Do Betta Fish Actually Get Lonely

Do Betta Fish Get Lonely

Do you ever wonder if fish get lonely, swimming around in their tank all by themselves for their entire lives? You have to wonder if they possibly get bored, as well, doing the same thing day after day with no change. 

Do fish actually get bored and lonely? Keep reading to learn how you can keep your Bettas from getting bored and lonely, and actually make them happier and more content in their home environment. 

Do Betta Fish Get Lonely?

No one really knows for certain whether Betta fish actually get lonely or not. Although fish enthusiasts generally believe that Bettas probably do not get lonely. Bettas have a reputation for being a solitary fish due to their aggressiveness towards each other, as well as towards other fish species

However, it is believed that Bettas do, indeed, get sad. Evidence shows that Bettas commonly become bored, depressed, and even stressed. It’s your job as the fish enthusiast, to provide everything your Betta needs in order to avoid these unhealthy conditions. By providing stimuli, hiding places, vegetation, and shade, you can be sure your Betta will be happy and content.

Do Betta Fish Prefer Being Alone?

Although Bettas tend to be a solitary fish, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they like to be alone. Each Betta has a different temperament. Some Bettas are more territorial than others and won’t tolerate any other species in their tank. In contrast, other Bettas may actually become more social living with other species in a community tank. 

There is one hard and fast rule for Bettas – never putting two male Bettas in the same tank. They are known as Siamese Fighting Fish for a reason. They are very territorial and aggressive towards other male Bettas. If they feel their territory is being threatened, they will fight each other, usually unto death. 

Nonthreatening species might actually make your Betta happier in their tank. Mollies, platies, snails, shrimp, and some catfish make great tankmates for Bettas. With other fish swimming around, it might make your Betta feel less lonely and more content. 

When there are other fish swimming around the tank along with your Betta, it could indicate that there are no threats in the tank, and there’s nothing for your Betta to be afraid of.

Keeping Bettas with Other Fish

If you prefer to have your Betta in a community tank along with other fish, there are some things you will need to know.

The Tank Should Be Big Enough

Ensuring the tank is large enough for your Betta and other fish to live happily without getting in each other’s territory is one of the most important things you can do as a fish owner.

A five-gallon tank is great for a Betta alone. However, if you want to add more fish to the tank, you will need a bigger tank, starting at ten gallons or larger. In fact, some fish, such as the red tail shark, require at least a 55-gallon tank.

Provide Plenty of Hiding Spaces

If you have a community tank with a Betta as well as other fish, you will want to provide plenty of hiding spaces for all of them. Your fish will feel safer when they have a lot of hiding places, which will make them feel more secure about swimming around in the open.

Monitor the Tank

When first introducing new fish to your Betta, you will need to make sure that you monitor your Betta’s behavior, and it doesn’t get aggressive towards your other fish. You will need to make sure your Betta is not bullying the other fish, as well as monitoring the other fish to make sure they are not bullying your Betta!

If you do see aggressive behavior in your fish towards one another, you will need to either place a divider in the tank to separate them or buy a new tank.

Carefully Choose Tank Mates

You will want to do a little research before going out and buying a bunch of fish. You want to make sure that you are choosing a suitable tankmate for your Betta. Other fish with long, flowing tails and bright colors should be avoided. 

You will also want to avoid buying any fish that occupy the area around the top of the tank because this is the Betta’s territory. If your Bettas feels that another fish is threatening its territory, it will probably attack them.

Bottom feeders make excellent tankmates for your Betta, considering they occupy opposite areas of the tank. Your bottom feeders will stay around the bottom of the tank, and they won’t clash with your Betta.

Do Female Bettas Get Lonely?

It’s well known that male Bettas will not tolerate other male Bettas in the same tank. So, what about female Bettas? Females are similar to the male Bettas in that they are solitary fish and generally don’t have a problem being alone. 

However, you can keep a sorority of female Bettas as long as your tank is large enough. A sorority is a group of female Bettas. The females in a sorority will establish their own unique territories, but they are capable of cohabitating peacefully. They also don’t care if other fish enter their territories. Aggression will sometimes happen, especially if they establish a pecking order. 

If you plan to keep a sorority of Bettas, make sure that your tank is large enough to house them, a minimum of 29 gallons should give them plenty of places to hide. You will still need to monitor your sorority to make sure that none are getting aggressive toward any others. If you do witness aggression, you should separate them with a tank divider or putting them in a separate tank altogether. 

When starting a Betta sorority, you will want to introduce each Betta to the tank one at a time. Introducing them all at the same time will wreak havoc on the ammonia cycle, as well as causing an issue if all of them are aggressive towards each other. You will then need to start adding tanks or putting in tank dividers. 

On the other hand, if you only add them one at a time, you will only have to worry about moving one Betta if something doesn’t go right. Female Bettas can get aggressive, as well, sometimes worse than males. Their smaller fins make them faster swimmers, and they can chase and attack other fish without mercy. Monitoring your tank for this kind of behavior is essential for the health of all your fish.

A Mirror Can Help

Adding a mirror to your tank will stimulate your Betta by making it seem like there are other fish in the tank with your Betta. Your Betta will flex its muscles while getting exercise. Once you take the mirror away, your Betta will think it “won” the fight.

