Unlike male betta fish, the females can coexist in the same tank. A sorority tank with maximum comfort and plants will provide a great place for their personal space. So, how many female bettas in a 20 gallon tank can be kept together?
You can keep 5 female bettas in a 20-gallon tank. If the tank is well cycled and maintained, you can keep a slightly higher population of female bettas. The main problem of betta sorority tanks is aggression, which you can address by adding plenty of plants, rocks, and driftwood into the tank.
Do female bettas get along?
Female betta fish are territorial but less aggressive compared to male bettas. It is possible to keep multiple female bettas in the same tank provided the parameters and tank size are ideal. However, not all female betta fish get along. They can also get into fights like their male counterparts hence the need for a bigger space that make each to feel safe.
An ideal way of making bettas peaceful in one place is to keep fish belonging to different species. This makes them feel less threatened from one another. Additionally, they should be within the same younger age range to reduce aggression or intimidation as they get along.
How many female bettas in a 20 gallon tank?
You can keep 5 female bettas or fewer in a 20-gallon sorority tank. With such a big space, they will feel more secure and less stressed out. The sorority tank should have plenty of hiding spaces to minimize their sight of one another. Add other tank mates, foliage and ornaments.
Keeping more fish in a tank than the recommended number can lead to fights, depression and a possible outbreak of diseases.
Tips for a successful betta Sorority
If you want your betta to live peacefully in the tank then, how you take care of the tank will determine the failure or success of betta. But before that, consider the following aspects:
- Age – betta fish of around the same age get along easily.
- Fish personality – if all the fish are peaceful, then you wouldn’t have any problem with either of them. However, if one or two of them are aggressive, a fight may erupt more often than you expect.
- Avoid buying sick betta fish- an ill fish may transmit parasites to its tank mates and make the other fish sick.
- Mix fish of different sizes and colors but some should not be too big to cause intimidation.
When it comes to keeping betta fish together we are pretty much left with just one option of keeping female fish alone. Male bettas are far too aggressive towards each other and will also harass female betta fish if you keep them in the same tank. Although most people fail at keeping a female betta sorority, there are tips you can use to make sure your project is successful.
Here’s how you can keep a successful female betta sorority:
Bettas need ample space to thrive. A 20-gallon tank can fit 5 female bettas, while a 30-gallon tank can accommodate 7 fish. A small tank would mean that the fish would be fighting for territories.
The minimum tank size I would recommend is a 20 gallon tank. However it is a lot of discussion on the internet around this topic with where some people recommend a tank as small as 10 gallons. While you can stock your female bettas in such a small tank, there are very minimal chances of success. In fact I would highly recommend that you get a tank that is at least 29 gallons for your betta sorority to work.
Here’s a stocking guide for betta sororities:
|Tank size||Number of female bettas|
|40 gallons||10 – 12|
|55 gallons||13 – 15|
You dont want to understock the tank because it will encourage aggression between the female betta fish.
In fact, if the tank is well cycled, I would recommend that you even increase the number and have a betta for every couple of gallons. I’ve seen successful sororities with 14-15 female bettas in a 29-gallon tank. Allow enough individuals where the fish are really not going to want to vie for dominance as much – they’re not going to have necessarily a territorial aspect because there are just so many fish that they would have to chase away.
Obviously the bigger tank will be much better, for example if you were to go for a 40 gallon breeder tank or at least 55 gallons, you’ll have higher chances of success with your betta sorority. In such a bigger tank, you’re going to need adequate filtration but you’re also going to want to have filters that have an adjustable flow.
Betta fish thrive well at a temperature of between 75 – 81 Degrees Fahrenheit. They are tropical fish used to warmer temperatures. Too cold or too hot temperatures can cause the fish to experience shock and frustration.
Here are the ideal water parameters for a betta fish sorority:
|Water parameter||Ideal value|
|GH||3-4 dGH (50-66.7 ppm)|
|kH||3-5 dKH (53.6- 89.4 ppm)|
|Ammonia and Nitrites||0 ppm.|
Incorporate hiding places
For each betta to establish a territory inside the tank, it’s advisable to add a couple of things to create a barrier. Add natural plants like betta bulb, java moss, pothos, and anubias. You can also add driftwoods, rocks, and tunnels as decor.
