Pleco and Betta: Can They Live Together?

Bettas come from a group of demanding fish if you want to choose a tank mate for it. Only certain kinds can live with them under certain conditions. If you want to indulge your Betta and provide entertainment and good living conditions you have to be well informed what species you can introduce as a tank mate. You need to find species that are not aggressive and that will stay out of Bettas’ radar. 

In most cases, Plecostomus or more popularly Plecos and Bettas can live together and this can be a good choice.

can pleco and betta live together

Plecostomus behavior – Do they get along with Bettas?

We are going to provide a number of reasons why you should keep Plecostomus and Bettas together. First of all, they are fish that are very peaceful and not aggressive by nature so they will not provoke your Betta at any point. Most of the time they stay at the bottom and leave the rest of the tank, especially the top for a Betta to swim freely.

They do not share the same diet so that is the second thing where they do not jeopardize each other.

And thirdly, there are over 150 kinds to choose from. We will recommend several that are most convenient to keep with Bettas and tell you all the requirements you need to provide for both species to be satisfied. 

Pleco and Betta Water Conditions

Each specimen needs certain conditions in its habitat and it is very important to pay attention to it if you keep two different kinds. You have to satisfy the requirements of each so that you grow a happy and healthy fish. We have mentioned earlier that Plecos and Bettas can be great tank mates and there are many kinds of Plecos you can choose. Now we will talk about those we recommend to introduce to your Betta and the compatibility of the requirements for both kinds. 

  • Bristlenose Plecostomus is a kind which most people buy because it is easy to handle and can get along with every fish due to its good and shy nature. They are more active at night which suit Bettas. They can grow up to 6 inches so you need to provide a bigger tank at least 25 gallons or more. Their life span is from 5 to 12 years depending on the living conditions. The ideal PH for Bettas is 7 and temperature is about 78 degrees and that is just perfect for Bristlenose Pleco too. 
  • Clown Plecostomus lives less, it’s lifespan is from 4 to 6 years and grows smaller up to 4,5 inches. This allows the owner to have a smaller tank and 20 gallons would be fine for one Pleco and a Betta. If you plan on keeping more Plecos then you need to consider a bigger tank. They tolerate PH from 6,8 to 7,6 and the water temperature is in the range between 73 and 82 degrees. If you set the ideal middle of PH at 7 and water temperature at 78 degrees both fish will be satisfied. 
  • Bulldog Plecostomus – apart from their looks which is intimidating this kind of Plecos is also peaceful. They grow up to 6 inches and need a lot of space so everything under 45 gallons is not acceptable for this kind. And they live for up to 12 years. The difference from the previous two kinds is that they are omnivores so they require live food from time to time. The other difference is that they need more oxygenated water so consider adding an air bubbler for them. When it comes to PH it needs to be between 6,5 and 7,4 and the temperature between 72 and 80 degrees. 
  • Zebra Plecostomus is a very interesting kind due to their color with the pattern like zebras and that is why they are more expensive. They like plenty of space and a lot of hiding places which is the same as Bettas. They grow about 4 inches and live from 3 to 5 years. The tank could be 15 gallons and more with a higher level of oxygen like with bulldog Pleco. Keep the water between 76 and 80 degrees and PH between 6 and 7,5 and your zebra Pleco will be happy. 
  • Rubberlip Plecostomus are comfortable in a 20-gallon tank or bigger because they grow up to 4 inches and live up to 12 years. They prefer PH between 6,5 and 8 and temperature between 71 and 78 degrees. Because of Bettas sake, it is advisable to keep the temperature around 76 degrees and PH at around 7. 
  • Pitbull Plecostomus is the last kind we recommend. It grows not more than 3 inches, lives from 3 to 5 years and needs a tank of 20 gallons because it likes to swim a lot and loves space. Like most Plecos they are herbivores but on certain occasions, they like to be fed with bloodworms. They love to burrow into the sand when they are scared so you need to provide a lot of substrates that are not sharp so that they can’t hurt themselves. They can survive PH from 6,4 to 7,5 and temperature between 68 to 78 degrees. If you keep the PH at 7 and the water temperature at 78 to 78 both kinds will be happy. 

Can Plecostomus Eat Betta Food?

If you decide to keep a Betta and a Pleco you need to know how to feed two different kinds and what are their needs because food is essential for their growth and well being. Some species of Plecos are carnivorous like Bettas but most are algae eaters. If you know the type of Pleco you own you will easily determine the diet to provide. A good thing is that they are more active at night so you will not have much trouble with a betta which will rest at the time and will not provoke your Betta.  A Pleco will collect food from the bottom and peacefully enjoy its meal. 

A Pleco is easy to feed. You should provide a meal every night or every second night before you go to sleep. You can mostly feed Pleco on wood, sinking algae wafers and algae and many supplements that are on the market such as cucumber, zucchini and raw vegetables. 

Just a reminder to provide your Betta with high protein food which is necessary for normal growth and health.

How to choose a Plecostomus?

If you decide to go with a Pleco first you need to decide what kind of Pleco you want. There are over 150 kinds. You need to see what you can offer meaning the tank size and then decide which kind you can breed. We have already listed several kinds and their characteristics, the way they look and their needs, so study the facts and decide which one suits you best. 

Our recommendation goes for Bristlenose Pleco and for this kind you need a 20-gallon tank decorated with plants and a piece of wood with water parameters Ph 7 and temperature 78 degrees. It will grow up to 7 inches and eat algae and plants. Look for the specimen that is smaller, young and looks intact.

How many Plecos can I keep with my Betta?

A simple answer to this is NO. You can not put two or more Plecos in the same tank because when they reach maturity, they become extremely territorial and aggressive around other Plecos. 

However, there is an exception to this, a pair of Plecos in rare cases can coexist. If they are together from the beginning and used to each other then they won`t become territorial when they reach maturity. 

Plecos do best with other species, not with their own. 

Final thoughts

We have pointed out the most important facts about Plecostomus and now it is up to you to decide if this is a fish you want to keep with your Betta. 

  • Provide a tank of the right size depending on the kind of Pleco you are going to keep
  • Provide a lot of hiding places and put some effort into carefully arranging it
  • Provide a balanced diet depending on the kind of Pleco so that both fish needs are satisfied 
  • Make sure you have a schedule of feeding because they Bettas eat two meals every day and a Pleco everyday or every other day
  • keep the water parameters within the range 
  • choose healthy specimen of each kind  

Keep all this in mind and the information and hopefully, you will have your tank residents healthy and happy.

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