Picture of Housing 3 male betta fish in 1 ten gallon tank
** Disclaimer: **

Please use caution when dealing with male bettas.
Do not put them in an undivided tank, or they will kill each other.
Always use care and common sense when dealing with your fish.

You may have bettas that are just the opposite of mine. This method, and the information contained in this instructable, is from my personal experience and online research.
I take most online information with a grain of salt, except for the information on Instructables, of course !

Here's a quick example: Online, I read that bettas do not like currents, since they live in puddles in their native habitat. This rules out the use of most filter units that work well.

My experience: I turned on the filter, which makes a current, and the betta investigated it, swam around in the current, and had no problems.
I keep it on the lowest setting, but still, all 3 fish have been in with the filter, and after a 30 second initial investigation, they have no problems with the filter or the current.

**** BACKSTORY ****

Well, I had a betta in the past, but one day he got his feeler caught in the marble-shaped glass beads on the bottom, pulled part of it off, got an infection and died.
He was a great fish, with lots of character (for a fish).

After that, it was about 5 years before I tried again. My girlfriend and I were shopping when we found 3 (yes THREE) betta fish. We couldn't decide which one we liked best, so we bought all of them, and housed each one in a separate glass vase.

Fish #1 (sail) and Fish #2 (poof) were in 1 gallon vases, and Fish #3 (shadow) ended up in the former betta's 2 gallon vase.

**** WARNINGS ****

I know that a lot of people say that these fish don't need a filter, swimming space, food,
and all kinds of other crazy stuff.
They may be able to live in a very small jar with no filter, but is that healthy for them ?
Do they like it ?

I say ======> NO !

The plant idea is also junk. These fish are meat eaters, and at some point they will nibble at the plant's roots when they are starving. The betta in a jar with a plant and no food is a BAD idea.

You have to maintain the roots and leaves of the plant to keep from having dead roots in the water, and you still have to feed the betta !

**** Back to the BACKSTORY ****

Long story short, it became a major pain to clean all 3 vases every 2 weeks. I tried a little filter that worked on the movement of air to draw water through the filter. It didn't really do much, except amuse the fish, and if you moved the filter (to clean it) it would release all kinds of junk back into the vase.

So I hit craigslist and purchased a 10 gallon aquarium with a stand and light for $15.
What a deal !

I had already seen aquarium dividers at the pet store, so I was ready.

Well, I thought I was ready !

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I think it is so cruel to keep Bettas all alone! I have 23 male Bettas in a 55 gal community tank and in almost a year there has never been a sign of aggression! I started "adopting" them when I would walk by and see some dead or near death at Petco. They respect everyone's space and clearly love swimming in all that space and love their high quality frozen foods. They make me so happy knowing I probably rescued them from death and their gorgeous colors and flamboyant fins and tails brighten my day.

TheRealAnubis (author)  phyllis.murray.9023 months ago
That's wonderful! If I had the space for a large tank like yours I would do the same thing!!
Thanks for your reply! For Bettas sake I wish more aquarists would do it! If they didn't get along there wouldn't be males in nature!
ahallock-14 years ago
Anubis--This is a wonderful instructible. I'm happy that you upgraded your bettas. Having had bettas in the past, I can tech support one of your problems. When you moved them from their individual "puddles" they had been living in, and moved them into closer quarters, they began fighting over territory. In their homeland, they live in heavily planted areas that divides them up into natural territories of pockets of small pools of water. When you upgraded the size of their pools, you missed the critical step of upgrading the greenery that helps shield and define their territory. Bettas are actually happiest in a heavily planted aquarium. (Not under plants, but amongst them.) If you add things like Java Fern, water onion, certain types of lily, and many other very easy to grow aquatic plants that all live below the water line, not only will the fish be happier, and thus healthier, but it will also mean that your aquarium water is more stable, as the live plants help filter the water and also cut down on the growth of algae. Best of luck with your fishie friends.

