How Do Betta Fish Kill Each Other

We do not purchase betta fish with the intent of witnessing them killing each other. But know as long as you keep them in the same aquarium, there will always be aggression.

Betta fish are loved and kept as pets for their elegant and colorful bodies. More so, betta fish are intelligent creatures that can make great friends.

As that’s the case, you will always find most aquarists around the aquarium trying to pass time with their fish friends.

However, many cases have been witnessed where betta fish fight to death. And unfortunately, you lose your lovely pets after much investment and care.

Luckily, this article delves into how do betta fish kill each other and how to make betta fish less aggressive. In addition, it will loop you in on signs that your betta fish are fighting.

So, if you always wonder why your betta fish keep dying, worry less; by the end of the writing, you will have a permanent solution to prevent betta deaths.

A Brief History of Betta Fish

do betta fish fight to the death
Beautiful Betta fish

Guess what? Betta fish are even named after the art of fighting. The name is Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). As that’s the case, you can learn that betta fish are aggressive.

Betta fish were discovered in the 1800s in South East Asia. And areas like Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Thaos are the origin of these lovely fish.

Naturally, wild betta fish are found in slow-moving streams and rice paddies in these native environments.

After discovery, they underwent selective breeding on color and finnage, hence sold today as pets. Indeed, their body colors are amazing.

In addition, even their body shapes are appealing, and as earlier stated, the fish are very intelligent.

Fighting for Monetary Gain

Due to their aggressive nature, after discovery, the keepers started fighting them for completion.

One would select their most aggressive betta and take them for betting matches. This led to the keepers’ further breeding of the fish to put more food on the table.

However, after learning the breeds are kept for recreational and economic purposes, the King of Siam started taxing the owners.

One would acquire licenses before fighting their betta fish.

Read: Betta Fish died overnight

do betta fish kill other fish
Betta fish

How Do Betta Fish Kill Each Other

Betta fish kill each other simply by fighting. As stated earlier, they are very territorial, which is the leading cause of their fights.

When they engage in fights, they attack each other’s fins, destroying them. Secondly, they cause wounds on their bodies.

Although some may die in the fight, others die afterwards. Take a look at various ways deaths occur.

See also: Signs and symptoms of a dying betta

1. Exhaustion

When bettas engage in fights, they might be strong enough for prolonged fighting. As such, they get exhausted and eventually die in the fight.

Surprisingly, you may not quickly learn that your fish friends are fighting. They engage each other in a way one won’t suspect.

Usually, males are believed to engage in these prolonged fights.

2. Stress and Trauma

After engaging in a fight, the fish get stressed and fear another attack. This occurs mainly on the fish that gave in to the fight.

As a result of prolonged stress, the fish may develop some conditions and eventually die. Mind you; the aggressive fish may follow them to their hiding places at all times.

Read: How long can I keep a betta in cup?

3. Infections on the Wounds

After a fight, the fish may develop some wounds, and with time, the parasites, bacteria, or fungi will find their way in.

When the slime coat is attacked, the fish’s immune system weakens, making it less resistant. As a result, the fish’s health deteriorates. If action is not taken, the fish dies.

How Betta Fish Fight Occurs

When betta fish suspect their territory is invaded, they puff their gills and expand their fins to scare the other fish.

Usually, the males occupy an area of around 3 square feet. And this is where they look for their food, mates, and rest.

Read: How do you ethically euthanize a betta fish?

FAQs on Betta Fish

So, do betta fish kill other fish?

As long as the betta fish suspects their territory is about to be taken, they will fight to protect it. Moreover, betta fish tend to be aggressive to brightly colored fish.

Do female betta fish fight each other?

Females are not as aggressive as males. But they, too, engage in fights. However, females turn aggressive for the first few minutes, and they can live in the same territory after familiarizing themselves.

In fact, female betta fish live in groups known as sororities. Unless a new member tries to join, they will always remain peaceful.

Will male and female betta fish kill each other?

During reproduction, males will stay peacefully with the males. But after laying the eggs, they will chase the females away.

Male betta fish take over the role of nurturing. As such, they will have made bubble nests to hold the eggs, and later they will fertilize and protect the eggs until they hatch.

However, the fight occurs as a way to protect the eggs and the nests. This is because females tend to eat eggs after laying them. In another case, males and females may fight if they compete for food.

See also: Best food for betta fish

How to Stop Betta Fish From Killing Each Other

Ideally, separate the males such that each male betta fish has its tank. But if you don’t have enough tanks, partition one tank for each to have its territory.

Secondly, learn species that can live with betta fish peacefully without fights. Also, add some hiding places like live plants and rocks to avoid open spaces in the aquarium.

Finally, have bigger tanks and don’t introduce excessive members in one tank.

How Do You Know If Your Betta Fish is Fighting?

Surprisingly, you can feed your fish and perform other activities without noticing they are fighting. But even if you don’t manage to spot them fighting, observe the following signs;

  • Injuries on scales and fins
  • Prone to infections
  • Stressed most of the times

What Fish Can a Betta Live With?

  • Cory catfish
  • Guppies
  • Ember tetras
  • Platies
  • Kuhli loaches

Why Do Betta Fish Hate Each Other?

Betta fish fight each other because they are territorial. They attack their mate’s fins and cause wounds that can later be infected.

The information covers all you would like to learn if you have been figuring out “how do betta fish kill each other?”



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