When I first started keeping betta fish, I tried putting two females together in the same tank. Let me tell you how this works out.
Although it is generally not recommended to keep 2 betta fish in the same tank together, it is possible. Sorority betta tanks are plausible. If you keep more than two females together, provide them with enough space, enough food, and meet other requirements, it should be doable.
Keep reading to find out everything there is to know about keeping two or more female betta fish in the same tank.
Betta Fish Aggression
Something that everybody needs to know about your average betta fish is that it is just a very territorial and aggressive fish, and this goes for both males and females.
Now you might know that you should absolutely never keep two male betta fish in the same tank, because they will inevitably start attacking and bullying each other.
This is always the case with male betta fish. Male betta fish are some of the most territorial and aggressive fish of all, and in spite of their small size, will relentlessly attack each other.
If you keep two male betta fish together, it is inevitable that one will end up dead within a very short period of time. Therefore, if you’re wondering about keeping two male betta fish together, this absolutely needs to be avoided at all costs.
Although it is not exactly known why betta fish are so aggressive, it could have something to do with their natural environment. If you didn’t know, betta fish live in some fairly harsh conditions, often in murky puddles, rice patties, and very shallow ponds.
This means that several betta fish often share the same small and cramped space, therefore resulting in a competition for food, space, and mating rights.
The more competition there is, the harder a betta fish has to fight for the right to eat and mate. It is believed that through years of evolution and environmental factors, betta fish have naturally become so aggressive and territorial, as this is mainly just a survival mechanism.
What needs to be said here however is that male betta fish are generally a lot more aggressive than female betta fish, and this may very well have to do with mating. In the animal kingdom, particularly with fish, it is the male that have to fight with each other for the right to mate with the female, not the other way around. Therefore, the fish are naturally very aggressive, because they have to compete for females.
However, females are not nearly aggressive, albeit they still can be. Female betta fish are still known for being aggressive towards each other, and sometimes even towards other males, and occasionally towards other fish that resemble betta fish. It is certainly not uncommon for female betta fish to harass, bully, and fight each other.
Can You Keep Female Betta Fish With Each Other?
As I mentioned above, female betta fish can still be very aggressive towards each other. Therefore, most people would recommend not keeping several female betta fish together.
There’s still a pretty big chance that they’ll end up bullying and attacking each other. Although, it is much less likely to happen with female betta fish than with males.
Therefore, if you plan on keeping multiple betta fish together, it absolutely has to be females with each other, or males and females together in pairs sometimes work as well.
From my experience, it is possible to keep more than two female betta fish in the same tank, otherwise known as the sorority tank, but there are some conditions that have to be met, which I’m about to look at below.
How to Create a Peaceful Betta Fish Sorority Tank
If you’re planning on creating a peaceful betta fish female sorority tank, there are some important factors that you need to take into account, so let’s take a quick look at all of them right now.
The number one most important factor that you’ll need to keep in mind when attempting to keep female betta fish together are their spatial requirements. On average, a betta fish grows to around 2.5 inches in length, and a rule of thumb is that every inch of fish should get 2 gallons of water.
Based on this rule, a single betta fish should have around 5 gallons of tank space. Now, you might think that you can therefore get yourself a 10 gallon tank for two betta fish. Sure, it sounds reasonable, but unfortunately, this is not quite the case. Remember that betta fish are very territorial, and this goes for females as well.
This means that if you keep more than one female betta fish together, you’ll automatically want to at least double the tank space for each of them. Therefore, if you want to keep two female betta fish together, you’ll want to have a tank of at least 20 gallons in size.
This will help ensure that each fish feels as though it has more than enough territory for itself, so that they won’t fight over territory with each other. If a betta fish feels like another betta fish is encroaching on its territory, a fight will ensue.
The Tank Setup
Another thing that will help make a much more peaceful sorority betta fish tank is if you have the right tank set up. What this really all boils down to is providing all of your betta fish with more than enough hiding spaces, decorations, and more.
You want to recreate their natural environment as closely as possible. Recreating the natural environment of the betta phase as closely as possible will help make them feel much more at home. Furthermore, the more decorations, plants, caves, and other hiding spots you have, the more an individual betta fish can feel like it has its own territory.
Simply put, if you break up the tank and provide your betta fish with plenty of hiding spots, they are much less likely to run into each other regularly. If you manage to divide up the tank in such a way so that both halves have an even amount of hiding spots, the betta fish will likely just stick to their own sides and defend their own territory.
Keep a Group of Females Together
It might sound really funny to say that it is recommended to keep more than two female betta fish together if you plan on keeping females together, this is actually the case. The reason why it is this way is because if you only have two females, all of their aggression is going to be focused on each other.
However, if you have a group of female betta fish, say four or more, then the aggression will be much more spread out across them.
This reduces the chances of any one individual betta fish being bullied by the other. Rather, all of the betta fish may very well just occasionally bully each other, without singling out an individual all of the time. This is something I discovered myself, and I realized that if I kept at least three together, aggressive behavior was greatly reduced, especially towards individuals.
Yet another thing that you should do to help ensure minimal aggression between female betta fish being kept in the same tank is to make sure that they are always well fed. A big part of betta fish competing with each other has to do with food. Resources are often scarce in the wild, which means that animals like fish fight over food.
Therefore, if the betta fish in your fish tank are not being fed enough, chances are they’ll start being aggressive with each other to compete for the limited resources. It is ideal if you give your betta fish a nutritionally balanced diet, and preferably a little bit more than they could normally eat. If they are always full and satiated, chances are they won’t fight with each other.
Although it is certainly possible to keep multiple female betta fish together, you absolutely need to follow all of the tips that I’ve provided above to make this successful.