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Ten Things You Should Know About Betta Fish
1. Betta fish have excellent eyesight, which is why they swim to the top of the tank whenever they see a human hand hovering over it to put food in it.
2. Another name for the betta is the Siamese fighting fish, and its name is pronounced the same as when we say the Greek letter beta, for this reason some misspell the name, which is why you often see it spelled beta fish, which is the American way. Some think the name has something to do with the Greek letter, but it is actually derived from the Thai word “ikan bettah”. Betta fish are known as pla-kad in Thailand and live in shallow freshwater.
3. Because of the fantastic colors of male bettas and other advantages, they are the most popular aquarium fish. Of course, this does not mean that you can just put them in the tank and not take care of them, they need a lot of care.
4. Betta fish are actually native to Southeast Asia, Thailand, Malaysia, and China.
5. They grow to about 3 inches and have a relatively short lifespan of about 2 years, but some live up to 4 years, some have been known to live over 6 years in well maintained aquariums.
6. When a male betta fish is in his aggressive phase, he puffs up. During this bloat, it raises its gill covers and fins to appear larger than it is, thus giving it a more impressive appearance. This inflating is done both through aggression and during the courtship phase when trying to impress a potential mate.
7. Some Asian countries breed them for fighting, similar to cockfighting roosters. Betta fish used in this way have shorter fins than those commonly seen in our Western Hemisphere aquariums. In fact, wild bettas have very short fins, it is breeders who have developed bettas with longer, brightly colored fins.
8. Betta fish always seem to make funny bubbles on the top of the tank; it’s just his way of making a nest. A male betta creates bubble nests in the wild, so when a female approaches, he performs his fin-flashing tribal dance to impress her, when he is impressed, he breeds and then fertilizes the eggs. After being the perfect daddy, he scoops the eggs into his mouth and gently places them in his bubble nest. And it is done; the interlude above that was their ‘Brief Encounter’.
9. The male takes full care of the eggs for 2 days after the eggs are loaded and safely deposited, if any of the fry fall out of the nest he picks them up in his mouth and puts them back, so it is the beta male who takes care of the eggs until they hatch and then , who may or may not decide to eat some of his young, so much for being the perfect DAD!
10. If the female does not turn her tail and get out of there as quickly as possible, the male, like the female black widow spider, will turn on her male partner, the male Betta will turn on the female.
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