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Siamese Fighting Fish (betta splendens)

Pet Checklist  

Fighting Fish Food
Aquarium Only Bucket   
Water Conditioner
Fish Hammock   

Native Habitat

Swampy ponds, ditches, rice paddies and small slow streams in Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam.


About 2-3 years. Breeding age is from 12-14 months. In some cases, up to 10 years.


Siamese fighters belong to a group of fish known as anabantoids. This means that they are able to breathe in air from the water's surface as well as being capable of normal gill respiration. Consequently fighters survive in much smaller bodies of water than other fish without encountering the usual stresses of a confined environment.


Fighters thrive best on small pellet food specially formulated for their nutritional requirements. Overfeeding is a common cause of death – either directly or indirectly via an accumulation of wastes in the tank water. Fighters maintained in small vessels void of filtration must be fed sparingly to combat subsequent hygiene problems. A general guide of about 1-2 pellets every day, with the occasional supplement of blood/black worms increases variety. Daphnia and brine shrimp are also eagerly accepted. In new tanks we recommend 1 pellet per day for the first 4 weeks.


24°C - 28°C (up to 30°C during the breeding process). Below this temperature, the fighter is sluggish. Often colours are dull, his appetite decreases, fins droop and the fish becomes susceptible to disease.

pH & Hardness

pH of 6.8 – 7.4
Hardness of 3-10 DH.
Generally, fighters are hardy fish which will readily acclimatise to most conditions (If not too extreme). The water must be kept clear, and all uneaten food or decaying organic matter (plant and fish faeces) should be removed.

Water Changes

The tank needs to be cleaned once every week. The following procedure is recommended:
1. Assign a new bucket or clean ice cream container (and write "fish only" on it) as a water change container. Pour about ½ of your tank water into the vessel. Do not throw out! Place your fighter in this vessel.
2. Use your hand to thoroughly stir up the gravel in the remaining 2/3 of water, loosening the trapped organic matter. Tip this out. Do not rinse out with tap water or millions of beneficial bacteria will be destroyed.
3. Return the ½ of saved water with the fighter to the aquaria.
4. The remaining ½ water needed to refill the tank can be drawn from the tap and treated with water conditioner.

Finally, although some people keep fighters in larger community aquariums, allowing it to freely move about, this species does not seem to care if it is contained in a small vessel. It is not cruel practice provided its requirements are met.

If you have any further questions regarding the upkeep of these splendid fish, please ask for more information. An excellent book about Siamese fighters is available in our shop for purchase and a sales assistant will be able to direct you to this. Enjoy your purchase and do not hesitate to consult with us if you have any queries.