Siamese fighting fish, a.k.a. betta fish are beautiful, but that beauty masks an ugly temper. When these gorgeous lookers are confronted with other breeds of fish, look out, because a fight is brewin’! Understanding the natural predators of this breed can help you keep your finned beauty alive.
Just as two rival beauty queens circle each other and plot their rivals’ loss, two male bettas will, quite literally, circle around each other. The big difference with your bettas is that they will get into a physical fight and they won’t stop at fin-ripping. More often than not, you’ll wind up planning a fish funeral for the loser. It’s best to put two male bettas in separate tanks. Position the tanks next to each other and let two layers of plexiglass shield and protect them as they posture at each other.
Goldfish can ... wait a minute! Goldfish? Yes, the mild-mannered goldfish will take on a defensive posture when he’s placed into a fish tank with a betta fish. That goldfish will surprise you by nipping at the betta -- or the betta will nip at, and injure your goldfish. Because the betta has microscopic teeth, he will do real damage to his tank mate. In addition, they prefer water that’s cooler than a betta can tolerate, making your betta sick. Keep ‘em separate.
“Mmmm, yum! That bright betta looks like he’d make a great snack right about now,” your feline friend could be thinking. Add cats to the list of a betta fish’s natural predators. Your little Fluffy, innocent though she may look, could be plotting how best to get her paw into the water, scoop up that luscious-looking betta and eat him. If you can’t face the thought of adopting Fluffy out, upgrade your resident betta to a higher-quality fish tank with a secure lid -- one that Fluffy won’t be able to defeat. Not that she won’t try. She will, but you’ll be able to relax a little bit, knowing you’ve made it difficult, if not impossible for her to break in.
The barb fish is another betta fish fin-nipper, so he won’t make a good roommate for your betta. While you might need to buy a separate tank for other fish breeds you might have, it’s a good investment, especially if you want to keep all your fish alive and in one piece. Your betta fish has tiny, very sharp and pointed teeth -- and they are not afraid to use them as they fight with and kill rivals. Ewww. Not a pleasant picture.