Can I Keep Harlequin Rasbora and Betta Together?

When we discuss tank mates for bettas it is said by many that Harlequin rasboras and Bettas make perfect mates. Both kinds of fish live in almost the same conditions, eat similar food and hardly ever there is hostility between them. 

There are many different types of rasboras and Harlequin rasboras are the most popular among their family. They are great fish for beginners but due to their fantastic look even experienced fish keepers love them. 

Rasboras grow up to two inches so they are rather small. They live in a shoal of at least eight. Depending on the country of origin they vary in size and color. The color goes from all shades of red, pink or cooper orange over the body with a triangular marking on the back. The greatest thing about them is that they do not have a flowing tail which usually provokes bettas. 

harlequin rasbora and betta

Water Conditions for Harlequin Rasboras and Bettas

It is easy to set a tank and make a perfect habitat for these two kinds because they are a great match. When it comes to water temperature you can keep it between 72 and 80 F and the PH level of the water between 6,5 and 7,5 so the middle of 7,0 is ideal for both kinds.

It is good to perform regular water tests so that you ensure constant parameters and prevent unexpected water changes that may endanger the health of your fish.  

Harlequin rasboras like their natural habitat so you need to replicate it as much as possible. We advise you to arrange the bottom of the tank with a dark-colored sand substrate or gravel. Then you should put in a lot of live plants. Harlequin rasboras love them because they provide shelter if they by any chance feel endangered. We strongly recommend Cryptocoryne plants which originate from the same place as rasboras. If this is not something you can provide, go with species that have broad leaves. 

Harlequin Rasbora and Betta – Do they get along?

There is a common question that comes to light, will my betta attack rasboras. Knowing Betta`s temperament this may happen. On the other hand, harlequin rasboras are very peaceful fish that do not disturb and annoy other fish. They are used to swimming in the shoal with their members without disturbing others. If there is a case of harassment there are slim chances that a betta can hurt harlequin rasbora. They are unbelievably fast and bettas are rather slow so there is a little chance that a betta can catch it. 

The other thing which is good to avoid conflicts is that bettas occupy the top of the tank while harlequin rasboras tend to swim in the middle. That way each fish keeps out of the other`s way, occupies different territory and they hardly meet.  

Can Harlequin Rasboras Eat Betta Food?

Bettas are carnivores that basically eat meat and food rich in proteins. But, from time to time they also eat vegetables and plants. Harlequin rasboras come from a group of omnivores. They eat almost anything you present. The only thing you need to worry about is the size of a meal. Since they have a really small mouth you need to serve them with rather small pieces of food. We recommend you feed them on tropical flakes, pellet food with a treat of bloodworms, daphnia or brine shrimps that provide a good amount of protein. 

How to choose Harlequin Rasboras?

First, check the tank where they live, it should be clean and fish should look happy swimming around the shoal. When choosing harlequin rasboras you need to pick the whole shoal, at least six of them. Pay attention to each fish observing its appearance. Decide the color and shades you want, pick only those that move fast and are active. Check for anything that does not look normal on their body and avoid those. 

How many Harlequin Rasboras can I keep with my Betta?

We have already mentioned that rasboras go in shoals of at least six and how many you will keep in your tank depends on the tank size. If you have a ten-gallon tank you can keep a male betta with 6 rasboras. 

If you have a tank that is 20 gallons then you can keep a sorority of female bettas and a shoal of six harlequin rasboras. 

If you are thinking of having more rasboras you should increase the size of a tank by five gallons. 

Final thoughts

To sum up, a betta and Harlequin rasboras can live together as good tank mates. It won’t be difficult for an owner to provide great tank conditions. Apart from their compatibility connected to water requirements they share the same diet.  

If you want to be successful at keeping a betta and harlequin rasboras here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Choose a tank of the right size depending on the number of fish you are going to keep. In the text, we have offered some options but do not go under a 10-gallon tank
  • Your tank has to be heavily planted with many different kinds of live plants, they will provide great hiding places and keep the good quality of the water
  • Try to simulate environment like their natural habitat 
  • Have some decorations too to enrich the space 
  • You should keep only female betta that is less aggressive by nature
  • Have an extra tank ready in case there is aggression and you need to separate them
  • Bettas are carnivores and harlequin rasboras are omnivores keep that in mind and provide a balanced diet so that both fish needs are satisfied or they will be extra aggressive if they are hungry
  • Keep the water parameters within the range so that it suits both kinds
  • Introduce a healthy shoal of harlequin rasboras to your betta, choose the one with all the positive features we mentioned above.

Introducing harlequin rasboras to your tank will bring life to it and create a colorful display that you can enjoy for hours.

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