Betta(Fighting Fish)

Scientific Name-

Betta splendens
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Blue Betta, Specific name is Blue Halfmoon Plakat.
That's the name most betta owners that know few
infromation about Bettas would call them.

Scientific Classification

Domain
Eukarya
Kingdom
Animilia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Actinopterygii
Order
Percivormes
Family
Belontiidae
Genus
Betta
Species
Betta Splendens

Habitat

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In the red is where the Betta Splendens are commonly found.



The Betta splendens live in mostly swamps, commonly found in Asia, Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia. Sometimes you can find them in rivers, ponds, swamps, and lakes in Thailand. Splendens love to stay in steady or very slow paste water. Betta do not need much water when water starts to disintegrate they dig holes and live inside till rice fields, swamps, and water to rise once again. The country Thailand is well known for having Betta, but the splendens that live in those waters are not as fancy and pretty as the ones you get from the local pet stores. The ones in the wild are usually short tails also known as round tail, plakat and are not very pretty nor fancy.
The abiotic factors in this environment are many and plenty. Climate zones the splendens live in is Tropical climate zone, and the air temperature it typically live in is 75 to 86 degree Fahrenheit. The water Betta's live in tend to have very low oxygen, very often depleted because the air is always humid and warm. Since the area Betta's live in in Thailand is usually humid and warm, Betta's do not have to stress about the weather dropping to a cold temperature helping it through out the years. They get to stay worry free about the temperature dropping to freeze them to death.
The biotic factors that Betta's live in has many species. Betta's love to have many plants around to hide and swim around. Plants help Betta's hide from an attacker mainly another Betta, and help get it a place to blow a bubble nest under for reproduction. Common plants that are found around the areas Betta's live in is Rice Paddies. For Betta's they do not really interact with other animals and fauna besides their own. The way they interact with their own species is by fighting which is what their widely known for in Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia. They fight for territory not just the male but the females do too. Splendens are very aggressive fish and will flare or fight anything that comes to its territory or tries to approach his young (Fries).
Adaptions these fish has is that they are air fish or kind of like lung fish. They can breathe in water and breathe in air from above the water. Therefore their best adaption is their labyrinth organs which makes them able to breathe two different ways. Other adaptions they have is being able to live in dirty water with many larva from many insects and bugs, and be able to with stand the water conditions do to the poor oxygen. Living in this water is quiet risky because the water oxygen is depleted, but the great thing about the labyrinth organs is it helps it live in these water conditions by making it able to breathe two different ways, for example from the surface of water and in water. Many fish can't do this type of thing and will die if living in these water conditions that is another reason why this adaption is great.
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These to pictures is a swamp where Betta Splendens and other type of Betta's live in located in Batang Kayan, The left picture is the middle of the Batang Kanyan Swamp, the left picture is the lower south part of the Batang Kayan. As you can see the Batang Kayan Stream and water source does not look very pleasing and nice place to relax, it actually looks more dirty then clean and looks like very humid by just looking at the water color.


Species Interaction-

Betta's is placed in the middle of the environmental food web, because it can get prey on by birds and it eats plants, bugs, insects, and dead species. Bettas are almost like scavengers they eat whatever depending on how they feel. Since they do eat plants and plants with bacteria on there, and insects, bugs and worms they are consider omnivore.Omnivore is a plant and meat eater which is what a betta is just like us homo-sapiens. Other species betta need in order to survive is a little amount of plants like faunas. They don't interact with much other spicies because, bettas live usually by themselves or other kinda of species of bettas. Since you can buy betta splendens in any pet store in your local area; when you have them in a fish tank they do get aggressive to other fish and might try to bite, eat, and fight, they still can be kept with other tropical fish spicies in one fish tank.
Bettas have very similar feeding stradegy as many other ray-finned fish. They just swim around look for food and eat it. Other amazing feeding stradegies bettas do is when there is a insect or bug that falls into or on the water surface; they jump with their mouth open and eat it taking it into the water. When you buy bettas at a local pet store you can feed them fish flakes or betta pellats. Besides fish flakes and betta pellats you can buy frozen or live brine shrimp and blood worms to feed the bettas. For betta fries(babies) they can eat their yolk sack untill 3days later then you have to start feeding them many other foods, but not fish flakes, betta pellats, blood worms, or brine shrimp. Reason is because those foods are too big for their mouth to eat. You have to feed the fries the bacteria on plants if you had plants in tank while the breeding sessions, and baby brine shrimp, micro worms, and baby larva, but in United States you can't get baby larva because the misquito situtation.

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Betta fries eating Baby Brine Shrimp. The Fries as you can see is the thing with a tail, and the baby brine shrimp is the little particals you can see if you look closely.


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This Veil Tail Betta is about to eat the adult or just Brine Shrimp.

Reproductions-

The Betta Splendens do not live long, they usually live to about 2 years old sometimes a little older. Meaning when it comes down to mate the female gets quite picky she wants a male that is pretty and a aggressive dad for protection. Other then those the female looks for if the male has a nice good bubble nest for the eggs and for the young's after couple days of birth. The fries would need to learn how to breathe 2 kind of ways: one with their lungs and two with their gill, so if the fries doesn't get a good bubble nest it will drown in the water. Those are the basics to the reproductions in the wild.
Since now days you see many beautiful, colorful, and unique betta coloration that is created by betta breeders. The way they breed is: First you chose a pair(Male and Female) let them see each other but don't put in the same tank(Separate), for this reason it's to help impregnate the female. Second then after a two days to a week, if the male and female starts to seem interested into each other usually cause by flaring at one another. Later on he'll start to create a bubble nest. If he's just started a little one or just seem interested put a another tiny or vase into the tank with the female inside. After that when the male looks like he's building a great size bubble nest let the female go into the tank with the male, and yes the female and male may fight. If the female jumps and breaks the bubble nest that means she doesn't like the bubble nest or she think it's not good enough. Give it a few days if they don't have eggs or haven't mated with in a week or two weeks and they both are beat badly or one is separate them again and give them treatment, but usually they will mate. If they do mate you MUST take out the female and feed her maybe even give her treatment. You know the female is ready to mate when she has stripes on her body or she tilts her head at a 45-90 degree angle under the bubble nest. They also do a dance to show they both are ready to mate. They curls up and the male squeeze her eggs out, the female usually floats side ways having an orgasm unable to move. When male done picking up the eggs putting in the nest take the female out, mainly because she will eat the fries and eggs. Meaning the father is the one taking care of the baby fries, and when the fries look liek they can swim take out the father or when he starts to look like he's eating the fries.

