It is a general saying about the betta fish that they naturally have a quarrelling nature and they often get into fights very easily. This is especially said for male betta fish because they have a very anxious and aggressive nature. Male bettas are so aggressive that they do not usually stop fighting until one of them dies. Females are considered comparatively less aggressive because of their independent and carefree nature.
The main reason behind them fighting so badly is obviously the presence of multiple betta fish in a single tank. So, it can be clearly understood that betta fish do not tolerate the presence of other fish in their environment. But, let’s dig deeper to know the psychology or the facts that trigger their aggressive nature.
They Have Strong Territorial Instinct
We know that wild animals make habitats and territories and are very possessive about their territories in which they live. Similarly and interestingly, bettas also live in territories and they do not tolerate if any other fish invade their living patterns. So, whenever a new fish is introduced to the tank where there is already an existing betta fish, they both quickly get into a fight. They fight so badly and continuously that they do not leave each unless one of them dies.
They are so possessive about their habitat or territories that even a mirror placed in the tank makes them think that there is another fish and they start fighting themselves by colliding with the mirror.
They are Possessive
As per the aggressive nature of betta fish, they only need a simple reason to fight. They most commonly fight over food. Like many other species, they survive by hunting food and while hunting multiple betta fish get into scary fights with each other and they end up hurting each other so badly. Similarly, in case of pet betta fish, when the food is placed into the tank bettas most likely fight with each other over the food.
Moreover, male betta fish are very possessive about the female betta fish. A male betta fish is also likely to fight with another male betta fish over a female betta fish. So, it is very difficult to keep multiple bettas in a single tank.
They may be Feeling Stressed
Another psychological reason behind the aggressive attitude of the betta fish is the stress they have due to the presence or existence of other fish in their environment. They have a competitive nature that leads them to be aggressive so frequently whether it is based on their living patterns, their food, their swimming or their relationships. Betta fish express their anger and mental stress by getting into a fight with other betta fish even if there is no specific reason to fight.
Betta fish are known to be fighting, quarrelling and territorial fish that have no problem fighting with each other so badly and so frequently. The thing that triggers their negative or aggressive nature is the presence of other fish in their environment. They get possessive over everything easily and have a very competitive attitude. They sometimes express anger or mental stress by fighting with other fish present in their surroundings.