Betta fish facts 2018
For a long time, the Siamese Fighting Fish was kept exclusively by hobbyists in Siam (now Thailand) for the sole purpose of fish fighting. Now, this tropical fish is popular all over the world – though not for fish fighting, but as an aquarium pet.
Betta fish History facts
Through the years of delicate cultivation, Betta Splendens have been bred into much more decorated versions of their original ancestors. While in the wild these fish are varying shades of brown with flecks of colors mixed in, they can now be bought from pet stores and breeders in a wide range of vibrant shades such as red, blue, black, orange, purple and yellow. Due to years of selective breeding, the fins of the Betta Splendens have become significantly larger and more elaborate, and tail varieties now include the Delta Tail, Crown Tail, Half Moon and Double Tail.
Male & Female betta fish
The male Betta fish have long, ornate fins, and are the more aggressive sex. Female fighter fish have shorter fins and are typically not as vibrant in color as the males. Fascinatingly, Bettas are air breathers; they have a special organ, the labyrinth, to transform water molecules into oxygen. For this reason, Bettas thrive in shallow pools in the wild, and shallow bowls in captivity, as they need to get to the surface often to breathe.
The natural habitat of Betta tropical fish is in the warm rice paddies of Southeast Asia. They like to swim and make their homes amongst leaves, branches of outgrowth and other plant matter. In their native environment, these predatory fish hunt for small creatures such as insect larvae, worms, and shrimp.
Even though the Betta Splendens you can find in pet stores today has been bred in captivity, their aquarium should mimic their natural environment. Therefore, they are best suited to tanks and bowls that are shallow and have slow water currents, with plenty of aquatic plants or moss that the fish can rest on. Bettas are known to be jumpers, so a decent amount of plant life (without totally covering the surface of the water, so they can breathe) can help to prevent them from jumping out of the tank.
Temperature for bettas
Bettas thrive in warm temperatures, so the fish tank should be maintained between 72 – 86 F. They love soft, slightly acidic water – a PH of 6.5 is ideal. Betta can survive well in rainwater and other soft water. Small testing kits can be purchased to make sure water is optimum quality for Betta fish
What they like to eat
The Betta Splendens requires a high protein diet. In captivity, they should be fed a nutritional mix of specially formulated pellets and live foods such as blackworms and brine shrimp. The Betta fish can also be fed a tiny amount of cooked pea once a week. This will their digestion healthy. Bettas can grow to around 3 inches in length from tip of nose to base of the caudal fin and can live for up to three years if well cared for.
Being an aggressive fish, it is not advisable to keep Bettas with other aggressive and territorial fish. This may lead to some injuries or even fatalities. They should most definitely not be kept with other fighting fish, male or female, as even in a large tank they may attack each other. it is also recommended that they are not to be kept with Gourami fish. This is because these are a very close relation of the Betta Splendens and can be aggressive at times. As a rule of thumb, fighting fish should not be kept with any other fish that may be nippy or anything that may be big enough to eat them (and vice versa). However, Bettas can get along with many placid tropical fish species.
How betta fish breed
Betta tropical fish breed in a special and interesting way. Once he feels his environment is just right, the male will blow hundreds of tiny bubbles at the surface. This creates a floating ‘bubble nest’. If a female were to come by, he would try to impress her by expanding and stretching his fin and intensifying his colors. If the female is attracted to him, and ready to breed, her colors will also intensify, and she will display dark vertical stripes on her body. This courtship can get difficult with much chasing and aggression that could lead to some minor injuries. If she is receptive to the male’s dance, she may allow him to wrap her in his fins. He will then gently squeeze her eggs into his bubble nest, fertilizing them as he does so.
Keeping Betta tropical fish is easy and rewarding if you have the passion, determination, and enthusiasm. With the right environment and care, betta fish will not only survive but will thrive. This will provide great joy to their keepers.