Can you put two male betta fish together?

In this blog we will discuss keeping two male bettas in the same aquarium.This blog will help new betta enthusiasts about the pros and cons of keeping males together in the same aquariums.


In this blog

  • Can you put two male betta fish together?
  • Tank size for male bettas
  • Behavior of male betta fish
  • How to male bettas show aggression?
  • Tank divider for keeping male bettas together
  • How many male bettas can be kept together in an aquarium?
  • Can male bettas live in community aquariums?
  • What are the signs of a happy, healthy and relaxed male betta?
  • Can male bettas live with tank mates?
  • How to keep two male bettas without fighting? 
  • Can two male bettas live together if they are raised together? 
  • Summary
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Reference

Can you put two male betta fish together?

Betta fish are territorial by nature and should not be kept with other bettas because they will fight and injure each other, often resulting in death. 

Male bettas are unlikely to be lonely in their aquarium; however, if they are in a small aquarium, they may become bored.Many male bettas don’t actually fight to kill but will nip each other.

Male bettas will not necessarily kill other male bettas to death, unless they are specially bred for aggression or occupy a small space with other bettas.But its a fact that male bettas can not live together.They prefer to live alone in a solitary tank.

Tank size for male bettas

A fighting fish has an average length of 2.25 inches or 5.7 cm when fully grown. 

Sometimes and under the right conditions, a betta can grow up to 3 inches or 7.6 cm in length.

An ideal size tank is 5 gallons or more for a single male bettas.There are several reasons why you should consider a 5 gallon minimum size.

  • Bigger and spacious tanks will reduce aggression.
  • Lots of hiding space will help them to have their own time when they are distressed.
  • Thick vegetation and lots of covers as hiding spots to rest and sleep.
  • The fact is male bettas can never be kept together in any tank size.

Behavior of male betta fish

Male bettas are elegant little creatures and each one has its own personality.They are friendly, curious and recognize their guardians. 

An outburst is a manifestation of their aggression, and it occurs when a male betta believes that his territory is under threat. Bettas also tend to become more aggressive as they get older.

Betta is known as an aggressive fish, especially male betta.Betta likes hiding places, such as floating living plants.

They eat live food and prefer brine shrimp, daphnia pulex, larvae, and special bettas pellets.Do not feed regular food to them, as they are carnivores and prefer to eat lots of proteins in their diets.

If you don’t provide these above mentioned things to your bettas, then aggression will get triggered and in such conditions if you put two bettas together,then they will kill each other to death. 

Male bettas don’t always fight to absolute death and most of the time, they won’t even get close to that point unless they’ve been selectively bred to be aggressive ,or housed in a small aquarium where the less dominant bettas have nowhere to hide.

How to male bettas show aggression?

Gill flaring behavior of male bettas

When a betta fish flares, it indicates  territorial aggression, and it is designed to intimidate the opponent into retreating. 

A small amount of glare will not harm your betta and can be very beneficial for your betta as it provides stimulation and exercise.

Male bettas flare because something in their territory threatens them and they want to get rid of it as soon as possible.It could be another betta, non-compatible tank mate, or a reflection of them in the mirror. Threats to their territory can make them very stressful and even prevent them from eating. 

The most common cause of male betta gill expansion is territory intrusion.By inflating their gills widely, a fighting fish appears to be twice its size, which can scare off an intruder.

The flaring can be caused by another aggressive fish in the aquarium, by a person walking by, or by a reflection in the glass.

Fin nipping behavior of bettas

Male bettas can damage their own fins in a number of ways. Transporting them to a new aquarium may cause injury,other fish may bite the betta’s fins, causing injury, harsh water environments, such as cold or unclean water, can cause aggressive fin rot that can damage the fins of the betta fish.

Tank divider for keeping male bettas together

Male bettas won’t be happy if the tank size is too small and they aren’t visually separated from each other.The male betta is very, very territorial and aggressive.

