Siamese Fighting Fish – Betta splendens

Siamese Fighting Fish - Betta splendens

  • pH: 6-7.5
  • gH: 1-10 dGh
  • Temperature: 24-30C
  • Maximum Size: 6-7cm
  • Minimum Tank Size: 40 litres, 18x12x12cm

Betta splendens is well known as the Siamese fighting fish. The fish originated in Thailand where the wild-type is still found, but most of the Bettas on sale have been line bred and with their myriad fancy tails and fins are far removed from their wild cousins.


This is not a community fish and males should be kept alone. Whilst some do occasionally manage to cohabit with certain other species’ they are the exception rather than the norm. If attempting to keep one in a community avoid brightly coloured tankmates, those with long flowing fins, other labyrinth fish and any species’ know to fin nip. The best chance of success is with small bottom dwellers such as Otocinclus, Corydoras habrosus and pygmaeus and possibly a peaceful species such as the harlequin rasbora.

Housing and Feeding

As stated above, males are best kept alone, but females can be housed as a group in a larger tank – around 90x30x30cm. A planted tank with good surface cover from tall plants and surface plants is best for these fish,  along with some broader leaved plants for the fish to rest on and bogwood or caves for cover when needed. Keep the tank well covered as they can jump.

Captive bred Bettas will eat commercial flake foods and appreciate the addition of live or frozen foods for variety.


This fish is a bubble nest breeder, the nest being built and tended by the male. Females should be kept separately and the fish should only be together for spawning.  Once the bubble nest is ready, the male and female will embrace below the nest and eggs and sperm are released. The fertilised eggs are transferred into the nest by the male. The female must be removed once spawning is complete as the male will become very aggressive towards her. The eggs will hatch in 1-2 days and after another 2-3 days will be free-swimming and ready for their first feeding of infusoria. As the fry grow, larger foods such as microworms and live baby brine shrimps can be introduced.


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