Why Do Betta Fish Fight?

Betta Fish or Siamese Fighting Fish are some of the most beautiful fish you could have in your aquarium. They are elegant, colourful, and a great addition to your fish tank. However, while they can make great pets, caution must be exercised before adding them to your aquarium!

You will be able to find Betta Fish in a variety of colours, ranging from blue to red, green, orange, and purple. While these fish have shown a great capacity for surviving in unkempt aquaria or at different pH levels, it is definitely recommended to keep them within a comfortable and clean environment.

In fact, matching them wisely with other tank mates can be the key to see all your fish surviving. Betta Fish have been studied for years by scientists and experts, to understand the true causes of their aggressive behaviour. One of the root causes has been identified in the change of lifestyle to which these fish have been subjected through the centuries.

In fact, in the wild, these fights are much less frequent or forceful than the ones we can observe in fish kept in captivity. Usually, in the wild, there is much more space for these fish to swim and to have their own territory, whereas a small tank can be extremely limiting to them. The river waters and rice paddies they can usually be found have a lower chance of causing Betta fish to fight each other.

Moreover, in their natural habitat, if another Betta fish enters an already occupied territory, then a fight is nor likely to break out immediately. Rather, the owner of the territory will puff its gills and expand its fins and tails to scare off the other fighting fish. However, in captivity, the environment we create for bettas is the main factor that can lead to deadly fights.

When you combine the reduced living space created in a small tank with the natural territorial behaviour of a Betta Fish, it is not uncommon to see why they begin to fight. If you are looking at keeping more than one female Betta fish in the same tank, this is possible, but it needs to be done properly and be aware of some essential physical and psychological factors. Giving each member enough space to set up their own territory is essential to the wellbeing and survival of the parts.

Adding rocks and plants can be a great solution for your fish giving them a place to retreat to. Living or silk plants are an optimal solution, and you can also include caves and pieces of driftwood. However, if theyre looking for a mate, this behaviour can momentarily stop, and you will notice male Betta fish welcoming females in their territory.

In fact, when the male is ready, he will create a nest of bubbles at the surface of your tank. After this phase, you should give the female enough space to hide or, preferably, move her to another tank. If the female is left in the tank unprotected, there is a high chance that the male will kill her.

However, if you introduce plain-coloured fish to your tank and they have enough places to hide, it is unlikely that a fight will happen.

Why do betta fish kill each other?

Male betta fish fight each other because they are incredibly territorial. … Male bettas will also fight for food. Betta fish will typically eat as much as you can feed them in captivity. In the wild, however, they have to either find or hunt down their food to survive.

Should I let my betta fish fight?

While most Betta Fish will not get anywhere near this point, the fights are cruel. With both fish nipping the scales, fins, tail, and gills of the other fish. The fight itself is not likely to kill a betta, but the stress, possible infection, and trauma can become a killing factor.

Do betta fish always kill each other?

Despite their reputation, many bettas don’t actually fight to kill. Unless they’ve been specifically bred for aggression — or they occupy a small space with other bettas — most bettas will nip at each other, but they won’t necessarily fight to the death.

Do male betta fish fight with females?

Do Male Bettas get along with female betta fish. When placed in the same tank, your Betta pair may start fighting immediately. In some cases, a male and female Betta may get along initially, and then start fighting after breeding.

Whether youve owned betta fish your entire life or just recently started keeping them, at some point youll wonder or be asked the question: Why do betta fish fight?

Most of the time they wont even get close to that point, unless theyve been selectively bred for aggression or are trapped in a small tank with nowhere for the less dominant betta to hide. When one male enters anothers territory, the two may show aggression, but a fight may not happen with plenty of room to retreat.

During a fight, the two male bettas will fan out their fins and puff out their gills (flaring) to make themselves look twice as big. For example, in a 20-gallon tank with 9 female betta fish, one will establish herself as the alpha and the others will submit to her and form smaller packs of their own. Provided no new betta fish are added, disrupting the ecosystem, they will likely live peacefully without incident.

