Crowntail Betta

The Crown Tail Betta has a striking, elaborate tail that differentiates it from other Bettas.

Betta Smaragdina

Betta smaragdina, or the Emerald green betta is a species of Betta. They are anabantoids, and breathe air.

Betta Splendens Dragon

features a rich strong base colour, often red, with the scales on the main part of the body a pale iridescent, sometimes copper colour.

Betta Spawning

Spawning Betta.

Betta Mahachai

The way to identify the Mahachai has green or blue gill plates with no wild spots on the tail rays.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Betta Feeding

Knowing the right way to feed your betta is fundamental, because not doing it right can have big consequences on your bettas health. Nothing is more stressful than dealing with a sick fish, right? So, let's do it right, and get rid from the calamity!

Here are some golden rules on feeding your betta.

First, select the proper food. Bettas are selective eaters. A betta specific pellet is ok, but live and frozen foods are preferable. The recommended diet includes frozen brine shrimp and frozen bloodworms.

The next rule is to not overfeed your Bettas. Carefully dose the meals, because even if the fish ate all you give him, he will produce so much more waist when overfed and the pollution level of the jar he is in will go beyond safe range, this problem is smaller if you keep your betta in a larger aquarium. Remember not to leave uneaten food in the Aquarium! Once your betta and rest of the fish is done eating, you must remove all uneaten left over food. If you do not remove it, it will punctually rot and cause havoc in the tank.

Bettas prefer to eat from the upper parts of the water column. They don’t really enjoy eating from the bottom of the tank. So before dropping the food in the tank, make sure you have his attention. Let him see the food, get it close to his face from the outside of the aquarium, let him check out what it is, and then there you go! Drop food in front of his nose. The best way is to drop a tiny bit of food--about 6 frozen brine shrimp, watch the bettas eat it all and then look at the belly, if it looks the same as it did before you fed, it’s ok to give them more, but always watch and make sure to make the second portion smaller than the first.

Your betta should go for the food right away, but if not, watch where the food sinks, and what the betta does. If more than 15 min he has not eaten the food yet, remove the food. Never let the water go cloudy. If it is already, then change it, as cloudy water will threaten your betta’s health. Normally, small bowls or containers should be changed at least twice a week. Larger tank can be changed once a week. And notice if the ammonia and nitrite levels are up the roof, because both are very bad for your Betta. Also be wary of harmful bacteria they can ruin your fish life, but don’t kill of all bacteria in the aquarium since a lot of bacteria is essential for a well functioning aquarium. 

During the pre-spawning period you can feed a wide variety of food, including blackworms, Grindal worms, fruit flies, brine shrimp, mosquito larvae and frozen blood worms (all are life except the frozen blood worms). During this period the adult fish may be fed 4 times per day or more depending on how close the fish are to being placed into the spawning tank.

You can start feeding your betta fry, 5 days after the spawning. Feed the fry several times per day, using a variety of foods (infusoria, boiled egg yolk, baby brine shrimp) made up of small particles.

Male or Female

Male or Female?

Differentiating the sex of your Betta can sometimes be difficult. Many assume that males are colourful and have long fins, and females are drab, with short fins. This is not strictly true at all, now that bettas are domesticated. Forget about it.

A few different ways to sex your Bettas:


Male Betta:

Male Bettas generally have longer fins, while females have shorter finnage. Although, this isn't always true, as some males (such as the plakat) do have sort fins, while some females can have really long finnage.

Female Betta:

Notice how she is blue? Yes, females do have just as much colouring as males. It is a myth that all female bettas are brown - this may have been true in the past, but they have since been domesticated.

Males generally have shorter bodies than females. This can be confusing to read, but females tend to have longer, rounder bodies, while males have shorter, flatter bodies.


Females have egg spots. They look like a grain of salt, and are located on her belly, between her ventral and anal fins. This spot is the ovipositor tube, which the eggs will come out off during spawning. Sometimes males, however, have something that does look like an egg spot, just to be confusing.


Males generally have longer ventral fins (the two long 'dangly' fins in front of the Bettas vent). So if you have a short finned Betta (such as a Plakat), and notice it has very long ventrals, most likely it will be a male.

Notice the difference between ventral length?

Ventrals on females generally go to the same length as their anal (bottom fin), where male ventrals are a bit longer on plakats.


