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Labyrinth Fish / Belontiidae / Siamese Fighting Fish

Siamese Fighting Fish
Betta splendens


Physical description: The Siamese Fighting Fish is an elongated, laterally compressed fish with an upturned mouth. The fins may be long and flowing, or cropped. Color varies, as do the fins.
Size/Length: To 2.8" (7 cm)
Similar species: Other Betta species
Habitat: Southeast Asia; inhabits shallow, marshy regions in Thailand, Malaysia
S: top
Aquarium: A tank of 8" (25 cm) with a capacity of with a capacity of 1/2 gallons (1.9 L) is adequate. Do not keep this fish in bowls smaller than 1/2 gallons (1.9 L). Cover the top as this species tends to jump.
Water chemistry: pH 6-8 (7.0), 2-25°dH, 73-86°F (23-30°C)
Social behavior: Males are well-known for their highly pugnacious behavior towards one another. If males are combined, fighting, and possibly death will occur. Males may also be belligerent towards females at spawning times, so it is recommended to keep several females with one male. In a community tank, Siamese Fighting Fish are easily picked on by fin-nipping and aggressive species.
Suggested companions: Colisa species, Corydoras, Trichopsis, small schooling fish, Pangio, Loricarids
FOOD: Flakes; live; Tubifex, insect larvae, Brine Shrimp
Sexual differences: Males are more colorful and have more elaborate fins.
Breeding techniques: Use a shallow spawning tank with no water current, plants, and retreats for females. The male constructs a bubble nest at the water's surface. After each pairing, the male pushes and spits the eggs up to the bubble nest. In all, 400-500 eggs are laid. Remove the female after spawning. The male cares for the eggs and should be removed after 24-36 hours, when the eggs hatch. The fry look like little hairs at the water's surface. Start feeding with micro foods and egg yolk. Later the fry can be fed with powdered dry foods.
Breeding potential: 6. Breeding is fairly easy is a well-maintained species tank lacking water current.
Remarks: Literally hundreds of color and fin variations are available. In parts of Southeast Asia, male fish are bet upon in fights with other males
Difficulty of care: 2. A hardy, well-known species that is best kept singly in a species tank.


By Rhett Butler   Mongabay.com