Betta Tankmates – Choosing Roomies For Your Betta Splendens

March 12, 2013

Betta Tankmates – Choosing Roomies For Your Betta Splendens
By Elizabeth Christopher

Betta tankmates have to be chosen as carefully as a person chooses a roommate. Pick the wrong betta tankmates, and your fish will suffer. Choose the wrong roommate for yourself and you may suffer. You get the idea. Let’s take a look at some betta tankmates that will allow your fish to live a long, happy and healthy life with good neighborly interaction.

The right betta mates need to understand that he is living with a fish that can be surly, and even downright nasty at times. The perfect partner will allow his finny friend room to be himself, and shouldn’t clash lest there be dire consequences.

Apple Snail with Betta Fish

Apple Snail with Betta Fish

1 – Apple Snails

Apple snails are a great addition to a betta tank. These snails are small at birth, but can reach a size of 4 – 6 inches when adult, and add a peaceful nature to your betta. Bettas typically ignore them.

2 – Cory Catfish

Cory Catfish are the most common catfish kept in aquariums. Since they prefer the bottom of the tank, they typically do not run afoul of the middle to top-dwelling betta fish. They are hardy and very easy to breed and care for.

3 – Dwarf Frog

Betta tankmates need to be non-similar to the betta. Bettas attack other fish that resemble themselves. That is why a dwarf frog or two make such a diverse friend for your betta tank and a wonderful visual addition to your tank.

4 – Neon Tetras

Neon tetras are small (one inch max.), inexpensive fish that add motion and vibrant color to any tank. They respond extremely well with any betta fish.

Neon Tetras with Betta Fish

Neon Tetras with Betta Fish

Remember that every betta fish has a distinctive personality. What works for one betta may not work for the next one. And when your betta mates, all bets are off, and a previous friend can become a foe in your fighting fish’s eyes. Don’t forgot that you should never keep more than one inch of fish per gallon of aquarium. If you follow these rules, you should be able to place some great betta tankmates with your beautiful betta splendens that will provide you with a full, visual experience.

Want to know how to triple your betta’s lifespan? Then get the book pet store owners don’t want you to read. An acclaimed 25 year betta expert (and my good friend) reveals incredible tips to give your betta the healthiest, happiest, longest life. Available for immediate download at THIS LINK.
Beth C.

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Why Does My Betta Fight? Its All in the Breeding!

March 10, 2013

Have ever asked yourself the question, “Why does my betta fight?” In Thailand (formerly Siam) people bet on the outcome of a betta fight, and raising and breeding betta fish (called Pla Kat in Thailand) specifically for fighting has become a nationwide hobby. The increased popularity of this “sport” over the last several hundred years has actually made the betta a much more aggressive fish than nature intended, but shortened the betta lifespan. Let’s take a look at the way breeding has given your beautiful Betta Splendens its fierce nature.

Betta Fish Fighting

Betta Fish Fighting

Ever since American C. Tate Regan named this colorful fish Betta Splendens (splendid betta) in 1909, hundreds of color and fin varieties have been bred, but few know that the color of a betta has a lot to do with how aggressive he is. Going back hundreds of years, a betta’s colors were tracked, and if the offspring of a particular betta were noted to be more aggressive than another, the coloring was noted, and bred then with other bettas of another agressive coloration, creating a particularly nasty fish in an entirely new color variation. Lineage can often be tracked back several generations to a particular color or fin style.

When weaker fish were bred, as they proved to be less aggressive, they were discarded. Nobody wanted weak fish in a betta fight! Because of this, after hundreds of years, the fish you now see in your local pet store are much more aggressive and fighting-inclined than nature intended. Just think, your betta might be the ancestor of a great fighting champion. Hail betta!

Further evidence in favor of the breeding argument is the fact that a betta fight between two Pla Kat Tung (a betta raised in nature) lasts only about fifteen minutes. However, a betta fight between two Pla Kat Mor (commercially grown betta) can last up to six hours.

The best fighters fall into three categories.

1 – Hokmokwai

This betta has a gray-blue/green body and no red coloration in its unpaired fins, with black pelvic fins.

2 – Angchae

The Angchae has a totally green body with its unpaired fins only half red.

