How many female bettas in a 5 gallon tank can you keep comfortably? Well, betta fish live in smaller tanks than other aquarium fish.
Their natural habitat is relatively stagnant, and they adapted to live without too much physical activity, but they are very territorial, so keeping more than one female is not recommended.
If you are considering keeping some females in a smaller tank, read this article to know how many you can keep and how to take care of them.
- How Many Female Bettas Can You Keep in a 5 Gallon Tank?
- Why Can’t You Keep Multiple Betta Females in a 5 Gallon Tank?
- How to Keep a Female Betta in a 5 Gallon Tank?
- How to Keep Two Female Bettas in a 5 Gallon Tank?
- What Are Safe Tank Mates for Female Betta Fish in a 5 Gallon Aquarium?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Female Bettas Can You Keep in a 5 Gallon Tank?
You can keep one female betta in a 5 gallon tank. Betta females are as territorial as males when low in numbers. It is true in all small tank sizes. A single betta fish can live comfortably in this size where there’s enough space for plants and decorations too.
So, apart from knowing with respect to a 5 gallon aquarium, if you want to know how many female bettas in a 6 gallon tank or how many female bettas in a 7 gallon tank you can keep, the answer would remain the same, i.e., one.
You can easily keep one female counterpart of this fish species without worrying about fights breaking out or the fish getting hurt. You can focus on the well-being of the fish, and it will thrive and grow beautifully.
You can calibrate the aquarium conditions according to the needs of the singular fish. Some fish cannot live in a solitary tank and get depressed, but bettas are not one of them. For a tank of this size, it is best to keep only one female. So the answer to how many female bettas in a 5 gallon tank you can raise, is one.
“Can I put 3 female bettas in a 5 gallon tank?” you might wonder. You cannot put three female bettas in a 5 gallon tank. Keeping three bettas in a tank this small becomes highly unmanageable. They might become aggressive and stop eating if not provided the required space.
Why Can’t You Keep Multiple Betta Females in a 5 Gallon Tank?
You can’t keep multiple betta females in a 5 gallon tank primarily because of overcrowding. This, in turn, gives rise to several grounds for not keeping many bettas in a small tank. These include aggression, insufficient space, stress, and other negative effects.
When two or three females are close, they see each other as competitors over the same territory. They will constantly snap and push at each other whenever they are in the same space, which is all the time in a small tank. Your bettas may get injured from the endless fighting.
It will cause them to become sluggish and sick, and their wounds may get infected. One or two of the fish may even die as a result. So, you should avoid keeping them like this.
– Less Space
Your bettas will have little personal space if you keep even two of them in a small tank. Bettas don’t need much tank space, but they need a small area where they can retreat. It can be a separate portion of the tank or a plant or hiding structure made for them.
A tank of 5 gallons will provide less than 5 gallons of space to your bettas in reality. The filters and plants in the tank will reduce the area and force them to be near each other at all times, causing distress and fights.
But you cannot remove the plants for more space, either, as bettas need them. So, this tank is not optimal for multiple bettas.
– Lack of a Sorority
If females are kept in low numbers, they start fights. However, they peacefully coexist when they are kept in a higher number (around six to 12) in a large tank of 20-30 gallons. Even if they do have fights, they’re sporadic, and they keep each other regulated.
Experienced aquarium keepers always recommend keeping multiple bettas in a larger tank. Two to three females can live together safely, but 5 gallons allows too little space to keep any more of them to form a peaceful betta sorority tank. Thus, your tank is insufficient to keep more than one female.
– Stress Reactions
Betta fish display visible changes when they are in distress. They get lethargic and stay near the bottom of the tank without moving too much, and they lose interest in eating, which may lead to starvation.
Bettas also lose their color when they are stressed and develop stress stripes. No matter how vibrant your females are, they will turn grayish if they have no personal space and are constantly threatened by fights.
Further, they develop stress stripes on their sides. Thus, keeping multiple bettas in a small tank shows visible signs of diminishing health, leading to discoloration and even death.
How to Keep a Female Betta in a 5 Gallon Tank?
