Males in particular are prone to high levels of aggression and will attack each other if housed in the same tank. If there is no means of escape, this will usually result in the death of one or both of the fish. Female bettas can also become territorial towards each other if they are housed in too small an aquarium. It is typically not recommended to keep male and female bettas together, except temporarily for breeding purposes which should always be undertaken with caution.
This species is native to the Mekong basin of Thailand , Laos , Cambodia , and Vietnam and is mostly concentrated in the Chao Phraya river in Thailand. The fish can be found in standing waters of canals, rice paddies and floodplains. In the wild, they exhibit strong colours only when agitated.
In captivity, they have been selectively bred to display a vibrant array of colours and tail types. Betta splendens feed on zooplankton , crustaceans , and the larvae of mosquitoes and other water-bound insects. They are naturally insectivores and do not typically or naturally consume vegetation, however, they may consume the food of other tank mates if available, even vegetable matter. Male bettas will flare their gills, spread their fins and twist their bodies in a dance if interested in a female. If the female is also interested she will darken in colour and develop vertical lines known as breeding bars as a response.
Males build bubble nests of various sizes and thicknesses at the surface of the water. Most tend to do this regularly even if there is no female present. Plants or rocks that break the surface often form a base for bubble nests.
Note: The information in this Care Sheet is not a substitute for veterinary care. The type of water used in the tank matters too. Suggested Action Improve water quality; use a commercial antibacterial remedy as directed. These chemicals can cause immunosuppression or make the fish very sick. Water at around 77 — 80 degrees Fahrenheit 25 Celsius is perfect for your betta fish. In contrast, the fish only fight for a few minutes in the wild. We hope you find this tropical fish guide for Siamese fighting fish beneficial with descriptions and information on Betta fish care, diet, habitat and betta fish diseases.
The act of spawning itself is called a "nuptial embrace", for the male wraps his body around the female; around 10—40 eggs are released during each embrace, until the female is exhausted of eggs. The male, in his turn, releases milt into the water, and fertilization takes place externally. During and after spawning, the male uses his mouth to retrieve sinking eggs and deposit them in the bubble nest during mating the female sometimes assists her partner, but more often she simply devours all the eggs she manages to catch.
Once the female has released all of her eggs, she is chased away from the male's territory, as she will likely eat the eggs.
The eggs will remain in the male's care. He carefully keeps them in his bubble nest, making sure none fall to the bottom, repairing the bubble nest as needed. Incubation lasts for 24—36 hours; newly hatched larvae remain in the nest for the next two to three days until their yolk sacs are fully absorbed.
Afterwards, the fry leave the nest and the free-swimming stage begins. In this first period of their lives, B. Some people of Thailand and Malaysia are known to have collected these fish prior to the 19th century from the wild which are line-bred for aggression in eastern Thailand. In the wild, betta spar for only a few minutes before one fish backs off. Bred specifically for heightened aggression, domesticated betta matches can go on for much longer, with winners determined by a willingness to continue fighting.
Once a fish retreats, the match is over. Seeing the popularity of these fights, the king of Thailand , Rama III , started licensing and collecting these fighting fish.
In , he gave some of his prized fish to a man who, in turn, gave them to Theodore Edward Cantor , a medical scientist. Nine years later, Cantor wrote an article describing them under the name Macropodus pugnax. In , the ichthyologist Charles Tate Regan , upon realizing a species was already named Macropodus pugnax , renamed the domesticated Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens.
So the term "fighting fish" comes in use to generalize all the members of the B. In , this species was imported to France by the French aquarium fish importer Pierre Carbonnier in Paris , and in , the German aquarium fish importer Paul Matte in Berlin imported the first specimens to Germany from Moscow. When kept in colder climates, aquarium heaters are recommended.
Bettas are also affected by the pH levels of the water. Ideal levels for Bettas would be at a neutral pH 7. This organ was thought to allow the fish to be kept in unmaintained aquaria,  but this is a misconception, as poor water quality makes all tropical fish, including Betta splendens , more susceptible to diseases such as fin rot. Properly kept and fed a correct diet, Siamese fighting fish generally live between 3 and 5 years in captivity, but may live between 7 and 10 years in rare cases. The appropriate tank size is directly related to how experienced the fish keeper is, and how often they want to carry out water changes, in order to keep the water pristine.
The Betta must of course have enough room to move, in the wild Bettas have lots of room with should be recreated. Due to their labyrinth organ they are not dependent on high oxygen levels in the water, but a filter must still be provided.
