You may have a 10 gallon tank and may be wondering what you can stock it with, and you may like the look of siamese fighting fish.
Or may already have a Betta fish and want to place it in a 10 gallon. You may be wondering if you can keep Bettas together, or if it is possible to have a 10 gallon sorority Betta tank.
In this article we will go over key aspects of housing Bettas in 10 gallon tanks, and try to answer some of the most frequently asked questions on 10 gallon Betta tanks.
How many Bettas should be kept together?
Ideally, you don’t really want to be housing your Betta fish with others of its own kind at all, unless of course you plan to breed them.
Bettas are solitary, and highly territorial, and will often engage in brutal combat if two mature fish are kept in the same tank.
Females can sometimes be kept together in what is known as a “sorority Betta tank” but this isn’t easily doable in a 10 gallon tank, and should only be attempted if you are experienced in Betta keeping and have the facilities to keep them together.
Bettas are not very social, and do perfectly fine when kept on their own, so don’t worry, your Betta isn’t going to get lonely in a tank on its own.
What happens if you add too many Bettas to a 10 gallon tank?
Adding multiple Bettas to the same tank will result in fighting, fin nipping, shredding, locking jaws and thrashing around violently.
Naturally Bettas occupy territories and will see off other males who impose on their grounds.
In the wild fights do not last long, and hardly ever result in lasting damage as the fish are able to leave the scene when things get too heated.
In captivity however, this is not possible and a pair of male Bettas will fight to the death in an enclosed space with nowhere to escape to.
There are actually traditional practices in parts of Asia where people pit siamese fighters together and place bets on the winners, much like dog fighting.
This cruel practice is illegal in most parts of the world.
Females on the other hand, don’t always fight to the death, but can still show each other the same level of aggression, and can bully each other quite intensively, eventually killing each other off.
How many Bettas can I put in a 10 gallon tank?
One, only one Betta should be added to your 10 gallon tank, any more will result in fighting.
Unless you are breeding your Bettas and temporarily house a male and female together while they spawn, you should not keep multiple Bettas in a 10 gallon tank.
How many male Bettas can I put in a 10 gallon tank?
One, never house multiple male Bettas together in any tank size, as it is asking for them to kill each other.
While Bettas may not fight to the death in the wild, they will do in captivity, as they will not be able to get away in the enclosed space.
Do not put more than one male Betta in your 10 gallon tank.
How many female Bettas can I put in a 10 gallon tank?
While some people may have success keeping female Betta splendens together, we strongly recommend against it, as it will eventually result in fighting, stress, aggression and loss of fish.
Siamese fighting fish don’t really live in close knit communities in the wild, and while young females may live together peacefully, once they mature, they will often fight.
It is easier to keep a Betta sorority in a larger, more heavily planted tank, where the females can get away from fights much easier, but a 10 gallon is too small for this to have high chances of success.
We suggest at least a 20 gallon if you plan on keeping a Betta sorority tank, but be warned that your chances of success are still not assured, and you may still lose some fish.
Can I breed Bettas in a 10 gallon tank?
Yes, you can breed Bettas in a 10 gallon tank, however, this is under the assumption that you adopt the typical method of breeding Bettas, where the male and female are conditioned separately, and then safely introduced for a temporary time while they spawn.
After spawning the female should be removed from the tank, as the male will consider her a threat to his young and will attack her.
It is tricky business, and can sometimes result in fighting, so be careful, patient and do plenty of research before attempting it yourself.
What is the best filter for a 10 gallon Betta tank?
The best filters for Bettas are those which do not output a current, as Bettas live in very slow moving, sometimes still bodies of water, they are not adapted to living in a high movement environment.
Their long finnage and fragile frame makes them unable to fight strong currents, and they will be blown around the tank or sucked onto the filter inlet if you add an internal pump.
It is best to use air powered sponge or box filters on your Betta tank, as they still output oxygen and good biological filtration, without creating a current for them to struggle against.
10 gallon Betta tank maintenance
Bettas are low maintenance fish, as they have a very low waste output, but you still need to perform regular water changes, monthly filter cleans, feed them and test the water to keep up with proper aquarium fish husbandry.
Maintaining a healthy aquarium ecosystem is made easier with live plants, who will soak up nitrates and will reduce the level of maintenance, so we recommend keeping your Betta in a planted tank if possible.
Can I keep other fish with Bettas in a 10 gallon tank?
Yes, Bettas can live with different species of fish, however, not all of them are suitable, due to the fact that they may pull on the long flowing tail of the Betta, or in the case of Guppies, may resemble another male fighter and will be seen as an enemy.
Certain fish may also out compete the Betta for food, or may grow large enough to eventually swallow a Betta.
You need to look for small, short finned, peaceful fish, who don’t create much competition, and are not easily bullied.
Here are some examples of fish that work well in a Betta tank, and would be suitable for a 10 gallon:
Can I keep invertebrates with Bettas in a 10 gallon tank?
Invertebrates don’t always bode well with Bettas, as Siamese Fighters are micro predators, and will snap up any small arthropods if they are hungry.
Cherry Shrimp don’t always work with Bettas, and will definitely occasionally go missing, due to the Bettas predatory nature.
Larger shrimps like Amanos work much better, but are still at risk of being harassed by a curious Betta.
Crayfish and Crabs
Crayfish and Crabs definitely are a bad idea as they will catch and devour your Betta alive.
Which leaves snails as the best option, their shells protect them from being attacked, they are adaptable, tough and do not present competition when it comes to feeding.
Snails also make great clean-up crew, as they consume leftover food and decompose organic matter, assisting in filtration.
Ramshorn snails are Malaysian trumpet snails are possibly the best options, however, they can breed quickly and take over the tank if you feed too much.