Guppy Fish and Betta Fish – Can You Keep Them in Same Aquarium?


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Guppies are one of the most common fish species which people have in their aquariums. However, before you add any other species, it is important to find out whether it is compatible with guppy fish or not. In this article, I will write about betta fish as a tank mate for guppy fish.

When you look at the nature of both of these fish species, you will realize that guppy fish is much more peaceful in nature as compared to betta fish.

On the other hand, betta fish cannot be considered as aggressive either. It is semi-aggressive. That is why, if you plan to add both of these fish species to your aquarium, it is important to first find out whether they can coexist or not.

Keeping Guppies and Betta Fish in Same Tank

Can guppy fish and betta fish live in the same aquarium? Yes! However, since betta fish is semi-aggressive, it is important to take a few precautions in order to protect the guppies.

You also have to ensure that the population of both fish species is controlled.

If you want to keep guppies with platies, mollies, shrimp, goldfish or angelfish, please take a look to my other guides to see which fish are compatible with guppies and which are not.

I will now highlight some of the precautions which you need to undertake before placing guppy fish and betta fish in the same tank.

Choose the Right Betta Fish Breed

Betta fish can be considered as a semi-aggressive species. However, there are quite a few different breeds when it comes to betta fish. Some of these breeds are actually more aggressive while others have peaceful behavior. If you want to put guppies with betta fish in your aquarium, it is important for you to choose the right breed. The breed which is passive in nature and less aggressive is the best option. Two such options which you can opt for are:

  • Delta Betta fish
  • Halfmoon Betta fish

Thus, instead of assuming that each and every breed of betta fish is compatible with guppy fish, it is a good idea to stick to only these 2 breeds. This will ensure that the guppy fish can coexist easily with the betta fish.

Limit the Number of Betta Fish

In order to ensure that the betta fish do not hunt down and eat the guppy fish, you have to limit their number. Ideally, you should introduce only one betta fish into one aquarium, because they can fight each other. Usually male betta fish are more aggressive, while females tend to be peaceful.

Betta fish are hunters. Therefore will often nibble on the fins of the guppy fish. While in most cases guppies can live with truncated fins, this can cause serious health issues.

Keeping multiple guppies with one beta fish is the best way to go. This way the betta fish will not be able to focus on one guppy.

Introduce Lots of Live Plants

In order to provide a proper place for the guppy fish to relax and a more natural environment, you have to introduce a lot of live plants. Just breaking to the line of sight in the aquarium with live plants is enough for the betta fish to be disinterested of a particular guppy fish.

Time-to-time Betta fish will also hide between live plants. This is their natural behavior. So adding live plants is not only beneficial for your guppies but also for your betta fish.

Some of the plant types which you can introduce in your guppy and betta fish aquarium are:

  • Watersprite
  • Amazon Swords
  • Java Ferns
  • Java Moss
  • Hornworts
  • Guppy grass

These plant types will provide plenty of spaces for the guppies and betta fish to hide.

Avoid Larger Betta Fish Breeds

As I stated above, when you choose betta fish for a fish tank with guppies, it is a good idea to opt for peaceful breeds. At the same time, it is also a good idea to opt for a breed that is smaller in size. The larger the betta fish, the more dangerous it will be for your guppies.

Choose the Right Tank Size

Providing enough space for your fish is important. Often people tend to overstock their aquarium, which can lead to serious fish health problems.

In a 10 gallons (40 liters) aquarium, you can add 4-5 guppies and a betta fish without problems. If you have a larger tank, you can add more guppies to it. But as I wrote before, you should add only a single betta fish.

Saving Guppy Fry

Breeding guppies in a tank, where a betta fish is present, it is very challenging. Separating the fry in a breeding box can work. But you should know that guppy fry in a breeding box will develop normally. Fry needs space in order to grow.

Releasing the guppy fry into the tank at 2-3 weeks old can help with the growth, but they are still small. Betta fish can still easily eat one month old guppy fry.

You can even remove the guppy fry from the main aquarium and grow them in a separate tank. You can reintroduce the guppy fry to the aquarium at a later stage when they are all grown up. It is also important to control the population of the guppies in the tank. An overcrowded tank might look very cool, but the quality of the water will decrease significantly.

Maybe the best option is to forget about breeding guppies altogether when keeping them with a betta fish.

You can opt for keeping only the male guppies in order to ensure that the population does not get out of hand.

Get the Feeding Right

Betta fish are carnivores, so in the wild they eat insects, worms or smaller fish. To keep your betta fish healthy you need to feed a lot of meat based food.

