Can Angelfish Live With Bettas?

Although possible under certain conditions, it is strongly advised not to place angelfish and bettas in the same tank. This is because angelfish and bettas are behaviorally territorial fish, and both fish tend to have rather aggressive temperaments, which can lead to fighting between the two species. 

Bettas tend to be more aggressive and will most likely harass angelfish endlessly should they be placed in a tank with one another. Even if the angelfish is larger than the betta, they are still highly likely to be attacked or bothered by the betta.

Why Angelfish And Bettas Shouldn’t Live Together

As both bettas and angelfish are territorial species of fish, should they come into one another’s space, one fish may likely attack the other, resulting in harm or even death for one or both fish involved.

Although it is characteristic of bettas to be the more aggressive species between the two, angelfish are also territorial. Therefore, they can cause some severe harm to your betta should they decide to attack them.

Angelfish also tend to be more aggressive in numbers, so if you have more than one angelfish in a tank, you should not even consider placing a betta in the same tank.

Both bettas and angelfish tend to enjoy dwelling in the upper levels of the water in a tank and sometimes angelfish tend to venture into slightly lower waters in the tank. Because both species tend to dwell in the same regions of the tank, they often cross one another’s paths.

With both species having a territorial nature, they will often attack one another over territory.

Another reason these two fish species would not serve as good tank mates for one another is that each species prefers its water temperature to be different. For example, angelfish usually prefer the water they live in to be warmer, in the range of 78-84 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas bettas prefer slightly cooler water between 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

White Angelfish with Green and Pink Plants

How To Keep Angelfish And A Betta Together

Although it is not recommended, it is still possible for you to keep a betta and angelfish in the same tank.

It all depends on the attitude and temperament of the fish you choose. Some angelfish and bettas tend to be more aggressive than others, so having both species of fish in the same tank may be able to work out if you have fish with calmer temperaments.

If you’re considering keeping these two species of fish together in the same tank, there are some things that you can do to reduce the risk of them attacking one another. However, one cannot always guarantee that it will work.

There are some things you can consider trying when attempting to put angelfish and bettas in the same tank together. These include the age of the fish you want to introduce into the tank, the physical size and layout of the tank, and the type and sex of the betta you wish to introduce into the tank.

Choosing The Right Betta As A Tank Mate For Angelfish

There are a few different types of bettas that you can decide to get, and some types of bettas have specific physical characteristics that potentially make them better suited than others as tank mates for angelfish.

Male Vs. Female Bettas As Tank Mates For Angelfish

Your average male betta often tends to have long-flowing fins, which makes its movements much slower in the water. These long-flowing fins make male bettas a more noticeable and easier target for aggressive angelfish because they move slower through the water, making them easier for angelfish to catch.

Angelfish will also be able to nip the fins of the male betta easier.

Female bettas have much smaller, more compact fins, which allow them to move faster underwater, so it is easier for them to escape from an aggressive angelfish should they get attacked.

In addition, their short fins will be a much smaller target for angelfish to try and nip.

Females also tend to be significantly smaller than the males and are, therefore, a less obvious target for the angelfish to attack, so one may have more luck trying to get a female betta and angelfish to get along as tank mates.

Choosing The Right Breed Of Betta

The most commonly available bettas tend to be the type to have long, flowing fins.

However, there is a breed of betta known as “plakat” bettas, which have short fins. This is true for both female and male plakat bettas, so choosing a plakat betta over the regular breeds of long-finned bettas might be a better option when choosing a tank mate for angelfish.

There is also another breed of betta, known as a “giant” betta. Through selective breeding processes, it has been bred for having the genetics to grow much larger than regular bettas (up to around four inches in length).

Selecting a giant betta as a tank mate for angelfish may potentially be your best option when deciding to keep these two species in a tank together.

Keeping a giant betta in the same tank as angelfish allows the betta to appear more intimidating to the angelfish due to its large size and short fins. Therefore, the betta is less likely to be targeted and attacked by the angelfish.

Orange Betta with Angelfish

Reducing Aggression When Keeping Bettas And Angelfish Together

When attempting to keep angelfish and bettas in the same tank with one another, you can try to avoid conflict between the two by putting a few measures in place and considering some factors that could influence their success in living together.

Choosing Angelfish Based On Age

Suppose one decides to introduce angelfish into the same tank as bettas. In that case, it is best to introduce more juvenile-aged angelfish into the tank because they have a much calmer temperament, and you may be able to let them grow accustomed to sharing their space with a betta over time.

Choosing The Appropriate Tank And Décor

The bigger the dimensions of your tank, the better. Choosing a larger tank will reduce the number of times angelfish and bettas run into each other when swimming and can allow each of them to have their own territories.

You should also add additional decorations and hiding spots for fish in your tank. This includes adding things such as PVC piping, rocky or wooden structures, and sizable live aquatic plants.

Additional decorations will allow the tank to be separated into different territories, and weaker species of fish will be able to hide and escape easier from fish showing aggressive behavior towards the other.


It is not recommended to keep a betta and angelfish together in the same tank as one another. This is because both species of fish tend to have a territorial and aggressive nature which may cause conflict if kept in the same tank. One can, however, try to keep bettas and angelfish together but must take certain factors into account before doing so.