Neon Tetras and Bettas are the most popular fish in fish keeping hobby. But, planning to keep them together in a 10-gallon tank is the ‘BAD’ idea. If you want them to get along in the same tank, you must have an aquarium of a minimum of 15-gallons or bigger.
You will be successful in keeping Bettas and Neon Tetras together in the same tank, only under correct circumstances which we will be discussing in this article.
But, first, let’s know the real nature of beautiful Betta and peaceful Neon Tetra.
Nature of Bettas
Colorful Bettas with impressively beautiful and large fins are native to Asia. They love to live in ponds, slow-moving streams, or shallow water of marshes.
Especially Male Bettas, build bubble nests to protect young ones from predators. Bettas, like humans, are Diurnal .i.e. active during the day, and want darkness in the night to get proper rest.
Moreover, Bettas are carnivorous. They prefer insects and insect larvae over the plant roots. Plant roots do not have the nutrients that Bettas require.
Single Betta can live in a 5-gallon tank, but the bigger one is more preferable. Filtration is always recommended. As mentioned above, Bettas want low-flow settings in the tank. And, do not forget to cycle the water for a few weeks, before you add any other fish. It helps beneficial bacteria to grow.
What Fish Can Thrive With Bettas?
Female Bettas are more peaceful than male Bettas. Males generally fight with other male fish. So, if you want Bettas as a friend for your other fish, female Bettas are better, as they get along easily.
There are many other fish that can co-exist peacefully with Betta fish under the right circumstances.
Mystery Snails, Ghost Shrimp, Feeder Guppies, Cory Catfish, Harlequin Rasboras, African Dwarf Frog, and of course, Neon Tetra are the best tank mates for Bettas. But there is a trick to keep them together in a tank.
Nature of Neon Tetras
Unlike Bettas, beautiful, peaceful, and dazzling Neon tetras are native to South America. They love to live in schools with more than 6 other fish. If you keep them alone, they get aggressive, lonely, and sick. They swim gracefully in a group.
Besides, the water must be soft and acidic for Neon Tetras. They like warmer and low-light settings. Do not change the water condition more often. Neon Tetras are sensitive to any kind of changes. As for this reason, hobbyists keep them in an already established tank.
Neon Tetras are omnivorous. Flake foods, small pieces of pellets, live Brine Shrimp, worms are suitable foods for them. You can feed them with different kinds of food including live foods for a healthier diet.
Further, if you are planning to keep up to 6 Neon Tetras, then a 10-gallon tank is good, but if you increase a single number, have bigger than a 10-gallon aquarium.
Read Full Article On Neon Tetra: A Complete Care Guide For Beginners
What Fish Can Thrive With Tetras?
Did you set up the tank as per the requirements of Neon Tetras?
Read Full Article on: How to Set up an Aquarium for Tetra Fish
If you have successfully established the tank, now it’s time to bring some of the best tank mates for your Neon Tetras.
Angelfish, Guppies, Loaches, Mollies, Plecostomus, Cardinal Tetras, Ghost Shrimp, Halfbeaks, Apple Snails, Harlequins Rasboras, and Bettas are the tank mates of lovable Neon Tetras.
Compatibility of Neon Tetra and Betta
Neon Tetras are great fin nippers and Bettas are aggressive by nature. But, this doesn’t mean they will show their characteristics all the time.
If you have planned to keep Neon Tetras and Bettas together, you buy a 5-gallon tank separately, if in case things won’t work out.
However, many hobbyists have been successful in keeping these two beautiful creatures together. Even I have kept them together in one of my planted tanks. If you want to ensure their compatibility, there are things you need to consider.
Learn more about Fin Nipper Tetras
Here are the ways you can increase the Compatibility:
Get A Bigger Tank, 10-Gallon Tank Is Ideal For 6 Neon Tetras And A Betta Fish
Neon Tetras like the buddy system. If Neon Tetra does not have any friends around, it starts getting stressed. You must keep at least 6 or more Tetras together. Thus, they require a minimum of a 10-gallon tank. But, Bettas are popular to be in a 5-gallon tank.
Now, when you put them together, then you need at least a 15-gallon aquarium. The bigger the size of an aquarium, the more they get compatible. Also, big enough space minimizes fin nipping.
