20 Interesting Betta Fish Facts To Better Know Your Betta
Initially discovered in Southeast Asia and originally inhabiting flood plains, drainage ditches and rice paddies, the beautifully colored Betta fish is often kept as an aesthetic decoration in homes and offices. Also known as the Siamese fighting fish and 'The Jewel of the Orient', they are quite popular as aquarium pets, and require rather low maintenance and care. Most people know very little about the nature and characteristic of these multi-colored fish. Here are 20 interesting facts about Betta fish that will make you love and appreciate them, and perhaps even want to own some of your own.
If you enjoy this list you might enjoy learning about some of the weirdest animals in the world. And no, the Betta isn't one of them!
Male Bettas Often Flare At Each Other To Establish Dominance
When Bettas feel threatened they tend to flare by sticking out their gill covers and letting out the operculum, which looks like a big, black beard. This is their way of establishing dominance, but takes a big toll on the fish. Usually it's the males who flare, but the females of the species have been known to flare up as well when threatened.
The Betta Courtship Ritual Is Aggressive
This species of fishes lay eggs and go for an amazing courtship which looks more or less like a battle between the male and the female. This happens because before the actual courtship takes place, the female and the male will fight for the same territory. You might call this a real battle of the sexes!
Siamese Fighting Fish Can Live Up To 9 Years, In Optimal Conditions
Although on average Bettas live around 2-3 years, they can live as long as 9 years when the water conditions are good and they go through regular exercise. This is an extremely long life span compared to other fish species.
The Males Of The Species Are Extremely Territorial
Ironically the male Betta fish behave in an extremely alpha way when around other aggresive fish of any kind, in particular other Betta males. They are highly territorial and have been known to fight until they kill, or are killed, by their opponents in order to protect their territory. This is the reason Bettas are often placed in secluded tanks at pet stores, or at the most with other, more docile fish - and you'll never find two Betta males in the same fish tank.
Upturned Mouth Structure
A fish's lifestyle is greatly determined by the positioning of its mouth. Downward-facing mouths, such as those found on Catfish and other bottom-dwelling fish, enable them to feed near the ground, from sand, rock surfaces, etc.
Betta fish have upturned mouths, a position known as the 'superior mouth' when it comes to fish. It enables them to efficiently feed near the water's surface, allowing them to catch mosquito larvae and small insects from the floating vegetation.