Excellent advice about their natural habitat. I have several friends who have kept 2-3 male bettas in various tanks from 20g-33g longs.

I am going to attempt to do this with 2 in my 29 wide, and potentially 2 in my 20 long. People think I'm nuts when I tell them what I'm going to do, but once I explain to them that bettas do not live solo in their natural habitat & what I am doing is my best to recreate that natural habitat, they look a little less skeptical. It could be an act to shut me up, but whatever! Fish geeks unite!

TheRealAnubis (author)  ahallock-14 years ago
Thank you for the ideas! I'll see how the live plants go. I tried some earlier and ended up with a snail infestation!

Snails are pretty much inevitable when you bring in live plants. The best way to get rid of them is using Assassin Snails. It's a little morbid, but such is life!

Okay so snails, Shmails! If you rinse your new plants before putting them in the tank then you can rinse off any eggs or snails. Seems sad but it's better then them killing your fish! And your eggs will look like clear glue all together but they come off easily, Thankfully! Also if you ever buy anything off of kijiji make sure to always rinse it off and let it dry completely!! This will kill anything off that may have been there from the previous aquarium/Community. If you do by chance get snails, Then put a piece of lettuce or two overnight and when you wake take the lettuce (Which will be full of feasting snails) and pitch it. If that starts to not work then all you need to do is feed the perfect amount and then scoop out extra food. Good luck!

TheRealAnubis (author)  cvonk1 year ago

This is one of those things that you usually find out after the fact..Hopefully the info will help others - it did not help my bettas, one specifically that was wolfing down the snails and died because of it.

Hey :) nice instructable. I have some bettas in roughly 2 gallon tanks each, but I don't have a heater since it is usually warm where I live. This winter was a smidge too cold so I put them in my larger tetra tank in little containers during the night (when it's coldest) but they don't seem to have any problems seeing each other. Initially they flared up a bit, but after about an hour they stopped and never did again even when I separated them and put them back together. They did flare when I got a new betta tho...

Hey :) nice instructable. I have some bettas in roughly 2 gallon tanks each, but I don't have a heater since it is usually warm where I live. This winter was a smidge too cold so I put them in my larger tetra tank in little containers during the night (when it's coldest) but they don't seem to have any problems seeing each other. Initially they flared up a bit, but after about an hour they stopped and never did again even when I separated them and put them back together. They did flare when I got a new betta tho...

komecake5 years ago
  Okay. Here goes. I'm pretty new to Betta's. I ended up with one at a White Elephant Gift Exchange. LOL. I have 3 pet rats and so I tried to give it away (though I really wanted it), but couldn't. So, alas, with Christmas money I bought him a bigger tank, 5 gallons to be exact. It was the best tank I could find for a filter and light and had GREAT reviews for Betta's (I'm really obsessive about getting the best of best and all the correct information before I buy something).

 So anyways... I want another one. Haha. I got the Eclipse 5 Hexagon tank because I needed something that would fit in my room. I kinda wanted the standard rectangle they had in the same brand, but again, I needed something that was a space saver. So now I have this oddly shaped tank and I want to split it so I can add another Betta. This makes me wish I hadn't given away my 10 gallon tank a couple months ago though... oh well.

 Anyways, I had no real point to this comment. I just wanted to thank you for the ideas. I saw a Betta at Wally World that I want. Most of them looked very sickly though. *sigh* Do you have any suggestions on a better place to buy a Betta? Petsmart's seemed okay and I know there is a Petsupermarket nearby. Btw, your tank looks really great! :)

lilymae92 komecake10 months ago

I actually have two Bettas that I bought from Wally World. They'd be the only fish I would actually buy from there. The first one I bought had a bit of fin rot, but seemed feisty. I brought him home, quarantined him, and now he's having massive fin regrowth, and is living happily with a mystery snail and his pet moss ball. The second one was the only healthy Betta at the store when I went in, and is fairly young. He's still being quarantined before I move him to a bigger tank. It's a really nice feeling to bring a sick or maltreated Betta to complete health, but it takes time and effort.

