Can Guppies And Betta Fish Live Together?

Tankarium is reader-supported. We may earn a small commission through products purchased using links on this page.

At first glance, guppies and bettas seem like they have nothing in common. The former is a tiny, peaceful fish from the rivers of South America. On the other hand, the latter is a beautiful fish with a territorial streak that hails from the rice paddies of Southeast Asia. But can these fish be kept together in the same tank?

In this article, we’ll take a look at the factors that promote (or get in the way of) guppies and bettas living peacefully together. We’ll also explore some of the best ways to set up your tank so that these two species can coexist.

Are Guppies and Betta Fish Compatible?

The answer to this question is… it depends! Guppies are usually peaceful fish, but can be a little nippy and aggressive with other species. And what triggers aggression in betta fish? You guessed it – fish that nip at their fins or bother them in general. But does this mean that these two species can’t be kept in the same tank? Not necessarily.

It is possible to keep guppies and bettas together in the same tank. However, the success of such a setup lies in the precautions you take. Did you choose the right size tank? Are both species healthy and well-fed? Have you provided plenty of hiding spots for both fish groups? These important questions affect whether these attractive fish can live together in harmony.

Keeping Guppies and Bettas Together: Top Tips

As we’ve established, it is possible to keep guppies and bettas together in the same tank. Here are some of our top tips for making this arrangement work:

betta and guppy fish
Image Source:

Choose Appropriate Betta Fish

More than anything, the type of betta you choose is the most important factor in making this setup work. Look for a betta that has been bred to be peaceful and tolerant, rather than aggressive betta fish breeds that will be more likely to bully or fight with the guppies. Female bettas are often a safe bet, as they tend to be calmer and less aggressive than males.

Of course, bettas are not the only culprits responsible for aggression. Some guppies take their playfulness too far, and begin nipping at the fins of other fish. If this is the case in your tank, you’ll want to remove these guppies before they cause any more trouble.

Even after you’ve chosen a peaceful betta, it’s still important to monitor your tank and keep an eye out for signs of aggression or discomfort. If any fish seem stressed, remove the offender immediately. Fish that live under constant stress can become very sick, and may even die. The best thing you can do for your bettas and guppies is to make sure they are both content.

Have An Appropriate Ratio of Bettas to Guppies

After figuring out the types of fish you can keep in the same tank, it’s important to make sure you have the right ratio of bettas to guppies. A single betta fish will do fine in a tank with five or more guppies. Regardless of the betta’s gender, this ratio will work out because guppies are schooling fish, while bettas are content to be on their own.

However, if you have more than one betta in your tank, you’ll need to increase the number of guppies accordingly. This rule applies even if you’re keeping a group of female betta fish in a sorority. Though females may be friendlier than their male counterparts, it’s still not a good idea to have them outnumber your guppies.

Betta fish and guppy ratio

Generally speaking, fish tanks with a healthy ratio of bettas to guppies will have fewer issues with aggression. That said, you should still be prepared to intervene if any fish seem to be bullying the others. And don’t just assume that bettas are always the attackers – guppies can be surprisingly feisty too!

Make Sure Your Tank Is Large Enough

This next piece of advice may come across as a little trite, but it’s actually a very important rule to follow. Please provide your fish with plenty of space! Your tank size directly impacts the success of this setup – a larger tank means more room for both species to swim around and explore, while allowing both species to avoid one another if they wish.

A good rule of thumb is to provide at least 5 gallons of water per betta and 3 per guppy – so if you’re keeping 3 bettas and 6 guppies, then at least a 32-gallon tank is recommended. Some people choose to allocate a gallon of water for every inch of fish, but we caution against this approach – it’s better to provide your fish with more space than less.

In larger tanks, you’ll also have room to add plenty of decorations that provide your fish with a sense of safety and privacy. Some fishkeepers use tank dividers to separate bettas and guppies, but the general consensus is that it’s much better to separate them organically, using strategically placed pieces of tank décor. This is a luxury only larger tanks can provide.

Create Lots of Hiding Spots

The next thing you can do to set up a successful betta and guppy tank is to provide plenty of hiding spots. This means outfitting your tank with lots of plants, caves, and other decorations. Why? Because hiding spots provide a sense of safety, security, and privacy. No matter the species of fish, they all need somewhere to retreat when they feel threatened.

betta fish hiding
Image Source:

Hiding spots become especially important in a mixed guppy and betta tank because the latter has a bit of an aggressive nature. Bettas are not likely to attack unprompted, but will readily fight their tank mates if their territory is encroached upon. If your betta has plenty of places to hide and relax, he will be less likely to become hostile or territorial.

Above all, good tank décor creates a beautiful aquascape that replicates your fish’s natural environment. Plant life, driftwood, caves and even aquarium decorations can create an inviting environment that your fish will be content to live in. And if you think your tank looks good, your fish probably do too!

Get The Water Parameters Right

Last, but certainly not the least, it’s important to get the water parameters right for both species. The ideal temperature for both species hovers around 78-82°F (26-28°C), making it easy for you to provide comfortable waters for both fish. Water temperature is a huge factor in the health of your fish, especially betta fish which can easily succumb to temperature shock.

In terms of pH levels, it’s best to keep the water as close to neutral as possible. Guppies, like most livebearers, prefer a slightly alkaline pH, while bettas enjoy more acidic environments. A neutral pH of 7.0 is a safe range to keep both species healthy and happy. Use a testing kit to ensure that your guppy tank is within the ideal pH range.