Males usually have more of a 'Betta beard', which is really a membrane that is located underneath their gill covers, and is properly named the branchiostegal membrane. This 'beard' sticks out when flaring. However, females also have this membrane, although it is usually smaller.

BUBBLE NESTS: Males blow bubble nests, while as a rule, females don't. Although, some females have been known to do so. I've had a few females blow themselves nests (and they had spawned producing eggs, so they were definitely females).

FLARING: Males flare and display to other males and females. Females also flare at other Bettas, but aren’t generally as showy as males.

Betta Anatomy

The beautiful Betta is gifted by Mother Nature a body which not only helps its tough fight other co-occupants around but also take care of the small fry like a good parent.

The main parts of a Bettas body are :-

1. Mouth
2. Eyes
3. The ‘Beard’
4. The Finnage
5. Labyrinth
6. Various Internal organs


The jaws of an adult Betta are as impressive or evens more impression then the jaw of a giant White Shark! The lower jaw of a Betta has sharp shredding teeth, which can tear of body of brine shrimps, worms, mosquito larvae and other such water organisms. A study reveals that on proportionate basis to the body size, Betta jaws are bigger and stronger then those of a White Shark.

Behind the sharp teeth, lies a small place to keep the fries. Male Bettas are hold the tiny fries in this area and take them to the bubble nest and safely release them. No fry is hurt by the teeth situated just millimeters ahead of them.


On each side of the head lies a bulging eye. Eyes are protruding and have black colored iris. The rest of the eye could be of any color. A Betta cannot blink its eye. The eyes move as per the movement of the target. The sharp eyesight is one of the prime reasons to explain how Bettas are highly efficient warriors of their habitat.


A Betta has a membrane under its gill plate cover. The membrane sticks out when the gills are closed and is seen as a distinct part of the fish body. It gives a beard like look, hence it is often known as the Beard of a Betta. For a dark, blue or red colored Betta, this “beard” would be normally dark. For Bettas with yellow, white or other light colored bodies, the “beard” would exactly match the body color. When a Betta opens its gill plates, the protruding membrane would make it look bigger and hence mightier then it actually is. This would help it eventually scare away adversaries. In females, this distinct feature is not clearly visible as compared to their male counterparts.


Broad colorful attractive fins form the most visually attractive part of a Betta’s body. Fins start getting developed from about 8th week of the birth of a Betta. Bettas younger then 8 weeks have tiny usually microscopic fins. Around 2 month after their birth, anal fin starts developing. The caudal and dorsal fins soon follow. The female fin development stops after a certain period. However studies show that male fins continue to develop in its entire life span. The fins are a few cell thick and hence don’t hamper free movement of the fish. However this frequent movement, diseases often leads to wear and tear of the fins. The fins due to this tear and drop off. Some varieties of Betta have the ability to simply drop off an extra large fin. The fin then again grows and the cycle continues. Every newly developed fin has a different coloration then the previous one. Bettas with a large full-developed caudal fin are called Half Moon Bettas due to the shape of the fine, which resembles a half moon.


Apart from breathing oxygen through its gills, Bettas can breathe air from the surface of water. This is possible with the assistance of the organ called Labyrinth.

Labyrinth is located in the gill chamber and above the gill plates. It has a set of bony plates covered by a membrane. As soon as the air comes in contact, it is inhaled in. By gaseous exchange, the oxygen is passed straight to the venous blood in labyrinth and the other waste contents of the air are exhaled out. However the size of labyrinth in a Betta is small. Hence it cannot take more amount of oxygen in the one trip to surface. Hence a Betta makes frequent visit to the water surface. In shallow waters or water with low amount of oxygen, labyrinth plays a key part in ensuring that oxygen levels are maintained in the body of Betta.

If a Betta is kept outside water, it can survive longer then other fishes due to respiration through the labyrinth.


The critical organs of the Betta namely, Heart, Stomach, Liver, Spleen, Brain are situated in the first half of body. This organ can be found in the belly area of the Betta just before the beginning of the anal fin. Near the beginning of the anal fin is the anus of the Betta. Female Bettas have an opening, which looks, like a white spot in this area. This is used to release eggs during spawning.

