Ziggy: 2005-2006
Anyone who tells you that bettas won’t fight to the death is wrong. I know this now first hand. I recently divided my tank with my beautiful pink and purple crowntail male on one side a female on the other. I thought that it would be less stressful having a male in view of a female instead of two competing males in addition to the tank being heavily planted.

Today I returned home from an overnight business trip to find my female on the wrong side of the tank divider and quickly checked her body for any signs of an altercation. Her fins were all intact and no scales were missing. I sighed with relief. Then I realized my male wasn’t coming up to greet me and smiled as I thought what a coward he is, afraid of a little girl fish. Then I saw him… faced down in the gravel. My gorgeous male was dead with absolutely no fins left. I felt sickened at the site and completely responsible for this senseless murder. I never should have divided the tank. I will never divide a betta tank again. It’s not worth it. I have always known they are crafty and have heard story after story from people who write in about their bettas jumping the divider or slipping under it. I just wrote a blog article myself about bettas jumping the tank.

People ask me all the time if you can keep males and females together and I always tell them it’s possible depending on their personalities, the type of set up and the ability to be an experienced and observant keeper. Having lost my most precious male in less then a day I will now respond resolutely with strong words of warning. If you allow your bettas to share a take, intentionally or not, you may jeopardize the lives of one or both of your fish. If you divide your aquarium, be willing to accept death if it comes. Something I unknowingly wasn’t prepared to do.

I’m sorry Ziggy.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Lauren Prairie says:

    I’m sorry about your betta. My bettas are sick right now and I know how personal that can feel.
    I wanted to ask you if you might make a post about suitable tank mates for a betta, say in a 5-gal tank. I’m getting ready to take the plunge into a 5-gal for one of my bettas (once he’s healed) and will be getting… SOMETHING. But there is a lot of conflicting info out there. Seems like a good topic for your blog.

  2. Christie says:

    Thanks Lauren. A five gallon is a pretty small tank house both a betta and other tankmates but there are some options. I will write about it later today.

  3. Badriah says:

    I’m sorry about your fish, it was cold blooded murder.(Or, more resonably, Nature taking it’s course.)

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