Can Betta fish live with Catfish?

In this article, we will understand the relationship between Betta fish and Catfish. We will also learn more about their requirements and explain if they can be set up together in a community tank.

Can Betta fish live with Catfish?

Yes. Catfish, especially Cory catfish, make great tank mates with betta fish, male or female. Betta fish have a reputation for being aggressive, territorial, and unsuitable tank mates—but this is not always the case. 

Bettas, particularly males, can be violent against other males, which is why they should normally not be housed in the same tank. Cory catfish are ideal for a communal betta tank. They are non-aggressive, simple to care for, prefer to be kept in groups of at least five people, and thrive in groups of at least five individuals.

Betta fish

Betta fish are a very popular freshwater fish. They are quite popular due to their range of shapes and colors. Due to the enormous diversity seen in betta fish, they are often classified according to their colors, patterns, and tail type.

Their aggressive nature is sometimes intimidating to newbies to the pastime. However, as long as you are fed and cared for correctly, you should have no difficulties.


Betta fish sometimes referred to as Siamese fighting fish, are popular aquarium fish. They are usually referred to as bettas,’ and are gourami family members. They are well-known as territorial fish that would ‘fight’ if two are merged or if they see their reflections. Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand are the places where the betta fish is originally found.

Betta fish typically reach a maximum length of 3 inches. Their typical lifetime is between two and five years. They feature vibrantly colored fins and a variety of different tail kinds. The most often used colors are red, blue, black, white, and orange. Metallic, copper, and turquoise are uncommon hues. While some betta fish are solid colors, others are colorful and frequently have unique tail looks.

Types of betta fish 

  • Veil tail
  • Spade tail
  • Double tail
  • Round tail
  • Delta
  • Super delta
  • Halfmoon
  • Rose tail
  • Crowntail
  • Combtail
  • Halfmoon Plakat
  • Plakat


Catfish are bottom feeders and, despite their size variances, they have a similar morphology. They are most active at night. One of the catfish’s most distinguishing qualities is their scaleless skin. On the other hand, catfish’s fins, backs, and sides are covered in razor-sharp spines.

Their nickname and most distinguishing characteristic are their whiskers, also known as barbels, which give the fish a cat-like look. Numerous species of catfish possess eight barbels around their mouths, and all possess at least one pair.

Cory catfish (Cory catfish) are a very popular type of catfish in many freshwater aquariums. They are low maintenance and are available in a range of sizes and colors. These fish like the companionship of one or two other cory catfish. Cory catfish are quite simple to get at your local pet store or aquarium shop due to their popularity.


Cory catfishes are reasonably common freshwater fish that are commonly seen in aquariums. The majority of species are located in South America, and there are several kinds to pick from. They prefer slow-moving water and rivers that are densely forested and have a plentiful food supply.

However, because all Cory catfishes can coexist with bettas, you don’t need to worry too much about the various varieties. Cory catfishes are bottom feeders and may be maintained alone or in groups of four or more, depending on the size of your aquarium. They range in length from 1.0 to 2.5 inches.

Cory catfish have an average lifespan of 2-3 years in captivity and have a non-aggressive attitude. This makes them an excellent betta fish companion.  They are often quite active and may brighten up a tank. 

Types of Cory catfish

  • Bandit Cory
  • Bronze cory
  • Julii Cory
  • Panda cory
  • Pepper cory
  • Skunk Cory
  • Three stripe cory

Water requirements

Betta fish water requirements

Betta fish, which are labyrinth fish, can breathe straight from the water surface. Thus, a widespread misunderstanding is that betta fish may be kept happily in a cup. While they may thrive in such a little cup to a certain extent, betta fish require at least a two-gallon tank. Maintain a temperature of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Colder water can be fatal to the betta, as it weakens the betta’s immune system, making it more prone to sickness. Warmer water can irritate them and hasten their aging process since their metabolism accelerates. To maintain the temperature, a heater should be utilized. Betta fish should also be kept in an aquarium with a filter.

pH should be maintained between 6.5 and 8. Water should be changed often, at least once a week, to keep the fish healthy.

Catfish water requirements

Due to the bottom-dwelling nature of Cory Catfish, it’s a good idea to have at least two inches of aquarium gravel or substrate on the tank bottom. Cory Catfish also appear to thrive in tanks with a high concentration of living plants. Alive aquarium plants provide protection and hiding places for fish. Finally, use pebbles and baubles that encourage exploring.

