Betta fish are beautiful and easy to care for, both male and female. Most people prefer to keep only one betta fish at a time so they don’t have to worry about community fighting or disease. Male betta fish will fight each other to the death if they share the same domain. They may even try to fight other fish that are brightly colored and have long fins. But do female betta fish behave in the same way? Keep reading to learn more about this interesting topic.
Yes, female betta fish can live in the same habitat
Unlike male betta fish, which like to fight with other male fish that enter their territory, female betta fish tend to get along well with each other. So yes, two female bettas can live together in the same aquarium. Female bettas can even get along with other types of fish if they can form a “power order”.
You may witness your female betta fighting for the first few days as they figure out who is in charge and what other people’s roles in the fish group are. These fights are bound to happen every time you introduce a new fish into a female betta’s tank, but they will subside quickly and result in a social and engaging fish troop when all is said and done.
Expect your female betta to be strong-willed, independent and territorial. But also expect them to know their own hierarchy and find a peaceful resolution to their living environment. If introducing a female betta to other types of fish, do it one at a time so that the betta has a chance to get involved and get to know each fish.
How to determine whether your betta is male or female
It’s rare to see the gender of a betta fish when you first buy it from a pet store. Betta babies all look and act the same until they are about 2 or 3 months old. Once they start to mature, they begin to show signs of their sex. One of the biggest clues that you are a female betta is that the fins are much shorter and less bright than the male fins.
Female betta fish have what is called an ovipositor, which is located near the head and pelvic fins. The ovipositor is responsible for releasing eggs when it is time to reproduce, so only the female has them. It looks like a small white dot. Also, male betta fish are usually thinner and longer than females as adults.
What to Do When Introducing New Fish to Your Female Betta
It is best to set up a second tank for each new fish you plan to introduce into your female betta’s tank. If the fight turns into a fight, you should remove the new fish from the betta’s tank and transfer it to a second tank. Make sure you transfer some of the water from the main tank to the temporary tank, then fill both tanks with clean water. Place the new fish in the holding tank for about a day to allow them to get used to the water and the environment. This way, they won’t be surprised when you put them in permanent habitat or if you have to return the fish to the holding tank because of a fight.
Introduce only one fish at a time into your female betta’s aquarium, and give each new fish at least 48 hours to adapt to the permanent habitat and resident betta. Quarrels and fights are inevitable, but if serious fighting occurs within 48 hours, remove the new fish from the environment immediately. After about 48 hours, you’ll notice that the new fish are starting to get comfortable with their role in their habitat, and your betta will seem comfortable with the new fish living there.
Betta fish are great to watch, but they shouldn’t be used as fighting fish. They must always be treated with full responsibility. Do not let two betta fish fight hard, because it can cause death or illness to all fish that live in the habitat. Do you have betta fish or are you planning to have one? Let us know what you think about this interesting type of fish in our comments section.
Featured Image Credit: Arunee Rodloy, Shutterstock