Betta fish are beautiful and easy to take care of, whether male or female. Most people prefer to keep just one betta fish at a time so they don’t have to worry about fighting or community illnesses. Male betta fish will fight each other to death if they share the same domain. They may even try to fight other brightly colored, long-finned fish. 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, who like to fight just about any other male fish that enters their territory, girl bettas tend to get along well with each other. So yes, two female bettas can live together in the same fish tank. Female bettas can even get along with other types of fish if they can establish a “pecking order.”
You may witness your female betta fish quarreling for the first couple of days while they figure out who is in charge and what everyone else’s role is in the fish pack. This quarreling is bound to happen any time that you introduce a new fish into the female betta’s tank, but the quarreling should subside quickly and result in a social, engaging school of fish when all is said and done.
Expect your female bettas to be strong-willed, independent, and territorial. But also expect them to figure out their own hierarchy and find a peaceful resolution to their living environment. If introducing a female betta to another type of fish, do so one at a time so the betta has an opportunity to engage and get to know each fish.
How to Determine If Your Betta Fish Are Male or Female
It is seldom obvious what sex a betta fish is when first buying it from a pet shop. Baby bettas all look and act the same until they’re about 2 or 3 months old. Once they start to mature, they begin to display telltale signs of their sex. One of the biggest clues that you are the owner of a female betta fish is that their fins are much shorter and less brilliant than a male’s would be.
Female betta fish have what is called an ovipositor, which is located near the head and ventral fin. The ovipositor is responsible for releasing eggs when it is time to reproduce, so only females have it. It looks like a small, white dot. Also, male betta fish are usually thinner and longer than females when fully grown.
What to Do When Introducing New Fish to Your Female Betta
It is best to prepare a second tank for any new fish that you plan to introduce to your female betta tank. If any quarreling turns into fighting, you will need to remove the new fish from the betta tank and relocate them to the second tank. Make sure that you transfer some of the water from your main tank to your temporary tank, then fill both tanks up with fresh water. Place the new fish in the holding tank for about a day so they can get used to the water and environment. This way, they will not go into shock when you introduce them to the permanent habitat or if you must return the fish to the holding tank due to fighting.
Introduce just one fish at a time into your female betta’s tank, and give each new fish at least 48 hours to adapt to the permanent habitat and the resident betta. Squabbling and quarreling should be expected, but if serious fighting occurs within 48 hours, remove the new fish from the environment right away. After about 48 hours, you should see the new fish start to get comfortable with their role in the habitat, and your betta fish should seem comfortable with the new fish living there.
Betta fish are fascinating to watch, but they should never be used as fighting fish. They should always be cared for responsibly. Never allow two betta fish to viscously fight, as it can result in death or illness for all the fish that live within the habitat. Do you own betta fish or are you planning to? Let us know what you think about this interesting fish breed in our comments section.
Featured Image Credit: Arunee Rodloy, Shutterstock