Guppies are beloved by fish keepers, especially those that are just getting into the hobby and want to start off with a relatively hardy, gorgeous, and fun fish to keep around.
Betta fish and guppies can live together, but you must provide the proper conditions. Even in a perfect environment, there is still risk of fin nipping and fighting.
In the rest of this detailed guide we run through how you can keep betta fish and guppies living together in harmony with one another, avoiding fish fights and population devastation with just a couple of important tips and tricks.
Ready to get right into it? Let’s do this!
Can Betta Fish Live with Guppies?
Yes, you heard us correctly earlier – betta fish and guppies can happily coexist with one another in the same tank and the same water as long as you are deliberate about what you are doing.
Sure, betta fish have a reputation for being particularly aggressive with one another. But they don’t have that same reputation of being aggressive with other fish that do not themselves have aggressive tendencies.
They will still fight with other fish, to be sure – but these fights usually aren’t as “to the death” as they are with other bettas.
Guppies can be called a lot of things, but they definitely cannot be described as aggressive!
This is why these two species of fish can be mixed in together with one another.
You want to be sure that you are adding the right data fish into the mix. That’s what we are going to spend the rest of this detailed guide running through.
How to Keep Happy and Health Fish Together
So long as you are going into keeping betta and guppies together with both eyes open (and are armed with the inside information we highlight below) you’ll be able to avoid a lot of headache and a lot of hassle that other new fish keepers might have to contend with.
Choose the Right Genetics
To kick things off, you want to be sure that you are filling your tank with betta fish that come from breeds that are a lot less aggressive than others.
There are a bunch of different kinds of betta fish out there, and some of them have been specifically bred to exemplify as much of a peaceful demeanor as possible.
Those are the kinds of betta fish we are after when we want to mix them with guppies!
Two of these betta fish breeds stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack when it comes to good genetics and a calm demeanor – the Delta betta fish and the Half-moon betta fish.
Stick to these breeds (and only these breeds, especially when first starting out) and your guppy population will be able to get along with these bettas as though they were lifelong friends.
Keep Betta Numbers Low
Secondly, you want to be sure that you aren’t adding a lot of betta fish to a small guppy population.
The opposite would be much, much better in fact.
Having a lot more guppies than betta fish will help to keep those betta fish a little more under control and a little more relaxed. Betta fish are natural hunters (even the breeds we mentioned above) and you don’t want to sort of inflame their passions, so to speak.
Keep maybe two betta fish in a tank with a larger guppy population (maybe four or five guppies) and you should be all right.
A single betta mixed in with a guppy population would be even better!
Fill Your Tank with Lots of Healthy Plants
Keeping stress levels at a minimum with your fish will go a long way towards avoiding fights that otherwise would have bubbled to the surface.
Plant life – quality, live plant life – in an aquarium lowers stress levels, detoxifies water, and oxygenates the environment all at the same time.
Live plants give betta fish and guppies a lot of structure to duck into, to hide, and to maneuver through. You avoid clear lines of sight that could otherwise cause these fish to lock eyes with one another and then have territorial fights.
Both bettas and guppies love a lot of plant life throughout their environment. Add watersprite, Java ferns and moss, guppy grass, horn warts, and other plants and the quality of life under the water in your aquarium will skyrocket significantly.
Give Your Fish Lots of Room
The more room you can give your fish (especially when you are mixing fish types) the happier they are generally going to be.
Fish experts typically recommend having a gallon of water volume for every inch of fish that you have in the tank, but if you can expand that a little bit – to maybe 1.5 gallons of water for every inch of fish – you will be much more relaxed in a much more docile fish population.
Room to roam (and room to run from fights rather than square up) will help defuse tense situations that might have otherwise popped off.
Dial in Your Feeding Schedule
It’s not at all uncommon for feeding time to start all kinds of fights, especially when your fish feel like they have to compete with every other fish in the tank for these essential resources.
Betta fish are carnivores and love to eat a lot of bugs, a lot of worms, and smaller fish when they can get a hold of them.
Guppies are omnivores and will eat pretty much anything and everything – though they do a lot better when they have a more balanced diet than the strictly protein diet that betta fish love.
If you can time your feedings correctly and sort of break your tank into “betta fish feeding areas” and “guppy fish feeding areas”, making sure that you only ever add the right food to each area for the fish in that zone you’ll be able to stop a lot of fights before they happen, too.