Betta channoides stats infographicBetta channoides are a species of betta that is very famous among aquarists. They are known as snakehead betta due to its appearance, and it is one of the easiest fish to care for, making it beginner-friendly.

The fish is also very similar to Betta albimarginata and a great beginner species perfect for people just getting started with caring for this fish. Whether you are an experienced fish keeper or just want to start this hobby, you will find this article greatly helpful!

What are Betta Channoides?

Betta channoides are fish from the family of betta and are endemic to the Island of Borneo in Indonesia. They live in shallow water that is only found in streams in one province of Kalimantan Timur. They are peaceful species of betta also interesting enough that even experts want them in their aquariums.


Here are some facts about the fish that will increase your understanding of this beautiful and unique fish.

Common Name Snakehead betta
Scientific Name Betta channoides
Care Level Easy
Average Lifespan 3 to 5 years
Maximum Size 2 inches
Diet Carnivorous
Breeding Type Mouth brooder
Minimum Tank Size 20 gallons


Order: Anabantiformes
Family Osphronemidae
Genera Betta
Species B. channoides

Betta Channoides Care

As mentioned above, taking care of this beautiful fish is extremely easy, and even someone without experience can do it. It is very easy to maintain a temperature and pH of water that is steady and not fluctuating for their health, but apart from that, they can withstand a wide range of water parameters. The fish is also susceptible to the range of diseases that other fish are, so they have to be kept stress free and in a good quality tank.

– Diet

Betta channoides all about this small beautiful endemic fishThese tiny fish are carnivores which means that they depend on protein for their survival. Feeding the fish in moderation to prevent obesity as they are very prone to this. They mostly depended on insect larvae and sometimes small crayfish and other small fish that could fit their mouth in the wild.

Frozen food items like daphnia, artemia, and bloodworms should make up a majority of their diet. Also, insect larvae like mosquito larvae can work well as well.

Dried foods like betta pellets and flakes with high protein should be given as well, although the wild-caught fish might not at first like this. It is important to feed them a large variety of food to meet all their needs. Moreover, all fish benefit from supplements that aid in their growth and development.

Make sure to feed them in moderation, so food in small amounts a few times a day is a good idea. The food should be given for a few minutes, and the rest should be removed to prevent overfeeding and also making your tank water dirty. You could also hide the food sometimes to stimulate them to hunt for the food like they do in the wild.

– Water Parameters

The fish thrives in all different water conditions as long as the water is clean and well filtered. However, for their best survival, the water should be soft and acidic, and the temperature should be 72 F to 80 F. This will ensure that the fish has the greatest quality of life in a tank.

In the wild, the fish lives in small streams and pools with extremely low pH. In fact, the pH in these parts of the water can get as low as 3 to 4. This is mainly due to the fallen leaf litter which leads to a low pH. Although in captivity the pH doesn’t need to be this low, the water should remain acidic or they can get stressed.

– Tank Setup

The tank of this fish needs to resemble the natural habitat of the fish. Betta channoides are used to live in small ponds and pools which are shallow and have low pH due to fallen leaves. The water also doesn’t have plants but provides plenty of shade due to fallen organic material like branches and leaves and also roots of trees.

Since this fish is not that big; the tank size doesn’t have to be that big as well. The juvenile fish can be kept in even smaller tanks, but it is recommended to start with a bigger tank since it will be hard to relocate them.

Honestly, this depends on how many fish you want to keep. A 10-gallon tank can house a pair of fish, a 15-gallon tank can have three fish, and a 20-gallon tank can house a group of them. If you plan on keeping more diverse fish, then the tank size should increase accordingly. Remember, the bigger the tank, the better, but a small tank is not great for the fish.

If you choose a smaller tank, it will give the fish stress, which will lead to illness. Not to mention, water changes in a small tank are much more difficult. The water of the tank should be well filtered, and regular water changes should also be conducted. Since these fish live in dark water, they will need medium lighting as it will fit their habitat the best. The flow of water also needs to be low instead of still or very fast-moving water.

– Tank Decorations

The decorations of the tank should resemble the natural habitat as much as possible. The fish should feel like it is at home and not in a different place. To start with the substrate, many fish keepers choose a bare bottom because it is easier to maintain and clean; however, you can also have any substrate you like.

The light substrate will match their natural habitat, while the darker substrate will make them pop due to their colors. Although their tanks are nothing complicated, they need plenty of places to hide while also having enough space to swim in.

