do betta fish like to be alone

Do Betta Fish Like To Be Alone?

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Bettas are cute buddies that can provide us with happiness, but do they like to be alone?

Although betta fish are solitary fish that are pretty happy being alone, this still depends on each fish’s temperament.

In this article, we will explore the answer to this question by understanding their natural behavior and how to provide them with the best environment.

Are Betta Fish Happier Alone?

The answer is not as simple as yes or no. Depending on the betta fish, they may be happier living alone or in a group.

Sometimes, even a snail in the tank will make your betta territorial. In other situations, your betta might be perfectly content with a few tankmates!

Are Male Betta Fish Better Alone?

Male bettas are often better off alone since they can become territorial and display aggression, even with males of the same species.

When they are threatened, these territorial fish can fight each other to the death, and your tank will quickly turn into a war zone!

Are Female Betta Fish Better Alone?

A female betta can thrive either on its own or in a sorority (the term for a group of female bettas) as long as the community tank is spacious enough.

Although female betta fish can be aggressive and sometimes establish a pecking order, they are much more likely to feel lonely than males.

When housing your female fish with tank mates, provide them with at least a 29-gallon aquarium with plenty of hiding spots to make each fish feel safe.

Also, you should introduce one fish at a time to prevent shocks that can stress your fish.

Can Bettas Feel Lonely?

The possibility that betta fish get lonely is slim as they prefer a solitary life. However, this does not mean they don’t struggle with depression and stress when their environment is not ideal.

This is why it’s important to provide them with plenty of stimulation, such as plants, hiding spaces, exercise mirrors, toys, and other decorations.

All of these will lessen anxiety in your betta and enhance their mental and physical health.

How Do You Know If Your Betta Fish Is Lonely?

Betta fish are very focused and easygoing creatures. But, they need fish tanks with enough food, clean water, oxygen, and the proper water temperature.

Sometimes, the behaviors you think are signs of loneliness can be symptoms of stress. The following are some signs that your beautiful betta may be stressed:

Your Fish Are Surfing the Aquarium’s Glass

do betta fish like to be alone

Glass surfing means that your betta fish continuously swims up and down the aquarium glass.

This odd behavior indicates that your fish is facing a lack of food. Also, it could indicate fluctuations in water temperature.

They Are Hiding

Although it’s normal for your beloved betta to hide sometimes, excessive hiding indicates that something is frightening them.

A fish can be startled for several reasons, including alterations to its surroundings or another fish bullying them in the community fish tank.

Also, if you have a pet such as a cat or a dog, they can scare your betta!

They Don’t Swim at All

Another cause of concern is when your betta fish is just sitting at the bottom of the tank and not moving.

Some things that cause a betta to stop swimming are ammonia spikes, high nitrate levels, or sudden temperature changes.

How Do You Know If Your Bettas Are Happy or Not?

There are some things you should look for when determining if your betta fish is happy or not, including:

Their Hue

Generally, if your fish has bright colors, this is a good sign that it’s a healthy and happy fish!

However, if these guys are dissatisfied, their colors will fade. Also, they may develop stress stripes, which are unevenly colored lines that appear on their bodies.

You can notice these stripes even when the fading color is difficult to spot.

Feeding Habits

Keeping an eye on how much your betta eats is important, as it can be a good indicator of their overall health. This tropical fish species are voracious eaters and will consume any food you give them.

Hence, if they don’t eat or take a long time eating, it is a clear indicator that they aren’t feeling well.

On the other hand, happy bettas should have a nice, round belly and an excessive appetite!

Their Activity

Betta fish are naturally cheerful fish that love to swim around and play. However, when something is wrong with your lovely fish, their energy will drastically drop, and the fish will appear lethargic.

Unhappy bettas will often float in one spot for an extended period, making anyone who sees them think the fish has died.

Fins and Swimming

A healthy happy betta will swim with open but not stretched-out fins, allowing them to billow and fold in the water.

Also, the fish will swim smoothly without any jerky movements.

In contrast, a lack of any of these physical or behavioral qualities indicates that your betta is in distress.

What Can You Do to Make Your Betta Happier?

Maintain a Clean Tank

The most important thing you can do to keep your beautiful buddies happy is to maintain a clean tank.

It’s important to do a water change at least once a week, even more, if you have a larger tank.

You should consider a water filtration system to maintain water quality as it will help remove any harmful toxins that could potentially harm your betta.

Draw on the Tank’s Glass

Betta fish are not only intelligent, but they are also curious. When something is different with the tank, they will spend a long time playing FBI in it.

It’s best to draw on different parts of the tank each time, so your fish don’t get used to the designs. In addition, ensure your pen is non-permanent and safe for use on glass surfaces.

Provide Them With Toys

Putting betta fish toys in the tank is a great way to keep your fish entertained when you’re not home. You can either use floating toys or place them at the bottom of the aquarium.

However, please make sure the toys are too big to fit inside the betta’s mouth. Also, clean the toys and properly prepare them before putting them inside the tank.

If you use floating toys, ensure they won’t enter the filter media. Some awesome betta toys include:

  • Bobbing objects
  • Aquarium plants
  • Betta fish hammock
  • Floating log
  • Moss ball
  • Ping pong ball


Is It Cruel to Keep a Betta Alone?

It is not cruel to keep a betta alone. They are solitary fish by nature and enjoy their own company.

Does My Betta Fish Need a Friend?

Bettas don’t need a friend and can do well independently. They usually exhibit aggressive behavior when placed with other fish, which might lead to fights.


Betta fish are lovely creatures that can brighten up your home. These beautiful aquarium fish have distinct personalities, and they are very smart!

It’s important to keep your betta happy by providing a clean tank, plenty of hiding spaces, and fun toys.

We hope this article was helpful. If you have any questions or would like to share your own tips, please leave a comment below.

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