Using a mirror will also trick your Betta into thinking it’s not alone. It will see its reflection in the mirror and think it’s another fish swimming along with it in the tank. This will prompt your Betta to start patrolling the tank more, which will keep him from getting lonely.


Bettas don’t get lonely the way humans do. Instead, they tend to feel safer when there are other fish in the tank with them. As long as your Betta has a good temperament, it is beneficial for their health if they live in a community tank.

Remember, when adding tankmates to your community tank along with your Betta, you need to be sure to add fish that will not cause your Betta to become aggressive. Long flowing tails and bright colors can agitate your Betta and make it aggressive. 

Female Bettas enjoy company more than they enjoy being on their own. They tend to do better in community tanks than male Bettas do. Sororities are good as long as your tank is large enough to accommodate all of them. However, if your female becomes aggressive towards the other fish in their tank, you will need to separate them to keep your other fish safe.

Betta Fish Ich: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment That Hobbyists Must Know

Betta Fish Ich

One of the most common diseases among freshwater fish is ich, or ick, also called white spot disease. Bettas are highly susceptible to this uncomfortable disease, and death can occur if it is not treated in time. Before treating betta your fish ich, rule out any other possibilities to avoid any adverse effects. 

What is Ich?

Ichthyophthiriasis is a protozoan disease that causes white spots to appear on your fish. Although it’s common in freshwater fish, it tends to be most common for aquarium fish. It’s believed that the close contact and occasional stress that can occur in aquariums can cause ich. 

Symptoms of Betta Fish Ich

White spots that appear on your Betta’s body is the most common and obvious symptom of ich. Although the white spots tend to develop on the body, there are instances when they also appear on the fins.

Sometimes, if the ich spots are small, they might resemble white dust, but you will still need to treat them. However, if the “dust” appears to be yellow or gold in color, then it’s most likely Velvet, which is a parasite that can end up killing your Betta if left untreated. 

Lethargy and loss of appetite will accompany ich. While they are not exclusive to ich, these symptoms are a definite indicator that your fish is suffering from some kind of illness or disease. 

Another sign of ich is seeing your betta rubbing on things in the tank. Once it realizes it has a parasite, it will try to rub it off its skin. Excessive rubbing can cause wounds and sores. If you begin to see signs of wounds and sores, watch carefully for rubbing and look for the tell-tale signs of white spots. 

If you do not see the white spots, but your Betta is still rubbing against things in the tank, it could be a sign of gill flukes or anchor worms. 

Although Bettas are loners, if you begin to notice that your Betta is acting much more reclusive, you should investigate. If you find your Betta actively avoiding other fish or hiding for long periods of time, it could be because your Betta is feeling threatened due to a weakened immune system. 

Another common sign of illness in fish is the clamping of fins, which is caused by extreme stress. Also, because ich affects your Betta’s gills, it can cause distressed breathing if it isn’t caught and treated in time, which could result in respiratory failure and prove fatal. 

What Causes Ich?

Ich is caused by a ciliated protozoan Ichthyophthirius multifiliis, which is a parasite. It affects several different varieties of freshwater fish. However, it’s the most common disease you will find in fish aquariums. 

All new fish that you buy will need to be quarantined before putting them in the community tank because ich may be present in the water, and it’s highly contagious. It’s possible to bring home a new fish that already has ich if they haven’t been taken care of very well. 

Stressed out fish are more likely to catch ich. If they are living in poor water conditions or poorly heated water, they are more likely to catch ich. The ich parasite will also attack aging Bettas, as well. 

How to Treat Ich in Betta Fish

Rapid detection and action are essential for keeping your betta healthy. Otherwise, ich can be fatal if it is not treated properly. Most fish enthusiasts who have owned fish for a long time have had encounters with ich and have subsequently treated their fish at some time or another.

Treating ich is relatively easy; just follow the steps below.

  1. Isolate your Betta in a quarantine tank, so they don’t infect the other fish in your tank.
  2. Slowly begin increasing the temperature in the tank to anywhere from 81 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit for ten days. Because ich parasites love cold water, it leads to a prolonged life cycle and an increase in the reproduction rates. Warmer waters will slow this down while you are treating your Bettas and the tank’s water. 
  3. However, there is less oxygen in warmer waters, so you might consider adding an airstone to your tank. By increasing the oxygen in the tank’s water, you will be giving your Betta’s immune system a much-needed boost. 
  4. Rid Ich Plus is a great medicine for treating ich. It contains formalin and malachite green, which has proven to be a strong and effective treatment. Be sure to follow the medicine’s directions and only give your Bettas the recommended dosage for treating ich. 
  5. You will also need to change out the water every day by 25 – 50% to lower the elevated medication levels, as well as removing ich tomites and trophonts. 

Continue to follow the medication’s directions through to the end of the medicating cycle. Although the ich protozoan only has a life span of seven days, it will only be vulnerable to the medication for two of those days. You will need to be sure to continue the medication until the end of the treatment to ensure that they are completely gone. 

Ich Stages

As mentioned previously, the ich protozoan has a life span of seven days, but it will reproduce rapidly unless it is treated and cared for properly. Ich has three distinct life stages in tropical freshwater aquariums. In order to effectively treat ich, you will need to understand those life stages.

Trophont Stage or Feeding Stage

During this phase of the life cycle, the parasites are attached to your Betta, and they are visible and feeding. During this phase, they are not susceptible to any treatments.

