Wild betta

Lizzbug

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I’m a big fan of betta fish, and saw what a wild betta looked like and really loved it. Is it possible to buy wild betta fish? Would it be humane since they would be wild caught? Are there plakat betta fish that look like wild betta? I really want to make a very natural betta tank, and I thought a more lowkey looking betta would be nice. Thank you for any and all answers :)
 

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There are a large variety of wild type bettas so you would have to be more specific. Wild is often used to refer to bettas that aren't the typical splendans you see in a store and doesn't always mean they were literally caught from the wild. There are lots of places you can get these fish from but more often than not you will have to import them from Thailand. This can be extremely expensive, costing upwards of $100+ per fish. These bettas also require very different care from the ones you would get from a store- they'll need specific pH levels and high quality (often live) food.

I would personally suggest doing a lot of research into what kind you would want and what kind of care that specific one requires.
 
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Lizzbug

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Salem said:
There are a large variety of wild type bettas so you would have to be more specific. Wild is often used to refer to bettas that aren't the typical splendans you see in a store and doesn't always mean they were literally caught from the wild. There are lots of places you can get these fish from but more often than not you will have to import them from Thailand. This can be extremely expensive, costing upwards of $100+ per fish. These bettas also require very different care from the ones you would get from a store- they'll need specific pH levels and high quality (often live) food.

I would personally suggest doing a lot of research into what kind you would want and what kind of care that specific one requires.
Thank you! This is really helpful. I didn’t think about the fact that there would be several kinds. I definitely want one with short fins but beyond that, I don’t know much. When you say different types, do you mean types of finnage or something else?
 

Salem

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Lizzbug said:
Thank you! This is really helpful. I didn’t think about the fact that there would be several kinds. I definitely want one with short fins but beyond that, I don’t know much. When you say different types, do you mean types of finnage or something else?
I mean literally different species. The ones you see in stores such as plakats, half-moons, etc are all the same species; betta splendans. Wild bettas usually refers to species like Betta Imbellis, Betta Smaragdina, Betta Coccina, Betta Rubra, etc. Basically all of them have fins comparable to a plakat. This is because the massive fins seen in splendans are a result of years and years of inbreeding specifically to create oversized fins.

Of all the ones mentioned above betta imbellis is the closest to splendans visually speaking. They're similarily bright in colour. Most others are browns, reds, and beiges. This, again, is because splendans have been bred specifically to be eye catching.
 

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I order mine from Blackwater Aquatics. There are many species and even subgrouping of wild bettas (which have plakat fins because that is more efficient in nature), so be sure to research their care. If they are wild caught, they may be less tolerate of specs outside of their preferred ranges. If you are interested in Betta albimarginata, I will have some ready for sale in a month or two.
 

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I'm new to the hobby. I got a plakat about 6 months ago. I prefer fish with more natural looking fins.

I've been very pleased with this fish. It likes high current and is very active. I like the wild bettas but think a plakat is an easy to get hardy fish that, at least to me, looks more like a wild fish.
 
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Lizzbug

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The_fishy said:
I order mine from Blackwater Aquatics. There are many species and even subgrouping of wild bettas (which have plakat fins because that is more efficient in nature), so be sure to research their care. If they are wild caught, they may be less tolerate of specs outside of their preferred ranges. If you are interested in Betta albimarginata, I will have some ready for sale in a month or two.
Upon doing further research, I saw that wild bettas are close to endangered. But it sounds like there are wild-type betta fish that are bred in captivity, is that correct? I would prefer for them to be bred in captivity
 
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Lizzbug

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kansas said:
I'm new to the hobby. I got a plakat about 6 months ago. I prefer fish with more natural looking fins.

I've been very pleased with this fish. It likes high current and is very active. I like the wild bettas but think a plakat is an easy to get hardy fish that, at least to me, looks more like a wild fish.
I completely agree :) generally, plakat bettas are better and have a higher quality of life, and I love how they look
 

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Lizzbug said:
Upon doing further research, I saw that wild bettas are close to endangered. But it sounds like there are wild-type betta fish that are bred in captivity, is that correct? I would prefer for them to be bred in captivity
Again, you need to be more specific. "Wild betta" refers to upwards of 70 completely different species of fish. Some of them are endangered but a lot of them aren't.
 

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Lizzbug said:
Upon doing further research, I saw that wild bettas are close to endangered. But it sounds like there are wild-type betta fish that are bred in captivity, is that correct? I would prefer for them to be bred in captivity
Many of the species are being bred by hobbyists to help keep them around. Not all are endangered though. If you are concerned about fish being taken directly from the wild, ask the seller about how they were acquired.

I think the ones closest to a Betta splenden (that I know off of the top of my head) would be the alien bettas, imbellis, and smaragdina. Personally, I love the species with chunky faces though. :D
 
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Lizzbug

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Salem said:
Again, you need to be more specific. "Wild betta" refers to upwards of 70 completely different species of fish. Some of them are endangered but a lot of them aren't.
I’m sorry I don’t know much about wild betta fish. I’ll definitely do a lot more research before considering getting one
 

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Lizzbug said:
I’m sorry I don’t know much about wild betta fish. I’ll definitely do a lot more research before considering getting one
They are great fish and often under appreciated. Once you know what you are getting into, what species you prefer, and have a well-cycled tank, let us know!
 
