Since male Bettas are generally more ornate and visually beautiful, aquarium owners naturally want to keep males together in the same tank. But can two male Betta fish live together?
Males should never be kept in the same tank because they will quickly become aggressive and fight — often to the death — earning them the common nickname, “Siamese fighting fish.” Typically, it’s better to keep a single male and single female per tank, but there are a few other considerations too. Let’s take a deeper look at possible betta fish combinations.
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Betta fish are native to Asia, where in their natural habitat, they inhabit small ponds and streams and became adapted to the constant flooding and droughts of the region. This helped make them labyrinth fish, which means they have the ability to breathe oxygen from the air and their gills. This is what makes Betta fish comparatively easy to care for in captivity, leading them to be frequently seen living alone in small ornate vases.
While Betta fish are not schooling fish like many other species, they can still live together happily under the right conditions.
Can Betta fish males and females live together?
Betta fish are well-known for their tendency to fight, and this is in large part why they are so often kept in small bowls alone. However, if a male and female are kept together from early in their lives, there is less chance of them fighting. That said, the aggressive tendencies of Betta fish may lead them to begin fighting seemingly out of nowhere or often after they have bred.
Males and females can often co-habit a tank peacefully, but the trick is to introduce them slowly and keep a close eye out for aggression. Try to house them in separate tanks inside of each other or close by, where the fish are visible to one another. Then, slowly move them closer, or only put them together when/if you intend to breed, just to be safe.
Can two female Betta fish live together?
In most cases, females can live peacefully in a tank together. One important point to note is to be careful when introducing a female into groups of two to three other females. The group will likely be highly territorial, and it’s far better to add another pair or more to the group at a time because they will be less likely to be seen as intruders than a single fish would. Another tip is to introduce them at night, where they will be more focused on the lights outside the tank than what’s happening inside.
Can two male Betta fish live together?
No, you should never put two male Betta fish inside the same tank, as they will swiftly become aggressive and fight to the death. They may stay peaceful for a while, but sooner or later they will fight until only one is left.
Having two males in the same tank can sometimes work if there are several females around in the tank too. This will often distract them enough that they won’t fight, but again, the fighting may begin seemingly out of nowhere, and one male will be dead before you can intervene.
Can Bettas live with other fish species?
In general, Bettas can live peacefully with many other fish species, although they should be the same size or bigger to prevent the Bettas from attacking. A good practice is to add Bettas into an already established tank rather than the other way around, so they are the new kids on the block and will be less likely to fight. Also, be sure that there is plenty of space and plants and rocks for them to hide under.
The other fish that you choose as tank mates for your Betta should also not be too brightly colored or have long, flowing fins, as males will view these fish as threats and may attack them.
As beautiful as two male Bettas would look in a tank together, they should never be housed in the same tank. In some cases, the presence of females may help, as well as plenty of space, plants, and rocks and even some other species of fish, but you never really know with Betta fish. If you do decide to try it out, take it slowly, and keep a close eye on them in the first few days.
Featured Image Credit: Grigorii Pisotsckii, Shutterstock