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Betta splendens
Siamese Fighting Fish

 Age of Aquariums > Freshwater Fish > Siamese Fighting Fish - Betta splendens

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Betta_splendens_23.jpg (24kb)
Photo Credit: Deborah Claro

I owned a beautiful blue and purple betta in a 30 gallon tank for about a year and a half. He was so great and never picked on, or got picked on by, the other fish. He would do the prettiest things when he swam and everyone that saw the tank always commented on him. I would love to have a male and female pair, but can't seem to find females anywhere. Something I have learned from keeping my betta is to keep in mind that bettas are much slower than most other fish, so make sure to see to it that they get food. Other than that, they seem to do well in community tanks.

Contributed by (no name given)

The current fad here in N. Central Florida is the "ecosystem", a vase-shaped container with a male betta fish in the bottom, with colored glass marbles and a live or artificial plant in the neck of the vase. I have one, with a gorgeous pinkish gold colored fish that I named "Herman", and a peace lily as the live plant. OF COURSE, I know to feed my fish, as the woman I bought it from told me what to buy, but my uncle had raised them years ago, too. I saw a friend of mine yesterday, who showed me her new "ecosystem" and her betta fish, which she said replaced her other betta that had died. I said, "Well, you did feed it didn't you?", and she said "NO, THE MAN I BOUGHT IT FROM TOLD ME TO CUT THE PLANT ROOTS BACK ONCE A MONTH, AND THAT'S ALL I NEED TO FEED IT." I said to her, "Well, of course your fish starved it to death!", and told her what food to get. Whoever sold her the ecosystem should be charged with cruelty to animals or something. I can't believe people can be so STUPID!

Contributed by Kathy G.

A few weeks ago I agreed to take care of my daughter's male betta for the summer. I was unable to keep him in the 8 liter tank he came to me with - my office is around 17C most of the time. Those of you who are experienced aquarists will appreciate the education I received at the local pet store when I asked for a heater for the 8 liter tank. SO...I came home with an 80 liter tank (on sale for same price as 40 L). I only have this one betta to use as a sample, but I have to say that this guy loves the large tank. He seemed a bit overwhelmed the first day as he mapped out the tank, but by the next morning he was the king of his estate. I know that bettas adapt to small quarters, but after seeing this fish enjoy a 80 L tank I wouldn't feel right about having him in anything smaller. He does enjoy being near the surface (especially at meal time) but he also spends time at the bottom of the tank. He actively "explores" in the gravel, around plants - he even tastes the live plants. At times (usually after a meal) he performs the most graceful displays, swimming at high speeds from top to bottom of the tank, and in diagonal patterns. Then he rests - sometimes on the bottom (the first time I thought he was dead!) or he will squeeze into a space between tank equipment. At this moment he is pressing himself between the metal thermometer plate and the tank glass, so that I heard a CLICK as the metal flexed. I have to laugh at him when hegets hungry - he presses his face to the front corner edge of the tank and waits for me to drop in the food. Since I have the tank space I'm going to try to introduce three or four fish (non-betta) to make a community tank. I've found other people's comments useful in making a list of suitable fish. I hope I'll have a positive tale to tell. This is a very entertaining creature, and I recommend bettas to anyone who wants a hardy fish with personality.

Contributed by Margery Wilson

My betta Alpha gets along peacefully with my 2 silver dollars, bala shark, pictus catfish, platies and redtail shark. The only thing is at night time he seems to Flare at my other fish and has attacked my Silver Dollars, but they deserved it for taking his food.

Contributed by (no name given)

I recently purchased a beautiful red male Betta and placed him in my 2 meter tank. Quite a change for him, as he was kept in a little jar at the shop. At first I was a little worried on how he would perform in a large tank with an equally large filter which produces a fair bit of current in the water. Well Johnny Red seems to love his new environment. He loves running against the current, and he gets along very well with the rest of the fish, especially my Electric Yellows (Cichlids). So don't believe every word that people say about them. Do believe the one where you shouldn't be putting two males in the same tank though! When he gets tired, he just places himself in one of my many shelters within my tank. I have now also purchased a female Betta for him, but all she seems to be doing is hide behind rocks, even though she's never been attacked by any fish in my community tank. She has a completely different character to Johnny Red. Hopefully she will start showing herself more, especially to Johnny, who's already been strutting his stuff to her when he does actually catch her out of her hiding spot. I think these fish are excellent and I definately plan to breed them so I can have more of them.

Contributed by Brian Mahoney

I have a pair of Bettas. Each one in its own 40 liter tank, with dense vegetation and a Power Filter. The male is Burgundy Red and he seems to love playing in the water current caused by the filter cascade. Then, going to the calm area of the tank, he takes a break resting in a perched manner on the plants. Both look great, and healthy! I don't believe in small bowls for Bettas. I know they are territorial fishes and some people believe for being so territorial, they will be fine staying in the same spot for life. (Would you like to live in your closet). In the wild, they can move to many different places looking for food and for the chance to mate. Obviously in captivity they will get food without having to look for it and probably will not be selected to mate. Anyway, it looks very unnatural to me such a beautiful fish without a "cool" looking habitat. Giving your pet Betta at least a few liters of water to swim will give you much more opportunity to appreciate him!

Contributed by Gato

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