Can Betta Fish Live With Tiger Barbs?

Can tiger barbs live with Bettas?

Keeping different kinds of aquarium animals is very cool, but the only problem is if they are not compatible with each other, then how can they live peacefully in the same tank. I have read many threads where people are asking if they could be able to have Betta fish and tiger barbs in one tank. If you’re among those that are interested to know the possiblity of keeping the two creatures in one tank, then this article is for you.

Can Tiger Barbs live with Betta? No, although they can live in the same water conditions, but tiger barbs are not suitable tank mates for Betta fish because tiger barbs are aggressive in nature.

Betta (aka Siamese fighting fish) are a splendor to look at.

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They have long, flowy fins and can be found in a variety of colors including yellow, red, blue, orange, black, blue and other color morphs.

Although there are many different species of barbs, but non of them is gentle.

All species of barbs are aggressive and are territorial.

They love nipping at anything they could and will always nip at the Betta fish fins.

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Water conditions of Betta fish and Tiger Barbs

Betta Water Conditions

Can Bettas live with tiger barbs?

Bettas are tropical fish and they prefer calm water with a pH between 6.8 and 7.5. While they may seem to tolerate cooler temperatures, they will be inactive and more susceptible to disease, therefore it’s best for their overall health to keep the temperature between 76° and 85° F.

They dwell on freshwater with very low salinity and do prefer a calm water with a hardiness of GH 5-20.

Related: Can Tiger Barbs and Cichlids share a tank?

Providing them with a small heater of about 5 watts power is best for them.

Tiger Barbs Water Conditions

Tiger barbs are known to be found in clear or turbid shallow waters of moderately flowing streams.

They live in Indonesia, Borneo, tropical climates and prefer water with a 6.0–8.0 pH, a water hardness of 5–19 dGH, and a temperature range of 77 – 82 °F or 25 – 27.8 °C.

Betta and Tiger Barbs Temperament

Although they they could live in almost the same water condition, but is their temperament (behavior) the same? let’s find out.

Betta Temperament

Betta could be regarded as being in the category of semi aggressive fishes.

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They’re scavengers and will eat almost anything that will fit their mouth, including insects, smaller aquarium animals and even some fishes which they could be able to kill and eat.

So they could be classified as omnivores and semi aggressive fish.

Another character of this fish is the male ones are hostile to each other, although they cannot harm each other fatally.

Tiger Barbs Temperament

Tiger Barbs are fully aggressive fish and also omnivores because they can eat both plants and smaller animals that they could be able to kill and eat.

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They have the habit of nipping at anything they stay with.

They do this mainly because they’re very fast.

This is why they usually make unsuitable tank mates with so many aquarium animals.

The males rarely tolerate each other, as they’re normally aggressive to their fellow males.

So judging from the above characteristics they both exhibit, and their water conditions, you can see that they can live happily and survive in the same environment.

But the question is, can they do that peacefully? The simple answer is no.

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They won’t live together because tiger barbs will always nip at their fins and tails and even chase them around.

Chasing the Bettas around could easily cause stress to both fishes, which could deteriorate their health condition.

Also the Betta could easily be infected with diseases when their fins and tails are wounded.

As a matter of fact, keeping these two fish together in a tank will definitely not end well because the Betta might die.

Sometimes keeping them in a very large tank could help to curb the excesses of the barbs because they will stay out of the Bettas ways and so will the Bettas too.

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So keeping them in a large tank might give them a chance to coexist peacefully.

But if you ask me if I support the idea of having both Bettas and tiger barbs in the same tank, I won’t advise such no matter the size the tank might be because they may not totally avoid each other as postulated.

So the best thing is to keep them in different tanks or better divide the tank into two, with each one having their own part.

Tiger Barbs Suitable Tank Mates

You might be interested to know the types of fish that are suitable for tiger barbs as tank mates.

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It’s not very useful telling you that they can’t coexist without mentioning some fishes that could coexist with tiger barbs. They’re:

Neon Tetra.

Cory Catfish.

Cherry Barb.

Pictus Catfish.

Clown Loach.

Tinfoil Barb.

Betta Fish Suitable Tank Mates

Also if you are interested to know the kinds of fishes that are suitable to have in your Betta tanks, they’re:

Neon and Ember Tetras.

Cory Catfish.


Kuhli Loaches.