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Bettafish Home - Choosing The Betta Fish Tank - How Many Betta Fish? - Betta Fish Tank Setup and Maintenance - Heating and Lighting the Betta Fish Tank - Aeration and Filtering for the Betta Fish Tank - Gravel and Decorations for the Betta Fish Tank - Feeding Your Betta Fish - Betta Fish Diseases - Betta Fish Information and Facts

How many Betta Fish per Tank?

You can keep several betta fish in the same tank, but you need to follow these two simple rules -

  • Make sure the tank is large enough and that water quality is adequate. 2.5 gallons of water per fish is a minimum. Larger is better.
  • Avoid keeping more than one betta male in the same fish tank.

Male betta fish are beautiful but notorious for their aggressiveness towards other male bettas. They are even known as the "Siamese Fighting Fish" because of their habit to attack any other present betta male. It is true that male bettas will even attack their own reflection in the mirror, but please don't test this by placing a mirror next to your fish tank. Even if your fish sustains no physical injuries, having to constantly be involved in this mock fight causes the fish too much stress.

Here's a variety of large aquariums available on Amazon.

Is it really impossible to keep more than one male betta in the same tank?

It is possible to keep more than one male betta fish in the same fish tank but it's complicated and best left to experienced betta owners. In a nutshell, the fish need to have their own established territories and they should be able to keep out of each other's way. With some fish, that's achievable in a very large tank, usually 55 gallons of water or more, with enough hiding places.

Some people keep several male bettas in a smaller tank, separating them in their own enclosures, also known as betta fish condos. These are small see-through plastic cages that keep the fish separated while allowing them to see each other. While preventing actual fights and injuries from happening, the fish may still be stressed out from the presence of a competitor in their territory, so this is not a recommended setting for any long period of time. Also, most of these "betta condos" are just too small for a fish to spend his life in. These fish may survive but the low quality of life will take its toll eventually. Many betta owners see this arrangement as nothing but cruel.

What about female betta fish?

While generally less aggressive than males, females also need their space. They don't necessarily need to be separated and can better tolerate the proximity of another female but if they are overcrowded they will become over-stressed.

Keep in mind that, surprising as it may seem for unexperienced owners, fish can have their own individual behavioral traits. Some fish, whether male or female, simple tend to be more aggressive then others and may harass their tank mates (betta fish or other critters). If you have a particularly aggressive betta fish you may have to consider separating it from the rest of the inhabitants of your aquarium.