Can betta fish and danios live together?

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


In this blog

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

Can betta fish and danios live together?

If the tank is big enough, zebra danio is a great choice for tankmates to live with betta. Zebra danio is a tough fish species that likes the same water quality, aquarium setup and food requirements as betta fish.

It would be great to keep them in a school of 5 to 6 with female bettas,because female bettas unlike male bettas can adjust with other species and they are less aggressive than male bettas.

Key specifications of betta fish and danios

Key specificationsDaniosBetta fish 
Scientific nameTypes

DanioPearl Danio Rosy DanioWhite Cloud Mountain MinnowGiant DanioZebra DanioDwarf Spotted DanioGlowlight DanioMalabar DanioGoldring DanioBengal DanioCyprinidaeBetta splendensDragon scale bettaButterfly bettaMarble bettaKoi bettadumbo bettaDifferent tailed bettas

Temperament PeacefulVery aggressive
Diet OmnivoreCarnivore
Habitat Southeast asiaSoutheast Asia

Where are betta fish and danios found?

Habitat of danios

  • Native-Southeast asia
  • Distribution-Danios are tropical freshwater hardy species found in the moving,quiet streams and cooler water of southeast asia.Newly found danios are seen in burma.
  • Water type-Freshwater bodies
  • Water movement-slow currents but can adjust in fast water currents too.

Habitat of betta fish

  • Native- Southeast Asia/Tropical Asia
  • Distribution-Northern Malay Peninsula, central & eastern Thailand, Kampuchea,and southern Vietnam.
  • Nonindigenous Occurrences:Specimens ranging from 1-3 cm were taken from the Thames River drainage in Connecticut.
  • Water type-Freshwater bodies
  • Water movement- Slow moving water bodies.

How long do betta fish and danios live?

Danios prefer slow or stagnant water to fast currents.The different types of ecosystems they live in include ponds, streams, paddy fields, canals, ditches and floodplains in Southeast Asia.

Bettas are native to Asia and live in shallow waters in swamps, ponds, or slow-flowing streams.

The natural habitat of the Siamese fighting fish is found in large, densely vegetated swamps, rice fields and slow-moving streams (in Thailand and Cambodia) in South Asia, although they are shallow, they are deeper and provide a more diverse environment. 

What tank size do betta fish and danios need?

Danios tank size

  • Danios are smaller in size,and can thrive in aquariums as small as 5 gallons,but because they are a community fish, and can appear hyperactive at times.
  • They are better suited to larger, more crowded aquariums. 
  • It is recommended that danios be kept in a tank with a capacity of at least 10 gallons, or larger if possible.
  • Large sized rectangular shaped tanks are best for danios
  • Tall tanks with great surface area are ideal for danios to shoal together.

Betta fish tank size

  • Minimum aquarium size for a single fighting fish or betta fish is  3 gallons.
  • The additional aquarium size for each fully grown bettas is 1 gallons.
  • The ideal aquarium size for single male or female betta is 5 gallons.
  • Bettas do pretty well in bigger and spacious aquariums.
  • Provide lots of hiding spots and swimming areas for them to swim around freely and peacefully.
  • Male bettas prefer to stay in solitary tanks than in community tanks,because of their aggressive nature.

Are betta fish and danios aggressive in nature?

Danios are a relatively social species that exhibit shoaling behavior.They can exhibit aggressive behavior towards long-finned, slow-moving fish and are often seen nibbling their fins.

Danios sometimes behave aggressively when they are not in the company of many other fish. In a sparsely populated aquarium,they will often bite or chase lower ranking fish.

The presence of too many fish is also a problem for danios,as it can cause them great frustration and anxiety.

Betta splendens are also called Siamese fighting fish because of their unique range and aggressive nature.These fish are very aggressive and male often fight each other until they die.Even females can be aggressive, but usually more sociable than male bettas.

What do betta fish and danios eat?

Danios are omnivores and accept a wide variety of diets from meaty food to plant based food.

List of food for Danios:

  • Color flakes for maintaining their colors
  • Live food/Frozen food,induce spawning
  • Gel based food commercially available.
  • Fruits or vegetables such as green peas,lettuce,cauliflower and broccoli
  • Shrimp pellets
  • Algae based flakes occasionally,not regularly 
  • Tropical flakes
  • Tropical granules

Bettas are carnivores and prefer to eat lots of protein food in their diet.

