Betta Fish Living Conditions In The Wild

Natural habitat for betta fish in nature is quite different than what you see at a local pet store. If you happen to visit a pet store for buying fish then you'll find bettas kept in small water filled plastic cups with lids. Surprisingly even the sales persons at these stores tell you that in natural world bettas are found like these.

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The origins of Betta fish in natural environment 

Betta fish are found naturally in Thailand and Cambodia in river basins. Being sturdy in nature you may even find them in rice farms with dirty water clogged into farms and even water streams without must force. These countries being close to equator are warmer by nature. This makes summers really hot than the rest of the world. This is the reason why you need a water heater when you keep a betta fish in a fish tank. 

All you need to do is replicate the same environment found in the wild where they originate from. Read this article to understand their requirements for a water heater. If you put them in cold water probably they will die of freezing. 

Surroundings of bettas In the Wild 

As mentioned above these types of fish live in tidy environments as well as river basins with huge expanses. These species love thick vegetation surrounding their area. In river basins the water streams are not aggressive and filled with aquatic plants. Because of the shallow river streams or water streams and thick vegetation betta fish come with a special type of organ called as Labyrinth which allows them to breath outside air from above the water surface. 

If you happen to see a rice farm with water puddles you'll notice that each puddle varies in size and depth and bettas sometimes even jump from one to another bigger one for survival. That is why people who assume that bettas can live in puddles forget that they need a bigger space. In the wild bettas can live in puddles but when they see the opportunity they will jump to another bigger one for survival. That is why bettas can live in a fish bowl is a myth. 

What do bettas eat in the natural world? 

In the wild bettas easily eat small insects, bloodworms and even mosquito larvae. In nature these are easily available and if you provide these in your fish tank then it's very good for their health. Any kind of bugs that lay eggs in water puddles are a treat for bettas. Apart from "live food" betta fish also need fiber to avoid constipation and they get these from aquatic plants surrounding environment. 

How do bettas mate in natural world? 

In the wild male betta fish makes a bubble nest on the water surface so that he can protect eggs laid by the female. The male betta squeezes the female and when she lays the eggs, the male will carry them (by holding them in his mouth) and insert them into the bubble nest. It's the duty of the male betta to look after the eggs and protect them. In natural world the female will leave the territory and go away to protect her from the male. 

That is why in a fish tank advice is given to remove the female from the breeding fish tank and keep her in a separate one so she can heal herself. The male betta fights with other fish to protect the babies that are still to hatch and are great fighters in the natural world. 

In the natural world bettas are not colorful at all. All the colorful bettas you have seen photos of are the results of breeding efforts done by betta enthusiast and experts. In the natural habitat bettas are dark brown and reddish in color.

Image Credits - By Luca Mandolesi (digital camera) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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