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The_fishy said:
They are great fish and often under appreciated. Once you know what you are getting into, what species you prefer, and have a well-cycled tank, let us know!
I was looking at different species and really love the look of Penang (?) bettas. I’ll do more research on them, but is there anything important to know about them that anyone can think of?
 

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Lizzbug said:
I was looking at different species and really love the look of Penang (?) bettas. I’ll do more research on them, but is there anything important to know about them that anyone can think of?
I believe they are a mid 70’s fish, soft pH, and you could keep a pair in a 10 gallon, but larger is better. I think those are a bit easier to find than some others.
 
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Lizzbug

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The_fishy said:
I believe they are a mid 70’s fish, soft pH, and you could keep a pair in a 10 gallon, but larger is better. I think those are a bit easier to find than some others.
I am having a hard time finding info on them, or nay wild betta breeds for that matter. I can only find vague info :/ I’ll keep looking
 

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Lizzbug said:
I am having a hard time finding info on them, or nay wild betta breeds for that matter. I can only find vague info :/ I’ll keep looking
For that species, try searching their scientific name, Betta pugnax. In general, it is easier to find info on wild bettas by searching the scientific name. Maybe look on the websites for Blackwater Aquatics, Ivenbetta, and The Wet Spot for ideas, then look at the website for the International Betta Congress for additional species info.
 
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Lizzbug

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The_fishy said:
For that species, try searching their scientific name, Betta pugnax. In general, it is easier to find info on wild bettas by searching the scientific name. Maybe look on the websites for Blackwater Aquatics, Ivenbetta, and The Wet Spot for ideas, then look at the website for the International Betta Congress for additional species info.
Ok, wow! That helped so much! I am finding heaps of information now! Thanks :3 I find it really interesting that they don’t make Bubble nests but instead keep the eggs/fry in their mouth. Also really cool that they can be kept in pairs and groups because of their temperament. I’m really enjoying this research it’s so awesome!!!
 
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Lizzbug

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I have been doing more research on the betta pugnax and I’m getting mixed info. Some say they like clear water, others say a black biotope is best, some say light vegetation others say heavy vegetation. I’m not sure what’s right, or if both are.
 
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Lizzbug

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The_fishy said:
I believe they are a mid 70’s fish, soft pH, and you could keep a pair in a 10 gallon, but larger is better. I think those are a bit easier to find than some others.
Do you know what the recommended nitrate level is??? I can’t seem to find that amongst all the sites I’ve found with info on betta pugnax. Should I just do the same nitrate level as a Splenda?
 

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I would try to keep them at 20ppm or less, but honesty I don’t have a sure answer for you. I’ve always done water changes 20% weekly, 50% monthly in my tanks and it has worked well. As for setup, different populations come from a wide range of habitat, so it is up to you in this case. Some populations live in streams with mainly hardscape, some populations in stream have vegetation, and other populations live in swampy blackwater with mainly hardscape.

I will say that doing a blackwater setup will help keep the pH lower. Do you know the tap pH?
 
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Lizzbug

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The_fishy said:
I would try to keep them at 20ppm or less, but honesty I don’t have a sure answer for you. I’ve always done water changes 20% weekly, 50% monthly in my tanks and it has worked well. As for setup, different populations come from a wide range of habitat, so it is up to you in this case. Some populations live in streams with mainly hardscape, some populations in stream have vegetation, and other populations live in swampy blackwater with mainly hardscape.

I will say that doing a blackwater setup will help keep the pH lower. Do you know the tap pH?
My tap waters pH is right at 7
 
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Lizzbug

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The_fishy said:
It’s a bit towards their high end, but if you wanted to, you could likely easily drop it a little by adding driftwood and indian almond leaves.
Yeah, I have a ton of Indian almond leaves sitting in a drawer and wanted to go for a leaf litter affect so that works just fine
 

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Lizzbug said:
I’m a big fan of betta fish, and saw what a wild betta looked like and really loved it. Is it possible to buy wild betta fish? Would it be humane since they would be wild caught? Are there plakat betta fish that look like wild betta? I really want to make a very natural betta tank, and I thought a more lowkey looking betta would be nice. Thank you for any and all answers :)
I don’t think it would be in humane but I have heard that they Are not as agressive so you can maybe put tank mates
 

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I would think about your water parameters and the environment you are able to provide and pick your species based on that. Even captive bred non-domestic species are challenging because they have not been selectively bred to adapt to captive environments. I personally have hard water with a pH near 8. While domestic bettas can cope, they prefer acidic water, and for most wild type species acidic water is essential. Changing pH with chemicals is risky since it can cause dangerous pH swings, so I decided to research which, if any wild type species eould enjoy what I could provide. It turned out that Betta mahachaiensis is the only species I could find that prefers hard alkaline or brackish water. I bought a captive-bred pair from Aquatic Arts and so far they are doing well in a 10 gallon :) . So, my advice is to find a species that fits your environment- don’t try to create an environment to fit the species, since that is much harder to do. Good advice for fish and for houseplants! Good luck and have fun researching!
 

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