List of bettas favorite food:

  • Live or frozen mosquito larvae,a staple in their natural habitat, mosquito larvae are an excellent betta food option.
  • Live or frozen brine shrimp.
  • Live or frozen bloodworms.
  • Live or frozen wingless fruit flies.
  • Live or frozen mysis shrimp.

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

Most Danios tolerate a wide range of water chemistry and temperature, making them ideal fish for beginners. They prefer  soft to medium hard waters and pH should be 7.0 to 7.8, alkalinity 3° to 8° dkH or 50 ppm to 140 ppm,and temperature 70° to 78° F.

Bettas prefer mild water with a pH of 6.8-7.5 and they may appear to tolerate lower temperatures,but are sluggish and susceptible to illness, so keeping the temperature between 76 And 85F for their overall health is best.

Ideal water parameters for betta fish

  • Temperature: 75°-81°F or 23.8°-27.2°C
  • Ammonia and nitrite levels: 0 ppm.
  • Nitrate levels: <20 ppm.
  • GH: 3-4 dGH (50-66.7 ppm)
  • KH: 3-5 dKH (53.6- 89.4 ppm)
  • Water pH: 6.5-7.5

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

Tank plants for Danios:

  • Anubias nana
  • Amazon sword
  • Water wisteria
  • Rotala
  • Red root floaters
  • Aponogeton
  • Dwarf water lettuce
  • Dwarf lilies

Live plants for a betta fish are  Java ferns ,java moss ,Cryptocoryne petchii,Anubias nana,moss ball or floating moss ball or Cladophora. Most of the popular aquatic plants that you can use in a planted betta tank are betta-safe. 

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

Danios need an artificial aquarium light for 12 hours per day.Low or diffused light is best for danios.As per some danios keepers they dont have problem with lightings and can adjust in any lighting conditions.

Avoid too much brightness in the aquarium.The betta should be exposed to light for at least 14-16 hours minimum per day. You can buy aquarium lighting timers to make sure they are well controlled.

Too much sunlight can heat the water in the aquarium to unpleasant or dangerous levels. It can also increase the amount of algae that can cause bacterial infections. 

Bettas need a day-night cycle to maintain circadian rhythm,so aim to give bettas 8-12 hours of light and 12-16 hours of darkness per day.

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

In their natural habitat danios have small gravels as their substrate,so it would be better to replicate the same substrate for them in tank settings too.

Danios prefers soft substrate,usually sandy or muddy but sometimes has small pebbles or gravel intermixed will also do the needful for them.

The best substrate for fighting fish is the premium natural substrate Seachem Flourite.The two best substrates you can use for your aquarium are gravel and sand.

Gravel is great because it makes planting easier and produces more beneficial bacteria. The good thing about sand is that it’s easier to keep clean and less likely to harm your betta. You can also try using marble or no substrate at all.

Is it easy to care for betta fish and danios together in the same aquariums?

Danio is peaceful, sociable and relatively easy to care for. It is a tough species and can withstand a wide range of temperatures and water qualities. 

It is very easy to care for and does not require any special equipment or aquarium setup to thrive in an aquarium environment, but you don’t have to be careless about their maintenance like other aquarium fish. 

They need a proper diet and a fully oxygenated tank to survive, and if you don’t provide these parameters, they may not live long and you miss the opportunity to see this beautifully shining school of fish together in the aquarium.

The difference between caring for a female betta fish and caring for a male betta fish is negligible.They both require the same water parameters, food, tank size, and decoration or plant.

Males and females may require different types of care before, during and after breeding, which is more advanced than basic care.Male bettas are very aggressive so if they are kept with other males or female bettas or other species it would be tough to handle them.

Are they both perfect community fish?

Danio is very peaceful in nature and zebrafish are typical community fish. In fact, many aquarists use them as dither fish to promote more social behavior from other fish.

In the case of bettas,male bettas do well in solitary tanks because of their aggressive behavior and female bettas are much better and do well in community tanks without hurting other species.

Are they beginner friendly or for experienced aquarists?

Danio are extremely hardy and tolerate a wide range of water temperatures and water chemistry, making them excellent fish for newcomers and new aquariums.They are active to the point that they can be noisy, but rarely harm other fish.

Bettas, especially males, are better for experienced betta enthusiasts,and female bettas go well in community tanks.


Both danios and bettas are hardy species and have similar water preferences and food habits too.They can be good tank mates and should be kept together because of similar preferences and other tank set ups.

Frequently asked questions

What kind of filters are best for Danios?

Danios are small in size so be careful as they can get stuck in the filters.Filters are important for proper oxygen supply and aeration.