Betta fish, or Siamese fighting fish, are
popular aquarium fish. They are often called 'bettas,'
and are part of the gourami family. They are well
known for being territorial fish and 'fighting' if two are
placed together or they see their reflections. Betta
fish originiate from Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand
natively. Despite popular belief, they are not found
in puddles. In the wild, they live in standing
waters, often in rice paddies, floodplains, or canals.
In the wild, they are less territorial due to the large
space they live in - they will only spar, not fight to the
Betta fish grow to be no longer than 3
inches, typically. Their usual lifespan is 2-5
years. They have brilliantly colored fins, and
various tail types. Common colors include red, blue,
black, white and orange. More rare colors include
metallic, copper, and turquoise. Though some betta
fish are solid, they can be multicolored and often have
different tail appearances. Tank Setup
can breath directly from the water surface, as they are
labyrinth fish. Thus, a common misconception is that
betta fish can be placed in a cup and will be happy.
Though they can survive in such a small cup to some extent,
betta fish should be kept in a minimum 2 gallon tank.
The temperature should be kept at 75-80 degrees
Fahrenheit. Colder water can kill the betta, as the
betta's immune system will slow and make them susceptible to
disease. Hotter water can make them uncomfortable and
age quickly, as their metabolism will increase. The
temperature should be maintained with a heater.
should also be kept in a tank with a filter. The
filter will keep bacteria and other toxins from hurting your
fish. Additionally, the water should be treated with a
dechlorinating agent to keep chlorine and heavy metals from
killing the fish. These are often sold commercially as
The pH should
be kept between 6.5 and 8. Water should be changed
often, at least once a week, to ensure that the fish has