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Should You Keep Dwarf Crayfish And Betta Fish Together?

Betta fish have been rapidly increasing in popularity within the fish keeping hobby for over a decade now but over the last two years, dwarf crayfish have also been increasing in popularity too.

This has resulted in many people reaching out to ask if you can keep a dwarf crayfish and betta fish in the same tank or not.

Although you can keep a dwarf crayfish and a betta fish in the same tank, there are certain things that you have to do to try and make sure there are no issues with aggression in the tank.

We would usually only recommend these two species as tank mates if you are an experienced fish keeper as it can be tricky to set the tank up in a way that your dwarf crayfish and betta fish can get along.

We will be going over the main tips and tricks that you can use to your advantage to reduce the chance of aggression between the two in our article below to try and help as many of our readers as possible though.

Do Bettas And Dwarf Crayfish Get Along?

Both betta fish and dwarf crayfish can get along in a tank that has been set up correctly but even then, there can still be issues between the two in some tanks.

This is usually due to the aggression levels between the two species causing issues with keeping the two together even if your tank is set up perfectly.

Still, due to the popularity of betta fish and dwarf crayfish, we only expect the number of people wanting to keep the two in the same tank to increase over the coming years so here is a breakdown of the main issues people tend to have.

Are Betta Fish Aggressive?

Although betta fish have an aggressive reputation and do have an above average level of aggression as far as fish go, only a small percentage of male betta fish are hyper aggressive.

Females tend to be less aggressive than males in general and most males are not hyper aggressive but may pay your dwarf crayfish more attention than it wants.

You have to realize that your dwarf crayfish will be surprisingly vulnerable after it molts too so even a couple of nips from a betta fish can cause issues with your dwarf crayfish.

This is why we usually recommend against trying to keep a betta fish and a dwarf crayfish in the same aquarium tank as each other unless you are an experienced fish keeper.

If you already have a betta fish in a community tank and it is not acting aggressively towards its tank mates then this does increase the chances of your betta being calm and placid around your dwarf crayfish though.

Are Dwarf Crayfish Aggressive?

Not all dwarf crayfish are from the same type of crayfish and they actually have different levels of aggression and territorial instinct to each other.

This means that some types of dwarf crayfish can become more aggressive towards their tank mates than others.

This is the four most common types of dwarf crayfish being kept as pets at the time of writing that most people seem to want to keep in a tank with a betta fish:-

  • Mexican Dwarf Crayfish
  • Brazos Dwarf Crayfish
  • Cajun Dwarf Crayfish
  • White Dwarf Crayfish

Mexican Dwarf Crayfish

The Mexican dwarf crayfish is the most popular type of dwarf crayfish out there right now by far due to its bright orange color catching the eye and making people want to keep it with their colorful betta fish.

Unfortunately, the older your Mexican dwarf crayfish gets the more territorial it will become.

This can increase the chances of a Mexican dwarf crayfish being aggressive towards its tank mates, especially in smaller or overstocked tanks.

Brazos Dwarf Crayfish

The brazos dwarf crayfish tend to be rather passive in most tank setups but they can still become aggressive in a small number of situations.

Their bland color usually puts people off keeping a brazos dwarf crayfish though even though they are one of the better crayfish options for a community tank.

Still, there have been reports of a brazos dwarf crayfish catching fish and eating them so always keep this in mind.

Cajun Dwarf Crayfish

We would not recommend that you consider a Cajun dwarf crayfish as a tank mate for your betta fish as they are particularly good at catching and eating slow moving fish like betta fish.

They can also be aggressive and territorial even if they are kept in a larger tank increasing the risks of you having issues with your betta fish.

White Dwarf Crayfish

There is technically no such thing as a “white dwarf crayfish” even though you will commonly see people talking about them on social media on a regular basis.

What they actually mean is the White Specter Crayfish that is not a dwarf species but does tend to be smaller than some of the other crayfish species that people keep.

Due to this, people often refer to it as a white dwarf crayfish.

Most of these will be aggressive and if they catch your betta they will eat it. They tend to be surprisingly fast with their strikes too so have a high chance of catching your betta.

Even if the crayfish misses its strike, there is still a high chance it may damage your bettas fins or tail.

How You Can Help Your Dwarf Crayfish And Betta Fish Get Along!

As we mentioned earlier in the article, there are a number of things that you are able to try to help make sure that you have less issues with your betta fish and dwarf crayfish being aggressive towards each other.