In short, block the line of sight in case there’s one betta that’s maybe getting picked on by another one. Plastic or fake plants can also do well to maintain a healthy and safe female betta sorority.
See the recommended plants for betta fish for creating a natural aquatic environment. I also covered some artificial plants that will do great for your betta fish tank.
Introduce the betta fish at the same time
The time you introduce these fish to each other is essential. When you introduce female betta fish at the same time, they are likely to get along. However, when you introduce them one at a time, the first ones in the tank will get aggressive. The reason is, they’ve marked their territory and would see others as intruders.
Thus, if you are starting a sorority of 5, you should place all the fish to float on the water in one go.
Feed the Fish Balanced Diet
After the fish have settled, it’s now time to take care of them. Ensure that the food is nutritionally balanced. Add protein rich food like larvae, shrimp, fish, and insects.
Instead of offering the meal in one setting, strive to feed small portions of meals at different intervals during the day. It’s advisable to feed them a meal that’s it’s the size of their eye.
I would also recommend that you provide enough calcium supplements in your tank to improve the health of your fish and their eggs. You can add 1-2 pieces of cuttlebone in your fish tank to help with the calcium requirements.
Cover the Tank
Female bettas are jumpy and lively. When you leave the tank open, you are likely to find them lying on the floor. It isn’t a must you cover the tank with a tank lid. You can use fine meshing, or any other suitable material.
Perform General Maintenance
To ensure your sorority tank is a success, always ensure to clean it. Conduct weekly water changes. Don’t remove all the water out as this may stress the fish out. However, every once a week, change around 10 – 20 percent of the water.
Also, use a vacuum to remove food remains and dead plants. If you don’t change the water in the tank, bacteria and fungus will build up and your fish will soon become vulnerable to diseases.
Also, once in a while, use a water conditioner to treat the water. The treatment helps eradicate minerals like chlorine and chloramine, which are bad for your fish’s health.
Lastly, always check on the filter. The filter sponges wear out with time. The chemical filtration can stop working after some time. Thus, it’s important to wash the filter regularly and replace the needed parts whenever necessary.
Alternative tank mates female bettas
Apart from the female betta tank mates, you can also incorporate other mates. But before choosing mates, consider the following factors:
- Avoid nibblers– they are likely to get into fights with the betta fish
- Opt for bottom feeder mates – they thrive better with these fish
- Avoid colorful and bigger tank mates – the betta fish might feel intimidated
- Don’t forget to add ornaments and live plants – this would provide a safe space for both the fish and tank mates. Some midground aquarium plants will be great.
You might not know how the fish would react to new mates. However, with trial and error, you might find one that gets along with your betta fish. The following are some tank mates you might try.
Neon tetras do well in a group of around 10 to 12. Apart from adding color to the tank, they are quick movers. They prefer a warmer environment, and plants in the tank don’t bother them. Thus, they can thrive peacefully with betta fish. Neon Tetras often hang in the middle of the tank and they would need a bigger space to thrive.
Plecos are shy creatures that fortunately make good companions for betta fish. They like staying at the bottom of the tank and will avoid paths with the betta every time. They eat algae and help in keeping your tank clean. Some plecos grow pretty large, hence you will need a larger tank with time.
African Dwarf Frogs
The African Dwarf Frogs are common partners with the betta fish. These dwarf dogs are easy to take care of. They also share the same diet as the betta fish. African dwarf frogs are passive eaters. Always check on them to ensure that they eat, lest they go hungry.
Catfish are dull-colored fish that prefer a warm environment. Different catfish can live comfortably with bettas. Examples include Corydoras and Otocinclus. Catfish thrive excellently in groups of 3 or even more. They are small and fast-moving; hence often stay away from the betta vicinity.
Female bettas need ample space to thrive. A 20-gallon tank can fit 5 female bettas, while a 30-gallon tank can accommodate 7-8 fish. The tank should also have items like plants, driftwoods and rocks to create a natural aquatic environment and hiding places for the bettas.
- Adelphi University: Female Betta Fish
- Mirari Elcoro, Stephanie P da Silva, and Kennon A Lattal, Visual Reinforcement in the Female Siamese Fighting Fish, Betta Splendens