Female Betta Fish – Behavior, Tank Mates, Requirements

A female betta fish is one that you may have glimpsed in many an aquarium and marveled at. They come in the most vibrant, beautiful colors and are quite friendly as well.

Though male betta fish are hailed for their vivid skin colors, female betta fish aren’t far behind in terms of appearance. They’re much easier to care for than their male counterparts as well.

Since female betta fish are growing in popularity among aquarists worldwide, we’ve put together detailed information on everything you’d need to know about keeping one – from their physical appearance to the specifics of their environment.

Make sure you go through each section carefully.

What Is The Typical Behaviour Of A Female Betta Fish?

Betta fish are typically fighting fish. The female Betta fish behaves in a highly territorial manner and is known to establish a hierarchy in order to create their own space.

These fish are known to be tolerant, even friendly of other fish that are placed in close contact with them. They could also prove to be great pets as they react well to human contact too.

They generally have alert, curious personalities and are ever-eager to get to know their caregivers. Anyone who owns a betta fish will be able to tell you they will often seek out your hand and swim to it, waiting to be stroked. In fact, betta fish actually crave attention.

Given that they’re so ready and willing to interact with people in a friendly manner, it’s really no surprise that they’re a favorite among children.

They are known to suffer from depression if they don’t receive adequate attention or affection from other beings. They often starve themselves to death if they don’t experience enough physical contact or a friendly connection with the beings around them.

(Find out the common reason a betta fish might be fighting.)

Are Female Betta Fish Aggressive, And Do They Fight?

Yes, female betta fish are typically aggressive, and they do fight with other fish to establish their territory. The female betta Siamese fish aren’t as aggressive as their male counterparts, but they’re fighting fish all the same.

They’re aggressive, but not to the extent that allows them to initiate an attack on other fish in their vicinity. They mostly lash out only when other fish threaten their space. In this case, they chase the invading fish out and can even injure them to make a point.

They aren’t as territorial as male betta fish, either. This is what makes them ideal to have in a tank environment with other smaller fish or fish their own size.

Giving a female betta fish enough personal space and making sure the conditions they’re placed in don’t put them under stress should help curb their aggressive nature effectively.

If placed in the right conditions, which are conducive to their growth, female betta fish will thrive in sororities or communities.

Female Betta Fish Appearance (Compared To Males)

It’s not that difficult to tell female and male betta fish apart if you know the right parameters to compare them with. Even to the relatively untrained eye, telling them apart is only a matter of simple observation.

Following are the characteristics by which female betta fish differ from their male counterparts:

  • Size: Male betta fish grow up to 2.5-3 inches in body length. Female betta fish, on the other hand, are slightly smaller and grow up to about 2.25 inches in body length.
  • Colour: Male betta fish are generally blue, red, or purple in color, and it’s the same with female betta fish. However, a good way to tell them apart on the basis of color would be to observe how bright or vivid their colors are.

Male betta fish generally have brighter, richer colors than female ones.

  • Egg spot: Female betta fish have an egg spot, which is located on the underside of their body. This is somewhere between their tail and fins.

The white egg spot is basically an ovipositor tube that is in the form of a small hole. This tube can release eggs whenever the female betta fish is in the process of mating.

  • Varieties: Seasoned fish keepers would know that female betta fish come in lesser varieties than male betta fish. Also, it’s useful to note here that the colors of a female betta fish’s skin get darker during mating season.

Mostly, male betta fish are segregated based on variety, but female betta fish are simply sold as ‘female betta fish.’

  • Fins: You can usually tell the difference between a male and female variety by observing the fins. The female betta fish varieties generally have shorter fins than the males.

The anal, dorsal, and tail fins – are thinner in a female betta fish compared to a male one. Some varieties of male betta fish may have elongated ventral fins as well.

What Habitat And Tank Conditions Do Female Betta Fish Need?

Female better fish generally thrive in shallow, warm water. This water should ideally be placid and clean. A good example of perfect natural habitat for a female betta fish would be a rice paddy.

However, with creativity and caution, you can create a great environment for a female betta fish to thrive in.

Following are a few tips and specifications that you’ll need to follow in order to ensure that your female betta fish is placed in the right conditions and habitat.


You may be able to keep a female betta fish in a 1-gallon bowl or tank, but not for long. Sure, a betta fish can survive in a small amount of water as well, but this will put them under a lot of stress and pressure, which may hamper their growth and chances of survival in the long run.

Also, keeping more than one female betta fish in a confined space may cause them to fight and injure each other as they’re quite territorial in nature.

