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Betta Fish Introduction
The Betta Fish or known as the Siamese fighting fish is a very elegant and sought after fish as a starter.
It is very colorful and they have different variations which are sold in your local aquarium stores.
The natural habitat is in rice paddies and still watered canals.
It would be very good to be considered as a first pet for children so that they can be taught to be responsible in caring for something.
Betta Fish are inexpensive and easily obtainable in local aquarium stores.
All the Betta species are small fishes and their sizes ranges from 2.5 cm ( 1 inch ) to 12.5 cm ( 5 inches ).
The Bettas can breathe atmospheric air with a unique organ called labyrinth.
This special organ allows them to breathe in extremely low oxygen water conditions that would otherwise be detrimental to other kinds of small fishes.
Their natural habitat is mostly in : rice paddies, slow-moving bodies of water, drainage ditches in rice paddies and big puddles.
During the mid to late 1800s, the king of Thailand took interest in betta fish because they are born to fight and very territorial.
The locals during that time would be selectively breeding them specifically to fight.
Naturally the King of course would keep his best fighters and great care would have been under taken.
One would think that the Betta Fish would fight to the death which is not the case.
When the bettas are brought into the arena and fight, there is one that will be always be retreating.
The one that retreats would be separated from the tank and would be a match that is lost.
Most of the fishes that we currently know is that they are kept in groups or schools.
This is not the case for the Betta Fish. They are highly territorial and likes to be independent which is evident in the wild.
If there are 2 males bettas in a tank they will have the tendency to fight each other so it wise to separate them.
But there are rare occasions that they can be kept together normally if it is a bigger tank and a lot of hiding places.
The female bettas can be held in groups but the tank should be at least 10 gallons.
But of course sometimes there will always be one female betta that will be the aggressor and should be separated immediately.
10 gallons tank is advisable and you will be needing a lot of plants and hiding places since by nature they are territorial.
You would also notice that some aquarium have a transparent divider and on each side is a male and a female.
Both of them like to put up a show on intimidation and have their gills flare out on each other.
However, when a female betta fish is fertile and ready to mate the appearance of horizontal lines on the bettas sides is prominent.
Betta fish normal habitat temperature is around 79 degrees, a small heater is required and relatively cheap
The fish is a meat eater, so it advised to feed them variety of shrimp and fish pellets or flakes
The Breeders have bred them to various fins and shapes to the discerning customer
They have a special organ called the labyrinth which enable them to breathe air outside water, did you notice that they go get some gulps of air on the surface occasionally ?
Bettas sometimes jump, so you have to make sure that there is enough clearance for them to be kept at bay
Do not overfeed bettas or else they will get sick and you will have to maintain the tank too often if the water gets too much spoiled food
Sometimes you noticed why there are bubbles on the surface of the water.
This is a way in attracting a female betta even there is none around it.
You can always buy an aquarium with a transparent divider so that you can place both male and female and observe the readiness in mating them
It is so unusual that after mating the male betta fish will chase away the female. The female would eat the eggs if she remains. This is so unusual for males to protect the eggs and the young.
The illustration above depicts the major organs of the Betta Fish.
What makes this fish unique as compared to the other tropical fish, is that it can survive on a low oxygen water conditions in the rice paddies in Cambodia and Thailand.
They have evolved a labyrinth organ which allows the Betta Fish to go to the surface to gulp air and immediately absorbed into their body.
Try not to overfeed you Betta Fish because they have extremely small stomach which is about the size of one of their eyes.
This type is fish is very beautiful specially when putting up a show with all the fins extended out.
When you go to your favorite per stores, you always see these Siamese fighting fish in small containers.
But if you wanted to make sure that they really live up to 3 years then the best aquarium size will be around 2.5 gallons to 5 gallons.
They can be mixed with other fish species such as rasbora, guppies, tetras, snails, Cory. The list is very extensive which will have a topic on its own.
Yes Betta Fish are very hardly but this is evident in the wild where there are flowing water.
It is very important that you have the proper filtration since the water is recycled and contains fish remains and ammonia.
This will lead into diseases.
Since we are in the northern hemisphere with four seasons, it is adamant that you have the proper regulated heater inside you fish tank too to maintain the 79 degrees in their normal habitat.
If the water is too cold this again will lead into illness.