In the Introduction we consciously used a male Approach when we briefly talked about Betta Splendens. That’s not for nothing. The striking Character, Accuracy in Care and beautiful Appearance is especially true for the male Betta Variant.
You know: Betta Splendens is also called the (Siamese) Fighting Fish. Therefore, we use these Terms on this Page.
The female Characteristics of the male Betta
In nature, it is almost always that the beauty is claimed by the male side of the animal kingdom. This is also true for Betta Splendens. When thinking of the keywords: graceful, hautain, colorful, mysterious, characteristic and temperamental, one tends to say that these are mostly female characteristics, but these are also the (outer) features of a Betta Splendens male.
The male Siamese Fighting Fish is an impressive appearance in your aquarium due to its long, graceful fins and tail, and last but not least its striking bright colors. With this ‘pretty boy’ in your aquarium, decoration is almost superfluous(concerning only the optical aspects of ornaments, of course). When the Betta Male is swimming, it seems like the wind would gently wave alongside him.
Besides, the Betta Splendens female is a little bit in it. She’s also nice to look at but smaller than her male counterpart. But she has got a shorter tail, shorter fins and is a lot less colorful.
Now that you know how to split a Fighting Fish male and female, it’s time to set up a Betta aquarium. So how to set an aquarium up if you want to keep the flaring up Fighting Fish?
Setting up a Betta Tank
Betta Splendens usually occur in the top layer of your aquarium, close to the surface which is rich in oxygen. They need very dense vegetation to hide. A handy checklist to optimize the aquarium:
• 1 male on +/- 3 females. Betta Splendens men often become aggressive when they go couples. Thus, their assertiveness towards the female sex can best be divided over different females.
• Size of aquarium: +/- 100 centimeters (> 120 liters). Supposing there will be 1 male and 3 females.
(For keeping just one male Betta, far less space is needed.
You can take a look here, where we review Tanks for “Single” Betta Males.)
• A dark bottom. This gives a safe feeling for the Siamese Fighting Fish and its colors are getting brighter.
• Temperature: 77 to 83 degrees. Higher temperatures are desirable, Betta Splendens easily survives a warm summer.
• A soft filter, only. The Fighting Fish loves calm, almost stationary water. A filter is important, however, to keep the water quality and water levels healthy. But it may not produce a strong current.
• Dense planting, so get yourself many aquarium plants. Provide plenty of shelter. Place the aquarium plants in dense bushes, especially at the edges of the tank. Also choose plants that grow to and / or on the water surface. Examples of plants that you can use include: floating plants, Vallisneria and Java Ferns.
Symptoms and Counter-Measures against (beginning) Betta’s Diseases
The condition of and inside the aquarium is the main cause of diseases for Betta Splendens.
Do you notice any of the following symptoms on your fighting Fish? Then take immediate action.
Three General Tips to prevent Betta Splendens´ Diseases
- Test the parameters of your water regularly. A bad water condition irrevocably leads to diseases.
- Feed moderately. Too much food that continues to float in the water pollutes the aquarium water. You do not have to feed your fish every day.
Every day can be fine too. But does food fall down onto the soil? That’s a sign you fed too much.
- Be aware of new fish in the aquarium. Adding new fish is always at risk of new fish diseases. Especially White Tip. Therefore, keep an eye on deviating behavior for the weeks after inserting them.
Talking about new fishes… Are there actually suitable aquariums for the hot-blooded Fighting Fish?
Suitable and unsuitable Tank Mates for Betta Splendens
Did you set-up your aquarium in the meantime and is it well decorated? Then make sure to put the Betta Splendens together with other fish that share their requirements regarding an aquarium. And especially do not add active or assertive species.
Betta Splendens cannot do with: Veiltails, Guppy’s, Cychlids and Fire Shrimp. These aquarium mates are too busy and / or too proactive.
Choose fish that is not too curious and rather gentle in nature such as: the Chinese Danio, the Corydora Catfish, the Ember Tetra and the Harlequin Rasbora.
Is there more information about this interesting Siamese Fighting Fish? – Sure. We’ve collected some short facts for you.
5 nice and useful Facts about Betta Splendens Always suitable for a chat
with other aquarium hobbyists:
Betta females are good to read: she tells you exactly how she feels. Does she have no stripes? Then she feels good. With horizontal stripes on her body she feels uncomfortable. And easy for the Betta men, with vertical stripes she is willing to pair.
Light stripes on the body of the Betta female would be a Sign that she is anxious.
The name (Siamese) Fighting Fish has arisen because male Bettas fight with each other until one of the two opponents either flees or dies. So never hold more than one male in an aquarium. In Thailand, they still organize “Fights” between Betta males. They do not let the fish die, but seperate as soon as there is an obvious winner. In my eyes, this should be banned for the health of the Betta.
Of course you do not want it, but it’s not harmful if a Betta Splendens´ long tail is torn by a Tank-Mate, an irritable aquarium plant or while pairing. A torn Betta Splendens tail recovers itself or grows again.
Betta males spread their graceful tail and fins to impress their male opponents. Do you want to see how threatening a Betta can look? Then put a mirror in front of him. Even though we find it a nice fact, we want to mention that it is very stressful for your fish.
Haven´t cleaned your aquarium for some time?
