Siamese Fighting Fish (male)
Behaviour Peaceful, variable, males will fight
Typical size 5cm
Max size 7cm
Tank Area All
Min Tank Size 30cm
Max Number 1
Temp Min: 24℃ Max: 30℃
Feeding Flake, frozen, live foods
pH Range 6-8.5
Hardness vs,s,m,h,vh
Red Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens
  • Red Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens - thumbnail
  • White Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens - thumbnail
  • Blue Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens - thumbnail
  • Red Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens - thumbnail
  • Red Purple Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens - thumbnail
  • White Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens - thumbnail
  • Purple Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens - thumbnail
  • Blue Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens - thumbnail

Siamese Fighting Fish (male)

Betta splendens

The Siamese Fighting Fish is a firm favourite amongst many aquarists and with its extensive finnage and colour, is often unfortunately bought on impulse. Many fish keepers have problems keeping these fish and this is mainly down to incompatible tank mates and a lack of useful information. The male fighters downfall is its extensive finnage, which provides an attractive target for many otherwise peaceful fish to take a nip at. The culprits for this are not always the usual suspects and normally peaceful ‘community’ fish can often find nipping irresistible. Almost all deep-bodied tetras will nip at fighter fins, and many slender tetras have also been seen to be problematic. Whilst the Siamese Fighter itself is usually peaceful, and only gets its name from intense fighting between males, it is very variable in character and individuals may be reclusive and timid or bold and extrovert depending on their environment. Rogue individuals can also cause compatibility problems with tank mates and fighters have been known to bully or pick on other fish at random. Whilst there are problems with mixing, this depends very much on the individual fish and in the majority of cases if Siamese Fighters are kept in the correct environment, they can be housed with a variety of species. Due to the complexities of safe mixing, the Siamese fighter is not included in the Think Fish Community Creator and it is best to rely on solid fish keeping experience and advice from expert fish keepers. Aquariums for Siamese Fighters should have plenty of hiding spots, plants and areas to investigate. Small aquariums are often preferred by fighters, but not obscenely small as is unfortunately all too often seen. Although not as common in the UK, Siamese Fighters are seen kept in incredibly small containers, where due to their hardy nature and ability to breath air, they will survive. This practice must be considered incredibly cruel and inhumane. It is perfectly fine to keep a male Siamese Fighter in a small aquarium (30cm+) provided it is heated, filtered and well planted. The natural lifespan of these fish is around 18-24 months, fish offered for sale are normally around 6 months old. Never keep two males together or they will fight until one is dead. Females and males can be mixed, although this is best left to experienced fish keepers since during spawning the fish can get quite rough, and territorial individuals will be problematic. Female Fighters are less colourful and do not have the long fins of the male, females are relatively peaceful and can be kept in groups but they are also timid and prone to disease problems.

Family Osphronemidae (Gouramies) | Other names Pla Kat, Siamese Fighter, Chinese Fighting Fish | Origin Asia; Thailand, Cambodia | Breeding Bubble nester, eggs hatch after 24 hours | Natural Water Conditions pH 6-8, very soft to hard | Natural Habitat Vegetated standing waters and rivers | Sexing Females have significantly shorter fins and are much less colourful

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