So you think they are going to just stick to their own side? That article goes against what all betta keepers do..soo...
I think it is foolish to attempt keeping two male bettas together in an aquarium of any size, and expect them not to fight.
Many male splendens will hunt each other out and fight regardless of tank size. The instinct to fight is something that has been honed for generations by selective breeding.
I could only ever see it working if you were lucky enough to get two quite pacifist males, and had a tank over 50 gallons that was heavily planted. Something big, so the chances of them running into each other are reduced and there is plenty of hiding places for the losing fish to retreat to.
However, even then it is not something I would advise as you are going against the nature of these fish, and those that are successful with these types of set-ups are usually just incredibly lucky.
I would question the "expertise" of the person saying this is possible. Was it an article? Or was it post in a forum. Unless someone cites research or can cite hundreds of instances where this was successfully done *over the lifetime* of two Bettas, what they write is just an opinion...and you know what they say about those.
Last edited by RussellTheShihTzu; 05-21-2013 at 07:31 AM.
Reason: Forgot to add: I say *over the lilfetime* because anyone can get lucky for a month.
Way back when I was about 17, I did this. I had a 10 gallon, heavily planted 2 corners, gave each corner a cave and kept 2 male and 3 female bettas in it.
At the time, I owned 5 male bettas, the pair I had in there was the only combination that worked. As other's have said, all the rest would seek each other out to fight. These 2 would both just stick their ground.
Having done it, I wouldn't do it again. It took forever slowly introducing them to their territories and I had to do it over and over and over till I worked out the exact 2 who couldn't be bothered with the other. And then, having gone through all that trouble - for what? I never even saw them. They both stayed vanished into heir caves an foliage and I'd only see them when one would come up to the top, sip some air and then vanish down into his jungle again.
Finally I decided the stress of worrying about it made the whole thing just not worth it, gave the 1 male back his previous home and let the other be king of the 10. He still never came out from his corner until I moved all the plants and decorations so that there weren't little jungles with a no-man's-land between.
All in all, my conclusion was that there was no point at all to it. No matter what, it won't work with every betta, you'll have lots of stress and worry, and success only means never seeing your betta again, he'll just lurk in his territory.
Did I mention the stress, worry and constant monitoring? Because really, there's a lot of that. I keep fish for relaxation and to enjoy their beauty. That experiment provided NONE of that.
I won't say it CAN'T work with 2 passive males, but I do believe trying it is a mistake. I just rescued some males from a pet store that tried this. They had the males in a large short tank, probably 3 square feet (heavily planted and plenty of hides). You could see they had picked their territories. They would sit in the corners and seem to catch their breath. If one even twitched the other attacked. I'll share pictures so you can see what happen to these poor boys. The first one is dead. I got them Saturday and he did not last the night. I'm happy that the other one is still swimming, but he's not eating & if anything moves around him he attacks or hides. It's not worth our enjoyment to torture these beautiful creatures and put them together. Please think long and hard before you try it, and have a spare tank to put one of the males in encase you decide to separate them (and AQ salt, stress coat, and everything else you need to help them mend from fighting). No one here is going to agree with you that it can be done though.
It's not safe unless you're experienced and have a tank the size of a bus! haha There was a member here, who recently left, and she had a gigantic +1 male tank. She never really described the how-to on how to successfully do it because of the fear that too many would do it without taking into consideration the consequences.
If you want two males in one tank, make a divider.
Some people may have gotten lucky with two calm specimens, but just because they hadn't turned on each other doesn't mean they won't. Bettas are unpredictable. It also doesn't mean they aren't stressed out. Just being in the presence of other males can stress some fish out, even if they don't have fins or scales ripped off of them. We see the occasional new member come on and claim they have successfully kept two males or a male and a female or a male and multiple females together and their fish "seem fine" or "happy" or like "they like each other" and ignore anyone else's attempt to warn them and dissuade them from such practices.
However, we never hear follow-ups on these cases. The members just disappear. I imagine that sh*t hit the fan and they came home one day and found fish fins and guts strewn all over their tank. But do they report that to us? No. No one wants to admit they made a mistake and done something wrong.
I won't say it isn't possible. I am saying it is something that takes a lot of trial and errors to find the two males that will just tolerate each other (while risking the lives of multiple living things in the process) and the fish keeper always being on guard. No, "oh, I just watched them for two hours and they hadn't killed each other." Always. I do not think it is worth subjecting your bettas to pain, stress, suffering, and potential death just so you can say you've gone the unconventional route and "succeeded."
Fenghuang is right. It was only ignorance that made me try it (it pre-internet, so not as easy to learn from the mistakes of others), and I stayed right on top of it for months and months. It was totally notworth it.