Those interested in maintaining an aquarium in their home are often drawn to the Betta fish, known for its colorful aesthetic and energetic personality. Most people who are new to fish-keeping also tend to consider two better than one, and so they wonder if it is safe to put two Betta fish together.
Now, simply put, it is possible to put two Betta fish in the same tank. However, this is heavily dependent on the individual temperaments of the two fish. Some may get along, while others may not. However, the nature of Betta fish alone does not prevent them from being put in the same tank.
How Territorial and Aggressive are Betta Fish?
Betta fish may not seem like it on the surface, but they are actually quite territorial, and that means they can get aggressive with other fish if they feel like their territory is being infringed upon. However, this does not mean you can’t keep Betta fish together at all. It just means you need to put them in a big enough tank for each fish to have its own territory.
Now, some Betta fish are more aggressive than others, just like people. If you find that a Betta fish is just really nasty and mean to other fish, there might not be anything you can do about it. However, with most Betta fish, there are many ways you can reduce their risk of aggression towards each other.
As mentioned above, ensure the tank is large enough for the Betta fish to all have their own personal space. But also make sure there are plenty of forms of cover and concealment that will allow the fish to break line of sight between each other. This will reduce how much they feel threatened by one another.
How to Keep Two Betta Fish Together
As mentioned above, you will want a significantly large tank with lots of cover if you want to keep two Betta fish together. But there are a few other things you’ll want to do if you wish to keep two of these fish together.
For one, you’ll want to pick two Betta fish that have very calm and docile temperaments, and you’ll definitely want two fish that have never displayed any aggression towards each other before.
When it comes to actually introduce the fish to each other, you’ll want to do that very gradually if you can. Introduce them to the same tank only for brief periods of time, with only gradual increases in how long they stay near each other. This way, they can get used to being near one another slowly, and they’ll be less likely to fight.
Of course, less likely doesn’t mean that the chances are actually zero. While doing this, you will want to keep a careful eye on the two Bettas and ensure that you are ready to separate them at any time if need be. You don’t want to leave them alone before you know how things are going to turn out.
After all, even if they don’t fight at first, that doesn’t mean they won’t do it later. You don’t want to assume they’ll be fine, leave them unattended, and come back to an ugly scene. Until you are sure that they will behave around one another, you’ll need to observe them closely.
At the end of the day, the individual temperament of the Bettas in question truly is the most important thing to take into consideration. It’s impossible to say with any certainty that any two Bettas will get along. Some of them will, and some of them won’t. You’ll need to keep in mind that for some Bettas, nothing will help them get along.
Alternatives to Keeping Two Bettas in the Same Tank
If you just can’t get your two Bettas to get along with each other, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have two of them. It just means you’ll need to keep them in a different way. For instance, if you have two fish tanks, it would be a fine idea to simply keep one Betta in one tank each.
That said, we understand why that might not be a viable option for everyone. Some people might not have enough room for two tanks, or they just might not want to go through the hassle of having two tanks. In that case, you may want to go for a slightly different option.
Instead of two Bettas, you may be better off with one Betta that is being kept with other, less aggressive fish in one tank. After all, the best way to avoid too much hassle with aggressive fish is to only have one of them, instead of trying to have multiple in the same tank. Besides, there are plenty of other colorful fish that can share the space with a Betta.
Every fish is different, and even fish within the same species have different temperaments and attitudes. Because of this, even though it is very possible for Bettas to be kept in the same tank, it is just as possible that any two Bettas will be too aggressive with each other to coexist like that.
It’s important to keep this in mind. Understand your fish and don’t try to force them into something they aren’t going to accept. That’s a losing situation for everyone. Don’t completely ignore the possibility that you may have to keep your Betta with other less aggressive fish instead of another Betta.
Of course, other fish have their own concerns to take into consideration as well. There are other aggressive fish besides Bettas that may also not get along well with them. Ultimately, this just means that you should always conduct research on every fish that you want to keep in the same tank, so you can know how they will interact. Fish are living creatures that will rely on you to create a safe and happy environment for them. Be sure to take responsibility for them by taking all the actions needed to do that.