Here are the main four things that you can try but we will cover them in more detail below:-

  • Make Sure Your Tank Is Large Enough!
  • Offer Plenty Of Hiding Spots!
  • Take Advantage Of Sight Breaks!
  • Use A Calmer Dwarf Crayfish!

Make Sure Your Tank Is Large Enough!

People commonly keep their betta fish in tanks that are far too small for them resulting in issues with their betta fish being more aggressive than it may be in a larger tank.

We usually recommend a minimum tank size of 10 gallons for a betta fish but this should be increased to a 20 gallon tank minimum if possible but larger tanks can be better.

Not only does a larger tank offer more space for your betta fish and dwarf crayfish but it also allows you to keep more hiding spots and sight breaks in the tank too.

Although this may sound like a simple thing to try, upgrading to a larger tank size may be enough to stop your betta fish and dwarf crayfish from being aggressive towards each other.

Offer Plenty Of Hiding Spots!

Suitable hiding spots are essential in a tank where you want to keep a dwarf crayfish with a betta fish and you should keep a number of hiding spots that are large enough for both animals to use.

You can make your own DIY hiding spots with rocks or driftwood if you want but in most cases, you will usually find that the commercial fish hide options are cheaper and easier.

Most local pet stores will sell a range of fish hide options for between $5-$10 so this would be our recommendation for most of our readers.

Take Advantage Of Sight Breaks!

Sight breaks such as live plants, rocks or anything else that you are able to use to prevent your dwarf crayfish and betta from being able to see each other can help to reduce the chances of aggression in your tank.

In our opinion, all tank setups should have live plants in them due to the various benefits that they offer but the fact that they are one of the better options for a sight break helps push them to the front of the queue.

Note – hiding spots and sight breaks are different, a hiding spot is for the creatures to go in when they choose, a sign break is to stop the creatures seeing each other as they swim around your tank.

Use A Calmer Dwarf Crayfish!

As we mentioned earlier in the article, the Brazos Dwarf Crayfish is usually calmer and more relaxed than the various other dwarf crayfish available.

This can help to prevent any problems with aggression from the crayfish side of things but most people don’t opt to go with the Brazos Dwarf Crayfish due to its bland look.

Why Do So Many People Want To Keep A Dwarf Crawfish With A Betta Fish?

Most of the people that we have seen reaching out and asking about keeping a dwarf crayfish with a betta fish want to do it due to the bright colors of the Mexican dwarf crayfish.

The bright orange of the crayfish can go well with a large number of other fish species but as we covered in our article on keeping dwarf crayfish with shrimp, this is not a good reason to choose to keep two animals in the same tank.

In most cases, keeping a Mexican dwarf crayfish and a betta in separate tanks to each other will be a better option than trying to keep them in the same tank, especially if you are new to the fish keeping hobby.

This would be our default advice to most people who want to keep a dwarf crayfish and betta in the same tank simply due to their looks rather than trying to build out a large, suitable community tank that works.

Is Keeping A Dwarf Crayfish With A Betta Fish Beginner Friendly?

Keeping a dwarf crayfish with a betta fish is not beginner friendly and we don’t recommend it unless you have a large tank as well as some prior fish keeping experience.

Many of the problems that you see people reporting on social media saying that their dwarf crayfish and betta keep fishing is due to one of those two problems.

If you have already purchased your tank, dwarf crayfish, and betta fish and are new to the fish keeping hobby then you can try the four points we covered above so here they are again:-

  • Make Sure Your Tank Is Large Enough!
  • Offer Plenty Of Hiding Spots!
  • Take Advantage Of Sight Breaks!
  • Use A Calmer Dwarf Crayfish!

If you already have your tank and dwarf crayfish, it does limit what you are able to do. Additionally, if you ended up with a hyper aggressive male betta fish then the chances of you having problems also increases.

As with most things in the fish keeping hobby, a little bit of prior planning will often go a long way when it comes to how well your community tank setup actually works.


In most cases, it is not a good idea to keep a dwarf crayfish with a betta fish.

The two animals are likely to fight each other and the betta fish will usually come out as the loser in those battles which can cause serious injuries.

There are some people that have managed to keep the two together without any problems but it is not something that we recommend.

If you are set on keeping a dwarf crayfish with a betta fish, make sure that you take the time to do your research and prepare your tank properly.

Offer plenty of hiding spots and use a calmer species of dwarf crayfish if possible.

In our opinion, the best option is usually to keep the two animals in separate tanks. This will allow you to avoid any potential problems and gives each animal the space that it needs to thrive.