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Male and Female Betta fish

Updated on December 22, 2013
Male Betta Fish (Image)
Male Betta Fish (Image)

How to tell a Male from a Female Betta Fish

Many people are interested in having a big Betta fish aquarium, with multiple Betta fish instead of just one. This is can be both a wonderful attraction to look at and a beautiful decoration for your house. However, if this is your wish, you will need to know how to tell a male Betta fish from a female Betta fish and we will see later why.

The majority of people will take just the most good-looking Betta fish, without bothering if it is a male or a female and this makes perfect sense. Why should you care anyway, if you are not going to breed them? Well, we will answer this later. For now here is the simple rule of thumb on how to tell a male betta fish from a female Betta fish:

Male Betta fish are the most pretty ones, with the bright and beautiful mix of colors. They are also bigger than the females and have long beautiful fins.

Female Betta fish are the ones with less vivid colors, they are usually, brown, smaller and not that "pretty".

This leads to the (easy to guess) fact that most pet shops have not female Betta fish! Most people will prefer the male Betta fish, since they are much more attractive than the female ones.

So, it's easy to say that "well I don't like female Betta fish, so I am going to buy a bunch of beautiful male Betta fish and throw them in a big Betta fish bowl". No! Now that you know how to tell them apart, avoid by all means throwing together too many male Betta fish in one aquarium. They will fight each other to death!

Furthermore, two female Betta fish in a tank, are also highly territorial and unless the tank is big enough, they will also fight each other! However, you can counter this by putting 5 or more female Betta fish in the same tank. Paradoxically, if they are so many they won't fight each other...

Here is a demonstration video of 2 male Betta fish fighting...

Keeping multiple Betta fish, without aggression

In order to have low or none levels of aggression between your newly acquired Betta fish, you have to look after a few factors described below.

  • The size of your Betta fish tank does matter! Most people usually have 5 gallon water per Betta fish. This means that if you want to put together a male and a female Betta fish in the same tank, be sure to have 10 gallons of water in the aquarium and they will get along pretty well. Also, if you want to acquire a lot of Betta fish, be sure to keep the amount of 5 gallons per Betta fish. This will give them plenty of space, so not to bully one another.
  • In order to increase the chances of not picking on one another, you can enhance your Betta fish aquarium with plants, rocks and other places for them to use as shelters and provide protection for your beloved Betta fish. At the end of the article, there is a link to another hub for more details about Betta fish tanks, decoration and more!
  • Another factor that may reduce radically the levels of aggression between your male and female Betta fish is getting a sorority of Betta fish who are siblings! (Note: this is not always possible). Siblings Betta fish do not pick on one another and live together much more peacefully.... You might found them from a Betta fish breeder.
  • It is highly effective choosing young Betta fish of approximately the same size. When they see Betta fish of the same size, they will rarely engage in fighting because the result of the fight will be doubtful!
  • Keeping two male Betta fish in the same aquarium is really difficult. There is high probability they will fight each other. So if you want to have multiple Betta fish in the same tank, either try a pretty big Betta fish bowl or try with a combination of one male Betta fish and a couple female Betta fish.

Introducing a new Betta fish to the aquarium

If you want to add a Betta fish or another companion to your aquarium, it is very important after the mixing has been made, to keep a close eye on how they get along together. There might be an emergency or either fish gets too stressed and then you will have to put them in different tanks.

You can also mix Betta fish with different types of fish. You just have to make sure they get along together. If they can't stop teasing each other, then they should be separated. Generally a few fish species that get along with Betta fish are Platy, Danios, Raspbora, Angelfish and White Cloud Minnow.

Alternatives to keeping multiple Betta fish together

Two male Betta fish will always fight, so there is an ingenious way for preventing this.... Separate them within the same tank!


These devices are called Fish Condos and are essentially containers, usually made from plastic, with holes on them, thus letting the water flow through them. You can put more than one Fish Condo, depending on how big your Betta fish tank is. You can also, cover the air holes with plants or blockades so your Betta fish will be in the same aquarium but never see each other!

Beautiful Male Betta Fish

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    • profile image

      Chrissie 

      5 years ago

      No they are not lol. two of mine found the holes in the seperator and chose a specific one to look at each other through lol. but ones really small and the other huge so they don't get in "arguments" at all.

    • musictunes profile image

      Kris Weber 

      5 years ago from Saint Cloud, Minnesota

      Yeah, you gotta love betta fish. People think they are boring but they are really not.

    • Livehappy89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Livehappy89 

      5 years ago from Athens

      sure, nice video and article!

    • Livehappy89 profile imageAUTHOR

      Livehappy89 

      5 years ago from Athens

      To be honest I don't know about "moon" betas. For the rest you can choose a beta that the difference in fins and colors is considerable. Also, you can ask about their sex to get an idea, but sometimes they might tell you a random male/female if they don't know their sex..

    • musictunes profile image

      Kris Weber 

      5 years ago from Saint Cloud, Minnesota

      Some male betta fish are pretty hard to tell the difference when the fins are not as high as a lot of the male bettas. The "moon" bettas or something along those lines right?

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