The Betta Column

Betta is both the scientific and common name of a genus of labyrinth fish, so classified because of its labyrintine chamber above the gills which enables it to breathe air.  There are twelve species of betta occur in swamps and other lowland freshwaters of southeast asia.  The most famous of the betta family is arguably betta splenden, aka Siamese fighting fish.  Betta splenden can easily grow up to 75 mm.

The first recorded domestication of this species dates back to 1893 although the american and european society realise these fishes as pets only in the 1920s.  The initial domestication period of betta splenden are focused mainly on their fighting ability since bettas often fight to the death in the confinement of capitivity. This aggressive trait is a throwback to their wild habits where the male fights to defend territory.  He builds a nest of bubbles at the surface among aquatic vegetation.  After courtship, the fish gathers the fertilised eggs into the mouth and spits them into the nest to develop further under his guard.

Some aquarium hobbyists later breed the betta splenden for fancy display.  The fish was allowed to develop long and big fins along with striking colours.  The fancy betta splenden today boasts of wide fins, the widest caudal fin I know of is a massive 220o.  The fish also come in many colours such as yellow, red, black, blue, green and purple.

A Royal Blue Double-tailed Betta.

The purpose of this column is to provide information of betta splenden to hobbyist.  These information can hopefully be useful and help to further develop and propagate this wonderful hobby.   It is my wish that the reader can, by the end of this column, have a better understanding of betta splendens, realise the various aspects of reproduction and also acquire the basics of raising the fries.

Betta Care some tips on keeping your prized bettas alive and happy.

Breeding your Beauties suggest a step-by-step proceedure to breed these aggressive fishes.

Growing up ...... traces the nail biting moments that the hobbyist face when the fries are at a young tender age.

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