Who else is keeping wild bettas? Let’s make an info thread!

  • #1
Since there isn’t a ton of forum info on keeping wild bettas, I was thinking it would be nice if we compiled our knowledge.

To contribute, please provide what you know about the following and I’ll add it to the main post so that it is easy to find. Feel free to comment with any additional information on species that already have text! I’d also like to take note of which members are keeping particular species.

Species name: (scientific and common if there is one)
(male, female, juvenile if possible, max 4 photos) Please do not use copyrighted images.
Tank Size Minimum:
Natural Habitat Features:


Wild Betta Fishlore Information

Akarensis Complex

  • Betta antoni
  • Betta arkarensis
  • Betta aurigans
  • Betta balunga
  • Betta chini
  • Betta ibanorum
  • Betta nuhulon
  • Betta obscura
  • Betta pinguis

Albimarginata Complex
  • Betta albimarginata
    • Common Name(s): Whiteseam Fighter, Strawberry Betta
    • Localities: Malinau, Sebuku
    • Kept By: The_fishy

      Albimarginata with Text.jpg
  • Info:
    • Size: 1 inch to 2 inches, with the Sebuku locality being larger
    • Lifespan: 2 to 3 years
    • pH: 4.0-7.5 (low preferred)
    • gH: 18-100 ppm (low TDS preferred)
    • Temperature: low 70F to 85F, with cooler 70's preferred and higher temps inducing breeding
    • Minimum Tank Size: 5 gallons for a pair, 10 for a trio, 20+ for a group
    • Natural Habitat Features: Typical of shallow blackwater streams, consisting of low lighting and slow to moderate flow with plenty of plant, rock, and driftwood cover. Tannins and leaf litter are optimal. Generally, they are tolerant to gradual parameter changes.
    • Behavior/Temperament: Generally peaceful, although dominance displays and short bouts of aggression are common amongst a group. Females are more aggressive and insistent on breeding than males, so a ratio of at least 2 to 3 males to every female should be kept. Anything super tiny, such as small fry and young dwarf shrimp, will be eaten, but otherwise they are safe for community tanks of small, calm species that are unlikely to outcompete them for food. Wild-caught individuals are more reclusive, but can be outgoing once used to people. Captive-bred fish are typically confident beggars. Excellent jumpers, even the smallest gaps in an aquarium lid need covered.
    • Diet: Carnivorous. Individuals can be transitioned from live to frozen and processed foods, of which flakes are accepted most often.
    • Breeding: Mouthbrooders. After a few practice embraces, fertilized eggs will be released on the tail of the male, then transitioned to the mouth, with the process repeated until all eggs are fertilized. The male holds 3 to 40 eggs without eating for 10 days to 21 days, then releases the young. In some cases, the young will be eaten by adults, so keeping them separate is appropriate. The fry are large enough initially to feed upon baby brine and will reach maturity in around 6 to 7 months. For optimal yield, the male should be separated from the female or group around the 7th day of holding, then placed in confinement after the fry are released. This will ensure that he can regain weight and not be bred to death by the female.

  • Betta channoides
    • Kept By: Burdigala

Anabantoides Complex
  • Betta anabantoides
  • Betta midas

Bellica Complex
  • Betta bellica
  • Betta simorum

Coccina Complex
  • Betta brownorum
  • Betta burdigala
  • Betta coccina
  • Betta hendra
  • Betta livida
  • Betta miniopinna
  • Betta persephone
  • Betta rutilans
  • Betta tussyae
  • Betta uberis
  • Betta wojak

