Although bettas are a very popular fish species within the fish keeping hobby right now, they can end up having problems with their aggression levels in certain tank setups, especially if you keep your betta fish in a community tank.
If you are a beginner fish keeper then we would usually recommend against you trying to keep your betta fish in a community tank with other fish species until you have built up some experience and have the budget available for a larger tank.
Still, we see people reaching out for ways to calm an angry betta fish every single month and the use of dither fish can be one way that you are able to deal with aggression in your betta fish.
Due to this, we wanted to publish this article going over using dither fish for betta fish to try and help as many of our readers as possible who are having problems with aggression from their betta.
Dither Fish For Bettas
Here is our short list of the best dither fish for betta fish but we will go into more detail for each option later in the article:-
Please note that the size of your tank and the personality of your betta fish will definitely come into play with how successful these options are for calming your betta fish.
Two different betta fish can be in a similar sized tank with one calming due to having the dither fish in its tank and the other staying aggressive or becoming increasingly aggressive so please keep this in mind.
Tetras are a very popular choice of dither fish for bettas due to their small size and wide variety of colors and patterns that they come in.
There are a number of different types of tetras out there and the vast majority of tetra species stay under 2 inches when fully grown which means that they will not pose a threat to your betta fish, no matter how aggressive your betta is.
In many cases, the schooling nature and constant swimming of the tetras in a betta tank can help to calm your betta fish but at times, this may backfire.
This is due to the potentially erratic, constant swimming and rapid changes in direction of the tetras being able to cause your betta to become stressed and anxious but many people do use tetras as a dither fish for bettas without issue.
We have a dedicated article going over keeping ember tetras with betta fish that you may find helpful if you are looking for a species of tetra to use as dither fish for your betta.
Guppies are another very popular fish species used as dither fish for bettas and like tetras, they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.
Guppies stay quite small when fully grown, typically only reaching 2-3 inches but some have been known to grow slightly larger than this.
The vast majority of guppies have a relatively peaceful personality but there are some cases of guppies being quite nippy which could pose a threat to your betta fish.
Due to this, we would only recommend using guppies as dither fish for bettas if you can be sure that they will not nip at your betta and if you are going to use guppies, we would recommend only using male guppies in your tank to prevent a rapidly expanding population of guppies in your tank.
We also have our guppy vs betta comparison article that goes into more detail on the two species as some of our readers may find it easier to just go with guppies in their tank without a betta.
Danios are another small, schooling fish that make great dither fish for bettas.
Like tetras and guppies, they come in a wide variety of colors and patterns and stay relatively small when fully grown, typically only reaching 2-3 inches.
Danios are known to be very active swimmers which can help to keep your betta fish active and help to calm them down but at the same time, their constant movement can also stress out your betta so please keep this in mind.
We also have a dedicated article going over keeping celestial pearl danios with betta fish that you may find helpful as celestial pearl danios are our favorite type of danios to keep.
We love corydoras but we would only really recommend that you use the pygmy corydoras with your betta fish if you are looking for a dither fish.
The large species of corydoras can actually have a negative effect if they are kept in a tank with a betta fish so only consider the small, pygmy variant.
Still, some people do successfully use pygmy cories as a dither fish for their betta with minimal issues in their tank with the fish often being able to help calm their betta fish.
Mollies stay relatively small when fully grown, typically only reaching 3-4 inches and they come in a wide variety of colors.
This can allow you to keep all of the fish in your betta’s tank bright and colorful rather than having a dull looking fish in the tank.
When it comes to using mollies as a dither fish, they can work but you definitely need a larger tank as you will usually need to keep multiple mollies in their tank and their larger size will force you to go with a larger tank.
Due to this, many of our readers may not have a tank large enough to use mollies as dither fish for their bettas but our dedicated article going over keeping betta fish and mollies may be able to help you.
Rasboras are a great choice for a dither fish for bettas as they are small, colorful, and peaceful.
They stay relatively small when fully grown, typically only reaching 2-3 inches in size depending on the specific type of rasboras you keep, and come in a wide variety of colors and patterns.
There are a large number of different types of rasboras that are commonly used as dither fish for a wide range of different fish species with minimal issues.
They can work as dither fish for bettas too with a number of people from the betta keeping community currently using rasboras as dither fish for their betta successfully.