Can You Put 2 Female Betta Fish Together? Debunking The Myth!

Two female betta fish can often live together in the same fish tank, but there are essential factors that must be considered to ensure the tank has a healthy and harmonious environment.

We recommended you keep a pair of female bettas in a tank that is at least 20 gallons in size and includes plenty of hiding places. This strategy aids in preventing any increase in aggressive behavior and contributes to the well-being and contentment of your female betta fish in their tank.

The specific personalities of the female betta fish in question will come into play when keeping them in the same tank though as a small number of female betta fish can be just as aggressive as males.

There are a number of other factors that should be taken into account when keeping two or more female betta fish with each other. Our hope is that this article will be able to help as many of our readers as possible keep two female bettas in a tank without issue.

An infographic going over a BETTA FISH CARE sheet

Betta Sororities

can you put 2 female betta fish together

A betta sorority is a term used to describe a group of female betta fish living together in one tank. The environment in a sorority tank is designed to minimize aggression between the females and promote peaceful cohabitation.

To achieve this, setting up the tank properly and maintaining ideal conditions as covered in our article on setting up a betta sorority tank is crucial.

Keeping two female bettas in the same tank is still technically a betta sorority but it is the smallest possible setup. 20 gallon long tanks can work very well for this type of setup but we usually recommend a 30 or even 40 gallon tank if possible as people often end up wanting to keep more than two female bettas in their tank.

Two female betta fish in a tank

Aquarium plants, either real or artificial, can be an excellent addition to a sorority tank. They not only provide shelter and hiding spots for the fish but also contribute to the overall water quality. Maintaining suitable and consistent water parameters is also key as it helps to prevent problems with the female bettas becoming stressed and aggressive.

It’s essential to monitor the two female bettas in this type of tank for signs of stress or aggression. If you notice any concerning behavior, such as excessive chasing, biting, or torn fins, it may be necessary to intervene and separate the fish.

In some cases, rearranging the decorations or adding more hiding spots might help reduce aggression.

Introducing New Fish

2 red and white betta fish in their tank

It is usually betta to add both of your female betta fish to the tank at the same time to reduce the chances of you having problems with territorial issues from one of the fish.

We know that this is not always possible athough so wanted to share some thoughts on how to add a female betta fish to an established tank. Before going any further, we just want to quickly say that we are presuming you have quarantined the betta before adding it to your main display tank to reduce the chance of it transfering any problems to the tank.

Some people recommend that you place the new female betta in a transparent container and float it in the aquarium for the two fish to get used to each others presence. In our experience, this is not needed and you can usually just go through the standard acclimatisation process.

Adding a female betta fish to an established tank

There are a number of different methods for adding a new female betta fish to an established tank and many of them can work well.

Here is a step-by-step walk through on the method that we use but keep in mind, all of our tanks have plenty of hiding spots with this helping the process:

  1. Quarantine the New Fish: If possible, keep the new betta in a separate quarantine tank for a week or two to ensure she’s healthy and free of disease.
  2. Use a Divider: If your main tank allows, you may want to use a transparent divider to separate the two fish initially. This will let them see each other without physical contact, helping them get used to each other’s presence.
  3. Float the Bag: Place the new betta in a bag or container filled with its original water, and then float this inside the tank. This helps the fish adjust to the water temperature gradually.
  4. Mix the Waters: Slowly add small amounts of water from the new tank to the container or bag over the course of an hour. This will help the new fish adjust to the pH and other water parameters of the new tank.
  5. Monitor Behavior: Watch how the fish behave through the divider or the bag. Look for signs of extreme aggression or stress.
  6. Create Hiding Spots: Make sure the tank has plenty of plants, rocks, or decorations to provide hiding spots. This will help the new fish feel secure and give both fish spaces to retreat if they feel threatened.
  7. Release the New Fish: Once the new fish is acclimated to the water parameters and the fish seem to be tolerating each other’s presence, you can remove the divider or release the new fish from the bag.
  8. Monitor Closely: For the first few days, keep a close eye on the fish, watching for signs of aggression or bullying. If problems persist, you may need to separate them and try introducing them again later, or consider keeping them in separate tanks.
  9. Feed Separately: Consider feeding the fish at opposite ends of the tank or using a feeding ring to reduce competition over food.
  10. Maintain Water Quality: Regular water changes and maintaining good water quality will reduce stress and contribute to a healthier environment.

