The Betta fish, also known as the Siamese Fighting Fish is one of the popular fish out there, especially one of the fish that’s worth keeping at home. But one pertinent question that’s been asked by most people who have this pretty fish in their aquarium is “Can You Put a Male and Female Betta Fish Together ?”.
If you are one of those looking to have that question answered, then look no further. At the end of this post, you will know everything that needs to be known about putting a male and female betta fish in the same aquarium. This also includes the rules you ought to keep in mind while handling both male and female betta in the same tank.
Can You Put A Male And Female Betta Fish Together?
Yes, You can. If you want to have a male and female betta fish live together, there are two important ways to go about it. The first way is to keep the male in the sorority of the female betta fish. It will help, but on the other hand, you could opt for keeping 1 female and 1 male. Either way, this has to be done by someone with lots of experience. Also, you should prepare another tank that will act as the backup, just in case the latter doesn’t work.
Why Keep a Male and Female Betta Fish Together?
There are two reasons why you need to put male and female betta fish together. It is either for breeding purposes or a temporary thing. Just make sure you’ve garnered enough experience.
Cleaning The Fish Tank:
You may need to put a male and female betta fish together if you want to clean the other fish tank with betta fish. Fish tank cleaning, changing decoration, changing the water, preparing the water may take up to 3 to 4 hours. You can put your male and female betta fish together for this short time. But you should keep a look at the tank so that they don’t start fighting. If you have other tanks, you can keep the other betta fish in there.
For Breeding purposes:
If you are doing this for breeding purposes, then you’ve got to make sure that the breeding pair is a perfect match. The breeding period is always a complex stage for a betta fish. Of course, even if you had no plan for them to breed, putting them together would ultimately lead to that. But when you don’t pick the right pair, it can be very risky for both sides (the two bettas). At any of the breeding stages, one (if not both) can become aggressive. While the male can become restless and aggressive, the female betta can also become the dominant fish in the tank, and this might be fatal for both of them.
A male betta fish will always see the female betta as a threat. The aggressiveness subsides when he is looking for a mate. The female betta, on the other hand, isn’t as aggressive as their male counterpart. You need to be on the lookout for the mating signs. There are mating behaviors that are exhibited by the male and female bettas.
The male betta, for instance, starts to build up bubble nests. The bubble nest is formed on the surface of the water. Interestingly, once the female betta lays her egg, she is chased away by the male betta male. The male bettas do this to prevent the female bettas from eating the laid eggs.
A male betta’s level of aggressiveness thickens when they are in their protective state. When protecting their nest and the fries that exist in them, they become very aggressive. Your best bet is to take out the female betta to prevent conflicts.
During the breeding process, the female can be egg-bound, what this ultimately means for her is discomfort. Not just this, the male can also become more aggressive to the female during this process. This can happen to your ‘gentle’ male betta too. So, in simple terms, make sure the two breeding pairs are a perfect match.
If peradventure, the female betta ends up laying eggs, you will have to take her out from the tank irrespective of how well they relate. This is to prevent the male betta from attacking her. During this period, the male bettas tend to see their female counterpart as a threat. So, the right thing to do at this point is to take her out.
Furthermore, the fries produced will likely have male bettas among them. At first, one might think that it is safe. But as they grow, there is every likelihood that fight for dominance and territory will start to happen. What you need to do is watch them till they are old enough to be removed from the tank to avoid conflict amongst them.
How to Keep a Male and Female Betta Fish Together?
When we talk about the options you have when you try to put female betta and male betta together, using a tank divider is one of such options. Speaking of tank dividers, the tank has to be a big one. Big enough to hold male and female betta with the use of a tank divider.
One of the many advantages of using a tank divider is that it allows them to be together without physically interacting. But as the owner, you will have both of them in the same tank. But take note, female betta loves to swim comfortably. So, If you have a 15-gallon tank (which is the minimum volume of the tank if you want to put the two together), you should ensure that while the male gets 5 gallons of the entire space, the female should have 10 gallons.
The Size of the Tanks:
Speaking of size, when it comes to housing male and female betta together, you need to consider the size of the tank. For 1 betta fish, you need 10 gallons but for 2 betta fish, you should have at least a 30-gallon tank.
There are repercussions for housing two betta fish in a small tank. A betta fish would always seek to establish its territory. if you don’t create enough space for both of them, they fight with each other, in this case, either the male or the female will get rid of the other. Even though a 30-gallon tank should be enough, 40 gallons or more won’t be too much. Just note that the more space you create, the more chances of them living in peace.
Sight Breaks (Decorations):
If you don’t subscribe to having a tank divider in your aquarium, having sight breaks in your tank is another option that’s worth trying. If you wish to have a female and male betta in the same tank, make sure you have enough decorations in the tank. The decoration is important when trying to house the two sexes in the same tank.
It’s no breaking news that betta fish are aggressive, and they tend to chase each other around. With the help of decorations, they have places to hide temporarily until the other betta fish loses interest. Decorations are mostly in the form of plants, houses, and plastic caves. While it’s ok to have plastic caves and houses in your tank, make sure that half of it is made of plants.
With plant decorations, they have bushy spots to hide. The impact of plants in your tank can not be gainsaid. On aside, with plants, you no longer have to change water as you’d need to without them. It also reduces the nitrogen compound that is present in the water.
How to Introduce a Male and Female Betta Together?
So, how do you introduce male and female betta together? When introducing the male to the tank where you have the female (or the other way around), you’ve got to be careful. Trying to establish dominance is a natural occurrence in their world.
