How Many Betta Fish In A 5 Gallon Tank? (Is Bigger Better?)

If you’re wondering how many betta fish you can keep in a 5-gallon tank, then you’ve found the right article! In this article, not only will you find out the maximum amount of bettas in a 1-gallon tank, you’ll also learn what happens if too many bettas are in a fish tank and much more!

So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!

Can Betta Fish Live In a 5 Gallon Tank?

Betta’s can live in a 5 gallon fish tank, however, this is the minimum size they can survive in. At this size you can keep 1 male or 1 female betta. Anymore than this, and the water conditions may deteriorate as well as aggression occurring.

Remember that setting up a tank includes adding extra equipment as well, so 5 gallons may become a bit smaller in practice. Everything you add reduces their swimming pace, including heaters and filters. With this in mind anything smaller would leave a betta with little or no space.

Bettas also need as much surface water as possible. This is where they do most of their swimming and it’s also where a male betta will eventually begin to build bubble nests.

(Check out the 5 best 5 gallon tanks for your betta fish!)

Can You Keep Male and Female Bettas Together in a 5 Gallon Tank?

It’s never recommended to put a male and female betta together in a 5 gallon tank. Keeping these two together in general will cause problems, however, in a tank this small, aggression is certain to occur.

If you are planning to introduce a female to your tank in order to stimulate the male to begin nest building in the hopes of eventually raising betta fry, it is best to do it safely and gradually, as well as investing in a much larger tank.

The best size tank to do this is at least 40 gallons. Your fish will be at their safest and most healthy with this much space. Remember that bettas are territorial and aggressive; and the more space, the less likely they are to harm each other.

You also need to make sure your tank has plenty of vegetation and many hiding places – another strategy that will keep bettas safe from each other and less stressed in the tank.

Use a divider if the male and female don’t get on at first, and only very gradually remove it. The happier they are, the more likely they are to breed successfully.

If your male Betta does make a bubble next that impresses the female, and she willingly produces eggs, remove her after the breeding is done. Because after this they will become aggressive towards each other again.

You can then put her back behind the divider or into another tank on her own.

(Find out more about keeping male and female bettas together.)

What Other Kinds of Fish Can You Put In a 5 Gallon Tank With Your Betta?

Although bettas are territorial and aggressive toward other bettas, they are compatible with other tank mates. However, a 5-gallon tank is the minimum sized tank for doing this, and you must not overcrowd it.

If you’re just getting started in a tank this small, I’d recommend the following:

What Happens if You Put Too Many Betta Fish In A 5-Gallon Tank?

If you put more than one betta in a 5 gallon tank the first thing that will happen is that your fish will fight and end up injured or killed. If your tank contains one Betta and a number of tank large companions, the lack of space will cause distress to the fish.

Even one betta in a tank needs enough decoration and variance to stop from getting bored. With more fish in the tank, the decorations will be less and less effective, and will end up stressing your betta out anyway.

Too many fish will also impact the water quality more than some filters can cope with. And when betta’s are unhappy or unhealthy, they will lose their beautiful coloring, become lethargic, refuse to eat, and will no longer respond to your presence at the tank.

Stressed bettas also won’t’ breed. The males won’t’ even begin bubble nesting, especially if there is not enough surface water space.

Some owners use tank dividers to keep a number of bettas in one tank. This applies mainly to male bettas. However, tank dividers reduce even further the space available to the fish, and I’d highly recommend using a tank divider in a tank this small.

Can You Keep A Female Betta In A 5 Gallon Tank?

You can keep a single female betta in a 5 gallon tank, however, if you were planning to create a betta sorority, then you’ll need to keep female bettas in a tank that is a minimum of 10 gallons in size to avoid aggression.

How Many Betta Fish In A 5 Gallon Tank_ (Is Bigger Better_)


Purchasing a betta tank is difficult if you don’t have a lot of space at home, but you want to provide the best environment possible for your bettas.

But fortunately, a 5-gallon tank is the best beginner’s tank and I’d generally advise it for owners who only plan on keeping one betta. As well as the tank, make sure you’re also providing them with a heater, filter, light, conditioned water, plants, and other decorations as well!

If you liked this article, make sure you check out the rest of the website! Otherwise, have a great day!