Can Betta Fish Be Kept Together?
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Can Betta Fish Be Kept Together?

Many people call Betta fish Siamese fighting fish, the reason for this is that they are very territorial and will fight each other. As such people often wonder about the ability to house Betta fish together. Can a male Betta fish be housed with another male fish? Can two female Betta fish be kept together in the same aquarium? Is it safe to put a male and female Betta fish together?

Betta fish are also known as Siamese fighting fish, they have been popular in the pet trade for years, with more spectacular ones selling privately for hundreds of dollars. They are often kept in horridly small cups or bowls, far below their minimum needs of 3 to 5 gallons. They prefer warm, but rather still water, and get their air from the surface.

Some of the common questions people have in regards to keeping Betta fish is about keeping more than one in the same tank. Most people know that the males do fight, and will even kill each other, but are curious about keeping these fish together, after all how do they live in the wild, how do they reproduce?

Can Two Male Betta Fish be kept Together?

In the wild male Betta fish do come into contact with each other and the outcome of their encounters is not always fatal. In fact they typically do not fight to the death in these cases, mostly they put on displays to one another; while one fish maintains o claim that territory, the other male swims off.

The only reason they fight in captivity is that they have no other option. As such male Betta fish can be housed together but only if the tank is large (over 30 gallons) and has enough hiding places to prevent the fish from seeing each other and feeling threatened.

The other way of housing male Betta fish in the same tank is by using specially designed Betta holders where the fish are not in contact with each other. A person can have 3 (or any number) of these Betta holders in their larger aquarium, each one housing one Betta. The concern being that these containers are often very small and if not covered, the fish can jump out.

©artwork by author not for reproduction

Can Male and Female Betta Fish be kept Together?

Male and female Betta fish cannot be kept together unless in a large aquarium as mentioned above. The male will be territorial against her unless she is in her breeding phase. As such they should be housed separately. If a person does wish to breed their Betta fish they should be kept in a tank with a divider, only when the female is in her breeding phase (showing vertical stripes on her body) and the male has prepared the bubble nest, should she be put with him. He will wrap himself around her to get the eggs out, after that she must be removed or he will try to chase her away as she will eat the eggs.

Can Female Betta Fish be kept Together?

Female Betta fish can be aggressive to each other but are not as aggressive as males. As such it is possible to keep a few females together as long as the tank provides ample space and hiding areas (plants). A person should try to allow a minimum of 5 gallons of tank space per female Betta, however they should watch to be sure they do not have a particularly aggressive female who will harass and bother the others.

See Also - Keeping Betta Fish with Other Fish

How to Clean a Betta Fish Tank

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Comments (2)

Brenda, you are never gonna believe this but I had a suicidal Beta. I came home from work and the Beta I had just bought had jumped out of his bowl onto the floor...How crazy is that...Peace Jaz

lovely fish, learning so much from you.