Algae eater with betta is a great choice to keep the tank clean, but it can be hard to choose the appropriate algae eater that will be compatible with your betta fish. A lot of factors can determine whether or not certain tank cleaners for betta are ideal or not for your particular tank.

An appropriate tank mate will be compatible and useful for the tank while not causing any aggressive behavior. Therefore, keep on reading to understand what tank cleaning fish with bettas works the best!

What Is the Behavior of Betta Fish?

This article has all the information you will need to select the best algae eater that can work with your betta fish. However, first, you need to know what the typical behavior of betta fish is like. You might already have an idea if you own a betta fish, but it is important to select the best bottom feeders for the betta tank.

Betta fish are said to be highly territorial and aggressive despite their size. This is especially true when a tank is smaller in size. A smaller tank makes them more territorial as they want to mark their space. Due to this behavior, betta fish require tank mates that are peaceful and non-territorial. An aggressive fish that is bigger can be harmful to your betta fish. Moreover, they can never be housed with another betta fish. Male and female betta fish are only together when they want to be bred.

Large and fin nipping fish can be harmful to the betta fish, while small fish can be preyed on. Therefore, similarly-sized fish or fish species that shoal together should be kept with a betta. It is quite hard to determine appropriate housemates for betta fish, but it is not impossible either.

Usually, the other tank mates are introduced in the tank before betta fish have their territories. After this, betta should be added to the already established tank with care.

– Why Is Betta Fish So Aggressive?

Betta fish or Siamese fighting fish is one of the most aggressive fish out there, especially with species of their kind. This makes selecting an appropriate tank cleaning fish with betta even more difficult. Here is why these fish display such aggressive behavior.

Most male betta fish are very aggressive and need to be kept away from other male fish; in fact, two male betta fish should not even be able to see each other. The main reason for this behavior is their origins. In their native country of Thailand, the betta fish was raised to be a competitive fighter. These fish were raised in isolation, as that led to a lot longer fighting time. This is, of course, ethically wrong.

Due to this history, the male betta fish has become very aggressive. Whether this behavior is innate or consequential is still a debated topic. Anyways, the level of aggressiveness varies from fish to fish, but fish reared in a group tend to be less aggressive. However, this information on how they were reared is hard to get.

Moreover, the female fish tend to show very little aggression compared to the male ones. The female fish are usually kept together in a group known as “harem.” This group has an established hierarchy depending on which fish is aggressive and which isn’t. When a new female betta is introduced in this group, it may lead to aggressiveness to establish a new hierarchy.

Reasons Algae Might Be Growing in Your Tank

Before introducing fish that clean tank with a betta, you need to understand why your tank has this algae growth. Algae in no way are bad for your tank. The only reason people get rid of it is because of aesthetic reasons. However, a lot of algae growth can mean that your tank has some problems that need to be solved.

If the water condition is not fixed, it cannot be suitable for your betta fish and the new algae eater that you will introduce in the tank. Therefore, first, find out why there is so much algae growth in your tank. It could be due to the following problems.

– High Light Intensity

If your tank gets light for more than six to eight hours a day with very high intensity, it can lead to algal growth in the tank. This is why it is advised to keep a tank away from direct sunlight.

Direct sunlight or high-intensity light contributes to the quicker growth of algae in the tank. So first, find out if this is the reason you are having this problem.

– Too Much Nitrate

This is another big problem for algae growth. This is also a dangerous indicator as nitrate is terrible for the health of your fish as well. Too much pH can also cause algae growth, not to mention your betta should be kept in a neutral pH environment.

So, you should have a strong filter to deal with this problem and invest in live plants. In addition to that, make sure to perform partial water changes weakly to keep the water at the best quality. After you are done with these changes and still have problems, you should invest in appropriate tank cleaning fish with a betta. Make sure that your tank can handle another fish, which means it should be big enough. Even a tiny algae eater will need an additional eight gallons of space in the tank.

What Algae Eaters Can Live With Bettas

Now that we know about the behavior of bettas and the cause for algae growth, we can finally look at the best algae eaters for a betta tank. There are many varieties of algae eaters to choose from, so this article will tell you the ones you should choose according to your tank size and species requirement.

A betta fish requires a tank of at least five gallons, so make sure you have that. Also, the bigger the tank, the better, so let’s see all the great fish that clean tank with betta!

– Shrimps

Shrimps are not only significant algae eaters, but they also mostly occupy the bottom of the tank. Moreover, they don’t need much space in the tank as well. These are best for tanks that are five to 10 gallons in size. Here are some shrimps that you can choose from.

Cherry Shrimp

These are the smallest algae eaters you can find on the list; however, they are just as effective as other big fish. You will only need a 5-gallon tank to keep them healthy.

Cherry shrimp are 1.5 to two inches in size and can only live for about two years but are very easy to breed in the tank. They are omnivores that can eat algae from even the most minor places and are beginner-friendly as they don’t require a lot of attention. Make sure to choose the biggest cherry shrimp that the pet store has.

Amano shrimp

Unlike cherry shrimps, these are larger, around two inches in size, so it is rare for betta fish to mistake them for food. These are easy to take care of and don’t even require additional food to survive.

Amano shrimp are great tank cleaners for a betta that feed on algae, detritus, and leftover food, but they need hiding places and lots of plants to survive. This is because they molt and need to hide during molting. These survive for around three to four years and are beginner-friendly.

Ghost Shrimp

Ghost shrimp are not only cheap but also great bottom feeders for a betta tank. When deciding on appropriate algae cleaners, you should definitely start with ghost shrimp to test your betta fish’s aggression.