Tomont Stage

During this phase, the adult parasite will release from your Betta and fall into the tank, attaching to another object or the substrate. They will begin to divide by binary fission up to ten times very rapidly during this stage. This is the reproductive stage for the parasite.

Theront Stage

Although the ich parasites can not be seen with the naked eye, they are a free-swimming parasite during this phase and become vulnerable to any treatment you administer.

At this point, they only have 48 hours in order to attach themselves to a host, or they will die. This is the phase in which you need to be medicating your fish and treating your tank. This is essential for the elimination of the ich parasites and recovery for your fish. 

How to Prevent Betta Fish Ich

Although ich is a common disease and easy to treat, if your Betta catches ich, you will need to treat the entire tank. Preventing ich is much easier than treating ich. Here are some steps that will help you prevent your fish from contracting ich in your aquarium.

  • Only purchase your fish from a reputable source, and only purchase healthy fish that are free from any signs of disease.
  • Never purchase any fish from a tank that has a diseased or dead fish in it. 
  • Always quarantine new fish before introducing them into your community tank. You should quarantine them for a minimum of two weeks in a tank that has the water conditions your Betta prefers, as well as lighting, heating, adequate filtration, and a hiding spot for your fish.
  • When buying plants, do not buy them from a dealer that keeps them in a tank among any fish, they could be contaminated. However, if you do purchase plants that have been in a tank with other fish, you can bring them home and place them in the quarantine tank for at least four days.
  • If you are purchasing your Betta online, you should choose as direct a source as possible to reduce handling stress and save on shipping costs.  
  • Frequent inspections of your fish are necessary to catch and immediately quarantine any fish with signs of ich. Once they are quarantined, you can begin treating them immediately for ich. 
  • Keep your tank’s water conditions stable and avoid any kind of fluctuation in the temperature, ammonia levels, and pH levels. Fluctuations of this sort can be very stressful to your fish, which can result in your fish contracting ich.
  • Feed your Bettas a healthy diet of flaked, frozen, and freeze-dried foods that have been stored properly and are not out of date. 
  • Make sure you don’t overstock your fish tank. If your tank has too many fish for that particular size of tank, you are risking your healthy fish becoming stressed, diseased, and eventually dying. 
  • Employ frequent water changes on a regular basis while maintaining the proper water conditions and quality. 

While ich might be one of the most common diseases for aquarium fish, with preventative maintenance, your fish can remain safe from catching it. By following the guidelines we have laid out for you in this article, and rapidly treating any fish that become infected, you will reduce any damage that this potentially deadly disease can cause.


Can ich be cured?

Yes, as long as you quarantine the infected fish and begin the proper treatment immediately, ich is quite curable.

How contagious is ich?

Ich is very contagious and will spread rapidly among fish inhabiting the same tank. Ich happens to be a living organism that resembles a white dot the size of a grain of salt. Usually, it will begin on the tails and fins of your fish, then spread to other parts of the body.

The white dot will appear flat on the body at first, but will eventually become raised in the late stages. It is similar to a skin infection, which can be dangerous for a fish. 

Because of binary fission, one spot of ich can divide itself up to ten times very rapidly, multiplying into hundreds of parasites. Ich needs to attach itself to a live fish in order to survive, and will eventually die if there aren’t any live fish to attach itself to.

You need to treat ich immediately, or it will quickly infect your other fish, and if left untreated, they will die quickly. 

Can ich kill Bettas?

Ich is very easy to treat, and as long as you catch it immediately and begin treating it, your Betta has a strong chance of surviving it. However, if you do not spot ich right away and it’s allowed to begin multiplying, it will build up quickly, and eventually, your Bettas will begin to die.

Can Humans catch ich?

It is very rare for a human to catch a disease from a fish. Humans can not catch ich. The only thing a human could possibly catch from a fish would be a bacterial infection, but that is incredibly rare.


Because fish enthusiasts have become more dependent on medications, ich and other such diseases have adapted and become stronger over the past decades. This explains why most instances of ich can’t be cured unless you use medication. 

Ich can also attach itself to live aquarium plants. By remembering to quarantine any new living plants you bring home as well as new tank mates, you can prevent the potential spread of ich among your community tank. 

There is good news, though. If your Bettas does end up catching ich, they will develop a slight immunity, or tolerance, to ich once you have cured them of it the first time they catch it. It’s highly unlikely that your Betta fish will contract ich at any time in the future after having had it once. 

Prevention is the key. Preventing your Bettas from catching diseases like ich is much easier and less stressful than treating your diseased fish. Make sure that you care for your Betta fish properly as well as maintaining the water quality and tank conditions to reduce possible environmental stressors.

A healthy diet of high-quality flake foods and pellets, freeze-dried foods, and live foods will go a long way in keeping your tank cleaner and your Bettas and other fish healthy and safe from most diseases, including ich. 

Betta Fish Tumor 101 (Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention)

Betta Fish Tumor

Like most pet owners, fish enthusiasts have to deal with sick fish occasionally. Though this is not pleasant, most fish diseases can be cured with a little attention and effort, even betta fish tumor.

Below, we will discuss identifying a tumor on your betta fish, the treatments available to heal your fish, and how to prevent future tumors.

Can Betta Fish Get Tumors and Cancer?

Yes, betta fish can develop tumors and cancers in much the same way as humans and other animals.

