Paradise Bettas are famous for their slim bodies, relatively large fins, and tail circumference. But before you go and buy a new paradise betta fish for your home aquarium, you should know that owning and caring for a betta fish isn’t a task for beginner fish owners.
Unlike your common goldfish, betta fish care is more complicated. They also require you to spend more money on maintenance than your average pet store fish. So if you want to learn more about the history of betta fish and how they are as pets, stick around till the end.
- Origins and History of Paradise Betta
- Characteristics of Betta Fish
- The Most Popular Variations of Betta Fish
- Raising a Paradise Betta as a Pet
- Final Thoughts
Origins and History of Paradise Betta
The name paradise betta is a made-up name. It’s used to refer to the most common species of betta fish found in pet stores. On the other hand, you might’ve heard it being referred to as mustard gas betta. Both those names are used to describe its colors.
The dark blue, shiny body is why it’s called paradise betta, and the warm-toned yellow tail and fin are why others refer to it as mustard gas betta.
The Natural Habitat of Betta Fish
The natural habitat of paradise beta is around the countries of Southeast Asia and the East Indies. Specifically speaking, the fish are native to Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand.
And unlike other pet fish like a goldfish and a catfish, paradise betta and other betta fish are tropical fish. Which means they prefer warmer water temperatures. So if you plan on getting one as a pet, it’s advisable you also buy a water heater.
You might also hear betta fish being referred to as Siamese fighting fish; that’s because when the Europeans discovered this species of fish, Thailand was called Siam.
Betta Fish Evolution
Around one thousand years ago is when people first started domesticating wild betta fish. Although, much like wild bettas today, the fish were nowhere as colorful or unique back then. That’s because a millennium of selective breeding is the main reason why we have different colors and variations of betta fish today.
Domestic Betta Interaction With Wild Betta
Experts think that betta fish were not only selectively bred for beautiful colors but also for aggression.
And when domestic and wild bettas interact, especially male bettas, they’re likely going to fight to the death. However, bettas don’t only feel threatened by bettas; they can also attack other fish depending on their species and aggression levels.
Characteristics of Betta Fish
A betta fish isn’t a boring fish. Unlike other pet fish, paradise bettas are full of interesting details and attributes that you’ll never grow tired of. And aside from its captivating appearance, betta fish behave in a wildly different manner to other low-maintenance fish.
There are many different species of betta fish. And although most of them behave in almost the same manner, you can tell them apart by their appearance. And three distinctive traits stand out.
The most common color for fish store betta fish is the famous blue and yellow paradise betta. However, if blue and yellow aren’t your taste, you can find betta fish in red, green, chocolate, pure yellow, and pure pale sky blue.
There are also color combinations like red and black, red and white, and blue and black.
Although there are many different tail types for betta fish, there wouldn’t be that much of a difference to the untrained eye. Aside from the size, most tails won’t look too different. So if you’re a beginner and don’t want to spend too much money, you can go for a veil tail betta, which is the cheapest and most common type.
There are other types like the comb tail, round tail, and spade tail. Those mostly affect the shape of the webbing and the flow of the fins.
If you can imagine it, there’s probably a similar betta pattern out there, as selective breeding allows for captivating patterns to immerge. For example, they managed to breed a fish with the colors of the Malaysian flag.
How to Tell Male and Female Bettas Apart?
There are two ways to distinguish a male and female paradise bettas. The first is the behavioral differences. Male bettas are amazing fish to look at, but they’re substantially more aggressive than females. So look for the wildest fish in the tank, and that’s probably the male.
You can also look at the tail size. Males make for more beautiful betta fish since they have much larger tails and fins.
So if your betta puffs itself up, this means that the fish is feeling threatened or stressed. They really like their space, and if you place another fish in the fish tank, they won’t be too happy.
The Aggressive Tendencies of Betta Fish
Betta fish are carnivorous, which, in turn, means they’re more aggressive than your herbivorous or omnivorous fish. But, unfortunately, some species of competitive fish don’t go along with paradise bettas. And if they’re placed together, the betta will probably try to kill the new fish.
How Domestic Betta Is Different From Wild Betta
Wild bettas are much less aesthetic than domestic ones. They have shorter tails and fins, and they’re nowhere near as colorful as a paradise betta, a half-moon betta, or a delta tail betta.
They’re also much less aggressive than domestic bettas. That’s because domestic bettas were bred to be fighting fish, and they likely participated in fights similar to cockfights.
The Most Popular Variations of Betta Fish
- Paradise Betta: This is the most common variation of betta fish. It has a vibrant electric blue body and a yellow tail.