Many consider 2. This is essential as it allows the fish to move and provides stimulation. The tank should have live plants, a filter, a heater and a light.
A high quality food must also be fed. Bettas can cohabit with fish that are bottom feeders, however it is not advised to keep them with feeders that may eat their fins or destroy the slime coat one example is the Siamese Algae Eater, if kept in an inappropriately sized tank.
Male bettas should not be kept with other male bettas, and all bettas may not be compatible with other colorful fish species, and should not have tank mates which may nip their fins or have an aggressive nature barbs, some tetras and cichlids are examples of this. In addition to these hybrids within the genus Betta , intergeneric hybridizing of Betta splendens and Macropodus opercularis , the paradise fish, has been reported.
Breeders around the world continue to develop new varieties. Often, the males of the species are sold preferentially in stores because of their beauty, compared to the females. Females almost never develop fins as showy as males of the same type and are often more subdued in coloration, though some breeders manage to get females with fairly long fins and bright colors.
Wild fish exhibit strong colours only when agitated. Breeders have been able to make this coloration permanent, and a wide variety of hues breed true. Bettas are found in many different colours due to different layers of pigmentation in their skin. The layers from furthest within to the outer layer consists of red, yellow, black, iridescent blue and green , and metallic not a colour of its own, but reacts with the other colours to change how they are perceived.
Any combination of these layers can be present, leading to a wide variety of colours. The shades of blue, turquoise, and green are slightly iridescent , and can appear to change colour with different lighting conditions or viewing angles; this is because these colours unlike black or red are not due to pigments , but created through refraction within a layer of translucent guanine crystals.
Breeders have also developed different colour patterns such as marble and butterfly, as well as metallic shades through hybridization  like copper, gold, or platinum these were obtained by crossing B. A true albino betta has been feverishly sought since one recorded appearance in , and another in Neither of these was able to establish a line of true albinos. In , a hobbyist named Kenjiro Tanaka claimed to have successfully bred albino bettas.
Some bettas will change colours throughout their lifetime known as marbling , attributed to a transposon. Koi bettas have mutated now and some are no longer marbles and do not change colors or patterns through out their lifetime known as true Koi attributed to the defective gene that causes marbling not being repaired in the color layers after a time. Common Colours . Rarer Colours .
Males and females flare or puff out their gill covers opercula to appear more impressive, either to intimidate other rivals or as an act of courtship. Other reasons for flaring can include when they are intimidated by movement or change of scene in their environments. Both sexes display pale horizontal bars if stressed or frightened. However, such colour changes, common in females of any age, are rare in mature males due to their intensity of colour.
Females often flare at other females, especially when setting up a pecking order. Flirting fish behave similarly, with vertical instead of horizontal stripes indicating a willingness and readiness to breed females only. Betta splendens enjoy a decorated tank, being a territorial fish it is necessary to establish territory even when housed alone. They may set up a territory centered on a plant or rocky alcove, sometimes becoming highly possessive of it and aggressive toward trespassing rivals.
This is the reason why when kept with other fish the minimum tank size should be 45 litres about 10 gallons. Contrary to popular belief, bettas are compatible with many other species of aquarium fish. The aggression of this fish has been studied by ethologists and comparative psychologists. One fish will arise the victor, the fight continuing until one participant is submissive.
6 days ago Learn how to care for siamese fighting fish, also known as betta fish, with these tips for habitat, food, Scientific Name: Betta splendens. So you've decided you want to raise a Siamese fighting fish. one most often sold at pet stores) is Betta splendens, often shortened to "Betta.
These competitions can result in the death of either one or both fish depending on the seriousness of their injuries. To avoid fights over territory, male Siamese fighting fish are best isolated from one another. Males will occasionally even respond aggressively to their own reflections in a mirror. Though this is obviously safer than exposing the fish to another male, prolonged sight of their reflection may lead to stress in some individuals.
Not all Siamese fighting fish respond negatively to other males, especially when the tank is large enough for each fish to create their own designated territory. In general, studies have shown that females exhibit similar aggressive behaviours as their male counterparts, but these behaviours are less common. During these two weeks, the following behaviours were recorded: attacking, displays, and biting food. The results of this observational study indicated that when females are housed in small groups, they form a stable dominance order.
The somewhat boring colors of the wild fish helps them to blend into their environment and avoid predators. Bettas are part of the suborder Anabantoidei , commonly known as labyrinth fish. This suborder includes other gourami species like dwarf gouramis, paradise fish and pearl gouramis. All Anabantoidei have a specialized organ that works like a crude lung, the labyrinth organ.