What are the signs that your betta fish is engaged in killing each other?

In this article, we will understand why some betta fish kill each other. Also, we will explain how to prevent bettas to kill each other.

What are the signs that your betta fish is engaged in killing each other?

The signs are gill flaring, ramming, or fin nipping. When your betta fish is fighting, it’s very simple to tell. When it comes to territorial disputes, male betta fish tend to be more aggressive than female betta fish. Initially, the original male betta will exhibit warning signals when another male betta is brought into the tank. 

There are different ways in which these exhibitions may take place. If a male betta feels threatened while feeding or defending a nest, he may get ready to fight. Betta fish are also thought to be more afraid of brightly colored fish, which implies that male bettas will almost surely fight if they are very brilliant.

If the danger doesn’t go away, these warning indications will eventually escalate into actual aggression in the form of fin nipping. It’s possible that one of your fish is missing a portion of its fin, has red stains over its body, or has suddenly changed its behavior because it was fighting with one of your bettas.

Both male and female bettas are known for their aggression, with some hobbyists describing their females as even more ferocious than their male counterparts!

Betta fish are known for their aggressive nature.

Female Betta fish are often believed to be less aggressive than male Betta fish, although this is not always the case. However, they are still incompatible with both other women and men, while being less violent than their male counterparts most of the time.

Male bettas are built for combat, thus they may be unable to tell a female from a danger when they see one. Fights and fatalities are common outcomes of these male and female pairings.

While the female is laying her eggs, a male may still be aggressive to the point of weariness or sickness in the female.

As a general rule, male and female bettas should only be kept together for breeding purposes; they should be separated shortly thereafter to avoid probable violence.

Do betta fish fight over food?

Using their fins as weapons, betta fish attack each other and other fish to inflict open wounds. Infection and weariness may occur fast as a result of these exposed wounds.

This kind of battle may go on for a long time, and generally, at least one fish dies as a result.

Before a full-on battle begins, if you’re fortunate enough to see symptoms of hostility, the best course of action is to separate the two fish. A second attempt to keep the two fish together is not suggested.

Is there a way to keep your betta from fighting each other?

To put it another way, there is no way to stop your betta fish from battling with other aquatic creatures. Some bettas are less violent than others, so they may be maintained with a variety of tank mates. However, some bettas are so aggressive that they can’t even be housed with snails or shrimp without risking their lives.

While it’s vital to keep an eye out for signs of hostility, if your betta fish starts flaring in a separate tank for no apparent reason, there are steps you can do to calm it down. Stress is a possible cause of a betta’s erratic behavior. Changing landscape, water factors, or animals may all cause stress.

Betta fish tank changes

It’s a stressful experience for your fish when you transfer them from one tank to another; they’ve been taken out of their familiar surroundings and put in a new one. For new bettas that start flaring up for no apparent cause, it may be reasonable to infer that this transitional stage is to blame. Bettas have been known to flare up when their owners’ reflections appear in the glass, according to some aquarium enthusiasts. Within a few weeks, you should see a decrease in this habit. However, be sure that your betta isn’t overworked and/or putting itself in harm’s way when it is playing.

Betta fish water quality

Your betta’s stress levels might be exacerbated if you make any changes to the water’s composition. Ammonia, nitrite, pH, and water temperature are all critical considerations; nitrate is also relevant, but only at very high concentrations. When it comes to keeping your betta in good health, it’s important to keep it stable. Make careful to examine your betta’s water conditions if he or she starts to show signs of stress.

Betta living with other fishes

Because of this, you may still find it difficult to convert your pet from an individual tank to one with other fish. As previously stated, these fish are very territorial, and removing them from their natural habitat may lead them to become aggressive. During this period, you may see your betta bursting into flames from time to time. As long as it doesn’t continue and there is no fighting, you can put the fish in the same tank.

How and why do betta fish engage in combative behaviors?

These are the reasons for the betta fish to engage in combat:

There is a lot of territorialism in Betta fish

They are known as Siamese fighting fish for a reason. Plants or rocks serve as the preferred habitat for males. They have a strong sense of territorialism. Betta fish engage in fierce territorial defense to keep off intruders. They will go toe-to-toe until one of them is hurt or quits. To prevent betta fish from fighting, they are housed in separate tanks.

It was in the wild that B.Splendens, or the Bettas, were first found. Paddy field ponds were a popular habitat for these fish. They were found in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. They were referred to as “biting fish” by the indigenous peoples. In general, they reach a length of around 5 cm. They may survive for up to five years if fed and cared for correctly.

Using selective breeding, breeders have been able to produce bettas with brightly colored and lengthy fins.

The gills and fins of betta fish are flared as a show of hostility.

Other times, it might be an indication that the fish is making advances toward another.

It’s never a good idea to house two male bettas together. When another male enters its area, it will usually fight and kill the other or be killed himself. When two fish engage in a battle, it is nearly invariably the case that only one fish is killed.

A Betta’s fights may be triggered by any of the following:

  • A community cannot thrive in this tank.
  • There aren’t many places to hide out in the tank.
  • The other fish has the appearance of a betta.
  • The other fish has long fins.
  • The fishes have a territorial disposition.

It’s common for two male bettas to spread out their fins and puffed-up gills when they meet in the wild. When one of them doesn’t flee, they’ll nip at each other until one of them does.

In most situations, betta fish fights only last a few seconds or are over in a matter of moments. Breeding for aggressiveness has resulted in longer and more violent fights in bettas, which generally end with one betta either severely damaged or dead.


In this article, we learned why some betta fish kill each other. Also, we explained how to prevent bettas to kill each other.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What are the signs that your betta fish is engaged in killing each other?

Why do betta fish attempt to kill one another?

Male betta fish battle because they are very territorial. When it’s not a dry season, bettas have kilometers of rivers and paddies to swim across in the wild When one male approaches another’s area, the two may act aggressively, but a battle is unlikely if there is enough opportunity to leave.

Is it true that betta fish always murder each other?

Many bettas, contrary to popular belief, do not fight to kill. Unless they’ve been specially bred for violence — or unless they share a confined area with other bettas — most bettas will nip at each other, but they won’t fight to the death.

Will two bettas kill each other?

Yes. Two bettas may be kept together as long as they are not both male. Keeping two guys together will almost certainly result in a battle to the death. You may have one male and one female betta in the same tank (and not always this is recommended)

How long do betta fish take to kill each other?

Male Betta fish, in particular, like nipping the fins of other fish. When they battle each other, the bouts might last up to 15 minutes. In the wild, though, the combat will terminate when one of the two participants backs down (usually this happens within a few minutes).

How do I prevent my betta fish from fighting?

The easiest approach to prevent your fish from fighting is to have just one male fish in each tank. To prevent bettas from seeing each other at any time, separate the fish’s tanks with a visual barrier. Visual barriers might be as simple as aquarium backdrops or a piece of cardboard.