Can Guppies And Betta Fish Live Together

Betta and Guppy are two freshwater fishes that have very beautiful and amazing strains. They both have hundreds of colors and decent amount of tail types, they also have numerous strains. However, the question to be asked is if both Guppies and Betta can actually live together.

Unfortunately, it is not as perfect as you think. Often times, the answer is NO. The reason for their inability to live together is because of the aggressive nature and territoriality of the Betta fishes. They attack the Guppies to maintain their territorial dominance.

Guppies And Betta Fish Live Together

Bettas In Aquarium

Betta fish [Betta spledenris] also known as fighting fish, is one of the most popular fishes in the aquarium trade. They are known to be highly territorial and aggressive. They can always attack each other if kept together in the same tank.

Although the territoriality is not peculiar to one sex alone, but the male Bettas are known to show more aggressiveness than their female counterpart. If there is no way to escape, the attack often leads to death of one of the two, if not both. The female Bettas are less aggressive but can sill attack each other if the tank is small.

Betta species thrive best at a temperature of about 24-28°C [78-82°F] but can still survive at a temperature as high as 35°C [95°F], and temperature as low as 13°C [56°F]. Their perfect pH is around neutral [7.0] but can still thrive in slight varying pH. In general, they have wide range of environmental tolerance.

Although they have wide range of adaptive ability, and have organ that can help them cope in different environments, poor water quality can still make the susceptible to diseases. They have the capacity to live up to five years if properly kept.

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Guppies In Aquarium

Guppies are not very demanding in the type of aquarium that suits them. The most suitable temperature for them is between 25 and 27.8°C [75 and 82°F]. They have salt tolerance up to one tablespoon per 19 liters.

Guppies are generally peaceful. Many of them are seen to exhibit nipping behaviors towards each other. They are preferably not kept alone because they have shoaling behaviors. Shoaling Guppies are known to show more time and energy on antipredator behaviors.

The offspring are often separated from their parents because they sometimes feed on them. However, if they are properly fed, they won’t have any reason to harm them. Guppy can be hybridized with a lot of other species of molly and they give fertile and viable offsprings.

Betta And Guppies In Community Tanks

Community tank is an aquarium that serves as home for multiple species of fishes that are compatible. The environmental compatibilities include temperature, aggressiveness, water softness or hardness.

The Betta speicies are known to be highly territorial and aggressive while the Guppies are relatively without temperament. Therefore, Guppies in community tanks might give you exactly what you want without harming others. Betta in community tanks can be more of a miss than hit.

Betta species only exhibit temperament towards members of the same species. Some are so aggressive that they attack anything in their environment. While some only attack their own kind, and in rare cases doesn’t attack at all.

Male Guppies Vs Bettas

Betta are known to attack anything that they presume as invaders in their territory. They become more aggressive if the invader is a member of their own species. They often recognize the members of their own species by their small body and bright colors.

The multiple colors and small body of male guppies put them at a risk of this predation. If kept together, the betta assumes a male Guppy to be a member of his own species and thus attack it.

The aggressiveness of Guppy gives them upper hand in the predation. The guppies have no choice than to swim away, and they have high tendency of getting killed if there is no way out. The death can be as a result of excessive nipping or wear out due to swimming for long periods. The Bettas often don’t stop attacking until they get rid of the invaders and secure their territory.

Female Guppies Vs Betta

Unlike the male, female guppies have plain and dull colors, and are mostly bigger than their male counterpart. Their typical dull grey or brown color makes them completely different from Bettas.

They often times live in peace with Bettas because it is very rare for them to see female Guppies and think of them as another Betta, talk less of attacking them. However, in very rare cases of extremely aggressive Betta that attack everything in their territory, they might attack female Guppies too.

Guppy Fry Vs Betta

Guppy fry is the offspring of Guppies. Mixing Guppy fry with Betta should be at the discretion of what you want. If you desire to let Guppy fry live, then it would be a bad idea to keep them together, but if you intend to decongest your tank and get rid of some of your fry, then it might be a good move.

This is because if kept together, the Betta will chase and catch as many fries as possible, most times all. The fry and Betta get in the same tank most times because female Guppy can live in peace with Bettas.

Therefore, if you intend to get your fry and keep them, it is better to get them out of the tank because even their even their own parents sometimes feed on them.

However, if your intentions population control, then it might be a good means of getting rid of excess Guppies, they serve as food to your Betta.


Betta and Guppies are two lovely species of fishes because of their bright colors and amazing adaptive ability. One would ordinarily think keeping them together will be a pleasant move.

However, the aggressive and territorial nature of Betta would not allow this combination, particularly with male Guppies. Their relationship with female Guppies can be relatively safer than that of male.










1 thought on “Can Guppies And Betta Fish Live Together”

  1. I could write a whole new chapter on the cannibalism of guppies! Had a tank with two male guppies and one beautiful fully feathered betta. To make the sad story short, the guppies ate the fins off the betta rendering him unable to swim. He died and then the guppies attacked each other. Separated them. One lasted a few months and died of some fishy ailment, the last one was doing well until he got stuck in the aerator and died.

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