Dimidiata Complex
  • Betta dimidiata
  • Betta krataios

Edithae Complex
  • Betta edithae

Foerschi Complex
  • Betta foerschi
  • Betta mandor
  • Betta strohi
  • Betta rubra
    • Common Name(s): Toba Betta
    • Locations: Northwestern Sumatra
    • Kept By: Burdigala
  • Info:
    • Size: 2"
    • pH: 5.0-6.5
    • gH: 18-90 ppm
    • Temperature: 22-27°C (72-80°F)
    • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons for a pair, 20+ gallons for a group.
    • Natural Habitat Features: Blackwater environment, with leaf litters and wood. There are little to no plant growth in these blackwater environments.
    • Behavior/Temperament: Somewhat territorial, but can be kept together with little to no damage.
    • Diet: Insectivores. Wild-caught specimens may need to be fed live or frozen foods initially, but over time they can take dry food.
    • Breeding: Mouthbrooder, in which females usually initiate spawning. Like all species of Betta, Betta rubra usually do an embrace, where the male wraps around the females. Males will collect and hold the eggs for around 10-17 days. During this time, he won't eat. Males may swallow the eggs due to stress or inexperienced. It is best to remove the female as she has no function in caring the fry and may even pester the male into breeding once he releases the fry. Newly spit fry can take baby brine shrimp right away.
Picta Complex
  • Betta falx
  • Betta pallida
  • Betta picta
  • Betta simplex
  • Betta taeniata

Pugnax Complex
  • Betta apollon
  • Betta breviobesus
  • Betta cracens
  • Betta enisae
  • Betta ferox
  • Betta fusca
  • Betta kuehnei
  • Betta lehi
  • Betta pallida
  • Betta prima
  • Betta pugnax
  • Betta pulchra
  • Betta schalleri
  • Betta stigmosa
  • Betta raja

Splendens Complex
  • Betta imbellis
    • Kept By: Burdigala
    • Common Name(s): Peaceful Betta, Crescent Betta
    • Locations: Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra, Vietnam
  • Info:
    • Size: 2"
    • Minimum Tank Size: 10 gallons for a pair, 20+ gallons for a group.
    • pH: 5.0-7.5
    • gH: 18-179 ppm
    • Temperature: 20-28°C (68-82°F)
    • Natural Habitat Features: Found in rice paddies, ditches, streams, and ponds. The water is stagnant, with little oxygen. Marginal plants, leaf litters, and sand substrate make an excellent environment for Betta imbellis.
    • Behavior/Temperament: Peaceful for the most part. Males and females can be housed together, even males can be housed together if kept in a large size aquarium with 20 gallons being the minimum.
    • Diet: Insectivores. Wild-caught specimens may need to be fed live or frozen foods initially, but over time they can take dry food.
    • Breeding: Bubblenester. Males create bubble nests underneath floating plants or leaves and are ones that initiate spawning. Spawning occurs underneath the nest with the male wrapping around the female. The females will release eggs and the male will carry the eggs and put them in the bubble nest. The eggs will hatch in about two or three days, but the fry is still bound to the nest. It will take around three days until the fry could start free-swimming. During this time, they are being fed through their yolk sac. Newly free-swimming fry should be infusoria and can be fed live baby brine shrimp or microworms after a week.

  • Betta siamorientalis
  • Betta smaragdina
  • Betta splendens (wild)
  • Betta stikos
  • Betta mahachaiensis

Unimaculata Complex
  • Betta compuncta
  • Betta gladiator
  • Betta ideii
  • Betta macrostoma
  • Betta ocellata
  • Betta pallifina
  • Betta patoi
  • Betta unimaculata

Waseri Complex
  • Betta chloropharynx
  • Betta hipposideros
  • Betta omega
  • Betta pardalotos
  • Betta pi
  • Betta renata
  • Betta spilotogena
  • Betta tomi
  • Betta waseri

  • Betta sp. Api Api
  • Betta sp. Antuta
  • Betta sp. Bangka
  • Betta sp. Bung Bihn
  • Betta sp. Candy
  • Betta sp. Kapuas
  • Betta sp. Pangkalanbun
  • Betta sp. Sanggau
  • Betta sp. Sukadana
  • #41
I was just about to bring home a trio of Betta mahachaiensis, and then I saw some Alien Bettas and... Now I have some store credit I don't know what to do with!

What are your thoughts on "pure" mahachaiensis (if they even exist in captivity) vs. Alien hybrids? Would Aliens do better in my ridiculously high (8.0+) pH California water? Or are all the readily-available Bettas pretty hardy in a wide range of water conditions?


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