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Welcome to Japanese fighting fish .org. Here we aim to provide you with helpful information, care-tips and news on betta fish.
Ok, already I have used two names for the same fish so I guess it’s time to explain the various names that a Japanese fighting fish can go by…
- Best known as Betta Fish
- Betta Splendens
- Siamese Fighting fish
- Chinese or Japanese Fighting fish (although slightly incorrect as they are from Thailand)
Known as ‘fighters’ due to their aggressive nature.
A Beginner to Betta Fish Care?
If you are a beginner to keeping and caring for betta fish you should check out our Ultimate One Page Guide To Betta Fish Care. This page looks at the natural habitat of the betta fish, then uses this information to give advice on all aspects of betta fish care – from tank size to betta fish diet to betta fish tank mates. All on one page!
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Getting started – Everything you need to know to raise the happiest and healthiest betta fish
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Find out the top 10 betta fish toys here
A Little Betta Fish History
– knowing this can really help set the tank and environment your fish lives in perfectly.
The fighting fish’s wild ancestors lived solitary lives in rice paddies and small fresh water streams of Thailand / Siam (not Japan, China – as some names would suggest). They were a dull brown or greeny color and were a carnivorous fish that would feed on tiny crustaceans, insect eggs and larvae. Fighting was always in their genes but they would generally only spar for a few minutes until one betta gave up and retreated.
Due to selective breeding there has been some evolution to the betta fish, no longer a dull green / brown, betta fish are now known for their bright colors and big flowing fins – like that of the halfmoon betta (see some Japanese fighting fish pictures below). Sadly these fish were also bred to fight. Similar to cock fights, betta fish were bred so that gambling could be done over the victor of a betta fight. This has led to an increase in aggression and fight length for domesticated betta fish, meaning it is important to know what fish can live with your betta and to never put two male bettas together.
The Perfect Betta Fish Environment
What hasn’t changed over the decades of domestication and selective breeding is the betta’s fondness for warmer tropical water. Water at around 77 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit (25 Celsius) is perfect for your betta fish. A gentle filter can be favored to simulate the soft currents of the slow running streams bettas originate from. Filters can also help keep the tank water fresh but unlike the needs of many tropical fish the filter is not a necessity to oxygenate to the water. Just like any other fish, bettas breathe by taking in oxygen from the water but they also have an organ called a labyrinth bladder. This additional organ means the betta fish can get the essential oxygen from the water’s surface. Studies have shown that this organ must be used from time to time so it is vital that your fish tank / aquarium possesses a space for air at the top for your fish to come to the surface and breathe.
The Betta Fish Diet
Another attribute that hasn’t changed from the origin of the betta fish is the diet. Bettas are still carnivores, enjoying larvae and tiny crustaceans. Commercial betta fish food will often contain shrimp meal and fish meal, protein rich just as they need. Many betta fish owners add bloodworms or freeze dried brine shrimp to their fish’s tank as treats – all part of their betta fish care regime. Live bait such as shrimp larvae can also be added, but you must be careful not to overfeed your betta fish – if they like the taste they tend to finish whatever is put in front of them. Conversely if your betta doesn’t like what is put in front of it, it won’t eat it! This is often the case with some of the more generic tropical fish flakes.
Betta Fish Make Fantastic Pets
Beautiful to look at – as I am sure you agree looking at the Betta fighting fish pictures on the site – and full of personality, these fish make ideal pets.
Betta fish care is easy and family friendly. Bettas like 5 gallons of water, however they can live happily in a little less. We recommend the bigger the better. There is a myth that betta fish can live happily in tiny jars – this is untrue! 5 gallon is perfect but I have heard stories from many betta owners of happy fish in 2-3 gallon tanks, please do not go lower than that.
Remembering to keep your aquarium clean and full of fresh water is a staple of good Betta fish care. Fish are constantly excreting waste chemicals, which when built up over a few days can become poisonous to the fish. Every few days simply remove a quarter of the tank’s water and replace with fresh water. Depending on your tank you will also need some less regular full water changes / tank cleans.
Following these simple steps your betta should have a happy 2 – 3 years with you. However they can live much longer than this (sometimes up to 10) if you keep them happy and give them the perfect environment. I feel there is enough information spread across the various Betta fish care guides on this site to help you achieve these longer lifespans.
We hope you read a few more articles, add a few comments with your own hints, tips and questions and we can all live with some happy, healthy and long living betta fish.