Betta Fish

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The Betta fish is probably the second most popular fish kept, after Goldfish. The Betta Splendens is a favorite because of its beauty, its long fins and because bettas are relatively easy to care for. The male sports deep beautiful colors whereas the females are less colorful. Their stunning colors and flowing fins are some of the reasons for their popularity and the inexpenive purchase price (usually less than 5 dollars) helps too. However, due to this fish being such an easy sale it has led to some deplorable conditions in which they are kept while waiting to be sold. It is really sad to see how the Betta is kept in many chain pet stores in small jars or small cups, often in very soiled water.
Betta fish are called the Siamese Fighting Fish because of its behavior towards other males of the same species. You cannot keep two or more males in the same tank. If more than one male fish are placed in the same tank, they will fight until only one of them remains. They will flare out their gill covers and erect their fins showing the other fish their fighting posture. This behavior is also why they are kept separated in small containers at the store.
There are ways to see this behaviour without introducing another male betta fish. One way is to use a small hand mirror and place it up against the tank glass so that the male may see his reflection. The Betta will mistake his reflection as another male and the fighting posture should then be displayed. Doing this too often may lead to an overly stressed fish though.
You can get small tanks that come with dividers which will allow you to keep two in the same tank. Many keep them in small bowls and they may live for a while in these small bowls. However, to get the most beautiful colors and optimal health for your fish, they will do better in a 10 gallon or larger tank with a heater that can maintain a constant temperature in the aquarium. If you plan on keeping yours in a small betta aquarium, please read the small tank setup page for ideas on equipment needed. Also check out the Betta Fish Tank Setup article written by COBC for the magazine that lists the equipment needed to keep a betta.

Betta Fish Profile and Betta Fish Care Information

Scientific Name : Betta splendens

Common Names : Siamese Fighting Fish

Care Level : Easy, excellent fish that is good for freshwater beginners and can be just as hardy as goldfish.

Size : 2.5 inches (6 cm)

pH : 6 - 7.5

Temperature : 70°F - 85°F (21°C - 29°C)

Water Hardness : 5° to 20° dH,

Betta Life span : 2 - 3 years, possibly longer

Origin / Habitat : Thailand

Temperament / Behavior : Peaceful if given the right tank mates. They will become aggressive with other Bettas. They may also become aggressive towards other tropical fish with large fins such as guppies, angelfish and others.

Breeding Bettas / Mating / Reproduction : Can be difficult since the male will fight the female if not introduced at the right time. For more information please read the breeding bettas and general info or this one Breeding the Betta.

Betta Tank Size : Can be kept in small tanks as small as 2 gallons but they do best in larger tanks.

Compatible Tank Mates : Not many because of their temperament. Tropical fish with regular size fins may do well, but avoid tropical fish with larger fins like guppies or angelfish.

Betta Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment

Diet / Fish Food : Carnivore primarily, but will take flakes, freeze dried and live foods. Blood worms and brine shrimp can be used as well as foods made specifically for bettas.

Tank Region : Top

Betta Gender : The male has much more color and bigger fins than the female.

More Information : Betta Fish Care Guide, Mahachai Betta

Similar Species : Anabantoids, Betta, Gourami

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