One of the more beautiful fish in the fishkeeping hobby is the Betta Splenden, also widely known as the Siamese Fighting Fish.
These fish come in a variety of different colours ranging from deep blues and greens, right through purples, to oranges and reds and even PINK! Such vibrant colours have been developed through a process of selective breeding, and are not normally found in the wild – I’ll touch more on selective breeding in another post however.
What I want to address to day is where the Betta fish come from, and its natural habitat; the reason for this being is that I constantly hear a lot of opinions from many different people about the natural habitat and optimum aquarium conditions – varying widely from them living in small shallow pools of water for months at a time in dry seasons, to living in large pools of water all year round…and some people have even told me they are from the Amazon (South America of course) and that’s why they have to have a tank temperature of 28 degrees Celsius.
So lets get straight down to the truth and look at the facts and clear this up one and for all.
The True Natural Habitat
The Betta Splenden originates from Southeast Asia, and in particular, Thailand, although these fish have emerged in other parts of the world (notably Australia, where they are considered an invasive species).
SIMPLY. NOT. TRUE.
The natural habitat of the Betta is actually in large, shallow, slow moving bodies of water such as rice paddies and slow moving streams and the like. These bodies of water can extend for miles, and whether they be shallow or deep, rarely are these beautiful fish confined to ‘small muddy puddles’.
Betta Splenden True Natural Habitat
Some other tidbits for now:
- Yes, these are TROPICAL fish.
- Yes, Bettas do need good filtration and heating.
- No, Bettas cannot live happily in very small tanks with low oxygen levels.
- No, Bettas do not need feeding only once or twice a week.
- No, you CANNOT keep more than one male Betta in a tank.
Here’s some beautiful examples of these amazing little fish: