Best Betta Tank Mates in a 10 Gallon Tank

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The betta, or Siamese fighting fish, is a beautiful but solitary creature. Male Bettas, in particular, can be very aggressive and nippy with other males when they feel threatened in a small tank. However, did you know you can put him into a community tank or find some tank mates to keep him company? The answer is maybe. It’s all depending on your little guy’s personality and the tank size. Yes, betta fish has the temperament and needs space. 

You MUST get at least a 10-gallon tank with live plants and lots of cover for a betta fish if you plan on adding anyone to his tank. With a 10-gallon betta fish tank, the best choice is shrimp and snails. We also recommend 20 gallons long or more for a betta community tank.  

Wondering what can live with betta fish? Here’s our top list of excellent tank mates for betta fish in a 10-gallon tank. 

Best Betta Tank Mates in a 10 Gallon Tank

First things first:

  1. Your betta fish is not lonely. Unlike puppies or corys, they are not schooling fish, and they prefer living alone. 
  2. Knowing your betta’s personality as much as you can before getting other tank mates in his tank. Some are more aggressive, and some can be quite docile.
  3. When it comes to Bettas, the fins are what makes them so beautiful. Their large flowing tails may get damaged if you house them in a tank containing aggressive fish with more intense swimming behavior, like cichlids
  4. It’s also important to learn the needs of each species like tank size, temperature, and diet.

Cory Catfish


Want to keep your betta’s tank peaceful? Get the cory catfish, or Corydoras! These fish are so happy-go-lucky and easy for beginners. They’ll spend their time on the bottom, out of your betta’s way. The best part? These little guys are full of personality and often help keep your tank clean by eating that leftover food from your betta. 

Varying according to species, the average size of a cory catfish is usually around from about 1 inch to over 4 inches long. However, the older females will regularly reach more than 3 inches in length in the aquarium hobby. 

Author note: For a 10-gallon tank, the smallest pygmy cory catfish species are perfect since they stay very small and have an average length of an inch. 

The Corydoras is a peaceful schooling fish that should gladly be the school in groups of five or six. Corydoras have wispy whiskers to help them find food, so they prefer smooth sand and gravel. When you’re thinking about adding pygmy corys to your tank, put them in before or at the same time as the betta.

A word of caution: Make sure your tank is covered because corys have a habit of jumping up for air or food.

Ember Tetra

Ember Tetra Care Guide 

Is there any way Ember Tetras can live with a betta fish in a 10-gallon tank? The answer to the question is maybe. It largely depends on the betta’s type and personality. The main risk of housing bettas with tetras is whether the tetra will nip at the betta’s fins, especially Halfmoon bettas. There is a chance the betta will be more aggressive and kill the Ember Tetras, and they will completely destroy his fins. 

A female betta fish that displays less aggressive behavior can get along with Ember Tetras in a heavily planted tank. Like corys, Ember Tetra is a docile schooling fish that should be kept in groups of six or more. You need to maintain a wary watch for their interactions and a backup option is necessary if it doesn’t work out. 

Shrimp and Bettas

Believe it or not, shrimps are the best tank mates for betta fish in a ten-gallon tank. In most cases, bettas and shrimps will be able to live together peacefully. But of course, it depends on the temperament of your betta! There are three common types of shrimp to house your betta with.

Ghost Shrimp and Bettas

Ghost Shrimp and Bettas

Ghost Shrimp, also called Glass Shrimp, are aptly known for their clear coloration, making them hard to spot and seem invisible, just like a ghost! With their frenetic food-searching behavior, they are a fun addition to your betta’s tank.

Ghost shrimp are pretty small invertebrates, reaching a maximum size that can be as small as 2″, which reduces the chances that your betta fish will eat ghost shrimps. 

When keeping ghost shrimp with a betta fish, you should do it in a group of 2-4. Less than or more is not ideal. 

Cherry Shrimp and Bettas

Cherry Shrimp and bettas

The cherry shrimp are also highly recommended by aquarists everywhere for their hardiness and personality, making them popular among aquarium enthusiasts!

Their small size and bright red color make them stand out against the tank that’s filled with live plants and black gravel or substrate. Just because of this, it’s a little risk that keeps cherry shrimp with a betta fish in a ten-gallon tank – they might be the prime targets for some bettas.  

