Question: I have a 20 gallon aquarium with five female Betta fish. I want to possibly breed the bettas. What would happen if I stuck a male Betta in with the females? People warn me they are aggressive but dont they have to be together to mate and breed.. Needing some input here on what I should do. I am good with my bettas and they are healthy right now. What is your experience with putting them together as tank mates?

*Awarded Answer
Reply from Tracy K:
Everyone is going to tell you that makes are super aggressive and will fight to the death but thats only 70% of the time. There are actually a lot of cases where the Male beta fish does perfectly fine in a community tank set up. It all really depends on how aggressive your particular Male beta fish is.

How you go through this procedure is you go out and get your Male beta fish and you put it inside of your tank and watch them very closely. He will know within a couple of hours if its just not going to work out or if they are going to fight to the death. Its usually pretty obvious when they are not going to get along because certain beta fish just have so much aggression that they cannot be together.

But I actually did was talk to my pet store and told him that I was looking for Male beta fish that I could put with my females and then I may come back and return this one even though he is still healthy. It took only two fish to realize that he was not that aggressive and everything worked out completely fine. It is very common for people to tell you that it is not to be done but for the level past beginner and intermediate you understand how it can be done. It just tell begin or aquarium owners this so that they dont have lots of fish dying because there are lots of beginners in this hobby.

Reply from Chris W:
I did a ton of research on this topic and thats why am still here and it seems that what you just said is completely having a different personality. Its almost like going back to grade school and all of the kids having different identities sort of sick. Some fish are just going to have a lot more aggression than others and theres probably reasons behind it for family genes or how they were raised or just how they are personality wise.

Ive been keeping beta fish for around five years now and I decided to give up on all of the mixing and matching of different sexes but I can definitely be done and I did it correctly for years. I just found out that it was pretty stressful on me to sit there and worry about if I was out at the store and all of a sudden my beta fish were going to start fighting each other and it did start to have some fish died because of that so thats why decided to stop. These fish do have actual aggression that is defined in their trait and you just cant get away from it.

I always tell begin hers that you cannot mix these fish just for the safety of the fish. If were going around telling people that they had to do a ton of research but these fish can be put together it would just create problems because its not an open black-and-white answer like society need some times. Throughout my experience of mixing beta fish I would say that only 20% of them or mixable as far as having males with females. That is just my personal experience but from my testing I just figured it wasnt worth the time to deal with that.

Reply from Sandy E:
So what you guys are saying is that if I am a total beginner at keeping fish that I should not be mixing these fish together? Just got some females and they keep bugging me to get more fish to put with them but Im trying to do some research because the pet store employee told me to make sure that I research fish before putting them together.

Reply from Chris W:
Its good to see that you are listening to his advice and doing some research. Just for the fact that you said you are a beginner I would advise deeply that you do not try testing to put these fish together. The male and the female are just two different fish almost entirely as far as aggression levels. When I would advise as to go out and get some Molly fish or some sword tails or guppies or something along those lines for females.

Because you said you have female beta fish its actually a lot easier to find roommates for the females. Now if you had the male sex it would be a lot harder to find roommates because they are so aggressive and basically they have to live on the phone for their entire life. Maybe if you get a little farther into your career as having fish for a hobby you can dabble with having different fish together and closely watch them. To success is really just watching your fish and researching them very closely before just jumping into anything.

The number one reason why people put down the hobby of keeping fish is because the fish at the try to take care of die on them to to lack of research. Nobody ever told you that youre going to have to learn some things about nature and how mother nature works as far as aquatic habitat. Its the same as every single other Patty need to just have knowledge on how to take care of it as a pet.