3 – Honkamten

This fish is identified by a brown body with rows of green spots and a crescent pattern on the tail fin.

A betta fight generally never leads to death, it is more chasing and nipping, so a healthy fighting fish can be used for years. Pet-store bettas don’t usually live longer than six months, though the betta lifespan can be stretched up to five years if proper steps are taken and the tank is maintained properly. There are basically three secret ingredients to raising a healthy, long-living Siamese fighting fish; tank conditions, proper diagnosis of disease (betta get sick very easily), and tank maintenance.

Want to know how to triple your betta’s lifespan? Then get the book pet store owners don’t want you to read. An acclaimed 25 year betta expert (and my good friend) reveals incredible tips to give your betta the healthiest, happiest, longest life. Available for immediate download at THIS LINK.
I have arranged for $20 in free bonuses for you, and a discounted price! But this is a limited time offer. Wanna see what you’ll get? GO HERE for details.

Bettas show left-and right-hand preferences !

March 9, 2013

The Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens, not only shows right- and left-hand preferences but also has accompanying body asymmetries according to research published in a recent issue of Behavioral Brain Research.

Lead researcher Yuichi Takeuchi aimed to answer three separate questions:

  • In a display of aggression, would betta fish present one side to an opponent in preference to the other side?
  • Are there are differences in appearance between the left and right side of the betta fish?
  • Are differences in betta body shape linked to which side the fish presented?

Bettas prove ideal fish for such experiments, as Takeuchi explains: “Betta splendens show intensive aggressive behavioural patterns” and “remarkably erect the operculum during these social situations”.

In the first phase of the experiment, Takeuchi found that when placed in a mirrored, hexagonal tank¬† just over half of the betta fish showed a left or right-sided preference for displays of aggressions: “lefty” bettas were more likely to present and flare their left gill cover at the mirror image of themselves, while “righty” fish would do the opposite.

Betta Fish Flaring

Betta Fish Flaring

In the second stage of the experiment, the researchers measured tiny differences in the body shapes of the fishes, specifically looking at the angle at which the spine met the head.  The overwhelming majority of betta fish had a slight left- or right-sided bend in their backbone.

Finally, Takeuchi compared the two sets of results and found that fish that were already identified as lefties had a subtle bend in their spine to the left while righties would most likely bend to the right, suggesting a link between body shape and left/right preference.

Takeuchi admits that the test may lead to more questions than answers, agreeing that “The reason for the relationship between behaviour laterality… and morphological asymmetry in Betta Splendens is not clear”, and that perhaps these results actually mean that it is time to “re-examine the widespread behavioural laterality in fish”.

“Want to know the Betta Facts for successful betta set-up and care? I have enjoyed raising healthy, happy bettas for over 20 years. Head to this special web site for some incredible betta care tips (and a limited time offer). See you there!”
Elizabeth Christopher

Don’t forget to share with your friends through the social buttons below! Let’s save as many Betta Fish as we can, and give them the best lives possible.


Published: Dr Claire Inness Wednesday 19 May 2010, 2:21 pm

posted in Practical Fishkeeping at

Betta Tank Selection – Choosing the Right Betta Aquarium

April 15, 2010

Betta Tank Selection – Choosing the Right Betta Aquarium
By Elizabeth Christopher

Betta tank selection should be done before you buy any fish. Knowing which of the many offerings will make the best betta aquarium for your fish is not that difficult though. Let’s take a look at the pluses and minuses of the different betta tank styles.

We have all seen the tiny betta fish bowls in the pet stores. “If it is good enough for a pet shop owner, isn’t it good enough for me?” you think. Unfortunately, pet shop owners do not always do what is best for their fish when it comes to tank size. If all fish had a labyrinth organ in their head like the betta splendens, and could survive in very little water with no water movement, they would all be in the tiniest betta fish bowls and cups they could find.

There are basically three decisions you face when choosing a betta tank. Size, material and shape of our betta aquarium are the three criteria we are going to cover.

Betta Tank Size – Tiny bowl or 50 gallon?

