Known for their stunning finnage and rainbow colors, these charming and hardy little fish suffer from a wealth of misinformation, and both they and their owners miss out as a result.  The following sections contain information and detailed instructions for the care of the unique Betta Splendens and to provide their owners with the experience of a naturally healthy, active and vibrantly colorful pet for many years.


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Common Names: Betta, Siamese Fighting Fish, Fighter


  • Order: Perciformes (Anabantidae, prior to reclassification)
  • Family: Osphronemidae
  • Genus: Betta
  • Species: B. Splendens

Origin: Thailand and Cambodia

Main Ecosystem: Rice paddies – still water, shallow but wide water bodies

Salinity: Freshwater

Temperament: Aggressive

Diet: Carnivore

pH: 6.0 – 7.8

Temperature: 76-84 F (78-80F is ideal)

Hardness: 4-10 d

Potential size: 2 – 3”

Minimum tank size: 3 gallons (5+ gallons is best)

Water Region: Upper water column

Lifespan: 2-7 years (up to 9 years reported)

Color: White, black, red, orange, yellow, green, and blue, in countless combinations, intensities, and patterns.

Mouth: Upturned


  • Males: Distinguished by their longer fins (especially longer ventral fins) and gill membrane (“beard”). Their bodies are generally longer, and it is primarily males who build bubblenests, though some females do as well.
  • Females: Distinguished by their shorter fins, lesser color variety, absence of gill membrane (“beard”), and the presence of the ovipositor (small white appendage visible on belly just behind ventral fins). Females can exhibit vertical breeding stripes and horizontal stress stripes on their bodies, though some males can show stress stripes as well.