Can Female Betta Fish Live Together?

Many owners have successfully kept more than one female betta in a tank together, but male bettas shouldn’t be grouped up the same way.

Betta fish make great additions to a freshwater aquarium, especially if this is your first time keeping fish.

Bettas are easy to care for, and the males, in particular, are known for their gorgeous coloration and florid fins. Many people prefer to keep the males because female betta fish are less colorful and have less pronounced and beautiful fins.

Unfortunately, male betta fish are incredibly territorial and will fight to the death if kept in close proximity. Even in a large tank, you should only keep one male betta fish at a time.

But what about female bettas? Can they live together harmoniously? Read on to find out how and where to keep multiple bettas.

Can Two Females Live in the Same Tank?

The short answer here is yes; you can safely keep more than one female betta in a tank together. A group of female bettas living together is called a “sorority.”

Female betta fish are much less territorial than males. They are known to get along well and also play nice with other fish.

Each fish must have adequate space to establish its territory and have alone time.

A good rule of thumb is to allow about five gallons of water per fish. So a 20-gallon tank could have 4-5 females in it.

In addition to space, fish need places to hide and hang out. Your tank should have plenty of plants, foliage, and other items around.

If any scraps break out between the females, they need places to escape to.

Two Red and Blue Betta Fish


Usually, the females will establish a hierarchy or “pecking order,” which could involve some squabbling in the beginning. This will be nowhere near as bad as the fighting you would see between two males because females very rarely fight to the death.

Once the school has established its pecking order, it should get along relatively peacefully. Scraps may break out from time to time but will be resolved quickly.

Living with Males

Female bettas can also live with males. In fact, having a sorority of females around can help two male fish to live together more harmoniously.

There should be at least five gallons of space for every fish, as well as plenty of plants and rocks to hide in.

It’s not recommended to try and keep more than one male in the same tank, even with a sorority. A better idea is to keep one male and one female, or one male and a few females together.

Other Fish

Female bettas can get along well with other species of fish as long as they are properly introduced and have enough space to establish their territories.

How to Introduce a New Female Fish into a Tank

If you plan to introduce a new fish into an established tank, there are a few things you can prepare to make sure the introduction goes smoothly, and your fish get off on the right foot.

Prepare a Second Tank

Always have a backup tank ready whenever you’re introducing a new fish into a tank. If any fighting does break out, you’ll need to pull the new fish out quickly and relocate them to the backup tank.

To prepare the backup tank, transfer some water from your existing tank to the new tank.

Top up both tanks with fresh water, and keep the temperatures between the two tanks consistent. Put the same types of rocks and plants in the new tank as you have in the existing tank.

You want the aquatic environments to be as similar as possible so you don’t shock the new fish when moving them between tanks. Put the new fish in the backup tank for at least a day when you first get them home to give them time to adjust to the water before transferring them.

Introduce One Fish at a Time

If you have multiple fish to put into your tank, put one in at a time and wait at least 48 hours before putting in the next fish. You might see some squabbling break out during the first 48 hours, but it should be minor and resolve itself quickly.

If squabbling does turn into serious fighting, remove the new fish immediately and put them back into the backup tank. Wait at least a day before trying to introduce them again.

After 48 hours, the new fish should have established her role in the pecking order, and the existing fish should be comfortable with her presence. At this point, you can try to introduce the next fish.

Keeping Your Bettas Safe Together

Scraps and squabbles are inevitable, just as they are with dogs that cohabitate, cats that cohabitate, and humans who cohabitate. However, a scrap that turns into a serious fight is a problem.

If a fish gets injured, the injury could become infected and contaminate the water in the rest of the tank. This could lead to illness or even the death of your entire sorority.

For this reason, it’s essential to break up fights as quickly as possible and ensure that each fish has enough space.

Similarly, a sick fish can spread disease or illness to the rest of the school. If you suspect a fish in your tank is sick, remove them from the tank immediately.

Always have a backup tank ready and waiting in case you need to transfer a fish out of the main tank. It doesn’t have to be big; 5-gallons is enough to keep one fish for a temporary period while you monitor their condition.

Final Word

Female bettas may not be as pretty as male bettas, but their ability to form hierarchies and engage in social behavior makes them just as fascinating to watch. They make great tank mates for other fish and great companions for each other and male bettas.

In general, bettas are an excellent choice for budding aquarium enthusiasts and first-time fish keepers. As long as they are well-cared for and managed responsibly, they will bring you joy for years.