To keep a female betta in a 5 gallon tank, you must take extra care of it. The tank conditions and food offered must be specially looked after to ensure the good health of your pet. Despite the small size, keeping one female ensures enough space for equipment and decorations.
– Tank Type
You may find people saying 2.5 gallons is the minimum tank volume for bettas. This is true only in the technical sense, but the betta will be stressed and unable to swim properly.
So how many female bettas in a 2.5 gallon tank could you keep? Five gallons is the recommended minimum tank volume for keeping a solitary female, as it gives the fish enough space to live comfortably and enables easier tank maintenance for you.
Bettas tend to jump high and fall out of the tank. They may die like this if you are not ready to immediately put them back in. So, keep a sturdy lid over your tank. Further, bettas must swim close to the water’s surface to absorb oxygen into their labyrinth organ. It helps them breathe.
So, ensure to fill up your tank only partially. Leave a gap between the water level and the tank lid. It enables the bettas to swim up and meet the air.
– Water Parameters
The water in your betta’s tank should not contain chlorine but should have dissolved minerals for their well-being. The ideal temperature for bettas is 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the perfect pH for them is 7. The pH can be tweaked by 0.5 to either side, but no more than that.
You need a small aquarium heater to maintain its ideal temperature, especially in winter. You can also set up a soft, affordable filter to add some protection from bacterial diseases. Clean the tank once per week without using soap or other such substances. It will help your betta live comfortably and stay healthy.
Betta fish cannot survive happily in a bare tank. They need some plants, rocks, or holes to stay in, even when other bettas are not around.
Some decorations remind them of their natural habitat and help them feel safe. You can include live or artificial plants, depending on your preference. You can also have logs and little castle-like constructions for your fish to enjoy.
Betta fins are exceptionally delicate, and you must ensure your decorations are all soft or rounded. It is best to opt for silk when getting an artificial plant for your betta. Also, smoothen down the edges of any other decorations you include.
Bettas are diurnal, which means they are awake during the day and asleep at night. However, you should avoid leaving their tank near direct sunlight. The sun can raise the water temperature past its comfortable range. It is best to keep them in artificial light. You can keep them in your room, away from any windows.
Thus, their daily cycle will be maintained by soft natural light during the day and by switching the lights off at night. Get some opaque plants and shady areas in their tank so they can hide from too much light.
Bettas can be challenging to feed, as they are strict carnivores and picky eaters. You can feed them freeze-dried meat, fish, or shrimp. They may often reject food or pick at it and not eat enough. They are also opposed to pellets, as these are not exciting enough.
You can try out a range of brands and types to find the one your female betta will love. Their favorite foods are processed brine shrimps and bloodworms, and you can opt for live food if they start turning away from pellets. A well-fed female will be active, vibrant and happy.
How to Keep Two Female Bettas in a 5 Gallon Tank?
To keep two female bettas in a 5 gallon tank, you must make special tank adjustments first.
You’ll need to use a divider to ensure each fish has its separate area, add more hiding spots for them to retreat in, and choose females with a calmer temperament.
A divider is a solid sheet you can place between two bettas in a small tank. It has pores or little slits to allow the water to flow freely and the tank to maintain the temperature, pH, and oxygen levels. Doing this prevents the bettas from severely fighting and injuring each other. But they will still be able to sense each other’s presence and stress over it.
Further, it reduces the space in the tank, meaning each female is essentially in a tank of 2.5 gallons with decorations to block more of the area. As discussed, this is not optimal for them, and you must find a better solution soon.
– Hiding Spots
The females may feel less inclined to fight over territory if they do not see each other often or have a safe hiding space when the other is violent.
Leafy plants and other decorations with gaps are your best options. However, it is only a solution that works sometimes. Increase the number of plants to minimize how often they see each other.
– More Supervision
Two females need your constant supervision, no matter how many other anti-aggression tactics you apply. When left alone, their fights can escalate.
So, you should always keep an eye on them and take emergency measures if they are starting to appear overly aggressive, stressed, or injured.
– Calm Temperaments
The temperaments of bettas depend on the breed you choose and the individual fish. If you keep two mild-mannered females together, it reduces the chances of fighting. When you get the bettas, consult with the breeders on which fish would be the most amicable while living in close company.
