Betta fish is one of the most interesting creatures. They have diverse and many interesting facts attached to them. They are known as the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). In Thai, Betta fish known as pla- kad and in Khmer, it is known as trey krem. This fish belongs to goruami family and is one of the most popular and loved aquarium fish. Betta fish is not just one fish species but, is a genus that has many different species of fishes.
These fishes belong to Mekong basin of Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia. They can be spotted is the standing water of canals, floodplains as well as rice paddies.
Here are 10 cool facts about Betta fish :
1. Betta Fishes Can Breathe Air and Survive without Water For Sometime
This is one of the most interesting or rather unbelievable facts about the betta fishes. Since childhood, we learn that fishes cannot live without water. They need water to survive. But, it comes as a great surprise when you get to know that there is one fish that can breathe air and survive without water but, only for a short interval of time. The great fish is betta fish.
Yes! This fact can raise many eyebrows. They can breathe air and can live for a short period sans water. For this purpose, betta fishes have special organ known as labyrinth organ. This organ helps the fishes to breathe air from surface. This is for this special organ that betta fishes are categorised as anabantoids or labyrinth fishes. This special organ allows the betta fishes to survive in the water where oxygen content is quite low. This is the reason why these fishes can successfully live in rice paddies, polluted ponds and stagnant ponds.
2. Betta Fishes Make Bubble Nests to Protect the Eggs
We have already previously in this article that the responsibility of taking care of the eggs is taken by the male betta fishes and they do their work amazingly. They do it by forming a bubble nest around the eggs. Betta fishes are known to form a bubble around the eggs in order to protect them. This is a distinctive character of the betta fishes. The males form a bubble around the egg by taking inside the air and then spitting out bubble which is embedded in the fish’s spit.
They form the bubble nests after the females release the eggs. The male betta fish gather all the eggs in mouth by following the female betta fish and then spits the eggs into a bubble nest. They build the bubble nest in order to protect the eggs. This is an instinctive behaviour portrayed by the male betta fishes. This behaviour is also an indicative of a healthy and a happy betta.
3. They Can Also Suffer From Constipation
This is one of the most interesting facts about the betta fishes. This is kind of unbelievable but, betta fishes can really suffer from constipation. For betta fishes, constipation can prove to be a very deadly disease. Constipation in betta fishes can lead to an enlarged digestive tract as well as swim bladed disorder.
There are certain causes for constipation in betta fishes. One of the reasons can be overfeeding. Low temperature can also lead to constipation in betta fishes. A betta fish that is suffering from constipation will look bloated and present with problems in defecating.
4. Betta Fishes are Way Too Intelligent
They are not only humans who are intelligent; fishes too can be intelligent. Betta fishes score 10 on 10 when it comes to intelligence. They are the most intelligent fishes. They have a capability of recognizing their owners. They can perform tricks. They can follow your finger in the fish bowl. They can swim through the hoops. They can also successfully push a ball into goal. They can jump for food. They can ring bells when they need food. If properly trained, they can do many things.
5. Betta Fishes Can Live Up To About 9 Years
An average betta fish live up to two to three years on an average but, a betta fish can survive up to 9 years in optimal conditions. If the water conditions are totally good and apt for the betta fishes, they get regular exercise. Here, they can live up to nine years. This is way too much as compared to the other fishes that do not have such a long life span.
6. Wild Bettas Vs Household Bettas
There is a wide difference between household bettas and wild bettas. Wild bettas are dull brown in colour. They feature red fins. The dorsal stripes of the wild bettas are darker than the household betta fishes.
The wild fishes survive in hostile environment and their colour helps them to survive in that environment. They camouflage themselves from the predators.
7. Male Betta Fishes Take Care of the Off- springs
The male betta fishes are the in- charge of the off- springs. They take care of the little off- springs. The mothers usually don’t get involved in the care taking process. Male bettas take this responsibility and fulfil it quite nicely.
When the female Siamese fighter fishes lay the eggs, the male forms a bubble nest and take care of them until the eggs hatch. Even after the egg hatches, the male bettas take care of the little off spring until it learns to swim and learn to feed on its own.
8. Beautifully Coloured Betta Fishes are Due To Selective Breeding
Betta fishes are synonymous to beautiful, bright and vibrant colours. These fishes come in many beautiful colours as well as different shapes. But, these fishes do not appear naturally. The natural bettas are not actually very vibrant and bright. Wild betta fishes are dull brown and green in colour with red fins. All these colourful betta fishes are a result of breeding. The breeders successfully create beautiful and bright colours, shapes and patterns of betta fishes.
9. They have Beautiful and Different Tail Shapes
Betta fishes are beautiful. They are beautiful because they have very pretty tails. Their tails are of different colours as well as shapes. Their vibrant coloured tails styled in various patterns make these fishes quite distinct. There patterns intensify their beauty and the bright colours look absolutely amazing.
The different shapes of the tails are crown, comb, double, delta, half-moon, half sun, feather, rose, plakat, spade, veil, round and many others. Many of these types of tails have their sub types which make these fishes distinctive.
10. Betta Fishes are Very Aggressive and Extremely Territorial
True to their name Siamese fighting fish are actually fighting fishes. They name speaks ample about them. Siamese fighting fishes are very aggressive in nature. They are fighters. Male fishes are way too aggressive and territorial. They attack other male Siamese fighting fishes but, live in harmony with other fish species. Females are less violent as compared to the male fishes.
Interestingly, the male Siamese fighting fishes get aggressive and flare up even after looking their own reflection. Their fights with other betta fishes do not lead to death but, cause serious injuries.
If you plan to keep Betta fishes in an aquarium, do not keep male fishes together.