Can Betta fish and Puffer fish Coexist?

In this article, we will understand the relationship between Betta Fish and Puffer fish. Additionally, we will learn more about their needs and determine if they can coexist in a communal tank.

Can Betta and Puffer Fish Coexist?

No, Betta fish can not live with Puff fish. Betta fish are unquestionably one of the most appealing aquatic pets available today. They look stunning with their array of colors and fin forms. similarly, pea puffer fish do as well. These cute spherical fish are quite clever for their size, and they make excellent companions. There are further justifications that they cannot coexist. The primary difference is, however, the innately aggressive nature of both species.

Betta fish

Betta fish, more precisely named “Siamese fighting fish,” is a popular family pet. They are known for their vibrant, stunning color and complex fin displays.

Betta fish is a freshwater fish native to Southeast Asia. They are extremely popular as aquarium fish worldwide, owing to their varied and brilliant coloration, complex shape, and comparatively low maintenance requirements. Bettas are well-known for their territorial behavior, with males commonly attacking one another if kept in the same tank; without an escape route, this usually results in the death of one or both fish.

When restricted, female bettas can also become territorial. Bettas are highly resistant to low oxygen levels and poor water quality due to their unique labyrinth organ, a trait unique to the Anabantoidei suborder that allows for surface air intake.

Betta fishes typically reach a length of around 6–8 cm (2.4–3.1 in).

Puffer fish

Puffer fish, alternatively known as swellfish or blowfish, is any of over 90 species of fish in the family Tetraodontidae that are famous for their ability to inflate themselves with air or water to the point of appearing spherical when disturbed. Puffers are distributed across the world’s warm and temperate zones, usually in the sea but also in brackish and fresh water in rare circumstances.

They have rough, sometimes prickly skins and fused teeth that create a beak-like structure with a central cleft in each jaw. The biggest puffers reach a length of roughly 90 cm (3 feet), while the majority are much smaller.

What happens when they are combined?

The Dwarf Puffer (also known as the Pea Puffer or Indian Puffer) just became commonly sold in the market. These small little fish are now accessible at nearly every neighborhood fish market and large box retailer, and they are frequently marketed as a ‘community’ safe fish. 

But, you can never keep Betta fish in the same tank as Dwarf Pufferfish. Dwarf Puffers are quite aggressive and will almost probably nibble at Betta’s fins. The Dwarf Puffers will do severe damage to the Betta’s fins and will almost certainly kill it.

Why Betta fish and Puff fish can not cohabit?

They can not cohabit because of these behaviors below:

Aggressive Personality

Both betta fish and puffer fish are unusually aggressive toward other fish. Males, in particular, are fiercely aggressive and will immediately attack any new tank mates, even those of their own species. And they frequently assault female specimens as well.

With that in mind, it’s easy to assume that these two fish would never get along. In addition, the majority of betta fish pets nowadays have long, flowing fins and tails that are particularly sensitive and susceptible to fin rot illnesses. And pufferfish are well-known for their dedication to fin nipping.

Indeed, they nip the fins of other fish when they attack, making them more susceptible. This might be harmful to your betta’s health. Furthermore, betta males are often best housed in segregated aquariums.

Male puffers, on the other hand, may operate well in small groups, provided they are the only male in the tank and are surrounded by female specimens. As a result, combining them is never a wise idea.

Size Difference

Although betta fish are rather little, pufferfish are much more so. By a considerable margin. Indeed, they are not dubbed midget fish in vain.

Pea puffers typically reach a maximum length of 1.5 inches, making them one of the world’s tiniest fish species. Bettas, on the other hand, typically reach a height of 3 inches, making them double the size of puffers. As a result, the difference is significant and should not be overlooked.

Tank Size Requirements

This is perhaps the only thing that these two fish have in common when it comes to tank size needs. Indeed, both are rather little pets and hence do not require unusually huge tanks.

A single fish of each species should begin at a size of 5 gallons. However, because such small tanks are typically far more difficult to maintain, we recommend starting with a 10-gallon tank. If you desire to add additional specimens or appropriate tank mates in the future, the aquarium’s size will simply need to be increased.

