Traditionally, Betta fish have been kept alone in tiny bowls and small tanks. Thankfully that is now changing and more people are keeping their Bettas in a community setup with other fish. If you are looking for tank mates for a Betta, you might be wondering, can Betta fish live with Siamese Algae Eaters?
Siamese Algae Eaters make an excellent choice of tank mate for a Betta aquarium. Bettas like to occupy the top half of the tank while Siamese Algae Eaters prefer to stick to the bottom of the tank.
Can Betta fish live with Siamese Algae Eaters?
Bettas and Siamese Algae Eaters make fantastic tank mates. Bettas like to spend the vast majority of their day at the surface or in the top half of the aquarium, whereas Siamese Algae Eaters rarely leave the bottom of the aquarium.
The real joy of keeping a Siamese Algae Eater in a Betta tank is the Siamese Algae Eater, which eats algae!
Siamese Algae Eaters are voracious algae eaters, keeping your Betta tank clear of the stuff.
Are Siamese Algae Eaters Aggressive?
In my experience, Siamese Algae Eaters are not aggressive. I have them in 3 of my Betta tanks and I have never witnessed any aggression or bullying towards my Bettas.
Generally speaking, the two species take no notice of one another.
Siamese Algaes Eaters should never be confused with Chinese Algae Eaters. Although the two species look similar, the Chinese Algae Eater is very aggressive and should never be kept with a Betta.
How to set up a tank for a Betta and Siamese Algae Eater?
Bettas and Siamese Algae Eaters essentially want an aquarium that is set up the same way.
Both fish will appreciate a bit of swimming space, so aim for 10 gallons (38 liters) or larger, and both species of fish will appreciate some live plants living in the aquarium with them.
The ideal temperature for a Betta and Siamese Algae Eater tank is around 76°F to 78°F (24.5°C to 25.5°C). I keep my Betta tanks around 78°F which is an ideal temperature for them.
Both fish will like a pH of 6.5 to 8.0 and both are fairly flexible when it comes to water hardness. If you are unsure of your water pH or hardness, buy yourself a good test kit. I have always found this one on Amazon to be the easiest to use.
One important factor to consider when setting up an aquarium for both Bettas and Siamese Algae Eaters is the fact both species of fish are known jumpers.
A tight-fitting lid is an absolute must. If you keep Siamese Algae Eaters in an open-top tank, you are almost guaranteed to come home at some point and find your fish on the floor!
How to filter a tank with a Betta and Siamese Algae Eaters?
I like to use either sponge filters or small hang-on-back filters in my Betta tanks, and it is fair to say, both types of filters will work well for the Siamese Algae Eaters too. On many of my Betta tanks, I am currently using the Fluval hang-on-back filters. (I was surprised how reasonable they are on Amazon – See HERE)
The Siamese Algae Eater is not too fussed about what type of filter you use. They are happy, even when the flow from the filter is fairly high, so cater to the Bettas’ needs and both species will be happy.
What do Siamese Algae Eaters Eat?
Just leaving a Siamese Algae Eater to eat algae in the tank will not be enough. Siamese Algae Eaters must be fed a dedicated diet, and the best thing to feed them is sinking algae wafers.
Generally, a Betta won’t be that interested in eating the Siamese Algae Eaters wafers, and the Siamese Algae Eater won’t be especially interested in the Bettas floating pellets.
What other fish can live with a Betta and a Siamese Algae Eater?
Essentially, any fish that can live with a betta can also live with a Siamese Algae Eater.
I have had good success keeping Cherry Barbs, Ember Tetras, and Cardinal Tetras with my Bettas. Other fish that work well are Kuhli Loaches, Harlequin Rasboras, and many members of the Corydoras Catfish family.
When choosing a tank mate, remember that the Betta will want to live towards the top of the aquarium, and the Siamese Algae Eaters will want to live at the bottom, so choosing a fish that wants to occupy the mid-water will work well.
As such, many members of the Tetra family or Rasbora family work really well.
The video below from KGTropicals has 10 excellent Betta tank mate suggestions.
Questions about Siamese Algae Eaters
How big do Siamese Algae Eaters get?
Siamese Algae Eaters will grow to around 6″ (15 cm) long. Occasionally they will get a little longer.
Can Siamese Algae Eaters be kept alone?
Siamese Algae Eaters feel most comfortable in small groups and when kept in groups of 6 or more they will show schooling tendencies. However, Siamese Algae Eaters are also happy kept as a single specimen.
Are Siamese Algae Eaters aggressive towards Bettas?
In my experience, no, Siamese Algae Eaters aren’t especially aggressive towards Bettas. I keep several with my Bettas and I haven’t had any issues.
My final thoughts on ‘Can Betta fish live with Siamese Algae Eaters?’
After keeping both species of fish together for a number of years, I believe they make excellent tank mates. Neither fish will really take any interest in the other, and as they want to occupy different areas of the tank, they rarely come into conflict.
Add a few Tetras or Rasbora into the mix and you will have the makings of a great community tank.