Male bettas are made to kill other males when they both run out of space. In the wild this is not a problem as they can usually run away.

One should never keep two male bettas in the same aquarium as they will quickly become aggressive and fight to the death.

For a while they may remain peaceful, but sooner or later they will fight until only one remains.Aquarium dividers can be used to divide the aquarium into sections while allowing water to flow freely.

This is useful if you need to keep the fish away for safety, breeding or other reasons.You can create your own aquarium dividers to save money and customize how your aquarium is split.

Aqua one betta duo spacers are permanently fixed with silicone and are not transparent black. This is a plus as male bettas are aggressive and tense when looking at other bettas.

The duo is 5.3 gallons and the triple is 8.4 gallons and leaves just a little over 2.5 gallons per bettas. 

How many male bettas can be kept together in an aquarium? 

Males fight with each other, so only one male can be kept in the solitary aquarium,hence their common name is the Siamese fighting fish.

In the wild, one will retreat but that’s not possible in an aquarium. The battle continues, and one or both die.Female bettas are a little tolerant of each other.

Can male bettas live in community aquariums? 

Many people mistakenly believe that betta fish need to be kept in solitary aquariums.Female betta can live together and along with other community fish too,but male betta can fight with other male betta.

It is better to never keep male bettas neither with other male bettas or other community fish or female bettas.Female bettas should be introduced only for breeding purpose.

What are the signs of a happy, healthy and relaxed male betta?

These signs will tell if bettas are happy and healthy:

  • Strong and bright colors.
  • The fins are open but not tight, allowing their fins to billow and stacks in water.
  • Feeds willingly.
  • Active smooth swimming movements.

Can male bettas live with tank mates?

Male betta fish are very aggressive and kill other betta males to death. It is important to think wisely before keeping tank mates with male betta.

Beginners are advised to keep male bettas alone in the aquarium. Male bettas are neither fit to stay with other male bettas,nor with females and are even not considered to keep in community tanks because of their aggressive behavior.

How to keep two male bettas without fighting?

The best way to stop the fight is to keep only one male betta fish per aquarium. 

If you want to house bettas in individual aquariums, create a visual barrier between the two aquariums so that the male betta fish cannot see each other at all cost.

You can use simple aquarium backgrounds or cardboards as effective visual barriers to stop their fights.

Can two male bettas live together if they are raised together?

Baby male bettas can stay together only when they are small, once they start growing,they will develop aggression,fin nipping behavior and fin flaring tools for space, territory,food resources and many other reasons too.

So the answer is simple, they can live together only when they are small and when they become adults it is better to keep them separately in separate tanks.

They can’t be even kept together with tank dividers.It is advised to keep them separately to avoid fights and conflicts.Fighting can stress your male bettas and can even reduce their lifespan.


Betta enthusiasts should keep the male betta fish separate because unlike female betta fish, male betta fish cannot live comfortably in the same aquarium with each other as males will fight to death if they have a chance.In this way, they have got their nickname Fighting fish.

Male betta’s most common fighting behavior is called flaring or getting angry.In this a male betta will push both operculum, their gill covers forward to indicate larger size.

Physical interactions may include one fish striking, or swimming directly into another, or biting or finning.This usually happens when they are housed together in a single tank.

To avoid such behavior,it is advised to never keep male bettas together.They are bred for their aggression and fighting behavior and they can’t tolerate other male bettas with them in a single tank.

They are very particular about their space, territory, food and other resources in tanks and don’t like to share that with anyone.

It would be better to keep male bettas alone in solitary tanks , with proper water parameters, lots of hiding spots, thick vegetation and floating covers to make them happy and healthy.

Frequently asked questions

Can you keep two male bettas in a ten gallon tank?

Two male bettas cannot be kept together in an aquarium of any size unless a separator is used.

What is the reason for sudden aggression in male bettas?

Male bettas tend to show sudden aggression due to injury or sickness.