About Betta Splendens (Siamese Fighting Fish)
A native of Thailand (once known as Siam) and neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, the name Betta comes from the Siamese word Ikan Bettah, which is what the Siamese Fighting Fish used to be called. Currently, in Thailand, the fighting fish is known as pla-kad, which means “tearing or biting fish”, referring to the male betta’s tactic of biting and tearing its opponent’s fins and tail.
Although there are over 60 species belonging to the betta genus – which in turn belongs to the Osphronemidae family – the betta splendens (Siamese Fighting Fish) is the most popular. They are usually about 2.5 inches long and originate from Thailand, Malaysia some parts of China, Vietnam and Indonesia. They are found in shallow waters, such as ponds, rice paddies and slow moving streams.
From its humble beginnings as a drab, brownish-green little fish floating around In the rice paddies and canals, lakes and rivers of what was once Siam, the betta splendens has become guest in royal palaces and in far flung lands at the same time that it has metamorphosed into one of the most spectacular and visually engaging fish ever collected. Its fierce aggressiveness is what first brought this minuscule fish to the attention of humans.
Today, since bettas are mainly kept as pets in aquariums, they are prized mainly for the dazzling array of color combinations and fin shapes they possess, and breeders continue to come up with even more spectacular colors and shapes. They come in many colors such as red, orange, blue, green, purple and white. The males are of much brighter and are more colorful than the females and have larger fins. Their life span is about 2 years and is an ideal fish pet for beginners to look after.
Betta fish housing and caring
Fish tank: One male Betta can do well in small bowls without aeration but I advise you to use an aquarium that holds at least 2.5 gallons of water that will give some space for Betta tank decorative items such as rocks, live plants, plastic items, etc.
Even though Bettas look like normal fish, they are unlike most because they can breathe air the same as humans. It does this by coming to the surface of the water. This is why they are easy to keep, it is not necessary to have an air pump or filtration.
Never keep two males in the same tank as they will fight to the death (as the common name suggests, Siamese fighting fish). You can keep more than one female in the same tank. Bettas can be kept with other fish. They only fight with their own species, but you must make sure that you don’t put other aggressive fish in that may nip the betta’s fins.
Plants and decors: Another good thing to have in the tank is live aquarium plants as Bettas enjoy resting on the leaves. There is a plant named “Betta Bulbs” that will be great to use. If you don’t like to use live plants in your tank, you should equip it with a hollow log and a bed leaf hammock that will provide the fish peaceful places near the surface to rest and gulp air.
To put plants in the tank you should put in some gravel, but don’t forget that gravel gets dirty very quickly and needs to be cleaned regularly.