How to Tell If Your Betta Fish is Male or Female

Do you know the way to determine the gender of betta fish? You might think that it will be hard to differentiate the gender of betta fish as all betta fish have the same general appearance. However, it is quite easy. Female and male betta fish have distinctive in their appearance and behavior as well.

Knowing the gender of betta fish is important, especially if you decide to breed a pair of betta fish. Let’s see the features of betta fish that will help you to determine whether they are female or male, including the physical appearance and behavior.

  • Color

Female and male betta fish have different color. Compared to the females, males are often more vividly colored. However, you cannot differentiate female and male betta fish only from color.

Male betta fish display more vibrant colors than the females, but females can also be colorful too. Do you know that betta fish may lose their color too? Find the reasons why your betta fish losing their color.

  • Body Shape

In general, females are a bit shorter than male bettas. Females also have wider body. In contrast, male bettas tend to have more elongated bodies that are slightly flatter, side-to-side.

  • Vertical Stripes

Male bettas do not display any stripes, while female bettas develop vertical stripes, especially in mating condition.

  • Fins

Regarding to their fins, female and male bettas also have different length of fins. Male bettas have longer fins than the females, sometimes as much as three or four times the length of the females’.

Some varieties of bettas have males sporting short tail fins, while in most varieties, the females have shorter tail fins and the males have longer fins. The ventral fins of the male are noticeably longer and thicker than the females’. Do you know that fin condition can also be one of the signs of your fish pet is stress?

  • Beard

Bettas have a membrane beneath the gill plate cover. It is called the opercular membrane. This membrane also appears as a “beard”, which is displayed when they flare their gill plates.

Female bettas have a beard, but it is smaller and not visible when the female isn’t flaring. In contrast, the males have a much larger beard, large enough that often it is mostly visible even when they’re not flaring.

  • Egg Spot

Mature female bettas display an “egg spot”, which is located between the ventral and anal fins. The egg spot is actually the ovipositor, part of the female betta’s sexual anatomy which is used to deposit the eggs during spawning. The egg spot is commonly seen as a tiny white dot. On the contrary, males rarely show an egg spot.

  • Flaring

When both bettas flare, it will be easier for you to notice the differences. Males display large beard while they are flaring. Instead, the females have a much smaller beard. Besides, females may assume a head-down posture when they are flaring while the males don’t.

  • Behavioral Traits

Siamese fighting fish is a nickname given to male bettas. It is because they are very aggressive with one another, even to female bettas. They are also violent enough to lower their expected lifespans.

That’s why it is not suggested to put more than one male betta in a tank. Besides, it is also not recommended to put one female and male betta in an aquarium, except for mating.

  • Aggression

Male bettas are fighters, while female bettas aren’t. However, they can also be aggressive toward one another or to the others. Aggressive between females can be as stressful as the between males.

It commonly happens when there’re only two females, and one of them tends to bully the other. That’s why it is recommended to put at least five females in the same aquarium so the aggressive behavior won’t be directed toward the same individual.

  • Bubble Nests

In general, it’s only male bettas who blow a bubble nest. The nest is made of saliva bubbles that they create on the surface of the water. The nest is made to protect the eggs during the breeding process.

This is not an absolute as the females are also able to blow a bubble nest, though it is a very rare condition. Males create bubble nests to prepare for breeding with a female and will make nests, even though they don’t have any mate in the tank.

  • Body Size

Regarding to the body size, adult male bettas are slightly bigger than the females. Adult male bettas measure 2.5 to 3 inches in length, while the adult female bettas measure around 2 to 2.25 inches in length.

Healthy diet determines the size of your betta fish too. Make sure you know how to maximize your betta fish diet by giving them these 2 foods. Betta fish is an interesting fish you can keep at home.

However, you also need to be aware of these diseases of betta fish commonly have. You surely don’t want your betta fish to get sick, do you? Make sure to include these nutritional food to feed your betta fishes too!