough hiding spaces in the tank, tetras will be safe most of the time.
Furthermore, tetras are speedy swimmers compared to bettas. Hence, it’s tough for bettas to match tetras’ speed and harass them.
What Tetras Can Live With Bettas?
Tetras and bettas can get along with each other. However, certain tetras make better tank mates than others.
The following tetras are the best tank mates for bettas:
- Neon tetras,
- Black neon tetras,
- Rummy-nose tetras,
- Diamond tetras,
- Ember tetras, and
- Cardinal tetras.
Which Tetras Shouldn’t Be Kept With Bettas?
Tetras are docile fish that don’t harass other fish. Therefore, they are a great addition to any community tank.
At the same time, it’s also true that they are natural fin nippers.
Bettas, being slow-moving fish, often become an easy target for other fish that get attracted to their long-flowing fins.
Hence, it’s better to avoid housing some of the tetra species with bettas.
The following tetras shouldn’t be kept with bettas:
- Black phantom tetras,
- Serpae tetras,
- Bleeding heart tetras,
- Redeye tetras,
- Congo tetras, and
- Bloodfin tetras.
What Is The Ideal Tank Size For Tetras And Bettas?
The size of the tank largely depends on the number of fish in the tank. As a general rule, every inch of fish requires at least 1 gallon of water.
The ideal tank size for bettas and tetras is a minimum of 20 gallons. Since tetras are schooling fish, they thrive in large groups. Hence, a bigger tank is recommended as there will be no space constraint. All the tetras and bettas can swim freely, and there will be no territorial aggression.
A bigger tank also helps in keeping the water parameters stable and the bio-load under control.
Besides, you can have plants, caves, and other decorations when there is enough space in the tank.
Plants, caves, and driftwoods create hiding spots for tetras and bettas to retreat when stressed or sick.
5 Tips To Keep Tetras And Bettas Together
Tetras and bettas can be compatible with each other once the tank is correctly set up.
However, as seen earlier, not all tetras are compatible with bettas. Hence, the key is to select tetras that can live with bettas in harmony.
Given below are some of the points to remember while keeping tetras and bettas together:
- The tank should be large enough to house tetras and bettas together. All fish need to have ample space to swim freely and create their territory. Lack of space can lead to aggressive behavior and stress.
- Tetras are schooling fish. Hence, tetras need to be kept with their kind in a group of at least eight or more. If tetras are in a large group, they will stay healthy.
- Ensure that there are ample hiding spots for tetras and bettas for them to resort to when tired or sick. All fish need a spot to rest, and hiding spots ensure that they feel secure too.
- It’s better if you add a betta to a tetra tank than doing the other way round. Bettas are more aggressive than tetras. Hence, if you add tetras later, bettas will not be kind to them. On the other hand, if you add a betta to an already existing tetra tank, betta will feel it is the one who is new. It will then find its territory and will not fight with the existing tetras.
- Female bettas are less aggressive than their male counterparts. Hence, you can always have female bettas as tank mates for tetras. This will ensure that the aggression will be limited. Female bettas can easily get along with tetras.
Can tetras live with bettas in a 5-gallon tank?
A 5-gallon tank is tiny for tetras and bettas to live together. A small tank results in space constraints leading to stress and territorial aggression.
A minimum of 20-gallon or bigger tank is advisable so that the tetras and bettas can have enough space to swim freely.
Can neon tetras live with bettas?
Neon tetras can live with bettas. While housing neon tetras and bettas together, neon tetras need to be in a school of a minimum of 6 or more to avoid stress.
A large school of neon tetras prevents fin nipping.
Can neon tetras live with bettas in a 5-gallon tank?
Neon tetras can’t live with bettas in a 5-gallon tank because neon tetras are horizontal swimmers, and they need a large tank to swim freely.
Besides, neon tetras need to be kept in a school of eight or more along with bettas.
Hence, a larger tank is recommended as it allows plenty of room for tetras and bettas. At the same time, both these species can have their territories.
