Bettas - Betta splendens
- Scientific name: Betta splendens
- Common name(s): Bettas, Siamese fighting fish, Fighting fish
- General nature: They are usually quite peaceful when kept with other species in a community aquarium. However, they immediately and invariably become quite belligerent towards other males of their own species.
Never put two males in the same tank. They will fight to the death. There can only be one male Betta in any given aquarium.
The males are the best known individuals of this species, females do not posses the flowing fins that the males do. Unlike the males, the females can be kept together in the same aquarium without problems.
In comparison, they are quite drab and do not have the brilliance of colour that is often associated with these fish. It is just the males that cannot tolerate one another, they will fight each other to the death every time.
- Difficulty to maintain: These popular fish are quite easy to keep, the size of the container is not too important, since they possess a labyrinth organ that allows them to get oxygen from the air when the water is deficient
- Aquarium size: Often sold and kept in a tiny bowl or plastic containers, but they certainly do much better when kept in a larger aquarium with proper filtration.
- Preferred pH: Adaptable to a wide range of pH conditions, the actual pH is not important as long as it remains constant over time and does not fluctuate rapidly
- Preferred hardness dGH: 25
- Preferred temperature: Prefer their water temperature above 74 F. Quite often they may be kept in a bowl at room temperature, but really should have the water warmed somewhat.
- Spawning style: Male creates bubble nests at the surface to float eggs
- Spawning difficulty: Moderately easy, the right conditions must be available for the bubble nest to be left undisturbed for the fry to develop. Usually requires an aquarium with little surface agitation and plenty of stems or plant stalks at or near the surface to anchor the nest securely.
- Parental behaviour: Tends nest then ignores
- Preferred food: Feed sparingly with freeze dried grubs, bloodworms and specially formulated Betta flakes are available. Be very careful not to overfed the Betta. Anything left over will rot, and can cause serious problems with water quality, especially when kept in a small container.
- Comments: The Male Bettas are beautiful fish that can be kept in a variety of containers. Their long flowing fins came in a variety of colours that are very attractive.
They have a labyrinth organ that allows them to be able to breathe air should the water not supply enough for their needs.
Although they are known as Siamese fighting fish and are often seen in a small individual container, these fish are usually quite passive when kept in a community aquarium with other fish that are not the same species.
Males will kill any other males they come into contact - spreading their long fins and attacking until one is dead. Female bettas have much shorter finnage and are not as colourful. They do not display the aggression of the males and can be kept together in the same aquarium with no difficulty.