Colorful hardy tropical fish

Betta splendens- The ultimate tropical fish

The Betta splendens or by its common name Siamese Fighting-Fish is a beautiful hardy tropical fish. This Siamese Fighting-Fish is from the Mekong river basin in Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia (South-East Asia). Usually lives in shallow waters with little water movement, like Rice-Paddies. In nature, this specie's males have shorter fins that those we usually see in shops, these are called by the Thai "Plakad" (meaning- "Fighter"), and are used in Thailand for show-fights (just like roosters). Although their fins are short, they are still bigger than those of females. These males are more aggressive than long-finned males, but they are less susceptible to infectious diseases and have faster ability to recover after fights. Of the long-finned strains, there's the most known Veil-tail, which are the commonest in shops. More appreciated tail forms are the Round-tail, Fantail, and Delta-tail. All these tail forms can appear in two fin forms- Double-tail and Comb/Crown-tail. Double-tail has a long dorsal fin, and their caudal fin is variably divided to two lobes. Comb-tail has fin rays that grow variably longer that the fin's soft tissue, resembling a comb. Crown-tail is a Comb-tail with equal and symmetric lengths of fin rays and soft tissue. Another famous strain and probably the most famous is the Half-moon. This is a fin form, appearing mostly on Delta-tails, in which the caudal fin is spread to 180o, while flaring. Aside of it, the fish must have other criteria to be considered as a true Half-moon.

Aside from tail forms, these fish come in all colors and patterns. In nature, they have a black body, with turquoise/blue/steel-blue iridescent on it, and red washes on it fins. The first color strain produced was called Cambodian, with clear-pinkish body and red fins. By today, with further understanding the fish's genetics, we have Solid colored fish, in the colors of Red, Non-red Yellow, Black, White, Orange, Royal-blue, Steel-blue, Turquoise and the newest- Copper. Then comes the Bi-colors, mostly Cambodians and Iridescent with red or yellow washes on their fins. And along side with these, come the Tri-colored, also known as Multi-colored, mainly containing the colors- Clear + Iridescent + Red. Patterns have also developed, from the "solid" regulars, we've got to Variegated-fins (the most appreciated is the known Butterfly), and Marbled (which can change their color patterns throughout their life). Every breeder give different names to the strain lines they create, one of these, most known, is the Mustard-Gas created by Jude Als. By looking at all the colors, patterns and tail and fin forms, it is easy to see why this fish is probably one of the most known and popular freshwater fishes. The betta is a carnivore fish in its natural habitat; it eats mainly insect larvae, small crustaceans and other aquatic invertebrates. The fish is mostly accustomed to dry commercial foods, so will have no problem with these foods- make sure it is mainly meaty foods. In out fish tank the fish is mainly calm, and might be shay in community aquariums at start, once settled it will get active. Males and females are aggressive towards each other. In long-finned cultivated strains, females tend to be more aggressive than males. Males will always fight over territory and might kill one another. The betta is durable to low water conditions, though; long-finned strains are more susceptible to high amounts of nitrogen compounds in water and will quickly suffer from fin-rot, dropsy and other illnesses. In large aquariums these fish need good filtration system with low to moderate water flow. If water flow is too strong, the fish will settle in a spot where flow is lowest and will hardly move from it. When kept in a jar, water should be changed every week- the amount of water changed, depends on the jar's volume. Some people buy dry leafs of a tree called Ketapang/Indian Almond-tree (Terminalia katappa) and insert them to the fish's jar. It is said to help preventing infectious diseases and getting the fish into breeding-mood. When feeding these fish, avoid over-feeding...

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by OwnedBy_a_Siberian

To add your keeper fish - like if you wanted a tropical tank with gouramis and other colorful fish. They are not hardy enough to survive the stress involved in cycling a tank - ammonia, nitrite and nitrate spikes. Danios, platies, mollies are all good for cycling and don't cost a lot. You can add fish now, but expect them to die, basically.
I have African cichlids, but i cycled my tank with cheap danios (70 cents each). My "keeper" fish are 20-50 dollars each. It would be pointless to put 50 dollar fish in until the water is safe - know what I mean?
Your water will also be cloudy during this process

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