Q:

Where do betta fish come from?

A:

Quick Answer

Betta fish are native to the Mekong Delta in southeast Asia, a wetland that extends from China to Vietnam. They were first kept as pet fish in Thailand and Malaysia. The common name for bettas is Siamese fighting fish, which comes from Siam, an old name for Thailand.

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Full Answer

Bettas have been raised by people since at least the 19th century. They were caught in the local rice paddies and made to fight against each other for the amusement of on-lookers. Wild bettas live in deep, warm, slow-moving waters with dense vegetation. The colorful ornamental varieties available today are very different from the greenish wild-type fish. Selective breeding has produced the range of colors and fin types seen in aquariums today.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How often should a Betta fish be fed?

    A:

    Adult betta fish only need to be fed once a day, whereas young betta fry should be fed twice a day. In addition, most professionals also recommend allowing betta fish to skip meals once in a while to give their digestive system a break and to allow for their body to get rid of any toxins that may have accumulated in the meantime.

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  • Q:

    Why do Betta fish flare their gills?

    A:

    Betta fish flare their gills as a way to intimidate other fish. Flaring their gills makes them appear larger and more threatening.

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  • Q:

    How do you take care of a betta fish?

    A:

    Betta fish eat once a day, often preferring to eat freeze-dried brine shrimp and blood worms. For optimal health, clean the fish tank once a week, and keep the top covered, since betta fish are known to jump out of their bowls by accident. Betta fish often like to have a plant in the tank with them. Properly cared for betta fish can live up to two years.

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  • Q:

    Why do Betta fish change color?

    A:

    Betta fish changing color is known as marbling and is due to a genetic trait that determines the fish's color; it allows the fish to change coloration from one day to the next. The jumping gene can affect coloring and then reverse to reinstate the previous color.

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