Bettas are commonly known as Siamese fighting fish. Their scientific name is Betta Splendens. They originate from Thailand and are usually found in the paddy field there. They are labyrinth breathers that mean they can take oxygen from atmosphere as well as from water. At time of breeding they make big bubble nest and they look beautiful.
Bettas were earlier bred for fighting/betting, Unlike their ancestors the bettas that we see now a days in local fish stores are not bred for fighting but for their beauty and they are gaining popularity in the hobby.
Minimum Tank Requirement: 5 Gallons for one fish but personally I don’t keep them in less than 10 gallon tanks because its really difficult to maintain ideal water conditions in smaller tanks.
Temperature: 75°F - 79°F(23°C -26°C)
Water parameters: They prefer neutral to slightly acidic water ( >7.0). They can adapt to higher pH also but in that case breeding becomes really difficult.
Size: They grow upto 3 inch but there is another variety of bettas i.e. - giant which grows more than this.
Lifespan: 2-3 years.
Compatibility: They are best kept alone, otherwise they will fight with members of its own species also. There is a myth that they will fight until death but that is not true, the actual reason for deaths after the fight is the infection caused in the wounds.
Water: Tap water should not be directly used for the bettas as it may contain chlorine, so it must be treated with a water condition or aged water should be used. Indian almond leaves are also used to soften the water and there extract is known to be beneficial for the bettas.
Feeding: Bettas are carnivores fishes and they eat insects in wild , so they like eating live mosquitoes, mosquito larva, brine shrimps, etc. A combination of pellet food and frozen or live food is recommended. In frozen food tubifex worms, blood worms are popular. Dried foods are not recommended because it can cause constipation to your betta. Make sure not to overfeed your fish otherwise he/she may suffer from dropsy.
Filtration: Bettas don’t like much flow in the water and that’s why many of the filters can’t be used for them. An air driven sponge filter is usually recommended. And there is no need of air ball or any other stuff like that because they prefer to take oxygen from atmosphere.
Lighting & Decoration: Bettas are from dark water areas where they prefer to hide under the fallen leaves, so lighting is not necessary for the betta tanks. As far as decoration is concerned bettas are like to have some decoration under which they can hide. And if you are planning to keep more than one betta in the tank, then you must go for a heavily planted tank or a big enough tank that the betta can escape from the stronger one. Driftwoods , floating plants, black water( by almond leaves) are commonly found in betta tanks.
- Common betta-related acronyms:
DT: Delta Tail
SD: SuperDelta Tail
MG: Mustard Gas
BBS: Baby Brine Shrimp
Types Of Bettas
Halfmoon betta is one of the several types of bettas and can be identified with a semicircular fin making a 180 degree angle when he/she flares fully. Good halfmoon bettas are still rare as they are almost new to the hobby. They are not found in nature, as they are known to originate from selective breeding by an American breeder.
Crowntail bettas got there name from there fin that looks like a crown because the the rays extend more than the fin edge. There are further four types of crowntail bettas:
Double Double Ray
Delta and Superdelta
Delta tail looks similar to halfmoon but there fins makes an angle less than 160 degree when fully flared and superdelta are also similar but he fins make an angle between 160-179 degree.
Plakat bettas are usually the same fin type that is found in wild i.e. small fin type. But they are now available in beautiful colors also.
Veiltail bettas are most common betta type found in our local fish stores, with hanging fins.They are best to be kept by beginners to gain experience and are not suitable for breeding purpose.
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