Why are ‘Betta’ fish usually aggressive and territorial?

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The Betta fish is usually a beautiful fish that attracts a lot of attention both for its colors and for its fins. But there is something that makes us look much more at it, and that is its dominant and territorial character.

Why are 'Betta' fish usually aggressive and territorial

When threatened, this fish opens its fins even more in a defensive position, for this reason it is called ‘Frez Luchador’ and is condemned to live alone in any aquarium. Some fish do not have the ability to live accompanied inside an aquarium and the Betta Fish is one of them, let’s go a little into their world to try to understand this way of being so peculiar and what can be done about it.

Is it normal for Betta fish to behave aggressively?

The Betta Fish is so aggressive that if another male approaches and decides to dispute the territory, the encounter ends when one of the two dies. This is why it is customary to have this small fish totally alone in an aquarium to avoid problems and sacrifices. But it is normal for a doubt to arise in the face of this war, is this also the case in its natural habitat?

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How does it behave in its natural habitat?

In its natural habitat, this fish behaves in the same way as in the aquarium. Each fish looks for a territory where it is comfortable and quiet, and it is in that territory where it settles and only shares with other Betta fish, but of the female sex.

On the one hand this attitude is understandable because it is what has kept the species free of extinction, each male shares his space with at least three female fish and is responsible for maintaining food and carrying out reproduction so that then the new fish go out to find their own place.

You probably think that these fish alone like to fight; however, this is not the case. They actually have a kind of ritual in which they show the opponent that they can have greater strength, and this is repeated at least three times before attacking, waiting for the other fish to retreat alone.

Situations that we must take care of with the temperament of Betta fish

Already knowing the way of being of these fish, it can be clear what types of situations should be avoided inside an aquarium. Betta Fish have the ability to remember ranks, and it can be said that among them, they can recognize what social status each one has; so intelligently one of the two rivals retreats before submitting to die.

Why are 'Betta' fish usually aggressive and territorial

Put two male fish in the same aquarium

This is the main thing to keep in mind. Two male Betta Fish cannot be found inside the same aquarium, unless you want an attack. There are ways to see the attitude of one male betta fish in front of another, and it is using a mirror before which the solitary male reflects.

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By placing a mirror inside or outside the fish tank and the male betta fish is reflected, it will immediately initiate the dance that allows it to demonstrate its range and presence. If the mirror is not removed, the fish can hit it at any time. This is a simple experiment that demonstrates the reason why the best thing for them is loneliness.

There must be three females for each male

Although the aggressive feature is more common in males, females do not escape from fighting each other. That is why if you want to have in an aquarium several betta fish, they have to be 1 male and 3 females.

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The females will respect the male and in turn, among them, establish a hierarchy. The aquarium has to be large, at least 40 liters, and must have hiding places for any of them to hide from needing it.

In the same way, you have to pay attention to the females, who may not quickly reach a conclusion in terms of hierarchy and attack each other.

Beware of living with other heavy fish

Already knowing the characteristic of these fish, finding a companion of another species is a bit difficult, since there are not many species compatible with betta fish. The appropriate thing is that apart from the aquarium being large, there is a species that are grouped in schools, so that it is difficult to fall into conflict because they are alone.

Are female Betta fish also territorial?

Although not seen largely as in the case of males, female betta fish are just as territorial. When they are in the presence of a male and other females, between them, they establish a hierarchy, but if they do not agree they can attack each other or at any other time when the male is not present. But in general, females are much more peaceful than males.