These grow up to be around two inches like most other shrimps and survive for one year. They will breed easily, so make sure to have both male and female ghost shrimp in your tank. These are very peaceful shrimps that are better for hair algae removal. These are not as good at eating algae as other fish but still do work. Make sure to have a group of them in your tank as they can’t survive alone.

– Snails

Snails are also like shrimps that can survive in pretty small tanks of about 5 to 10 gallons. Moreover, they are pretty easy to care for.

Ramshorn Snail

These snails are omnivores that love eating algae and dead plants. Great at reproducing, so you need to include a group of them once.

The ramshorn snails are excellent tank cleaners for betta fish that can live for around one year and grow up to one inch in size. Moreover, since they are small, they don’t produce much waste, and you won’t even notice that they are in your tank.

Malaysian Trumpet Snail

It is another small snail that can survive in a 5-gallon tank. These survive mostly on plant matter that falls on the substrate and algae that grows in the tank.

The Malaysian trumpet snail can grow up to two centimeters in length and is a great companion for betta as they are nocturnal. This means they only come out at night to perform their duties. In addition to this, bottom feeders for betta tanks come in various colors, and patterns so they are attractive to look at as well.

Rabbit Snail

These eat any algae that grow on surfaces and your substrate, but they might nibble on Java fern, so be careful about that. The rabbit snail needs a bigger tank to survive than other snails; they need a 30-gallon tank!

When these snails grow, they can reach the size of about five inches, which is pretty big, so they need enough space to survive in. They also breed very slowly, so you won’t have to worry about these snails overrunning your tank like you would with other snail species. This is a good thing as only a couple of snails can get rid of all the algae in your tank due to their huge size.

– Fish

Tank cleaning fish with betta are plenty, so we will only mention the ones that we think fit the best here. Most of these are bottom dwellers, so they don’t bump into your betta fish and lead to some aggressive behavior or fight.

Corydoras Catfish

These are peaceful and also survive at the bottom of the tank, so they are a perfect roommate to betta fish. Not only that, they have their own armor for protection that betta fish can’t hurt.

Corydoras catfish need a 10-gallon tank as they grow up to be around two to three inches in length and live for up to five years. However, they are perfect when in school, so keep four to five in a tank, which will require more space. These aren’t algae eaters but contribute to keeping the algae population in check, so great for introducing in a new tank. Therefore, you will need to feed them.

Bristlenose Pleco

These peaceful fish are bottom-dwelling as well that requires a 20 to 25-gallon tank to grow up in. Moreover, they feed on algae as part of their food source.

They do require food other than algae, so be prepared for that. These grow up to be around 5 inches in length, are omnivores, and can live up to five years. Bristlenose plecos are very peaceful, so introduce them in a tank with a somewhat well-behaved betta.

Endler’s Livebearer

Another easy to care for and peaceful fish that clean tank with a betta. These require a tank of around 10 gallons or more to survive. These are good for maintaining algae rather than eliminating it.

These fish are active and will need lots of hiding places when kept with a betta. The Endler’s livebearer grows to be two inches in length, so they need a smaller tank. They also live for two to three years in a good tank. Of course, you will need to feed these active fish separately as well.

Whiptail Catfish

This is a bottom feeder which is peaceful in nature and moderate to care for. These require a 20-gallon (ideally 30 gallons) tank to work with a betta as you need a couple of them together.

The whiptail catfish grows up to be around 4.4 inches and can live for a pretty long time for around 15 years. This fish isn’t good with bettas that are aggressive as these are docile fish. In addition to that, this fish has algae as the main source of food, so it is good for eliminating algae and provides them with some other food items.

Siamese Algae Eater

These are also known as flying foxes. These are harder to find than other fish on the list but are excellent bottom feeders.

These require a 30-gallon tank when alone, but you will need at least a 40-gallon tank in a group. The Siamese algae eater grows up to be around six inches in length and has around 10 years. When it comes to eating algae, they are the best at this job, and their diet mainly consists of algae as well. Make sure not to confuse this fish with Chinese algae eaters; the Chinese fish is much more aggressive.

Otocinculus Catfish

Although small, they need to be kept in a group and also require enough space to swim in, a tank of about 30 gallons exactly. These are bottom dwellers again.

They grow up to be around two inches in length and are avid algae eaters that need algae in their diet. The Otacinculus catfish survive for up to five years in optimal conditions and are extremely shy and docile in nature. They don’t need a lot of care to survive as well.

Guppies

This might seem like an unlikely match; however, female Guppies with male betta are a pretty good match. The Guppies are pretty dull in colors which makes them not much of a threat to betta fish.

They do feed on algae but will still need other food to survive on. These can live in a 10-gallon tank as they grow up to be only 2.5 inches in length and have a lifespan of around two years as well. Of course, you will have to be careful before introducing Guppies in your tank and make sure that the betta isn’t overly aggressive.

Conclusion

Here are some essential points from the article above that will help you with this combination:

  • Betta fish are pretty aggressive fish, so finding compatible fish for them can be a little hard
  • Algae isn’t bad for your tank, and the only reason it needs to be cleaned is for aesthetic reasons
  • First, finding why algae grow in your tank is important before introducing an algae eater
  • There are many snails, shrimps, and fish that can act as good algae eaters and control algae growth

There are many best algae eaters for betta tanks according to your tank size. So, decide one that meets all your needs and is also compatible with betta fish.

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