Bright, colorful, and exquisite – these words are not enough to express the beauty of betta fish. And maybe that’s the reason why they are the top picks among aquarists.
However, there are some significant differences between the male betta and the female betta. But why should you bother about the difference?
Well, gender decides the personality of bettas. The male betta is very aggressive, making it unsuitable for community tanks, while the female betta is a bit docile.
Besides personality, there are other differences between the two. Continue reading to find out more about their differences to bring the right betta fish home.
Table of Contents
Betta Fish: A Quick Overview
- Scientific name– Betta Splendens
- Size– A male betta fish grows up to 3 inches at maximum, whereas the female fish is shorter, and its usual size reaches 2.25 inches.
- Life span– On average, between 2-5 years
- Ph level– 6.5-8
- Color– Variety of colors from red, blue, orange, purple, yellow, turquoise, multicolor, and more
- Nature– Aggressive
- Diet– Carnivore
- Tank size– An ideal fish tank is 5-10 gallons
- Care– Easy to moderate; ideal for new aquarists
- Water temperature– 75°F-80°F still freshwater is an ideal environment.
Male Betta Vs Female Betta: Personality
Betta fish has its roots in the South Asian region in the Mekong river, where it earned its name as the Siamese fighting fish. It was bred to fight for gambling purposes.
This species is fierce and provincial and attacks anything that comes too near. Though both sexes have inherited aggression due to sexual dimorphism, there are some evident traits exclusive to each.
Come, let’s learn about them in detail!
Male betta Splendens are extremely aggressive and become combative at the sight of other bettas, especially in their territory. They flare their gills and fins to symbolize dominance over others for region and females.
When a male betta is in proximity to other fish, usually with a similar personality, it rages out in aggression leading to the death of one or both fish.
The constant urge to capture territory makes them anxious and unhealthy. It could be a splendid sight as a viewer but repeated flaring of anger can lead to stressed, sick fish.
On the contrary, aggression is not a major temperament in female betta fish, and they are cordial with other betta fish. If you want to house more than one betta fish, a community can be set up with other congenial fish or female betta fish.
They will likely co-exist with one another in betta sororities, provided they get ample space and decorations like plants, rocks, and other aquarium props to hide. But please ensure not to overcrowd the tank at once.
In captive breeding, the male bettas are kept alone because their violent temperament makes them timid and nervous. They often get stressed when they see their reflection and react to it with anger too.
The chirpy and curious female bettas are often foundto be playful with their housemates in the tank. They might be less bright than their male counterparts but attract all the attention with their high spirits.
The male betta fish are emotional creatures even though fish lack emotional intelligence. They demand attention from their owners or the one who feeds them, as they do not generally interact with other fish. They become more active and light-hearted in their presence.
Talking about female betta fish, they are more independent and less lonely. Their lively instincts make them bubbly in the aquarium. Though the female bettas are less fierce, picking compatible in-mates is of utmost importance. Bottom dwellers or tiny aquatic species are generally the best tank mates for female bettas.
You will notice that when the male betta fish flares, their head posture isn’t down, but the female flares by swimming in a head-down position. This is again a reflection of their personality difference.
Other Key Differences: Identify Your Betta Splenden’s Gender
The male and the female betta’s personalities do not resonate with each other, but there are more differences than that. The different physical characteristics will help you easily distinguish between your male and female bettas.
The male betta usually has a steady box-like body and is pointed behind the head portion. Male betta fish are leaner and larger and have bright-colored scales.
With a large belly, female betta fish are plumper than male betta fish. They are also colorful fish but compared to the male bettas, female bettas are dull in appearance.
These fish tend to lose their brightness when they are unhealthy or stressed in their environment. Proper care and suitable water conditions can help in avoiding this situation.
The most evident difference between the male and the female betta fish is the shape and size of their fins.
Male betta fish have longer pelvic and dorsal fins. The anal fins are thicker and angled so that they can flex for the illusion of being more elongated.
Female betta fish have shorter and skinnier fins. The small fins enable them to be more agile and active than the opposite sex as they need to drag lesser weight.
The white spot under the belly between the ventral and anal fins of female metta fish is the egg spot. This spot is the ovipositor tube to lay eggs.
The male betta fish do not have these egg spots. The male fish care for the babies by protecting them in the bubble nest that they create. Once the eggs are laid, the male pushes the female betta fish away.
The membrane beneath the gill of the male betta fish is often considered a beard. They glare at the beard when they feel threatened in their region to show dominance and frighten the opposition.
The female betta fish has this membrane but it’s much smaller and not visible unless she flares it.
You will find vertical stripes near the belly when the female betta fish is sexually mature and ready to lay eggs. It is an indication that it’s ready to be paired.
The male betta fish usually creates bubble nests or flares lavishly to show it’s ready to mate.
