Where Do Betta Fish Live in the Wild?

where do betta fish live in the wild

The natural habitat, reproductive habits, and diet of wild betta fish will all be covered in this article.

One of the most well-liked aquarium fish in the world is the Siamese fighting fish, also known as Betta splendens or simply Betta. It’s almost impossible to imagine the aquarium hobby without it, as aquarists adore it for its brilliant colors, flowing fins, and feisty attitude. Despite this, many aquarists are unaware of the finned friend’s origins.

The wild habitat of betta fish, which are native to Asia, includes marshes, ponds, streams with very little current, and rice fields. Although they can survive in puddles, betta fish don’t actually live there; their typical aquatic habitat is becoming less accessible.

Where Do Betta Fish Live in the Wild?

As the name “Siamese fighting fish” suggests, wild Betta splendens originate from (Previously Siam) Thailand. In addition to this species, there are between 70 and 90 other wild Betta species that can be found in the following countries: Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Dominican Republic.

Due to the hardiness of Bettas, it’s possible that they may also be found abroad, which could be disastrous for native species.

For example, in July 2019, thousands of rogue Betta splendens were found in the Darwin, Australia’s Adelaide River and floodplains There is cause for concern, despite the fact that experts are unsure of the exact impact on local ecosystems.

What Do Wild Betta Fish Eat?

The diet to which the Betta complex has adapted is visible in its upturned mouth. In the wild, betta fish are insectivores and predominately consume midge fly larvae (bloodworms), along with other larvae and insects (such as mosquitoes). If given the chance, they will eat smaller fish and fry as well.

When wild Bettas are captured and raised in captivity, they can be taught to eat other foods, like flakes and pellets. Domestic Bettas can easily eat these food types.

where do betta fish live in the wild

Betta Fish Natural Habitat

Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam are among the countries where betta fish can be found in the wild. Betta fish are tropical fish, as you might already know, so these warm environments are ideal for them year-round.

They can be found in river basins, small streams, canals, drainage ditches, swamps, and rice fields as natural habitats. Due to their shallowness, these areas typically warm up more quickly than others. They also have low oxygen levels, which explains why bettas have a labyrinth organ that enables them to absorb oxygen directly from the atmosphere.

In their natural habitat, betta fish are frequently surrounded by a lot of plants and vegetation, which gives them oxygen and lets them hide from one another. It suits them because wild bettas are just as territorially aggressive as domestic bettas.

Betta fish inhabit shallow, low-oxygen environments on the island of Borneo, whereas they reside in highland streams in Indonesia. Betta fish are widely distributed in the other mentioned nations, but outside of Southeast Asia, betta fish are typical fish that have escaped from farms or have been released by pet owners.

You can check out more information we have on How To Euthanize A Betta Fish Humanely?

How Do Betta Fish Mate in the Wild?

Before the courtship starts, a healthy and active male betta will first construct a bubble nest, attach it to floating debris, and signal for a female’s attention.

The male Betta behaves in a significantly less aggressive manner than usual when nesting and courting.

When the female shows interest in the bubble nest, he will wrap his body around hers and squeeze the eggs from her, fertilizing them as they break the surface.

where do betta fish live in the wild

The male Betta then uses his mouth to place the eggs in the nest, guards them, and looks after it until the eggs hatch. If the female Betta hasn’t already flown, the male will chase her away, signaling the end of her involvement in the process.

Following a 2- to 3-day larval incubation period inside the bubble nest, the hatchlings emerge from the nest.

How Long Do Betta Fish Last in the Wild?

Betta fish in the wild appear to live for about two years. This is a shorter life span than that of fish kept in aquariums with good conditions and healthy fish. However, betta fish typically lead a much more stressful life in the wild.

Bettas in the wild must endure the same harsh conditions that all animals must.

Water quantity, quality, and accessibility are all factors in the struggle for survival. Betta populations will decline as pools and ponds dry up and competition for space between species increases, despite the fact that they have evolved to survive in shallow and erratic water conditions.

Bettas constantly extinguish themselves through aggressive fighting and damage because they are territorial animals.

Why Do Betta Fish Last Longer in Captivity?

Bettas live longer in captivity because their environment is designed to give them a longer, safer, and healthier life than is possible in the wild.

This only applies to aquarium hobbyists who have thoroughly investigated the ideal betta fish care methods. Betta lives are unfortunately frequently started in subpar conditions by pet shops, whose main goal may be lucrative sales.

The betta fish life declines further without experience and knowledge on the part of the fish owner.

Your Betta will live a long and healthy life if you keep your fish in tanks that are the right size, have enough lighting and filters, prepare a suitable diet, and set up the tank to suit the fish.

What is a Wild Betta Fish?

There are 73 species in the betta genus, which are divided into 13 complexes. Wild bettas are bettas that were once wild; pet store bettas are a mixture of some betta species, but not all of them.

where do betta fish live in the wild

The Betta splendens complex, which includes the betta species splendens, mahachaiensis, smaragdina, imbellis, siamorientalis, and stiktos, is a common source of wild bettas. They exhibit traits and behaviors that are comparable to those of pet bettas, but their diets and outward appearances are a little different.

Betta bellica, Betta pugnax, Betta hendra, Betta coccina, Betta picta, Betta albimarginata, and Betta macrostoma are some additional, less well-known but widespread wild betta species.

The natural gray-to-green shades and the dark background behind their scales distinguish wild bettas from domestic bettas. They frequently have simple coloring and tend to have short fins and tails.


What Fish Live With Betta Fish in the Wild?

Finding out what fish coexist in the wild with bettas is a good idea if you’re looking for suggestions for tankmates. The rasbora, gourami, and barb are some of these fish.

Can Wild Betta Fish Live Together?

However, not all bettas are able to coexist. If you want to keep several male bettas together, think about keeping one male and two female bettas instead because wild males and domestic males will fight if they’re kept in the same fish tank.

To give them room to move around and hide, remember to put them in a big tank.

Final Thoughts

Now, you can confidently answer if someone asks you, “where are betta fish from?” Betta fish were first discovered in Asia, where they were found in unusually wild settings that shed light on how exceptional their capacity for survival in captivity is. For all betta enthusiasts, learning more about the tale of their survival in the wild is a fascinating aspect of betta life and history.

Although they have undergone selective breeding and cultivation to be suitable as pets, there is no denying that they have traveled such a long way to be in our tanks. They’re equally as attractive as the cheerful, domestic bettas that we’ve come to adore, each in their own special way.

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