Why Do Female Bettas Fight? What You Should Know 

Estimated read time 6 min read

Why do female bettas fight? Betta fish, male and female, are aggressive and territorial animals, causing conflict among each other.

Other reasons could lead to fights among betta fish, such as stress, breeding, or sickness.

Keeping the competition to a minimum is crucial because it can help make your pet fish feel safe, allowing them to rest appropriately and stay happy in the long term.

You can prevent fighting by creating safe spaces, reducing stress by keeping the water conditions optimal and pairing your fish with ideal tank mates. 

In this article, I cover why female betta fish fight, the signs of them fighting (because you may not always witness it yourself), and what you can do to prevent conflict.

Then, read on to see how you can make your pet fish healthier and happier. 


Reasons Your Female Bettas Are Fighting

You should note that female betta fish are less prone to fighting than male ones. However, some instances may lead to fighting, and I’ve outlined them below. 

Stress: stress can lead to aggression in betta fish due to the spikes in adrenaline and cortisol. Fish may get stressed due to poor water conditions, such as high levels of ammonia and nitrate, temperatures that are not in the ideal range, i.e., between 78°F and 82°F (or between 26°C and 28°C), or low oxygen levels.

Sickness/Disease: illness may also lead to aggressive behavior. Call your vet immediately if you notice any ulcers, spots, sores, or swelling.

Competition over food: some female betta fish may fight each other for food, especially if there are insufficient quantities. However, if you’re giving your fish adequate nutrition, it may be a good idea to feed the troublemakers separately. 

Breeding: some bettas may get aggressive during breeding, primarily if the males chase the female fish.

Small aquarium: insufficient space can lead to your fish getting stressed. Moreover, multiple fish within a small tank will have trouble establishing their territory, which may increase conflict.  

Personality: some female bettas are just as aggressive and dominant as their male counterparts, causing them to fight against each other. 

The Signs of Fighting

If you have a hectic schedule and don’t see your fish often, you may not witness them fighting against each other. In that case, you may want to look for any signs of fighting discussed below. 

Hostile behavior: if you get the chance to witness aggressive behavior, you’ll know that your female betta fish are fighting. Things to look out for include ramming into other fish, flaring up its grills, preventing other tank mates from eating, etc.

Torn fins and tail: Torn fins and tails are the most apparent signs of your female betta fish fighting. You may also notice this among other fish in your tank—those who may be victims of an attack. That said, betta fish sometimes injure themselves by scraping their bodies against rocks or attacking their reflections in the glass. 

Small injuries: make it a point to inspect your betta fish’s body closely regularly. Subtle injuries, such as missing scales, may indicate your fish have been fighting among themselves.

Lack of color: your fish’s color may indicate its health and stress levels. A lack of color, such as darkening, may suggest that your fish is stressed. If you can’t find any other stress causes, it may be due to regular conflict. 

Hiding: fish often found hiding a lot are probably victims of aggressive betta fish. They hide to stay safe and may do so by staying near leaves or within a cave or log.

How Do I Prevent My Female Bettas From Fighting?

Now that you have the answer to the question, “why do female bettas fight?” you can quickly get around to prevent further conflict. Here’s what you should keep in mind. 

Keep optimum water conditions: use an appropriate water filter and heater to keep the temperatures, oxygen levels, and ammonia and nitrate levels. 

Have lots of hiding places (rocks, plants, and caves): if you notice that your female betta fish are fighting, place areas where they can take over and feel safe to sleep for the correct duration.

Keep ideal tank mates: the age, color, temperament, and size of the fish are all crucial to preventing female betta fish from fighting.

Separate the troublemakers: some aquarium partitions can be helpful for this purpose.

The Female Betta Fish (Overview)

LifespanAround 3 years

2.25 inches in length 
Minimum size of the tank 20 gallons if you keep a community (sorority)
Ideal temperaturesBetween 78°F and 82°F (or between 26°C and 28°C),
Water typeFreshwater

Appearance: they are 2.25 inches in length, have vibrant-colored scales, and have thinner tails than males.

Suitable Companions: cory catfish, kuhli loaches

Should Female Bettas Live Together in a Community (Sorority)?

They can live in a sorority if you keep some factors consistent, such as the following. 

  • The age of the fish 
  • Bettas of similar personalities
  • Other fish of similar size as betta fish
  • Similarly-colored betta fish (different colors may be prone to more attacks than those that look the same as others)

Popular Questions

I discuss the answers to some popular questions about female betta fish fighting below to help you learn more about this phenomenon. 

Will Female Bettas Kill Each Other?

It is unlikely, but constant conflict may lead to death in some cases. 

Can Male and Female Bettas Be in the Same Tank?

Yes, they can, as long as you ensure, they don’t fight.

Could A Female Betta Kill A Male?

Males are more aggressive, but in some cases, a female betta may be able to kill a male one. 

Are Female Bettas Aggressive Towards Other Fish Species?

They can live in harmony with others as long as you prevent fighting. 

Final Words

So, now that you have an answer to the question, “Why do female bettas fight?” you can ensure that you’re keeping your pet fish from harm’s way. Just make sure to keep a close eye on their behavior. 

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