Betta Fish Fight Death (Signs & Preventions)

Why Does Betta Fish Fight a Lot (1)

Many people keep different bettas in their tank but are anxious about the bettas as they fight a lot.

Suppose you wonder why betta fish fight death since betta fish are aggressive. A healthy betta can encounter a sudden death because of too much stress and fighting if you’re unaware to keep them.

Let’s discuss the cause of betta-fighting deaths to enhance your knowledge.

Why Do Betta Fish Fight Death?

Betta may have a sudden betta fish fight to the death. Bettas are instinctively aggressive and territorial since they encounter many challenges in sharing the tank with other tankmates. In addition, male bettas are more aggressive than females for their soft fins. As a result, they fight a lot, which may lead to potential injury or death.

You must be more careful and create a friendly environment to keep them in your tank.

Some Simple Steps to Keep Betta Fish From Killing Each Other

Bettas are social fish and can do a great job with their tankmates. However, you can keep betta fish from killing each other if you follow some precautions to prevent it. 

  • Selection
  • Tank size
  • Quarantine tank
  • Hiding places
  • Medications
  • Plans

Step 1: Select less Aggressive Bettas.

You need to be super picky to choose the bettas. Pick the less aggressive and avoid big bettas for a betta sorority. If you select long bettas to live with together, they may start to fight with each other.

Try to avoid male bettas. Male bettas are attractive for their fins, so easily they can be targeted for fighting. In addition, genetically mature male bettas are aggressive. 

Male betta fights with other bettas, which can cause death as male bettas want to create a proper hierarchy. It’s better to leave them alone, but the isolated male bettas fight more than the social one. Make sure to not keep male betta with the female without the case of mating.

If you want to make a betta sorority, you need to collect a minimum of five female bettas to control and lower the chance of aggression toward other bettas. Females also want to make territory but don’t guard it like males.

You need to be careful to consider a betta sorority as female bettas are also aggressive. So make sure to treat your bettas kindly. 

Step 2: Choose a Larger Tank.

Setting up the tank properly may ensure the peace of the bettas. You need to choose a large tank to provide sufficient space for bettas. 

If bettas get enough space, they can enjoy their time, make their territory, and control their aggression levels.

For a betta sorority, you need to choose at least a 20-gallon tank to maintain harmony and have a healthy environment.

Step 3: Manage a Quarantine Tank.

If you see your bettas are getting stressed and injured for other tankmates, you can remove them to a quarantine tank to save their life.

Make sure to manage a quarantine tank before making a betta sorority to use it as a backup tank since bettas fight a lot. 

To save the betta from the potential damage or death, you can put them in another quarantine tank to medicate for early recovery.

Step 4: Make Different Hiding Places.

Make sure to put different plants, logs, and caves in your tank to make hiding places for betta fish. 

If your betta gets aggression that time, they can hide in different places to control their aggression. Make sure to use smooth hiding places to avoid any harm or disease.

You can use plants including java fern, anubias, and silk plants as they are soft for betta fish.

You can use logs and driftwoods as a cave to avoid chasing off other bettas and make the tank more natural and lively.

Step 5: Use Medications.

If your betta is injured or suffering from any disease, you can use different medications to save your betta’s life. 

Make sure to put the sick betta in a quarantine tank and do medications. You can use aquarium salt and Kanaplex as a remedy to overcome your fish; otherwise, they may die.

Step 6: Have Plans.

It is recommended to have a plan for a successful betta sorority. You should have an emergency and backup plan from the beginning to deal with the inconvenience and avoid the fish’s death.

You need to plan earlier on what you will do if your betta is severely injured to improve its life expectancy.

Why Does Betta Fish Fight a Lot?

Betta is a territorial and aggressive fish as it has a fighting spirit. It fights a lot to form its hierarchy. 

Betta fish’s aggression depends on how you raise your bettas. First, you must raise your betta in a friendly, social environment. Betta fights with their wild cousins, making sure to create distance from them.

Betta is considered the strongest fish and is used for a battle in Thailand and South Asia. This game is not legal but still practiced to display purpose. 

Watch the video to understand how betta fish fight with each other.

How Long Does a Betta Fish Survive?

The life expectancy of betta fish is five to seven years. If you properly care for your betta fish, it can live up to 5 years. After 3 to 4 years, it gets old, and it is normal to have any disease and encounter an unfortunate death.

Why Do Your Betta Fish Stop Moving at the Bottom of the Tank?

If you are confused about whether your fish is sleeping or sick, you can quickly follow some simple tips to identify it.


If your betta is only getting a nap, it will respond if you tap the tank’s glass and turn on the light. 

Betta fish have a circadian rhythm, so they need sleeping. Make sure not to disturb them if they are sleeping, as bettas also need rest.


If your betta is standing still on the bottom of the tank for a long time, their health is not stable.

  • Symptoms
  1. You can see rotten fin
  2. They won’t swim properly
  3. They may fade their color
  4. Most of the time, they will stay inactive 
  • Prevention

You need to check your tank’s water parameters and condition regularly–

  1. Ph value
  2. Nitrates and Nitrites
  3. Ammonia level
  4. Water temperature
  5. Lighting setup
  6. Enough hiding place

How Can You Understand Your Betta Is No More?

