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Siamese Fighting Fish

Scientific Name: Betta splendens
Family: Anabantidae




About the Siamese Fighting Fish

Species Type: Freshwater Fish
Category: Anabantids

Care Level: Easy. Does well in a slightly more narrow range of water parameters and shouldn't be used to cycle an aquarium. Will eat most prepared foods. May have some specific care requirements in terms of particular water parameters, social behaviors, food items etc.

Origin: Mekong Basin (again not to be confused with mud puddles) of Thailand.

Compatibility/Temperament: 2

Description

Bettas have been known for several years by a lot of aquarium hobbyists and are native to Mekong Basin found in Thailand. It must be noted there are over fifty betta species in existence however this species remains the most popular as of today. For some reason, they have been called in short as betta which several people argue as rather imprecise noting the existence of several other species.

Siamese fighting fish are noted to grow until 6 cm only however there are plenty of hobbyists who have managed to grow them to 7-8 cm. Males often are known to sport quite flamboyant finnage whereas females are rather dull and have shorter fins however it must be noted that not all male bettas sport long fins. Some have shorter fins and this applies mostly in the case of wild species especially other existing species, not just Betta splendens. Plakats are a fairly common form of betta splendens that have short-finned males.

Like other anabantids, they have an organ called labyrinth which allows them to take in air from the atmosphere. This is one reason why they are able to survive in oxygen-depleted environments. Failing to reach the surface may cause them to suffocate and eventually die.

This fish is reputed to be difficult to breed and is best not to be encouraged among beginners unless they learn to grasp the situation completely to be able to successfully breed them. Females should have a white tube near their rectum which is an ovipositor. The pair must be conditioned properly prior to spawning, and the female must be removed once the breeding pair is done with their spawning ritual or risk having the female killed by the male in his attempts to defend the eggs and territory. The male must be removed in a few days once the fry becomes free-swimming.

Let it be noted that once again, I will push through my efforts to squash misconceptions surrounding the bettas. This fish has been commonly abused by several misconceptions surrounding their origin and ability to live in waters with very low oxygen content. This fish has largely been debated in terms of how they should be properly take care of. Now to ask you questions..Is it possible that bettas can live in mud puddles? No, they will not. Mud puddles will simply dry out quickly resulting in the death of the bettas. Is it possible for them to live in vases with plants? No, it is not. Plants block the surface area and in doing so, the betta cannot reach the surface therefore suffocating and resulting into death. Is it possible to keep them in a tank with no filtration and heater? No, it is not. Bettas need warm water and without the filtration system, extremes in water conditions are to be expected stressing and eventually killing the fish. There is some controversy over the minimum tank size required for keeping bettas, but 5 gallons is agreeable to many as a safe minimum size. Lesser than that is often considered cruel, as this restricts space for them to flaunt their fins as they usually do in the wild.

Suitable tankmates are those that are non-aggressive, and will not nip long fins. Tank should be furnished with several plants especially floating plants for the betta to enjoy. Avoid sharp or rough plants and decorations as these can damage their rather delicate fins. It is stressed enough that some bettas will actually prefer living with several species than by themselves. In the wild, even several males live together in ditches and klongs, frequently sparring against each other to show dominance but rarely killing each other which in an aquarium, unfortunately, is most likely to happen without providing plenty of tank space and plants for the loser to escape. Both males and females can be housed in a divided tank (dividers should not be completely transparent to avoid undue stress however), and many bettas actually enjoy the opportunity to impress their neighbors. However, housing bettas either in divided or community tanks should not be attempted without first asessing the fish's personality to make sure they will be compatable. All bettas are unique and while some may be suitable for a certain setup, another may be completely unsuitable.

For more information regarding the mythbusting of several misconceptions, please read this topic. Copy and paste the link in the html address slot.
http://www.fishforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=10494

Siamese Fighting Fish Diet

Bettas are mainly carnivorous and can be finicky eaters however they will eat commercial foods once completely accustomed. Bloodworms, mosquito larva, daphnia, mysis shrimps, tubifex worms and mealworms can be included in their diet.

Size

Adult male bettas rangein size from 5cm 8cm. Females tend to be a little smaller, rarely reaching 7 or 8cm.

Ideal water parameters for Siamese Fighting Fish

The Siamese Fighting Fish should be kept in an aquarium with the temperature ranging from 74 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit, and a Ph of around 7.

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