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Can Loaches Live with Bettas?

Buying a new pet fish is an exciting adventure, but you might quickly worry about how it can get lonely sometimes.

With the plan being to find your Betta a friendly companion, you might have ended up here looking for suitable tank mates.

You need not worry any longer, as this article will guide you throughout the whole journey.

As Loaches are an option for your Betta fish, you may be thinking about the different factors that might affect their compatibility.

This article will answer all the questions you have, going into water temperature requirements and even pH level needs.

So, “Can Loaches live with Bettas?” you ask? Well, let’s find out.

Understanding Loaches

Loaches are a small yet diverse type of freshwater fish that comes in a long physique and bright colors with stripes like Zebras.

They come under the family tree of the Cobitidae and are prime natives of the South Asian Sea.

However, you can still find a varied range of species in the northern part of Africa as well as Europe.

With more than two hundred species having different behavioral traits and adaptability, these small creatures fascinate people when they are added into an aquarium.

Kuhli Loaches are the best-known species of Loaches, and their black-striped, orange body characterizes them.

Each type of Loach fish is distinctive and can be a great addition to your tank.

They generally stay at the bottom of the tank and need soft sand found in rivers to thrive.

They also require water temperatures that are cool and purified due to their need for oxygenated water with abundant natural resources.

They like to eat smaller creatures and can feed on dry and frozen foods.

Understanding Bettas

Generally referred to as the Siamese fighting fish of the aquatic world, the Betta fish is a relatively small but excitingly vibrant creature, with their skin and presence being a vivid trait.

These fish are original inhabitants of the Southeast Asian area and are known for their decoratively colorful fins that characterize them in the industry of aquariums and fishing.

Bettas are well-versed in the area of competition and may tend to pick a fight with other males during the breeding season.

They have the tendency to flare their gills widely and go around nipping the fins of others when they are in an aggressive mood.

To guarantee that this fish stays calm, you must keep the tank filled with 2 gallons of water at a range of 75-86°F temperature.

The tank should also be well-maintained to ensure that there is an alkalinity level of 6.

8 to 7.


Compared to myths about this species, they do not flourish in an overcrowded tank system and generally require filtered water.

Can Loaches Live with Bettas?

Loaches and Bettas are good companions if you plan to keep them in one tank together.

This is so because of the factors such as tank size and vegetation.

If you choose a large tank with adequate plants in the bottom, you can have a peaceful space for the two species.

This is the best way to maintain harmony between the two because Bettas arrive in various shapes and temperaments.

If you find one that’s quite vibrant and active, there can be another that’s duller.

So this can impact the ecosystem of the tank and lead to stressful environments.

To avoid this, the plantation is kept not only for décor but also as hiding spaces for the Loaches.

You must also consider the fact that Bettas love swimming in warm water, while Loaches thrive in cool water.

This may be a problem, but if you choose the right Loach fish, like the Kuhli, for example, you will not have a problem.

Kuhlis are known to tolerate the same water temperatures that Bettas do.

It is also advantageous that Loaches are confident dwellers of the bottom water, while Bettas love swimming on the surface.

This helps the tank avoid territorial issues and can become a good idea for your aquarist journey.

It is also known that many experienced aquarists have kept them in the same tank and been successful in doing so.

For Bettas, they always recommend the Kuhli Loach as a companion.

But it would be best if you always observed them in case of any accidents.

Compatibility Considerations

Regarding aggression, Bettas take the win as they are widely known for their violent behavior towards any other fish.

They mainly target those that look like another Betta fish, so keeping them with a long-finned crescent will likely end up in a brawl.

There are also instances of disputes when it comes to swimming patterns.

Despite them having their own designated swimming area, some Loaches can travel further to the surface, which can trigger the Betta.

This will not turn out well, so close monitoring is necessary.

However, you must look at the bright side because your leftover foods, as well as the growth of algae in the aquarium, will likely be reduced if Loaches are in the tank.

As discussed, a large tank is immensely important due to its impact on space.

If they have their own freedom and an abundance of sources of shelter, your Betta and Loach will need not be looked after with extra attention.

They will thrive on their own in their tiny ecosystem.

Experts also suggest that you keep one male Betta and multiple female ones due to the competitive nature of males during breeding season.

They are also more aggressive than males, so there is a potential risk of harassment by the Betta.

Loaches are usually kept in a group of three or more, so you cannot bring in a single Loach fish.

This might lead to the poor fish being exposed to aggression and fin-nipping by the Betta.


If all else fails, you can always put them in two different tanks.

So, ensure that you examine their behavior before introducing them to each other.

Considering all the things discussed, you can successfully keep them together.

A cohabitation of Bettas and Loaches will be extremely useful to you.

Loaches will help themselves with algae and food, which will cleanse the tank and lead to less regular manual cleaning.

It’s also a vibrant addition to your aquarium environment.

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