Even in the wild, a colorfully adorned Betta, or Siamese fighting fish, lives a life in solitude due to their inability to interact well with any type of fish. Individuals who purchase a Betta at their local pet store are often surprised and dismayed with the actions caused by their new fighting fish when transferred into an already-occupied aquarium.
Determining Your Betta’s Level of Aggression
Simply put, Bettas do not play well with others. Instinctually, they have a “tear and bite” attitude that sometimes turns into an “attack or kill” scenario when they feel threatened that another fish is invading their territory. When placed in the same tank together, the male Siamese fighting fish is known to instantly kill any other male fish of any species.
Fish That Can Live With Bettas
So are fighting fish destined to live a solitary life all alone, or are there any fish that can live with Bettas? Anyone speaking from experience would say the answer is unequivocally no, there is not a fish that can live with Bettas. That being said, however, aquatic animals that live on the tank floor or those that burrow, such as eels, invertebrates and peaceful bottom-dwellers, are known to exist comfortably alongside the Siamese fighting fish.
Competing for the Same Meal
Determining how well your Betta gets along with others is based solely on its individual personality. Males tend to be far more aggressive than females. Also, because your fighting fish is a carnivore, having to fight for food such as brine fish, bloodworms and mosquito larva might wreak havoc in the tank if your Betta is in direct competition with an African dwarf frog. It is almost a hands-down bet that the frog will lose.
When deciding to get additional aquatic animals to share a life with your Betta, it is best to have two tanks, so if things do not work out, you can remove the troublemaker. Never add an additional fish species to a tank holding a Betta without spending time watching the behaviors of their interactions, so you can make the appropriate response.