Zebrafish And Betta: Can These Species Live Together?

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

Zebrafish And Betta: Can These Species Live Together?

Yes, zebrafish make an excellent choice of tank mate to live with a Betta. However, For a variety of reasons, Zebra danios are not the best partners for betta fish. Warm water temperatures of about 78° and 82° F are ideal for Bettas, which are tropical fish. However, danios thrive at 64° to 77° F temperatures.

When these two species come into contact, the betta’s attitude and aggressiveness may be quite troublesome. 

Betta fish

As the name suggests, the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), often known as the Betta, is a freshwater fish that is endemic to Southeast Asia. Even though the Betta genus has 73 distinct species, only one, Betta splendens, is often referred to as a “betta” owing to its widespread availability as an aquarium fish and the ease with which it can be kept.

It is estimated that the Siamese fighting fish has been domesticated for at least 1,000 years, making it one of the longest-lived fish species.

Keeping Bettas in the same tank may lead to a fight between the males, which can end in the death of one or both fish if there is no way to escape. In tight quarters, female bettas may sometimes become aggressive against one another.


The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a freshwater fish, fish that grow 4-5cm long and live for approximately 2 years. It belongs to the Cyprinidae family, native to South Asia. It is a popular aquarium fish that is usually referred to as zebra danio. Zebrafish are resilient fish that is recommended for new aquarists because of their ease of care.

Among the many reasons for their long-term appeal are their fun nature, quick breeding, attractiveness, low price, and wide availability. They also thrive in groups of six or more, and they get along well with other aquarium fish.

Beside be high- valued by aquarists, zebrafish is an important and commonly used vertebrate model organism in scientific study, including drug discovery, namely pre-clinical development.

Can betta fish and zebrafish tolerate the same tank conditions?

Tank Capacity

If you want to keep them, you’ll have to keep them in a tiny aquarium. It is because of this that both of these species are quite popular for use in home aquariums.

Bettas, on the other hand, may be unpredictable and aggressive, and keeping them in a tiny tank with fast-swimming fish is an invitation to disaster.

Due to their tendency to congregate in huge schools, danios need a tank at least 20 gallons in size to avoid congestion and fights. Betta fish may be found in ponds, small bodies of water, rice paddies, and slow-moving streams in their natural habitats. Slow-moving or stagnant water may be found in this area.


In the wild environment, Betta fish may be found in ponds, small bodies of water, rice paddies, and slow-moving streams in their natural habitats. Slow-moving or stagnant water may be found in this area.

Zebrafish and other wild zebra danios inhabit similar areas. Like bettas, zebrafish like a well-planted tank and a modest flow rate, but they also need a lot of open swimming room.

There should be plenty of natural plants in your aquarium, as well as some resting sites for your fish, pieces of driftwood, twisting roots, or rockwork to help the fish establish territories.

As a result, the fish will feel more secure and less likely to fight.

Water parameters

In terms of water parameters, Betta fish and Zebrafish both need a pH of between 6.0 and 8.0 and a water hardness range of 5 to 20 dH. However, the water temperature demands of these two ornamental fish species are somewhat different.

To thrive, bettas need water that is consistently between 78°F and 82°F degrees Fahrenheit. Danios, on the other hand, likes temperatures between 64° and 77° F.

Because they are commonly grown in warm water and marketed as a tropical species, captive-bred danios can withstand water temperatures that are colder than those found in betta aquariums.

Tank Maintenance

Keeping bettas is a delicate process, so regulate water changes and keep an eye on the water’s condition. Fish tanks should have high-quality filtration systems and partial weekly water changes of up to 20% new water to keep the fish healthy.

Betta fish and Zebrafish behavior

If you’re looking for an aquarium companion, you may want to look elsewhere. Betta fish like to spend much of their time at the top of the water column. The reason for this is that bettas are surface feeders and will jump out of the water to catch flies as they float by.

As a labyrinth-breathing fish, Betta fish must inhale air from the air above the water surface through their labyrinth organ. Also, since they like to swim in the middle to higher regions of the water column, betta fish are often forced to contend with the zebra danios.

Territorial Bettas are quite violent when faced by an intruder on their turf.

Nippy Fish

When it comes to fish, there’s no better example than the betta, an aggressive and territorial type of fish with long, flowing fins.

Also, zebrafish are active swimmers, which might be unpleasant for your betta fish if they’re always surrounded by it. Stressed bettas are more prone to illness, and bacteria may easily invade their injured fins, leading to more health issues.