Unless your tank is very heavily planted and has lots of hiding places, then chances are your cherry shrimp will be eaten by bettas. 

Amano Shrimp And Bettas

The Amano Shrimp, also known as the Japanese Swamp Shrimp, is a peaceful freshwater aquarium inhabitant that eats algae. Its popularity has been growing recently because of how well it does in captivity with other species; the betta fish is no exception. 

Unlike the cherry shrimp, these guys are not brightly colored. Amano shrimps have a grey coloration with stripes and dots running along their sides. A full grown Amano Shrimp can reach upwards of two inches in length, the biggest shrimp out here. You’ll never have a worry about your Amano shrimp being eaten by bettas because of their large size. 

The best part is Amano Shrimp are renowned for eating algae; sometimes, they are considered the best algae eater for a 10-gallon betta tank. But that doesn’t mean they can live on only the algae in the aquarium. The sinking pellets will keep your Amanos happy and healthy! 

Snails and Bettas

If you don’t hate aquatic snails, they can be great tank mates for bettas in ten gallons tanks. You can find a variety of exciting and exotic-looking breeds to add to your tank. In most cases, adding a snail or two to your aquarium will not bother the betta or make it aggressive, but this always depends on your betta’s personality and the type of snails. Let’s take a look at the best options:

Nerite Snails (Best Choice)

Nerite Snails and bettas

Nerites make great beginner aquarium pets because they require little maintenance while still having fascinating behavior patterns, which will keep even avid hobbyists entertained with their antics from time to time.

Nerite snails will reach up to 1 inch if kept healthy. A multitude of different species can be found in pet stores today, including Zebra, Tiger, Olive and Horned. There are a variety of Nerite Snail colors, including striped ones that can have dark green or black ridges. 

Like the Amano Shrimp, Nerites have a reputation for being outstanding and efficient cleaning aides with their natural talent at algae eating and any free-floating critters that come along. However, you need to be a little bit more careful because their favorite pH is slightly alkaline than bettas. But as long as temperature and PH levels stay stable, these snails will thrive!

Mystery Snails

There is nothing more intriguing and stunning than the beautiful colors of a mystery snail as well as their practical benefits. Not only do they make your tank cleaner by snacking on algae throughout the day, but their darting and chasing motions help keep everything else alive too! 

Mystery snails are completely peaceful in behavior and temperament, which is exactly what you would expect for a betta’s tank mates. Another biggest advantage to adding a mystery snail to your betta fish tank is that they feed on algae and fish flakes. This means less waste for you, which in turn is a good, healthy betta fish tank!

Don’t get confused between mystery snails and some apple snails species. Technically, all mystery snails are apple snails, but mystery snails are smaller. Mystery snails have an average size of 2 inches when fully grown. What’s more, apple snails are not algae eaters. 

Author note: Depending on the species, the most common apple snails can reach a huge size (as large as a softball). They are not suitable for a 10-gallon betta fish tank. 


Can I put a Kuhli Loach with betta fish in a 10-gallon tank?

Unfortunately, Kohli Loach will grow between 3-4 inches and must be kept in groups of 6 or more groups. A ten-gallon tank is too small for Kuhlis and a betta fish. I would strongly recommend at least a 20-gallon long tank. 

Can dwarf gouramis live in a 10-gallon betta tank?

Bettas and gouramis come from the same Anabantidae family and are also pretty territorial in nature. They will turn at any time and fight for the same territory in a 10-gallon tank. I always advise against keeping a betta fish with another labyrinth fish in any smaller than a 30-gallon tank. 

Can I keep African Dwarf Frogs and a Betta fish in a 10-gallon tank?

It mostly depends on the temperament of your betta. The betta fish would go down and steal the frogs’ food, which it’s potential aggression. 

Bottom line

If you’re looking for tank mates for bettas in a ten-gallon tank, consider shrimps and snails instead of fish, as they are much less likely to provoke aggression. Always watch for your betta’s interaction and have a backup plan!

We’d love to hear more about your experiences and add them to the list.

Good luck!

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Jeff Colt

Jeff Colt

Hello, I'm Jeff- an aquarium enthusiast with over 25 years of experience caring for a wide array of tropical fish, including koi, goldfish bettas, cichlids and more! For me: Aquariums are like jello - there's always room for more!

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