my male betta ate the fins of my female betta! Is this normal for a betta to do

  1. l

    lucysbettas Initiate Member

    My six year old daughter just got 4 bettas- 2 males and 2 females.  We divided my 20 gallon tank so the males would be separated.  At first one female went into each side of the tank.  The next morning we noticed that one of the females fins are being eaten by her male friend.  We removed her from tank and put her by herself, but she wouldn't swim or eat or anything.  We put her in with the other male and female and everything seemed fine.  She hid underneath everything, but would not eat.  A day ago I noticed some gravel was moved from where I had last seen her and saw her trying to tunnel back over to where the original male is kept.  We decided to put her back in there since I didn't want her to kill herself by getting stuck under the divider.  Today I noticed she now has no fins left except her gills.  I took her out and put back with the other two.  
    Can you explain why the other fish is eating my female bettas' fins?  Is this a mating ritual or is my female a male?
  2. G

    Gunnie Well Known Member Member

    Normally male and female bettas cannot be kept together unless it is a large tank with many hiding places.  Breeders only put the females with the males to spawn and then they are taken back out in case the male tries to kill her.  I can't say this is always the way it happens, because there are always exceptions to fish and what they will do.  It does sound though like your one male is showing this behavior, and if he doesn't kill her physically, he will probably stress her out until she dies from the stress.  If you can keep that hurt female by herself, she should heal quite nicely.  Keep your eyes on the other couple as well.   ;)

    P.S. Welcome to FishLore! It's great to have you with us!