This post may contain affiliate links. If you click an affiliate link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission.
Seahorses and betta fish are both beautiful fish with unique features that make for great additions to any indoor aquarium. However, can these mesmerizing creatures be kept together or do they need a species-specific tank in order to survive in captivity?
Betta fish and seahorses are not compatible and cannot be kept together. Betta fish are a type of freshwater fish while seahorses are marine fish requiring saltwater. You should not keep these two types of fish together as it will be fatal to their well-being.
Freshwater and saltwater fish are very different physiologically and cannot be put in waters that aren’t suitable for them.
Keeping betta fish in a seahorse tank will lead to their deterioration. Once the betta fish is introduced to saltwater their bodies will lose water through osmosis.
Eventually, all the water the fish is made up of will exit their bodies leading to dehydration and death.
Keeping seahorses in a freshwater tank is also just as fatal since these marine fish contain high concentrations of salt solution.
Placing them in freshwater, the water will flow through their bodies causing them to swell and eventually die.
By no means should you ever place fish under waters that aren’t suitable for them. Rather keep your desired fish in separate tanks with the right conditions needed for them to thrive.
Ways Of Keeping Both These Fish.
Having Two Tanks
Both seahorses and betta fish are extremely aesthetic and unique making them great tank occupants in just about any aquarium.
Unfortunately, you can’t keep them together, however, you can keep them separately.
This will involve having two tanks, a freshwater, and a saltwater tank which caters to their individual needs.
In this way, you get to keep both fish just that it will be kept separately.
If you are not interested in having two separate tanks rather look for other tank occupants that are similar to what you looking for.
For example, if you want to keep seahorses with betta fish, you can opt for pipe fish instead of seahorses.
Pipefish are similar to seahorses and most importantly is that there are also freshwater fish that you can keep with betta fish if compatible.
Even though betta fish may be too aggressive for pipefish, you can use tank dividers and aquarium separators to keep both fish in the same tank while keeping them separate.
Alternatively, if you already have seahorses and you want to keep betta fish, you can look for other replacements that are similar to betta’s but are marine fish.
Understanding Saltwater Fish.
Saltwater fish are marine life that comes from the ocean. These fish are just like freshwater fish in their anatomy but their physiological difference is significant.
These differences are found in how they regulate water and salts in their internal cells, also known as osmoregulation.
Water naturally seeks a chemical balance or equilibrium.
That means water flows from areas of higher concentration to areas of lower water concentration to equalize the system.
Saltwater fish will therefore lose water through their gills and skin.
Because the fish is losing water, it must drink a lot to stay hydrated but salty seawater is the only water around.
To get rid of excess salt, the fish’s kidneys pump lots of salt into its urine.
This is how saltwater fish function and are adapted to their environment in aids to conserve water.
Understanding Freshwater Fish.
Freshwater fish are fish that lives in freshwater such as lakes, rivers, and streams. These fish function a little differently.
Freshwater fishes are adapted to conserve salt because there isn’t as much of it in their environment.
It takes water in through its skin and gills all the time in order to stay healthy.
As a result, it produces much more urine than saltwater fish.
Setting Up A Betta Fish Aquarium.
Betta fish will need a freshwater tank with the right setup for them to thrive. The following steps are just a guide to help set up their tank.
1. Bettas need at least a 5-gallon tank to thrive in, however the bigger the better. Those small plastic bowls are not ideal and should not be used, they just limit them.
2. Proper filtration is required to keep your tank clean and reduce the amount of harmful bacteria which can lead to disease.
3. A Heater/cooler is also needed to keep temperatures ideal for them to remain comfortable. Normally they require a temperature range of around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
4. A substrate bottom is also recommended since betta fish often lay low cruising along the bottom of the tank. The right texture is also important.
5. Aquascapes are great for adding hidden caves and hiding places for them to seek refuge in. You can put together your own aquascape by using rock, plants, and artificial structures.
6. Lighting is also required for day/night routines. LED lighting works well since you get great control and customization.
7. Make sure your tank has a secure cover since these fish can jump out of the tank at any given time.
8. Conditioned water is ideal for betta fish, do not use any other water since it can be detrimental to their well-being.
9. Getting good healthy betta fish is also important, make sure the breeder your choose is reputable. Proper acclimation and quarantine processes should be done for the safest possible introduction to the aquarium.
10. You can also choose to add other tankmates provided they are compatible with betta fish.
Setting Up A Seahorse Aquarium.
Setting up a seahorse tank is essential for their well-being since the wrong set-up often by beginners leads to seahorse death.
These are some of the essential rules to follow when setting up a seahorse tank.
1. Seahorses need the right tank that’s catered to their specific needs. They require at least a 30-gallon tank with enough vertical and horizontal space to cater to their upright swimming posture.
Enough space is also required for them to perform their daily courting rituals.
2. They need a solid filtration system to cater to their messy tendencies. This should include mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration.
3. The use of a protein skimmer is recommended even though it’s not a need, it will save you a lot in terms of maintenance.
4. Hitching posts are also needed for seahorses since they are weak swimmers they use their prehensile tails to wrap around objects keeping them anchored.
5. Rock and artificial aquascapes can be made to suit their requirements. This will ultimately assist in providing hiding spaces for them to seek refuge when they feel threatened.
6. Seahorses don’t really need substrate but depending on other tankmates you may need to provide a suitable sandbed.
7. Seahorses don’t have any lighting preferences, an ordinary day/night light with smooth dusk and dawn transitions would be ideal.
Preferably a bluish/white light has been used to bring out the brightest colors in seahorses.
8. Seahorses need mature water that has been cycled. It requires enough beneficial bacteria to help keep ammonia and nitrite levels down.
9. Stocking up on seahorses is also important since captive-bred seahorses are recommended rather than wild-caught.
10. Proper quarantine and acclimation is of utmost importance since you don’t want to introduce any diseases and pests into your system.
Acclimation should be performed as per the breeder’s instructions for the best possible transitions.
11. Clean-up crews are essential when keeping seahorses since they consume leftovers before they can break down releasing harmful substances which are toxic for tank inhabitants.
Compatible Tankmates For Seahorses & Bettas
|Tankmates For Seahorses||Tankmates For Bettas|
|1. Goby||1. Neon Tetra|
|2. Cardinal Fish||2. Cory Catfish|
|3. Jawfish||3. Clown Plecos|
|4. Gramma||4. African Dwarf Frogs|
|5. Scooter Blenny||5. Harlequin Rasboras|
|6. Clownfish (caution)||6. Platys|
|7. Tangs ( caution)||7. Cardinal Tetra|
Even though seahorses and betta fish would make a great pairing aesthetically, unfortunately, they aren’t compatible.
You can opt for individual tanks or other alternative fish that look the same.
But you should never try to add these together in the same tank, they have different requirements and different physiological needs.