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How To Keep Ember Tetras With Betta Fish!

With the betta fish being one of the most commonly kept fish all around the world, we constantly see people reaching out and asking for advice on suitable betta fish tank mates.

With the ember tetra having seen a spike in their popularity recently, this has resulted in a spike in the number of people reaching out and asking about keeping ember tetras with betta fish in the same aquarium.

Although this can be done, there are some specific things that you will have to factor in about keeping ember tetras with betta fish as ember tetras can be fin nippers posing a risk to your betta’s fins and tail.

On the flipside of that, betta fish, especially the males can be aggressive and potentially attack your ember tetras.

Thankfully though, provided you follow our advice in our article below, you should be able to keep ember tetras and betta fish in the same tank with minimal issues.

Due to the beautiful colors of both fish as well as the prices of the rare patterns and colors for betta fish coming down, you can really get a unique look to your tank with minimal effort required with these fish.

Can You Keep An Ember Tetra With A Betta Fish?

You are able to keep ember tetras with betta fish provided your aquarium is large enough as smaller aquariums can increase the chances of aggression between the fish.

Keeping your ember tetras with female betta fish also reduces the chances of fights and aggression between the two fish species too.

We have covered keeping 5 gallon betta sorority tanks before and although this is usually considered to be the absolute maximum tank size available, you can potentially keep ember tetras in a 5 gallon betta sorority.

Ideally though, you will be trying to upgrade to a minimum of a 10 gallon betta sorority tank if possible as the extra space reduces the chances of problems while also allowing you to keep more fish.

If you do want to keep male betta fish with your ember tetras then we would recommend a minimum tank size of 10 gallons anyway.

Male betta fish tend to have higher levels of aggression than the females so a single male betta in a 10 gallon tank with between five and eight ember tetras is usually the recommended ratio for that sized tank.

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How Many Ember Tetras Can You Have With A Betta?

The number of ember tetras you can keep with your betta fish depends on your tank size.

We usually recommend at least two gallons of water per betta fish and one gallon per ember tetra so a 10 gallon tank could take one betta (two gallons of water) and eight ember tetras (eight gallons of water) to bring the tank to maximum capacity.

If you are keeping a male betta fish then some people will recommend that you increase its allowance to four gallons but this is generally not essential, especially in larger tanks.

In our opinion, a 20 gallon aquarium is the best tank size for beginner fish keepers to keep ember tetras with betta fish and it offers a number of great combinations.

If you do opt for the 20 gallon tank you can keep one male betta fish with up to 18 ember tetras or integrate a female betta sorority system.

This an allow you to keep 5 female betta fish with ten ember tetras or any combination following our fish size to gallon ratio covered above.

Thankfully, the prices of ember tetras are very low these days allowing you to pick up 18 ember tetras very cheap and then splashing out more on a beautiful, unique looking male betta fish for the tank.

Will My Betta Eat My Ember Tetras?

The chances of your betta fish eating your ember tetras is small provided you stock your tank correctly and have a large enough aquarium.

There are ways that you are able to keep bettas and ember tetras together in tanks as small as five gallons but ten or twenty gallon tanks are much better options.

If you want, you are able to go with a tank size even larger than this and make a community tank with a number of different suitable fish too.

This allows you to start to integrate algae eaters that do well with betta fish into the tank too as well as keep your ember tetras in there with them.

If you overstock your tank then this does drastically increase the chances of your betta fish being aggressive towards the ember tetras.

On top of this, some betta fish are considerably more aggressive than others, especially with younger male betta fish.

We would estimate that around five percent of males and one percent of female betta fish are hyper-aggressive though so the odds are in your favour of getting a normal, easier to manage betta fish.

Will Ember Tetras Nip My Bettas Fins?

Ember tetras are known to nip the fins and tails of other fish if they don’t have enough space and feel threatened. With your betta fish having larger than average fins and a longer tail you should always try to ensure that your fish have as much space as possible.

Intentionally understocking your aquarium with betta fish and ember tetras can b a good idea in some situations too as it can help to free up additional space in the tank to reduce the chances of you having any problems with aggression with your fish.

A couple of nips from your embr tetras on your betta fish can easily be enough to trigger a retaliatory attack from your betta too, even if your betta is normally passive, it will defend itself if it feels threatened.

Depending on the frequency and severity of the nips on your betta fish, it can also result in a higher chance of fin or tail rot setting in on your betta too

In the unlikely chance that this does end up happening in you aquarium, our article on how you are able to treat fin rot in betta fish quickly may be helpful.


That brings our article going over keeping ember tetras with betta fish to an end. Although we have focused on the potential negatives in the article to try and stress that there can be issues, the main take away should be that if your aquarium is large enough, the risk of problems occurring really are minimal. Stick to the one inch of fish per gallon of water rule and you should be fine.