Siamese Fighting Fish can survive in oxygen-poor water using their respiratory system: the Labyrinth. Through the Labyrinth the Betta Splendens breathes air above the water surface. Small blood vessels in the labyrinth absorb oxygen from the inhaled air. The remaining air (without oxygen) is again exhaled as a burp. These little burps, or small bubbles, together form a foam nest. This foam nest is the basis for breeding Betta Splendens.
General Rules for cultivating the Betta Splendens
For a successful Betta breeding you must literally and figuratively have something in your house. Cultivation is best done in
a separate breeding tank, which meets the following conditions:
• Water temperature: about 82 – 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
• Water level: about 6 inches. The young Bettas then are able to breathe above the water surface and the male can easily catch fallen eggs during spawning.
• Flow: Minimum, so that the foam nest is not disturbed.
• Vegetation: nice plants giving shelter like Cabomba. You may add Vallisneria that is used as an enrichment of the foam nest giving it an additional hold point.
Breeding Bettas successfully in 7 Steps:
Put the Betta male into the breeding tank around 6 inches deep and let him get used to a it for about a week. Sometimes he begins to make his foam nest, sometimes he has to see a female first.
When the male is used to the tank, you can add one of the females from your aquarium to the breeding tank. Siamese Fighting Fish are selective in choosing their mating partner. You’ll see if a Betta Splendens male or female has a sentence to mate or not:
• The man does not spread his fins and pushes his throat pocket down. He is annoyed by the female and does not want to pair her at the moment.
• The man spreads his fins and he puts his throat pocket up. He tries to impress the female and wants to pair her.
• The female shows horizontal stripes, her color fades, or she slides. She is anxious and (yet) not interested.
• The female swims in the open space and tries to get close to the foam nest. She is willing to mate and waits for the male to accept her by his nest.
(You do not need to do anything.)
When the male and female have accepted each other, the fish seek attention. They “hug” each other gently and “shake” with their bodies. The male helps the female to throw her eggs off.
(You do not need to do anything.)
The eggs are located on the tail of the male where they are fertilized. The male brings the eggs to his foam nest.
Take care of the male after pairing. If he becomes aggressive towards the female, you should remove her from the breeding tank for her best. The male will take care of the eggs.
(You do not need to do anything.)
The eggs hatch after about 72 hours. The young Bettas can swim regularly after a few days.
Remove the Betta male from the tank, as he may see his own children as an addition to his meal plan. Feed the young Bettas about twice a day with powdered fish food, Liquifry or vinegar eels.
Betta Splendens breeding seems to be easy, but sometimes it takes a lot of effort to do a successful breeding.
So having patience in particular important. Even if you care well for them and provide the right equipment and surroundings, the character
and the “mood” of the Fighting Fish matter a lot.
Here are three more additional tips:
To speed up the egg deposition, slowly increase the water temperature to a maximum of 86 degrees F.
Vallisneria is also a perfect plant in the Betta aquarium, because the males use Vallisneria as an extra support for their foam nest. The Fighting Fish easily weave the plant through the bubbles of the foam nest.
It may sometimes be helpful to feed Bettas with live or deep-frozen food to stimulate spawning.
Has the breeding been successful? Don´t be surprised if you suddenly have a new Betta Splendens species swimming around.
The Siamese Fighting Fish has been overbred, so that a new variant can always occur.
Betta Splendens Species
The Siamese Fighting Fish have various variations and colors and can contain one, two or more colors. They occurs in red, blue, turquoise, orange,
white, purple or a variation on it. Due to the numerous variations, after each cultivation there is a chance of a new variant.
Did you know that even world-wide special Betta shows are being organized for the most remarkable culture?
We put the best-known varieties of Betta Splendens in a row.
Veiltail. Recognizable to her long, torn tail. These are the best-selling Betta Splendens, but at the same time the least “special” variant within the Betta species.
Half Moon. When spreading its tail, a ‘half moon’ is formed in a perfect 180 degrees. This species originates from recessive genes, so cultivating a pure Half Moon is virtually impossible.
Plakat. These are short-finned Bettas, not to be confused with female Bettas. Matches most to the original (wild) Betta form and is most commonly used in ‘fighting’.
Triangle (Delta Betta). Recognizable by the tail fin that can spread like a triangle. The Delta variant is much different from the Half Moon variation. Difference: The Half Moon Betta can spread its tail at an angle of 180 degrees, a Delta Betta cannot do this.
Round Tail. This variation Betta has a tail with rounded corners that together form a “D”. Again, this variant is often confused with the Half Moon. Difference: The tail of a half moon has sharp edges, a round tail has round edges at the end of its tail.
Spade tail. Recognizable by its small tail, which has a broad base and becomes narrower towards the end. The shape of his tail looks like the spades on playing cards. Not widespread at all.
Double tail. This variant has a shorter body and the tail fin of this Betta is divided into two pointed parts. This is a variation on the short-finned poster. The shape of the tail is a genetic disorder. Due to its short body, this variant is more susceptible to problems caused by water parameters etc..
Crown tail. A variation in which the tail opens into a kind of several spikes. Due to its ‘rough’ and unique appearance, it became very popular.
Rose tail. Excessive branches of the fins, which makes the tail resemble a rose petal. The species originated by cultivating the “perfect” Half Moon variant. Striking are the extreme branches and overlaps of his tail.