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Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) | Fishkeeping World


Betta fish (Betta splendens) are superbly coloured, tropical, freshwater fish which are native to Southeast Asian international locations like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.

Generally generally known as the Siamese preventing fish, bettas are notorious for his or her aggression.

Regardless of their aggression, bettas are nonetheless one of the crucial in style and sought-after forms of fish for fishkeeping fans. Betta fish are likely to have vibrant colours and lengthy, flowing fins that many aquarists discover charming.

Bettas are a bit more durable to take care of than different aquarium fish, so be sure you do your analysis and make satisfactory preparations concerning betta fish care earlier than bringing one house.

See additionally: crowntail betta and paradise betta

Betta Fish Details & Overview

Betta fish near the surface

Class Ranking
Care Degree: Reasonable
Temperament: Aggressive
Colour: Numerous colours, patterns, and shapes
Lifespan: ~3 years
Dimension: ~2.5 inches
Weight loss plan: Carnivore
Household: Osphronemidae
Minimal Tank Dimension: 10 gallons
Tank Setup: Freshwater, vegetation, caves
Compatibility: None, or peaceable, shoaling species

Bettas (Betta splendens) are one of the crucial well-known tropical fish within the fishkeeping world.

They belong to the Osphronemidae family. This implies they’re intently associated to different in style aquarium fish, reminiscent of gouramis.

Bettas are native to Asia and are mostly present in Thailand, however additionally they reside in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Though they’re one of the crucial frequent fish in house aquariums, they’re listed as a vulnerable species in the wild.

The lifespan of betta fish is comparatively brief. A wholesome particular person in a clear tank normally lives for round three years.

As a result of bettas are so in style, almost each pet retailer sells them, so that you gained’t battle to search out one in your space. You will discover people for roughly $5, however this worth will double relying on the shop and sort of betta fish.

They arrive in many alternative variations and are normally labeled by options reminiscent of colours and patterns.

Whereas some bettas are captured within the wild, there’s rising concern that an increasing number of betta fish are sourced from breeding farms in Thailand to satisfy the rising demand. These fish are bred and stored in horrid, unsustainable conditions, so please do your analysis into protected, sustainable fishkeeping practices earlier than shopping for a betta.

Typical Habits

Bettas are sometimes referred to as Siamese preventing fish because of their aggressive tendencies. Earlier than the twentieth century, they have been even bred for preventing.

Each men and women will flare their gills to intimidate rivals. Even on their very own, they are going to set up a territory and defend it. Due to this, most individuals hold them with out tank mates to keep away from this aggression.

Feminine bettas like their very own territory, however they’re much less vulnerable to preventing than male bettas. This makes them extra appropriate for a group tank.

When not having to compete with rivals, more often than not they are going to slowly swim across the center and higher ranges of your tank.

Bettas are diurnal, that means they’re lively in the course of the day and sleep at night time.

Do Bettas Breathe Air?

Betta fish have gills paired with one thing referred to as a labyrinth organ which permits them to extract oxygen from the air, so technically they breathe each water and air.

This organ is essential as a result of, within the wild, bettas would typically be pressured to outlive in shallow puddles if their habitat evaporated in the course of the dry season.

Varieties and Look

Red betta fish showing its fins

Bettas are a few of the most stunning tropical fish round. Not solely are they extremely colourful, however their fins are massive and majestic.

They’ve been extensively cross-bred, so there are various forms of betta fish. Their tails are a very engaging characteristic, and so they are available a couple of totally different kinds.

One instance is the crowntail betta. This species has fins coated in spikey extensions that resemble a crown. If the spikes attain 2/3 of the best way up the tail, then the person is technically classed as a combtail betta.

Veiltail bettas have lengthy, flowing tails with out extensions. This selection is especially vibrant as a result of the fins are a stable shade.

A person may need a couple of shade. Bettas may even have two, three, or extra colours. These colours might be stable, speckled, marbled, and even resemble different fish like a koi fish.

The colors of a betta intensify when fighting (to intimidate a rival) and when breeding (to impress a mate).

Female and male bettas are fairly straightforward to inform aside, as they exhibit sexual dimorphism. Females have smaller our bodies and fins, and the vibrance of their colours is drastically diminished as nicely. Females are much less extravagant in comparison with male bettas, however they’re nonetheless engaging fish.

Bettas normally develop to round 2.5 inches in size.

