This famous old favorite was imported into Europe during the last decade of the 19th century and has been popular ever since. It was originally renowned not just for its coloration but for its fighting qualities. As far as the aquarium hobby is concerned, however, the species’ ongoing popularity is owed to the exceptionally colorful long-finned varieties that have been developed over the years. This is a “must-keep” fish for every aquarist at some stage.
Other common names
- Siamese Fighter, Betta
- Southeast Asia, but self-sustaining populations have become established in nonnative locations e.g., Laos, Myanmar, and Colombia.
- Up to 2 1/2in (6cm).
- Males will fight (sometimes to the death), becoming territorial during breeding and aggressive toward females after spawning; otherwise, a tolerant species that should not be kept with boisterous tankmates.
- Wide range of live- foods and commercial formulations accepted.
- Densely planted (including some floating vegetation), with a number of shelters. Illumination not too bright. Soft, acid water. Temperature range: 75-82 F (24-28 C).
- Male builds a bubble nest at the water surface and guards the eggs and newly hatched fry for several days. Hatching takes about 1 day.