Can You Keep a Male and Female Betta Together – Peaceful Solutions

In this article, we will tell if you can keep male and female betta together - what can be used to get them adjusted to each other and how to organize female sorority
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Last updatedLast updated: January 15, 2022
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Betta fish are absolutely stunning to look at. These unique fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, have long fins that fan out as they swim. When you see them, they are often alone, which brings the question to mind, can you keep a male and female betta together? While some fish thrive in social settings and actually become depressed on their own, others crave solitude and can even fight and destroy each other. It’s important to do your research before you purchase a particular fish as you want your new animals to be as healthy as possible. In this article we’ll cover all the information you need to understand if male and female bettas get along.

Why Betta Fish are Popular

Betta fish have long been a popular choice for amateur aquarium enthusiasts. Not only can you find many breeds and colors but as they swim about, these fish really display their appearance as their fins fan out in the water.

Betta fish are native to southeast Asia, in particular Thailand. Interestingly, while we have come to love the vibrancy of these fish, in the wild, male bettas are muted in color Trusted Source Betta Fish: The Beautiful, and Very Popular, Siamese Fighting Fish Originally from Southeast Asia, bettas have been bred for centuries for their colorful fins and feisty attitudes, and that has made them popular pets. www.livescience.com and don’t have flowing fins. Instead, this characteristic was a result of selective breeding.

You can find betta fish at any local pet store but if you want a specific breed, you will have to look online and be prepared to pay a lot of money.
Can You Keep a Male and Female Betta Together - Peaceful Solutions

Why Keeping Bettas Together is Not Recommended

There is a reason why betta fish are often kept on their own. These fish are incredibly territorial and can quickly attack each other. You can keep a male and a female betta together but it can still be risky. Here are the reasons why keeping two bettas together is often discouraged.

Small tank

Betta fish are often housed in small tanks. Indeed, unlike other aquarium fish, bettas are often found in small glass jars with very few accessories. This is a fish to purchase if you want a display animal, rather than if you want to build an underwater world.

However, even if you have seen betta fish in small enclosures, doesn’t mean you too, should keep one in such a small place. At the very least, you should have a 20-gallon tank for your betta fish. This will allow better air circulation in the tank and more room for the fish to swim around in. Larger tanks also allow you to have better rocks and accessories for a more exciting living environment.

Single-living bettas

Can You Keep a Male and Female Betta Together - Peaceful SolutionsIf you have a betta fish and absolutely love it, you may be tempted to purchase another fish and then add it to the tank. However, once a betta fish is accustomed to solo-living, it will become too territorial to have a mate.

If you want to have two betta fish living together, it’s important to put them in the same tank from the beginning.

If you already have a tank that is large enough for two betta, take the existing fish out and put it in a temporary tank. Then, rearrange all the accessories so that it feels like a new environment. This will decrease the territorial instinct.

Wrong breeding pair

You absolutely cannot keep two male betta fish together. They are far too aggressive and will immediately fight each other. However, there is a chance that you can put a male and a female betta together. Unfortunately, sometimes they simply are not compatible.

There is the hope that the smaller female betta fish will not pose as great a threat. But sometimes they end up fighting each other, anyways. If you want to put a male and a female together, you should be aware of the possibility that at least one fish won’t survive.

Stressed fish

As their name implies, betta fish are fighting fish. They are aggressive and this can become too stressful for fish. Male bettas will naturally be more aggressive towards female bettas. While this behavior should lessen after their initial togetherness, it can escalate and become too much for the fish.

Stressed fish can only take so much. Eventually, they are too weakened to fight back or even swim away. Stressed fish are not happy and you may find that your female betta dies quickly after being put together with a male.

Even though you can find some starter betta fish for just a few dollars, there are many breeds that are extremely expensive Trusted Source The World’s Most Expensive Betta Fish, Priced Up To Tens Of Millions The most expensive betta fish in the world is quite fantastic. Even in the tens of millions. Betta fish is one of the animals that many fans. world-today-news.com . They can range from a few hundred dollar to even a thousand dollars.

Those that want to spend a lot of money on betta fish may feel that the risk to their investment is simply too much to risk on putting the fish together.

How Can You Put a Male and Female Betta Together?

Now that you know the risks associated with putting a male and a female betta together, it’s time to make the right accommodations for the best outcome.

Introduction bowl

Can You Keep a Male and Female Betta Together - Peaceful Solutions
There are many starter tanks that will help your male and female betta become better used to each other. The Aqueon Betta Bowl Kit is a great option as it is one tank but has a plastic divider in the middle. The two fish can see each other, become used to their surroundings, and be less stressed when it is time to bring them together.

This is also a good option if you simply need to put the two fish together while you are cleaning your tank. This way, you don’t have to fill yet another container and can easily clean their separate tanks at the same time.

Tank sizing

When it comes to housing two betta fish, they need a lot more space than you would give just one fish. While a 2-gallon tank, such as the Koller Products L20LPET is a nice option for one fish, it is far too small for two fish.

