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"Fins like blue feathers
Tail like a red setting sun
Peace finds me, sweet fish"
~ Betta Fish Haiku, Arlo Disarray
Are you a fish fancier? Ichthyologist? Avid aquarium visitor? Do you like your fish to have a bit of spirit? The Betta fish, with its bright colourations and kilt-like finnage, may be the fiesty fish for you. Betta Splendens, also commonly known as the Siamese Fighting Fish, are highly territorial and are best housed in their own separate tank, lest they attack and kill other fish. Siamese Fighting Fish were originally given the scientific name Macropodus pugnax in 1849 - literally "aggressive fish with big feet", in reference to their elongated pelvic fins. In 1897 they were re-identified with the genus Betta and became known as Betta pugnax, referring to their pugnacious aggressiveness, but as this species name was found to be already in use, were renamed in 1909 to Betta splendens. Wild bettas exhibit strong colours only when agitated, but over the centuries, breeders have been able to make this coloration permanent, and a huge variety of colours and fin shapes make this one of the most popular of home aquarium fish. The blue and magenta mix is a fancier's favourite and provided inspiration for this tartan. 🐟
Betta fish are native to Asia, where they live in the shallow water of marshes, ponds, or slow-moving streams. Male bettas are devoted fathers who build bubble nests for their young with their mouths and fiercely protect their babies from predators.
Betta fish are diurnal and active during the day requiring darkness to get a good night’s rest.
Although their reputation for aggressiveness is well-deserved, with ample space and hiding areas, female bettas may be able to live in a peaceful group. And although males will fight with other males and male gouramis (a similar-looking species), they may be able to live singly in a “community” aquarium containing certain other docile species of fish, such as Cory catfish, kuhli loaches, or guppies. They can also cohabitate with nonfish species, including snails, ghost shrimp, and frogs.
Fish owners generally keep a separate, working quarantine aquarium in which individuals can be placed to avoid conflict with other fish for a fishy "time-out."
Betta fish can recognize their human guardians. They usually swim about excitedly when they see their guardian approaching. They are very curious and will inspect new items put into their tank, which can help keep them mentally stimulated.
This tartan was designed for fish fanciers based on the popular blue and magenta variety.
For more on the colourful but fierce Betta fish, click the Betta!