If you want to keep a single female betta fish, a 5-gallon tank is acceptable but not recommended. If, on the other hand, you’d like your fish to have companions, a 10-gallon tank would be just about ideal—the more space they have for themselves, the better.

(Find out more about a betta sorority.)


Female betta fish tend to be curious and restless, so you’ll have to be very careful with what objects you’d like to place in your tank for them. Sand is a great option as it’s less likely to scratch or injure your betta fish.

You can be sure that your fish will likely try to dig up the sand every now and then, so you’d have to be careful to choose only the finest grained sand for them.

You could even add a few plants to your tank to simulate a natural environment for a female betta fish. You can either plant them in the ground or allow them to float – either option would be fairly safe for your fish.

Having plants could also make it easier for your female betta fish to demarcate and claim her territory.

Also, unlike most other fish, female betta fish do not require any strong currents as they’re adapted to swimming in calm waters. This saves you the cost of purchasing water or air pumps to create a current for them.

The pH level And Temperature

Though you won’t require a water pump, you will require a water heater and filter for your female betta fish. These fish survive in temperatures ranging from 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so this is the temperature setting they’ll require.

Anything below this temperature range will likely stress them out and may even leave them feeling quite ill. Even having a filter in a single female betta tank is not as important as having a water heater in there.

As for the pH level, you’ll need to maintain it around 6-8 for optimal health of your female betta fish.

Another important factor to consider here would be water hardness. In order to keep your fish healthy, you’ll need to have water that’s about 5-35 dGH hard.

(Find out the ideal pH level and temperature for bettas.)

Other Features

You’ll have to keep in mind some additional features when preparing an environment for a female betta fish. For instance, it would be useful to have a lid over your tank as female betta fish are known to leap several feet above the water.

After all, they’re adapted to jumping from one puddle to another, so this comes quite naturally to them. Even though you’ll need to cover your tank for their own safety, make sure you leave some room up top so they can breathe.

You could even have light fixtures in your tank if you’re planning on growing plants in there. Lights won’t hamper the growth or survival of your female betta fish in any way.

What Is A Betta Sorority?

A female betta sorority is a group of female betta fish contained in a single tank. Such a sorority typically has about 4-6 betta fish. Naturally, raising more than one female betta fish together will require an adequately large tank.

Though female betta fish aren’t as aggressive as their male counterparts, they do require their own space. Not giving them enough personal space – even around other female betta fish – will lead to fights between them.

A good way to handle a female betta sorority is to have clearly marked sections of your aquarium to ensure that each one of them can identify and protect their own space. Also, have a powerful water filter to make sure their water is as clean as possible at all times.

However, as mentioned in the previous section, make sure you have a low current filter as female betta fish are accustomed to surviving in placing waters. Ideally, a female betta sorority is bred in tanks that have a capacity of around 20 gallons.

What Are Some Good Tank Mates For Female Betta Fish?

Though female betta fish are territorial, there are a few other fish that they get along with fairly well. Following are a few species of fish that could get along with female betta fish:

In order to keep your fish from attacking their tank mates, you’ll need to avoid bringing in fish that have overly long fins or vivid skin colors.

These generally stress female betta fish out and put them on the defensive. Also, make sure you avoid any fish that resembles the male Siamese Fighting Fish at all costs.

Some other fish to avoid are the goldfish, angelfish, or red tail shark. Being careful about what you let into the tank with your female betta fish could prove important to her safety as well as that of her tank mates.

If your female beta fish doesn’t get along with her tank mates even after you’ve kept the aforementioned tips in mind, you’ll need to separate her from them at once.

What Is The Ideal Diet For Female Betta Fish?

Female Betta fish are primarily carnivores by nature and feed on everything from insects to their own eggs floating in the water around them. They require adequate quantities of protein to stay healthy and live longer.

The diet of the female betta fish is quite similar to that of the males’. In the natural world, these fish would feed on small crustaceans and plankton. While it’s not feasible to obtain either of these for feeding your fish at home, there are some viable alternatives available.

Frozen or live foods can provide them with all the nutrition they require. These are generally richer in nutritional value than dried foods. Dried foods may be more readily available, but they’re by no means superior to fresh or frozen food.

If, however, you do prefer feeding them dried food and can’t find any stores around that sell fresh/frozen food, make sure you choose high protein options that have been made for betta fish. Even when you’re feeding them dried food, you’ll need to add at least a small amount of fresh/frozen food to keep them healthy.

Wondering where you can find a comprehensive guide on Betta fish care? Click here!