Betta Fish Care

A majestic crowntail betta

As accountable fishkeepers and aquarists, our job is to simulate their pure habitat as a lot as potential in our tanks at house in order that our bettas can reside wholesome, pleased lives. This implies guaranteeing that our bettas have sufficient area to swim, heat sufficient water, sufficient mild and darkness, and nutritious, various meals that it likes to eat.

Habitat and Tank Circumstances

Betta fish and its habitat

Bettas are tropical fish endemic to a number of international locations in Southeast Asia. They usually reside in small, shallow streams, ponds, and rice paddies.

The waters they reside in are typically slow-moving, heat, and filled with vegetation.

Tank Setup

Use high-quality gravel or sand as a substrate to cowl the underside of your betta fish tank. Place some decorations on high of the substrate, and take a look at prepare some caves to behave as separate territories.

Unfold some vegetation across the tank too. Together with emulating the betta’s pure setting, these vegetation will present shelter and oxygenate the water. Don’t let the vegetation block massive areas of the floor. Bettas head to the floor to breathe, feed, and breed.

Most vegetation pair up nicely as a result of they like comparable water situations. A few of the greatest vegetation for betta fish are the Java fern and hornwort, as novices can simply take care of them as nicely.

You will have a heater to deliver the water as much as an acceptable tropical temperature. Maintain this within the vary of 75–80°F.

The water’s pH must be 6–8 and hardness must be 5–35 dGH.

Your betta tank ought to have a filter, although it’s not completely crucial for those who decide to altering the water twice per week. Water and air pumps aren’t crucial as a result of bettas are used to nearly nonetheless water.

You may need to spend money on some LED aquarium lighting as nicely.

Do Betta Fish Want a Filter?

Sure, bettas ought to have a filter of their tank. If you wish to go with no filter, you’ll want to alter the tank water at the very least twice per week. Your fish will begin to die in the event that they go for an prolonged time period with no filter or frequent water adjustments.

After all, there are different causes in your fish turning into in poor health, and it simply takes a little bit of investigating to search out out why. Discover the entire frequent the explanation why fish could die, and establish methods to stop it from occurring once more.

What Dimension Aquarium Do They Want?

If stored alone, bettas want at the very least a 10-gallon fish tank. In case you are mixing them with different fish species, they are going to want further area to allow them to swim freely, declare territory, and defend it.

Give every feminine betta at the very least 5 gallons, however ideally extra.

Compatibility and Tankmates

A neon tetra as a betta fish tank mate

Selecting tank mates for betta fish may be tough due to their aggression, so that you is perhaps shocked to listen to that bettas can go in group tanks. Within the wild, they’d primarily reside solitary lives, however they’d nonetheless encounter fish with out confrontation.

Tetras make good companions in an aquarium as a result of it’s arduous for one fish to be bullied repeatedly. They’re normally quicker too, to allow them to escape a territorial species.

There are many potential tank mates, together with neon tetras, endlers, hearth rasboras, cory catfish, short-fin mollies, celestial pearl danios, kuhli loaches, White Cloud Mountain minnows, glass catfish, and yoyo loaches.

Keep away from fin-nipping species (like tiger barbs) as a result of your bettas have massive fins. You additionally don’t need to introduce one other territorial species (like oscar fish), as they are going to begin to compete.

Feminine bettas are much less more likely to assault the remainder of your fish, however it is best to nonetheless follow the rules above when selecting tank mates.

When you don’t need to threat including different fish, you may go for some invertebrates. Cherry shrimp and nerite snails are simply a few choices.

Protecting Betta Fish Collectively

The most secure possibility is to maintain males on their very own. You need to undoubtedly solely have one male per tank.

Females have been discovered to show similar aggression levels, however they’re normally a lot calmer, so it’s safer to maintain females collectively.

A bunch of at the very least 4 females known as a sorority. Females want their very own area identical to males, so if you’d like a sorority, you want a sufficiently big tank (30 gallons) to present every of them their very own territory.

Solely introduce a male to a feminine when they’re able to breed.

Weight loss plan and Feeding Necessities

Bettas are carnivores, so the very best betta meals contains loads of protein.

Within the wild, they’d eat any small animals that go their methods, reminiscent of worms, daphnia, bloodworms, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae, and even other fish.

There are various choices to select from when recreating this at house.

The best selections are flake and pellet meals. These are present in all pet shops and purpose to offer the vitamins they want.

Extra nutritious choices are freeze-dried meals, or higher but frozen or reside meals. All three contain utilizing the identical creatures, however freeze-dried meals have had the moisture and a few of the vitamins eliminated.

