Siamese Fighting Fish - Betta splendens


Male Betta Female Betta


    Siamese fighting fish come from South East Asia where they inhabit ditches and swamps and slowly flowing streams and rivers that are often clogged with mud and decomposing vegetation. Many fish would not be able to survive in such oxygen depleted waters, but due to their special breathing apparatus ( the Labyrinth organ ) they are able to breathe atmospheric air from the surface.
    The wild variety of the fish is a lot plainer to look at than the domesticated long finned beauty we see in the aquarium trade. This fish has been known for a long time, and has been bred extensively for the aggressive behaviour shown between males of the species. In the Far East these Fish Fights are heavily betted upon.
    In the aquarium, these fish tend to be fairly peaceful to fish of a similar size ( but not to other individuals of the same species ) and moves very slowly around plants and gravel as it seeks out insects and other things to eat. It is omnivorous, but prefers live food. It is a good fish for a community aquarium, but should not be kept with Tiger Barbs as they tend to nip at the Fighting Fish's long fins.
    Although this fish is fairly easy to breed I do not recommend that anyone attempt to do so without thoroughly investigating the process first, and making sure that they have the room and time necessary to separate the young fish, and clean their individual containers every second day.
    The water should be kept between 24-30 C ( 75-86F) the higher temperatures for breeding and for very young fish.
    This is indeed a very beautiful fish, someone once described it as "an underwater butterfly", it is very easy to see why this is such a fitting description.
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