|Author: || Jennifer Wilkinson|
|Publisher: || The Calquarium|
|Volume: || Volume 42, Number 2|
|Date Published: || October 1999|
Edith’s betta has small eyes and short fins. The caudal fin is round. The fin rays extend beyond the edges. They are beige with three longitudinal stripes along the body. These stripes are visible only on occasion. When the female is ready to spawn these stripes are boldly displayed. The anal fin of the male is spotted with blue and darkly edged.
These fish come from southern Borneo, in slow flowing waters.
These fish may be housed in a community aquarium with other peaceful tank mates. They will eat all kinds of fish foods, but seem to prefer Grindal worms. They are not fussy as to their water conditions. The ideal water temperature is 26C. The male is the larger of the two at 9.5 cm. The female gets to a total length of 9 cm. The female is more aggressive than the male in these bettas.
These fish are fairly difficult to breed. Introduce a pair into a 40-liter aquarium, with no aeration or filtration. Plants or hiding places may make the fish more comfortable but are not really necessary. The female will seek out and defend a spawning area for a short while before spawning. The female being the more aggressive of the two and will initiate the spawning activity. After the female circles the male several times, he will embrace her at which time the eggs are released and fall to the bottom. The female will pick up the eggs and spit them at the male. There are usually around 100 eggs per spawn. They are mouthbrooders, so the male will brood for about 10 days. The female should be removed after spawning is complete. The male should be removed when he releases the fry. The problem that makes these fish so difficult to spawn successfully is that the male may eat some or all of the spawn while brooding.
These fish are quite interesting, even though they don’t have much color.
In the peaceful betta the males are larger than the females at 5 cm. They are also the more colorful of the two. The male has a bluish black body, black when in full color. His fins are slightly longer, and with the exception of the dorsal, are all outlined in red. This is a pretty fish. The females are less colorful, have shorter fins and when ready to spawn, the body gets lighter with irregular stripes.
This species comes from the Malay Peninsula in swampy areas, puddles and rice paddies.
These fish will fight just like Betta splendens, so males can not be kept together. A single male and several females can be kept in a community aquarium with other tank mates of the same size. No barbs. They prefer soft acidic water with a temperature of 26C. They will eat all kinds of prepared and live foods.
This betta is easy to breed. Introduce a well-conditioned pair into a 20-liter aquarium half filled with soft acidic water with the temperature at 28C. There should be some plants for the female to hide, to get away from the male if she wants to. There should also be some floating plants for the male to build his bubble nest under. The male wraps himself around the female at which time the eggs are released. The eggs will fall to the bottom of the aquarium. The male will collect them and spit them up into the nest, while the female is recovering from the embrace. The male recovers much quicker. The spawn usually consists of up to 160 eggs. The female should be removed after spawning is completed. The male will take care of the eggs and fry until they go free swimming, then he too should be removed.
This is a pretty fish although the fins are not as long as the Betta splendens. The name implies that these fish are peaceful, but remember that the males can not be kept together. They are only peaceful with their other tank mates.
The Siamese fighting fish (I call them my nightmare fish) come in all sorts of colors and color combinations. The male is truly a very beautiful fish. They are the more colorful of the two and have much longer finnage in long-finned stains. The males get to a total length of 6 cm. The females are usually rather dull. They do however show vertical lines when ready to spawn.
Wild Betta splendens live in thickly over grown ponds and in slowly flowing water. They come from Thailand and Cambodia.
These fish are fairly easy to maintain. They will eat all kinds of prepared and live foods.
They are not fussy as to water conditions as long as the water is not too hard. They prefer a temperature of 26C. The males can not be housed together. If they are kept in a community aquarium, it is best to add one male and several females. Or just a single male, by himself. He will not bother other tank mates, however watch for the other tank mates nipping his long fins. It is best to house male bettas in a jar. Keep in mind the temperature of the water.
These fish are supposed to be easy to breed. I have not found this to be true. I had trouble even keeping the pet shop bettas alive. I was told that perhaps the fish I purchased were too old or perhaps not very healthy. I couldn’t find any young bettas around in the pet stores so I joined the International Betta Congress (IBC). They provided me with lots of useful beginner information and I purchased a binder full of other written information from them. I also tried to purchase my first young healthy bettas from a fellow member. After sending my money off and waiting for a few weeks, I received nothing. I called and asked it this person had sent them yet, they had. Okay so where were my bettas???
The breeder was located in the States, and said there wouldn’t be a problem mailing across the border. This person sent me another batch of bettas, this time I had them sent general delivery to the closest American post office. They came through in a couple of days and all was fine. Then a couple of weeks later, I had a package delivered. Can you guess what it was? That’s right, it was the original shipment. Where it went, who knows? But apparently "LIVE FISH: PLEASE RUSH" and express mail doesn’t mean anything once it reaches the Canadian border. Out of six bettas, two were still alive. One lived for about a week; the other one lasted about a month. However, the second shipment lived.
I housed each male in a 4-liter goldfish bowl and put the three females in a 40-liter tank to grow out for a while. When I thought they were old enough and conditioned, the 20-liter breeding aquarium was set up as follows. The water was soft with a depth of 15 cm. The temperature was 28C. A see-through plastic lid was left floating on the top of the water so the male could use it to build a bubble nest.
Day 1. The fish pair were added. The female was placed in a glass chimney (available at any craft store) and the male had the run, er… swim, of the tank.
Day 2. After noticing that the male had built a bubble nest, the female was released from the chimney. The chimney has to be taken out very slowly so as not to break up the bubble nest. I decided to leave the chimney right in the tank so the female could use it to hide behind.
Day 3. I noticed the pair had spawned and the female was hiding behind the chimney with few shredded fins. She was removed and placed in a jar by herself for a few days until she healed. The male was left to guard the eggs.
Day 4. Nothing exciting really happened
Day 5. The fry hatched and could be seen falling tail-down out of the nest. They seemed to float back up for the most part, but on occasion the male would take one in his mouth and spit it back into the nest.
Day 6. The male was removed and put back in his own gallon jar, he greedily accepted frozen blood worms.
Day 7. The first day the fry were fed. Some hobbyist feed baby brine shrimp right off, and that works for them. This did not work for me in previous attempts. So this time micro food was used. A little was shook up in water and added to the aquarium. This was done every three days for about a month. I tried feeding baby brine once in a while but it still appeared too big for them. Slowly a few fry died each day. I ended up will three surviving fry from this spawn, which eventually did start eating brine shrimp, but they were deformed.
I have attempted to keep and spawn these fish so many times it has become a nightmare. One day I just might get it right. The younger bettas will spawn, but how do you raise the fry? I have all sorts of answers collected and I have tried just about everyone. Maybe I will try feeding micro worms next time!!!??! But first, I have to find some nice young bettas again.
My local pet shop told me a couple of weeks ago that they were getting in some kind of different betta. When I asked what it was, I was told "Cambodian short tails". This just means they were regular bettas with a flesh pink body and different colored fins. In this case the fins were the traditional red. Bettas come in all sorts of colors and color combinations, some even have double tails, BUT a different color doesn’t mean they are a different species.
Well this is the last installment for the labyrinth fish series. After doing all this research, I know what labyrinth fish I want to add to my community tanks and which ones I don’t. Do you?