Yes, betta fish and guppies can certainly live with one another in the same aquarium, provided the correct precautions are in order due to both fish possessing very different traits.
Guppies are perhaps one of the most peaceful freshwater fish in the hobby, which is a driving reason behind their their huge popularity. On the other hand, betta fish are one of the more aggressive freshwater fish species, but still very popular.
There are many factors that play an important role in whether or not you can keep your betta fish with your guppy, so let's dive in.
Guppy and Betta Fish - How To Ensure Compatibility
Ensuring the compatibility of these beautiful freshwater fish is key if you want to house both fish species in the same tank. By following these steps you will certainly be able to achieve this.
Choosing the Right Type of Betta Fish
Betta fish are considered to be a semi-aggressive fish species, but something that is not mentioned is the number of different sub-species of betta fish, with some being naturally calmer than others.
When you decide to introduce betta fish and guppies to the same aquarium it is crucial that you pick the right betta fish. Both delta betta fish and halfmoon betta fish are the two most peaceful species of betta fish and should be seriously considered if you are creating a betta and guppy aquarium.
Reduce the Number of Betta Fish
If you are not careful, betta fish can and will try and attack and eat your guppy fish. So, a great way to prevent this from happening is by simply having fewer betta fish in your tank, reducing the possibility of this happening.
Fortunately, betta fish are pretty lonesome fish and very used to their own company. Ideally, you should have one betta fish in your aquarium and as many guppies as you would like or can fit.
Can female betta fish live with guppies? Female betta fish are much more peaceful than males, so, by adding a single female betta, you would be reducing the chances of your guppies being attacked.
Live Plants and Decorations
Guppies originate from the Amazon, where there is an abundance of driftwood, plants, and other natural hiding spots. These are ideal conditions as it allows guppies to hide from aggressive predators.
By recreating this environment in their own tank, you will not only make your guppies happier by giving them refuge and protection, but you will importantly provide the specific protection they need against betta fish.
Additionally, betta fish are also derived from heavily planted waters, so, adding live plants will certainly benefit your betta fish as well as your guppies. Some good plants that are compatible with both fish are; Watersprite, Amazon Swords, Java Ferns, Java Moss, Hornworts, and Guppy Grass.
Correct Tank Size
Your fish need space, no matter how small they are! Many people will overfill their aquarium for various reasons, but one of the more common reasons is that the fish appear small, so therefore it is assumed that they do not need much space.
Overcrowding and not allowing enough space for your fish species to coexist provides your tank community with a plethora of health and aggression problems.
As previously mentioned, you should only keep one betta fish with your group of guppies, so, here are some popular tank sizes and the number of these fish you should add to them, calculated by their size and space requirements.
- A 5-gallon tank (20 liters) should have a maximum of 3 guppies with 1 betta fish.
- A 10-gallon tank (40 liters) should have a maximum of 5 guppies with 1 betta fish.
- A 20-gallon tank (80 liters) should have a maximum of 9 guppies with 1 betta fish.
When considering fish tanks, and more importantly, aquarium tank sizes, it is useful to keep in mind that the bigger the tank, the better! Obviously, if you do not have the required space or budget for a large fish tank then that is absolutely fine, but never overfill your tank, always underestimate the number of fish you should add.
Do Not Acquire Large Betta Fish Species
Choosing the peaceful betta fish breeds is a good way of ensuring you do not experience your guppies getting bullied by a betta fish. However, it is equally as important that you do not purchase a large betta fish species, ideally, you want one of the smaller types.
The bigger the betta fish, the more in danger your guppy fish will be in, especially if you have bred them and you have guppy fry!
Saving Guppy Fry
Breeding guppies, in general, is no easy task, but when you have hungry betta fish around it is even harder! By using a breeding box or a fish tank divider, you can help separate both your betta and guppy fry.
However, guppy fry need plenty of space to grow healthily, so, try and be generous when establishing their area. Guppy fry are still vulnerable from betta fish even at 1 month old, so, make sure to keep them separate until they are almost at full maturity (3-4 months). It is not just the bettas you need to worry about, guppies eat their young too!
Strangely enough, due to how many guppy fry are produced you may actually want to control the population a little. It is important to note that a busy, overcrowded tank filled with baby guppies will often lead to much more maintenance due to the water quality decreasing significantly.
It could actually work out well keeping them all in the same place due to the bettas helping control the number of guppy fry, whilst a few will still grow up strong and healthy. Naturally, if you are looking to breed and sell them, then you will want to protect as many fry as possible.
Feeding Your Tank Correctly
Betta fish and guppies do have slightly different diets. Betta fish are carnivores, meaning that betta fish food consists of insects, worms, and small fish. They require meat-based foods to maintain a healthy diet, whereas, guppies are omnivores and will accept almost anything you feed them. Both live bloodworms and shrimp are brilliant for guppies.
Guppies can eat betta fish food, but they will need additional foods to balance out their diet. Feeding both fish species protein-rich foods and then giving your guppies additional plant pellets will ensure their diet is balanced.
Overfeeding your guppy and betta fish tank is something that must be avoided, doing so will have an abundance of negative repercussions on your aquarium and fish community. Guppies eat a lot of food, and if there is not enough, they may fight each other or even your betta fish.
Betta fish and guppies should try and be fed separately as it can cause disputes and can result in the bettas stealing guppy food. Something else to consider is not to feed your guppies too many blood worms or other protein-rich betta foods as they require a balance of proteins and plants.
Guppies and betta fish certainly can make for pretty colorful and exciting tank mates. However, it will require more work than most marine partnerships will, but by following these tips you should be absolutely fine.
It will help tremendously if you introduce many live plants and other good hiding spots to avoid any confrontations, and you need to ensure both fish are being fed correctly. Something else to consider is that both bettas and guppies will need a heater, being tropical fish.