Can Algae Eaters Live With Betta Fish?

Some people decide to start up a tank with just a single fish and Betta seems like a great choice. After investing some money, time, and effort and producing a lovely environment for your new pet. You introduce live plants as advised, decoration arrange everything as it should be. You enjoy the sight of a beautiful kingdom you created but certain issues arise. If they are connected to algae and how to keep up your balanced ecosystem, we will tell you more about it.Once you put live plants in a tank most surely you will have algae too.

Algae grows in the tanks where there is an imbalance of lightning and nutrients. If the light is too strong and there aren’t enough nutrients the algae will grow. So how to deal with algae and what to do next to make your Betta’s tank clean? One of the solutions is bringing in algae eaters. In general, Bettas do get along with many algae eaters. You will probably have worries about your Betta and how it gets along with other fish but it is possible and we will tell you more about it. One of the main reasons they do well in the same tank is because they do not endanger Bettas. Most algae eaters occupy the bottom of the tank and do not present a threat when it comes to territory and food.  

Do Bettas Eat Algae?

Algae appears when your tank is exposed to too much light or the level of nitrates is too high. Both things are bad for your Betta and you need to deal with them immediately. As far as Bettas and eating algae is concerned, it is not a common thing except if you do have a Siamese algae eater. 

In general, algae are hard to digest but they are used as food supplements. Since a Betta is a carnivore that means that its diet should be based on proteins not plant matters. Provide it with Betta pellets and flakes, brine shrimp, bloodworms, insects, worms and Daphnia and your pet will be perfectly happy.  

Algae Eaters In A Betta Tank: Benefits

There are many algae eaters and they come in various shapes and forms but there are only a few that can get along with a Betta. In general, all algae eaters benefit from the tank. Not only do they reduce algae but they are also responsible for the leftovers of food, plants and debris that pollutes the water. Essential parts of your tank are filtration and lights but the role of algae eaters is very important in keeping the tank clean.  

What Is A Good Algae Eater To Live With A Betta?

We will present you with the top five algae eaters that you can keep with your Betta. Not only will they significantly help your fight algae but they will also enrich your tank and make it look great.

Amano Shrimp

Amano Shrimp

Amano Shrimp is one of the greatest algae eaters and certainly a super option for your Betta. Bettas and Amano Shrimp are very compatible with Bettas when it comes to water and the diet. They are a bit larger and so hard they can’t be eaten. It is highly unbelievable a conflict can arise between these two kinds because they occupy different parts of the tank. Amano Shrimp live on algae, uneaten food and detritus. A Betta won’t notice them as long as you provide a lot of hiding places, decorations and plants and a sandy substrate. 

Nerite Snail

Nerite snails are next in line to be great algae eaters and great tank mates to a Betta. They can tolerate various conditions but they will only enjoy it if the parameters are within the limits. Water temperature should be between 65 and 85°F, the pH between 6.5 and 7.5 and the level of nitrites 20 ppm and less. Their compatibility with Bettas is obvious because they are not hard to keep. They never bother other fish due to their calm nature if provided with lots of plants and places to hide. The only time you could offer some food to Nerite snails is if your tank is too clean, no algae-no waste around the bottom. We strongly recommend Nerite snails as a choice and Zebra Nerite is our top option.



Plecos are another kind of algae eaters that do better with other kinds than with their own. After reaching maturity if there is another Pleco around they become territorial and aggressive which is not the case with other kinds. If they are alone, they stay around the bottom so the rest of the tank is free for your Betta. Secondly, they do not share Betta’s diet so there is little chance for conflict. Since there are many kinds of Plecos, over 150, we will recommend the top five by our choice. 

Bristlenose Plecostomus is our top choice because it is very shy, active mostly at night, needs a temperature of 78°F and the pH of the water 7. These features make him perfect for Bettas plus it will clean your tank entirely. 

Clown Plecostomus requires the same levels as Bristlenose Pleco with just one thing, it is smaller and you could have a smaller tank, 20 gallons for a Betta and a Clown Plecostomus.

