Why Do Betta Fish Fight?

Whether you’ve owned betta fish your entire life or just recently started keeping them, at some point you’ll wonder or be asked the question: Why do betta fish fight?
There are a bunch of reasons why these pugnacious fish fight each other, but the history behind why betta fish are so aggressive dates back centuries. Betta’s were originally discovered in Southeast Asia in the 1800s. They were brought from their natural habitat in rice paddies and puddles, back to local towns by those working in the fields.
The betta fish and their aggression led to keepers fighting them, betting on the matches, and specifically breeding them for increased aggression. Matches became so widespread the King of Siam regulated these fights by taxing them. This genetic aggression still exists today.
Fighting Myth Betta fish will not always fight to the absolute death. Most of the time they won’t even get close to that point, unless they’ve been selectively bred for aggression or are trapped in a small tank..

Owner Spotlight: Jeane and Samblu

Today we have a special Owner Spotlight from Jeane, aka Greene Jeane. Originally from the PNW, Jeane now lives on the east coast and enjoys keeping planted aquariums and freshwater species.
You’ll find a ton of great photos and information on her planted aquariums on her blog. For now, let’s get to know a little more about her and her betta fish named Samblu.
How long have you been an aquarist? What’s your favorite part?
I kept goldfish and angelfish as a kid, then there was a long hiatus while I was in college. I really got back into the aquarium hobby four years ago. My favorite part is watching the fish! It’s better than TV. I could spend hours observing as they drift around, especially in the tank I have, with multiple fish and how they interact.
Your betta fish’s name is Samblu, is there a story behind that name?
Nothing special. I kind of named him after Sam Gamgee, and because of his brilliant color. I was calling him Sam Blue for a while, then just shortened it to Samblu.
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What Kind of Water for Betta Fish?

The type of water you put in your betta fish’s tank can have a major impact on their health. Water might look the same, whether it comes from your faucet or from a bottle you buy at the store. But, just like the air we breathe, the water betta fish live in needs to be just right. We want to replicate their natural habitat and required nutrients. By following these water guidelines, your betta fish will be happy, healthy and beautiful.
Recommended Water Parameters
Tap Water for Betta Fish?
The water most readily available for most of us is the water that comes straight from a faucet. Depending on where you live, tap water usually has added chemicals like chlorine. These chemicals make tap water safe for us to drink. Those same chemicals that help us are capable of hurting, or even killing, a betta fish.
Luckily, there are plenty of high quality, and inexpensive water conditioners to remove chemicals from your tap water in seconds. This makes it safe for your betta fish to live in…

Do Betta Fish Poop?

Yes, betta fish do poop, everyone poops! You may not witness your betta pooping but you will see it accumulating at the bottom of your tank. A lot of time it’s mistaken for uneaten betta pellets because betta fish poop tends to be clumpy and more round than long and stringy.
Just like other pets, bettas gravitate towards pooping in the same general spot. You’ll often see most of their waste in one location unless you have a strong current or other tank mates disturbing the bottom of the tank. They are also quite picky about being in a safe place when they poop, often near a planted area for privacy (ha!). This can make take cleaning easier too.
How Often Do Betta Fish Poop? Bettas will poop as often as they need to just like you and me. If you feed them in similar quantities and they eat regularly, they will poop regularly too. The frequency may decline or even stop for periods of time if they refuse to eat, are constipated, or sick. Don’t worry too much about monitoring their bowel ..

Do Betta Fish Need A Filter?

Whether betta fish need a filter or not depends on several factors including tank size, the level of care, tank mates, and more. It’s not a simple yes or no answer because they can survive and even thrive in both scenarios with the right care.
Problems arise from misinformation and from beginner caretakers who believe a bowl or other small tank is going to be less work and less expensive. That’s simply not true and can lead to a sick betta or worse. Before you make your decision on filtration, make sure you fully read and understand the pros and cons of each.
Let’s start by understanding a betta’s natural habitat, living in rice paddies and shallow bodies of water. During droughts, a wild betta may even end up in a murky puddle for a period of time with very little oxygen. Betta fish are able to survive in these conditions through evolution, with the unique ability to gulp oxygen from the air (at the water’s surface) instead of relying solely on their gills. This ability comes from t..

Do Betta Fish Grow? How Big?

Yes, the betta fish or Siamese fighting fish is a freshwater tropical fish that does grow as it becomes older. Betta fish are considered fully developed once they reach approximately 7 months old but can grow larger depending on their environment and care.
If you purchased your betta from a pet store, they are generally between 6 months to 1 year old. These bettas (usually betta splendens) may already be close to their maximum size and have likely fully developed their beautiful long finnage. Age, finnage, and size may vary if purchasing from a breeder or if it is another species of betta altogether (e.g. wild).
Certain pet stores like Petco have also begun selling baby betta fish (Fry). These juvenile bettas range anywhere from five weeks old to nine weeks old. Baby bettas are obviously much smaller in size and require special care and monitoring and should be reserved for experienced caretakers.
Source: Wayne’s Betta Pages
How Big Do Bettas Get Betta fish have an average length o..

Do Betta Fish Have Teeth?

Yes, betta fish do have teeth just like you and me, and for some of the same reasons too. If you look very closely during feedings or when they gulp air at the water’s surface you may be able to see their tiny white teeth. If you can’t, try using a smartphone camera or other camera and its zoom feature. Then inspect the photo up close.
One of the main reasons betta fish have teeth is to break down whole food. This helps the digestion of their food into energy and waste too. When you feed your betta fish pellets or blood worms, for example, you’ll notice the chomping action before they swallow and move onto the next piece.
Another advantage of having lots of tiny and sharp teeth is for protection. Betta fish are territorial fighter fish and will fight, sometimes to the death. During fights, betta fish will bite and nip at other fish, especially if they are bright colored and have long fins. This aggression is embedded into the DNA and is important in the wild. Never intentionally make..

Why Do Betta Fish Make Bubbles?

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Male betta fish, like the betta splenden, blow bubbles and build bubble clusters (nests) for reproduction. It’s the first step in the mating process with nest building starting as soon as they are old enough to reproduce.
The bubbles act as a safe haven for the eggs during incubation and for the fry until they are old enough to swim and get oxygen from the surface on their own. Bubble nests, which are also commonly referred to as foam nests, are created by gulping air and blowing oral secretion (saliva) bubbles, near the surface of the water.
In your tank, you can identify a bubble nest as the collection of bubbles on the surface of the water. The male will instinctively build a bubble nest with or without a female present. This is why you may find a bubble nest in your tank even if your betta has never seen or had contact with a female.
Bubble Nests and Mating In The Wild In the wild, a male betta fish must fight for his territory ag..

How Long Do Betta Fish Live? Average Lifespans

The average betta fish lifespan for male and females is 2-4 years in captivity. How long a betta fish will live depends on a variety of factors though. The two most important elements are how old a betta is when you get him or her, and how they are cared for in captivity.
If possible, purchase a betta from a local or online breeder like Aquabid instead of a pet or big box store. These stores will sell male bettas when they are approximately one year old, and female bettas when they are roughly six months old. This will affect how long you have them.
Buy a Healthy Betta Fish It’s always unclear how they have been cared for when coming from suppliers, and unknown breeders. This means they may have been subjected to cramped environments, diseases, and parasites which can shorten their lifespan.
Getting a healthy betta from the start is a key factor in how long they will live. Buying a young betta is important if you want to have them throughout most or all of their life too. Healthy be..