How Likely Is It Your Betta Will Get A Tumor?

Although tumors are somewhat rare in bettas, they are one of the least threatening illnesses your betta can catch. Before panicking, do some investigation to rule out ulcers and abscesses, which sometimes look similar to tumors. Fluid retention, constipation, and swim bladder disease can also cause tumor-like spots to appear on your betta’s body. 

What Are Betta Fish Tumor Symptoms?

If you spot any bumps under or on your betta’s skin, it might be tumors. Tumors come in different sizes, from tiny to huge. Large tumors can affect your betta’s buoyancy and make swimming more difficult. 

On the other hand, if the tumor is internal, you will probably not see it. If your fish has difficulty eating and swimming, it may have an internal tumor. If so, your betta will quickly become unhealthy. Unfortunately, internal tumors can’t be healed, and your betta will die. For these situations, the only humane thing to do is to euthanize your fish, so they don’t suffer.

Betta Fish Has A White Tumor

Your Betta Fish Has A White Tumor?

Typically, the bump you have spotted is most likely not a tumor. It’s very rare for a Betta fish to develop a cancerous tumor. Instead, the bump your fish has developed is usually an abscess or an ulcer. Both of these types of bumps resemble tumors. Fluid retention, constipation, and swim bladder disease can also resemble a tumor.


If you spot a white bump on your Betta’s body, it’s probably an abscess rather than a cancerous tumor. Bacterial infections are the main cause of Abscesses. There are various ways your Betta can develop a bacterial infection, such as injuring itself on something sharp within your fish tank. Or, the damage could be caused by another fish nipping at your Betta. You could accidentally cause an abrasion when changing the water or when handling your Betta. 

Abscesses will usually heal themselves. However, if the water in the tank is not changed out frequently and kept healthy, bacteria will infect the site of the wound and infection will begin. 

If an abscess is not treated properly, it will grow until it’s too large for the fish’s skin to contain it, and then it will burst, leaving a large, open area on its body that will become infected, and the entire cycle will begin again.  

Treating A Betta Fish Abscess

If you notice a bump on your fish’s skin, you need to remove it from its main tank and put it in a quarantine tank alone. To set up the quarantine tank, you will need to make sure that the water is set to the same conditions as the main tank. Your quarantine tank will need lighting, heating, an adequate filtration system, as well as a hiding place.

Your quarantine tank needs to be maintained regularly to ensure the tank remains clean, especially after the abscess bursts. Frequent water changes is a must. 

When your Betta is sick, it will feel vulnerable. Providing a place for your Betta to hide in the quarantine tank will keep your fish from becoming stressed out. In a pinch, a plastic plant pot with smooth sides will work. Just set it on its side in the tank and partially bury it in the substrate and you will have created an affordable and safe hideout for your fish.

You could also add plants to the quarantine tank instead of a cave of some sort. Plants are a great hiding spot for your Betta to recuperate in. However, avoid fresh plants as they can sometimes carry unwanted bacteria and parasites that could further harm your Betta. 

If the abscess is not too large, your fish will have a better chance to survive it. You will want to treat the tank’s water with the appropriate antibacterial aquarium product. You can find them online or in your local fish store. Follow the directions, using the recommended dosage. 

It Might Be An Ulcer

Ulcers are common for Betta fish. They look like sores with a red area around the lump on the fish’s skin. Ulcers can make your fish lethargic and cause them to lose their appetite, which eventually will make them look emaciated. 

Bacterial infections are the main cause for ulcers in Bettas. Even when you have cleaned and maintained the tank regularly, there are still bacteria that will remain in the water. Under normal circumstances, this bacteria will not harm your fish. However, if your Betta becomes stressed due to unfavorable conditions in their environment, such as poor water quality, they will become vulnerable to infection from these bacteria.

Treating A Betta Fish Ulcer

As we mentioned previously, it’s important for you to remove your Betta from its main tank and transfer it to a quarantine tank if you see any signs of an ulcer. 

Once the ulcer heals, fungal infections are frequently a possibility. It’s crucial to continue with frequent water changes for at least three weeks after the ulcers have been treated successfully. 

Adding salt to the tank’s water after the first water change will help to encourage the healing of the wound. You only want to add one-fourth of an ounce per gallon of water to reduce the osmotic effect that water has upon entering the ulcer, as well as disinfecting the wound.

After each water change, you should add about 30% of the salt you originally added to maintain the water’s salt content. Monitoring the water’s salt level is easy with the use of a hydrometer. Also, you will want to add an antibacterial aquarium product into the water. Once the ulcer is completely healed, you can return your Betta to its main tank again. 

Where Can Tumors Be Located?

The tumors can appear anywhere on the fish’s body. However, as we mentioned previously, not all lumps are tumors. In fact, there are places on your fish’s body that will develop lumps that are not tumors after all.

Here is a brief guide meant to help you determine the cause of any lumps tht appear on certain areas of a Betta’s body.

Tumor On Your Betta Fish’ Head

Lumps that form on a fish’s head are quite common. Although Bettas can develop tumors on their head, bacterial infections can also cause lumps to develop on their heads. One of the most common bacterial infections is columnaris. This infection will cause tumor-like lesions to develop around the Betta’s mouth and gills.

Lumps on Betta's side

Tumor On Your Betta Fish’s Side

If you spot lumps on your Betta’s side, it could be a variety of possibilities, usually easily treatable. Although the lump might be a cancerous tumor, it is more likely to be swim bladder disease or a bacterial infection.