Water Parameters Must Be Maintained As Per Both of Their Requirements
Do you think we can maintain water conditions in a way that both fish can adjust?
First, here’s the good news. The water condition for both of the fish is similar. Things might overlap, but you can manage. So, the answer is YES!
Neon Tetras thrive in the water temperature of about 72-80F and Bettas survives in a water temperature of about 78-82F. So, on average, you can maintain a water temperature of about 78-80F.
Similarly, the pH level for Neon Tetras and Bettas is not so different. Bettas do best in the water with a pH level between 6.5-7, and Neon Tetras do best in 6-7. Isn’t this cool?
You see, how similar their requirements are. They can be ideal tank mates for sure.
Read More: Water Parameters for Tetra Fish: Stable Water Condition
Give Food Which Both Species Enjoy
As mentioned prior, Neon Tetras are omnivorous and Bettas are carnivorous. In such a case, Neon Tetras can survive in Bettas food, but Bettas cannot live in Neon Tetras food. You will even notice Neon Tetras preferring Betta’s pellets over their flakes.
You need to feed such foods that both like and maintains both of their diets equally. Under such circumstances, food like Brine Shrimp, Danhpia, will serve good protein and nutrients for each of them.
Also Read: Tetra Fish Diet | What do Tetra Fish Eat: A Complete Guide
Have Plants and Decor
Keep your aquarium heavily planted to give Neon Tetras enough hiding places, to cover conflicts. As I mentioned earlier, Bettas build a bubble nest. For this reason, they will enjoy a heavily planted aquarium. Also, they will use them as a cover and habitat as well.
Additionally, it is better to have low-light live plants. But, if you want artificial plants, then choose thick and wide plants, just to give your fish more hiding places.
Decorations are always beautiful. Aren’t they? Some manufactured aquarium decor serves good spots for hiding.
First Add Neon Tetras
As I said before, Bettas are aggressive. When you keep a Betta in a tank alone for a certain time, he sees the whole tank as his territory. Now, when you add Tetras, Betta gets aggressive trying to protect his territory. This isn’t good, is it?
In contrast, if you add a group of Tetras first, and then bring a betta, then he will find a small area in the tank and keeps himself only around that area.
This avoids any kind of fight or aggression inside the tank.
Select Bettas Who Have Lived With Other Fish Before
A betta who has been living with other fish species for a long time won’t show aggressive behavior. Try to choose such Betta. By doing so, you are going to protect your Tetras from being attacked.
Choose Female Bettas
You can give a thought on this. As mentioned before, female Bettas are beautiful, peaceful, and less aggressive as compared to male Bettas. Male Bettas are more likely to fight with other male fish.
Equally important, female Bettas have no flowing fins like male Bettas, and this eventually decreases fin nipping. So, why not female Bettas, right?
Tetras Must Be Kept In a School
Don’t even think about keeping Neon Tetra alone. Stress, fin nipping, aggression increases more and more when he is alone. You need to keep Neon Tetras in a group which also minimizes fin nipping.
Bettas are fine if kept alone. Many hobbyists keep a single Betta and he does just okay. But, Neon Tetras must be kept in a school in any circumstances.
If you missed our about the number of neon tetras in a group, here is our full article: How Many Neon Tetras Should You Keep In School?
Do Betta Chase Tetras?
Yes, Betta does actually. When Betta is new to the tank, until he finds his territory, he chases Neon Tetras. But, if he keeps on chasing Neon Tetras, then there you must separate them.
Remove Betta to a backup tank. I will not say to remove Neon Tetras, because as I mentioned earlier, they are sensitive to any changes. Also, as I cleared out above, that you need a backup tank if the situation gets worse.
What about Other Tetras Fish Compatibility with Betta Fish?
If you stick to the rules, then other Tetras can also live with Bettas peacefully. Ember Tetras, Rummy Nose Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, and Black Neon Tetras can co-exist with Bettas.
But, there are also other Tetras, you must keep away from Bettas. Black Phantom Tetras, Bleeding Heart Tetras, and Serpae Tetras are the ones you should avoid with Bettas.
If you love the idea of creating a community tank and having the only problem in finding the tank mates for Bettas, then Neon Tetras are the best. Neon Tetras are attractive, peaceful, enjoyable, active, and friendly. But, you have to strictly follow all the rules explained above, or else Bettas might not be so friendly.