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!
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.
Generally, Betta fish are carnivores (or, to be more exact, insectivores). They prefer to feed on insect larvae, worms, fish pellet and flakes. They also feed on eggs of insects occasionally. In general, if you see Bettas feeding off of plant roots and such, it means they're very hungry and unable to find the insects they crave for.
Bettas have a special organ through which they can breathe in air like human beings. This unique organ, known as the labyrinth, is very crucial and helps the Bettas to survive in slow flowing streams and rice paddies, wherein the oxygen content of the water is comparatively lower.
Betta fish derived their name from an ancient warrior group from Thailand, and were given the name in the 1800s once they became popular for their fighting skills. In those times Betta fish fights were a popular sport - so popular, in fact, that the King of Siam decided to have them regulated and taxed. Bets were placed on the bravery of the Betta fish during fights rather then on the damage inflicted.
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.