Do Female Bettas Fight? Tips And Tricks On How To Handle Bettas

If you intend to set up a betta tank, it is important that you learn about its characteristics. Knowing how bettas react and behave allows you to create a harmonic environment where your fish can survive and thrive.

More specifically, learning about the aggressiveness level of female bettas is a must should you wish your tank to remain conflict-free.

Do female bettas fight?” Check out the article below and see if they are truly that violent!

Do Female Bettas Fight?

Yes, female bettas do fight. It might sound strange to inexperienced aquarists, but violent behaviors are not confined to male individuals only.

When the need arises, female bettas can be as hostile as their male counterparts. Whether it is to establish a hierarchy within the same tank, fight for territory or mating partners, collisions among female bettas are not rare.

4 Reasons Why Female Bettas Fight

Are female bettas aggressive? The answer is yes, or else they would not engage in fights. That said, various reasons are contributing to this problem. Below are the 4 most common catalysts that you should be aware of.

They do not have enough space to move around

When living in natural bodies of water, each betta has an average space of roughly three square feet. However, things change drastically once they are introduced to a tank.

Having limited space for swimming and searching for food urges female bettas to engage in combative behaviors. Should female bettas determine that they do not have a proper living area, their chances of colliding with others will significantly increase.

Their stress levels are too high

Animals have a specific biological reaction when adrenaline and cortisol are released into the veins when under stress. These two chemical compounds irritate the body, worsening mental acuity, and generally induce otherwise avoidable manners.

If your bettas are undergoing an extended period of stress – be it due to food shortage or unsuitable water conditions – they are more likely to get aggressive.

They are protecting their personal space

Bettas are known for their territorial nature. This means that they take it personally if they feel like their personal space is being invaded.

Any fish coming to bettas’ territory is subject to suspicion, even if they are from the same species.

They have limited resources

female betta fish

If you have a habit of feeding bettas sparsely and in small amounts of food pellets, it should be no surprise why your female bettas become belligerent during meals.

In the wild, bettas eat continuously as they do not know when the next meal shall come. It is wired into their brains and makes bettas highly possessive of their food intake. Any threats to bettas’ meals will be met with hostility.


1. How do I stop my female betta from fighting?

Once you spot a fight among your female bettas, consider taking these steps to halt the collision.

  • Remove bettas from one another: Bettas do not need an entire school to live comfortably. If you feel like having more than one individual is problematic, move one of them to a separate tank.

You can either leave a betta on its own or mix it with other peaceful fish. Bettas do well even if kept alone, so it should not be much trouble for you.

  • Set up tank partitions: Tank partitions are pieces of mesh that divide your tank into different sections. Once you have designed a proper layout, make sure each section only houses one betta.

This way, your fish get to enjoy a unique territory, which reduces the chances of direct conflicts.

2. Can 2 female betta fish live together?

Yes. Saying that female bettas can be hostile does not mean they cannot live within the same space. If aquarists ensure optimal living conditions for bettas, there is no reason why bettas would engage in fights.

That said, you can still put in some precautions to minimize the aggressiveness level.

  • Sync their introduction time: If you put in a betta at one time and several others later, the first one to come might feel like it is superior to the late-comers.

Thus, introducing all the fish simultaneously removes the indication of any hierarchy. These female bettas are also at their disposal to mark their territory and get on well with the rest of the school.

  • Find suitable tank mates: Research has shown that female bettas tend to live in harmony with fish having different colors. It is believed that sharing the same skin spikes the intensity among bettas.

Furthermore, you are recommended to try out young bettas for their tendency to shy away from trouble.

  • Design tank features: If your tank lacks mini-retreats, all it is left is a blank body of water where bettas easily get worked up. Fake and live plants, driftwood, or rock may provide bettas with enough playground and territorial space.

This allows them to wander off without threatening others in the same community.

3. Can female bettas kill male bettas?

In theory, female bettas can kill male bettas if provoked. However, this is not likely to happen in reality. Male and female bettas do not charge each other for no reason.

And even when they do, it is mostly during the spawning season only. Once the mating is over, female and male bettas will get along just fine.

male and female betta

4. Can female bettas kill female bettas?

Not really. While they do engage in fights, most of these collisions are not fatal. In the worst case possible, some might get their fins and bodies injured.


After reading this article, hopefully, the question “Do female bettas fight?” will no longer bother you. Should you want to have female bettas in your tank anytime soon, make sure to prevent them from fighting by following the aforesaid advice!