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Care Of The Siamese Fighting Fish   by Lee Dobbins

With it’s long flowing fins and vibrant colors, it’s easy to see why the Betta Splendens or Siamese Fighting Fish is a favorite fish for fresh water aquariums. Often seen in tiny little bowls in the pet store, this male of this species is fiercely territorial and must be kept in separate bowls or aquariums or they may fight to the death.

These interesting fish are equipped with a tipped up mouth that enables them to get air from the surface of the water and, therefore live in small bowls or those plant vases that are so popular today. If you want to have a long lived healthy fish, however this method of keeping him, is not recommended.

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The ideal environment for a Siamese fighting fish, is a fish tank of 5 gallons or more with proper filtration and heating. In nature, this fish lives in very shallow water that has little movement. It is a tropical fish and likes water temperature to be in the high 70’s. For the best health of your fish, keep the water heated to 78 degrees and use a gently filtration system that does not create any strong movement in the water.

As with any fish, the Betta will be in best health, if periodic water changes are done and the replacement water is properly conditioned. Keeping the tank clean helps to keep down the level of toxins in the water and helps the fish resist disease. Another important aspect to keeping any fish is to make sure you do not overload the tank – a general rule of thumb is 1 inch of fish per gallon. So if you have a 20 gallon tank, it can safely house 20 inches of fish. The less fish the better, of course. Refrain from mixing your Siamese fighting fish with any other fish that like to nip at fins, and remember only 1 male per tank!

Siamese fighting fish are meat eaters and like to dine on insects and larvae in their natural habitat. Of course this might not be practical for your pet fish but the more closely you can resemble his natural diet the better off your fish will be. If you can give him live food once in a while that will be great, in the interim you can feed him frozen foods, tubifex worms and brine shrimp. This fish will eat flake food with no problem, but it is best if you can supplement that with some fresh or frozen “meat”.

Proper care of this beautiful fish is not any different than any other tropical fish and they can be a lovely addition to your tank. With good care, proper feeding and maybe some luck, your Siamese fighting fish can live up to 3 years.

About the Author
Lee Dobbins is the owner of www.epet-center.com where you can find more information on tropical fish and other pet supplies and information.