Beta fish or Betta fish were all the craze during my childhood days, but back then we knew it as the Fighting Fish. These fighting fish were so popular because they were very inexpensive, didn’t need much maintenance and simply looked really really cool with their many colors and characteristics to choose from.
You might ask, what did we do with these Fighting Fishes? Well, my brother did what any other 11-year-old boy would do. Put two of these fighting fishes together and let them go at it until one remains victor. And when I say victor, I mean left standing or in this case swimming alive. This was dubbed the poor man’s version of the cockfight. My brother made fun of me when I would cry and insist that the little fish was sad, but that’s a story for another day!
Fast forward to today, I’m glad to see these Fighting Fish are still popular.
How To Keep A Betta Fish Happy?
Keeping your betta fish happy will just require you to know a little about them. They are very easy to care for! If you don’t know what I’m talking about here let me give you a brief intro on the Beta Fish or Siamese Fighting Fish.
Wikipedia defines the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens), also known as Beta Fish or Betta Fish, as one of the most popular species of freshwater aquarium fish. These fish are said to be native from the rice paddies of Thailand and Cambodia to as far south as Borneo in South East Asia. In Thai, these are simply known as “Fighting Fish” or pla-kad / trey krem in it’s native tongue.
These Beta Fish are usually:
- About 2inches in length
- Have an elongated body
- Long-based anal fin
- Sail-like dorsal fin
- Long tail fin
- Variable coloration
To know if it’s a male or a female:
- Male Betta Fish has yellowish brown or red-brown body, with rows of bright green spots and dark stripes on flanks. Fins colored green, red, blue or white
- Female Betta Fish has a smaller body and smaller fins, and mainly yellowish brown in color
These Beta Fish typically have a diet of small aquatic animals such as water fleas, worms and mosquito larvae. You can feed them floating flake food, frozen dried blood worms, live black worms or frozen brine shrimp once or twice a day. I don’t think you’ll have trouble looking for these in any pet/fish store. And please don’t overfeed them as this has been known to be a common cause of death.
They breed several hundred eggs and have an incubation period of 24-30 hours.
Lifespans of up to 2 years is the average for these fishes. In the wild, they are found in poor-oxygen environments so even in containers without filters, aerators, unlike most other aquarium fish they will be able to survive. This is why the Beta Fish is so popular with beginners of aquarium hobbyists.
Some basic reminders for fish hobbyist:
- These fish are top dwellers
- Males cannot be kept together
- Egg layers
- Tropical water temperature 75-86 deg Fahrenheit (24-30 deg Celsius)
- Keep water movement to a minimum (power filters and powerheads not suitable)
- Can be kept in a community of fish provided no other agressive fish and no male Fighting Fish are present
- Females usually don’t fight with each other and can be kept in the same tank
- Water should be kept at pH 7.0
- Temperature 75-86 deg Fahrenheit (24-30 deg Celsius)
- Males will blow a bubble nest when ready
- Females need a hiding place since males tend to be more aggressive during mating
- When ready to spawn, the pair will display intense coloration and will begin to circle each other under the bubble nest
- The male will then wrap himself around the female who has turned on her back
- The female will expel eggs, and the male will scoop up the eggs and place it on the nest
- The male will tend the nest
- Remove both male and female fish after two days after the fry have hatched, to avoid them eating the new-born
- Feed the fry small amounts of baby brine shrimp food
Beta Fish are compatible with Angelfish, Tetras, Plecos, Danios, Loaches, Livebearers, Rasboras, and Catfish.
Although Beta Fish | Betta Fish | Siamese Fighting Fish can live in poor oxygen environments, doesn’t mean they don’t require the same amount of oxygen as other fish. Their body makeup is unique in that they have a special respiratory organ that allows them to breathe directly from the surface. And that’s why they’re top dwellers.