Bulldog Plecostomus apart from its intimidating look is very peaceful but it needs more space, 45 gallons minimum because it grows up to 6 inches and lives to 12 years. There is a difference with the previous two since this one is an omnivore and needs live food from time to time. Water parameters are compatible with Betta’s requirements. 

Zebra Plecostomus is a kind that we recommend specially because of the looks- resembles zebra. They grow smaller up to 4 inches and live shorter up to 4 years. The tank could be smaller – 15 gallons will do and as for the parameters they are highly compatible with Bettas. 

Rubber Lip Plecostomus is the last we recommend. It requires the same parameters as bettas and a 20 gallons tank will do fine. They grow up to 4 inches and live up to 12 years. are comfortable in a 20-gallon tank or bigger because they grow up to 4 inches and live up to 12 years. They are very compatible with Bettas and are great cleaners of the tank. 

Otocinclus Catfish

Otocinclus Catfish

If you go with Otocinclus Catfish you need to know that it is easy to adjust parameters for them and Bettas. They require water temperature between 72 and 82°F, the pH around 7 and the level of nitrite and ammonia at 0.00. This suits both kinds perfectly. Otocinclus are bottom dwellers that enjoy hiding places and foraging the substrate and like to rest in awkward places. They are herbivores and they live on algae so you will have your tank clean all the time. The best option is to keep a Betta with a shoal of six in a 30 gallons tank. Just be careful with water parameters cause Otos are very sensitive to changes and can be easily harmed. As long as you keep the parameters steady your fish will be healthy and happy. 

Banjo Catfish

Banjo Catfish are strong fish that tolerate a range of conditions and they can easily adjust to Betta’s requirements. They enjoy the water temperature between 75 and 82°F and the pH between 6 and 8, so it is easy to level the parameters with Bettas. Since they occupy the bottom, they do not present a threat to a Betta. The other good thing is that they are nocturnal creatures so they feed at night while Betta is sleeping. There is little chance that they will ever meet with a Betta so the conflict cannot arise. They are very peaceful by nature and great scavengers. They do an excellent job of keeping your tank perfectly clean. 

Other Ways To Control Algae In A Betta Tank?

There are other ways you can reduce or clean algae from your tank if you do not want to bring in another fish. We will give you several tips on how to control algae in your tank. 

  • If you come to notice algae do not be afraid. Each tank eventually has this issue. You can just scrub them off when you clean the tank. Use a toothbrush or a scrub for tanks and simply scrub it off. 
  • If you scrub it off and still end in your tank you can use a vacuum and remove it from places that are hard to reach. 
  • You have to make sure that the light isn’t too strong and turn it off during the night. Your tank should be without artificial light 8 to 10 hours minimum. It happens that sometimes you just forget the lights and leave them all night. To avoid this, you could buy a timer and adjust it so that it does the job for you and you do not need to think of the lights. 
  • Algae will flourish in your tank if the pH is too high. Bettas like soft water so keep the pH close to neutral to please your Betta and stop algae growth. If the nitrate level and other waste products are higher it will also be convenient for algae to grow. The best way to prevent this is by regular water changes. 
  • If you haven’t done it yet, introduce live plants. They are very beneficial for removing nitrates and if you are a beginner try with those that are easy to take care of.
  • Never keep the tank in a place which is exposed to too much sunlight, algae will blossom. 
  • Proper filtration, cycling and frequent water changes will stop algae growth and reduce nitrates, nitrites and ammonia levels. 

If the algae problem becomes massive you could introduce some algae eaters. They will do a great permanent job as helpers in keeping the tank clean. The size of the tank will dictate the number of algae eaters you can put with your Betta. There are many algae eaters that are suitable for a Betta. 

Final Words

You come to the point to free your Betta’s tank from algae or at least reduce them and keep the level down. We have provided many options for you. There are certain steps you can do to clean it yourself but you can also enrich your tank with another kind of fish that will do the job for you and enrich your tank. This doesn’t mean that you are completely free. You will still have to tidy your tank, clean the filters, remove debris and perform partial and complete water changes. Any of the algae eaters you choose will be a great tank addition plus they will help you control algae growth.

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