Can Female Betta Fish Live Together in A Fish Tank
By Eddie Waithaka @aquariawise
Bettas, also known as the siamese fighting fish, are among the most popular and widely available aquarium fish due to their diverse and vibrant colors, morphology, and low maintenance.
When it comes to these beautiful fish, the male bettas tend to get more attention than females because of their brighter shades and attacking attitude.
But female betta fish are almost as pretty as the boys and in many ways easier to care for.
Since the male bettas are known for being highly territorial, a big question for most aquarists is, Can female betta fish live together?
The answer is yes!
Female betta fish can live together in the same tank in cohorts called “sororities”.
But because all fish enjoy having their space and me-time, a good number to keep in an aquarium is 4- 6 female fish, and they should have enough foliage such as plants or aquarium decorations to hide in when they want to be alone.
Am very sure you are now curious to learn more about this quite vibrant, albeit rather aggressive fish, and nothing should stop you.
Kindly follow along, and we explore as much as we can.
Do Female Fish Fight- Will they Kill Each Other
Many new aquarists, especially those who are not very informed about females betta fish, don’t have much knowledge about sororities.
So, answering our question very simply
Yes,female betta fish may fight but do not kill each other except in extreme cases.
The aggression between female betta fish is a natural instinct while looking for food and marking territories.
After introducing a new female in the aquarium, there may also be teasing and a bit of body slapping, biting, and chasing, which should reduce with time and eventually subside.
There are times where you may need to intervene, like if the fighting does not subside and the bettas are causing injury to each other.
Usually, the best option is to remove the aggressive betta and place her in a separate tank.
Another reason you may need to remove one fish is when there is a weak female betta that is constantly bullied by others.
How do you keep your female betta together
After you have successfully added your bettas to the sorority tank, the other challenge is how they will live together considering their aggressive nature.
With proper preparation and planning, you just might end up having of the best aquariums you have ever set up, but if you are not careful, it can also be a total failure.
From the onset of things, the most important steps an aquarist should take to ensure that the sorority becomes successful include
- Selection of betta females to keep in the same tank Tank setup
- Maintaining the right environment in the tank
The foremost thing is to ensure that each betta in the sorority is well and peaceful because they often compete for food with the others.
They also very rightly marks their territory while striving to live near other aggressive, and you don’t want something so trivial turning into a brawl.
Moreover, for fish kept in tanks, stress is a major problem that leads to disease outbreaks, and bettas are no exemption. Therefore correct measures should be put to ensure that stress is reduced to the minimum.
You must ensure that the water quality in the aquarium is suitable since poor water quality will cause stress and weaken fish immunity, making them easily susceptible to diseases.
Here are a few smart tips to help you set a perfect aquarium for betta fish.
Hacks and Tips for Keeping Female Betta Fish Together
The tank capacity for your betta sorority should not be less than 10 gallons keeping in mind bettas are very territorial.
When a tank space is too small, aggressive fishes end up fighting, causing stress or even death.
Your aquarium can be more than 10 gallons, which will, in fact, give your bettas ample space to comfortably create their territories. However, a setup bigger than 25 gallons is overkill, especially if you don’t plan on having other fish in with your bettas.
I recommend a tank that’s wider than taller as this gives the fish space to spread and even get away from the bullies.
Another tip is to provide your bettas with as much cover as possible with plant foliage, rocks, driftwood, and so on. This will give weakly fish the much-needed-cover from bullies and minimize the conflict among the girls in your tank.
An aquarist should also add bettas that are familiar with each other and those that are a bit younger as they will be less aggressive while they gradually get acquainted with each other.
Add them all at once to limit the chances for older fish to set territories.
Lastly, consider their colors.
Maintain finnies with different colors and, if possible, varying fin and tail configurations because essentially, bettas are more likely to attack fishes that resemble them.
Can a male and female betta live together
When you’ve had your female betta for some time, you might deem it a good idea to add another fish to her. Gradually, you will see how beautifully male bettas are due to their vibrant and diverse colors…
…and when this happens, the big question will be, “Can a male and female betta fish live together?”
The best answer is yes
It is very possible to keep a male and female betta together, but this should not be attempted by a beginner; it’s better when done by an experienced aquarist.
The two most common ways of keeping a male and female betta together are maintaining one male and one female or keeping one male in a sorority of females.
If you plan on keeping a single male and female together, ensure that your tank is big enough, with adequate width. This space helps your female keep away from the male if need be, reducing the chances of aggression between them and allowing each fish its own area to unwind.
Your aquarium should also have lots of plants and hiding places enriched with thick vegetation enough to break a belligerent betta’s line of sight.
Lots of caves and decorations where each finny can create their territory is also recommended.
Because plantlife seems to make betta fish more comfortable, 70% of the decorations in the tank should be live plants, with the most suitable species being floating types that grow close to the surface, where the finnies love to hangout.
Can Betta Live with Other Fish
Athough betta fish are naturally territorial, when provided with ample space and enough hiding places, they may be able to live peacefully in a community.
Male bettas are more aggressive and tend to fight fish that look like them, including gouramis.
So avoid colorful and long-finned fishes in your community and instead go for docile, less-colorful, bottom-dwelling fish such as cory catfish, Ghost Shrimp, kuhli loaches, bristlenose plecos.
Agile fishes such as killifish, tetras, and danios make ideal candidates as well.
If aggression becomes an issue in your tank, keep and maintain a separate aquarium where individuals can be placed to avoid injury to others.
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Happy fish keeping