Female fighting fish (wild type)
Betta splendens Regan, 1910
Fighting fish , or siamese cockerel (lat. Betta splendens) - a species of fish from the macropod family. It is a representative of labyrinth fish that use atmospheric air for breathing. It got its name due to the pugnacious character of males participating in tournament fights in Asia. A popular aquarium fish known as cockerel .
This eccentric fish cockerel: is it possible to make friends with them?
There are fish that everyone knows about. Anyone who has ever been fond of aquarium business has heard about their exploits. These males are extraordinary fish of the macropod family, the originality of character and the glamorous appearance of which will not leave anyone indifferent.
Siamese cockerel is not just a type of fish, it is its character
It just so happens that, when choosing inhabitants for his aquarium, a person, first of all, pays attention to the expressiveness of their appearance, ease of character and unpretentiousness. The seller is interested in them:
- food addictions
- exactingness to clean and saturated air,
- cohabitation with neighbors in the aquarium,
- the presence of difficulties in reproduction.
How often, having appreciated the combination of properties, the buyer stops at the cockerel! Despite the widespread opinion about their fighting character, intransigence even with their brothers, as well as their cunning and hyperactive excitement.
This happens because a small but fighting cock does not really make any special demands. It is optional for him:
- to defend water
- maintain its temperature to 27 degrees,
- strictly select the type of algae and so on.
Much more important is the "living environment." This must be taken seriously, otherwise the neighbors will be without tails, with damaged fins or even exhausted attacks.
Such an aquarium fish has been known since the late XVIII - early XIX centuries. Observing residents of Siam drew attention to the strange nature of the inhabitants of stagnant rivers, which were aggressive for no reason. They fought with each other aggressively and sharply, up to jumping out of the water and self-sacrifice. These were the micro-fighters, called Siamese fish - males.
Later, in the imperial palace, the appreciation of their originality grew even more. Up to the fascination of famous people with fish fights, including with fairly significant rates. Fighting fish gained recognition and honor.
Since then, much has changed. For example, a visual image. The classic individual looks discreet: gray-silver color, longitudinal dark stripes from head to tail, elongated oblate body from the sides and rounded large fins.
Through the efforts of breeders, a breakthrough was practically made: the gray color of the fish males today turned into a whole rainbow of shades: from blue to red, from light pink to terry yellow. In addition, there are:
Perhaps these decorative creations are one of the most extravagant.
When is the life of the Siamese fighters full of pleasure?
Aquarium fish cockerels require little from their owners:
- water volume from four liters per individual,
- its regular change (at least a quarter of the volume),
- filtration from pollution,
- the presence of algae, better than living, as well as artificial and natural shelters: grottoes, shells, pitfalls, snags and others,
Often, a cockerel fish rests at the bottom of the aquarium for relaxation. So she sleeps. Therefore, the soil should not have wits and be too hard.
Given that, by nature, a cockerel is a labyrinth fish, it can easily survive without filling the water with air: floating to the surface, it swallows it with its mouth, thereby satisfying its oxygen needs.
Keeping them simple and inexpensive. Aquarium of small size can be arranged even in a decorative glass. A common rosacea plant is quite suitable for a rooster fish — an unpretentious and fast-growing algae or dentate — a fluffy bright green twig that has the ability to grow and sprout quickly. But in a small aquarium it is more difficult to create an original design, you need a suitable light and a temperature controller.
The tendency to battle requires not overgrown main space and the possibility of dispersal. Often in a fit of emotion, the cockerel gets little space and it practically flies through the wall of the aquarium and, if you do not bring it back in time, life ends.
But she swims calmly. In this case, the male is less likely.
Care must be taken to feed such pets: they are very voracious and illegible. Everything is used: from classic dry daphnia to expensive live or balanced plate feed for macropods. And here it is important: better often, but in smaller quantities! Optimal - twice a day, few, at regular intervals. At the same time, no matter how carefully you choose food, the content of the males in the aquarium is unlikely to allow it to grow more than 4-5 cm, although if it lives in nature, the real size of the fish is up to 10 cm.
How long can a friendship with a cock last?
