Bettas are known to be territorial fish that don’t play well with others.
You’ll often find that they’re not comfortable sharing their own aquarium with other fish unless there’s a lot of space available to them.
Hence, the chances of Betta Fish getting lonely are slim.
Do Betta Fish Get Lonely?
The most probable answer to this question is a simple No.
If your betta fish is acting strange it’s because most likely it’s stressed out due to things that have gone wrong in its tank.
Betta fish are very aggressive and prefer to be by themselves. Even in the wild, they live a solitary life and stick to their own territory. Hence, two male betta fish in the same tank is always a bad idea.
So how can you know what the betta fish really wants? It’s simple.
Consider its behavior, and talk to an expert. Do some research on your own, and connect the dots. If you’re giving it the right food at the right time and keeping its tank clean, there should be no cause for concern.
Betta Fish Prefer to Be Alone
When a little fish is by itself, it’s natural to think that it’s lonely. However, not all fish, and by extension, all animals, are built the same.
It’s natural to project ourselves onto that betta fish and think that it may benefit from some companionship. They’ve been doing it in films and television shows for a long time.
However, for a betta fish, moving it to a community tank or adding fish to their tank isn’t a good idea. It may create stimuli for them, but the wrong kind.
In fact, it may actually be physically and mentally harmful for them under certain circumstances.
Betta fish prefer to be alone. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t require a great living environment. Oxygen, heat, filtration, clean water, and good food are still requirements for its existence. Also, it needs a big tank to swim around. Since these fish are very territorial, the bigger the aquarium, the more likely they are to completely call it their own.
They’re unlike fish that will feel lost in a huge environment. In fact, they may attack other fish if you introduce them to the tank since they’re so territorial. The only way that you can keep other fish in the tank is through careful planning.
Make sure you don’t do this for the betta. That’ll backfire. First, the tank needs to be big enough for both of them; both physically and metaphorically. Don’t think that the betta fish and the new fish will become friends. The best scenario is that they’ll be indifferent to each other.
Just makes sure that there’s enough food to go around and that the tank stays clean. As long as you don’t disturb the living conditions in the tank, your betta fish and the other fish should be fine.
Do Betta Fish Get Bored Easily?
Betta fish don’t get bored easily.
If your betta’s care needs are met, then it will be happy without any worries. However, if you introduce other fish into the tank which are sharing its environment, it is bound to become aggressive from time to time.
Betta fish are known to be very focused and simple animals. They only care about their lives being perfect with enough food, water, oxygen, and the right temperature.
You may think that your Betta fish is bored when it exhibits either of these behaviors:
- Glass Surfing: When your fish continuously swims up and down the aquarium glass. This is a sign of stress, not boredom. There is something aggravating your betta fish, and it may be either a lack of food. It could be that the water temperature is too high or too cold, or something else. Don’t introduce another fish to solve this problem when it will only make things worse.
- Hiding: Betta fish hide when they want to feel secure. However, if it’s hiding too much, then something may actually be scaring it. Perhaps you have a cat or a dog that is making it nervous. If your betta is wedging itself behind a decoration, then there may be a problem with the decorations or with some other thing in the aquarium.
- Sleeping: Certain bettas sleep while sitting on the bottom or on plant leaves. If it does this repeatedly, this may be a bad sign. You may need to take the fish to the vet in this case.
Reasons Your Betta is Acting “Bored”
Your betta may be acting weirdly due to a lack of livable conditions in the tank. Clean the tank or check the filter. Move the aquarium out of direct sunlight or simply close the curtains.
If the aquarium is facing a mirror, the betta may see its own reflection as another fish. This may raise its stress levels.
Can Betta Fish Live with Other Fish?
The answer is maybe. The right circumstances presenting themselves have a lot to do with it. Betta fish aren’t accommodating or understanding.
They like things to be just so. So here are a few rules you need to follow when caring for them or putting them with other species of fish.
- Make sure there’s a large tank for both of them. The minimum size of the tank should be ten gallons. Make sure that it’s wider than it is tall, of course.
- Don’t choose any other aggressive fish to serve as tank mates.
- Don’t choose any fin nippers. That means that any aggressive mates or even slight rivals will not do.
- Don’t introduce any other anabantids into the tank.
- Don’t go for brightly colored fish. Bright colors may be perceived as their competition and can attract rage. That means that you should think of betta fish as charging bulls. Better to introduce dull-colored fish into the tank.
- Don’t get fish that resemble any species or sub-species of betta. That will only increase the aggression in your fish.
- Make sure that the tank has a gentle current. High currents will only aggravate the fish.
- Make sure that the tank has several spots for either fish to hide. The betta fish may need time for itself; in fact, it definitely will. In these times, the other fish may need a place to lay low. That is imperative for peaceful coexistence.
Make sure you have small bowls or other tanks ready in case things go bad. If you see the two fish fighting or if you see one fish has been hurt, remove it from the principal tank.
Keep some food and a clean tank ready just in case. Keep the number of a vet or an expert ready so that you can give the fish some sort of medicine or even a little fix-up.
Can Bettas Live Together?
Bettas have evolved to be territorial and aggressive in natural environments. That means that they don’t like to interact with fish from the same or other species.
They don’t need friends. They’re loners like the 80s action heroes we all grew up with. However, there are certain circumstances in which they come together.
Let’s count the three types of groups that can form between betta species members.
Male and Female Bettas
Male and female bettas can’t live together in the same tank. While male bettas are less aggressive towards female bettas, there is still a chance they may attack.
The exception, of course, is if they want to breed. If you’re not an expert on breeding, don’t take this chance. Your job is just to keep the tank clean, and aggression-free.
There are enough betta fish already in nurseries and plastic cups and pet stores around the world. Unless you have a specific plan and are willing to do the research, leave the breeding to the professionals.
Female bettas can live with other female bettas. However, in this case, just having a few of them together won’t work.
They’re aggressive beings like the males too. Instead, aquarists have found that creating “sorority tanks” with five or more female bettas is the best option.
Each betta’s attention will be split between five other fish. That will reduce their aggression, especially from a dominant fish. Since every single fish may be outnumbered in the environment, it’s better that they keep the peace.
Other than that, keeping the tank clean and replenishing the food supply is all very important. Don’t give the fish any reasons to fight amongst each other.
That will only make things worse. They have enough aggression without you contributing.
Male bettas are very aggressive towards each other. While they’re from the same species, they will often prefer to keep to themselves.
If another one of their species is introduced to their environment, it will mean war; or at the very least, competition.
No matter how many bettas you introduce into one tank, they won’t get along with each other. They may form packs to get rid of each other.
That’s a blood bath you don’t want to wake up to. It’ll only mean more cleaning and wiping up.
Hopefully, you’ll be able to solve any ‘loneliness’ problems your betta experiences after you’ve read this article.
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