Interesting Facts about Betta Fish
What is a Betta fish? Betta Fish is known as “Siamese fighting fish” or “Betta Splenden” in scientific term. The name of the fish “Betta” were named from Japanese name “Wudeh Bettah” and betta fish is the common name for this fish. They belongs to the species of belontiidae family and betta Splenden always compete with Guppy fish and Goldfish for the title of best known freshwater fish.
They originate in the shallow water in Thailand, Cambonia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Naturally, they come from Thailand but due to the popularity for the past 100 years, it difficult to ascertain it origin country and they can be found other than Thailand. Betta Splenden usually found in rice paddies, ponds, slow moving water streams and swamps.
They are usually short rounded fin with dull green and brown color on its body in the wild. In Thailand, the fish is named as “pla-kad” (bitting fish) and “trey krem” were named in Kampuchea. The reason they were called “trey krem” in Kampuchea because they are the fighting fish from the land of Khmer.
Wild betta can live in the temperature of 10º C during winter season and 40º C in the warm temperature of the year. As for keeping betta Fish as a pet, the preferably temperature for them are 27ºC to 30º C in the tank. Their lifespan can life up 2 to 3 year in captivity, however it also can live up 6 to 10 year if it is well taken care.
Basics of Betta Fish
The fish itself can grow up to the length of 6.5cm / 2.6 inches when it mature. How to differentiate the them as male or female? The male betta come with brilliant color and long flowing fins and also well-known as an aquarium fish.
As the female betta, they were totally opposite comparing with the male betta because female betta are not highly colored and come with shorter fins comparing with Male betta. However, there is a new captive breeding programs come with better result in a wide variety of colors including white, yellow, orange, red, pink, blue, dull green, turquoise, brown and black.
An infinite of combinations can be seen, from solid colors to those with different fin and body colors, to patterned colors. Beside the color on the Betta, fin and veil of the fish also can be attractive. The fin of the Betta fish changed during breeding and Veil tails come with unique pattern such as Crowntails, Deltas, Half-sun, Half-moons, Lyre, Split tails, and etc.
Nowadays, Fin type and veil tail of the fish show a new variations in the market and also competitions of the Betta breed. The body of the the fish come with torpedo-shaped body and an upturned mouth geared for eating at the surface for both sexes. The specialty of this fish with other species that, they come with labyrinth organ allows them to breathe from the atmosphere instead of water and also allowing them to survive in low-oxygen waters. This is what makes the Betta an unique fish.
Nowadays, pet lover able to make this coloration permanent on the Betta Fish. As it written on the description, common color such as orange, red, blue, green, black, white, and yellow. They come with many different color because of the skin comes in different layers of pigmentation.
The color on the body of the fish can be seen from furthest within to outer layer and it come with solid color such as red, yellow, black and also interesting color like turquoise, platinum, metallic and mustard gas, lavender and marble.
A different lighting condition or viewing angle will cause color changes to makes the appearance of iridescent. Iridescent appear when the shades of blue turquoise and green is mixing together unlike the color of black and red will show up through refraction due to the layer of translucent guanine crystal. Nowadays, many color are created by pet lover and different color pattern has showed up such as butterfly, solid, bi-color, dragon, multicolor, pastel and marble.
As it is written, a lot of different colors and patterns that are found on the Siamese fighting fish such as: (refer to the picture below)
Solid Color Pattern
Solid color pattern is a pattern of the entire fish is in one color without any variations.
Bi Color Pattern
As for Bi-color, the pattern of the fish is showing different color between of the fin and its body.
The solid color on the fin is obviously seen but the color on the body of the fish is pale and looks colorless. This show the color pattern of cambodian.
Some betta come with uneven pattern through the body to fin and its categories as marble color pattern.
Multi Color Pattern
The fish come with 3 color and above on its body and doesn’t fit in any other pattern are called multicolor pattern. The color can be any other color in its body too.
As for pastel color pattern, the body the fish remain flesh hue and light shade of color can only be seen on it’s the fin.
As for dragon color pattern the scales on the main body come with strong base of color and the body of the fish come with pale iridescent.
As the butterfly color pattern, the fin of the fish comes with distinct bands of color and the body of the fish comes with solid color.
Nowadays, Pet lover have already found several different finnage and scale variations of the Betta not just come in different type of color pattern but also with its fin and type. Here is the fin and tail type of the betta splenden.
Veil Tail Betta
This type of Betta is the common breed among the other betta fish. It’s come with an extended finnage length, a non- symmetrical tail that float down and the caudal fin rays split once only. This is also common type usually seen in pet store.
Round and Single Tail Betta Fish
As for this type tail variation, it come with a single tail and rounded edges on it fin. Most people confused it with the Delta Tail Betta and Super Delta Tail Betta because of the tail type were similar.
