betta splendens – Siamese Fighting Fish

General information on fighting fish (betta splendens)

The betta fish have a Labyrinth Organ. This organ allows labyrinth fish to take in oxygen directly from the air, instead of taking it from the water in which they reside through use of gills. The labyrinth organ helps the inhaled oxygen to be absorbed into the bloodstream. As a result, labyrinth fish can survive for a short period of time out of water, as they can inhale the air around them, provided they stay moist.

Betta splendens, or Siamese fighting fish, are not only beautiful by appearance and coloration, but also interesting because of their particular behavior. They show aggressiveness towards other fish and territorial behavior in general. Besides, the males are bubblenest builders and -guarders.

From the betta fish wild-form several show betta forms have been bred. These breeding strains are categorized by color and fin type. (Plakat / Halfmoon / Crowntail). Betta have special coloration genetics:

  • the color variation is based on color pigmentation in different types of cells
  • these cells are in four layers: yellow, red, black, iridescent
  • enzymes catalyze a series of reactions to produce a specific pigment
  • if any genes were mutated such that an enzyme no longer worked, the pigment would no longer be produced
Anatomy of betta splendens

Anatomy of betta splendens

Breeding betta splendens

1. Defining the Breeding Target:

  • Always concentrate on only one trait, if you want to breed betta: 1) Particular color/pattern OR 2) Size OR 3) Tail Type/Fin

2. Selecting the Pair - The selected fish should:

  • be healthy and active
  • be in good condition
  • meet your breeding target in at least one point

3. Conditioning the pair:

  • feed them 2-3 times a day with nutritious food
  • separate the female
  • do frequent water changes
  • keep the temperature stable at ~ 28°C
  • let them see each other daily for a few minutes!

4. Introducing the pair (The Courting):

  • Watch them carefully
  • The female should be removed again if
    • one of them isn’t ready for spawning
    • she is seriously injured
    • too exhausted to go on
Deformities such als Rosetail/Feathertail, Bubble-Eye, general Freak Fish are unwanted in betta breeding – health comes always first.

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