Hey there i'm new to this forum and fairly new to betta keeping(but not fish in general). How rare is it for male bettas to live together? I have a video of mine living together PEACEFULLY for a month now.
A tank that size (and without any cover, filter, or heater) barely looks like it could handle one betta, nevermind two. Bettas need a bare minimum of a gallon of space, a heater, and preferably a filter. Take it from someone who has bred, raised, and kept domestic B. splendens for years now... The chances of this working long term are EXTREMELY small, both fish are stressed whether they are showing physical signs or not, and most experienced owners would consider this setup inhumane for a multitude of reasons. In the best interest of the fish, I would recommend separating them into well set up tanks immediately.
I'll be brutally honest... I'm yet to see a member who is "successfully" keeping two males together (even in tanks as large as 75g) NOT report failure and NOT mysteriously disappear from the forum eventually...
They do not look particularly comfortable with the situation at all. Their fins are clamped most of the time, and apart from when they think they are going to get fed, they look like they are both just avoiding each other as much as possible.
I think your males are stressed and that you should separate them. Bettas are highly unpredictable and while it seems like yours are 'friends' I would not be surprised if this ended in disaster.
Hey guys thanks for the response. I know that the tank is small I bought it original for ONE but I try to get them to flair and notice they have no interest in it. They have been together for over a month now. If there were any signs of aggression don't worry I would pull them right away. You can see how healthy and happy they are so at the moment there is no need. I will be getting a bigger tank for sure.
Aggression can be very subtle in its presentation with these fish. The way one fish approaches another for example, can be an act of aggression/dominance even if the fish is not flaring or showing any obvious signs of hostility.
I do personally see aggressive behaviour in the video and fish that do not look happy with their situation. In a couple of places I can see where it looked as if both males were contemplating something more physical.
Also your tank is definitely too small for two of these fish and there is nowhere for the weaker male to hide should the other male decide to attack him.
Your red betta has had the crap chewed out of its fins (at first glance I thought he was a crowntail)... The blue's anal has quite a few nips in it, too. There's definitely something non-peaceful going on in that tank... Whether that's aggression or stress, I can't say (both, most likely) because I don't know your tank, but I would really recommend getting them both their own set-up.
Please, please, please listen to what these forum members have to say. You may think your bettas are fine, but they really aren't. They are not "happy and healthy" as you say. Like LittleBettaFish, I see aggressive behavior in your pair of males, and the torn fins suggest the same. IMO it's very cruel to keep two male bettas (or two of any fish, really) in such a small tank. Your boys need separate homes with a heater and some hidey-holes, at the very least. We could all make some excellent suggestions if you're short on cash. :3
I agree. although they seem to be tolerating each-other at this moment, they might just randomly decide enough is enough! and unless you want to wake up to two mostly dead bettas still trying to go at it...youll want to separate them.
+1 on the fins being chewed, or something...they defiantly dont look healthy
you could get them a divided 10g so they can still see eachother, but not touch!
maybe you can try to give them each their own 10g with other suitable tank mates, like cories, shrimp, maybe even a small school of fish. but pleeease no males together!
Thanks for all the feedback and I know you guys are vets. with bettas SO I am taking all advice seriously. I am not new to fish keeping (just betta) and if you guys are 100% certain this will not work out I will remove them from each other. It's just so hard as they DO seem to be "friendly" and non agressive. As for tail biting I haven't witnessed or seen any changes they are the same shape since I bought them but will pay closer attention, thanks all.
You are humanising their behaviour. In your video you said that the two males are 'friends'. Unfortunately, when it comes to this fish, this kind of thinking can be harmful.
You have given your males two choices: either fight until one or both of you are seriously injured or killed, or cohabitate in this sort of uneasy truce like we see here in your video.
By their very nature, betta splendens are a solitary and territorial species. When trying to keep these fish successfully, we should always work with their instincts and natural behaviours, not against them.
Thanks guys I know what everyone is saying is true and of course researching online. I thought it was rare but didn't know it was impossible(has there really never been male bettas who lived together?) I will be moving them to a new tank but seperating them may wait until I see any signs of physical agression.
If you're going to upgrade their tank and insist on keeping them in one tank, then I suggest getting a 5 or 10 gallon and dividing it for them. If you wait until you notice physical aggression, it may be too late. Based on your video, and on what I know and have researched of bettas, it's highly unlikely that all of those fin nips are pre-purchase -- especially for the red one. You likely haven't witnessed it, but I suspect the blue male is the more dominant one, and has bitten the red one's fins.
Why not just separate them? They are most likely highly stressed and even if they don't fight, this is going to leave them extremely vulnerable to disease.
There is a reason groups of female bettas living together are more susceptible to disease, and that is because it is such a high stress environment.
Yes it is rather unusual (I will not say impossible because I have seen it done before) to have two males living like this, but this sort of arrangement is always for the benefit of the keeper, and not in the best interest of the fish.
I have been in a similar situation before where I had a male living alongside a group of females for close to a year with absolutely no issues. That was until they literally tore him apart without any warning whatsoever. His death was entirely on me because I should have separated him out right from the beginning.
Bettas are extremely unpredictable and long-term keepers/breeders will all tell you this. In these types of situations you cannot predict their behaviour from one day to the next. Your males may be tolerating each other for the time being but when things go wrong, they can go wrong fast enough that you won't have time to react.
Based on previous experience and from everything I've read online, it's best if you separate them now.