A good tip to keep in mind while choosing foods for your female betta fish is to opt for those that float, not those that sink. Some good examples of this would be bloodworms and brine shrimp. Daphnia eggs are a great option too.

You could even feed them insect larvae as they seek these out by themselves anyway. It’s important to keep in mind here that you cannot expect your female betta fish to fend for themselves and survive on plants.

Female betta fish have fairly small stomachs, so you won’t have to feed them too often. Just adequate doses of protein twice a day should suffice to keep them healthy. Make sure you only give them the amount of food they can eat up in 1-2 minutes.

(Find out more about the best betta fish diet.)

How Do You Care For Female Betta Fish?

Female betta fish are relatively easy to care for, all things considered. They’re adapted and well-equipped to grow in harsh environments and don’t require that much care as compared to many other fish species.

Routine checks and changes with regards to tank water, algae, and general cleaning requirements should be paid attention to. Leaving your tank unclean for long amounts of time can provide a fertile breeding ground for diseases.

Make sure you use only new, high-quality equipment in your tank, such as good water filters. It may require a little investment on your part, but it’ll ensure your fish remains healthy for long. Unclean water in your tank could give your female betta fish a bacterial infection such as fin rot.

Infections and diseases grow among female betta fish as a result of physical injuries as well. You’ll need to make sure your fish has enough space and gets along well with its tank mates to avoid any fighting, thereby keeping such diseases at bay.

If, however, your fish does get infected, you’ll need to take immediate steps to separate it from its tank mates to avoid spreading the infection. Most infections that female betta fish contract require medication that’s readily available at local pet stores.

Your actions, too, could harm the health of your female betta fish. A good example of this would be overfeeding. Overfeeding your fish could lead to bloating, which in turn could lead to a general loss of appetite.

Make sure you’re careful with how much you feed your fish and how often you do. Having irregular feeding habits could greatly affect their overall health and even cause breathing problems on occasion.

Also, making sure you prepare their environment well to minimize any stress will ensure they stay healthy.

How Do You Breed Female Betta Fish?

In order to breed female betta fish, you will – naturally – require a male one as well. You can safely mix the two sexes and allow them to mate successfully.

You’ll need to set up additional aquariums to give them adequate space to breed and grow. Firstly, the male betta fish would require their own aquarium to build a bubble nest. These nests are generally made at the surface of the tank and are fairly sticky in nature.

Once the nest is ready, you can introduce your female betta fish to the male in his breeding tank. The female will go on to inspect the nest, and if she is sufficiently impressed, she’ll allow the male to pursue her.

This process can sometimes get a little aggressive, and the male could end up severely injuring the female. If you sense that this is where their courtship is heading, you’ll need to separate them immediately.

Betta fish only breed when their environment is conducive to mating. You’ll need to ensure your tank water is clean and at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit hot.

If the conditions are right and the courtship successful, the female betta fish will decide to lay her eggs. Once she does so, separate her from the male as he may attack her. Also, make sure she’s not left around the eggs as she may go ahead and eat them.

In order to make sure the eggs develop into healthy betta fish babies, you’ll need to be very careful while cleaning their tank. You’ll also need to install a lid to keep them safe from insects or pests in your home.

What Are The Most Popular Types Of Female Betta Fish?

While there are fewer varieties of female betta fish as compared to male ones, there are a few popular types all the same. These are as follows:

Female Koi Betta Fish

These are possibly the most visually appealing variety of betta fish available. The colors of their skin and the patterns on it greatly resemble those found on a koi fish.

These fish grow about 2.8-3 inches in body length are usually a mix of gold, red, yellow, and silver. If you’re looking to have a female betta fish sorority or keep them with other fish, the koi betta fish is a great choice.

They’re more peaceful than other varieties of female betta fish and are fairly easy to care for as well.

Female Veiltail Betta Fish

This may just be the strongest variety of the female betta fish as it requires some intense and challenging breeding practices. These are generally put into effect to achieve the most vivid colors in their skin.

Veiltail betta fish are fairly small as compared to other female betta fish as they grow to a maximum body length of about 1.5-2 inches only.

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Female betta fish are more territorial than aggressive and are fairly easy to care for. Given enough personal space, clean water, and the right temperature in their aquarium, they’ll flourish easily enough.

They do have a more specific diet than other fish species with their protein requirements, etc., but they have no extravagant needs. The main issue you may face with them is their behavior.

You’ll need to be careful to separate them from male betta fish and can only introduce them to a very limited pool of tank mates. Having them live in female betta fish sororities could be a great way to provide them with companionship without necessarily risking their lives.


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