Cory catfish requires a pH range of 7.0-7.8. 7.0 is the ideal pH for bettas. Therefore, as long as the water temperature remains near 7.0, your corys and bettas will be alright. The one exception is that while bettas may survive in slightly acidic environments, they cannot survive in alkaline ones. Therefore, strive to maintain a pH of 7.0.

The most critical aspect is to maintain the tank’s stability. Even if your pH or temperature is somewhat higher or lower than ideal, it is still preferable than having a tank that is continuously shifting.


Betta fish diet

Bettas are carnivorous fish that require a high protein diet. In the wild, they often graze on small meaty creatures such as worms, daphnia, bloodworms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and other fish.

A Betta fish diet must be high in protein when kept in captivity, which means they must devour a lot of meat. The majority of the things they consume in the wild may be purchased live or frozen for your aquarium. Additionally, you may choose to supply copepods, white worms, glass worms, and fruit flies for them to consume.

Catfish diet

Cory catfish diets mostly consist of fish flakes, pellets, and bottom feeder tablets. Cory catfish will spend hours upon hours scouring the tank bottom for food. They may even shift some of the surface gravel around with their tongues as they dig for more. While Cory catfishes are excellent tank cleaners due to their feeding abilities, they should not be regarded as a substitute for appropriate tank care.

Cory catfishes are skilled at scavenging uneaten food. So, the Cory Catfish diet cannot consist entirely of leftovers. Because leftovers may be scarce, enthusiasts must ensure that Cory Cats receive all of their dietary requirements with supplements formulated particularly for them.

Having said that, resist the urge to overfeed. Feed Cory Cats only an amount of food that can be consumed in around 5 minutes.


Betta fish top 5 tankmates

Fortunately, there are various fish that will socialize with your betta in a safe and non-aggressive setting. Numerous colorful, sociable fish get along nicely with bettas.

The top 5 tankmates for Betta fish are:

  • Mystery snail
  • Ghost shrimp
  • Feeder guppies
  • Cory catfish
  • African dwarf frog

Catfish’s top 5 tankmates

Catfish tank mates can include virtually any community tank fish that is non-aggressive and sociable.

The top 5 tankmates for Catfish are:

  • Otocinclus Catfish
  • Tetras
  • Swordtails 
  • Bamboo Shrimp 
  • Vampire Shrimp

Can I keep Betta fish with Catfish?

Yes. Cory catfish are excellent tankmates for male or female betta fish. Cory catfish are serene and quiet fish, which will inspire your betta to exhibit the same behavior. Their non-aggressive demeanor is the ideal counterpoint to a betta that is eager to fight another male. However, it is not as straightforward as combining them and leaving them alone. Both require certain conditions to thrive in your tank. If you do not satisfy their needs, they will grow stressed and will very certainly die. Most crucially, it depends on your betta’s disposition. If he is aggressive or ornery, you should avoid putting any other fish in the tank with him.


In this article, we understood the relationship between Betta fish and Catfish. 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 fish live with Catfish?

Is it possible for Betta fish to attack Cory catfish?

While Cory catfishes are often excellent tankmates for betta fishes, experienced betta owners are well aware that some bettas are so aggressive and ill-tempered that they will not accept any tank mates, even the calm Cory catfish.

When mixing these two fish, keep a close eye on your betta and quickly separate them if there is any evidence of the betta pursuing or hurting the catfish. Unfortunately, some bettas are condemned to live alone for the rest of their lives.

Are Cory Catfish attracted to Betta fish poop?

Cory catfish are bottom feeders and, together with kuhli loaches and plecos, are sometimes referred to as ‘cleaning crew’ fish, however, they do not consume betta feces. Indeed, no fish consume betta dung.

Cory catfishes eating betta feces is a myth that may come from the manner Cory catfishes feed. These little catfish like digging aggressively in the sand in search of food and can bury betta feces that has fallen to the substrate, giving the appearance that the Cory catfish has eaten the dung.

Is it possible for Betta fish to coexist alongside Catfish?

Cory catfish are excellent tankmates for male or female betta fish. Cory catfish are a pleasant and tranquil kind of fish, which will instill the same temperament in your betta. Whatever number of these sociable fish you introduce to your tank, your betta fish will adore their peaceful, social character.

Do Betta fish experience loneliness?

Betta fish are inherently territorial and should not be kept in the same tank as other betta fish, since they will fight and hurt one another, frequently resulting in death. They are unlikely to feel lonely in their tank, although they may become bored if it is too small.


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