Betta fish are one of the low-maintenance pet fish. The beautiful half-moon, fan-tailed fish are known for bright coloration and stunning fin displays.
Bettas are known to be territorial fish that don’t play well with others.
You’ll often find that they’re not comfortable sharing their own aquarium with other fish unless there’s a lot of space available to them.
Hence, the chances of Betta fish getting lonely are slim.
Do Betta Fish Get Lonely?
No – betta fish doesn’t get lonely.
No matter how much your mind tells you that its mouth looks more upturned than usual due to loneliness when you look into the bowl.
If your betta fish is acting strange it’s because most likely it’s stressed out due to things that have gone wrong in its tank.
Betta fish are very aggressive and prefer to be by themselves.
Even in the wild, they live a solitary life and stick to their own territory.
So no, there is no chance your betta is feeling lonely and needs a companion (not that you can’t have other fishes with a betta, but it’s not a must-have).
Let’s discover why you shouldn’t worry about your betta getting lonely and what you can do to keep it happy.
Also read: Do Koi Fish Get Bored or Lonely?
The Truth about Betta Fish’s Nature and Loneliness
Betta fish is solitary and territorial by nature. You’ll surely have an idea if you’ve kept a few together.
And if you haven’t, you must know that betta fish shouldn’t be kept with another betta fish unless you want to see them fighting and getting injured. Oftentimes, their fights can lead to death.
Make sure that you never keep a male betta fish in the same tank as another male betta. Otherwise, you’ll end up losing one.
It’s highly unlikely for Betta fish to get lonely in the tank. However, if the tank is very small, they may get bored living in it eventually.
So, as long as your betta fish has enough space to enjoy swimming in and you take care of its needs, it’ll be a happy little fish.
All that betta fish need is some plants, shades, hiding spots, and plenty of stimuli in their tank.
Do Female Betta Fish Get Lonely?
Male betta fish can’t live together, but is it the same with females?
A female betta can be kept on its own in the tank or sorority if your tank has enough space. A sorority refers to a group of female betta fish that live together.
While they have their own territories in the tank, they don’t mind others entering their area.
If you’re worried about your female betta fish being lonely, you can rest assured that it can cohabitate peacefully with other fish.
However, female betta fish can also get aggressive and a pecking order may be found out, but the chances of a female betta fish getting lonely are much higher than that of a male.
If you’re thinking of introducing some tank mates for your female betta, you must ensure that the tank is big enough to accommodate them.
Ideally, you should have a 29-gallon tank that offers several hiding places for the fish. It’s better to introduce one fish at a time.
Adding all of them at once will disrupt the ammonia cycle, and if a problem arises, you’ll have to do a lot of moving around.
Before you start a female sorority, you must keep in mind that female betta fish can be aggressive and the situation can worsen than with the males.
The female fish have smaller fins, which allow them to swim faster, so they can run after other fish and attack mercilessly.
The best way to go about this is by keeping a close eye on all the fish so you can separate them if they start attacking each other.
Do Betta Fish Like to Live Alone?
Just because betta fish are territorial, it doesn’t mean that they prefer living alone. You can’t keep multiple betta fish in one tank but you can surely introduce other species of tank mates, depending on the temperament of your fish.
Sometimes, even a snail in the tank can trigger the territorial instinct of your betta fish and make it aggressive.
On the other hand, some betta may be more comfortable in a community tank and enjoy more and stay happier in the company of other tank mates.
You can introduce a variety of species, including snails, m, platies, African dwarf frogs, ghost shrimps, and certain species of fish.
These species swimming around in the same tank may make your betta feel safer.
Keeping Betta Fish with Other Tank Mates
You need to keep the following things in mind when choosing tank mates for your betta fish.
Choose a Big Tank
If you want to keep your betta fish with other species, the tank should have enough space to accommodate everyone.
Your fish may live happily in a 5-gallon tank but if you plan on adding some tank mates, you’ll have to consider a 10-gallon tank or bigger.
Some fish, such as the red-tail shark requires a huge tank that’s at least 55 gallons in size. It all depends on what kind of species you want to keep in the tank.
Apart from this, make sure the tank’s filtration system is efficient to ensure optimal cleanliness and health of the fish.
Related read: What Size Aquarium Is Best For Betta Fish?
Make Sure There Are Enough Hiding Spots
The tank must have enough hiding places for your betta fish and its tank mates.