Buying such an inhabitant in a home interior, one may ask: how many cockerel fish live? How fast do they tend to die? Why? The answer to this question lies on the surface: everything is decided by the content of the males! Although the literature stipulates the average life expectancy of four to five years. But this is ideal. Fighting addictions constantly pose a threat to life, and a fight is a risk of injuring the lush and functional fins and tail, especially if the volume is small.
No matter how correct the care of the cockerel, the future, and therefore the number of years lived, is in “their hands”.
How to choose the “housemates"?
The well-being of the aquarium for the cockerel also depends on the biocenosis that has developed in it, i.e. from the natural relationships of the biological individuals that inhabit it. If the volume of water allows (at least 3 liters per fish), the choice of roommates can be made taking into account the following:
- fighting fish should be in a limited number (especially not two similar males),
- the plant should not irritate its inhabitants and emit harmful substances into the water (especially if they are artificial), a floating option is also suitable,
- it’s better if the neighboring fish don’t have bright fins and a tail (for example, guppies) that develop strongly in the water - this acts on the cock as a “red rag for the bull”,
- “eternally sleepy” scalars will not work either. Often in the mornings, you can pay attention to the deterioration of their condition due to hassles at night with attacking “aggressors”,
- sometimes an alliance with gouras, barbs, catfish, and molinsia is successful. With cockerels and zebrafish - perhaps, but not always. The result of the experiment depends on the nature of the individual. At the same time, they may not have to sleep at all.
At the same time, it is necessary to maintain such a “team” taking into account the biological characteristics of each representative. The cockerel is a special fish and it is a pity if in the morning he, dead, emerges to the surface. Therefore, it is so important to know the rules of “Cockerel Fish: Care”.
Some tricks ...
To make a cockerel fish productive effective, a settled volume of water is optional. Much more important is the "moral microclimate in the team." If something of the main host - the cockerel - is annoying, its behavior becomes defiant. It rushes from corner to corner, attacks other fish, harms their fins and other parts of the body. The struggle for the female with another male is especially intense. This is self-affirmation, consolidation of leadership. A reasonable trick is to populate one male and two females in one house.
The content of the cockerels in the aquarium
The aquarium for a cockerel can be round or rectangular, but always with clean and fresh water. Today, the interior is complemented by such author's aquarium models as a glass, a glass, an amphora. Many of them are not very functional, but even the simplest plant looks special in them. It is worth warning if there is a suspicion that the plant has a dying appearance, it is better to replace it: putrefactive bacteria should not get into the water.
An aquarium with cockerels should be covered with a special lid or net in order to exclude cases of fish “flying” beyond.
If the proposed team is approved, individuals should be selected in the same age category, it is better if they are still small. Let them grow together and get used to each other.
You should also give them the opportunity to hide from each other, for which to choose the appropriate design. Today it’s easy to do: the industry offers a wide selection of design solutions.
So how to take care of fish by roosters? One thing must be said for sure: the foundation must be laid on love and care.
The birthplace of the species is standing or slowly flowing reservoirs of Southeast Asia. The domesticated breeding form of aquarium fish is ubiquitous.
The first mention of its existence tentatively dates back to 1800. At that time, the inhabitants of Siam (now Thailand) drew attention to small fish, characterized by aggressive behavior in relation to each other. Discovered individuals had short fins and a nondescript brown body. Siamese began to cross wild Betta and got a fish called Pla Kat, which means "biting fish."
In 1840, the King of Siam handed over some of his valuable copies to Dr. Theodore Cantor, a physician from Bangkok. After 9 years, working on the characterization of the fish obtained, Dr. Cantor named them Macropodus pugnax. However, in 1909, the British ichthyologist Charles Tate Regan, who was engaged in the classification of fish, renamed them Betta splendensnoting that the view Macropodus pugnax already exists. Presumably, Regan borrowed the name from the existing militant Bettah tribe. Possible translation: Bettah (warrior) Splendid (nice).
First Betta It was imported to Paris in 1892 and to Germany in 1896. In 1910, she appeared in the United States. Frank Lock of San Francisco, California became the owner of the valuable cargo. During the selection, he received a fish named by him Betta cambodia. In fact, he was one of the first to receive a new color option. Betta splendens.
