View Full Version : keeping a betta pair?

03-09-2011, 04:15 PM
I've hatched a plan and would appreciate feedback from the pros... I'm dying for a second tank, but our house is small so my dream 56g corner tank is out of the question. However, I've been eyeing the 7.9 gallon fluval Ebi tank in my F&S catalog. It's plenty small enough that I won't drive my DH crazy, and I can get a clamp on light that would give me about 3 WPG. I would love to try some high light plants, and upgrading my current tank from 2.5 WPG isn't an option unless I go to a metal halide.

Anyway, the betta connection here is that I would like to keep a male and female betta pair in the planted 7.9 gallon. Is this feasible? Will they fight between themselves? I've been watching aquabid, and fell in love with a handsome yellow CT :1luvu:. Then, while at Petco, I scoped a lovely platinum CT lady for him. I eventually would like to try breeding them but wouldn't have the space to seperately house all of the male fry/juveniles for another several months, possibly a year. If I keep the male and female together and they do breed, what would/should I do?

Thanks for the input!

03-09-2011, 04:25 PM
Really not, because in just a male/female Betta pair, the female will always get beat up and eventually killed. Better is a single male and four to six females, and plenty of hiding places for the females to get out of line of sight of him.

When I get around to posting my anabatoid primer you'll see what to do if and when Betta splendens spawn.


03-09-2011, 04:32 PM
I'm guessing I already know the answer but, is 7.9 gallons enough to keep 4 females and a male? if it is heavily planted?

03-09-2011, 11:21 PM
I keep three females together in a 5 gallon. For six females, a ten gallon is recommended. For four females and a male... not sure. But the bigger the better

03-10-2011, 02:02 AM
The female might even kill the male.

03-10-2011, 02:30 AM
I know someone who kept a male and two females in a 25-gal. I think 15-25 gallons would be about as big as I'd keep males and females together

03-10-2011, 02:54 PM
The female might even kill the male.
:ssuprised: not taking that chance then! I'm way too excited about my import to have him meet his doom at the hands (fins/mouth) of a lady I shouldn't have put in there to begin with.

So here's the final decision: Handsome male gets his own 8 gallon display tank, so he can strut his stuff. I'm going to get 3 females and keep them in a standard 10 gal. When I'm ready (or when they're ready), I'll put them next to each other and let the sparks fly!

Not to belabor the point but... this is a beatufil fish! I love yellows and he's--YELLOW! :1luvu: *sigh*

03-10-2011, 07:37 PM
You put the female laden with eggs in a jar and float it in the male's tank. That way he can't attack her. If she goes nose down and has dark barring on her sides she's ready to mate. Then you release her from the jar and keep a close eye on the pair. If he forms a crescent over her body and eggs are expelled, he'll chase her off and you have to remove her, carefully of course, in a hurry or he'll kill the female. He spits the eggs, that fall slowly, into the bubble nest.

That's the upshot of breeding them. I'll PM you my piece on breeding Betta splendens for your reference which includes feeding and raising the fry.


03-10-2011, 10:31 PM
I've been told/read that it's best to keep females in groups no less than four, so the aggression gets evenly spread around. Two, one gets picked on. Three, the weakest gets picked on by the other two. Though I have three in a tank and the smallest of the three is chasing the other two around, so it's still entirely up to you *shrug*

A 10 gallon can keep a "sorority" of six females.

03-10-2011, 11:50 PM
can we have pics of your betta? im interested to see him

03-11-2011, 03:20 PM
Absolutely! I'm getting him next week, but here is a pic from the breeder.

I'm thinking about naming him "Spongebob's house"

I've waffled again BTW. When it came down to buying the Fluval 7.9 gallon tank, I found a Finnex 4 gal that had better lighting and a nicer shape for aquascaping (not to mention it was half the price!) so I got 2 of those instead. One for my man and one for 3 little ladies--and some shrimp... and possobly a clam.

03-12-2011, 03:30 AM
^_^ That is a very pretty crowntail

Lady Hobbs
03-12-2011, 01:32 PM
I found a Finnex 4 gal that had better lighting and a nicer shape for aquascaping (not to mention it was half the price!) so I got 2 of those instead. One for my man and one for 3 little ladies--and some shrimp... and possobly a clam.

You want to keep 3 females in a 4 gallon tank? That's not giving them much swimming space. People seem to think that Betta's live in little mud puddles but actually they live in rice paddies but the furrows they live in can go on for acres. Or in large swales.

This articles says it best so I'm not simply repeating.

Lady Hobbs
03-12-2011, 01:49 PM

Picture of rice fields. Not hardly one gallon.

03-12-2011, 02:20 PM
Cyberra--Thanks! Love at first sight for me.

LH--Wow, that feels a little judgemental and not so helpful. I'll say that I have talked to proper betta keepers about it that saw no problem with it.

6 girls in a 10 gallon is not much different from 3 girls in a 4. As I mentioned before, there will definitely be plenty of plants for hiding in and establishing territory. I'm a chemistry hound so I'll be all over the water params.

If there are personality conflicts within the ladies, I'll look into seperating them, I do have other tanks that can be set up.

You do have a point, paddies are a lot bigger than a 4 gallon tank, but well--the ocean is a lot bigger than a 125 gal and the amazon river is bigger than a 29 gal. My understanding is that bettas generally establish a territory and stay in it. As long as there is sufficient room for that, and as long as they are not aggressive toward each other, I don't think there's much of a problem is there?
Is the problem the whole inch per gallon rule?

Lady Hobbs
03-12-2011, 04:51 PM
No, the inch per gallon does not count and generally not even thought of much in stocking. Aggression and the size they will be full grown is the only thing that really needs consideration. I see no problem with one betta in a 4 gallon but I think they'd be happier if there was 3 perhaps in 10 gallons.

I was not trying to be judgmental. You asked for opinions and I gave mine, is all. Doesn't mean you have to listen to it.

03-12-2011, 05:52 PM
i agree that 3 females in a 4 gal is cramping it. and i find it hard to believe that a proper betta keeper would think its ok to keep 3F in a 4gal properly.

basically yes you can keep 3f in a 4gal tank. it might end well or it might not, but hopefully it works for you. i personally dont keep bettas in anything smaller than a ten gal.

03-12-2011, 10:15 PM
I have breed betta's and I had one male and one female and it was really bad - yes, you seperate them after mating but before then, it was tough on the female. My tank was six gallons, had a number of leafy plants and a bio-filter in the hood and boy, a ten with more plants would have helped. Also, fish waste has a far greater impact on a smaller tank than larger so the difference between a four and ten is more significant then you would think.:hmm3grin2orange:

03-13-2011, 01:05 AM
LH- Sorry, I forget that sometimes nuances of communication are lost in written responses. I apologize if I took your advice the wrong way.

I'll definitely be keeping the sexes seperate except for breeding.

I think the general concern about the females is more related to aggression between them. Something I'll certainly keep an eye on. Water parameters are definitely always a concern, but I'm not afraid of twice weekly water changes if needed... strangely, that is one of my favorite parts of the hobby! I love watching the fish like everyone else, but there's something satistfying about testing water and seeing the 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite result. I do a little fist pump every time :ssmile:

I'm not entirely opposed to getting a 10 gallon for the ladies, as previously planned... I'll look into it. I do still want to keep both 4 gallon tanks as well, maybe cold water fish for the second one? any suggestions?