The males are extremely territorial
particularly with their own kind. Only
one male can be kept per tank, other
fish are ignored. Passing females will
be displayed to and if ready to breed
the pair will be compatible for a short
time, if the female is not ready or is
unwilling to breed she will be treated
as an intruder and chased away. Siamese
fighters are tropical fish, not only
that but they live in shallow water
which gets quite warm and as a species
they live at the higher end of the
tropical fish temperature range. They
should not be kept in small un heated
vessels which are subjected to rapid
changes of temperature and may become to
cold at times.
Betta splendens needs the same care
as all other fish,
Wild Betta splendens feed on small worms, insects, insect larva, crustaceans and very small fish (fry). In captivity they will accept flake food, freeze dried food, suitably sized live or frozen food. They are quite unfussy and are bold feeders.
Males are larger more brightly coloured and with longer fins. There are some short finned males but it is still relatively easy to tell the sexes apart.
Males construct a nest made from bubbles and weeds, they entice a ripe female under the nest and then the male flips the female over on to her back and then arches his body over hers, The eggs are then released and fertilised and then slowly fall to the floor. Before they reach the floor the male collects them in his mouth and places them in the nest. This process is repeated several times until all the eggs have been laid. The male then becomes highly territorial once again and chases his mate away. The male alone protects the brood.
It is often asked if it possible to keep Betta splendens in a community tank. Yes it is, provided the tank mates are carefully chosen. Any fish likely to nip fins are obviously out of the question, so are other fish with similar habits i.e other bubble nest builders. But with small peaceful fish which are to big to be eaten whole are generally fine especially in a well planted aquarium. Contrary to popular advice it is even possible to house a pair in a large well planted aquarium, I have done this personally and the pair would breed on a regular basis in the community tank. The trick is to have sufficient planting and a large enough space for the two to be hidden from each other and to escape each other. This obviously can't happen in a small bare tank, in such a situation the female would in all probability be killed.
The wild population of Betta splendens has not been evaluated and so is unknown at this time.
pH: 6 - 8
dGH: 4 - 20
Temperature: 22 - 30°C (72 - 82°F)
Size: 5cm (2in)
Min tank size: 60 litres
Difficulty level: Easy
Aquarium type: Alone / Community
Swimming level: Middle
Origin: Asia: Mekong basin
Habitat: Occur in standing waters of floodplains, canals, rice paddies and medium to large rivers. Doesn't occur in small polluted puddles!!!
Species: B. splendens, Regan, 1910