- Red Betta: These are also relatively common. They can come as orange, red, or deep red. They can also come in pure red or a red tail and a blue body. The red is usually iridescent.
- Green Betta: These bettas fall into the somewhat rare category. They also come with a broad spectrum of green colors, ranging from lime green to turquoise to deep green.
- Their most distinctive feature is a shiny wash to their color, which shines bright in the light.
- Black Orchid Betta: These bettas aren’t the rarest or most expensive fish. However, they’re somewhat sought after by betta fans. They feature a color spectrum that ranges from dark blue to purple to black. They’re also distinct for their spiky tails and fins, unlike the silky tails of other betta fish.
Raising a Paradise Betta as a Pet
While betta fish require more maintenance than beginner-level fish, they’re not the most challenging fish to care for.
Caring for Paradise Betta Fish for a Long and Healthy Life
Unfortunately for betta fans, you can’t just put your betta fish in a fishbowl, throw a few fake plants in there, and be done with it. If you want your betta to thrive and reach its full potential with the size and color, you have to provide the right medium.
Tank Capacity and Conditions
Bettas like their space. So while you won’t have to worry about your fish feeling lonely without tank mates, they will get bored if you put them in a small tank.
You should get at least a 5-gallon tank if you’re getting one paradise betta. One or more extra tank mates, and you’ll need a 15-gallon tank. This ensures the betta has enough space to mark its territory and not feel so defensive all the time.
Another thing you should take care of is that betta fish don’t like noise. So place their tank in as quiet of a place as possible. They also like jumping into the air occasionally. So make sure you add a tank lid to prevent them from jumping outside the tank.
The Importance of a Tank Filter
Although a betta can survive without a filter, it is much better for the fish if you get a tank with a filtration system to stop the buildup of ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites.
Add a Water Heater
As we previously mentioned, betta fish are tropical fish, which means it’s better for them to stay in warm water.
The fish need a constant temperature of around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the only exception to getting a tank heater is if your room temperature is around that temperature year-round.
Preferable Lighting Conditions
Betta fish like their surrounding area well-lit. However, they’re not big fans of sunlight. So keep their tanks lit using LEDs.
The Importance of Tank Plants
If you bought a tank with a tank filter, which you should do, you have to know that betta fish don’t like strong currents.
And since the filter will shoot out a relatively strong water current, it’s better to add a few live plants in front of it to dissipate the current.
The Proper Diet for Paradise Betta
Keeping your paradise betta well-fed is essential if you want it to reach its full potential.
You should feed your betta fish twice a day. However, make sure to feed them a small amount. Make no mistake; they’ll definitely over-eat if you give them enough food, which isn’t good for their well-being.
Occasional Live Treats
Don’t forget that bettas are carnivorous. So they need their live food every once in a while. So don’t forget to offer them some live treats occasionally in the form of brine shrimp or bloodworms.
How to Reduce Betta Fish Aggression
The worst-case scenario you could provide for your fish is having it in a small tank with other fish. If you want to have a community tank, it’s better to go for a bigger one, even if you’re only going to add one extra fish to your betta.
Choosing Appropriate Tank Mates
Another aspect you should pay attention to is what type of fish you’re introducing your betta to. For starters, the new fish should be bigger than the betta to be able to defend itself in case of an attack.
It also shouldn’t be annoying for the betta, for example, nipping or biting on its tail and fins.
The Lifespan of Betta Fish
This is highly dependent on how well you take care of your fish. For example, if you place it in a fishbowl with no filter and heater, overfeed it, and generally don’t take much care of it, it can live for around two years.
However, if you take the proper care of your fish, as we discussed in this article, it can live up to five years.
Breeding Betta Fish
If you want your paradise betta to breed, you have to understand that there have to be very specific conditions for it to happen. For starters, you’ll need to get a separate breeding tank.
And after the fish breed and the female lays the eggs, you have to immediately remove the female since they tend to eat the eggs. And at this point, the male will take care of the eggs.
And if you want something to look forward to, betta fish can shine their colors brighter while mating. It’s a truly breathtaking sight to witness.
Paradise betta fish aren’t low-maintenance pets. However, if you take the time to learn about their habits, likes and dislikes, and how to tend to them properly, you’ll provide your fish with a happy and comfortable life.
This means you’ll get to enjoy the company of this beautiful species of fish.
And with enough patience, you can even teach betta fish to do some basic tricks like following your finger, eating from your hand, or swimming through a ring in the tank. And that goes the same for your paradise betta fish. So, what more do you need in a pet?
Last Updated: May 26, 2022