Male and female betta fish may cohabitate briefly. To reduce aggression between them, use a tank divider so they can see each other and become acquainted. Although their aggression may still manifest through flareing behavior at first, over time its intensity should subside.
Males are territorial
Male betta fish will chase, nip and attack female bettas that they are interested in mating with in an attempt to capture and fertilize her eggs. Unfortunately, this behavior usually only lasts until after mating; once they have completed mating they usually drive her away or try to, continuing nipping at her and chase her until they have their goal in sight.
Bettas tend to be territorial creatures, yet can coexist peacefully in an aquarium setting provided it meets certain conditions. A large tank that recreates their natural habitat, feedings at regular times and monitoring pH, nitrate and ammonia levels is key in order to limit overaggression and overprotectiveness by other bettas. This helps prevent aggression between individuals.
Understanding how to differentiate male from female bettas can also be essential. Females tend to be much less colorful than their male counterparts and feature thicker bodies with shorter ventral and anal fins as well as an egg spot near their vent. Males will flare at other males while stretching their gill plates in order to display dominance over them.
They are aggressive
Male and female betta fishes can become aggressive towards each other. When males desire mating but their intended partner doesn't respond positively, males may use flaring as a form of aggression against her; females can also show aggression toward one another but are generally only bullying each other instead of engaging in physical fights like males would do.
Keep a male and female Betta together safely, but with care. Introduce them gradually over several days, making sure the tank is large enough for each fish to keep its distance from each other, monitoring pH, nitrate, and ammonia levels regularly, providing hiding spaces and rocks as necessary - with these guidelines in place, it should be possible to successfully house both species together.
They are intelligent
Male betta fish can be deadly when kept together in one tank, as their territorial aggression makes them highly territorial and they will fight any fish entering their territory, without being given somewhere safe to hide from each other's aggression. Fights often escalate quickly without providing adequate escape routes, leading to serious injuries or even fatalities for those involved.
Male and female betta fish often perceive each other as threats and will only tolerate each other during mating rituals. For best results, an aquarium with plenty of hiding spaces such as rocks and plants, with shallow currents should provide optimal conditions.
However, it may be possible to house both male and female betta fish together if their personalities mesh well. It's important to keep in mind that it may not work out and it's wise to have an alternative plan in case things don't go according to plan.
They are social
Traditionally, male and female fish should only cohabit in one tank when breeding occurs, however some hobbyists have had great success keeping pairs, harems, or groups together in slightly larger tanks setups. It is essential that a large enough tank be provided, along with monitoring its behavior regularly as well as following other advice to ensure their wellbeing and safety.
Fighting between Betta fish in one tank is common when trying to breed with another female; these territorial and aggressive creatures are capable of inflicting serious injury and death to each other if care is not taken to prevent fights from breaking out. If left unattended, serious harm or even death may result.
Introduce other fish into a male and female betta's tank to reduce aggression, such as small, peaceful creatures like shrimps and snails, gradually and make sure there is enough space in their tank for both. A tank divider will ensure they can see each other without physically touching.