Betta 1


     Betta splendens have been taken from their wild habitat of pond and rice patties and  turned into a common household pet throughout the recent years as they are seen in all the local pet shops, on teachers’ desks, and in our homes. With its popularity surge, these feisty fish have been more readily observed and more information has been obtained about their unique behaivors.Betta 2

Siamese Fighting Fish
     The most common known fact of these fish is their aggressive nature, especially in males; it is undeniable. The common name for this species is the Siamese fighting fish. They are known for the flashy flaring of the gill opercula. This you may be familiar with if you have ever held a mirror up to your fish bowl. The fish have fast jab-like movements that come off very hostile. They also have patterns of rapid tail beating when circumstances become defensive. As it has been seen, these fighting fish chase and bite one another when put together in tanks or in the wild, which leads to injuries, or death of one participant. There has been endless studies done to understand the motives and complexity of these fights. The main result is that these fish perform in such a fashion in order to seek dominance. It has been observed that with an audience present, the fish are more likely to get violent.  When the presence of a female is known to the male, he uses his aggression to attract the female. It is known that females prefer a leading or more dominant male (Tillberg, 2010).

     The Betta splendens is a carnivorous fish, meaning it looks for true meat as its primary food source. As we imagine the fish in our homes, feeding off a single plant, it is odd to think of them as natural carnivores.  In the wild, they predominately feed upon insects and larvae, but also enjoy algae that are on the water’s surface (Hargrove, 1999). Some of these organisms that the betta fish prey on include mosquitos, earthworms, shrimp, grasshoppers, blue-green algae and spirulina algae.  Their mouths happen to be turned upward at an angle that encourages the fact that they are top feeders. They use many strategies to capture their food but for the most part they tend to use quick “snaps” to catch their prey (Hargrove, 1999).  These fish have a fast metabolism causing them to need many doses of nutrients throughout the day to keep them moving (Altona et al., 2013).

     The main predator to these fish is in fact, humans. With the fish industry, these fish are harvested, packaged, and sent off all around the globe for ornamental purposes. I’m sure most of us can say we have owned a betta fish at some point in our life. For centuries now, the fish have also been known to be the victims of fish fight clubs. As we just discussed, these fish, when together, can and will fight to the death if motives are present. These clubs have proven to show interest and entertainment to people from all across the planet which has caused a constant demand for these feisty fish. Other predators of the Betta splendens are common water animals such as turtles, snakes, frogs, and large fish (M. Jaroensutasinee & K. Jaroensutasinee, 2001).  Even cats in the wild tend to prey on betta fish.

Now that we have learned alot about the betta fish lets look at some fun facts about the species.  Click here to continue.