Can Cardinal Tetras Live With Bettas?: Is It Possible?

Cardinal Tetras and Bettas belong to different fish families. Cardinal Tetra is a member of the Characidae family, while Betta belongs to the Osphronemidae family. But since both fishes are beautiful and peaceful, owners feel the urge to keep them together. So, can Cardinal tetras live with bettas peacefully?

Cardinal Tetras are too active and fast swimmers, whereas Bettas prefer more calm water with low current. So, Bettas are not Cardinal Tetra’s best friends because they have different personalities.

But if you provide them with large and well-planted tanks, both fishes can coexist peacefully. So Cardinal tetras are generally peaceful fish unless the population gets too high in their tanks or there isn’t enough space.

This article will be a guide to Cardinal Tetras and Bettas living together.

What Is The Natural Habitat For Cardinal Tetras?

Cardinal tetras live in the Amazon rainforest. Cardinal tetras, also known as Cardinal Tetra Fish, live in warm water. They are from the Amazon River and its tributaries.

Cardinal Tetras need a water temperature of around 73 degrees Fahrenheit. They are from blackwater environments, which means the rivers have high acidity and very little mineral content.

Cardinal tetra’s native habitat has a pH between six and seven. However, these fish prefer to live in acidic waters, so be sure you have lower alkaline levels for them.

Can Cardinal Tetras Live With Bettas?

It is a common question that new fish keepers often ask and does not have an absolute answer. Cardinal Tetras can live with bettas, but it depends on the type of tank you have. You need to know what types of tanks are best for Cardinal Tetras and which ones won’t work as well before deciding if Cardinal Tetras can live with bettas.

Cardinal Tetras are schooling fish that prefer to be in groups of six or more, but they will do okay if kept alone. However, they need at least ten gallons for each Cardinal tetra you have, so make sure your tank is big enough before getting them! Cardinal Tetras also require a pH of at least six, so a betta’s acidic water is not ideal for Cardinal Tetras.

Do Cardinal Tetras Eat Bettas When They Live Together?

Not all cardinal tetra types can live with a betta, but most can. Cardinal tetras will only eat the fins of a betta fish if you put them together in an aquarium.

Cardinal tetras do not damage the scales or skin on a betta because they are too small. These fish usually only eat the fins of betta fish because they think that their long, flowing fins look like tempting targets.

If you want to put a Cardinal Tetra in an aquarium with your betta, make sure to choose highly peaceful species types and young cardinal tetras if possible (they often calm down as they grow).

The Cardinal Tetra is a peaceful species, which means it will not actively attack the betta. In addition, Cardinal tetras are tiny fish, and their mouths are too small ever to consider eating anything much more significant than their body size – this includes your betta’s fins.

How To Keep Cardinal Tetras And Bettas Safely? 

Cardinal tetras are schooling fish, so you should keep them in groups of at least five. Although both the fishes are peaceful, sometimes Cardinal tetras can attack bettas or vice versa.

So, Cardinal tetras and bettas can live together safely if you keep a few things in mind.

Provide Space For Cardinal Tetras And Bettas To Live

Cardinal tetras are not big fish. It is best to keep Cardinal tetras in a tank of about 30 gallons or more with other cardinal tetras of the same size and temperament. But you should avoid keeping these fish with more giant bettas because bettas need at least ten gallons per fish.

Also, make sure to leave some open space in the aquarium for Cardinal tetras and bettas to swim around.

Maintain Water Condition For Cardinal Tetras And Bettas To Live

Ensure that Cardinal Tetra Fish and Bettas have clean and well-oxygenated water where the pH level is between six and eight.

Because Cardinal tetras are tiny fish, they cannot tolerate extreme temperatures such as cold or hot waters. Also, avoid keeping your fish in a tank with excessive algae because betta fish can eat Cardinal tetra.

A Balanced Diet For Cardinal Tetras And Bettas To Live

Cardinal Tetras and Bettas are omnivorous fish, so that you can feed them a combination of plant-based and meaty food items. However, it would help if yHowever, you supplemented their diet with proteins like brine shrimp or blood worms once in two weeks to maintain good health.