Make sure to look deeply in your bettas to see any sign of death.

If your betta’s gill is moving and active, that means your betta is alive and having a nap.

If your betta doesn’t respond after tapping the tank’s glass and turning on the light, that means your fish is no more.

Which Tankmates Can You Select for Your Betta Fish?

Betta is an aggressive fish, so it’s challenging to select tankmates for your betta fish to avoid fighting and potential damage.

You can choose the following fish–

Mountain minnows, dwarf gourami, zebra snails, loaches, neon tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Pygmy corydoras, ember tetras, and ghost shrimp.

What Are the Other Causes of Betta’s Death?

There are several prominent reasons which can cause betta death.

Poor water condition

Betta is a low-maintenance fish that requires regular maintenance to clean your tank.

You can use test strips to measure your water condition. Make sure to clean the water regularly with a gravel vacuum by providing a cozy environment.  

You need to take care of your tank correctly. Otherwise, the bettas may look sad and sluggish, and it may cause different diseases and sudden death.

Old betta

Betta fish can live more than five years if it is cared for accurately. The older betta has less resistance, and they get sick easily. So, your betta fish can die because of their age. 

Make sure to care for your betta and provide a better water condition to give it a longer life.


The poor water condition can develop stress in betta, which may cause death. A stressed betta stays in the corner of the tank, hides a lot, loses its appetite, becomes lethargic, and may encounter an unfortunate death.

Your heating system, overfeeding, high chlorine in the water, and toxic tankmates can also create stress in betta fish. If you force your bettas in mating, it will also create stress. 

While handling your betta, you must be more careful to avoid potential damage and death. Check water parameters, temperature, and foods frequently to avoid death.


Betta fish are vigorous eaters. So if they start to have a slow digestion system, it will harm them. Old betta has a slow digestion system. So you must avoid overfeeding as it may cause different diseases and death.

You need to look at the size of your fish and, according to it, provide pellets. Make sure to provide 3 to 4 pellets twice a day.

Overfeeding is not advisable as leftover foods turn into rotten food, raising ammonia levels, making the water dirty, and triggering the parasites.

Water temperature

Betta is a tropical fish. Therefore, you need to maintain 75 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit in your tank. Otherwise, it may look pale and miserable.

You may sunbathe your betta in the summer. Ensure not to sunbathe for too long because this too much temperature can cause death. High water temperature can obstruct the breathing system of betta. 

Lack of nutrients

Betta fish can survive by eating proteins. But they can tolerate their hunger. As adults, bettas can live one month without eating anything if the tank has a proper setup and the water is good. 

But fry bettas can’t live for even seven days without eating any protein. They become sick and may die from starvation for a long time.

Betta jump

Wild bettas are the best jumpers, such as embellish, smaragdina sometimes jump from the tank and can have immediate death. They jump for two reasons–

  • If he wants to catch any insects or mosquitoes
  • If the water condition is not suitable.

So, make sure to cover your tank to avoid jumping.


You may trim your betta fish’s fin before any competition called grooming. For grooming, you need to anesthetize your fish first before trimming. If it is successful, then you will have a beautiful betta. Otherwise, it will not get over from anesthesia and die.


Your betta can die if it suffers from dropsy, fungal infection. You can recover your fish through some medication; otherwise, it may die.

80% of dropsy betta fish die. You can see a scale in the stomach of the betta fish, which is full of fluid. Therefore, the stomach will look more significant than the usual one.

For curing dropsy of your betta fish, you need to anesthetize your betta and use a sharp needle to remove the fluid from the stomach to relieve the pain. You can also use a melafix to heal from the disease. Make sure to change the water daily.

If you don’t remove the fluids, they will surely die. Young bettas are easy to recover, but this method is unsuitable for adult bettas. 

If you don’t understand the curing process, then watch the video–


If you’re still conscious about betta fish, fight death, signs, and preventions! Then in this article, you can acknowledge the facts that-

  • Bettas are instinctively aggressive and territorial species 
  • They encounter many challenges in sharing the tank with other tankmates. 
  • Male bettas are more aggressive than females for their soft fins.

They fight a lot, and it may lead to potential injury or death

Moreover, now you know how to stop betta fighting and why it causes death.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Bettas Fight to the Death?

Bettas are aggressive and fight a lot, which may injure each other. However, they don’t always fight to the death. So make sure to not put them in a tiny tank which causes a bitter fight and leads to death. 

The more dominant one may start to harass the other one.

How Can You Help a Dying Fighting Fish?

You need to follow some simple ways to save a dying fish –

  • Remove it in a quarantine tank
  • Change the water frequently
  • Use the appropriate medications
  • Provide sufficient food.

Will Your Male and Female Betta Fight?

Male and female bettas cannot live together. This is because male bettas are aggressive and threatful to female bettas. However, you can keep them together when they are about to be bred.

Do Your Betta Fish Eat Other Betta Fish?

The answer is yes. Betta fish eat other fish if the fish is smaller in size.

Betta is a territorial fish and wants to make their territory by eating small fish.

Can Your 2 Betta Fish Live Together?

Yes. Two betta fish can live together. But make sure they are female bettas.

Male bettas fight terribly, which causes death.

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