Male Vs Female Betta Fish: Gender Differences & Personality

Betta fish are the most popular fish to own. They have beautiful colors, extravagant tales and interactive personality. They come in various shades of blue, purple, red and white. Male betta fish appear in more vibrant shades of their usual colors and have longer fins. The female betta fish, on the other hand, wear stripes on their bodies and have shorter fins. The males are larger and much more colorful.

Male Vs Female Betta Fish: Differences & Personality

Bettas are known to be very aggressive towards other bettas. They will fight other bettas until the opponent backs out. It is due to this aggressive trait that the bettas are kept single. Female betta fish can be as aggressive as the male betta fish. It is only during breeding that the male and female can be kept together. If a male likes a female, he flares his grills, twists his body and spreads his fins. If the female betta likes the male betta, she wriggles back and front. It is a quite a sight to watch.

Difference between male and female betta fish


This category is easily won by the female bettor.

Male betta fish simply have too much fin drag, which slows them down.

While male plakat betta fish can swim faster, I will award the overall speed prize to female betta fish.

Aggression Level

This one was almost a tie, but the male betta fish came out on top by a hair’s breadth.

The primary reason for this is that female betta fish can be kept in “sorority” tanks with other female betta fish.

A group of 4-5 is not uncommon.

However, the tank should be well planted and monitored in general, or one or two of the females may be bullied to the point of death.


This is a very subjective category.

Betta fish come in a variety of colors, both male and female.

Male betta fish will likely win this category if long fins increase beauty in your eyes, but female betta fish will likely win if short, torpedo-like bodies are more appealing to you.

This one will be ruled a tie.

Sexual Dimorphism

The term “sexual dimorphism” is frequently used in articles about tropical fish, including bettas.

Sexual dimorphism, in its most basic form, refers to the degree of difference between males and females of the same species. The terms “weak” and “strong” are also used to describe sexual dimorphism in creatures.

In the case of betta fish, it is true that wild bettas have a low level of sexual dimorphism. To put it another way, it’s difficult to tell the sexes apart. However, captive-bred betta fish exhibit significant sexual dimorphism because the male of the species looks and behaves very differently than the female.

This is due to the fact that captive bettas are bred for their spectacular finnage and rainbow of colors, including metallics. Betta fish in the wild have muted colors and short fins and tails.

Over the years, enthusiasts have tinkered with the basic betta genes of wild fish in order to create the beautiful anomalies that result in the strong sexual dimorphism of today’s captive-bred bettas.

Female betta

Bettas are egg laying fish. The male betta fish build bubble nests in a corner of the tank, to prepare for the arrival of the eggs. They gulp air and then spit out creating a bubble. They enclose the bubble in spit, to avoid the bubble from popping out. When the female has dropped the eggs, the male carries the eggs from the bottom of the tank to the bubble nest. When the female has no more eggs, the male betta will claim his territory and chase the female betta fish away. An unique trait of the bettas is that the male raises the kids. The male guards the eggs till they hatch. It protects the new brood of betta babies in his mouth.

The long fins prevent the male betta fish from swimming fast. Their long fins are often victims of nipping by other fish. That is the reason male bettas often do not do well in community tanks. The long fins cause them lot of discomfort, when there are currents in the tank. With their shorter fins, the females can glide through the tank and are not discomforted much by water currents. Most bettas offered for sale are male betta fish, which look more beautiful and colorful. But the female betta fish too can be a real delight. They have more personality to them than males.

Male betta

Male betta fish, particularly those with longer tail fins – veiltails, crowntails, halfmoons, and rosetails – are easily distinguished from female betta fish by their significantly shorter fins.

There is one exception, however: plakat betta fish.

“Plakat” is a term used to describe betta fish with shorter fins.

Although plakat betta fish are thought to be most closely related to wild type Betta splendens, this is becoming less certain as plakat betta breeding becomes more commercialized.

Plakats are extremely popular betta fish, and they make up a large proportion of the most striking koi and galaxy betta fish.

Because plakat betta males have short fins, it becomes more difficult to tell them apart from females.

Distinguishing male and female juvenile plakats is particularly difficult due to their similar short fins and torpedo-like bodies.

However, two factors in particular may assist you in determining whether your betta fish is male or female:

  1. a betta’s beard, and
  2. the female betta fish’s egg spot.

The Betta Beard

Both male and female betta fish have an opercular membrane beneath their gill covers.

This membrane is not visible on female betta fish unless she flares out her gills.

The opercular membrane can be seen pushing through the gill cover of male betta fish, but is much more visible when the male betta fish flares his gills.

A male betta fish’s large opercular membrane enlarges his flaring gills and extends below his chin, giving the appearance of a “beard.”

Males typically flare their gills when they are in the presence of another male betta, when they are displaying for a female, or when they feel threatened.

The Female Betta Egg Spot

The Female Betta Egg Spot

The presence of an egg spot on the female may also help you distinguish between a female and male betta fish.

The egg spot appears as a tiny white/cream colored dot beneath the female betta’s short ventral fins and her longer anal fin (the largest fin before the tail).

A female betta’s egg spot is actually a “ovipositor,” which releases her eggs during spawning.

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.

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.

What is a community egg layer betta fish?

I just noticed a label that says “community egg layer” on the cup where I got my fish. What exactly does this mean? Is it safe to assume that my fish is female? It means that the fish is gentle and has a good attitude, so it can live in a group. The species also has eggs.

Can Female Betta Fish Lay Eggs Without a Male?

Female betta fish can produce eggs in the absence of males, but the eggs will not hatch. Rather than that, they will decay, resulting in the formation of ammonia in the water. While healthy female bettas will always carry eggs, without a male, they will simply absorb and then recreate their eggs.

How many eggs do bettas lay? For More information about betta fish mate and breeding you can check the guide here.

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