Can Male And Female Bettas Stay Together In A Tank?
No, keeping male and female betta fish together is not a good idea except when they are mating. The aggressive temperament of the Siamese fighting fish does not allow them to co-exist.
Female fish can still live, but the male betta fish cannot withstand another betta fish.
But if you are still determined to keep the male and female betta fish together, you should take some precautions to keep them healthy.
You can insert transparent dividers so that they can see each other but can’t attack. After observing their activities for a while, you can decide when to introduce them.
Precautions to take if male betta fish and female betta fish are kept together
Are you a happy betta fish owner and want to create a community in your aquarium? Or are you excited to breed your bettas to add more colors to your aquatic zone?
Be sure to know all the dos and don’ts before putting a male and female betta in a common tank.
Size of the tank
The most important thing while housing both sexes together is a huge fish tank. The bigger the area for them to move, the less territorial they would be. The aquarium decorations will also help in camouflaging during fights.
Before you abruptly put a female betta in a male betta’s company, introduce the two bettas gradually such that they get accustomed to each other. They should not feel threatened by each other’s presence or they will attack and kill.
If you want to keep the male and female betta together, keep in mind that the fish should be young. There are chances that the juvenile fish will be less violent toward one another.
On the other hand, the adult fish will not make efforts to interact but instead will project its dominance over others. The betta Splenden will eventually chase, snip, and kill the other.
Now that you are ready to bring male and female bettas together, remember to be well-equipped if the idea works differently than planned.
Prepare another tank beforehand so you can separate the male from the female betta fish if they end up attacking and not co-living peacefully.
Which Fish Is A Better Pet?
Are you still thinking about bringing a male or a female betta home? Which one will turn out to be the better pet?
The decision to own a male or female betta fish is subjective. Read further about how you can decide which one to welcome.
If energetic and moving fins excite you, you should go with a female betta fish, as they are more playful than male bettas. Swirls up and down in the water by the female betta will lift your mood in moments.
If bright colors, dramatic longer fins, and a gaudy aesthetic is your thing, you should pick a male betta as your new friend. They own all the beauty to mesmerize you with it.
The female betta fish are less flashy.
Male bettas are better if you seek emotional companionship from your betta fish. The males of this species are emotional and tend to get excited when they see their owner. They demand attention as they spend their day alone.
The girls are free-willed and play around all day.
Number of fish
If you like to keep fish in a community, choosing female betta fish is the only resort. Female betta fish live in betta sororities, but male bettas will not withstand the sight of any other betta.
Which Fish Can Be Good Tank Mates To Bettas?
Bettas are super active and aggressive aquatic animals usually found in solitude. But less aggressive ones and bottom dwellers can prove to be good in-mates to bettas.
Tankmates for male bettas:
- Cory Catfish
- Kuhli Loaches
- Otocinchlus Catfish
Tankmates for female betta fish:
- Yoyo Loaches
- Rainbow Rasbora
The male bettas are different from the female betta fish, but both bettas will add color to the dull corners of your living space.
I hope you can now differentiate between male and female bettas and make an informed decision before petting them.
I tried answering all your questions, but if there is anything left, drop a comment, and I will try to answer you.
Which betta fish is easier to care for, a male betta fish or female betta fish?
Betta fish care is easy; any new aquarist can do it.
But due to sexual dimorphism in this specie, it is important to understand the traits of both sexes.
Do male betta fish need a larger tank?
Not really. A minimum of 5-gallon tank should be enough for the betta fish to stay healthy.
What are the common diseases in betta fish?
The most common diseases in betta fish are
Fin and tail rot
Hole in the head
What are the most popular betta fish types?
The most popular betta fish types are
Plakat betta fish
What do betta fish eat?
Betta fish are carnivores and eat insects, insect larvae, and worms. They also love pellets.
Can female betta lay eggs without a male?
Yes, female bettas produce eggs once they mature and lay them with or without the male but cannot fertilize them.
How to keep my betta fish happy?
To have a happy betta fish, you can ensure the following:
Prepare a nice environment for your betta. Clean water, aquatic plants, and Aquarium props for it to explore.
Communicate with your betta fish to keep it chirpier.
Give a good diet to your betta fish, including insects, tiny fish particles, and worms.
Can betta fish be stored in smaller-capacity tanks?
Yes, betta fish can be stored in smaller-capacity tanks for a while, but prolonged housing in them will lead to unhealthy stressed fish.
Why do betta fish come to the water’s surface?
Betta fish have labyrinth organs, allowing them to breathe directly from the air. So when the oxygen level drops in the water, it swims up to breathe.
Brian wasn’t just another Civil Engineer. His passion for Aquarium life was unknown to many until he decided to showcase it for the world. It seems like he made the right decision after all!