For the cover, having driftwood, branches, clay plant pots, and pipes can be placed as a way to give them places to hide. Moreover, dried leaf litter should also be added as it will match their natural habitat while releasing some useful nutrients in the water.

If you like, plants can be added as well; although their natural habitat doesn’t have them, they will be good for cover. Make sure to choose plants that can survive these conditions, like java moss, frogbit, anubias sp, and some other floating plants.

– Lifespan

Just like the size, the lifespan of betta channoides is not that long either. This is why breeding them in your tank will be a good idea so you can have them for a long while.

This species has a lifespan of three to five years which is still much longer than most other betta fish that only have a life span of two to three years. Most betta channoides in captivity also have a lifespan of two to three years as well but it can increase to five, with exceptional care given to their upbringing. Luckily, these species are very easy to breed in captivity so you can have an endless supply of the betta channoides.

Moreover, there are many ways to prevent the early death of the fish. For example, having a temperature that is too high will increase the metabolism of the fish and this can lead to the early death of the fish. So, be careful and the fish can live for a full five-year lifespan.

– Common Diseases

Like most other fishes, bettas are also susceptible to disease. There are some common betta diseases that should be avoided as they can be fatal.

  • Fin and tail rot
  • Dropsy
  • Hemorrhagic
  • Eye cloud
  • Ich
  • Fish fungus
  • Hole in the head

These are just some of the diseases that betta suffers from. Make sure to keep their tanks clean and their water parameters within range to avoid them.

Tank Mates

Since this fish is so peaceful; it can have many different tank mates as long as the fish require the same water parameter and condition. Moreover, the betta channoides is a pretty small and defenseless fish, so the fish in a community tank should not be too big or aggressive.

– Ideal Tank Mates

– Tank Mates to Avoid

People think just because this is a betta species it will be able to defend itself, but that’s not true! Not to mention, this betta fish prefers to stay alone or with their own species as it is the least stressful. Here are some tank mates to avoid

  • Cichlids
  • Gourami
  • Tiger barbers
  • Chinese algae eaters
  • Other betta fishes


This fish is a paternal mouthbrooder which is an interesting way that fish reproduce. It is also very easy to breed the fish in a tank as they readily do it without much trouble.

– Pre-Breeding Care

It is better to have a separate breeding tank when breeding them. You will notice that the male fish will suddenly be much brighter when ready to breed to attract the female fish, and the male will also curl its body towards the female fish. When ready, the female fish will develop vertical bars, and the fish will be ready to breed, and the fish will start embracing each other.

– Post Breeding Care

Once the eggs are released, the female fish will take them up in her mouth before spitting them in the water for the male fish to take up in its mouth. The betta channoides eggs are pretty small, and only 10 eggs are sometimes brooded, although the male can hold up to 60 eggs.

The incubation period lasts for 10 to 15 days, during which the couple should not be fed as the male fish will get tempted to swallow the eggs. After five days, the female should be removed from the breeding tank and fed, but the male needs to be without food until he spits out the fry.

After this, the fry should be in the breeding tank, and the male fish should be removed as he might try to eat the fry. The male should be fed in a separate tank to make up for the lost nutrition and then reintroduced into the old tank.


1. To What Size Do Betta Channoides Grow?

Betta channoidesThe betta channoides are quite small in size. The male grows up to be around two inches, and the female fish is a little smaller in size. The female fish grows up to be around 1.4 inches in size. The betta channoides growth rate is fast when it is a fry, but the fish doesn’t grow that fast once maturity is reached.

The size of wild betta is also the same since this is a smaller fish by nature. With proper food and care, the fish can grow up to its full potential or remain much smaller, so it is very important to take care of it even if it is an easy fish to care for. Moreover, stress can also hinder the growth of this fish.


Betta channoides are a pretty interesting fish that can be a great pet for beginners. Now you also know how to care for it. Here are some important things to remember from the article.

  • Betta channoides are a fish from the family of betta and are endemic to the Island of Borneo in Indonesia. They are carnivorous depending on a diet rich in meat.
  • The fish is pretty small in size at about 2 inches, and they also live for 3 to 5 years at most
  • The tank size doesn’t need to be too big for the fish; however, it has to match their natural habitat
  • Most fish can be kept with them as long as they are small and peaceful
  • Breeding the fish is pretty easy as long as you have a separate tank

Now you can go and get a betta channoides now after setting up a tank for them because you are ready to take care of them!

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