It Might Be Betta Fish Swim Bladder Disease

If your Betta’s side looks swollen and lumpy, it could be swim bladder disease. The swim bladder is an organ filled with gas that allows the fish to navigate up and down in the tank’s water. This works the same way as a buoyancy aid for a diver. 

One of the tell-tale signs of a fish with swim bladder disease is that their abdomens will appear swollen and become lethargic. They will sink to the tank’s bottom or involuntarily float on the surface of the water. Your Betta can also develop an unbalanced or lopsided position while it’s swimming because it won’t be able to stabilize itself. 

Swim bladder disease is usually caused by overfeeding and constipation. The easiest way to treat swim bladder disease is to abstain from feeding your Betta for a couple of days to all the digestive system to digest whatever food remains in its stomach. Luckily, swim bladder disease isn’t contagious, so you will not need to transfer your Betta to a quarantine tank. You can also talk to your local pet store for other possible treatments.

Bacterial infections

Bacterial infections can develop when your fish has been injured or another fish has nipped it. These infections will often look like lumps on the sides of your Betta. These lumps can become infected and turn into abscesses, as mentioned previously. 

Over-the-counter antibacterial products can be used to treat the water if you have any concerns that your tank has been infected. The OTC antibacterial products will clear up any infections relatively quickly. Be sure to quarantine your infected fish in a separate tank as soon as possible while treating the main tank. 

Tumor On Betta Fish’s Stomach

Lumps that develop on your Betta’s stomach are the most common. Although these lumps can actually be tumors, there are a variety of other culprits as well. A bacterial infection, constipation, swim bladder disease, and dropsy can all cause lumps on your fish’s sides and stomach. 


Constipation is a common cause for lumps to develop on your Betta’s stomach, and fortunately can be treated easily. If your fish becomes lethargic, stops eating, and hasn’t passed any feces lately, it’s probably constipated. 

Constipation can even cause swim bladder disease. It can also be treated the same way you treat swim bladder disease, by withholding food for a few days. Once you are ready to feed your Betta again, offering it live and frozen food, such as mosquito larvae or bloodworms, is better than feeding it flakes or dry pellets.

Some of the more experienced fish enthusiasts will add a day of fasting each week to their Betta’s feeding schedule. This will also help prevent constipation in your Betta

Tumors in Betta's gills

Tumors in Betta fish’s Gills

Gill hyperplasia is another condition that is known to cause lumps and tumors of the gills. However, this usually only occurs when the gills have been damaged by a physical injury, or bacterial or parasitical infection, or toxins such as nitrites, nitrates, and amonia.

Rather than properly healing, the newly developed gill tissue will grow, covering the damaged area and form a lump that looks like a tumor. The lump will grow larger over time, as new skin forms. Only in some severe instances of hyperplasia can the lumps become permanent. With most minor cases you will see that after the lumps disappear, the gills will become normal again.

How Do You Treat Tumors in Betta Fish?

Unfortunately, there is no effective treatments or cures for most tumors and cancers. If the tumors or cancer is internal, they are usually not diagnosed until the diseasae is in the advanced stages. If you are able to diagnose the cancer early, it is usually inoperable due to the tumor’s position and location. Most fish with cancer or tumors are humanely euthanized for this reason.

However, some tumors are treatable, such as gill tumors, caused by a thyroid issue, and treated by medicating the water in a quarantine tank with iodine.

How to Prevent Tumors in Betta Fish?

As long as you are proactive in choosing and taking care of your Bettas, you can greatly diminish the possibility of them developing any kind of tumors or cancer.

  • You always want to buy from a reputable breeder. Avoid inbred fish. They are more likely to have problems, including developing cancerous tumors.
  • Use and maintain an efficient filtration system will help keep the tank water clean and healthy. Also, changing 25% of the tank water each week will help prevent any bacteria buildup.
  • Feeding your Betta a diet rich in quality foods will give them the proper levels of nutrients and protein they need to stay healthy.  
  • Immediately quarantine any fish that you suspect might be ill in any way before they are able to infect the healthy fish in your tank. This will stop the contagion from spreading.


Although there are several different causes for lumps on your Betta’s body, most can be treated if caught early enough. Cancer, unfortunately, is not one of those. If you have ruled out all other possibilites for illness in your Bettas and you suspect the lumps to be cancerous, you will need to consider euthanizing your fish. It’s the humane thing to do.

Do Betta Fish Sleep? 6 Fun Facts You Need To Know

Do Betta Fish Sleep

If you’re a new betta owner then one of the most common questions you may be asking yourself is “do betta fish sleep?”  Well, this is not a silly question. For someone who have ever had a betta fish, you might have experienced a time when they look lifeless.

So much so that you truly think they might be dead. However, they might just be asleep. Usually, they do this at night when you are already sleeping, but this really depends on the specific betta.

They each have their own personalities and this includes how often, and when they like to sleep. You could also mistake them for being awake, even though they are truly sleeping, due to the fact that they don’t have any eyelids. You should refrain from tapping their tank when they are motionless for this reason.

Do Betta Fish Sleep?

Yes, all fish need sleep. Although some fish do not sleep in the same way that land mammals sleep, they do rest. Betta fish are a prime example of this and one way you can tell they are sleeping is due to being motionless. They will do this often at the bottom of the tank, or near the surface of the water.

