Betta Splendens



    One of the staples of the hobby, through selective breeding the betta has become one of the most colorful and sought after aquarium fish. Seen in small bowls this is far from the ideal living conditions for them. Just because they can live in confined spaces does not mean that they will thrive in them.



Quick stats:


Listed tank sizes are the minimum
Size: Up to 3″ (8cm)
Tank: Any, 5 gallon or larger is best
Strata: All
PH: 6.0 to 8.0
Hardness: Soft to hard. dH range: 2.0 – 25.0
Temperature: 73°F to 86°F (23-30°C)



Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Anababtoidei
Family: Osphronemidae
Genera: Betta



Common name

    Betta or Siamese Fighting Fish.


    India, particularly the Malay Peninsula, Singapore, Thailand and also Vietnam.


    Marshy areas, including rice fields also canals in Thailand.

General Body Form

    Long bodied when compared with most other members of the sub order. Anal fin is very long and inserted. Ventral fins are saber shaped. Caudal fin is large and almost circular in shape. The Dorsal fin starts behind the middle of the body. By selective breeding the common Veiltail Bettas we see today bear little resemblance to the wild specimens. They can reach a length of two and one quarter inches (6 cm )


Beautiful Females


    The long finned, highly colorful strains of the betta we know today vary greatly from the original wild forms. Today we have Flesh-colored, bright Blue Emerald Green, Red, Red-Violet and even Jet Black. These colors can be found alone or more commonly a mixture of two or more of them. The original form has much less variation. The colors are only intense when the fish is fighting or breeding and tend to be washed out at all other times. When this happens the Betta is a non spectacular Reddish-Brown with two transverse bars visible on the body. Females, even today are mostly Yellow-Brown, with short fins.


    Bettas are not at all difficult to keep. They will be very happy in any well lit tank with a dark substrate. The addition of some floating plants will complete the setup. Bettas have an extra organ that allows them to obtain oxygen right from the air and so can be kept in very small quarters if needed. Being tropical in nature they should be kept in water with a temperature range of 73 to 80 degrees f. They have no special requirements regarding water composition and aeration and filtration is not necessary. Bettas like most fish relish live food but have no problems accepting the flake staple foods. Bettas tolerate all other fish well and can be put in a community tank set up. Be sure there are no fin nipping fish like Tiger barbs or your beautiful fish will be stripped of all its fins. The most important thing to remember is that male Bettas will not tolerate the presence of another male and will fight to the death to protect his territory. To this day some Species of Betta are placed together for the sole purpose of fighting, thus the other common name “Siamese Fighting Fish”.


    1. Bettas are probably the best known members of the “bubble nest” builders. The nest consists of air bubbles enclosed in saliva and are very strong. The nest is always built by the male and is located at the water surface among floating plants. The eggs when laid sink to the bottom and are gently picked up by the male and spat into the nest. He will keep the nest in constant repair and will try to guard it from all intruders. The female should be removed after spawning as the male may kill her after the eggs are laid. The eggs hatch in one to two days and are very small. The fry can eat only the smallest of food. Growth is rapid. Care must be taken in the first few weeks to maintain temperature as the development of the Labyrinth is sensitive to change.

This is only a basic outline of the betta fish, for more detailed information please visit the sites forum or one of the specialized sites.


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