Dense plants and hideouts provide betta fish with a safe spot to hide from bullying and to relieve stress. Its common for females, for example, to eat the eggs during spawning, so a male will chase off and defend against this behavior. If two male bettas find each other in the wild, both will fan out their fins and puff out their gills to look as large as possible.

Siamese Fighting Fish or Betta Fish is a wonderful addition to ones aquarium. These fishes are colorful, elegant, and beautiful enough to draw attention from everyone. So, naturally, they have been the favorite pet item over the years.

In most cases, betta fish wont even show any aggressiveness, let along getting involved in a fight. These injuries and the frustration of losing the fight will often lead to the death of the defeated fish.

Scientists suggested that in the wilderness, betta fish arent such aggressive as in the aquarium. Consequently, these fishes get engaged in brutal fights more often or not in the tanks limited space. The congested space in the tank makes Bettas frightened and problems for territorial battles.

In the wilderness, this intimidation is enough to showcase the power and usually ends the deadly battle with the retreat of the weaker ones. However, in the small space of tanks, the fin flaring will lead to a serious battle that commonly starts with the tail nipping. The two male bettas will aggressively circle each other and engaged in tail and fin nipping until one fish accepts its defeat and retreats.

Whenever the males find insecure about its territorial dominance, it wont think twice to attack the nearest female also. During that time, you can remain calm and not worry about a betta male attacking the female. So, they will try to scare them off by nipping their tails that will frequently lead to a brutal fight and death of either species.

Additionally, the conflict will be less likely to happen if the fishes in the tank are dull colored . Also, if theres sufficient space for each type of fish to thrive and hide, the fighting wont happen. Due to their small size and dull color, bettas dont consider them a threat and avoids fighting.

After much research and observation, we have piled up the following tips for you to reduce betta fish fighting chances. Keepers may arrange a transparent divider between the two male Bettas to bring the fighting instinct out. Grab fish foods in your fingers and lure the betta into taking it from you, a brilliant way to prepare them for the fights.

Unfortunately, the same fish species is always on its toes (tails) to fight off its counterparts like Wrestle Mania. So, you must first understand why do betta fish fight and then with patience, reduce the likeliness of the battle happening. And its a matter of happiness, with a few minor adjustments you can quickly stop the bettas death due to fights if not the match at least.

We hope this article comes beneficial for you to know the reason for the aggressiveness of betta fish.

Fighting Myth

Betta fish will not always fight to the absolute death. Most of the time they won’t even get close to that point, unless they’ve been selectively bred for aggression or are trapped in a small tank with nowhere for the less dominant betta to hide. This is especially true for betta splendens or the most common betta’s sold as pets.Bettas will often damage their opponents scales, gills and tails by nipping and thrashing about. Those injuries, along with infections caused by stress, could, however, kill a betta after fighting. Deliberately making betta fish fight is cruel.

Why Do Male Bettas Fight Each Other?

Male betta fish fight each other because they are incredibly territorial. In the wild, bettas have miles of rivers and paddies to swim through when it’s not drought season. When one male enters another’s territory, the two may show aggression, but a fight may not happen with plenty of room to retreat.During a fight, the two male bettas will fan out their fins and puff out their gills (flaring) to make themselves look twice as big. This act is done to intimidate and scare off the opponent. If that doesn’t work, they’ll nip at each other until one of the two retreats.In a tank with no plants or other places to hide, it’s inhumane, to leave them in a tank together.Male bettas will also fight for food. Betta fish will typically eat as much as you can feed them in captivity. In the wild, however, they have to either find or hunt down their food to survive. In those scenarios, when two males come together, there is no pack mentality, but simply a need to survive.Males will also fight each other to protect their nests and eggs. When a male betta is ready to mate, he’ll blow a bunch of bubbles on the water’s surface creating what is called a bubble nest. Once his masterpiece is complete, he’ll wait for a female to come along and notice. Any threat to his chances at reproduction will ignite his protective instincts.