Dietary Disharmony

Betta fish diet is predominantly meaty protein but also can include algae and plant stuff. The zebrafish consume both meat and plants, making them omnivores. Feeding high-quality fish flake, pellet, and frozen meaty feeds like bloodworms (bloodworm larvae), mosquito larvae (daphnia larvae), and the like to both species is possible.

However, the fact that both species consume a similar diet might lead to conflict when it comes to mealtime. There is a possibility that your poor betta may go hungry because of the voraciousness of danios and their superior speed compared to bettas.

How do Betta fish and Zebrafish live together?

Betta fish and danios may coexist if properly cared for, despite their distinct characteristics. The following are some conditions that enable both species to live in the same tank:

Water temperature

Betta fish are the most sensitive to changes in water temperature of the two kinds. To avoid harming the betta’s labyrinth organ, make sure the tank’s water temperature matches the temperature outdoors.

There are very few wild-caught, wild-reared Zebrafish available for purchase at pet shops. To keep zebrafish healthy, you need to keep the water temperature in your tank at a level that is comfortable for your betta.

Tank size

In a small tank, it’s best not to put zebrafish and bettas together. You should have at least a 20-gallon tank for one betta fish and six danios to keep them happy. In a huge tank, the fish have plenty of room to maneuver around one another without suffocating.

A long tank, rather than a tall one, will let the agile zebrafish move about more freely.

Include plants

Make sure the zebrafish and bettas have lots of places to hide in your community tank by putting a lot of live plants in there. It may assist relieve stress and maintaining a healthy and joyful atmosphere in your community.

Feeding Time

When feeding zebrafish and betta, it might be helpful to divide the tank into two sections, one for the betta and one for danios.

Make sure your betta receives adequate food by keeping a close eye on him. Even a temporary tank divider may be necessary to keep the betta and danios apart at feeding times.

Will a Betta fish chase a Zebrafish?​

Betta is unlikely to devote much effort to pursuing Zebrafish. The Zebrafish is super fast, they can zip from one side of the tank to the other in a matter of seconds.

A Zebrafish will never be caught by a long-finned Betta, and even a speedier, short-finned Betta is unlikely to get near.

Betta fish tankmates

As an alternative, what other kind of fish may you keep in your aquarium with the betta fish?

Bettas get along well with the following fish:

  • Corydoras catfish 
  • Clown plecos
  • Ember tetras
  • Harlequin rasboras
  • Dwarf shrimp

Zebrafish tankmates

Zebrafish pair well with a variety of fish. The species below can tolerate the same water conditions as danios, and they are all peaceful fish that won’t cause problems with aggression:

  • Neon tetras
  • Glowlight tetra,
  • Cardinal tetra
  • Corydoras catfish
  • Guppies


In this article, we understood the relationship between Zebrafish and Betta 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): Zebrafish And Betta: Can These Species Live Together?

Do betta fish and zebrafish get along?

Zebrafish can be a tank mate for Betta fish if the tank is big enough. Generally speaking, Zebrafish and Bettas like the same water conditions and tank set-ups.

Do Zebrafish fight each other?

When zebra danios are alone, they may be abrasive and aggressive. They will commonly hunt or nip at fish of lower status in a tank that’s sparsely inhabited. When there are more individuals around, they tend to be passive.

Is Zebrafish aggressive?

No, they are not aggressive. Until recently, the aggressive behavior of zebrafish was not of interest to scientists because of the species’ gregarious nature and its tendency to shoal.

However, studies now show that both male and female zebrafish can exhibit aggressive behavior 

Are Zebrafish fin nippers?

Normally, Zebrafish don’t nibble on the fins of their prey. They will not nip at each other or their tankmates if the circumstances in your tank are beneficial to them.

Is the Zebrafish a solitary species?

Several studies have shown that they may be quite territorial and compete for resources, including food and mating partners.

Aggression in zebrafish occurs when the fish reach sexual maturity, which occurs within a few months after hatching and is triggered by reproductive impulses.


Zebra Danio And Betta: Can These Species Live Together?


Which fish can live with Bettas ( With 12 Examples and Photos )

James, 2021. Can A Betta Fish Live With Zebra Danios? (Finally Solved!)


Gerhard and Cheng, 2002. A call to fins! Zebrafish as a gerontological model https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1474-9728.2002.00012.x

Breeding Zebrafish (Zebra danios)

Guidelines released for keeping Fighters


About Betta splendens https://www.ibcbettas.org/about-betta-splendens/