As mentioned previously, bettas are kept in tiny cups or betta fish bowls not because they thrive there, but because that is the cheapest way pet stores can display them. When a betta is moved to a larger betta house, he immediately begins to show health improvements. His colors become more vivid, he gets much more exercise, and through his interactions with his surroundings, begins to develop a very unique personality. I have used all sizes and shapes, and recommend nothing smaller than a five gallon betta aquarium. A ten gallon tank is preferred.

Betta Aquarium Material – Plastic, acrylic or glass?

Most people do not think twice about the makeup of their betta tank. They grab one that is pretty or on sale. But the construction of your betta aquarium is super important. Never choose plastic! Plastic scratches easily, can fade in sunlight, and can become cloudy or foggy over time. Glass is the most common, and sometimes the least expensive, but the only drawback with glass is it is prone to breakage if struck.

Glass does give a great visual appeal to your betta tank, though. It is very clear and easy to view through. Acrylic is my choice here. Acrylic is not susceptible to breaking, lighter than glass, and does not get foggy. And if you ever need to get fancy and cut or drill your betta aquarium, it is much easier than glass.

Betta Tank Shape – Does this really matter?

The last thing on a new betta owner’s mind when choosing a betta house is shape. I mean, really, what matters? Does the fish really give a hoot what shape his betta aquarium is? The answer is a resounding YES! Betta fish live and thrive in shallow water in their natural habitat. If you asked your betta, he would tell you that house structure and shape are very important. Do not buy a deep tank, because he will not appreciate the whole area. Purchase a rectangular tank that is long and low. A typical ten gallon aquarium makes an awesome betta tank.


Alright, we now have selected a betta tank that is rectangular and low for maximum betta fish enjoyment (easy cleanup too). We have an acrylic or glass tank so we will enjoy a clear viewing experience for years to come, and we have at least a five gallon tank so our fishy can build his biggest and best body and personality. Cashier, ring us up!

“Want to know all about Betta Tank Selection and total betta set-up and care? Check out this Betta Care Guide (currently on sale with 4 FREE bonus items). It is the same guide I use, and the ONLY guide I recommend.”
Elizabeth Christopher

Black Betta – The Tiny Hermit Betta

April 9, 2010

Black Betta – The Tiny Hermit Betta
By Elizabeth Christopher

The Black Betta, one of the smallest betta splendens, reaching only 1.5 inches in length, is naturally found in Southeast Asia and Malaysia. This is the betta that started the myth that all bettas can live in nothing more than a puddle of water. While its small size and poor-water tolerance definitely aid its survival, not all bettas share these tendencies.

Mostly brown to black in color with dark green blue fins, the coloration of the male becomes more intense at the start of the betta mating period. This helps identify the sexes of the black betta. The male generally has larger dorsal and caudal fins as well.

Subsisting of fresh or packaged live foods of appropriate size in the aquarium as well as in the wild, the black betta is a very reclusive fish. Its small size and ability to live in very acidic water mean it tends toward high vegetation levels, and will not be as showy as other bettas. They like to hide under and around vegetation, with minimal light. A great betta plant is the water lily, or any other plant which congregates at the surface of the water.

Found naturally in shallow water in tropical forests, its occurrence is strongly influenced by rainfall, and this is where it has learned to heed high levels of acid due to leaf and plant decomposition over many generations.

Not generally the favorite of betta owners because of its hermit-like nature, the black betta is best kept in single pairs with much vegetation. The pH level should be kept at 5.0, and a great filtration device for this fish should use a peat filter to replicate their natural habitat.

These are bubble nest bettas, and the heavy plant presence allows them many places to raise their fry. Bubble nest bettas blow bubbles that have a mucus coating, and then rise to the surface to be trapped by plants of leaves. This creates a “bubble nest” for the betta fry, usually about forty eggs in one breeding, and the male betta plants the females eggs in this protective nest and guards them there. The male may even lose weight during the betta mating season due to his diligence in watching over his young, and passing on meals.

Black betta young prefer a diet of rotifers, infusoria or other similar tiny food items until they have been free-swimming for about a week. At this point, brine shrimp nauplii can be introduced.

The hermetic black betta grows slowly, and will probably not be able to breed until nine months of age. They are safe in the aquarium with their parents as long as there is plenty of plant cover to protect them, although the males will become territorial eventually, and all young fish should be removed at this time.

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Elizabeth here.
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