Bloodworms, brine shrimp, and daphnia are some in style creatures that are available every kind.

Bettas will hold consuming till there’s nothing left, so watch out to not over-feed them. Feed them an quantity that they will simply end inside two or three minutes.

Feed your bettas twice a day. Spreading the feeding out makes it simpler for his or her digestive system to deal with.

Betta Fish Not Consuming

In case your fish aren’t consuming, it’s normally as a result of they’re sick.

One other potential clarification is that they don’t benefit from the meals you might be giving them. This might be due to their private choice, or the meals isn’t appropriate for betta fish usually.

Strive switching up the weight loss plan to see if the state of affairs improves.

Sick Bettas

Though they’re one of many hardiest aquarium fish, bettas can nonetheless get sick identical to some other fish.

Infections are the most typical downside. Your betta may choose up accidents when preventing with different fish. These accidents could open up cuts, leaving them uncovered to infections. The identical may also occur with sharp substrates and decorations.

You possibly can go a way towards stopping illness by retaining your tank correctly maintained. It is advisable know the way to correctly hold your tank clear and carry out common water adjustments.

You’ll want to alter 20% of their water each week.

Nonetheless, even with a clear tank and wholesome residing situations, your bettas nonetheless could grow to be in poor health.

Fin Rot

Fin rot is a common disease that may have an effect on most fish. It’s a bacterial an infection that causes irritation and irritation. Fin rot both develops in unclean water or is launched to the aquarium, however it’s at all times environmental.

Signs of fin rot embrace discoloration on the sides of the fins or tail. Because the illness spreads, items of the fins and tail could die and fall off. Finally, fin rot will kill the affected fish.

Whereas it’s comparatively straightforward to stop, fin rot is tough to remedy, so it is best to try to take care of and clear, wholesome tank in your bettas.


Bloat goes by many names: dropsy, edema, and Malawi bloat for cichlids. Bloat is a situation the place the stomach swells and the scales stand out. This leads to respiration difficulties, lack of urge for food, and lethargy.

Bloat may be attributable to micro organism, viruses, or parasites. Nonetheless, the standard trigger is overfeeding. Ration their weight loss plan and watch if the swelling goes down.

Betta Breeding

Bettas breeding near the surface with a bubble nest

Breeding betta fish is without doubt one of the few events the place it is best to introduce two bettas collectively.

Breeding may be tough, as their setting must be good and so they have to be conditioned for a few weeks in preparation.

Making ready your bettas for breeding includes feeding them high-quality, reside meals in small quantities 2–4 instances a day. The tank temperature must be on the larger finish of their most well-liked vary (75–80°F), and the water must be stored clear.

After this, you may introduce the feminine to the male. Add the feminine utilizing both a divider or floating her in a see-through container.

If the feminine is , she’s going to darken in shade and show vertical stripes. If the male is , he’ll darken and begin to build a bubble nest.

Betta Fish Bubble Nest

Male betta fish construct bubble nests inside 24 hours of seeing an acceptable feminine. The bubble nest is created from air bubbles which are coated in saliva to make them sticky and sturdy.

These bubble nests are sometimes constructed on the floor or objects close to the highest of the tank.

As soon as the nest is made, you may launch the feminine. She is going to most likely head straight to the nest for inspection, and if the nest just isn’t adequate, she may destroy it.

The pair will start to court with some spectacular shows. This may contain chasing and biting one another, so be able to intervene if issues get aggressive. The male will then flip the feminine the other way up and wrap himself round her to fertilize her eggs as she releases them. This will go on for up to some hours.

The male will catch the eggs and take them as much as the nest.

Cowl the tank in plastic wrap to make the aquarium humid sufficient to encourage the fry to hatch.

Hatching ought to happen over two or three days. It is going to be one other 4 months earlier than the fry hit maturity.

Are Bettas Appropriate For Your Aquarium?

When retaining bettas, you need to watch out and plan every thing round their aggressive nature.

In case you are dedicated and capable of keep a tank that’s as near their pure habitat as potential, bettas could also be a sensible choice for you. Nonetheless, because of their aggression and care necessities, retaining betta fish is probably not appropriate for novices.

Your job as a accountable fishkeeper is to maintain every thing clear, so your betta fish can keep pleased and wholesome. When you really feel assured you are able to do this, a betta is appropriate in your aquarium.

They’re an fascinating species with loads of persona, so be sure you select a betta fish title that matches!

Ceaselessly Requested Questions About Bettas


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