Major pet stores don't keep the Betta conditions much better than Wally World, so if you really want quality, go to a mom and pop shop, or order from a reputable breeder.

*I know this is an old comment, but I posted this for future readers.*

TheRealAnubis (author)  komecake5 years ago

Thanks for the positive comments !

I actually got mine at Wal-Mart...  One tip that I got from a small pet store:  Get a male betta that isn't big and flowery.  The fancier they are, the older they are.  If you get a smaller one that almost looks like a female, you will get to see it grow and get bigger due to your efforts !  Another tip that has been working for me:  I pre-soak the pellets before putting them in for the fish.  One of my betta's got a bloated belly from hogging down the mostly dry pellets, but since I've been pre-soaking them (in a thoroughly cleaned plastic soda bottle cap), that problem has never happened again.  I just dip a little of the tank water into the cap, place the pellets in the cap for a couple of minutes, then suck them up with an eyedropper and pop them in for each betta.

You may be able to use my divider method in your hexagon tank, depending on its width.  You can cut the piece as long as you want ..
An alternative would be to get a piece of plexiglass cut to the width and height that you need, then drill and de-burr it yourself.  The clear divider may or may not work, though, depending on how aggressive your fish are.

handysmurf6 years ago
how did you set up your filter? I tried the divider thing because I had a female that was VERY aggressive and the other female was passive ... or ... terrified. my divider appears to be the same brand or whatever but isn't clear it is opaque. So anyway ... I do have and use a powered filter but even though the divider is perforated it only filters one side well. Actually I once had a pair that successfully spawned and hatched a brood in an undivided 10 gallon tank with a powered filter. .. with no "spawning leaf" or other apparatus to boot ... they also had a tankmate .. a "fresh water lobster" whatever that is LOL
It's actually not a good idea to keep less than 5 females together in a sorority. The number allows them to keep from making a pecking order (or, as I like to call it, a picking on order.) And for 5 females a 10 gallon tank is much too large, for the same reason. Female bettas are one of the few fish you truly want to over stock, just to curb the aggression. If you keep them in 10g I recommend having at least 15 in one tank.
jamesc9 Candor10 months ago

that wont work the most female bettas that should be in a 10 gallon is 7, 15 is like putting 3 females together in a 2 gallon

your female could be an immature male, they aren't supposed to be aggresive, or she might not have enough room
naa she became bloated with eggs ..... definitely female
Are you sure you not just feeding it to much?
that's odd, how many gallons is your tank?
hm. your a tough case (not an insult) so i would (a) get a 5 gallon tank for her (b)sell/give her away (i am not that kind of person, but it's an option) (c)get slightly bigger tropical fish than your Betta. i'm not sure this would work, but even fish have to pick their battles
TheRealAnubis (author)  handysmurf6 years ago
I move the filter around for the best results. It filters OK if left in just one of the divided areas, but for the best results, I usually move the filter to a different area every week or two.
jgoulden10 months ago

A few comments...

Three bettas in a ten gallon is a little too tight. Bettas love to have a "flare buddy" but they also need to be able to retreat when they must. In your initial setup the poor betta in the middle would probably die of anxiety or whatever the fish equivalent is. Two male bettas in a ten-gallon tank with a mesh divider works well, as they can flare at each other and then move back into their corners to get away. Put a male and a female in a divided tank and after a few days they'll stay together at the divider; then you can remove it and they stick together like an old married couple. If he builds a bubble nest and they breed you'll have to remove her, though, as betta males guard the nest and he'll try to drive her away. And if you breed bettas you can run a tank with a couple or three brood-mate males and several females and they school together pretty well without fighting.

I favor planted tanks, and for bettas give them a broad-leaf plant that goes all the way to the surface. If there's a broad leaf flat on the surface they'll jump up on it and rest half-in and half-out of the water.

