Betta splendens is a small siamese freshwater fish, really common in aquariums for it’s colours, easy care and peculiar behaviour, sadly they don’t have a long life, usually they reach two years old.
Betta is also known as a siamese fighting fish for it’s intra specific aggressiveness, for this reason it’s impossible to house two males together in the same tank, since they’ll end up fighting to death; males can be aggressive towards females and females can attack each other as well, so keeping one male with two or three females is the best solution to avoid continuous attacks on the weaker fish.
Males can be easily distinguished by females for their long fins and bright colours. In nature male bettas are brown-grey with iridescent green-blue fins and tail, while females are dark brown-grey with light coloured fins. Years of captive breeding has created new colours and fins shape both of males and females. New colours can be divided into:
1) Solid colour, where all the body and fins are of the same colour: cellophane (almost transparent without colour), white, yellow, red, blue, orange, green, black and turquoise.
2) Bi-colour, where body and fins have different colours: cambodian (white body and red or blue or green fins), chocolate (dark body and cream fins).
3) Patterns, where body and fins colours follow an organized shape: butterfly (body has solid colour and fins are half of the same colour of body, half of another one), marble (solid or bi-colour with botches on body and/or fins), piedball (light face, no matter the colour of the body).
) Multicolour, it’s the easiest to find in shops: body and fins can have different colours, but don’t follow a pattern. For example, they can be totally red with violet top fin.
5) Colour mutation interest both males and females, while only males have peculiar fin shape (some breeders have also the female with mutated fins anyway the difference between them and the standard shape is minimal):
) Veil tail, is the most common you find in pet store.
) Delta, Super Delta and Ultra Delta tail, where the shape of the tail looks like a delta and reach a spread of 50 degrees (delta), 120 degrees (super delta), 160 degrees (ultra delta).
8) Half moon, the name says it all, the spread should be from 160 to 180 degrees, but you can find also lower.