Betta Care

Setting up the aquarium

Firstly, wash anything you’re putting in the tank (including the tank) thoroughly. Do not use soap or any sort of cleaning products as this can kill your Betta. I rinse in hot water (I wear washing gloves so my hands don’t burn), and then hose out, and leave to dry in the sun for a few hours. After cleaning, put gravel in the tank. Add a plate on top of the gravel, and carefully pour the water to the halfway point, pouring the water onto the plate. This ensures the water doesn’t stir everything up. At the halfway point put in plants anyway you like - live is best, my bettas LOVE Java Moss, it's super easy, and helps with water quality. Although, if you don't like live, silk plants are the next best option. With silk plants, the Betta’s long fins won’t get caught and torn, which leaves them open to disease. If you want decorations, just make sure they aren’t sharp or have anything the Betta’s fins can get caught on.

Tip: brushing a piece of lady's stocking against an ornament/fake plant is a good way to determine if it will tear your Betta's finnage. If it snags - even in the least - it will damage your Betta. Bettas are tropical fish, so the ideal temperature should be 25-28Âșc. A heater will keep the water temperature stable at this temperature. Without a heater, there are too many drastic temperature fluctuations, and this leaves fish open to disease. As discussed earlier, Bettas are tropical fish and need warmer water to thrive.

Filters will, well, filter your Betta's water. Water changes are still required, however, but it does lessen them, and keep the water quality better between them.I highly recommend sponge filters. Although small, sponge filters filter water sufficiently, using both mechanical and biological filtration. They also do not provide a strong current in the water, and Bettas get stressed out by currents. Air pumps are required to work sponge filters.

TIP: Air pumps can be quite noisy, and I've found that if you put the pump above the water level, it is quieter. Placing something soft under the pump helps, too. Water conditioners take out any harmful things such as chlorine that is in tap water. Aging water also helps to evaporate chlorine too, as some conditioners take a while to work.

NOTE: just because you age the water, doesn’t mean you don’t need water conditioner. Always use the directed amount of conditioner, and you only need to treat the water you’re putting in.

Depending on the size of your tank and if you have a filter or not, will determine on how often you will need to clean your tank water. Usually small weekly changes are required. Use a small siphon, remove any dirt/waste/uneaten food. Make sure to get in that gravel, and don't forget behind any ornaments! On a basic water change, on a tank, removing roughly 20-30% of the total water volume is ideal.


Before you get your Betta, make sure it has a home to come to. Cycling your aquarium before hand is very important. Basically an aquarium is a miniature ecosystem, so a balance must be made before adding livestock. A tank should have a sufficient amount of beneficial bacteria in it. The beneficial bacteria essentially get rid of waste, which fish produce.

Fish waste is Ammonia (NH3).
Without beneficial bacteria, ammonia builds up, and that is toxic to fish. Aquariums take time to develop beneficial bacteria, and the process of the tank establishing, is called cycling. There are types of beneficial bacteria which use Ammonia as part of their metabolism. This converts

the Ammonia to Nitrite (NO2).
Unfortunately, Nitrite is also toxic to fish, but slightly less so than Ammonia. However, another type of beneficial bacteria used Nitrite for their metabolism. The Nitrite is then converted to Nitrate (NO3). Nitrates are far less toxic to fish than Ammonia or Nitrite, but still shouldn’t be allowed to build up. To stop the build up of Nitrates, waterchanges must be done. From here, the cycle is complete. This can take anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks, depending if beneficial bacteria was seed from another established tank (by placing in filter media, aquarium ornaments, or substrate. Water from an established tank doesn’t hold much Beneficial Bacteria). During the cycling process, don’t add all the fish at once. If the tank goes from empty, or barely stocked, to fully stocked quickly, the bacteria colony will not be able to cope with the sudden increase of waste (ammonia). It is best to add fish slowly, getting only one two at a time, and slowly increasing the number over a few weeks.

To ensure the tank stays cycled and healthy, weekly partial waterchanges are to be done.

It is important to never do a full water change, or scrub out tank ornaments, substrate (gravel), or filter media. If this is done, the beneficial bacteria will be washed out, and the cycling process must restart. If your fish is sick, it is best to medicate in a separate tank or bucket, rather than straight into the aquarium (unless the package says it is safe for beneficial bacteria). Most medications will kill off beneficial bacteria, as well as the disease. Don’t add chlorinated water to the aquarium. Chlorine is harmful both to fish and beneficial bacteria. Use water conditioner to remove all chlorine and other harmful chemicals from the water.


When feeding your Betta, there are many choices. Betta’s are carnivores (meat eaters) and in the wild will eat any small insects that happen to land on the water.