Remember that providing ample hiding spaces, such as live plants, ornaments, and caves, can greatly reduce territorial disputes among fish. In a well-arranged tank with suitable hiding spots, multiple female bettas can coexist peacefully.

Hiding Spots For Your Female Betta Fish

2 betta fish in their aquarium

Providing hiding spots in your female bettas fish tank is essential to their well-being and can significantly contribute to a harmonious and stress-free environment. Incorporating a variety of hiding places will not only make the betta fish feel secure but also give them ample space to explore.

When choosing hiding spots, live plants play a crucial role. They offer a natural habitat for bettas, allowing them to hide, rest, and explore. Popular live plant options include Anubias, Java fern, and Amazon sword. These plants are easy to maintain, grow well, and can adapt to various water conditions.

Fake plants can also serve as suitable hiding spots for bettas. However, their use requires caution, as sharp edges can injure the fish. Silk plants are an excellent alternative to plastic, as they provide a soft and safe environment for bettas to navigate.

Adding live plants to a female betta tank
Plants Make A Great Hiding Spot

In addition to plants, rocks play an essential role in creating hiding spots. They can be stacked to form caves and crevices in your tank. Be cautious of sharp edges and sterilize rocks before placing them in the tank to ensure the safety and health of your betta fish.

Adding rocks to a female betta tankC
Rocks Can Make Great Hiding Spots

Driftwood is another popular hiding spot option, offering a natural appearance and potential resting spots for your betta fish. Select small pieces of driftwood appropriate for your tank size, ensuring they have no sharp edges.

Adding driftwood to a female betta tank
Driftwood Can Work In A Female Betta Tank

Commercial tank decorations, such as caves and other ornamental items, are readily available and specifically designed to create hiding spaces for aquatic pets. These items can cater to various themes and personal preferences. However, always verify their safety for your betta fish and choose decorations free from harmful chemicals and sharp edges.

In summary, it is essential to provide multiple hiding spots tailored to the betta fish’s needs, including live plants, fake plants, rocks, driftwood, and commercial tank decorations. With these elements in place, you can create a comfortable and stress-free environment for your female betta fish to thrive.

Feeding Routine

Multiple betta fish in their tank

When it comes to the feeding routine for two female betta fish living together, it is crucial to ensure they receive a well-balanced diet. Bettas are technically omnivores that do very well on a high protein diet and require high-quality protein.

There are a wide range of different food sources on the market and here are some of our favourite options:

  1. Betta Pellets: Specially formulated betta pellets are available at most pet stores. They contain a blend of protein, vitamins, and minerals designed specifically for bettas.
  2. Frozen or Freeze-Dried Foods: These include bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp. They are nutritious and often readily accepted by bettas.
  3. Live Foods: Live brine shrimp, bloodworms, and mosquito larvae are excellent protein sources and can stimulate your betta’s natural hunting instincts.
  4. Flakes: While not ideal as a staple diet, high-quality flakes made for carnivorous fish can be used occasionally.
  5. Wingless Fruit Flies: These can be cultivated at home or bought from pet stores, providing an exciting live food source.
  6. Micro Worms: These can be used as a supplement to the staple diet, especially good for younger or breeding bettas.
  7. Homemade Food: Some aquarists prepare homemade fish food using ingredients like shrimp, fish, peas, and specialized vitamins and supplements. This requires careful research to get the right balance.
  8. Insects: Small insects like ants or tiny spiders can be given occasionally, but it’s best to ensure they are free from pesticides or other contaminants.
Food for betta fish

To create a harmonious environment and prevent food aggression between the female bettas, it is essential to establish multiple feeding locations in the tank. This will allow both fish to access food without feeling threatened or having to compete with each other.

Feeding your bettas on a regular schedule is also important to maintain their overall well-being. Generally, small, consistent meals twice a day is an effective feeding routine for these fish. It is important to remember that overfeeding can lead to health issues, so it is essential to provide appropriate food portions and remove any uneaten food from the tank shortly after feeding.

Water Parameters

2 betta fish in their tank swimming

When housing two female betta fish together, maintaining stable water parameters is crucial to prevent stress and reduce aggression.

