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Are Cherry Barb and Betta Fish Ideal Tankmates?

cherry barb and betta

It is a known fact that betta fish are pretty aggressive and territorial in nature. They prefer to be alone and have a hard time accepting other fish as tank mates. However, some fish are capable of coexisting with the betta fish. So can cherry barb and betta fish be tank mates?

If you are thinking about keeping cherry barb and betta fish together as tank mates, then you should go for it. The only thing you must keep in mind is that certain conditions need to be met before adding both the fish to the tank. However, in case your betta fish is too aggressive, then this tank setup may fail. Thus, keep your betta fish’s temperament in mind before moving forward with the process.

Cherry Barb And Betta Fish: Compatiblity Factors

Cherry Barb And Betta Fish: Compatiblity Factors

Water Temperature

Water temperature is crucial for the upkeep of any fish and must be looked into carefully. Fortunately, cherry barb and betta fish require almost the exact water temperature. Thus, you will not face any problems in case of water temperature is needed for both the fish.

A betta fish requires a water temperature ranging between 76 and 82 degrees F. On the other hand, cherry barbs need a water temperature that varies from 75 degrees F to 81 degrees F. Thus; It is pretty evident that there is sufficient overlap between the two requirements.

Therefore, as long as the water temperature is suitable for either fish, there will not be any problem. Ensure that a proper water heater is installed to regulate the water temperature to ensure that the temperature falls between this range.

Water pH Level

Cherry barb and betta fish require similar water pH levels. Betta fish require a water pH level ranging between 6.5 and 7.5, while cherry barbs require a group of 6 and 8. Thus, there is a lot of common ground if we were to talk about the required pH.

You should check the pH level of your tank’s water regularly to ensure that it is neutral. A cherry barb may live in water that is a little alkaline. However, keeping the pH of the water near to 7 is suggested to avoid stressing the fish.

Tank Requirements

Even though cherry barbs and betta fish individually require small tanks, collectively speaking, you will need a large tank to hold them. Additionally, you have to keep cherry barbs in schools of at least 5. Owing to the aggressive nature of the betta fish, you will need a tank that is at least 15 gallons.

Thus, you can keep a school of 5 cherry barbs and one betta fish in a 15-gallon tank. This tank size is due to the basic rule of thumb of providing one gallon of water per inch of a fish. However, a larger tank is always recommended.

Besides the tank size, you should also add sufficient decors to provide cherry barb and betta with enough hiding places within the tank. Thus, adding decors like aquatic plants, caves, driftwood, etc., will be helpful. Just make sure that the tank decors do not have sharp or rough edges.

Dietary Needs

Cherry Barb Dietary Needs

Betta fish mainly follow a carnivorous diet. Thus, they need a diet that is high in protein and has a meaty base. An ideal betta diet consists of quality betta flakes, betta pellets, frozen brine shrimp, daphnia, bloodworms, and insect larvae.

A cherry barb also requires a similar diet to that of a betta fish. The only difference between the two dietary requirements is that cherry barbs can also eat algae from time to time. Cherry barb generally swims at the middle level of the tank. Therefore, there will be no problem feeding them.

The only thing to remember is not to overfeed the betta fish as they are too susceptible to being overfed. Overfeeding can cause fatal consequences. It is advised to feed only once or twice every day and only that amount that your fish can finish within 30 to 40 seconds.

Lifespan & Size

Lifespan & Size Cherry barb and betta

Both cherry barb and betta fish can grow to similar lengths. A betta fish can grow up to 2.5 inches in length, while a cherry barb can grow up to 2 inches in length. This similarity between cherry barb and betta is essential as your betta fish may get intimated by a larger fish.

A betta fish can live for about 3 to 5 years in a tank if proper care is provided in addition to a nutritional diet. A cherry barb can live for about four years in a tank. However, they can certainly live longer if sufficient care is given to them.

Keeping Cherry Barb And Betta Fish Together

After having compared the various tank requirements of both cherry barb and betta fish, there are other things you should keep in mind while introducing the betta fish to your cherry barbs. Firstly, it is advised that you add the betta fish after you have added the cherry barbs.

This is done owing to the territorial nature of the betta fish. If you add a betta fish before the cherry barbs, it will see the whole tank as its territory and do anything to protect its territory from intruders. Thus, it is advised to let the cherry barbs settle and then add the betta fish to avoid any confrontation.

Betta fish generally swim at the top level of the tank, while cherry barbs swim at the middle level of the tank. Thus, you might face issues during the feeding process. Just make sure not to overfeed your cherry barb and betta fish.

FAQs On Keeping Cherry Barb And Betta Together

Are cherry barbs fin nippers?

NO. Cherry barbs are not fin nippers. Thus, you need not worry about cherry barbs nipping the beautiful fins of your betta fish.

Are cherry barbs schooling fish?

YES. Cherry barbs need to be kept in a mixed school of male and female cherry barbs.
Only then can you see the bright-colored body of the cherry barbs. They should be kept in schools of at least 3 for them to be happy.

How many cherry barbs should be kept with a betta fish?

You can keep a school of 5 cherry barbs, including male and female cherry barbs, with one betta fish in a 15-gallon tank. More cherry barbs can be added for a larger tank.

What fish go well with cherry barbs?

Kuhli Loach
– Dwarfand Pearl Gouramis
– Otocinclus
Neon Tetra
– Glass Catfish

Final Thoughts

Thus, if you are thinking about keeping cherry barb and betta fish together, you should go for it. Just make sure that the required conditions are adequately met before adding them. As long as the betta fish is not too aggressive, cherry barb and betta fish can coexist peacefully.