Betta Fish

Other Betta Fish Names: Betta Fish, Betta, Fighter, Siamese Fighting Fish

Betta Fish Scientific Name: Betta Spledens

Betta Fish (Betta Splendens))

Temperature Range: 75°F-86°F
pH Range: 6-7.8
Hardness Range: 2-15°

Family: Belontiidae

Species Type: Labyrinth Fish

Betta Fish Adult Size: 2.5 inches (cm)

Betta Fish Life Expectancy: 4 years

Betta Fish Habitat: Asian Swamps

Betta Fish Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons

Betta Fish Temperament: Generally peaceful but males are highly aggressive with one another. DO NOT keep more than one male fighter in the same tank as they will spread their fins, flare their gills and attack each other. DO NOT keep male fighters with female fighters unless breeding is intended as the male will kill the female. Several females can be kept together, but should be watched closely as they may be aggressive. Male Fighters should not be kept with species that have large or flowing fins like fancy guppies or angelfish because they are sometimes confused with other male bettas.

Betta Fish Diet & Nutrition: Carnivorous - Prefers live foods such as bloodworms, brine shrimp, krill and tubifex worms. Will also eat frozen foods. Some high protein flake or pellet food may be used as well depending on the fish.

Betta Fish Description: The Betta, on average, is 2.5 inches in length. Its body shape is streamlined, allowing it to slip smoothly and effortlessly through open water. The fish's body is covered with scales that overlap each other like the shingles on the roof of a house. These scales consist of thin, transparent plates that help protect the Betta's body from injury and add streamlining for efficient gliding. A mucus layer also covers the scales to provide the fish with extra smoothness and to protect against invading parasites and infection. The Betta's scales grow out from the skin and are generally lacking in color. The fish's true color actually comes from pigment cells (chromatophores) located in the skin itself. In the wild, the fish uses its coloration to ward off predators and to attract mates. Wild Bettas do not possess the vibrant bright red, lime green, and royal blue colors of their selectively bred counterparts. In fact, they are unusually dull and drab. However, captive-bred Betta males have adopted these new colors and use them to their advantage in mating displays. The actual colors of a Betta are layered. In order to produce a Betta of specific color, other colors that are layered on top must first be "stripped away" through selective breeding. The top color is blue; next is red, then black and finally yellow. Bettas have mouths that are upturned, indicating that they are a top feeder and will scoop up their food on the water's surface. Their fins are used not only for propulsion through the water, but for maintaining balance and turning in different directions. They have one caudal fin, one dorsal fin, two pelvic fins, one anal fin, and two pectoral fins. (Hargrove 1999)

Tank Mate Compatibility: Community fish that do not have long flowing fins. DO NOT put two males bettas in a tank together because they will fight to the death.

Betta Fish Breeding & Spawning: Breeding a pair of Bettas is not complicated but a lot of patience and observation is required. A breeding tank with some kind of divider (often a glass globe from a storm lantern) is needed to keep the male from harming the female until they get acquainted. Once the female is released, vegetation/hiding places are a must. The male should have a bubble nest built to hold the eggs, but if one is not bulit before the spawning takes place, he can bulid one as he picks up the eggs. The two should be observed closely in case the male decides to harass or kill the female instead of mating with her and vice versa. Nipped fins almost always results anyway, but one or the other may seriously hurt its mate if one or the other is not yet ready for breeding. After the mating is over, the female should be removed from the tank. The male will take care of the eggs and the fry when they hatch. Newborn fry will hang down from the bubblenest and will live on the egg sack. After they are free-swimming, they can be fed baby brine shrimp or infusoria if they are too small for BBS.

Determining Betta Fish Sex: Males have bright colors and larger fins.

Aquarium Region: Top of tank

Betta Fish Diseases: None specific to species

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