Can Male and Female Betta Live Together?

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Betta fish are one of the most beautiful fish species. People often wonder whether female and male bettas would get along well in the same tank.

While it can become an issue to inexperienced fish owners, they can be kept together under certain circumstances.

If you are wondering whether you can keep a male and a female betta in the same tank, then you have come to the right place.

What you need to remember about keeping male and female bettas together is that males can be quite aggressive towards female bettas and might start to hunt them down as they want to reproduce.

For this reason, female bettas should be provided with some hiding spots at the very least. There are, however, other ways to keep male and female bettas together.

We will take a look at how male and female bettas can be kept together.

Also, we will learn whether male bettas can be held in the company of other fish species and with more than one female betta, and how male bettas would react when being placed next to another male betta. Let’s get started.

How to Keep Male and Female Betta Fish in the Same Tank?

Again, this should only be considered by the more experienced tank owners. There are more ways as to how to keep the female and male bettas together in the same tank.

In some cases, you might need to get a separate container for male bettas; if for nothing else, this tank will come very handy if you will want to breed the bettas.

The best and most practical way to keep male and female bettas together is by using tank dividers. A tank divider is simply a net down the middle of the tank that prevents two bettas from coming into each other’s territories and to prevent them from harming each other.

There are plenty of instances where such dividers come pre-installed into the tank. One such option is this aquarium kit by Aqueon.

You can also buy such dividers separately and then put it into your tank. However, this aquarium kit by Aqueon is possibly the most practical option out there, especially for beginners.

You will also get LED lighting and a decent filtering system in this package. The only thing you need to do is to add some vegetation, water, and fish.

Another option that you can consider is to keep a male and a female betta in the same tank with plenty of vegetation and hiding spots. This is only recommended for more veteran tank owners, while for beginners, it might not be the best option. You will, however, require a slightly larger tank, which will make it easier for them to avoid each other.

Can Multiple Female Bettas Live Together?

Generally, it is pretty safe to have two or more female bettas live together. They will go around their business usually. However, this might change if the bettas don’t have enough space to live together or if they are irregularly introduced to each other.

You can have more female bettas live together without any problems. Just remember that they do need plenty of space, and females can also get territorial towards their counterparts. About 5 gallons per fish might be the best and the safest option.

Issues might also arise if you introduce new females to the tank irregularly or too quickly. After some time, the females in your tank will bond together and create a community, which can be disturbed by putting another female into the aquarium.

This can be solved to put two or more females into the aquarium together, as it allows them to bond easier.

Can a Male Betta Kill Female Betta Fish?

Generally, a male betta will not kill a female betta fish, but they can turn aggressive and territorial against them. That is especially the case when they breed, and you might see your male betta hunt down and chase the female relentlessly.

While they might not kill them, they can cause plenty of harm to a female betta. The stress levels of the females and also the males can shoot up, which can result in a very sluggish behavior of your bettas.

Another dangerous time when males can harm your females is when the females spawn the eggs after breeding. It is at this time that you should separate males and females and keep the male bettas in the tank with the eggs. Males will try to protect the eggs at any cost, which can see them attack other fish in the process.

Again, the best way is to have a separate tank or a tank divider to prevent this aggressive behavior. While it is not guaranteed that it will happen, it certainly can at any point and you don’t want your females to get hurt.

It can also cause all sorts of problems, such as high-stress levels and lethargic behavior, which will see your bettas behave unusually.

Can You Keep a Betta Fish in a Breeding Box?

A breeding box is used for merely breeding your betta fry in the same tank as your bettas live in. These boxes are usually quite small as they are used for the eggs to hatch and spawn fry. So it might not be the best idea to keep a betta in such a small pocket of space while there is a vast aquarium around it.

In a natural environment, a male betta fish will stay and protect the eggs and later the fry against any possible intruders. The answer is that you can keep a betta in a breeding box, but just not for more extended periods as it can cause more harm than good. These boxes are quite small and that in itself can pose a massive problem for the bettas.

There are better options for keeping your bettas, such as a separate breeding aquarium, which allows them to have more space and breed easier.

How Many Betta Fish Can Live Together?

You can easily keep more bettas together in your tank, but only if you provide them with the right conditions. The most important thing is the space they have – the more water and space they have, the better it will be for your bettas.

Again, you should introduce the bettas into the tank in pairs or groups to an already existing betta fish community. As to how many you can keep together really depends on the size of your aquarium. The general rule is that a single betta fish will require at least 10 gallons of water to live safely. So if you want to keep more bettas together, you will need quite a large aquarium.

The truth is that bettas need much more space than other similar fish. That is because they can get quite territorial if they don’t have enough space and can turn aggressive very quickly. So the living area is the biggest possible stumbling block here, but your bettas should be good if they have enough space to live in.

Another thing to keep in consideration is the ratio of male and female bettas you have in your tank. The general rule is to have more females than males; for example, you can keep one male betta with three or more females, and then you can put them into a separate tank for breeding. Again, enough space should be provided for your bettas to live in.

Can You Keep Bettas with Other Fish?

Of course, you can keep betta fish with other fish species, as long as these fish are not aggressive or territorial. The best option is to have smaller fish together with bettas.

The best fish to keep with bettas are smaller fish that can move quite quickly, which will help these fish to avoid betta fish attacks and swim to safety. The worst species to keep with the betta are slow-moving fish with long fins, which will cause the bettas to nip on them.

Some of the best betta fish tank companions include guppies, neon tetras, mollies, zebra danios, the goldfish, swordtails, killifish, Oscar fish, angelfish and the rainbowfish. These species are all excellent options, especially for beginners, and they will get along well with the bettas as they are all peaceful fish and can move very quickly.

The way to do it is to have these other fish species put into the tank first and let them bond together for a while, and then introduce a betta after some time. This will create a better community before a betta comes in, and it will ease other fish with the change.


Keeping male betta fish together with female bettas in the tank should be done with caution. It is only recommended for the more expert tank owners.

For beginners, the best way to do it is to buy a separate tank or a tank divider. The most important thing is to provide them with enough space and vegetation so that your male and female bettas will coexist happily.

Author Image Fabian
I’m Fabian, aquarium fish breeder and founder of this website. I’ve been keeping fish, since I was a kid. On this blog, I share a lot of information about the aquarium hobby and various fish species that I like. Please leave a comment if you have any question.
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