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Can You Keep A Zebra Loach With A Betta Fish?

Betta fish are still the most common freshwater fish within the fish keeping hobby and they can be an excellent fish to keep due to their beautiful colors and patterns.

On top of that, the prices of the unique and rare betta fish colors are cheaper than ever and with photographs of those beautiful rare looking betta fish going viral on a regular basis, we only expect the popularity of betta fish to continue to increase as time goes on.

With there being so many people new to fish keeping out there who own betta fish, we often see a wide range of questions from the community about tank mates for their pet betta fish.

Ideally, if you are a new betta fish keeper then you should be keeping your betta fish alone in a decent 5 gallon aquarium larger is probably the best option due to how aggressive betta fish can be in smaller tanks.

Still, we often see people asking if they are able to keep zebra loaches with a betta fish so we have decided to publish our own dedicated article going over the topic.

We hope that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible who currently have a betta fish in their tanks and are considering adding some zebra loaches by going over what you have to do to mix the two species without having problems with aggression in your tank.

Can You Keep Zebra Loaches With A Betta Fish?

You are able to keep zebra loaches in the same tank as a betta fish but you will usually have to have a tank that is at least 55 gallons in size with a larger tank being even better.

This is due to the aggression levels of betta fish, especially male betta fish as well as the fact that zebra loaches usually need a minimum of five zebra loaches in the tank to remain calm.

The majority of our readers who ask about keeping these two popular fish species in the same aquariums as each other often overlook this and try to mix the two species in much smaller tanks.

Not only does this drastically increase the chances of fights between the two fish but it also makes it more difficult to keep a minimum of five zebra loaches in the tank too as the loaches alone should have a tank size of at least 30 gallons.

If you keep a single zebra loach in your tank then it can become stressed and anxious as they are a shoaling fish and really do need at least 5 of their kind in the tank.

If they are kept alone and their stress and anxiety is left to increase over time then there is a chance that a single zebra loach will start to attack its tank mates, including your betta fish.

What Tank Size Do You Need To Keep Zebra Loaches With A Betta Fish?

If you are wanting to keep zebra loaches and a betta fish in the same tank then we would recommend that you have a tank size of at least 55 gallons.

Some people who mix the two species recommend that you go with a 75 gallon tank if possible and although this does reduce the chances of aggression even further, the two fish species can be kept in a 55 gallon tank if done correctly.

By this, we mean that you only have one betta fish and five zebra loaches in the tank without any other tank mates.

This should maximize the available space in the 55-gallon tank for your betta and five zebra loaches to prevent any problems from occurring and nipping or chasing should be kept to an absolute minimum if it even occurs at all.

If you are able to go with an even larger aquarium such as a 75 gallon tank then you can start to add a betta friendly algae eater to the tank too if you wish.

Just keep in mind that you should try to avoid most species of snail in a tank with zebra loaches as they will often see the snails as a food source rather than a tank mate so an actual algae eating fish is often the better route to take.


That brings our article going over keeping zebra loaches with betta fish to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you understand that you are able to mix these two popular fish species in the same tank but you will often need a larger than than our average reader has access too. We would never recommend that you even attempt to mix the two fish species in a tank that is less than 55 gallons in size as it can cause a number of issues with aggression between the fish as well as stress and anxiety in your zerba loaches too.