Skip to content

Can Pleco And Betta Be Good Tank Mates?

pleco and betta

Betta fish, often known as Siamese fighting fish, are aggressive fish that do not like having to share their aquarium with other fish. While this is true for a betta fish with a high temperament, you may keep a fish like a pleco and betta together.

Keeping pleco and betta fish together is quite reasonable. Plecos are peaceful bottom-dwellers that will not stress out your betta fish. The only thing to consider is the pleco’s size. Plecos get a lot bigger as they get older. As a result, if the tank conditions are not right, your betta fish may become stressed.

Pleco And Betta – Compatibility Factors

Pleco And Betta - Compatibility Factors

As previously stated, pleco and betta fish can live in the same aquarium if certain conditions are satisfied. The attitude and temperament of your betta fish and how it reacts to the addition of a new tank member are the most important factors to consider.

Apart from the betta’s behavior, it is also vital to consider whether a betta and a pleco are compatible. Compatibility may be determined using the appropriate tank conditions like water temperature and water pH and each fish’s specific dietary needs.

As we all know, male bettas are more aggressive than female bettas. Female bettas, on the other hand, have a good chance of getting along with their tank companion if we are talking about pleco and betta living together as they have a relatively soft temper.

The tank condition is the most crucial consideration for the two tank mates to get along. Water temperature, pH level, filtration system, and water quality all have a role in the success of your tank. If the two fish are compatible in these areas, they can make great aquarium companions.

Water Temperature

Betta Water Temperature

Fortunately, a pleco and betta fish demand virtually equal water temperatures. Betta fish require water at a temperature of 76 to 82 degrees F. Plecos, on the other hand, have no actual temperature of water needed. Their required temperature depends on the type of pleco.

  • Bristlenose pleco – Ideal temperature between 60 and 80 degrees F.
  • Clown pleco – ideal temperature ranges between 73 and 82 degrees F.
  • Bulldog pleco – ideal temperature ranges between 72 and 80 degrees F.
  • Zebra pleco – ideal temperature ranges between 79 and 86 degrees F.
  • Ruberlip plecos – ideal temperature ranges between 71 and 78 degrees F.
  • Pitbull pleco – ideal temperature ranges between 68 and 78 degrees F.

As a result, it is clear that both species like swimming in warm water. It would be ideal if you could keep the water temperature at 78 degrees F or 79 degrees F to suit both – the betta fish and the pleco.

However, if the water temperature in the tank is too high or too low from the ideal range, your betta fish may experience discomfort, thereby causing it stress. Therefore, it is critical to keep the water at an optimum temperature.

Water pH Level

Water pH Level pleco

Pleco and betta fish have similar water pH and temperature needs. A pH range of 6 to 8 is required for betta fish, while a pH range for a pleco varies across different types of plecos. It would be beneficial if you ensured that the pH level of the water was optimal for both fish.

  • Bristlenose pleco – Ideal water pH level ranges from 6.5 to 7.5.
  • Clown pleco – ideal water pH level ranges from 6.8 to 7.6.
  • Bulldog pleco – ideal water pH level ranges from 6.5 to. 7.4
  • Zebra pleco – ideal water pH level ranges from 6 to 7.5.
  • Ruberlip plecos – ideal water pH level ranges from 6.5 to 8.
  • Pitbull pleco – ideal water pH level ranges from 6.4 to 7.5.

The pH level is the only issue since betta fish can survive in a little acidic environment. A pleco, on the other hand, requires neutral circumstances. As a result, if the pH level of the water drops too low (the water turns acidic), your pleco may get stressed.

Tank Requirements

If you are thinking about keeping pleco and betta together, there is only one drawback to consider. Plecos have the potential to grow to be extremely large fish. Thus, if you want to purchase a pleco, you will need a large tank.

Depending on the species, the tank size for pleco and betta may vary.

  • Bristlenose pleco – atleast 25 gallons
  • Clown pleco – atleast 20 gallons
  • Bulldog pleco – atleast 45 gallons
  • Zebra pleco – atleast 15 gallons
  • Ruberlip pleco – atleast 75 gallons
  • Pitbull pleco – atleast 20 gallons

Even if the plecos are not becoming large, they require a lot of space to swim around in. The minimum tank size required depends on the type of pleco you pick; however, with larger plecos, this can soon increase. Selecting the correct tank size is essential.


The peaceful nature of plecos is one of the first things you will notice about them. The great majority of them are gentle and prefer to remain to themselves when at all feasible. They will be more cautious and frightened during the day as well.

Plecos are nocturnal by nature, so if you do not see them in your tank, it is probably because they are hidden in plants or beneath something. When they are active, however, they are algae-eating machines. You will see them traveling down the bottom and adhering to the edges of your tank.

Dietary Needs

Bettas eat primarily meat (they are carnivores), whereas plecos eat mostly plants (they are herbivores). Pleco and betta both have their limits, and if given the opportunity, they will eat everything. However, they will often avoid eating each other’s food. As a result, you will not have to worry about them fighting for food or being hostile against one another.

Betta And Baby Bristlenose Pleco Together

If you are talking about breeding plecos in a tank with a betta fish, you should consider the possibility that certain issues may arise. Firstly, if your betta fish is too aggressive then it can attack the pleco and its babies.

It can be challenging to breed bristlenose plecos. Younger pairings will produce approximately 40-50 babies at first. So, if you add 50 more fish to your aquarium all of a sudden, your fish tank will experience a significant bioload.

FAQs on Pleco And Betta Fish

Can I put an algae eater with a betta?

YES. Algae eaters like plecos serve as excellent tankmates for your betta fish. They not only clean your tank by removing excess algae but also are peaceful creatures that will not trigger your betta fish.

Can bottom-dwellers live with betta fish?

YES. Bottom-dwellers are an excellent choice for a tank mate for a betta fish. As bettas generally stay at the top of the tank, these bottom-dwellers cannot trigger your betta fish.

Can plecos eat betta food?

NO. Plecos cannot eat betta food as betta diet is purely carnivores while plecos follow a herbivores diet.

Who would win in a fight, betta and pleco?

Betta fish (siamese fighting fish) being the more aggressive fish will win a fight between a betta and a pleco. Plecos are very peaceful creatures. Thus, a fight between a betta and pleco is improbable.

Final Thoughts

Keeping a pleco and betta together can be successful. It is critical to consider your betta’s personality at all times. It is advisable to avoid putting any fish in the tank with him if you know he’s hostile or way aggressive than usual.