Do Female Bettas Fight Each Other?

Females are generally less aggressive than their male counterparts, but they can still be very territorial and will fight one another. They can cohabitate peacefully in groups of female betta fish, known as sororities. Females will generally be aggressive with other females for a little while in a sorority until a natural pecking order is established.For example, in a 20-gallon tank with 9 female betta fish, one will establish herself as the alpha and the others will submit to her and form smaller packs of their own. Provided no new betta fish are added, disrupting the ecosystem, they will likely live peacefully without incident.When creating a sorority of females, it’s best to have several in the group and plenty of space for them.Larger habitats are best, allowing each betta enough room to claim her own space. Dense plants and hideouts provide betta fish with a safe spot to hide from bullying and to relieve stress. Never add a male to a sorority tank.

How Long Do Betta Fish Fight?

If two male bettas find each other in the wild, both will fan out their fins and puff out their gills to look as large as possible. If that doesn’t scare one of them away, the two will nip at each other until one decides to retreat.Fights will last much longer in bettas that have been selectively bred for aggression and usually end with one betta either very injured or dead. Reminder, this is animal cruelty and should never be done in captivity.

The Myth About Betta Fish Fighting

Many people and even some betta fish owners think that these fishes always fight with each other by nature. Some also catch victims to death. Sadly, or fortunately, this is far from the truth.Betta fish fights will cause damage to the tails, scales, and gills as both fish will nip and thrash each other severely. These injuries and the frustration of losing the fight will often lead to the death of the defeated fish. So, the betta fish fight is cruel.However, knowing the fighting reasons for these fish can help you resolve the issue.

How Betta Fish Fight Happens

Scientists and biologists worldwide have studied betta fish aka, Siamese fish, to find out the valid reason for their frequent engagement in the fights. The cause behind their aggressiveness in the fish tank brought some shocking news.Scientists suggested that in the wilderness, betta fish aren’t such aggressive as in the aquarium. This aggressiveness came in them over the last century since people started domesticating them in the fish tanks.One of the major reasons, as biologists identify, of betta fish engaged in fighting in the fish tanks is the lack of proper spacing. While in the wilderness, they can roam around freely in their territory, the same can’t be said for fish tanks or aquariums.In both places, the fish is heavily limited to a small space. And we know betta fish are incredibly territorial and so, they often start fighting each other to dominate their territory.In rivers and lakes or even in large ponds, a betta fish has around three sq. Ft of territory for him. While you might not consider it a significant number, the reality tells us something different. In a tank, nearly 2-5 betta fish will live in the same three square feet area.So, they are frightened of losing their territory.And the result?Each fish nips the tails and gills of other to scare it off from his territory. Consequently, these fishes get engaged in brutal fights more often or not in the tanks’ limited space.So, here’s the pick

Does Betta Fish Fight Other Species?

Given the aggressiveness of betta or Siamese fighting fish, you need not to be an expert to say that these fishes will most likely fight with other species too. They will often grapple with the other smaller species to establish their dominance over whatever territory they have in the small tank.However, you can house a beta fish with diversified fish species in the same aquarium with some precautions. These we will discuss in the later half of the write-up.

What Are the Good Betta Fish Companion?

As you already know, betta fish are the fighters of the fish family. They will need a slight cause and start fighting. However, nature has profoundly balanced their aggressiveness with the calmness of some fish species.These calm and non-fighting fish species are safe to rear up in the same aquarium with betta fish. The most common betta fish companions are-All these three fish species will be good tank mates for bettas. However, there are tons of other alternatives too.

How to Make Betta Fish Fight

After much research and observation, we have piled up the following tips for you to reduce betta fish fighting chances.Check our details guide on selecting your betta fish tank for a single betta.