What is the difference between a betta and a Siamese fighting fish?
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Depending on the size of your tank, you should try to put between eight and ten ghost shrimp in with your betta. Japanese fighting fish have been known to make short work of these small ghost shrimp so it all depends on the aggression and personality of your betta. Try and choose the bigger shimp from the pet store – they have better chance at surviving and not just become a meal.
Siamese fighting fish are notoriously aggressive and not just towards other male betta fish, so you should not be surprised that you have to research to find fish that are suited for cohabited environments. The male betta fish are considered very aggressive and two should never be kept in the same tank. You also can’t mix male betta fish with female betta fish unless you are breeding; otherwise there will be fights and continued casualties.
"Betta fighter fish - Fighting fish 2016 part 1"
siamese fighting fish, betta fish on black background
Accessorizing with fish was not what the people of Siam originally had in mind when they started collecting Bettas prior to the 1800s. Known as , the Bettas of that time were not the same elegant, little fish we see today. With much smaller fins and a dirty greenish-brown hue, they were bred for competitive fighting and not for the fame of their magnificent finnage and colors. Native to Siam, (now Thailand), Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and parts of China, these fish became accustomed to that were often at or above 80 degrees. Known as plakat, which means tearing or biting fish, the wild Bettas generally would have short-lived fights of only a few minutes. Nevertheless, once the Siamese started to breed them specifically for fighting, these matches could go on for hours. The winner was determined, not by the wounds he inflicted, but instead by his willingness to continue fighting. The losing fish retreated and the match was over. Destruction to the families of the men betting on the fish was also substantial, with potential losses as great as his money, his house, and on occasion, his wife or other family members! For the children of Malaysia, in southern China, collecting these was a favorite pastime. The children would catch as many as 50 Bettas an hour from the rice paddies, and then conduct fish fights to determine the village champion. Usually, the winner was the biggest fish they caught. Once the wounds healed on the prize-winning fish, he would go into competition again against a new opponent. This pastime diminished significantly when agricultural chemicals and mechanized plowing were introduced for the harvesting of the rice paddies. However, the fields were not the only place where one could find Bettas. They were also living in watery ditches, stagnant ponds and gentle flowing streams. Today, Betta Splendens are the most popular fish with breeders in the United States and Japan. Commercial Betta farms in Malaysia and Singapore breed both display Splendens and fighting Splendens, with the breeding of the fighters producing the most revenue. Fighters are often discarded following their matches and new ones are bought, whereas, display Splendens live up to four years.