Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens)
The Siamese fighting fish is also sometimes colloquially known as the betta (Betta splendens).
Bettas have a unique ability to take oxygen directly from atmospheric air through the use of a specially designed ‘labyrinth’ organ. The Siamese fighter originates from Thailand and in its natural habitats it can be found in the still waters of floodplains, ponds and rice paddies, so the heavy planting and small size of Avo make it the perfect environment.
A long history of captive breeding has changed the fishes shape, colour and behaviour from the wild and bred-for-fighting forms, although elements of both remain. The Bettas available in pet and aquatic stores have a more slender body, brighter colour and longer fins, Bettas are available in a huge array of colours.
The name suggests that this fish is aggressive, but this is not always the case. Two males will often fight until one is severely damaged or dead, so males cannot be kept together. When aggression to other fish occurs is is usually when its tank mates have flowing fins or bright colours and the fighter will mistake them for other males.
One of the biggest challenges with keeping Bettas is the attentions of other fish, the long flowing fins and slow-swimming nature presents an enticing target to take an easy nip at. So a Betta is best kept alone or with slow moving fish.
Good tank mates for Bettas
Threadfin rainbow fish