Why do betta fish eat each other?

In this post, we will answer the question “Why do betta fish eat each other?”. We will also discuss some of the behavioural characteristics of betta fish.  

Why do betta fish eat each other?

It is because they are fighting fish that they will occasionally bite and nibble at each other’s fins, even to the point of death, to win the battle. And, sure, they tend to fight with or harass other fish in the tank. Smaller fish, such as tetras, danios, gourami, killifish, and other similar species, are the species that the Betta prefers to eat as a food source. 

Betta fish are unlike any other species when it comes to remembering who they belong to and where they came from. It is nearly impossible to find this type of character in any of the pets that live in the water. Other pets, such as the well-known cats and dogs, are well-known for helping their owners re-establish a link and a relationship with them. However, when it comes to fish, this is not a common occurrence to occur.

Do betta fish eat other fish or any other small animals?

As you can see, the Betta fish would only consume other Betta fish in his aquarium that is smaller than him in size. You can watch them swallowing the fish entire in the video below! Don’t even think of keeping a Betta fish in your tank if it already has a large colony of tiny fish. 

Can a male and female betta fish live together? 

As long as your tank doesn’t include any dwarf or baby fishes, and you aren’t afraid to keep a female and a male betta fish together, you should feel comfortable doing so. If you are an inexperienced fish keeper with an insufficient understanding of betta and who is new to the hobby, you may want to reconsider performing this one. 

Only one pair of betta fish should be kept in a tank at a time if a female and male are kept in the same tank. If you like the appearance of the female betta and want to add more, you can do so as long as there is only one male betta. By keeping a spare aquarium tank on hand, you may be prepared in case of any emergencies or problems that may develop. 

Having a large aquarium with more than 40 gallons of water is quite beneficial in providing a safe habitat for both the female and male betta. Eating while fighting or injuring others.

Can betta fish live with other fish?

Aside from devouring little fishes, every betta fish has a way of expressing himself by causing harm to his tank mates. Except for the fact that betta is apprehensive about little fish, they often regard their tank companion to be harmful to them for no apparent reason. 

For the most part, elderly fish species with impaired physical qualities such as having an excellent tail and large fins are characteristics that a betta considers to be hazardous. 

A communal tank may also serve as a breeding ground for both female and male betta fish. Experts would attempt to determine whether or not a species may be damaged by the presence of a betta. When this is done, it is necessary to maintain careful supervision.

What kinds of animals can live with a betta fish?


They have a robust shell that provides enough protection from the elements in freshwater. Because you can hide on that shelf whenever you choose, you will likely be safe at all times and in any location. 

Because of the strong shells of snails, they are a good choice for keeping alongside betta fish. For snails such as mystery snails, a popular aquarium snail, and others, worrying will not be an option because they can save themselves.

Species with soft or transparent colours.

Guppies, despite their little size, may be housed in the same tank as betta fish. These guppies are light in colour, in contrast to either schooling fish or schooling fish that have brilliant colours, making them perfect for a communal tank. 

You might also want to think about acquiring ghost shrimp. They are translucent in colour, which makes them difficult to detect by bettas and provides them with more protection and security by guaranteeing they have hiding places in the event of a potential threat.

Quiet or calm fish species

Bettas can be kept in a group with other fish who are not bothered by their surroundings or who are busy inspecting the decorations and plants. One such species is the rasbora, which is a flowering plant.

Fast-moving fish

If you’d like to add small fish to your tank, but you already have betta present, you can still do so as long as the small fish can swim faster than the betta. When it comes to bettas, a little fish should have a characteristic that will help it out in the long run. 

You might want to try adding a tetra to your aquarium. Similar to rasbora, several species of tetra display a wide range of brilliant colours. Because of their brilliant colours, they are extremely apparent to the betta, resulting in the betta chasing and eating them.

Do betta fish kill other fish?

Betta can only kill fish if they are lower in size than the fish they are preying on. When betta is present, it is not feasible to kill other fish by an attack on them. Bettas are fighting fish to be able to attack other fish. These attacks lead fish to keep open wounds as a result of their attacks. We are all aware that having an open wound may be quite harmful if it is not properly managed. It is susceptible to infection by a variety of bacteria and viruses. To prevent this from happening, fish are being slaughtered.

Do betta fish eat baby fish?

Betta fish will devour anything smaller in size than he is. Bettas have a high likelihood of consuming newborn fishes, which is quite dangerous. The presence of other species with a conventional size as a baby fish, such as tetras, is not permitted in the same tank as betta fish. 

This baby fish will be devoured by your Betta if there aren’t any plants or ornaments in your tank that will allow them to conceal themselves. To avoid the possibility of Betta consuming dwarf or baby fishes, some fish keepers have begun to substitute tiny fishes as Betta feeding sources. Allow us to place tiny fish in the tank where Betta is now residing with the intention of Betta consuming them.


In this post, we answered the question “Why do betta fish eat each other?”. We also discussed some of the behavioural characteristics of betta fish.  

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Why do betta fish eat each other?

What is causing my betta fish to bite each other? 

Betta fish are very territorial and are prone to engage in combat with any other fish that share their aquarium. Male Betta fish are particularly fond of attacking other fish by biting the tips of their fins. Furthermore, when they battle each other, the fights might extend for up to 15 minutes each time. 

What is the source of the conflict between male and female bettas?

The likelihood of their reproducing has increased. If they do have a child, your male will perceive your female as a threat, and if she is unable to flee, he will begin assaulting her from behind. In addition, keeping the two together might lead to increased tension, constricted ends, lethargy, and aggressive behaviour. 

What is the best way to detect whether my betta is stressed? 

Swimming in an Odd Place: When fish are under stress, they frequently exhibit unusual swimming patterns. If your fish is swimming wildly without making any progress, falling to the bottom of his tank, rubbing himself against gravel or rocks, or locking his fins at his side, he may be suffering from severe stress and should be sent to the veterinarian immediately. 

Do betta fish become depressed or lonely? 

Betta fish are territorial by nature and should not be kept in the same tank, like any other betta fish since they will fight and hurt each other, which will frequently result in death. If they are in a large tank, they are unlikely to feel lonely; yet, they may become bored if their tank is too small.

Do bettas eat smaller fish like sardines? 

Do Betta fish have the ability to consume other fish or other small animals? As you can see, the Betta fish would only consume other Betta fish in his aquarium that is smaller than him in size. You can watch them swallowing the fish entire in the video below! Don’t even think of keeping a Betta fish in your tank if it already has a large colony of tiny fish. 

Do bettas hurt other fish? 

Bettas are inherently territorial and aggressive fish, albeit this aggression is mostly directed at other species of Bettas. Your Betta will not attack or kill the other fish in your aquarium if they do not see them be a threat in their eyes.


Why Do Betta Fish Fight? https://bettafish.org/faq/why-do-betta-fish-fight/

Do Betta Fish Eat Other Fish? http://bettafishaquarium.com/do-betta-fish-eat-other-fish/

Do Betta Fish Eat Other Fish? What Animals Can Live With Betta? https://theaquariumadviser.com/do-betta-fish-eat-other-fish/

Why do Betta Fish Fight? https://www.bettafishfacts.org/fight/