When this is happening, they may also react slowly to anything that is going on around them, or simply not respond at all. Most bettas will do this at night, so you might not catch them in the act unless you look in on them during the night.

How To Tell Your Betta Is Sleeping

There are a few ways you can tell your betta is sleeping. You could see them lying motionless, not paying attention to anything that is going around in the tank. It could be lying near the surface, or at the bottom of the tank in an L-shape. Some will even lay sideways. Or, you could find it hiding in places like the vegetation, or rocks in the tank. These provide the perfect spots for your betta to hide and feel safe enough to sleep when needed.

Do Betta Fish Sleep?
Bob Is Sleeping

Where Do Bettas Sleep?

Betta fish will sleep in the enclosure that they are housed. This could mean that they fall asleep at the bottom of the tank where you can easily see them. Near the surface. You can find them hiding in places like decorative houses, wood, vegetation, etc.

Anywhere they can find and feel comfortable doing so. It will also be easier for them to do so if you turn off the fish tank lights and lights in the general area for them to know when it is truly nighttime.

How Many Hours Do Bettas Sleep?

This is hard to recommend due to each betta fish being different. If you find that your fish is active during the day, you can assume that they are getting the right amount of sleep at night.

However, if you see that they are very inactive during the day, they could not be getting the rest they need. Try turning off fish tank lights and surround lights in the room the tank is kept, to give your fish the ability to know when it truly is night.

Do Betta Fish Need Darkness To Sleep?

When it comes to betta fish the answer is complicated. Turning the lights off will give your fish the ability to know when it is night time and they can develop a sleep pattern.

However, you will find that bettas will also take naps during the day when there is light. You should give 8-12 hours of light and 12-16 hours of darkness for bettas to get an adequate amount of sleep and develop a sleep pattern.

Do Betta Fish Hibernate?

Betta fish do not hibernate, so if you see the loss of activity it could mean that your fish tank temperature is too low. Your tank should not fall below 76 degrees F due to your fish potentially going into temperature shock.

You should do whatever you can to get your heat up to the levels that are needed, due to temperature shock being extremely dangerous. This could severely impact your betta, if not result in death.

How Do You Ensure Your Betta Fish Sleeps Well?

Bettas are like humans and require an adequate amount of rest. It is a good idea to get your betta fish on a sleep pattern where they know when to go to bed.

Turn the lights off in your tank, and make sure there aren’t bright lights in the direct vicinity. If you see your betta sleeping, let it sleep. Do not tap on the tank to see if there is something wrong, due to them being motionless.

Make sure your tank is at the proper temperature, if it gets too cold you could be sending your betta into temperature shock. Each betta fish is different, so figure out your betta’s sleeping pattern. Are they active during the day, meaning they are getting enough rest at night?

Do they like taking naps during the day? Is their behavior consistent, or has something changed? If they are acting differently, start looking into what can be changed to help them.


As we can see, bettas do in fact sleep. They also happen to sleep in very odd positions, which can lead many to think that they are in fact dead. If you see your betta fish near the surface, at the bottom, motionless they could just be sleeping.

In order to save yourself from a scare every time you see this, you should turn off the tank light and surrounding lights when it is time for them to go to bed. This will help develop a sleep pattern where they can rest peacefully at night, and be active during the day. Do remember that each betta fish is different, some may like to take naps during the day as well.

When you need to look into why they are being inactive is when this is not a normal occurrence. This could be due to lights interrupting their sleep schedule or even a tank that has a temperature less than 76 degrees. Otherwise, let them sleep as needed.

Betta Fish Tank Mates | Huge List Of 50+ Fish That Can Live With


Are you looking to set up a community tank full of a variety of colorful and strikingly exciting fish? Bettas are the perfect eye candy for your community tank. Their colors are vibrant, and their finnage is flamboyant. 

However, Bettas have a terrible reputation for being aggressive and territorial fish. This can make finding compatible tankmates for your Betta difficult. In general, Bettas are perfectly happy by themselves. But if you want a community aquarium with Bettas, we have the best advice for you today.

Betta Fish Tank Mates Overview

In their natural habitat in the wild, bettas can live among other bettas peacefully. They only show aggression when a male Betta feels his territory is being threatened by another male Betta, as well as during the breeding season. 

However, their temperament becomes more aggressive when placed in captivity and aquariums. Stressful environments and selective breeding are the leading cause of this aggressive behavior. 

When choosing tankmates for your Bettas, you should choose a peaceful fish. They should be a shoaling and fast swimming species, as well. You do not want to pick fish that have a reputation for nipping other fish’s fins. Bottom-dwelling fish work well because they tend to stay away from the Betta’s territory. 

