Can a turtle live with a betta fish?

In this article we will discuss betta fish and turtles.We will also discuss their relationship and other tank parameters which are suitable for them to survive together in aquarium settings.

Overview 

  • Can a turtle live with a betta fish? 
  • Key specifications of betta fish and turtles
  • Where are betta fish and turtles  found?
  • How long do betta fish and turtles  live?
  • What tank size do betta fish and turtles  need?
  • Are betta fish and turtles  aggressive in nature?
  • What do betta fish and turtles  eat?
  • Are water parameters the same for betta fish and turtles  in aquarium conditions?
  • Do betta fish and turtles need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?
  • Do betta fish and turtles need the same light intensity in their tanks?
  • Do betta fish and Turtles need similar substrates in their tanks?
  • Is it easy to care for betta fish and Turtles togethers in the same aquariums?
  • Are betta fish and turtles both perfect for community tanks?
  • Are betta fish and turtles beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference 

Can a turtle live with a betta fish? 

No bettas cannot live with turtles at any cost.They don’t make great tank mates.Turtles need to be kept wisely with other aquarium species,because they take huge space in tanks and have specialized diets.In short turtles don’t get along well with any aquarium species.

Key specifications of betta fish and turtles

Key specificationsBetta fish Turtles 
Scientific nameTypes




Family/class
Betta splendensDragon scale bettaButterfly bettaMarble bettaKoi bettadumbo bettaDifferent tailed bettasOsphronemidaeTestudines Eastern box turtleWood turtleRussian tortoisePainted turtle

Reptilia 
Temperament AggressiveQuiet and shy
Diet CarnivoreOpportunistic omnivores
Habitat Southeast AsiaDiverse habitat

Where are betta fish and turtles found?

The siamese fighting fish or betta fish, come from Southeast Asia, especially Thailand.They can be seen in ponds,rice paddies where the water flow is slow.

They are considered as the national aquatic animal of Thailand.They are distributed in cambodia, myanmar, laos, malaysia,indonesia and vietnam.

While turtles have a diverse habitat,they are found in oceans, ponds,lakes,coastal-waters, lagoons,bay,estuaries and wetlands.

How long do betta fish and turtles live?

Bettas have an average life span of 3-4 years due to their poor genetics.They are very sensitive to poor water conditions.They do well in spacious tanks with good oxygen circulation.

Bettas need a good and nutritious diet to maintain their finnage colouration and longevity.

Aquarium turtles’ life span varies.Land turtles are known to live longer than aquarium turtles.

Lifespan of some famous aquarium turtles:

  • Eastern box turtle- They can live for more than 50 years
  • Wood turtle -They can live between 40-55 years
  • Russian tortoise- They can live for more than 40 years
  • Painted turtle- They can live between 25-30 years
  • Map turtle- They can live between 15-25 years
  • Red eared slider-They can live between 25 -35 years

What tank size do betta fish and turtles need?

Tank size for betta fish

  • Minimum tank size  3 gallons.
  • Additional tank size for each fully grown bettas is 1 gallons.
  • Ideal tank size for single male or female betta is 5 gallons.
  • Bettas do well in spacious tanks.

Tank size for turtles

  • Minimum tank size for 4-6 inches turtles is 30 gallons.
  • Tank size for turtles between 6-8 inches is 55 gallons.
  • Tank size for turtles of 8 inches or more is between 75-125 gallons.
  • Turtles need a spacious tank.

Are betta fish and turtles aggressive in nature?

Bettas are popular for their aggressive nature especially male bettas.Its very difficult to keep male bettas with other tank mates in the aquarium.

Male bettas fight with each other to death,if too many male bettas are kept together which out numbers females in the tank.Female bettas are less aggressive than male bettas and can co-exist with other tank mates in the aquarium.

Same like bettas, even turtles get aggressive when they are in overcrowded tanks.Lack of space triggers their aggressive behavior.

Same like bettas male turtles show aggression towards each other in aquarium conditions and even in the wild. 

What do betta fish and turtles eat? 

Bettas are not picky eaters and happily accept whatever you give them but don’t start eating immediately after putting them in the aquariums, they take their own sweet time to adjust in the tank.A Protein rich diet is very important for your bettas.

Food preference for betta fish:

  • Protein enriched floating pellets 
  • Frozen or dried brine shrimp
  • Frozen bloodworms (small pieces)
  • Small insects
  • Larvae

Turtles can have fish food when they are kept in aquariums alongside fishes.But only fish food won’t be wholesome for their diets.They have some specific requirements too.Turtles can even recognise their owners.

Food preference for turtles:

  • Food from your kitchen-boiled eggs,peas, beans, squash, corn, beets,yams and some fruits
  • Feeder fish-Bluegills,bass,killifish and crappies
  • Commercial food for turtles- Aquatic turtle food,turtle pellets (protein staple) ,floating food sticks.
  • Greens-Mustard greens,kale,carrot tops,dandelion green,aquatic plants and bok choy.
  • Frozen/live food-Bloodworms, mysis, krills, daphnia,earthworms, cricket, waxworms,silkworms, aquatic snails,shrimp,mealworms

Are water parameters the same for betta fish and turtles in aquarium conditions?

