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Fish 101 | PetsWeekly

Caring for Your New Betta Fish

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Bettas are the perfect beginner fish. They take up very little room, don't need a lot of care, and will swim to the side of the bowl every time they see you, begging for more food and attention.

All About Bettas

Bettas (Betta splendens) are also known as Siamese fighting fish. They are native to Southwestern Asia, where farmers found them living in rice paddies and began to raise them for their colors and their fighting ability. At one point, men would even wager money on fights between bettas, but thanks to new laws and people who are more educated, such an act would be considered animal cruelty.

Male bettas have bright colors and long, flowing fins to attract females. However, they are highly aggressive toward other males (so aggressive that they will often attack anything that resembles another betta fish). Many will even attack their own reflections...

When a male betta is threatened or spots another fish, it will flare out its gill covers, which is called opercular flaring. They will also spread out their dorsal and tail fins, making them look larger and more threatening. Then, the betta will beat its fins rapidly and charge towards the other fish.

This is why it's important to keep them in a tank by themselves.

Read more: Caring for Your New Betta Fish

Aquatic Quotes

  • "I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I
    Henry David Thoreau
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Fish Facts

  • Which type of fish can walk on land? The climbing perch. This amazing fish, native to India, can walk on land in search of water when its water hole dries up.
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