All About the Betta
Betta fish, also known as Siamese fighting fish, are a species of freshwater fish that are native to Southeast Asia. They are part of the Osphronemidae family, which includes other popular aquarium fish such as gourami’s and paradise fish. Betta fish are known for their vibrant colours, elegant fins, and aggressive behaviour, which earned them their common name as "fighting fish."
Betta fish are known for their stunning colours and long, flowing fins. This makes them one of the most popular fish around the world.
The coloration of betta fish is quite variable, with different strains of fish displaying different colours and patterns. Some common colours include red, blue, purple, and white. The coloration is often more vibrant in males than in females.
Betta fish are highly territorial and aggressive, and males will often fight with other males if they are housed together. This behaviour is why they are known as "fighting fish." It is important to keep betta fish in separate tanks, or in tanks with dividers to keep males separate. They can be kept with different fish that do not look similar. Fish like fancy guppies are poor choices because their long tails draw the attention of bettas and can lead to fighting. Good choices include Black Neon Tetra, Cherry Barbs, Corydoras species, plecos, and Otocinclus to name a few. If you would like to know some more options, feel free to reach out and ask.
Betta fish are also known for their elaborate courtship displays, which are usually performed by males. The male will flare his fins, change colour, and perform a dance-like movement in front of the female, in an attempt to attract her attention. If the female is receptive, the two will engage in a spawning embrace, during which the female will release her eggs and the male will fertilize them. Betta are known as ‘bubble-nesters’ where the eggs are placed in a nest made out of bubbles.
Betta fish are easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of conditions. They prefer a water temperature of around 24-26 degrees Celsius, and a pH of 6.5-7.5. They also require a low-moderate water flow, and moderate lighting.
In terms of diet, betta fish are carnivorous and will eat a variety of foods, from prepared foods like pellets, to frozen foods such as frozen bloodworms, freeze dried foods and live foods such as daphnia. They should be fed small amounts as they do not have a large stomach capacity.
Betta fish can live for up to 3-5 years if provided with proper care. They can be prone to certain health issues, such as fin rot, which is caused by a bacterial infection, or ich, which is caused by a parasite. Maintaining a good diet and proper water quality will be the best option to ensuring a health fish. Bare minimum tank size for a single Betta fish is 20L. However, I would urge people to look at a 40L tank if possible. End of the day, this tank size doesn’t take up much more room than a tank half the size, but allows much more opportunities for tank mates and plants. It also makes managing water quality easier.
In conclusion, Betta fish are a popular species of freshwater fish, known for their vibrant colours, elegant fins, and aggressive behaviour. They are easy to care for which makes them a great option for beginners to experienced hobbyists alike.