Why do Betta Fish Fight?

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Betta Fish Fighting - Learn Why Betta Fish Fight
Betta fish are aggressive territorials

It is not without reason that they are called Siamese fighting fish. The males set up a territory around plants or rocks. They become very possessive of their territory. Betta fish fight to guard their territory from trespassers. They will fight until the opponent gets injured or backs out. It is to avoid betta fish fighting that they are kept in isolation.

B.Splendens or the Bettas were originally discovered in the wilds. They were commonly found in the shallow paddy field ponds of Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. The natives used to call them ‘biting fish’. They usually grow to a length of 5 cm. When they are fed and kept properly, they can live for 2-5 years. With selective breeding, the breeders have successfully developed brilliantly colored and long-finned varieties of bettas.

Betta  fish flare their fins and gills as a sign of aggression

Sometimes, it may also be a sign of flirting with other fish. Two male bettas should never be kept together. One will attack the other male found in its territory and on most occasions kill the other or get himself killed. Traditionally, people have used betta fighting for gambling. They let two male fish fight each other and place bets on the winning fish. A large number of people gather to watch the betta fish fight. One fish is almost always killed in such fights.

There are six common reasons why Bettas will fight other fish:

  1. The tank is insufficient for a community ecosystem.
  2. There aren’t enough hiding places.
  3. The other fish looks like a betta fish.
  4. The other fish is a vibrant color.
  5. The other fish has a long set of fins.
  6. The other fish is also aggressive.

Do betta fish kill each other?

Betta fish attack and kill each other and other fish, inflicting open wounds on their fins. These open wounds can easily become infected and/or exhausting. These fights can last for a long time, and at least one fish will usually have died by the time the fight is over.

Can male and female betta fish live together?

No, Male and Female Betta fish can’t live together. They will often attack each other. They can be kept together only for breeding purposes. Even in such cases, the female should be removed immediately after it has dropped all its eggs. Female bettas can sometimes be kept together in groups of three or more (in odd numbers). In such cases, the tanks should be large and should provide hiding places for the less aggressive female betta fish.

can betta fish live together with other fish?

Commonly, no. Male bettas can never coexist. A male and female can cohabit for mating purposes, but must be separated after the male steals the female’s eggs.

Bettas are tropical fish which thrive well in warm temperatures of around 85degrees Fahrenheit. Other specie of fish selected to live with betta should also have similar tropical requirements. Platies, corycats, African dwarf frog, neon/cardinal tetras, and white cloud mountain minnows do well as bettas tank mates. Bettas tank mate should not have long fins as that would agitate the male betta into mistaking it for another male. Betta might harass and nip at other species that are colorful or have long fins. This makes it necessary to exercise care in selecting tank mates.

People shunning violence, hate to watch betta fish fighting.  As a result of cross-breeding, the aggressive traits of the bettas have greatly reduced. Bettas with their vibrant colors, colorful fins, and interactive personalities do attract a lot of people. People consider them the most wonderful freshwater fish around and are increasingly finding offices and homes as pets.

Are betta fish aggresive?

Betta fish, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are so-called because of their male-on-male aggression. Although individual behavior varies, most male betta fish in the pet fish trade should be kept in separate aquariums and should not be able to see other males.

Are female betta fish less aggressive than males?

Female betta fish, contrary to popular belief, are less aggressive than male betta fish. While they are not always as aggressive as their male counterparts, they are still incompatible with other females or males. Male bettas are built to fight and may be unable to tell the difference between a female counterpart and a threat.

How do Betta Fish fight?

Male Bettas typically start a fight by flaring or fanning out their fins and puffing their gills to appear larger and more intimidating. If one or both fish retreat from the other, this may be the extent of the fight. However, if both “fighters” do not retreat after the display, the fight will escalate.

Example videos of how two male betta fish fight :

How to stop Siamese betta fish from fighting?

The best way to prevent your fish from fighting is to keep only one male fish in each tank. If you keep bettas in separate tanks, make sure there is a visual barrier between them so the fish can’t see each other at any time. Visual barriers can be as simple as aquarium backgrounds or a piece of cardboard.

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