Tetras are perfect tankmates for your Betta. They are a shoaling species and are generally peaceful. They are smaller than Bettas, only growing to around one or two inches, depending on the particular species. Here is a shortlist of compatible Tetras:

  • Neon Tetra Has a red stripe that goes halfway down its body, smaller, one-inch in size 
  • Black Neon Tetra – Similar to the Neon Tetra, but with a horizontal black stripe down the length of its body, adding variety to the tank
  • Cardinal Tetra Has a long red stripe down its body, and is a little larger than the Neon Tetra, growing to be around two-inches in size
  • Ember Tetra – Ember in color, smaller, around one-inch in size, they are fast shoaling fish
  • Rummy-nose Tetra – White with a black and white striped tail and a red head
  • Diamond Tetra – Sparkly, diamond colored, hardy, social and active, they do not nip fins
  • Silver Tip Tetra – Tend to be a little more aggressive, nipping at other Tetras
  • Glowlight Tetra – Silver in color with an iridescent orangish-red stripe that goes from nose to tail

Rasboras make excellent tankmates for your male Betta. In their natural habitat in the wild, you can find them cohabitating in the same water as Bettas. They grow to be two inches in length. They are a peaceful but social species that need to be kept in groups of more than eight.

  • Fire Rasbora – A fiery orange color with silver down its back
  • Harlequin Rasbora – Orange and silver with a black triangle from its fin to its stomach

Being bottom dwellers, Catfish make great tankmates for your Betta, as well. They don’t tend to be very active fish, and they won’t invade your Betta’s territory. 

  • Otocinclus Catfish – Also called “Sucker Fish” or “Dwarf Fish,” has rows of plated armor covering its body and an underslung suckermouth
  • Cory Catfish – Silver with black speckles, has armor plating and a flat underside, as well as a short face

Here are some other fish species that make ideal tankmates for your Bettas

  • Kuhli Loach – Small eel looking fish that get more active at night while Bettas sleep
  • Female Guppy – Only female, no male Guppies because they have long, bright-colored fins
  • Pleco – A sucker-mouth catfish, with armor-like scales covering upper body and head
  • Endlers – Colorful green, red, and black fish with a forked tail, only grow to be one-inch long
  • Glass Catfish A transparent fish, also called ghost fish, grow to be around five inches, best for larger tanks
  • Short-fine Molly – Silver with a yellow-tipped tail, they live in the upper region of the tank
  • Celestial Pearl Danio – Bluish-gray bodies with white speckles and orange fins, shoaling fish
  • Short-finned Platy – Colors vary, short fan-shaped fins, schooling fish that grow to one-and-a-half inches
  • White Cloud Mountain Minnow – Bronze-brown color with a fluorescent line running down its body, shoaling fish

Two Male Bettas in the Same Tank

You can not have two male Bettas in the same tank, regardless of how big the tank is. As we mentioned before, male Bettas have a bad reputation for being aggressive with other males, often fighting to the death when they feel threatened. This usually happens when two male Bettas try to occupy the same space; they will become territorial and start fighting each other. 

two Female Bettas in same tank

Two Female Bettas in the Same Tank

Female bettas aren’t as aggressive as their male counterparts. You can have more than one female in a tank as long as the tank is large enough to give them their own space. 

Because every betta is different, occasionally, you might get an aggressive female. If one of your females starts picking on the other, you should consider removing the aggressive one from the tank and giving it a tank of its own.

When you have female bettas, you can add colorful fish in the tank with them without worrying about their tankmate’s coloration. You can also keep fish that are slightly larger than the female bettas. You don’t want to go too large, though. If the fish is big enough, it will try to eat your bettas.

A Male and a Female Betta

If you plan to keep one male and one female Betta fish together in the same tank, you will need a large, rectangular tank that is at least 30 gallons or more. You will also need plenty of plants and decorations that can be used as hiding spots for the female in case the male starts to get aggressive with her. The plants will help to break the betta’s line of sight. 

If the male does attack your female, you should consider removing either the male or the female and giving it a tank of its own. 


Best Tank Mates for Female Betta

Females aren’t as territorial as males and don’t mind when other fish might invade their space. Because of this laid back attitude, you can keep more of a variety of fish when you have female Bettas. 

As always, each fish is different, and there is a possibility that you will get a more aggressive female than usual. Whatever species you do decide on as tankmates for your female Bettas should not have a reputation for nipping other fish’s fins.

Bottom-dwelling fish make perfect tankmates for your female Bettas. Since they won’t go near your Bettas, they won’t upset or annoy them. 

  • Pygmy Cory – Silver with a black stripe down its body
  • Panda Cory – Silver with black spots on its body
  • Clown Pleco – Sucker-mouth fish, brown with yellow stripes
  • Clown Loach – Resembles a tiger with orange and black stripes
  • Yoyo Loach – White with black stripes

Another good choice for tankmates is fast swimming and shoaling fish. If you have an aggressive female, they won’t single out any specific fish if they are shoaling together.

  • Mosquito Rasbora – Silver with a black stripe down its body
  • Penguin Tetra – Silver and white fish with bold black stripe
  • Red Eye Tetra – Silver with black fins and reddish colored eye
  • Blue Tetra – Blue colored with a silver belly
  • Gold Tetra – Golden colored with black fins
Male Betta

Best Tank Mates for Male Betta

When you have male Bettas, finding compatible tankmates can be challenging. You will need to choose tankmates carefully because the males are very territorial and aggressive. They will attack another male, and sometimes a female if they feel like the other fish is invading their space. 

Another thing to consider is males do not like smaller, brightly colored fish. Fish that are red in color need to be avoided altogether because they will trigger your male Betta’s aggression. The male Bettas will also pick on slow swimming fish, as well. Avoid fish with long fins because your males will attack them and kill them.

Shoaling fish are good choices for tankmates for your male Bettas for the same reason as the females; the males won’t single out any specific fish to attack if they are shoaling together.

