Betta fish, the “Jewel of the Orient” or also called Siamese Fighting Fish is a popular pet for many homes in Asia and other parts of the world. This is said to go second after goldfish in terms of popularity. This fish wrapped in dazzling palettes and marble patterns is graceful and has a beauty that can leave one enthralled in the water. It often swims solo in many aquariums or vases which is why these are also referred to as betta bachelors. Are these colored fishes designed to live alone or is continuously seeking for a life companion?
Betta – The Warrior Fish
Derived from a combatant name, Betta, a name of a clan or group of warriors, it was named as such after the sport of fighting fish has been popular back in the 1800s. It was very popular in Thailand that the King of Siam had the game taxed. Spectators would usually place their bets on the fish that has shown most bravery as compared to the one that has inflicted the most damage.
The Betta fish, which is called in plakad in Thailand was discovered in the flooded plains of Southeast Asia. The constant flooding and drought has molded the betta fish to be a truly versatile labyrinth fish that can take oxygen from its gills or in water and also breathe on land or directly from the air provided that they are kept moist. Yes, bettas are able to breathe above and below the waters which is how they have evolved in order to adapt and survive in an oxygen-deficient environment. Bettas are used to very difficult living conditions that they can thrive or survive even in oxygen-deficient waters or dirty stagnant water.
Territorial and Prefers to Swim Solo
The betta fish, as mentioned above, prefer to swim alone or are very territorial and are not a part of any school of fish. They tend to fight each other, especially the males, rather than collaborate so these opted to venture solo in the ocean. Female betta fishes could also be joined together in an aquarium but it is best to keep the number low like around five betta fishes in an aquarium. They too are territorial but not as aggressive as the males so they are able to tolerate other female bettas in their surrounding environment.
A betta fish diet would usually consist of frozen or live brine shrimp, fried or frozen bloodworms, or daphnia. They basically need protein in their diet so must be fed daily. They basically feed on the surface of the water with their upturned mouths. For bettas in aquariums, betta food pellets are most recommended for feeding because it’s packed with vitamins and minerals that the fishes need to maintain its vibrant color and for energy.
Bettas’ life span range from 2 to 3 years which is relatively short but there are a few bettas that can live well for more than 5 years depending on living conditions. Do not place a betta fish in cold water because this can interfere with their healthy immune system and cause sickness. A warm and slightly acidic water is recommended for those who keep a betta fish in an aquarium at home or in any private space. Make sure too that your aquarium has a lid because the betta fish can jump to escape. This warrior fish is certainly an aesthetic delight for anyone wanting to have a pet fish. It’s also a great conversation starter because there is so much you can talk about with this interesting and enigmatic fish.