It is best to feed Cardinal Tetras And Bettas twice a day in small quantities. In addition, it would be best to keep the water temperature ideal for Cardinal tetras and bettas because extreme temperatures can hamper their digestion process, causing them to become sick.

Do Not Use Strong Filter

Cardinal tetras are susceptible fish. They will feel stressed if you use strong filters. So, make sure to choose a filter that is not too powerful.

It is best to keep Cardinal tetras in still water, so you should avoid using filters that create strong currents.

Avoid Using Strong Water Chemicals

Any change in the pH balance of their environment affects Cardinal tetras, especially if it happens suddenly. These fish needs soft and slightly acidic water. Thus, you must avoid using too many chemicals in the tank.

Beware Of Cardinal Tetra Fish With Betta Fishes When They Live Together

Cardinal tetras are very peaceful fish, but sometimes they can turn aggressive toward other fishes, including bettas. So, if you decide to keep Cardinal tetras with your betta fish, then make sure Cardinal Tetra Fish With Betta Fishes does not bother your betta fish.

Make Sure The Aquarium Has Plenty Of Caves And Plants

Ensure there are enough hiding places for Cardinal Tetra Fish because they will feel stressed if their environment lacks hiding places. Also, make sure Cardinal tetras have many plants and caves to hide in because these fish feel noted if they do not have enough hiding places.

Keep Cardinal Tetras With Similar Sized Bettas

It would be best if you kept Cardinal tetras only with fish of similar sizes. Otherwise, you will need to put your Cardinal tetras with Bettas in a tank of their own. Cardinal tetras can be very aggressive toward smaller fish. So keep Bettas only with cardinal tetras that are at least three inches long or bigger.

Keep The Temperature Low

Bettas prefer warm water with about 78 degrees Fahrenheit, but Cardinal Tetra Fish With Betta Fishes prefer relatively calm water. So keep the temperature of the tank between 70 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit.

Some FAQs

How Many Can Bettas Live With Cardinal Tetras?

It is hard to say how many Cardinal Tetras you can keep in a tank with your Bettas because it depends on the size of your tank and other factors.

Most people keep Cardinal Tetras with bettas in a ratio of roughly two Cardinal Tetras to every one Betta fish because Cardinal Tetras are smaller than Bettas.

What Temperature Is Best To Keep Cardinal Tetras?

It would help if you kept Cardinal tetras in the low-temperature range of about 70-82 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 to 28 Celsius. For this, you can keep your tank warmer if you want Cardinal Tetras to be a bit more active.

How Long Are Cardinal Tetra Fish?

Cardinal tetras average about two inches long, but they can grow up to three inches in length if their environment is favorable and there are plenty of places for them to hide from predators.

What Is the Lifespan Of Cardinal Tetra Fish?

Cardinal tetras can live up to seven years in the right environment, but they usually don’t survive much longer than three or four. Cardinal Tetras are also sensitive fish and often die from stress after moving around a lot. So it is important to keep them in a tank with other Cardinal Tetras if it is possible.

What Are The Best Tankmates For Cardinal Tetras?

Cardinal tetras are the best tankmates for other Cardinal tetras. You can also keep Cardinal Tetras with peaceful fish of similar sizes that live on the bottom of the tank. But it is not a good idea to house these fish with large or predator-type fish.

So, the best tankmates for Cardinal tetras are small peaceful bottom dwellers like Corydoras catfish or Otocinclus algae eaters, guppies, or swordtails.


In conclusion, Cardinal tetra fish are peaceful and will be fine in most community tanks as long as there aren’t any aggressive or territorial fish around. Just make sure not to put the Cardinal Tetras with any fish that will nip at their fins because Cardinal Tetra’s have long and beautiful flowing fins. In addition, Cardinal Tetras are excellent beginner fish because they are very hardy and easy-going fish.

Cardinal Tetra fish is a very peaceful schooling fish that can live with other non-aggressive community tropical fish, but make sure to research different species compatibility before purchasing any new types of tropical fish.

Thank you for reading this blog post.

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