“The peaceful betta” myth

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  • Post category:Betta care

The story that wild bettas, primarly betta imbellis can live together because they are “peaceful” and aren’t that aggressive as domestic bettas is told way too often, and is mostly just not right.                                                                However in some cases you can sucessfully (see below).

 I have to say that it sounds pretty attractive to keep pairs, harems or even multiple males in the same tank, but looking from my own experience I can say that in 90% of the cases male and female just will fight and 1 or even both die or get
heavely wounded.

When I first started keeping wild bettas, I quickly came across story that you could
keep Betta imbellis permanently in groups or pairs, in the same tank. I had to say it sounded pretty attractive to keep them in pairs or harems together wth sometimes multiple males. I doubted to put a
pair in a tank together, but I  am happyI didn’t  do it. I put them separated,
and it came clearly pretty fast that was the best idea. I did experimented
leaving them together for a longer time in the same tank, but that resulted
always in the female being very stressed and wounded by the male.

During the years I have been developing my experience in breeding bettas, I have found that most wild bettas just get as crazy when they see a female as domestics and and so just be as aggressive as domestics, sometimes even more agressive. Mostly putting them permanently together will result in the male just wanting to mate or the opposite, discourage everything else out of their territory, that’s just mostly how the reproducing of bettas works.

So I wouldn’t recommend keeping your bettas apart and only put them together for breeding.

If you still do want to try keeping them together, here are some tips.


Betta Imbellis spawning

If you do want to try keeping themtogether, here are some tips:

  • Your tank has to be big enough

When you do want to keep your bettas together, I recommend a tank of at
least 70-80cm with a low water level.

A low water level will make sure there are enough small spaces and
hiding spots. When your water level is too high, bettas will more likely feel unsafe and there will be automaticly be more open spaces wich will result in the male seing the other fish more and claiming a
bigger territory.

  • Plants, plants, plants

If you have already read my post How to set up a tank you will
know plants are among the most important factors of a healthy and happy betta.

So it’s oubvious you’ll need a lot too when you create a “multi-betta”
setup. You have to have so many plants, that within every 20-25cm there is at least 1 plant. You can always add more.

It’s recommended to add additional hiding places like catappa leaves, wood or

  • A watching eye.

Even if your bettas are doing fine together, it can be from one moment
on another that the male decides to want the tank for his own and still starts

At such moments you will still need to separate them .

I hope you
found this post interesting, if you have any questions feel free to ask in the