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.
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:
- Amazon Swords
- Java Ferns
- Java Moss
- 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.