How To Keep Two Betta Fish In One Tank

How To Keep Two Betta Fish In One Tank

We are reader supported. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Also, as an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Betta fish are regarded as among the most aggressive fish that you can put into a tank. As a result, a lot of people steer clear of combining multiple Betta fish together. They will just kill each other. However, is there a way around this? We asked our experts.

So, how do you keep two Betta in one tank? Ideally, you wouldn’t. If you ignore that advice, then you use a tank divider or pair female Betta fish together. Neither is ideal, but it will help to stop a lot of fighting.

Our experts do want to go into a little bit more depth on this. We also want to talk about some of the fish that you will be able to fit in with a Betta fish. Hopefully, you will come away with a few ideas on how you can create the best tank without having a single Betta swimming around.

How to Keep Two Betta Fish in One Tank

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t keep them in the same tank.

The problem with the Betta fish is that they are incredibly territorial. it is a natural instinct for the fish. In the wild, the Betta will often live in small amounts of water where there is a lot of competition for resources. This instinct doesn’t just disappear because they were bred in captivity.

If your Betta sees another Betta, chances are high that it is going to try and compete with it for space. It isn’t going to be a friendly competition either. It is not uncommon for Betta fish to kill one another.

Therefore, we suggest that you never keep two Betta fish in the same tank. if you absolutely must do it, then you may be able to use one of the following options:

Male And Female Betta Pairing

First things first, pairing up two males is always going to be a big ‘no’. Males are far too aggressive and they will end up either killing or seriously injuring one another. Don’t even consider the idea.

Now, male and female Betta pairing is a different story. While there are some people that have had success pairing the two up, they are always experienced fish keepers. It will often take weeks and weeks of preparation and observation before you are able to put a male and a female betta together for the long haul. Even then, it can go wrong.

The only time that you should seriously be considering pairing males and females up is if you plan to breed Betta fish. You will still need to do that preparation beforehand (slowly introducing the two to one another) and yes, it can still go wrong if you do everything incorrectly.

Females are nowhere near as aggressive as male Betta, but they are still more than happy to defend themselves. When they are paired with a male, the male will often try and bully the female. This can lead to torn fins, stressed out fish, etc. In some cases, it can even result in the death of the fish.

So, while there are some people out there that will say that it is fine to pair up males and females, don’t do it. It can be fine, but you need to know what you are doing. Chances are that if you are reading this article, you don’t have enough knowledge on Betta behavior quite yet.

Two Females

Female Betta fish are still aggressive, but they are nowhere near as aggressive as male Betta fish. Some people have had success pairing two females together. While they may still fight with one another for space on occasion, their fights are never going to be as deadly as if you had two males in the same tank.

We suggest that you keep an eye on the females for a few weeks. This way you will know how they are getting on with one another.

Tank Divider

If you absolutely do insist on having two Betta in the same tank, then get a tank divider (see Amazon). This will effectively split the tank into two. Each side will need its own filter, etc.

The fish should not be able to see through the divider. If they can, then it is likely to stress the Betta out. You are effectively running the two as separate tanks. The Betta should never be able to see one another. The Betta should never be able to touch one another.

If you do go down this route, then you will want to ensure that each side of the tank as at least 5-gallons of water. If you are including more fish than the Betta in there, then you will need even more water than that.

Can You Keep Betta Fish With Other Fish?

You should have no issues keeping Betta fish with other fish. You will have to follow a couple of rules, though.

Firstly, try to avoid fish that your Betta could eat. While it is unlikely that Betta will eat small fish, mostly because Betta loves to feast on tiny insects and larvae, you don’t really want to take the risk. If the small fish ever mate, then chances are that the Betta will end up eating their eggs or offspring. 

The second rule is that the Betta should only ever be paired with fish that live in different sections of the tank to the Betta. A Betta is often going to spend its time living in the top and the middle part of the tank. it is very rarely going to go down to the bottom of the tank. Therefore, shrimp would make an ideal pairing as they tend to stick around the bottom. Plus, those shrimp are going to be fantastic at keeping the water nice and clean.

The final rule which should go without saying is that the Betta should only be kept with fish that have an overlap when it comes to water temperature and pH balance i.e. you are not going to be putting a fish that normally lives in colder climates in with the Betta. This is because the Betta is a tropical fish.

These fish tend to work best with a Betta:

Related Questions

What is the minimum tank size for a Betta fish?

It is suggested that you have a tank size of at least 5-gallons. While there are some pet retailers that suggest 2.5-gallons is the minimum, a tank that small could quite often shorten the lifespan of the Betta fish.

Will a male Betta attack a female Betta when mating?

Yes. It is part of the courtship process. However, the male shouldn’t be overly aggressive. They will likely chase the female around or bite on her fins. If you see anything worse than that, then you are going to need to separate the fish almost immediately. If you do not know how to spot the warning sings of Betta aggression, then you should not be breeding them. 

See Also:
Is Used Fish Tank Water Good for Plants?
How Do You Know if Your Algae Eater Is Dying?
How Long Do You Leave the Filter on in a Fish Tank?
Can You Use Rainwater In Fish Tank?