Can Betta Fish Live With Cory Catfish?

Betta fish can live with cory catfish. Bettas are loner fish that occupy the tank’s middle and top layer. They will fight more aggressive fish to protect their territory and food resources. Cory catfish are docile, schooling bottom-feeder fish that will not provoke the betta in any way.

Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighter fish, needs enough space, good water quality, quality food, and suitable tankmates. Betta fish are the “peacocks” of the fish tank, beautiful, cocky, aggressive, and fearsome fighters.

Why Can Betta Fish Live With Cory Catfish?

Bettas and cory catfish are typical tropical fish that need stable water conditions to thrive. Both these fish are carnivores but feed at different levels in the tank, which eliminates competition for food.

Betta fish are brightly colored with long flowing fins and does not consider the down-to-earth, ordinary-looking, bottom-feeding cory catfish a threat. Furthermore, the cory catfish’s peaceful nature balances the betta’s overly aggressive nature.

White Betta Fish Over Gravel

Betta Fish And Cory Catfish Are Good Tankmates

Bettas and cory catfish share many similarities, making them good tankmates. However, these fish species have distinct personality differences, allowing for harmonious cohabitation.

Betta And Cory Catfish Similarities

To live together in peace and harmony, humans choose partners and friends that share interests and traits. Tweaking the differences in personalities and needs is precisely what makes any relationship succeed or fail.

The relationship between bettas and cory catfish works on the same principles. Their similarities and differences allow them to be successful tankmates.

Similarities between betta and cory catfish are as follows.

  • Betta and cory catfish are both tropical fish that enjoys similar habitats. Therefore, it is vital to always mimic the natural habitat from where the fish originates. Rocks, live plants, and driftwood will be excellent additions to an aquarium housing these species.
  • Being tropical fish, betta and cory catfish enjoys warmer water. Betta fish needs water at seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit. At the same time, cory catfish enjoy a temperature between seventy- and seventy-eight degrees Fahrenheit.
  • High ammonia and nitrate levels are poisonous to betta and cory catfish. Therefore, aquariums should be closely monitored to eliminate toxification.
  • Betta and cory catfish need stable tank conditions and experience stress when adapting to variable tank conditions too often.
  • Betta fish can survive in slightly acidy water, while cory catfish prefers pH levels between 7 and 7,8.
  • Betta fish are carnivores and only eat meat. Cory catfish are omnivores. They feed on meat and plant products.

Betta And Cory Catfish Differences

  • Betta fish are loners, very territorial and aggressive. They do not shy away from a fight to protect their territory, female, or food source.
  • Cory catfish are shoaling fish with peaceful demeanors. These little fish will shy away from contentious fish by hiding between plants, under rocks, and driftwood.
  • Betta fish occupy the middle to upper parts of the aquarium, while cory catfish keep to the bottom layer.
  • Cory catfish scavenge the substrate for food scraps and debris.

How To Ensure Harmony Between Bettas And Cory Catfish

Fish keepers play a significant role in ensuring harmony between bettas, cory catfish, and all the other tank dwellers.

When you combine betta fish with cory catfish, it will be best to tend to the following to ensure happy and content co-inhabitants.

The Aquarium Size

Fish needs enough space to “spread their fins.” Use the right-sized tank for the number of inhabitants you wish to add. Remember that driftwood, plants, and rocks take up additional space, so account for that.

Betta fish are aggressive towards tankmates when they have too little space to display their long, delicate, flowing fins.

The Water Quality

Betta and cory catfish require warm, clean water with a slow flow. Flowing water is better oxygenated than still water. Flowing water closely represents the natural habitat these fish derive from. Keep the tank conditions as stable as possible without too many water changes or adding new fish too often.

Keep a close eye on the water parameters and toxin levels since these factors play a significant role in the well-being of betta and cory catfish.

Best Betta Buddies

To establish peace and tranquility within the aquarium, careful attention must be given to the interaction between different fish species. Never add aggressive species to a tank housing a betta. The betta will attack any tankmate deemed a threat to its territory, food, or female.

Betta fish do not need other betta fish to be happy and will fight with other bettas. Betta males may tolerate a female as a partner, providing enough space and food for them.

Cory catfish are ideal fish to share space with a betta male since they keep to their own at the bottom of the tank and pose no threat to the cocky betta.

Keeping betta fish can be challenging due to their aggressive outlook on life. However, the following list contains fish that make for good betta tankmates.

Apart from cory catfish, betta fish can co-habitat with the following.

  • Kuhli roaches, cherry shrimp, bamboo shrimp, and ramshorn snails. Cherry shrimp need to be big enough for the betta to ignore them. Too small, and the betta will feast on the cherry shrimp.
  • Various Corydora fish, such as the pygmy cory.
  • Tetras and rasboras do well with betta fish.
  • Molly fish and bristle nose plecos are good tank mate options for betta fish.

The number one rule to remember when choosing tankmates for the betta is the more extensive the tank, the higher the possibility of successful cohabitation.

Rusty Cory Catfish

Betta Lifespan

Healthy, well-kept betta fish live on average for one to five years. They typically grow to three inches long. Bettas are available in an array of colors, of which the most common are red, black, blue, orange, and white. Their vividly colored fins and varied tail types add to their popularity.


Betta fish and cory catfish are excellent tankmates despite their differences. They will grace your aquarium for many years if you respect them and see to their needs. Enjoy your fishkeeping adventure!