In Russia, the appearance Betta splendens has several versions. One of them is associated with the name of V. M. Desnitsky (aquarist of the late XIX - early XX centuries). In 1896, he brought exotic species of fish and plants from Singapore, but there is no reliable information whether there was a genus among them. Betta splendens. However, another amateur aquarist, V. S. Melnikov, during the same period, was the first in Russia to breed a number of labyrinth fish. In his memory, a competition for the best fighting fish was established. Another version says that Betta splendens was introduced by the Frenchman G. Seisel, and all descendants of not only Russian but also European fighting fish went from his fish.
Males reach 5 cm in length, females about 4 cm. Wild color is light olive, slightly gray, darker stripes pass along or across the body (depending on mood). The fins are short, rounded. Scales cycloid. The fish is a bit like a macropod.
Breeders brought forth numerous color and veil variations, which were widely popular in aquarium fish farming.
Breeding fighting fish are one of the most beautiful aquarium fish; they surpass all other representatives of their family in brightness and beauty of color. To date, variations of red, blue, yellow, green, pink, white have been deduced, while the fish are moving, the body color in bright light, plays and shimmers, taking on different shades. The males become especially bright during spawning or skirmishes with other males. Female fighting fish are slightly paler than males and have small fins. Although recently females have appeared with slightly elongated fins, in color not inferior to males.
￼ Technically, the reproduction of males is not difficult. But since many forms and colors of the cockerel are derived, you need to carefully approach the selection of pairs. With colors it is more or less simple - the marble color dominates, the red color and the color Cambodia also dominate. Purely black males with a joint breeding are barren. It is more complicated with the forms - do not cross short-tailed and long-tailed individuals, crown-tailed cockerels and veils, veils and halfmoons, deltas and crown-tails.
In general, it is better to breed males of the same form between themselves, otherwise it will turn out to be something mixed in the middle, such males look unattractive, so it's better to respect the work of the breeder. It is very important not to breed those males that are overly aggressive and kill females in spawning and poorly care for caviar. If a male cockerel eats eggs over and over instead of caring for it, you should not plant it and grow fry yourself, because this means that his instinctive parental behavior is impaired and his descendants may inherit it. Do not breed fish with behavioral problems. Pairs need to be selected by color, fin shape and correct behavior.
A pair of fish is planted for spawning in a separate aquarium with a volume of 20 liters with shelters and a bunch of floating plants such as a nyass or hornwort for sheltering a female. Also need a heater. The water should be half fresh, half from the aquarium with the cockerels, preferably half the almond leaf. The female and the male are kept separate before spawning and fed with live food for two weeks, the age of the males at the time of spawning should be at least 6 months, the abdomen swollen from the eggs should be visually visible.
In spawning, fish are not fed. The male usually immediately builds a foamy nest (from air bubbles and saliva) on the surface of the water or under the almond leaf and invites the female to the nest. Colorful spawning - a rooster inflates the gills and spreads all the fins, flaunting in front of the female, then he hugs her fins and bends, squeezes her eggs from her, simultaneously fertilizing her (males with especially magnificent fins can sometimes not do this), after which the pale female slowly falls to the bottom, and the male collects eggs and places it in the nest. White caviar.
After spawning, the female must be planted, otherwise she can eat caviar. The male takes care of the caviar and nest, corrects it, removes the spoiled eggs and a day later transparent larvae hatch from the caviar with a large yolk sac. When in a couple of days the larvae turn dark (or if the parents are light, then the larvae are also light) and switch to horizontal melt, the male needs to be planted, turn on the compressor and start feeding the males. Adjustable infusoria — the shoe — is best suited for this, after 3 to 5 days they switch to feeding with Artemia nuplia, they are easy to remove at home. At this point, you can already replace the water, carefully changing it with a narrow hose, trying not to suck the fry there.