Water parametersBetta fishTurtles 
Water typeTemperature Breeding temperatureWater pH
Water hardness
Water movement
Freshwater 75F-80F78F6.8-7.5
3 to 4 dGH and 3 to 5 dKHCalmer water
Freshwater/saltwater77-80F80-82F7.4 to 7.8(slightly alkaline)180ppm-200 ppm
Calmer water

Bettas prefer calm water in their tanks.They do well in optimum temperature conditions. If these parameters are not maintained then they will become inactive and can become sick.

The levels of ammonia and nitrite should be 0ppm and nitrate should be <20 ppm in their tanks.Like bettas even turtles do well in slow water currents and are very sensitive to poor water conditions.

They cannot withstand water with ammonia spikes.This can affect their health and shell growth too.

Do betta fish and turtles need the same aquarium plants in their tanks?

Tank plants for betta fishLive and overhanging plants are best for your bettas as they act as a natural oxygen purifier and can help them to conceal themselves to avoid aggressive tank mates or predators.Live plants can provide good hiding space for your bettas when they feel threatened or stressed.Hydrilla aka waterthymes can be used in bettas aquariums because it gives bush like views in the tanks. Indian almond leaves are recommended in bettas tanks to maintain the water pH and it also keeps their immune system strong.
Tank plants for turtlesJava fern  and Java mossJava fern microsorum bundleGreenpro anubias nana pottedAnubias bundleBrazilian pennywort bundleWater sprite ceratopteris thalictroidesHygrophila difformis water wisteria

Do betta fish and turtles need the same light intensity in their tanks?

Betta fish like both natural and artificial light in their tank and they need enough light during day time and proper dimness during night time.Exposing them to direct sunlight can increase algal growth in their aquarium.

While turtles need 12 hours a day of daylight.Turtles don’t need direct sunlight in their aquarium,so their tanks should be placed away from direct sunlight.

For turtles to keep their bones and shells strong,they need sunlight,so instead of that you can install UVA/UVB bulbs to provide rays for their bones and shell’s growth and development.

Both bettas and turtles don’t need direct sunlight in their tanks,so it would be better to place their tanks away from sunlight.

Do betta fish and turtles need similar substrates in their tank?

Bettas don’t need substrate,as it doesn’t really matter in bettas tanks.

They don’t interact with the bottom that much.Some sand or gravel substrate would be fine.

Same like bettas,even turtles don’t need substrate in their tanks.But if they are kept with other fish,especially like bottom feeders then a thin gravel substrate of 1-3 inches long will be fine.

But one should be watchful when keeping gravels,as turtles have the habit of ingesting gravels.Smooth stones will also be a good option for turtles.

Is it easy to care for betta fish and turtles togethers in the same aquariums?

Bettas are not so easy to care for,since they are very aggressive and intimidate other species alongside similar tanks.They need a spacious tank to swim freely.

Need proper tank filtration,warm water,lots of hiding space to hide when they feel threatened,nutritious food to maintain their colors and tank maintenance practice.

Turtles and bettas don’t make great tank mates to each other.Turtles need lots of space,a great diet and perfect water parameters for their survival in a tank.They can’t be kept with any aquarium fish because of their size.

Are turtles and bettas both perfect for community tanks?

Bettas can be a good community fish but they cannot live with brightly coloured species, finnippers,aggressive fish and multiple male bettas together.

Female bettas are more sociable than male bettas.Male bettas get aggressive with one another and fight with each other to death.It is very important to have male and female bettas ratio maintained in tanks to avoid clashes.

Turtles need lots of space and a huge diet for their growth.They can be kept in community tanks with turtles and a few selected species only.Due to space issues and diets they might not adjust with other fish in aquariums.

Sometimes male turtles get aggressive with each other for space and food resources.It is important to monitor them in community tanks. 

Are turtles and bettas beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?

Bettas are good for both newcomers and experienced fishkeepers. They are very attractive,especially male bettas.These have specific water parameters and food habits to maintain their finnage colourtion.

Turtles are not easy to care for like other aquarium species,because they take a lot of space and have a different diet.They can be fed fish food,but cannot rely on fish food completely as they need vitamin D for their shell growth.

Turtles food is not readily available too.It would be difficult to raise pet turtles.Turtles are definitely not beginner friendly .

Summary

To sum it up:

Turtles have different preferences than any other aquarium species.

Their tank size,water parameters,diets and everything is completely different and rarely match with other aquarium species.

It won’t be easier to handle turtles with bettas or any other aquarium species.

Frequently asked questions

What is the minimum tank size for male and female red eared sliders?

Male red eared sliders need a minimum tank size of 75 gallons and female red eared sliders need a minimum tank size of 150 gallons.

Can we keep turtles in tap water?

Yes,turtles can be kept in tap water only after using water conditioners.They are sensitive to water parameters,so treat tap water with water conditioners before keeping turtles in it.

Reference

https://www.fishkeepingworld.com/types-of-betta-fish/#h21

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