Double Tail Betta Fish
The caudal fin for this type of Betta is divided to two duplicate lobes and the dorsal fin is about the same length as the anal fin. A full circle is almost made while it fin flaring. This type of betta prone with swim bladder problem due to its body are shorter than other type.
Delta Tail Betta Fish
The caudal fin for this type of Betta spread less than 180 º angle comparing with the full moon betta.
Super Delta Tail Betta and Over Half-Moon Betta Fish
The caudal fin of this type of Betta exceeding 120 to 160° angle and is a improve version of the delta tail betta. It also trying to breed as a half-moons but fail. This type of betta can’t swim properly due to it fin is bigger than other tail variation.
Half-Moon Betta Fish
This type of betta is one of the popular in pet lover. The caudal fin forms a “D” shape at a 180 degree angle, with edges of the tail that are crisp and straight
Short-Finned Betta Fish
The name speak for itself for this type of Betta and also found in the natural, It itself named as short finned fighting Betta and “Plakat Betta”. This type of betta are usually active comparing with long fin betta. Short-finned betta also known have more resistance against disease which also make a lot of pet lover prefer to keep this type of betta as a pet.
Crown Tail Betta Fish
The fin rays of this type of Betta tail show an appearance of a crown as grow well beyond the membrane. This crown tail is unique and popular among the other type of betta. Crown tail betta given as a different name as “Fringetail Betta”.
Comb Tail Betta and Half-Sun Betta Fish
This type of Betta come with a less extended version comparing with the Crown Tail Betta and also veil tail betta. This type of Betta is also come with the crown breed and veil tail breed.
Rose Tail Betta Fish
This type of betta come with beautiful Half Moon Betta variation where come with a lot of finnage that overlap and looks like a rose.
Elephant Ear Betta Fish
The pectoral fins of this type of Betta are colored and larger than normal pectoral fins. The shape of it resemble the ears of an elephant so with the names of it.
Spade Tail Betta Fish
The caudal fins of this type of Betta come with wide base that narrow to delicate point just like a spade. This spade tail are rare to be seen and nearly to extinction.
The male Betta are usually colorful and common to be seen. Therefore, interesting color and finnage also can be seen in female betta unlike before comparing to the male Betta but the intensity and showy fin of female betta haven’t achieve comparing with the male betta.
Snack Time ( Siamese fighting fish diet)
Betta Splenden is an omnivore but their prime diet is carnivorous. They feed with insect larvae and plant material in the wild. A consistent diverse diet is provided for them in Asia country which is rich with flying bug. Consistent diet is provided to the fish because flying bug and blood worm need water to hatch it eggs. The reason of why wild betta able to staple high protein of food and good water content in the wild.
The fish itself do need fiber to keep thing moving along and usually they get it fiber from plant fiber and also exoskeletons of insect. As in aquarium, they eat all kind of live, fresh and also dry protein food. However, providing them with fresh and living food is always better comparing with dry food. Frozen foods also can be fed to them such as brine shrimp, bloodworms, daphnia and many others during captivity. Keeping the fish healthy, fed them twice a day in the aquarium.
The life cycle (Breeding Process)
As we know, Betta Splenden is a bubble nest builder compare with other labyrinth fish family. The male betta will defend it nest to death and breeding this species isn’t difficult but raising the young betta is quite a challenging part due to certain accommodations must be follow.
Pet lover who are committed are highly recommended to them for raising the betta from young. Pet lover must be alert to breed this fish because of the aggressive tendencies of the male betta and easily get infection due to the delicateness of their fins.
A fish tank must come with a tight fitting cover and setting up in low water level that is not more than 6 “ (15cm) deep. 26 – 28º C is the suitable parameter water temperature for betta to breed. Male betta will keep bulling the female betta because male betta consider female betta as a rival to them during the nest building process.
This is why the tank should be included with some clumps of plant like Hornwort, Milfoil or Java Moss for helping the female betta to retreat or hide. For keeping the bubble nest in place, floating plant are needed such as ricca, stem plants grow to the surface or any other debris that can keep the bubble nest in place. Male betta often build the bubble nest even there is no present of the female betta.
During the mating, if the male betta is interested with the female betta, it will flare it gills, spread it fins and twist its bodies in a dance. Female Betta will response back to male by darken its color and develop vertical lines known as breeding bars if she is interested to the male. A various sizes and thicknesses bubble nest will is in the making by the male before the fish mate.
The male betta wrap his body around the female betta during the mating and the act itself called “nuptial embrace”. Mostly 10 – 40 eggs are released from the female betta during the embrace, and the process will keep repeating several times until the female betta is exhausted, the egg will spawn around 200 eggs. The male betta release milt into water and fertilization takes place externally. During and after spawning of the eggs, the male betta use its mouth to retrieve sinking eggs that release from the female betta.