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This female is pregnate, reasons you can tell is the stripes and the big belly withthe tiny egg on the bottom of her two fins is really bursting out. Meaning she is indeed ready to make. In some females these stripes do not come out or show so you can tell if she's pregnate by the egg or the big belly.
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Here is a pair of green bettas mating.

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This picture shows a male(father betta) is picking up the eggs to put in the bubble nest as the mother floats side way in a orgasm trait.
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This picture is showing the baby bettas(fries) that are resting in the bubble nest.


Breeding Supplies/How to use(Explanation)-

The breeding supplies for bettas will cost you around a rough amount of fifty to a hundred dollars, but you may spend way more after you have the babies and depending on if you want plants(Plants good idea) and type of food. To start off first you may need a fish tank not too big and not too small, so a 10 gallon tank should be good. After the 10 gallon tank make sure you have a heater and bubble filter. For the bubble filter make sure it does not run too fast. When you have the basic supplies like tank, heater, and filter you need a thermostat to keep track of water's degree. Make sure to have saran wrap to cover the top of the tank to make sure no the least amount of air can come through crucial for the babies if a major amount of air comes in the tank. You can just use the glass top for fish tank if you want. Get some conditioning water supplies at fish or pet store and aquarium salt. Also get a glass vase that opens both sides bottom and top will use it later. Place the supplies where ever you want ussually you should place filter near a corner, heater in the back, and thermostat in the front. When all that is done put water into the tank you may only want roughly about five inches of water only.Then condition the water for the fish. Go to pet or fish store and buy a few plants helps in the long run to hide female and feed the babies. Typical plants to buy are Java Fern and Java Ball, and you may search online see what plants are good. In Thailand people use a almond leaf it basically conditons water for you and creates a place for male to create bubble nest. This means don't push almond leaf into water to soak it just gentlely put in on the top of water surface leaving air under it. Almond leaf also turns the water brown so don't worry. Cut a styrophoam cup in half the long way, and the cup size should be atleast a 8ounce or just a little bigger. Place that on the oppisite side of the filter. After waters condiontioned takes about 15minutes to 1hour you may want to release male betta in the 10 gallon, and DO NOT put female in yet. After males use to his surrounding you may put female near the side on the outside of the tank so male can see female. When male takes intrest and female takes intrest they may flare at one another, but this may not always happen. Showing the female to male is only to help her get pregnat and ready to mate. When you feel or the female has a big tummy with egg on her bottom bursting out or bigger then ussual you may put her in the tank in the seperate vase. Wait for couple days or when you feel ready you may release her by just lifting the vase up, this help to not move the styrophoam cup and breaking the nest. If the male already has a nest good but, some males only build a nest when female is free roaming in the tank. Yes the female and male may fight that is just a risk you take. They both may look torn up at the end of breeding session so get some medicine for fish from fish store to treat female after you take her out. You take out female after she and male is done with mating. Leave male until babies are born ussually takes 1day to 3days. When babies look like they can swim take out male and treat him. Constant water changes help the babies grow quicker meaning get to look more like adults faster. Since you only have about 5inches of water you may want to fill the tank with 1 gallon a day, then when finally filled up you may want to clean out the bottom of tank since it will be dirty by using a tube like the one for the filter to suck out and put in water.
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What Tank should look like with the heater, filter, Styrophoam cup, thermostat, and plants.
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The Almond Leaf(Indian Almond Leaf).

Breeding For The Best Looks

The ways to get the best looking babies and bettas is to breed the same way, but if the male which is the dad if still alive breed him and his child a female the best looking one. Then out of that batch use the dad again and pick another female from that batch and breed the dad/grandfather, this will be the 3rd generation and they are making the 4th generation. Ussually by the 4th generation you'll have decent looking babies then you start new with the 4th generation by breeding the siblings. The Brother and sister will mate creating better off spring after a few generations. This you may start off with what color your looking more for and which finage you like more. These are ways the betta breeders been creating new types and colors.
Betta Splendens have many other types of them now since breeders been doing this for example:
  1. Viel Tail
  2. Halfmoons
  3. Halfmoon Plakats(Short Tail Halfmoon)
  4. Split Tails(Short Tail Split Tails, Halfmoon Split Tails) Another Name Double Tail
All These fish came from a short tail betta Splendens through a major load of breeding.
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Breeding room, where the breeder is breeding for the looks or type of fish(betta) he is looking for.



Work Cited-

http://watershed3.tripod.com/bettas.html
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fwsubwebindex/betta_splendens.htm
http://ibanorum.netfirms.com/kayanswamp.htm
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/profile.php?genus=Betta&species=tussyae
http://nippyfish.net/bettas-101/feeding-bettas/frozen-live-betta-food/
http://www.vangsplakat.com/spawnlog1.htm
http://www.flippersandfins.net/BettaBreedingArticle.htm