The Siamese Fighting Fish or Betta fish is among the most popular aquarium fish species nowadays. Native to an area in Southeast Asia near Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, the Betta fish before do not always have colorful and long fins as they do now. Breeders have developed and enhanced different varieties from the short-finned and pale-colored wild specimens of the Betta fish. Previously, this wild fish only displays strong colors whenever agitated but now the permanence of bright colors has been made possible by science.
Some varieties of the fighting fish are veiltail, double tail, half-moon, delta, super delta, and crowntail. The names are based on their body color and tail formation.
The betta fish is best suited to water tanks with tropical temperatures, as opposed to the popular goldfish that thrives in cool water. The aquarium’s temperature is only one of the many things to be considered when raising a male betta fish. Here are some of the tips that you may want to consider:
- Do not mix male betta fishes in one tank. Because of their temperament, male betta fish cannot be kept in one tank unless there are dividers. They become aggressive towards other male fishes of the same species. Male betta fishes will fight until only one survives.
- Keep a well-maintained tank or aquarium. Consider size, temperature and the right accessories. Betta fishes are best kept in about 21°C - 29°C tank temperature. They can survive in tanks as small as 2 gallons, however it’s better to house them in larger tanks. Betta fish establishes a territory on a rocky alcove or a plant, so make sure the aquarium has something that would serve this purpose, even artificially. Also, remember that chlorine can harm bettas, so the use of a water conditioner is recommended. Clean the tank at least once a week.
- Do not use soap for cleaning items in the tank such as rocks, plastic plants, and decorations. Soap residue can seriously harm your betta fish. Simply use a sponge or an abrasive brush and warm water to clean the betta’s things.
- Ensure that any new tank mates are compatible with the male betta fish. Fishes compatible with the male betta fish are very limited because of the latter’s behavior. Guppies and angelfish are not ideal because of their large fins, it is therefore preferred to choose tank mates with smaller fins.
- Feed the betta fish once a day. Bettas are carnivorous. They feed on small fishes or insect larvae. You may also feed them with commercial beta pellets, flakes or freeze dried blood worms. Observe if the betta disgorges after feeding, as it may be a sign of a fish disease.
The male betta fish are preferred over the female ones as they have more vibrant colors and longer fins. Bettas are elegant and attractive freshwater specimens. Although there are still markets for fighting fish, bettas are popularly being bred for its physical beauty and not its physical aggression. If male bettas are raised properly, you will have developed it for its full aesthetic potential.