Not so much to allow fish to migrate freely, as to provide them sufficient territorial area to coexist peacefully. If you place a betta or a pea puffer in a small communal tank with perfectly matched roommates, they will continue to feel threatened and will quickly begin displaying indications of violence.

Water Conditions

Even though both fish are tropical, the only water condition they have in common is the temperature. Indeed, both species thrive in warm water and are extremely susceptible to temperature fluctuations. Additionally, both species prefer no or little current due to their small size. They are significantly different when it comes to all other types of water.

Bettas, for example, are freshwater fish, but puffer fish  thrive in a combination of fresh and saltwater. Even if they can survive in freshwater for a short period of time, they will almost certainly perish after many months. Following that, betta fish flourish in soft water. They prefer somewhat acidic pH levels but are adaptable to neutral values as well.

On the other hand, pea puffer fish like more alkaline water. Additionally, puffers may wreak havoc on their tanks. They are vicious little carnivores who feed in a less graceful manner than bettas. However, in comparison to their diminutive size, they generate a great deal of trash. As a result, you would require excessive partial water changes, which would ultimately hurt your betta fish significantly.

Food & Nutrition

Both betta fish and puffers are carnivores and excellent hunters. This does not necessarily imply they will share meals. Indeed, pea puffer fish will eat anything that is not alive and moving.

Bettas, on the other hand, require high-quality pellets in order to meet their basic nutritional requirements and receive all necessary nutrients. Among diet-related variables, they do share the feeding time and a fondness for meat. 

Brine shrimp and bloodworms are excellent treats for both species, with the exception that they are fed to bettas on an as-needed basis, rather than on a regular basis as they are to puffers Generally, puffer fish graze only on meat, ideally live. They will consume frozen food if they are in the mood, which is rather unusual. 

Puffer fish tankmates

It is advisable to maintain them individually in a 5-gallon (19-liter) aquarium or in groups of five or six in a 20-gallon (75-liter) tank.

Dwarf Puffers are endowed with personality, however, they do not get along well with others.

If you are intent on keeping your Dwarf Puffer Fish in a tank with other fish, you could try one or two of the following, but have a backup plan in case the Dwarf Puffer Fish attack their tank mates.

You might want to consider keeping any of these with Dwarf Puffers.

  • Bristlenose Pleco
  • Corydoras
  • Neon Tetras
  • Kuhli Loaches
  • Amano Shrimps


In this article, we understood the relationship between Betta fish and Puffer fish. We also discussed their requirements and explained if they can be set up together in a community tank.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Can Betta and Puffer Fish Coexist?

Is it possible to keep a pea puffer beside a female betta?

Bettas and pea puffers are equally aggressive and should be kept together only in very large aquariums with plenty of decorations to block the line of sight in the event that one chases the other. Even so, I would advise against it in this instance.

What kind of fish may coexist with dwarf puffer fish?

Pea Puffers should not be housed with larger fish that might injure or devour them. Neon Tetras, Kuhli Loaches, certain Danios, and adult Cherry Shrimp are all possible tank mates for your Pea Puffers.

 Is it possible to combine two puffer fish?

Frequently, multiples of the two species can also be housed together. As a reminder, in order for this to operate well, the tank must be properly designed, with plenty of hiding spots and ample room. They require at least 30 gallons per Puffer for these bigger Puffers.

Is it true that dwarf puffers inflate up?

Yes. Although it is uncommon, you may catch your puffer fish inflating up as a defense mechanism or for practice. Pufferfish inflate their size by sucking in water, deterring would-be predators.

Are pea puffers toxic?

When most people think of a Pufferfish, they see a spiky saltwater fish that expands like a balloon. The Pea Puffer, on the other hand, is a very rare freshwater Pufferfish. They can still blow up, but unlike their saltwater counterparts, they are not toxic. Take a glance at these fish and you’ll quickly see why they’re so popular.


Betta Fish and Pea Puffer – Can They Live Together?

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