So, rather than dropping them in the tank for the sake of it, try isolating both of them (the same also applies if they are more than two). The best way to do this is by putting the new betta in a container temporarily before releasing them into the tank. In this case, a tank divider is a good option.
Once you’ve added you’ve released the new betta into the tank, watch their interaction for some time. Flaring is a normal occurrence, but this should only last for a few days. In case the flaring and chasing around continues, remove one of them (preferably, the male) from the tank.
Without trying to sound like a broken record, it is possible to keep male and female betta together. But the chances of this working out fine just as you’ve planned is slim. If you know what you are doing, then, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Even though we don’t recommend putting both together, there are still some certain things that should be considered and remembered when putting them together. Some of the things to consider include stress, the chances of both reproducing new ones, the clamped fins, and the overall stress.
Betta Harem ( Male Betta + Female Sorority)
Harem tank is used to house lots of betta fish. With the Harem Tank, you can house more than one male and two or more females comfortably. Thanks to their size, peaceful inhabitation shouldn’t be a problem.
Betta harems, in this case, refer to male betta paired with the female sorority. Just like keeping one male betta with a female betta, keeping one male with a female sorority is also possible. If you want to keep 1 male betta with 5 female bettas, here’s everything you should know:
Get a Larger Tank:
If you want to make a betta harem, you should get a large tank. A 75-gallon tank is a bare minimum in this case. Make sure the tank has more height than width. It will help you add more decorations and plants to the tank. Having more decoration and plants will make sure they are keeping their distance from each other and reduces the chance of their fighting.
Introducing Male Betta to the Female Sorority:
How can you do it? At first, you have to create a female sorority. Then remove all the female betta to another tank. Now add the male betta in the empty tank. After that, add the female bettas one by one. You should take a break of 1-2 days in between adding the female bettas. In that time, observe how the male betta is reacting to the new female bettas. There might be some sign of aggression in the tank. But slowly, they will calm down and stop fighting. There won’t be any territories and they will live happily ever after if everything is done correctly.
Pro Tip: You should always add the male to betta to the sorority tank at first. If you try to add all the fish at the same time, there will be a huge fight in the tank and some of the fish will get hurt. Besides, the balance of the ecosystem will break and it will produce a lot of ammonia in the tank. Ammonia poisoning can kill your fish in a very short time.
Add lots of plants and decoration:
Just like we said, adding lots of plants and decoration will create sight breaks among the bettas. It will create many hiding places for them. On top of that, the plants will make your aquarium more beautiful and creating safe spots for your fish. Read our other article on how to add live plants to an aquarium.
Observe the Betta Harem Regularly:
The biggest of betta harem is aggression amongst the female. If there are a few female bettas, the male betta will try to mate with the most dominant ones. This creates aggression amongst them. They will fight each other to show the male one and establish dominance. So before keeping them in the same tank, you should keep them in a tank divider and observe their behavior.
Pro Tip: Betta fish become very aggressive during the breeding time. You should keep an eye on them regularly and if you think it’s the breeding time, keep them in a different tank.
Feel free to have a look at the video!
Can Betta Fish Live With Other Fish?
Since we’ve relatively dealt with all you need to know about putting a male and female betta fish together, why don’t we take a look at the chances of a betta fish cohabit with another fish? One of the frequently Asked Questions we get daily is if the betta fish can cohabit with another fish. Well, the answer to that is pretty simple: “Yes, they can.”
Naturally, a betta fish will fight more often than not fight with the other fish. But this doesn’t mean that they are impossible to cohabit with. Most of the time, the main reason why conflicts occur, especially with the male bettas has to do with the fishes’ colors. A fish with similar bright-colored skin will make it look like a threat to the male betta fish. If you’d like to put another fish with it, make sure it doesn’t have similar physical attributes.
Best Tank Mates for your Betta Fish:
What if the whole essence of putting female betta with the male betta was to make them have tankmates. If that’s what you are trying to do, then there are other fishes out there that are perfect betta fish tank mates. Some of them include:
- The Feeder Guppies.
- Zebra Snails.
- Ember Tetras.
- Pygmy Cory.
- Harlequin Rasboras
- Ghost Shrimp.
- Short Fin Mollies.
- Clown Pleco
- Kuhli Loach
- White Cloud Minnows.
You can opt-in for any of these fish. Just make sure that the fish you are introducing to the tank isn’t any of those fin nibblers.
So, Can you keep male and female bettas together?
The final verdict is, even though it’s possible to house male and female betta together, it should be done by someone with lots of experience in the field. If you are new to this, consult a professional or someone who’s got more experience to help with it.
Just as we’ve mentioned earlier, make sure the tank has enough space to house both of them. Also, you need a lot of decorations for them to hide in. You can get a favorable aquarium out there from any aquarium companies around you.
Remember: If you are keeping 1 male and 1 female, you should get a minimum 30-gallon tank. The bigger, the better.
If you are creating a betta harem(1 male +5 females), you will need at least a 75-gallon tank.
Read more: Best 100 Gallon Tanks (Best for Betta Harem)
Please note that two male bettas shouldn’t be put in the same tank. It could be fatal for either of them. You need to know the kind of fish you are dealing with. No doubt, bettas are gorgeous, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they can be very aggressive.
I hope this article answers all of your questions regarding “Can you put a male and female betta fish together? ” If you have more questions, ask me in the comment section below and If you have found this article helpful, please do share! Have a great day!