Fish spotlight - Siamese fighting fish
Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens)
Known for their stunning colours, the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) are a great tropical fish to keep. They are native to the rice paddy fields and shallows rivers of south east Asia, but are most commonly selectively tank bred now to bring out the best features - such as long fins - and bright colourations and patterns.
They get their name from their aggressive nature - but don't worry, they are only aggressive with other males of the same species. We would recommend you only keep one male of these species in a tank, whether it be part of a community, or in its own tank but care should be taken to ensure its tank mates are not nippy as bettas tend to have flowing tails. Females can be kept in a group but males should only be introduced into a tank with a female in for breeding purposes and removed after.
Bettas are labyrinth fish, which means they come to the surface of the water to breathe. They developed this to cope with the cyclical monsoons and droughts in south east Asia, when the small amount of water in the paddy fields would dry out.
Siamese fighting fish love to eat bloodworm, which can be purchased either live, frozen, in a gel format or dried from your local fish shop. There is also a range of pellets available for them including Fish Science's Betta Granules.