The eggs will be place in the bubble nest after retrieve from the male betta. During the mating, the female betta sometimes assist the male betta from retrieving the sinking eggs but most of the times the female betta eat the eggs that she manage to catch. The male betta start to chase the female betta away from its territory after the female betta released all the eggs.
The main reason of female is chased away because female betta likely eats all the eggs. Female betta will be killed by the male betta if she is not removed from the tank. As a good father, the male betta takes a good care of the eggs and make sure none of the eggs falls out from the bubble nest. The bubble nest will be repaired by the male if it’s needed.
The egg will hatch in 24 to 36 hour and the new hatch fry will remain in the bubble nest for another 2 to 3 days until the york sacs are fully absorbed. After the York sacs is fully absorbed,the fry leave the nest and started to swim freely. Liquid fry food or infusoria can be fed to the new swimming fry until they are large enough fed by baby brine shrimp.
The Juveniles dependent on their gill for oxygen absorption about 3 to 6 week, which their labyrinth organ start develop and they can begin to gulp air on the surface. They will reach their sexual maturity in 4 to 5 month old.
The temperature ( water and caring process)
Do betta need oxygen pump? Betta Fish are labyrinth fish, meaning to say they can breathe directly from the surface water. There no need oxygen pump provided for the betta like other fish do. We often see betta fish place in a small bowls without any filtration at all or transparent plastic bag hanging in pet shop, due to betta do not like fast currents.
A minimum of 7.5 litres of water is needed by the Betta for survive. Of course, the bigger the better, they would appreciate the extra space that provided. And also, less frequent of water changes if larger tank is provided to the Betta.
Therefore, Betta are known as excellent jumper and that why hood or lid is needed for an aquarium to prevent the fish from jumping out from the tank. Mini aquarium kit are highly recommended because it includes everything we need for keeping a betta. They can accept different range of water temperature. The ideal water temperature for betta’s tank is 24- 30ºC.
The immune system of the fish will goes weak and easily prone to diseases due to water temperature is lower than 23ºC. An accelerated of metabolism to the fish if the fish live in the water temperature of 29ºC and above. For keeping the fish healthy and actively, keep the them under a warm water temperature and maintaining the water temperature by installing heater in it fish tank.
They prefer dechlorinated water to live in. It’s because it toxic to them and also it could kill the them due to chlorine and heavy metal in our daily use tap water. RO water, treated water with water conditioner or bottle water are highly recommend for the them.
The recommended pH level for the them is around 6.5 pH to 8 pH even though they can live in any pH level. They come with an organ call labyrinth organ which allow them to breathe on the water’s surface and that is why they can live in flexible pH level. Some people who knew betta can breathe on the water surface, they keep the aquarium clean. This is a wrong information because it could cause the betta easily get infected by disease like fin rot.
For water change is necessary. During the water change, 25 percent of the water volume in the tank change once per week with treated water in order to remove natural pollutants tank. It’s also replace important element for the bettas. The best 100 percent water change would be every 2 month, so that the they can live in a healthy conditions.
The Home ( Aquarium)
Betta fish can live in a small container but providing bigger space for them is better, so they can live happily and comfortable in the environment. 20 litres of water or 5 gallon is the recommended water level for a bigger aquarium size. There is a lot of Betta Tank kit are selling in pet shop. A lot of pet lover prefer a tank that is attractive, easy to care for and last but not least, the health for the fish.
On the contrary, thing get complicated when comes to the this fish. They are anabantids spesies because they can breathe on the water surface. Labyrinth organ help them in the wild to survive in low oxygen condition, muddy, stagnant puddles.
Due to the poor living condition, a lot of people misunderstood that betta prefer to live in tiny tanks or bowl without filtration. They also need space to thrive just like any other fish do. The larger the tank the healthier the fish will be.
For additional, a larger tank for them to live in the easier to care for because we will spend less time fussing and performing water changes. Beyond that, pet lover can decorate the tank of the fish by doing artificial décor and living plant in the tank.
Betta sickness ( Diseases)
Betta fish is a resilient fish and hardy get diseases in a well maintain aquarium. Disease can spread to the betta if there is new fish, plants, decorations, and substrates were add into the fish tank. Before adding any new fish, plants, decoration and substrates, proper cleaning and quarantine are required to prevent the fish is infected by any disease.
There is some disease that should be alert about like hole in the head, bacterial infections, fungal, water quality, nutrition, and maintenance of the fish tank is not provided to the them.
Hole in the head
The head of the betta look like pinhole and that is why this disease name hole in head. This is a parasitic infection due to carbon in the water and the best prevention method is cleaning water off carbon. This parasitic disease can be cure by parasitic clear antibiotic. If treatment is not given the fish will die after a few day.