Can black neon tetras live with bettas?
Black neon tetras can be housed with bettas. Bettas are sensitive to colors and can get aggressive by seeing bright colors.
Since black neon tetras lack bright colors, they can be safely housed with bettas. Besides, some of the parameters also match for both the fish.
Can glofish tetras live with bettas?
Glofish tetras are peaceful fish and can be kept with bettas. Besides, just like bettas, glofish tetras are not fast swimmers.
Hence, the probability of glofish tetras chasing and nipping the bettas is minimal. However, longfin glofish tetras shouldn’t be kept with male bettas.
It’s because male bettas may look upon the longfin glofish tetras as potential male rivals.
Can ember tetras live with bettas?
Ember tetras can live with bettas because they spend their time in the middle of the tank, whereas bettas hover at the top of the tank.
Hence, tetras will stay away from bettas most of the time. Another advantage of keeping them together is that they share similar dietary requirements.
Can cardinal tetras live with bettas?
Cardinal tetras can live with bettas. The only thing to remember is that cardinal tetras are schooling fish and hence need to be in a group of at least eight or more.
Besides, the tank needs to be large so that all the fish can swim freely.
Can serpae tetras live with bettas?
Serpae tetras cannot live with bettas. Bettas are slow-moving fish. On the other hand, serpae tetras are nippy fish.
They will chase and nip the slow-moving bettas. Besides, serpae tetras will compete for food, leaving bettas to starve at times.
Also, serpae tetras don’t get along with fish having bright colors and flowing tails.
Can bloodfin tetras live with bettas?
It’s not advisable to keep bloodfin tetras and bettas together in the same tank. Bloodfin tetras are active fish and known for their fin nipping behavior.
Bettas are slow-moving fish, and hence they are an easy target for bloodfin tetras to chase and nip fins.
Constant fin nipping may stress out the bettas and can make them sick.
Can black skirt tetras live with bettas?
Black skirt tetras are peaceful fish that get along with other community fish. They can get along with bettas as well.
However, black skirt tetras are attracted to long-finned fish and attempt to nip their fins.
Hence, you need to be careful while keeping black skirt tetras and bettas together.
Can white skirt tetras live with bettas?
White skirt tetras can live with bettas. However, they tend to nip the fins of slow moving fish like bettas.
The good thing is that you can curb the fin nipping behavior of white skirt tetras by keeping them in a large group of 8 or more.
This will ensure that they hang out around with their kind without bothering the bettas.
Can congo tetras live with bettas?
Congo tetras cannot live with bettas. Bettas prefer to live alone and get aggressive when other fish enter their territory.
Also, congo tetras are likely to nip the long flowing fins of bettas.
Besides, bettas can have a hard time finding food as congo tetras are very fast and will outcompete bettas for food.
Can diamond tetras live with bettas?
Diamond tetras can live with bettas. They are very active and shoaling fish that usually don’t bother their tank mates.
Moreover, diamond tetras are not fin nippers, and hence bettas are safe in the tank.
An additional advantage is that diamond tetras are slow-swimmers just like bettas, and hence their movement will not stress out the bettas.
Can redeye tetras live with bettas?
It’s not a good idea to keep redeye tetras along with bettas because they are fast swimmers and very energetic.
On the other hand, bettas don’t prefer very active tank mates.
Can black phantom tetras live with bettas?
Black phantom tetras and bettas cannot live together because they are known for their territorial behavior.
Besides, black phantom tetras can become aggressive and resort to fin nipping if kept in a small group.
Being slow-movers, bettas can be an easy target for them to harass.
Can rummy-nose tetras live with bettas?
Rummy-nose tetras and bettas can live together.
However, if you plan to keep these two species together, the tank should be large enough as rummy-nose tetras are one of the biggest tetra species.
Also, rummy-nose tetras are an excellent choice as tank mates for bettas because they usually swim either at the middle or bottom of the tank.
On the other hand, bettas swim at the top or middle of the tank. So, these two fish will usually not cross each other’s paths.