A clean tank is also essential for keeping your fish alive and healthy. Chemically speaking, this means ammonia levels that is as close to 0 ppm as possible. A good filter, regular water changes and tank maintenance should keep your guppy tank in top shape. Keeping your tank clean will also reduce the risk of disease and parasitic outbreaks.

Following these simple guidelines should make it easier for you to keep guppies and bettas together in the same tank. With proper planning, maintenance, and knowledge of their needs, you can be successful in keeping both species together!

Feeding Guppies and Bettas in a Mixed Tank

After setting up a healthy tank for guppies and bettas, you’ll need to ensure that both species are getting the proper nutrition. This means meeting the dietary needs of both fish, feeding an appropriate amount, and most importantly, ensuring that every fish in your tank gets enough food.

What To Feed Guppies and Bettas

Guppies are omnivores, meaning they’ll readily eat all types of food. Whether it be commercial pellet food, freeze-dried bloodworms, live brine shrimp, or fresh vegetables – guppies will eat just about anything. On the other hand, bettas are carnivorous and prefer a diet high in protein. While they may eat the occasional pea, they do best when fed high-quality, protein-rich foods.

So what should you feed your guppies and bettas? Well, for starters, you should opt for a high-protein flake food formulated for tropical freshwater fish. This serves as a great foundation for your fish’s diet and will provide them with all the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that they need to thrive.

Fish Food

To meet your betta’s protein requirement, you should supplement their diet with protein-rich food sources such as brine shrimp, tubifex worms, mosquito larvae, and frozen blood worms. Try to keep these food sources localized to your betta’s end of the tank. Guppies are greedy eaters and will consume all the food in the tank in no time if you’re not careful!

Finally, try adding frozen or fresh vegetables to your guppies’ diet. This will add some variety to their meals and provide them with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that are important for a healthy immune system. You could opt for algae wafers, or even a few fresh slices of zucchini. No matter what you choose, make sure to add some greens to your guppies’ diet.

How To Feed Guppies and Bettas in the Same Tank

The main issue when feeding guppies and bettas in the same tank is making sure that your betta gets enough food. Guppies are voracious eaters and will quickly consume all the food in the tank, leaving your betta with nothing. Sometimes, you may notice that the roles are flipped, with the betta hogging all the food and leaving your guppies hungry.

To prevent this, you should try to feed your fish in separate areas of the tank. A good way to do this is by feeding your fish on opposite sides of the tank. This prevents your fish from competing for food and will ensure that both species are getting enough to eat. Another great option is to use a tank divider, which will allow your fish to feed in their respective sections.

In some cases, you may find that feeding your guppies and bettas separately is not an option. If this is the case, you’ll need to be extra careful when feeding your fish. Try to spread the food out in different areas of the tank and wait for one species to finish before offering more food. This will help ensure that everyone gets a fair share.

How Much To Feed

Assorted different types of food for aquarium fish. Flakes, spirulina, pills, mixture. Navy blue sea background, close up

Another crucial aspect of feeding guppies and bettas in the same tank is to not overfeed. Overfed fish will not only become obese, but they’re also likely to fall victim to several health issues. Feeding too much will also cause excessive levels of ammonia and nitrate in your aquarium, which can decrease water quality.

So how much should you feed? A good rule of thumb is to only offer your fish enough food that they can consume in 2 minutes. Then, feed this amount 2 times a day. This will give your fish enough nutrients to stay healthy while also avoiding overfeeding.

Keep in mind that it may take some time to get your feeding regimen down pat. In the early stages, you may have to contend with uneaten food, but as time goes on you’ll get a better sense of how much to feed your guppies and bettas. As long as you remove any uneaten food after 2 minutes, you should be good to go!


How Many Betta Can I Keep With My Guppies?

Try to stick to a ratio of 1 betta to 5 guppies. This will help ensure that there is enough food and space for everyone.

Can I Feed Freeze-Dried Foods To Both Species?

Yes, freeze-dried foods are a great food source for both species. Not only are they easy to store and prepare, but they also provide your fish with essential nutrients that are important for a healthy diet.

freeze dried fish food

Just be sure to source your food from a reliable seller, as the ingredients can vary greatly from one brand to the next. In addition, you should always rehydrate the food before you feed it to your fish. This allows you to have a clear sense of how much food you’re feeding to your fish.

Do Guppies and Bettas Reproduce In A Mixed Tank?

No, it is not recommended that you keep guppies and bettas in the same tank if you want to breed them. Guppy fry are very small and can easily be eaten by the betta. Furthermore, the two species have different mating rituals that may lead to aggression if they are kept together.

A much better approach is to establish breeding tanks for each species. This will allow your fish to reproduce without any interference from the other species.


Keeping guppies and bettas in the same aquarium can be a rewarding experience if done properly. Be strategic about the types of bettas you choose, and the way you feed your pets. And make sure there’s a healthy ratio of bettas to guppies!

We hope that this article has provided you with the information you need to be successful in keeping guppies and bettas together. If you found it helpful, please share it with your friends and family who are interested in fishkeeping! Good luck!

Wanda is a second-generation aquarist from the sunny tropics of Malaysia. She has been helping her father with his freshwater tanks since she was a toddler, and has fallen in love with the hobby ever since. A perpetual nomad, Wanda does her best to integrate fish-keeping with her lifestyle, and has taken care of fish in three different continents. She loves how it provides a nice break from the hustle and bustle of life.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.