Here are the recommended water parameters for betta fish:

  • Water Temperature: Bettas thrive in water temperatures between 78-80°F. A stable temperature within this range is essential to ensure their comfort and well-being. Proper heating and regular monitoring will help maintain this consistency.
  • Water Flow: Betta fish prefer still to low-flow water conditions. A gentle flow is necessary but avoid creating a strong current, as it can cause stress and discomfort for the fish. An adjustable filter can help in achieving the optimal water flow.
  • pH: Bettas do best in slightly acidic to neutral water conditions, with a pH range of 6.8-7.5. Regularly testing and adjusting pH levels accordingly will help maintain a comfortable environment for the betta fish.
  • GH and KH: Bettas require soft water with a general hardness (GH) of 3-4 dGH and a carbonate hardness (KH) of 3-5 dKH. These parameters can be tested and adjusted using water additives to ensure the proper balance.
  • Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate: Maintaining an ammonia level of 0 ppm is crucial to the health of betta fish, as this toxic substance can cause serious harm. Similarly, nitrite levels should also be kept at 0 ppm. Regarding nitrate levels, it is recommended to keep them below 20 ppm. Regular water testing and partial water changes will help maintain these levels within the appropriate range.

By adhering to these water parameters, you can create a healthy and comfortable environment for two female betta fish. Providing this optimal habitat will minimize stress and aggression, and allow them to coexist successfully.

Signs Of Aggression

A pair of betta fish swimming in their tank

When keeping two female betta fish together, it is essential to monitor the Signs of Aggression. While female bettas are generally less aggressive than their male counterparts, they may still exhibit aggressive behavior towards each other and other fish. This aggression can stem from competition for resources, such as territory, food, and breeding rights.

One common sign of aggression among betta fish is flaring, where a fish will fan out its gills and posture itself to appear more threatening. This behavior is often accompanied by a display of long fins and vibrant colors to intimidate the other fish. Another indication of aggression is chasing or nipping, where one female betta will pursue and possibly bite another fish. In severe cases, these actions can lead to injury or death for the more submissive fish.

Bullying is another sign of aggression among female betta fish. This behavior is part of establishing a pecking order or hierarchy within their living environment. Dominant fish may repeatedly chase or harass other fish to assert their dominance or territory. It is important to note that while some level of aggression is natural during the establishment of a pecking order, excessive aggression may lead to stress and health issues for the less dominant fish.

Always moniotor your tank for signs of aggression

Stress in fish can manifest in different ways, such as excessive hiding, refusal to eat, or color changes. Observing these indicators of stress is crucial, as a highly stressed fish may eventually succumb to illness or injury.

Any signs of aggression between your two female betta fish should be monitored. You can try adding more hiding spots to your tank if the aggression doesn’t dissipate but in some cases, you may have to separate your fish and move them into separate tanks.

Challenges And Risks

Two betta fish in their tank swimming

When considering the cohabitation of two female betta fish, it is crucial to be aware of the challenges and risks that may come with such a setup.

One primary concern is the potential for health issues to arise. Female bettas may be less aggressive than their male counterparts, but they can still develop stress-related illnesses, such as fin rot and bacterial infections, if they do not have sufficient space and proper environmental conditions.

Aggression and the risk of injury are also important factors to consider. While female bettas are generally more docile, they can still exhibit aggressive behavior towards one another, especially if they are competing for limited resources like food and territory. This aggression can lead to injuries, such as torn fins or damaged scales, which may increase the risk of infection.

In some instances, cohabitation might not work out, and it is essential to have a backup plan in case the bettas cannot share a tank peacefully. Make sure to monitor their behavior and interactions closely, especially during the initial introduction period. If any signs of aggression or stress become apparent, such as nipping, chasing, or excessive flaring, it may be necessary to separate them and find alternative housing solutions for the individual fish.

To minimize these risks, it is crucial to provide adequate tank size, hiding spots, and proper water quality for the female bettas. Ideally, a larger tank with multiple females can help to disperse aggression and promote a more harmonious living situation.

In conclusion, while it is possible for two female betta fish to live together under the right conditions, understanding the challenges and risks involved is crucial in ensuring a healthy and stress-free environment for both fish.

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