Betta fish loves frozen blood worms or live black worms. But you don’t want to feed them only blood worms or black worms. Best is to have 3-4 types of food, and rotate through them so the betta fish will get all the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Guppies are omnivores, so they will eat anything you offer them. They will also eat betta food. Guppies can live and survive on betta food, however, it is not good for them to eat too much protein-based food.

You want to offer your guppies veggie pallets too.

So in order to get the feeding right, I recommend feeding your guppies first. The betta fish will most likely not even touch the veggie pellets or flakes.

Once your guppies are full, you can start offering your betta the special food. You can use a pipette or a pincettes to mount feed your betta fish. This way, you can ensure, that the betta fish will eat the special food, and your guppies will not steal it.

Make sure to not overfeed your fish, because overfeeding is one of the most common sources of fish diseases. Feeding your fish once a day or once every two days is enough.


So to conclude this article: yes, guppies and betta fish can live in the same aquarium. You will have a bit more work feeding your betta separately and you will also need to purchase live plants, but it is doable. You can’t keep just any type of betta with guppies, but by choosing a smaller, non-aggressive breed, you can enjoy the beauty of both fish species.

Updated: October 26, 2021

Questions & Answers

  1. Do you need multiple guppies, if not will the betta be more aggressive?

  2. avatar

    Corbyn, if you want to keep guppies with betta fish in the same tank you should keep multiple guppy fish. The betta fish will not be less aggressive living with multiple guppies, but will not be able to focus and harass only a single fish till death. Having its attention divided on multiple fish will decrease its interest in attacking the guppies.

    1. avatar

      Placing one guppy with one male betta fish together is a bad idea. You should not do that, because your betta fish will most likely hunt down the guppy, or at least stress him/her out very much. This combination will be fatal for the guppy fish.

  3. I just bought a Black orchid betta , would I be able to add three guppy’s or two guppies with it in a 8 gallon tank ?

    1. avatar

      I don’t know much about the behavior of a black orchid betta fish. If it is a male, most likely it is more aggressive. However different betta fish have different personalities. You could add 3 guppies with the betta fish, though you should pay close attention on how your betta fish reacts. If he is chasing the guppies, probably you should not keep them together, because your guppies will be stressed.

  4. Deborah Riccio

    I have 2 male Halfmoon bettas in a 15G with a black divider. I have a new 20G with 3 dwarf neon blue gouramis that were sold to me as shy and peaceful. They are anything but that. I have a pair of blue tail albino guppies that I’m afraid to turn loose in the 20G. They’re in a netted Breeder box in the 20G, but the Gouramis are stalking the box. I’m afraid to let the guppies lose. Both tanks are heavily planted. I’m thinking of putting the guppies in with the bettas until I find homes for the Gouramis. Am I better off putting them both on one side or one on each side. Each side is 7.5G, heavily planted, both with driftwood and a coconut cave. Plenty of hiding spots. I also ordered a 5G Fluval tank with all the trimmings from Amazon which should be here in a couple days. That’s my alternative backup plan for the guppies until the Gouramis are gone. So, should I leave them in the breeder box until the 5G arrives, or put them in with the bettas? Thanks for your help.

    1. avatar

      I think you can leave them in the breeding box for a few days, but this could lead to stress.
      You can also try to release them into the 20G tank and see how the gouramis interact with them. If the gouramis are very aggressive towards the guppies, you may try out the betta tank.
      If there are lots of hiding spaces, there should be no problem, but certainly I can’t guarantee that. I’ve kept guppies with both gouramis and bettas together. Sometimes gouramis can be territorial and can nip on the fins of guppies. It is really hard to tell what to do in this case. Just try out different things and see what works best.

  5. What should you add first, the guppies or the Betta? Also I have a standard Betta in a 5 gallon tank and I’m wondering how many guppies I can add if I can add them after?

    1. avatar

      Hey Liam! Probably you can add the guppies after your betta fish, though keep one eye on the tank for a while to see if there is any aggression. In a 5 gallon tank I would not add more than 3 guppies and one betta fish. If I were you, probably I would not add more fish with your betta, because things can go wrong is such a small tank. Even though if it is heavily planted, betta can be really territorial in such a small aquarium. So, I suggest to let your betta fish be alone or upgrade to a bigger tank.

  6. I’m thinking of getting a betta fish in a 5-gallon tank, but I also want guppies. Will they be ok living together in a 5-gallon? If so, how many guppies do you recommend I put with the betta? I was thinking maybe 2, but I wanted a second opinion.

    1. avatar

      I would not really recommend keeping a betta fish with guppies in such a small space. You can put 2 guppies and 1 betta fish in a 5 gallon tank; it can work out, but your guppies might be stressed out.

    1. avatar

      With a female betta this might work out well, though a male betta might harm your guppies.

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