Ensure not to keep an aggressive female with a quiet one, as it can escalate the situation and lead to the death of the meeker fish. It is a rare occurrence, but some fish keepers have reported finding the right combination of betta females that lived peacefully in the safe tank for their whole lives.
– Backup Plans
You should never keep two bettas in the same fish tank without a backup plan. Despite your best efforts, they may fight without stopping. It is simply in their nature and not a failure on your part. But there should be a backup tank to separate them when things get out of hand.
You may have some other way of separating them for a few hours until finding a more permanent solution, but a proper backup will help you stay stress-free.
What Are Safe Tank Mates for Female Betta Fish in a 5 Gallon Aquarium?
Safe tank mates for female betta fish in a 5 gallon tank can include snails and fish that look different from bettas. You can also keep ramshorn snails, neon tetras, ghost shrimp, and ember tetras in a betta fish tank. Just keep their numbers low.
Bettas usually attack fish that are too vibrant or have large fins, which means they do not get along with fish that look like them. So, keep with species dissimilar in appearance.
“Can I keep angelfish with my betta in a 5 gallon aquarium?” you might ask yourself. You cannot keep angelfish with bettas in a 5 gallon aquarium.
These fish are beautiful but too vibrant and similarly shaped to bettas. So, your betta fish will immediately start attacking the angelfish. It will cause damage to both fish.
– Dwarf Crayfish
These crayfish are excellent companions for your betta because they are bottom-dwellers, and bettas live near the upper surface. Thus, they can stay out of each other’s way and avoid aggression. Dwarf crayfish are unique and interesting mates for your female betta.
– Mystery Snails
Mystery snails are ideal tank mates for your betta in a 5 gallon tank. It is because they keep to themselves and stay out of the betta’s way while eating its leftover food for less wastage.
Further, even if your betta does try to attack the snail, it can retreat into its shell as a defense mechanism.
Frequently Asked Questions
– How Many Female Bettas in a 20 Gallon Tank Can You Keep?
You can keep around five to six female bettas in a 20 gallon tank. By keeping a large group together, you can ensure that the fights do not reoccur between the same bettas. In betta sororities, the females become gentle and calm and rarely become agitated.
Likewise, if you want to know how many female bettas in a 10 gallon tank can be kept, the ideal number is four to five.
– How Many Female Bettas in a 3.5 Gallon Tank Can You Keep?
You can keep only one small-sized female betta in a 3.5 gallon tank. However, the recommended size for an adult female betta is 5 gallons. Only keep the fish in a smaller tank if it’s temporary. Make sure to move it to a larger aquarium once it outgrows it.
While starting a hobby of keeping female betta fish, you may wonder how many female bettas you could comfortably raise in your new 5-gallon tank. Well, the right answer is one.
Below is a summary of the points in this article.
- You can keep a single female in a 5-gallon tank and give it all the attention and care it deserves.
- Keeping even two betta females in a small tank causes turf fights, stress and can even lead to death.
- You can keep your betta fish with quiet tank mates that are not very territorial or vibrant.
- You can use dividers and live plants to keep two betta females in one tank, but it is a temporary solution.
Your solitary betta will have a healthy and joyful life if you care for it properly and keep suitable tankmates.
“name”: “How Many Female Bettas in a 20 Gallon Tank Can You Keep?”,
“text”: “You can keep around five to six female bettas in a 20 gallon tank. By keeping a large group together, you can ensure that the fights do not reoccur between the same bettas. In betta sororities, the females become gentle and calm and rarely become agitated.\n\nLikewise, if you want to know how many female bettas in a 10 gallon tank can be kept, the ideal number is four to five.”
“name”: “How Many Female Bettas in a 3.5 Gallon Tank Can You Keep?”,
“text”: “You can keep only one small-sized female betta in a 3.5 gallon tank. However, the recommended size for an adult female betta is 5 gallons. Only keep the fish in a smaller tank if it’s temporary. Make sure to move it to a larger aquarium once it outgrows it.”
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