PS: If you read Betta as bei.taa, then you’re wrong. It’s beh.tuh
Bettas — often referred to as the “Siamese fighting fish” or “Labyrinth Fish” are one of the most attractive aquatic creatures found among the 15000 species of freshwater fishes around the world. This species of fishes are generally known for its violent nature, vibrant colours and tails that budge like Valentino gowns in water. They were originally found in the southern parts of Asia around 150 years ago in Thailand during the rule of the King of Siam. It’s no wonder even if it’s speculated that the name “Siamese fighter” was taken from the name of the city — Siam. But, there are no proven facts though. However, did the scientists stop just with the name “Siamese fighter”? Not at all, they were so curious that they had to discover a felicitous name for the species and that is “Betta Splendens”, meaning “Beautiful warriors”. These beautiful warriors became so popular in the olden times that the King of Siam started trading them off to different countries around the world and eventually people like us started using them as decorative fishes kept in aesthetically- pleasing fish bowls and jars in houses and workplaces just to watch the beauty of bettas wobbling in water.
In fact, what makes Bettas so special?
It is found that there are around 73 different species of betta fish in the world out of which the “Siamese fighting fish — Betta Splendens” are widely known and petted. There’s an astounding amount of varieties in their appearances in the same Siamese species which makes it difficult for people to recognize the bettas from the same family. On average, these tiny little creatures with fancy tails live up to 3 to 5 years of age but in rare cases, healthy bettas live up to even 8 to 9 years and that’s mostly based on their environment and lifestyle. We know that fishes breathe with their gills but bettas are one of those fishes that can breathe with their gills and also breathe atmospheric air with the help of a special organ called “Labyrinth” and that’s why Bettas are also referred to as “Labyrinth fish”.
When it comes to its unique features, bettas are widely available in different patterns, fin types, tail types and obviously in wide varieties of colours. Based on their tail types, bettas are typically named Double tail, half-moon tail, half sun tail, crown tail and many more. It’s a plethora of names when it comes to bettas based on patterns, there are Bi-colored, Multi-colored, dragon, butterfly, Mask, marble and many more varieties of Bettas with vivid and flashy colours. The variations are plenty which makes every single one of them look captivating in their own way.
But, why are Bettas said to be aggressive even after getting all the attention in the world?
Studies have found that bettas are very sensitive creatures and very territorial, meaning they do not prefer to be housed with any other fish and prefer to be kept in solitary confinement with plants, caves, etc. Bettas love to be the king of their own tanks as they’re unlikely to get lonely, but depending on the size of the tank they’re in, they usually get bored if there’s no enough room to explore. Nevertheless, If bettas are kept together, they tend to fight with each other even resulting in the death of either one of them. It’s the male bettas who are often found to be fighting more when compared to the female ones. Bettas can even get frustrated and depressed easily if they’re placed with noncompatible fishes in the same tank which makes them more prone to picking a fight, but as bettas are very curious creatures, they love to inspect any other non-living things that are put into the tank. Bettas are also intelligent aquatic creatures who can identify their human guardians and recognize their presence. Rushing towards the end of the tank and swimming excitedly are some of the ways Bettas express their love and happiness.
To be continued.