By Sameer Gudhate*

This is the second part of the article. 

Known for their upbeat, spectacular colouration and an intricate fin displays, betta fish, more accurately called “Siamese fighting fish,” are a common household pet. Bettas got the nickname “Siamese fighting fish” due to their territorial nature and disposition to fight. In 19th-century Thailand, the fish were bred for this purpose only and many fighting matches were held. Interestingly, the fish fights only lasted a few minutes before one of the two would either die or give up and retreat.

Platy

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 1.5-2.5
  • pH Range: 7-8.3

Platies can be a great companion for bettas if your bettas are not aggressive. Platies prefer to swim all over the aquarium, so they need plenty of space. Keep the platies in groups of at least three since they are social fish. Platies are faster swimmers than bettas, so ensure that the bettas are getting sufficient food. Platies can become hostile during feeding and consume as much food as is available.

Bettas are typically aggressive to fish that have similar attributes to them. Fortunately, platies lack long-flowing tails, and even their colours will not aggravate the bettas. Some platies can fin nip so lookout for ragged tails on your bettas.

Molly

  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Size: 3-4 inches
  • pH Range: 7.0-7.8

Molly and bettas can survive in similar PH and temperature conditions. Mollies will mostly grow an inch bigger than bettas, so you will need a large tank. The fish are live-bearing, and they are high chances that the female mollies in your aquarium will give birth. Most of the fry will be eaten, however, and only one or two will make it into adulthood.

The fish are live-bearing, and they are high chances that the female mollies in your aquarium will give birth. Most of the fry will be eaten, however, and only one or two will make it into adulthood. Mollies will not attack bettas, although there is a possibility of fin-nipping.

Swordtail

  • Care Level: Moderate
  • Size: 4 inches
  • pH Range: 6.8 to 7.8

Swordtails has an elongated body that is flattened from the sides, and its tail is shaped like a sword, hence its name. Swordtails are easy to breed and keep, and they are attractive to beginners. Since it is a large fish, you will need a large tank also to accommodate your bettas.

They have a mild temperament, and they thrive in a community, although it is best only to have one male. Although they come in a variety of attractive colours, it is better to opt for darker swordtails with your bettas.

Bristlenose Pleco

  • Care level: Easy
  • Size: 6 inches
  • pH Range: 6.5-7.5

Plecos are among the ideal tankmates for bettas. They inhabit the bottom of fish-tanks, and since bettas prefer the top areas, they will be little room for aggression. Bristlenose plecos can grow up to six inches, so it is wise to get a big tank. A 25-gallon tank is ideal for maintaining the plecos and the bettas.

Plecos are herbivores, while bettas have an omnivorous diet. They will be no cause for hostility between the fish during feeding time. Bristlenose plecos are also known to be shy, and they will generally stay out of the bettas’ way. The fish will spend a lot of time foraging for food around the aquarium, although this mostly occurs at night when they are very active.

Gourami

  • Care level: Easy
  • Size: 4 inches
  • pH Range: 6.5-7.5

When it comes to Gouramis, it is best to observe the aquatic situation because closely resemble bettas. The Blue Gourami share environmental conditions and dietary habits with the bettas. The blue hues will also be a welcome pop of colour in your tank.

Another adaptable Gourami species is the croaking Gourami, which is stunning in red and blue colours. If you want a small companion for your bettas, the Dwarf Gourami is perfect as it is also not violent.

Otocinclus

  • Care: Moderate
  • Size: 1 to 2 inches
  • pH Range: 6.5-7.2

The otocinclus fish prefers streams and rivers with strong currents in South America. You can include driftwood and live plants to emulate the wild environment of the otocinclus fish further. Otocinclus fish prefer to live at the bottom at the tank, and they will rarely interact with the top-dwelling bettas.

Bettas mostly eat meat while to otocinclus are herbivores. You should, however, ensure that bettas are not feeding on food meant for the otocinclus. You need to tame the water current to suit both species. Bettas like gentle water while otocinclus prefer constant water flow. You can strike a balance between the two conditions by decorating your tank.

Kuhli Loach

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 4.5 inches
  • pH Range: 5.5-6.5

The Kuhli Loach is a bottom-dwelling species commonly mistaken for an eel. It is most active in the evening and at night, and it is an ideal tankmate. It is small, hardy, and reclusive and will not engage in any hostility with bettas.

It is best to keep three or even more Kuhli loaches in the same tank. Opt for sand or any other smooth substrate.

Amano Shrimp

  • Care Level: Easy
  • Size: 1.5-2 inches
  • pH Range: 5.5-6.

The Amano shrimp will mostly grow to 3 inches. In addition to sharing similarities in size, the Amano shrimp and the bettas will survive in the same water conditions.

The Amano shrimp is very vulnerable when molting, which happens once a time. Include love plants and hiding places, so that it will not feel intimidated by the bettas. Overall, the two species will co-exist peacefully.

*The author of this article is an advanced aquarium hobbyist with an Aquarium at his place even before his birth. Today he promotes the pet keeping hobby apart from maintaining his own aquarium. He can be contacted on +919820270247 or samgudhate@gmail.com

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