Fin and Tail Rot
As the name speak for it, the betta is infected on it fin and tail due to bacteria and fungi infection. The fin and tail of the fish will slowly melt away. The best prevention method is to keep the aquarium clean. The best treatment for it is treated by antibiotic named tectracycline. It won’t cause fatality to the fish if treatment is given early.
The fin of the fish will fray and rag due to bacterial disease and it will cause skin ulcers on the fish. The fish will find breathing difficulties because of gill infection. The prevention for this disease is avoid overcrowding in the aquarium and limited oxygen in the aquarium.
The treatment for this disease is treated by Oxytetracycline or any antibiotic come with Sulfa 4 TMP, TMP Sulta and Triple Sulta. The fish will face it death if it is not treated in 72 hour after the infection.
This is a fish disease that cause internal bleeding on the mouth and eye of the fish. Redmouth is the common name of this disease. The fish is infected because of the appearance of “Yersinia Ruckeri” bacteria. The best prevention method is to disinfect the aquarium. Treatment for this disease is giving antibiotic such as ampicillin and the fatality are low.
This is one of the deadly disease that affect the kidney of the fish. The fish will suffer swollen abdomen that cause accumulation of internal fluid, outward –sticking scales and sunken eyes. Keeping the aquarium clean and feed the fish with rich with vitamin in the food can prevent the infection of this disease to the fish. There is no cure for this bacterial infection and mostly the fish won’t survive.
The eye of the fish is swelling on one or both eye and usually cause by tumor or viral infection. This is a symptom disease and the best prevention is of the disease is preventing infection in the aquarium. The fish need to be kept in different tank. Antibiotic such as tetracycline is the best treatment for pop eye. Fatality of this disease is zero for any fish that infected.
Mouth Fungus is a bacterial disease that cause white lines around the lips on the fish. The best prevention method is to keep the water in aquarium clean. Antibiotic such as amoxicillin is the best treatment for curing mouth fungus. The fish will die if it is not treated early.
The sign and symptom of this disease is appearance of red sores on it skin and skin ulcer. The best prevention method provided good water quality in the aquarium. Fungus clear is an antibiotic that treat furunculosis disease effectively. Furunculosis also can kill the fish if treatment is not given early.
The origin of this disease is the same as the furunculosis fungal disease but it affected is different than furunculosis. The betta show cotton growing on it skin when the disease infected it. The prevention for this disease is avoid primary infection and injuries.
As for the treatment, antibiotic such as Methylene Blue and Fungus Clear are mostly been use for treat fish fungus. It can cause fatality if the fish is not treated early.
Ich Infection on Betta body. This is a parasitic disease that cause white spot on the body of the fish. This disease is also known as white spot. Regular water change can prevent the fish get infected by this disease.
This disease can be treat by using fish-zole, salt baths and malachite Green. It easy to cure this disease if treatment is starts early.
This is also a parasitic disease but it attack on the fin and tails only. The affected part will show the appearance of protruding worms, red and swollen. The prevention for this disease is to treat the infected fish before pair up with healthy betta. Methylene blue and parasite clear is the antibiotic for treated this anchor worm disease. It can cause fatality if the fish is not treated early.
This is a parasitic disease and showing a rusty skin for the infected the fish. This best prevention is to ensure the fish living in a stress free environment and good quality water. This is also a contagious disease but can be treated by sodium chloride, copper sulfate, sulfa 4TMP, methylene blue, malachite green, acriflavin and formalin. The fish will die in a day if it is not treated early.
Betta are normally strong but knowing the sign and symptom of illness early so do the treatment can prevent it from death. If one of the fish in the tank is sick, remove it with the other fish and place it different tank by itself so, it can lower down the numbers of fish in the same tank get infected and also easily deal with during in the early stages.
Keeping a betta healthy is to provide a proper environment to live in and proper diet and also the best prevention method for preventing the fish sick.
Characteristics of Betta Fish ( behavior)
Betta Fish consider as a good fish but yet can be picked on. They cannot live in the same tank with fin nipping fish. It’s because fins are easy to target for occasional nip.
Betta Fish has been noted as a fish that occasionally attack other tank mates. As we know betta fish is well-known as ‘Siamese Fighting fish’. The aggression has kept it roots, making them one of the aggressive freshwater fish. Expert recommend keeping the male Betta separately because male betta are completely intolerant to each other and it would fight until death even through its own species. Therefore, female betta are less aggressive towards other comparing with the male betta and they can work well in group.
How about mixing up the male and female betta? A male Betta and female Betta can be kept together during breeding or the tank is big enough and plenty of hiding space for the female betta, as they keep attacking each other.
As the tank is too big for only betta, pet lover can mix up with cyprinid species of fish such as Cardinal tetra, White Cloud Mountain Minnow and Neon Tetra for tank mates. Betta will attack similar looks of fish and colorful, long flowing fin fish. The Betta are peaceful with other species of fish with only similar size but avoid similar looks and also colorful species of fish.
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