Top up water must be of the same chemical parameters and temperature. After 2 weeks, you can add a microworm, later microplankton, Grindal worm and cut tubule. In a month and a half, you can give finely divided dry food, and then small bloodworms. The fry grow quickly, if they are not sorted, they themselves destroy the small and weak. On dry feeds and feeds such as boiled egg yolk, it is more difficult to raise fry, as water spoils quickly from such feeds, and fry are more willing to eat live feeds. As soon as it becomes possible to separate the males from the females, they are seated, the females can be raised in one large aquarium, but the males need to be seated in separate glasses with lids. It is better to feed the males in such tanks with a bloodworm, replace the water daily with 50% of the volume for fresh of the same parameters and temperature.
Cockerel Fish Compatibility
Betts are lively and cocky pets who find it difficult to get along even with their own kind. The male can never calmly transfer the existence of another - constant fights will begin. However, this does not mean that these fighting fish must live alone. Other residents of the spacious aquarium will help to recreate the animal’s natural habitat and improve their well-being.
It is very important to choose the right neighbors with whom the cockerel fish can easily get along. Species whose representatives are quite peaceful and do not have large (more than 5 cm) body sizes are well compatible with bats. These include guppies, swordsmen, neons, gourami, cardinals and speckled catfish.
You should not pinch fins, such as dwarf tetradons, to the cockerels of amateur fish. However, the Bats themselves do not mind biting the "robe" of competitors in beauty. Aquarium males sometimes take veil fish of other species as representatives of their own, so they rush to the attack.
Also, do not keep the cockerels together with large predators. Cichlids, astronotuses, polypteruses - all of them often take small fish for food, and a small cockerel with its large fins will become the subject of aggression in the first place.
It is best to place fish from a young age in the aquarium. In this case, they will be able to get used to each other, there will be much less fights and hassles. If the neighbor of the fighting fish dies, do not sooner settle another fish - the betta may score it.
К одному самцу аквариумного петушка можно поделить двух-трёх самочек, чтобы он чувствовал себя спокойнее. Make sure there is enough room for shelter for the Batt girls in their home. The fish will feel at ease in the spacious tank (over 50 liters). If there are a lot of scenery and plants in the aquarium, then there will not be a territorial showdown between its inhabitants.
￼ It’s easy to pick up food for a cockerel; these fish have a good appetite. If the cockerels are kept in large aquariums, any full-feed fish food, or special food for the cockerels, is suitable. Foods such as Tetra Min, Tetra rubin, Sera san, Tetra Betta are suitable. Also, males eat frozen food well - small and medium bloodworms, coronet, daphnia, mine. Chopped seafood is also suitable for them - shrimp, mussels, squid. Wild males do not always eat well industrial feeds and it is good to feed them live feeds - daphnia, bloodworms, corvettes and tubule makers.
If the cockerel lives in a small aquarium, then it can be fed with a live bloodworm, so it’s easier to maintain cleanliness in the aquarium. For weakened fish, it is also bloodworms due to its brightness and mobility that is the ideal food. Despite the fact that live food is best for males, feeding them is not easy. First of all, in order to prevent fish from becoming infected with parasites and not to poison them, you need to buy such food only from trusted sellers, it is important to bring food to the house, keeping them alive, not to freeze and not overheat. At home they need to be washed and stored in special ditches with daily changing water in the refrigerator. If it is impossible to provide all these conditions, then it is better to give preference to frozen feed, not forgetting that during transportation they should not thaw.
How many live (disease prevention)
Cockerel fish live relatively short time - 2-4 years. In order for your pet to feel good and look beautiful, you need to pay attention to how the fish feels. Diseases can significantly shorten the life of a betta, therefore it is necessary to regularly prevent the disease, and with the first symptoms of malaise noticed, immediately start treatment.
To reduce the chance of getting a fish, you need to keep your aquarium clean. It is also worth monitoring the quality of live food. In no case do not throw it into the aquarium with the water in which it was contained. Perform feed processing. For the prevention of diseases, it is recommended to regularly give vitamins to aquarium males.
It’s easy enough to notice that Betta is sick. Sick cockerels are less active, swim languidly, try to hide. Also pay attention to their fins: sound the alarm if there are holes on them or if the animal presses them to the body. Symptoms of some diseases are protruding flakes, spots on the body, breathing problems, and a swollen body.
If these signs are found in the fish, it is urgent to isolate it and begin treatment.