Instead, opt for a fish tank that is much larger, at least 20 gallons. It’s better to give your betta fish too much space rather than not enough.

Tank divider

If you already have a fish tank but want an easy solution to house two betta fish, you can also purchase a simple tank divider. A product like the LifeWithPets High Tank Divider will allow you to place the grid in the middle of your tank.

The water can still go through, so both fish will live in the same water conditions. Then, if you want to bring the two fish together, especially for breeding purposes, it is easy to remove the divider.

Can You Keep a Male and Female Betta Together - Peaceful SolutionsAdd hiding places

When a fish feels threatened, its natural instinct is to swim away and hide. In a tank with no accessories, this is impossible.

Many betta tanks that only have one fish in them are pretty basic. But if you want to put a male and female together, having accessories, especially ones that allow for hiding places, is a must. The hygger Betta Log is a great example. It is the right size for betta fish to swim through and is not too large as to not feel secure, nor is it too small that the fish can’t fit in.

Depending on the size of your tank, try to place a few hiding areas. You will also want to change the setup, usually at the same time you clean your tank. This will keep the environment feeling new and interesting.

Breeding possibilities

One of the main reasons for putting a male and female betta together is for breeding. To do this, first keep the two fish in separate tanks. Then, when breeding season occurs, which lasts from spring to summer, you can put them together.

To encourage breeding, make sure the conditions within the tank are optimal. Use a water heater to ensure the water is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You should also test the water to ensure there isn’t too much ammonia or nitrates. The optimal pH level is 6.5, and again, be sure to test for this.

How Can a Male and Female Sorority Betta Live Together?

A group of female betta fish is called a sorority and this may be the best way to introduce a male. This introduction is usually done for breeding purposes and the male betta will single out the most dominant of the female bettas.

Tank sizing

First, start with a tank that is the appropriate size. Two bettas are ideally housed in a 15-gallon tank. For every extra betta, increase the tank size by five gallons.

Adding new female betta

Even if you already have a sorority of betta fish, the male fish needs to be the first one in the tank. If you have an existing tank setup, take some time to rearrange the accessories. This, in essence, will re-set the tank and make it seem like it is new.

Place the female betta fish in a temporary tank and then put the new male betta into the tank. Always check for optimal water settings, and be sure to use a water filter for a clean environment.

Watch flaring

Once your male betta fish is in the tank and he has a chance to make it his own territory, you can then add the female fish.

Watch carefully at this point. There will be a period of transition so some fighting is normal. When a betta fish is feeling aggressive, its fins will flare out. If this doesn’t calm down after a few hours, you will need to separate your fish. You can then rearrange the tank and try another time. However, if your fish still don’t settle down together, you may need to call defeat and separate them permanently.

Hiding places

Can You Keep a Male and Female Betta Together - Peaceful SolutionsHaving hiding spaces for your betta fish is extremely important. The constant agitation, especially at the beginning, can be overwhelming for your fish and they can quickly become too stressed.

In order to calm down, betta fish need a safe place to hide, away from the dominant male. You should have enough hiding places for all the female bettas in your tank so that they don’t have to fight over the spaces.

There are many fish tank accessories that work great with betta fish and will provide numerous areas of protection.

Watch dominant female

Almost always, the male betta fish will single out the most dominant female in the sorority. This will then lead to breeding. Finding the most dominant female, however, can lead to its own fighting. Many times the sorority will fight each other to demonstrate which is the strongest.

While this fighting should wane on its own, you should watch and separate the fish if need be.

Look for signs of breeding within the dominant female. Her colors will darken and you should be able to see vertical stripes along her body.

If breeding is successful, the male betta will protect the eggs until they hatch.

Separator

Can You Keep a Male and Female Betta Together - Peaceful SolutionsIf you have a large tank but your male and female bettas still aren’t getting along, you can still use the whole tank space and purchase a separator. This allows water to flow through it but can be dark enough so that the fish can’t see each other. It’s a good compromise and allows you to try putting all the fish together at a later time.

Final Thoughts

Bett fish are simply stunning. They come in a wide range of colors and are amazing to look at. However, they are very aggressive and don’t often work well together. Under no circumstances should you place two male bettas together, as they will quickly fight over their territory and at least one will end up dead. You can try housing one male and one female betta together, although this should be for short periods of time, usually during breeding season from spring to summer. Another option is to place one male and a group, or sorority, or females together. So, while there is not simple answer to the question, can you keep a male and female betta together, with a bit of preparation you can hopefully succeed.

References

1.
Betta Fish: The Beautiful, and Very Popular, Siamese Fighting Fish
Originally from Southeast Asia, bettas have been bred for centuries for their colorful fins and feisty attitudes, and that has made them popular pets.
2.
The World’s Most Expensive Betta Fish, Priced Up To Tens Of Millions
The most expensive betta fish in the world is quite fantastic. Even in the tens of millions. Betta fish is one of the animals that many fans.
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