With its beautiful veil and its splendid colors, the fighting fish seduces many aquarists. If this shy and domesticated little animal is renowned for its beauty, it needs an adapted, stable environment close to that of its origins to live comfortably and in full health.
The fighting fish: the solitary of aquariums
The traditional fighting fish that populates our aquariums is the male Betta Splendens, which is among the 70 species of Betta. This pretty little fish in the Osphronemidae family is also nicknamed “Siam fighter” because of its Thai origin and the tropical waters of Southeast Asia.
The male is distinguished from the female by its coloration and its fins. These are indeed long and developed and evoke pretty veils with shimmering reflections. The female is smaller and discreet, with a duller color. The Betta Splendens is a solitary and aggressive fish, relatively shy. In the aquarium, it does not support the presence of other congeners of its species. In its natural environment, it is territorial and tends to live as a couple or in a small group. Do not make him cohabit with another male, they would tend to kill each other. Females live with each other, which makes it difficult to breed them. Finally, avoid placing colorful and long-finned fish such as guppies in his aquarium; your fighter could attack them by taking them for his fellows.
These fish were domesticated very early in Asia, for several centuries, hence their familiarity with human contact. They are very observant animals and very receptive to their environment; they need to be stimulated so as not to get bored. If they can live between two in eight years, their needs should be covered and cared for on a daily basis.
How to feed your fighting fish?
In the aquarium, the fighting fish needs to be fed every day, with food rich in proteins, specially dedicated to this species. Some eat more than others, but count between 4 and 8 granules per day, in several doses to avoid waste and over-nutrition; some animals cannot regulate themselves and will eat too much for their health. If your fish spits its food, it is because it does not suit him or because the granules are too large; you can then cut them in half to facilitate their ingestion.
The fighter needs protein and likes bloodworms and larvae. He also appreciates certain boiled vegetables, such as beans, carrots or zucchini. For any form of food, remember to remove the waste and surplus so that they do not rot in the bottom of the aquarium.
The distribution of food can also be a moment of play. The combatant quickly gets used to your requests and likes to eat at fixed times, twice a day or more. You can distribute his food to him by means of a straw, he will have fun following it as soon as he sees it.
How to maintain your aquarium?
For the well-being of your fighting fish, it is advisable to provide an aquarium of at least 15 liters, or even more ideally. Avoid ball type aquariums, they are not suitable for their comfort. Choose a model equipped with a filtration system and a heater to keep the water between 24 and 27 ° C. The fighter likes clean water, with a stable temperature and a relatively neutral pH (6.5 to 7).
Decorate the aquarium with sand, gravel or non-sharp pebbles so as not to damage its fins. The fighter prefers natural plants, they allow him to hide and naturally maintain the quality of his water. If you opt for a synthetic plant, make sure it won’t hurt him. Finally, light the aquarium about 10 hours a day to respect its natural day / night cycle.
Keep the water clean
The water must be kept clean so as not to allow bacteria to develop and contaminate the fish. To do this, fill the aquarium with tap water and add a conditioner to it to make it more viable. Each week, replace about 10% of the volume with clean, conditioned water and rinse the filter to remove the coarsest dirt. Finally, remove any uneaten food from the surface to prevent it from settling on the bottom.
- Do not hesitate to admire your fighting fish several times during the day and slide your finger along the window; he likes to be entertained and so he gets used to your presence.
- Fish are cold-blooded animals, they do not feel hungry, but nevertheless require a regular diet whose volume must be adapted to its size.
- While there are some general principles for feeding the main species of fish, the type of food varies.
- Here are some tips for providing food suitable for your aquatic companion in general and according to its species.
One of the most important principles for feeding your fish is to never feed them too much, in fact the excess food degrades which leads to excessive consumption of the oxygen present in the bowl which can be a real cause of discomfort for your fish.
- It is therefore preferable to feed your fish several times a day rather than giving them a large amount of food supposed to feed them for a long time.
- If the diet of your fish is suitable, you should no longer see food floating in the bowl after a few minutes.
- There are several food dispenser solutions for your fish.
Where to put food for your fish?
If several fish swim in your aquarium, there is a hierarchy between them which becomes important at mealtime.
- Larger and stronger fish will be the first in the area where food has been poured and will overeat, leaving insufficient food for weaker fish.
It is therefore important to pour the food of your fish on several areas of the bowl so that they can all feed as they want.
How long can I keep industrial fish feed?
If the box has not yet been opened, the preservation of your fish’s food can last for years without loss of nutritional quality, once it has been opened, avoid keeping its food hanging for more than 6 months. It is therefore preferable to avoid buying large volumes even if the quantity / price ratio is more advantageous.
Fish Feeding According To Their Species
Each species of fish has physiological and biological differences, and therefore requires a suitable diet in order to survive and grow as it would in nature. Many criteria are therefore to be taken into account to choose the most suitable diet for the well-being of your fish.