Red Betta tiny painting Siamese Fighting fish by sarahbrown, $25.00

The Betta fish belongs to the tropical region of the world. It thrives in the steady waters mainly comprising of paddy rice fields, slow streams, and muddy waters. The origin of Betta fish traces to Thailand where they were first discovered. They are the most celebrated members of the Gourami family and thus get their behavioural name “The Siamese fighting fish”.

Yellow Pearl Butterfly Over-Half-Moon Siamese Fighting Fish - male betta.

Like most fish in the labyrinth fish family, the Siamese Fighting Fish are bubble nest builders. Breeding this species is not difficult though the male will defend his nest to the death. Getting Bettas to spawn is very easy, but the actual raising of the young is incredibly challenging due to the accommodations which must be made. Care in housing for each specimen is necessary due to the aggressive tendencies of the males and there is frequently infection due to the delicateness of their fins. Breeding these fish should only be attempted by the most committed and informed enthusiasts.

* Awesome Multicoloured Siamese Betta / Fighting Fish

Sad Red Betta tiny painting Siamese Fighting fish by sarahbrown, $25.00 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!

* Awesome Multicoloured Siamese Betta / Fighting Fish

Observing the obvious popularity of these fights, the King of Siam started licensing and collecting these fighting fish. In 1840, he gave some of his prized fish to a man who, in turn, gave them to Dr. Theodor Cantor, a medical scientist from Bangor. Describing these fish in an article nine years later, Dr. Cantor gave them the name Macropodus Pugnax. In 1909, Mr. Tate Regan renamed them Betta Splendens, noting that there already was a with the name Dr. Cantor used. It is believed that Mr. Regan got the name from a warrior-like tribe of people named "Bettah".

Bettas are known as Betta Splendens or Siamese fighting fish.


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.Betta fish are called the Siamese Fighting Fish because of its behavior towards other males of the same species. You cannot keep two or more males in the same tank. If more than one male fish are placed in the same tank, they will fight until only one of them remains. They will flare out their gill covers and erect their fins showing the other fish their fighting posture. This behavior is also why they are kept separated in small containers at the store.