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Do Betta Fish Eat Other Fish? How To Stop It?

do betta fish eat other fish

Betta fish or as they are traditionally called, the Siamese Fighting Fish, is characterized by an aggressive and territorial nature. They are highly solitary creatures who prefer to be alone. This begs the question do betta fish eat other fish.

Betta fish can eat any other fish whose size is smaller than the betta itself. Thus, it is not recommended to keep a fish that is smaller than a betta fish with a betta. There is a high chance that the betta might swallow the other fish whole resulting in the death of the tankmate.

Do Betta Fish Eat Other Fish?

Do Betta Fish Eat Other Fish?

As we all know, betta fish is highly territorial and aggressive. This means that it may attack or kill any other fish if it feels threatened. Thus, if the other fish is small enough, there is a high chance that the betta fish might swallow it whole.

Therefore, it is advisable not to keep your betta fish in community tanks as it may result in the death of the other fish. However, this does not mean that your betta fish is destined to be alone in the tank. There are certain kinds of fish that can be suitable tankmates for your betta fish.

Betta fish can not only eat fishes that are smaller than it but it can also eat baby fish. Unless and until there is a suitable hiding spot for the baby fish, it is highly likely that the betta fish will eat the baby. Thus, we do not recommend breeding other fishes in the presence of a betta fish.

It may also happen that your betta fish may attack its tankmate. It may not result in the death of the fish but it certainly can seriously injure it. If you do not treat your fish quickly it may eventually end up in its death. Thus, a betta fish can, indirectly, kill its tankmate in some cases.

So do betta fish eat other fish? Absolutely. Granted that the size of the fish is smaller than that of the betta fish which is about 2.5 inches. Any fish smaller than 2.5 inches is nothing but food for your betta fish.

Types of Fish That Can Live With A Betta

Types of Fish That Can Live With A Betta

The fact that a betta fish can eat smaller fish does not mean that there are no suitable tank mates for your betta fish. There are certain factors that are needed to be considered before deciding the proper companion for your betta fish.

There are many parameters that decide whether or not a fish is suitable to live in a tank with a betta fish. Betta fish are natural fighters with aggressive and territorial behavior. Therefore, you must ensure that these conditions are met before adding a fish with your betta.

Here are some of the most important things to look at in a fish before pairing it with a betta fish.

  • Size – Any fish smaller than the betta fish can easily be eaten by the betta. On the other hand, a fish that is considerably larger than a betta fish can be intimidating for your betta fish. Thus, choosing a fish that is the optimum size is crucial.
  • Nature of the fish – Fishes like nibbler and fin nippers are the last thing that your betta needs from a tank mate. These kinds of fishes can easily agitate the betta fish leading the betta fish to attack them. Calm and loner fishes are a good fit for your betta.
  • Colour Bright coloured fishes can intimidate your betta fish. This can provoke your betta fish to attack its tank mate. Thus, you should look for a fish which is not so bright coloured.
  • Diet – You should look for those fish whose dietary requirements somewhat match to that of a betta fish. This relieves you of the trouble of feeding two types of food to your fish.
  • Tank size – This is not something to look for in a fish but this is important. The tank must be big enough to host a betta fish along with some other fish. Your betta fish alone requires at least 5 gallons of water. Thus, the tank size must be optimum to fit both the fishes.

It is important to keep the above-mentioned points in mind before adding a tank mate with your betta fish. By carefully analyzing here the most suitable tank mates for your betta fish.

Ember Tetras
  • Bristlenose Plecos
  • Harlequin Rasboras
  • Cory Catfish
  • Kuhli Loaches
  • Ember Tetras
  • Snails
  • Shrimps

Two Betta Fishes In One Tank

As stated earlier, a betta fish is a solitary creature who prefers to be alone. They are aggressive towards other fishes. But are they aggressive towards other betta fishes? Yes. Betta fish (especially male ones) are aggressive towards each other as well.

Therefore, keeping two betta fishes in one tank is not a good idea. If we were to keep a female and a male betta fish together in one tank, it is possible provided that the tank is big enough to hold them and provide them with enough space to swim freely.

Keeping two betta fishes together in a single tank is not an easy job and it requires a tank size of at least 40 gallons which is a lot. Even after this, we cannot be entirely sure whether or not the bettas will attack each other.

Do betta fish eat other fish or another betta? A betta cannot eat another betta but it can certainly attack it which may severely wound it. This wound, if not treated properly, can result in infection thereby the death of the betta fish.

FAQs On Do Betta Fish Eat Other Fish

Can 2 betta fish live together?

Not recommended. 2 betta fish can live together in one tank but there are many conditions to be fulfilled before doing so. Most importantly, the tank must be at least 40 gallons to host both of them as bettas are highly aggressive.

What fish can live with a betta?

Here are the most suitable choices for a tank mate for a betta fish:
– Cory Catfish
– Bristlenose Plecos
– Kuhli Loaches
– Snails
– Harlequin Rasboras
– Ember Tetras
– Guppies

Can betta fish kill other fish?

YES. Betta fish tend to be aggressive towards other fishes. The betta may attack another fish thereby wounding it. These open wounds, if not treated quickly and properly, can lead to the death of the fish.

Final Thoughts

So do betta fish eat other fish? Yes. It is possible. But betta fishes can only eat those fish whose size is smaller than the betta (which is 2.5 inches). Thus, adding fishes smaller than this with a betta can be dangerous for them.