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  Weekly Feature (April 20, 2008)


Siamese Fighting Fish
(Betta splendens)
by Dina


Most of us have probably seen Bettas in the pet store. Bettas originate in the shallow waters in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and parts of China.

B. splendens usually grow to an overall length of about 6.0 cm . They come in a variety of colours and fin types. More on Betta Colours and Fin Types

Bettas must have access to the water surface. A labyrinth organ in their heads allows them to take oxygen directly from the atmosphere, (in addition to the oxygen taken from the water via their gills).

Another interesting characteristic of the Betta is that the males tend to the eggs and young. The male will build a bubble nest. Once the pair is ready to spawn, they will display intense colouration and start circling each other beneath the bubble nest.

The male will wrap himself around the female who has turned on her back. As she expels her eggs, they are fertilized and begin to sink. The male will scoop up the eggs and spit them into the nest. From this point on the male will tend the brood and the female should be removed. He spits eggs that fall out back into the nest.

In one to two days the eggs will hatch. The fry will be visible hanging in the bubble nest. They will feed off their yolk sack for about a day and a half. During this time the male will continue to pick up any fry that fall out of the nest. The male may eat the young once they are free swimming, so should be removed within two days after the fry hatch.

To see a spawning pair



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