  • Black-line Rasbora – Silver with a thin black line that ends with red tail
  • Head and Tail Light Tetra – Reddish-orange color around the eye and on the tail
  • Colombian Tetra – Silver and blue body with orange fins
  • Green Neon Tetra – Silver with a fluorescent green stripe down its body
  • Dawn Tetra – Golden colored with black spots on bottom fin and tail

You also want fish that will not trespass into your male Betta’s territory. Fish that occupy the bottom of the tank are perfect options. 

  • Candy Striped Pleco – Yellowish-brown with darker brown or black stripes
  • Snowball Pleco – Black body with white polka dots
  • Bristle Nose Pleco – Also known as Bushy Nose, black body with yellowish spots
  • Albino Cory – Catfish with whitish-pink albino coloring
  • Zebra Loach – Golden colored body with black zebra stripes

When you start to add vegetation and decorations to their tank, you increase the variety and complexity of their environment. Doing so will reduce the aggression your males show towards other fish since they won’t be in their line of sight all the time. All of the vegetation and decorations also provide plenty of places for the other fish to hide. 

Betta Sorority Tank Mates​

Betta Sorority Tank Mates

When you have a tank with five or more female Bettas, you have a Betta sorority, also called a Betta harem. If you plan to have a sorority of Bettas, you will need at least a 30-gallon tank. There should be a variety of decorations and plants, giving your Bettas adequate hiding spaces. They also need lots of room to swim freely.

Even though the females tend to be less aggressive than the male Bettas, each fish is different. Some females can be territorial and aggressive. You will need to choose wisely when considering tank mates for your female Bettas. 

Some of the best tankmates for your sorority are:

  • Guntea Loach – Grey belly with a black back
  • Cory Catfish – Silver body with black spots
  • Guppies – female are best, comes in a variety of colors, 
  • Black Neon Tetra – Golden body with black stripe and neon silver stripe
  • Neon Tetra – Silver body with red strip below the neon green stripe
  • Cherry Barbs – Red body, do not pair with male Bettas

Tank Mates in 5 Gallon Aquarium

Because a five-gallon tank is already so small, we don’t recommend adding tankmates with your Betta. A five-gallon tank is perfect for one Betta since Bettas are not social fish anyway. Instead, they keep to themselves, away from any other fish, regardless of how big or small the tank is.

For a five-gallon tank, you can add live plants to break up the monotony of the tank. Java Ferns and an Amazonian Sword Plant or two would be perfect for your Betta’s tank.

If you don’t want to bother with maintaining live plants, you can add a few artificial soft silk plants. Avoid heavier artificial plastic plants. They could possibly end up damaging your Betta’s finnage.

If you decide that you do want tankmates for your Betta, try ones that are non-fish, such as shrimp and snails.

Tank Mates in 10 Gallon Aquarium

If you want an aquarium with a Betta and other fish, then you should go with a ten-gallon or larger tank. Once again, you will need to set up the tank with plenty of vegetation and decorations to interrupt your Betta’s line of sight and provide hiding spaces for the other fish species. You can even add Bogwood logs to separate the areas of your tank and obstruct your Betta’s line of vision.

The most ideal tankmates for your Betta in a ten-gallon tank are bottom-dwelling fish, such as Catfish and small Loaches. Non-fish tankmates such as frogs, shrimp, and snails are a great addition to this size tank.

More Tank Mates That Can Live With Bettas

If you would like to do something a little different with your tank and not include other species of fish, you can try adding non-fish tankmates to your aquarium that are compatible with your Betta.

When choosing a non-fish tankmate, you want to choose ones that are too large for your Bettas to eat, but they still need to be small enough that they don’t cause any harm to any of your fish.

Below are the best snail tankmates for both your female and male Bettas

  • Malaysian Trumpet Snail – This is a nocturnal species, which is perfect because they only get active when your Bettas are sleeping. They will also keep your tank clean. They will hide in the sediment during the day. 
  • Nerite Snail – These snails will hide in the sediment during the day as well. Because they require brackish water to breed in, you don’t have to worry about them overrunning the aquarium.
  • Mystery Snail – Comes in a variety of colors, will clean the tank and eat left-over food. They also grow to a size big enough that you don’t have to worry about them becoming fish food.

If you want more variety and color with the added bonus of algae maintenance, you can add shrimp to your tank. Make sure you don’t pick the ones that are small enough for the Bettas to eat, instead pick the larger ones, and they’ll be safe. The adult Cherry Shrimp and the Ghost Shrimp make ideal tank mates for your Bettas.

If you want even more variety and a touch of exotic, you should consider adding an amphibian to your tank. The African Dwarf frog is a peaceful frog that will not bother your other fish and makes a great tankmate.

You might also be interested in: Types of Betta Fish – By Tail, Pattern and Color


As long as the tank is large enough and there is plenty of vegetation and decorations to break up the Betta’s line of sight, any of the fish we mentioned in this article would make great tankmates with your female Bettas and male Bettas unless specifically noted.

A five-gallon tank is the smallest you want to have with just one Betta, anything smaller is considered cruel. 

A ten-gallon tank is the smallest size for keeping other fish with your Bettas.

Lastly, a 30-gallon community tank is the smallest size we recommend if you want to keep a sorority of Bettas.

After reading this article, we hope that you will have the confidence to keep Bettas in your aquarium.