Can I Keep Male and Female Betta Together?

Once when you see how magnificent a Betta looks you might feel the urge to multiply that beauty. Logically, we may conclude that if we have more Bettas the aquarium will shine with life and splendor. But with Bettas that is not the case. Aggressive by nature, with a predator instinct, there are not many species to introduce as mates. And there is also issues of safety even with two Bettas of different sex. Keeping a male and a female Betta together in the same aquarium is a rather tricky thing. No one with certainty can tell if that is possible and the opinions are rather divided. Many say that is mission impossible while a minority says that it can be done. One thing is sure, you need to be an experienced fish keeper if you dare to try.

Male and Female Betta Together

Can I Keep Male And Female Betta Fish In The Same Tank?

If you are planning on keeping a male and a female in the same tank, you could do it but under certain conditions.

The first option is to keep one male and one female and the second is to keep one male and a sorority of females. Other options would be fatal. 

Even in situations like these, you need to have a backup plan such as a spare tank in case troubles arise. Males are more territorial and more aggressive therefore they are the ones that cause trouble. 

One Male And One Female Betta Fish In The Same Tank?

If you decide to go with the option of a male and a female the first thing you need to provide is a big tank, 40 gallons and more. This will give a chance to a female to hide or just move away from a male. 

Apart from a large tank, you need a lot of live plants, caves, driftwood and decorations that provide hiding places. You should occupy about 70 per cent of the tank with plants and the rest with other things mentioned.  You could always use a tank divider which can be beneficial if a male starts attacking a female. If you decide to go with a tank divider, remember that females like more swimming space so leave them more space than males so that both keep comfortable. 

The possibility of breeding can always happen whether you want it or not.  But if the pair is not picked properly there is a big chance that they end up killing one another. 

Another problem can happen if you decide to keep two sexes together and that is lethargy and stress. When trying to breed they become stressed and weak which results in lethargy and later illness. In some cases, a female can become dominant and aggressive to a male Betta.  Some males that used to be peaceful can become unexpectedly aggressive to a female.

If they start to get along, your Betta lays eggs; she must be removed from the tank even if they managed to get along. The reason is that a male will become overprotective of eggs and will consider a female as a threat. The male will certainly start attacking a female and one will end up dead.

One Male And A Female Sorority In The Same Tank?

If you decide to go with a male and a sorority of females first you need a huge tank of 75 gallons or bigger in length than in height. This will help you add more decorations when arranging the tank. Then you move in the sorority in the tank. After they adapt, you can consider introducing a male. But remove them from the tank first, then rearrange the tank. After you have done, add them all.  That way there will not be territories and all of them will be occupied with exploring the tank and new places. But if you add a male first, he will behave territorial and start attacking females.  

The key for this to work lies in providing a lot of hiding places. A lot of plants will break lines of sight and provide additional hiding places besides decorations and caves. 

In Betta harems, a big problem is that females can demonstrate aggression among themselves while establishing dominance. The best way to deal with this is to keep them separated for instance in a bag but able to see each other before letting them out. Even better is to do that for a couple of days. If flaring and chasing increases the only option is to remove the male.

Reasons For Keeping Female and Male Betta Together

People want to keep a male and a female Betta for different reasons and it is possible but very demanding. They can be kept together but only under certain conditions and a backup plan if joining doesn’t work.

The most common reason is breeding but it can also be to increase the beauty of the tank by adding another fish of the same beauty. And since males cannot be joined , why not a female. Be very careful before making a decision of joining two Bettas because you may lose one if not both. And consider other fish that can be tank mates in a safer way.

How To Introduce Females and Males Together In The Same Tank

If you are introducing a female to a male the best option is to simultaneously explore the territory and search for hiding places. Since no one has occupied anything in the tank and everything is relatively new there is a good chance that they will deal with the surrounding and not bother each other. 

The other option is to use a divider so that they can see but can hurt each other. Take you time and let them observe then try to remove the divider and see what happens. It sometimes takes a lot for them to adjust and accept each other. 

Do Male Betta Fish Kill Females?

In the situation where you drop your female with a male Betta there is a great possibility that a male will kill a female but if you let them introduce first for a few days and see how the things are going well you can have a go and let them join. 

Final Words

There are slim chances you could successfully keep females and males together but if you are optimistic here is what you need to remember.

If you keep a male and a female together:

  • Use 40 gallons tank or bigger
  • provide a lot of hiding places with live plants, caves, driftwood and decoration
  • it is advised to use a tank divider
  • if they breed do separate the female or a male will most surely kill her because he will consider her a threat
  • Having two sexes together can reflect in stress, clamped fins, aggression and lethargy

If you keep a male Betta with a harem, remember:

  • Provide 75 gallons tank or more
  • Avoid adding females after you introduce a male
  • Add a male to the sorority
  • Make a lot of hiding places
  • Cover 70 percent with plants, females are safer and love it that way
  • Observe females they might fight for dominance
  • Before introducing a male let them see each other but keep them separated. 

After all we have presented it is up to you to take a leap or not. 

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