Some of my bettas ignore snails and others are voracious snail eaters. For the ones that are I give them nice big ten-gallon tanks of their own and run all of my aquarium plants through them first; they clean out the snails and then the plants are good to go in a snail-free tank.

jmichael211 year ago

I need someone to help me i have a male betta well i was looking at his tank rilly closely and i see a little wite thang swimming in his tank and i looked and looked and there is alot of them i do not know what thay are i do not wont my betta to dye he is my best friend and i am only 13 so i love hime i do not know what to do i do not wont him to die if u can tell me and thing text me on face book at Justin Michael thank you

Capfl2k51 year ago

I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how to have more than one in a tank. One question though. Couldn't you just rough up the clear dividers with some fine grit sandpaper and make the surface opaque. Or would the mere silhouette of another fish anger them.

TheRealAnubis (author)  Capfl2k51 year ago

I had a few people think of that, but my particular fish flipped out at the mere sight of colors on the other side of the divider.. They would get right up next to the divider, and then start getting crazy! With the PVC, they catch a glimpse now and then, but it's momentary and they stay pretty calm.

Just a thought, if you're not planting the tank, I would think an undergravel filter would work too. Especially if you had bettas that were really upset with the flow of a HOB.
TheRealAnubis (author)  Ghostryder_ca1 year ago

That could work, although I've had little luck with undergravel filters.. Maybe my pump is too weak.

Have you not had any problems with the vinyl siding poisoning your fish? I did this for four bettas in my ten gallon tank, but the water got really cloudy and they seem like they are about to die. I had the water tested at petsmart and it was a little hard, so I got a water clarifier for it, but the next day the water still had not improved, and my four fish look like they are about to die /:
TheRealAnubis (author)  stephanie22403 years ago
Nope! As I commented about my research into PVC in a previous post -
Hey all, I just got an answer back from Owens-Corning, the makers of the siding that I used in this instructable: "I am writing you regarding your question around the possibility of vinyl leeching once it is exposed to water for long periods of time. The vinyl siding or soffit in this case by its nature of chemical bonds will not breakdown when exposed to water, or leech any materials used in the manufacturing of the vinyl. Once the materials used to manufacture vinyl are combined the bonds of the material can not be broken down, hence the reason vinyl is 100 percent recyclable. In fact vinyl is used as a liner and cap for many landfills because it is inert and stable."

The only thing I'm thinking is not good is the floating pellet-type foods. I had a Betta die on me and it looked like he was plugged up. When I watched the Betta feed, they attacked the pellets as soon as they hit the water, thus eating a mostly dry pellet. I think it may not moisten enough in their digestive tract which may result in a blockage. This, of course, is just my opinion, but I've switched to flake and haven't had an incident since!
WhyHello4 years ago
whats bad about the glass beads?
TheRealAnubis (author)  WhyHello4 years ago
That info is in the backstory!

My betta got a feeler fin caught in them while 'sleeping' and when he woke up and darted to the surface for air he pulled it off. The resulting infection killed him.
WhyHello4 years ago
I've heard matal can be bad in fish tanks, my fishly wisdom is very wimpy so....
TheRealAnubis (author)  WhyHello4 years ago

The only metal items are the clips that hold the dividers in place, and those are stainless steel!
jupeter54 years ago
Wow, nice work looks great.
orion224 years ago
Since I'm a tad lazier, I'm trying to house two bettas on opposite sides of the tank (with 2 dividers straight from Petsmart). I'm hoping that putting alot of plants in the middle section will obstruct their view. Will this work?
TheRealAnubis (author)  orion224 years ago
It sounds like you have a good plan !

It really depends on how aggressive your fish are, but most aren't as aggressive as mine are. Even the sight of a bright color sent them flaring.

Try your idea and let me know how it goes !

the reason the bettas started getting mad is because they are natural fighting fish there real name is chinese fighting fish
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