Freeze-Dried Food

Freeze dried food are inexpensive and have a long shelf life.

Although, they can easily create constipation and swim bladder problems. Some brands can have bacteria in the feed, and cause sick Bettas. For these reason’s many Betta owners stay away from freeze dried food.

Live Food

Live food is the best for your Betta.

Cultures are available for you to grow your own food, but can be a bit of a hassle if you only have one or two Bettas. Brine Shrimp, blackworms, mosquito larvae, and bloodworms are great all choices!

Frozen Food

Frozen food is often found in Fish and Pet stores. They are a great option for Bettas, I use frozen bloodworms and brine shrimp as a treat - my bettas love them!

Flakes and Pellets

Flakes and pellets are a very popular choice. There are many varieties, and can be found in any fish or pet store. Try to look for dry food for Bettas, as it is made to suit their dietary needs.


Peas? Well, actually peas can be fed to Betta’s to prevent/cure constipation. I use frozen peas that are already cooked, and take one or two peas per Betta, pop it in a cup of hot water to thaw. After that, peel the shell off the pea (pricking it with a toothpick, and squeezing the pea works well), then cut it up into small pieces.

Lastly, cut the sharp point of a toothpick and put the pea on it.

To feed to your Betta, place it on the water surface and wriggle it around a bit to get your Betta thinking it is live food. Your Betta may not take it at first, but be persistent. Once he eats it and finds it as food, next time your Betta will gobble it up. Peas can be feed to your Betta to prevent constipation. A weekly 24-48hr fast is recommended, followed by peas the next day. This helps clear out your Bettas digestive system.


With all these choices, I find variety is best. Just remember don’t overfeed; forget the food directions that say to feed your Betta whatever they can eat in a few minutes. Healthy Betta’s will happily eat themselves sick. A little food goes a long way – after all, the Betta’s stomach is about the size of one of its eyeballs.


Other Bettas
In the wild, Betta’s would rarely kill each other in a fight. Once defeated, the loser will just simply swim away, as there were thousands of acres of water. It wasn’t uncommon for a male wild Betta could have up to a square meter of territory. This can’t quite happen in the aquarium, but they settle for however big their tank is. If two males share, there isn’t enough room for both so they will fight until one leaves, but since that can’t happen, they kill each other. Separate tanks are therefore needed for each male. Even a pair will fight, and cannot be housed together. If not breeding, there should always be only one Betta per tank.

Females on the other hand, can be kept together. If together there should be at least more than five, this ensures there won’t be a strong pecking order where one would be consistently picked on.

When having females together, make sure there is plenty of space with lots of hiding places for stressed females to retreat. Sometimes, there would be one female who is a bully, and she should be removed to ensure the safety of the other Bettas. Although, like I said with only having more than three females together, I have two females who just love to be together by themselves, and even seem depressed when apart - it all depends on the personality of the individual fish. Bear in mind, female Bettas can also get quite feisty, and sometimes sororities just don't work. It really depends on your Betta’s personality.

For people with multiple Bettas, there are many choices on housing.

Betta barracks are a good idea, say if you have a large tank with a Betta who won’t get on. Just be sure to get the largest possible. The bad thing about these, are they are usually too small to permanently house adult Bettas. Divided tanks are also a good idea, but there are ones available that have holes in the dividers so you only need one filter/heater, and they are a good option. The only downside is, if one gets sick, there is a good chance the other fish will as well, as they share the same water. It’s a good idea to card fish in barracks or divided tanks. Constantly being able to see another Betta is stressful, and eventually they will not flare up anymore. Cutting the plastic from the cover of a display folder is a cheap option, and it works well.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Betta Fish

Betta Fish is “Siamese fighting fish”, The Betta Fish is a colorful freshwater tropical fish known to as a “fighting fish”. Betta fish are originally from Asia. Some call paddies fish as well where farmers rare them to keep the mosquito larva away.
One of the most common mistakes when you have a betta fish is to think that should be isolated from the rest. There are many stories about betta fish fighters and aggressive that do not always have to be true. Although betta fish do not get along with their own kind, that does not mean they can not be put to live in a betta community aquarium with other betta fish. But in others word if the betta fish been separate for 5 minutes they will siblings each others and getting ready to fight.

Many people attract to betta fish mainly due to colourful features of the fish.