The thing with hiding spots is that they make the fish feel safe. The safer your betta feels, the more likely it will be to freely swim around in the tank.
Choose Tank Mates Carefully
The most important thing when bringing your betta fish company is to choose the tank mates carefully. It’s not just the bright-colored, long-tailed fish that you should be avoiding.
You should avoid any fish that likes to spend time at or near the top of the tank. Betta fish loves to swim at the top and it may attack any fish that tries to enter its territory.
Adding bottom feeders to the tank is also a good idea. Since betta fish swim at the top and eat their food there, you don’t have to worry about any clashing.
Keep an Eye on All the Fish
After introducing a new tank mate in the tank, you must keep an eye on your betta fish as much as possible. Note if its behavior changes or it gets aggressive around the new fish.
You’ll easily be able to see if it starts bullying the new tank mate or if the new fish tries to attack it.
In case you notice such behavior, you’ll have to buy a new tank immediately or put a tank divider to separate them.
Do Betta Fish Get Bored?
Unlike popular opinion, betta fish don’t need any hobbies or distractions to stay happy.
Betta fish don’t get bored easily. If your betta’s care needs are met, then it will be happy without any worries.
However, if you introduce other fish into the tank which is sharing its environment, it is bound to become aggressive from time to time
Betta fish are known to be very focused and simple animals. They only care about their lives being perfect with enough food, water, oxygen, and the right temperature
Oftentimes, the behaviors that you may interpret as boredom may be an indicator of stress.
The following are some behaviors that you should be wary of.
When your fish continuously swims up and down the aquarium glass. This is a sign of stress, not boredom.
There is something aggravating your betta fish, and it may be either a lack of food.
It could be that the water temperature is too high or too cold, or something else.
Don’t introduce another fish to solve this problem when it will only make things worse.
Betta fish hide when they want to feel secure. However, if it’s hiding too much, then something may actually be scaring it.
Perhaps you have a cat or a dog that is making it nervous.
If your betta is wedging itself behind a decoration, then there may be a problem with the decorations or with some other thing in the aquarium.
Wedging behind Objects
Stress may make your betta wedge behind different decoration objects in the tank.
If you see this behavior, know that there’s a problem.
Some betta fish like to sit at the bottom of the tank or on the leaves when sleeping.
However, if you always see your fish like that and it never swims around in the tank, it may be a sign of stress.
Reasons Your Betta May be Acting ‘Bored’ or ‘Lonely’
Your betta may be acting weirdly due to a lack of livable conditions in the tank.
Clean the tank or check the filter. Move the aquarium out of direct sunlight or simply close the curtains.
If the aquarium is facing a mirror, the betta may see its own reflection as another fish. This may raise its stress levels.
Possible Causes of Stress in Betta Fish
Did you know that stress is one of the biggest reasons for premature death in betta fish?
It’s crucial to know about the possible causes of stress in these fish. While odd behavior may not always be a cause of concern, you need to watch for any behavioral patterns that indicate something is wrong.
The most common causes of stress in betta fish include:
- Poor water conditions in the tank
- Too much direct sunlight in the tank
- Excessive current
What You Can Do to Keep Your Betta Fish Happy
The first step to keeping your betta fish happy is to provide them with a clean, spacious tank.
Make sure the filtration system is on point and find out if your betta will be more comfortable living with other fish and species.
If you’re really concerned about your fish getting bored, you can use exercise mirrors to keep it entertained.
Seeing its own reflection in the tank will stimulate your fish and make it think it’s another fish. As a result, your fish will flex its muscles and engage in some well-needed exercise.
Using a mirror is especially a great idea if your betta fish is territorial and competitive. When you remove the mirror, it will feel like it has defeated the other fish and has won. It’s also an excellent solution to boredom.
Your fish will always think that another fish is swimming around in the tank and hence, never feel alone. It’ll also make it patrol the tank more, so he’ll stay active.
Besides this, you can simply search online and find ways to play with your betta fish. Some people like to train their fish to do some tricks to keep it entertained.
Just make sure you never try anything that can harm your fish or stress it out.
Wrapping It Up
Betta fish don’t get lonely, so you don’t have to feel bad about watching your fish roam around in the tank alone.
If you still want it to have some company, make sure the tank is big enough and you choose the tank mates wisely.
You should never compromise on the quality of the living environment, including efficient heat and water filtration, good food, and clean water.
Now that you know everything about keeping a betta fish happy, you don’t have to worry about it being lonely or bored.
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