Keeping Wild Betta Picta The Mouthbrooder Fish – Betta Picta is a wild strain of betta fish that endemic from the island of Java, Indonesia. These betta fish species are also known as “Java Fighting Fish” or “Spotted Betta.” They are usually found in relatively cool areas.
The spotted betta commonly inhabits highlands streams with clear and slow-moving water, where these areas contain many vegetation, rocks, and leaf litters. Some populations are found in roadside ditches and artificial structures like a dam or water tanks.
According to the report from D. S. Johnson in 1967, these wild betta species were also discovered in some blackwater streams in Southern Malaya.
Keeping Wild Betta Picta The Mouthbrooder Fish
Wild Betta Picta Appearance
Normally, an adult betta picta can reach up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) in total length. The males have a broader head shape and dark stripes in their anal fins. In comparison, the female has a smaller head shape and dark stripes in the female’s anal fins, paler or may not have.
Betta picta have three horizontal stripes on their body side that are not solid. This stripe is made from some dark dots. Their main body is usually greyish-brown in color. The female’s ovarium maybe can see using spotlighting.
According to some information, these wild betta species may live between 2-3 years. In an aquarium with a good environment, they can live longer than it.
Wild Spotted Betta Behavior And Temperaments
Java fighting fish are timid species. When first added into your tank, betta picta may have spent more time hiding away. But, after a few days, they will out from their hiding places and start to explore their home aquarium.
Unlike most betta species under the osphronemidae family, they are not too aggressive. They can be maintained in small groups or pairs in the aquarium. The Picta bettas can live peacefully in the community tank with other species with similar characteristics.
Wild Betta Picta Housing, Tank Setup, And Care
Betta picta can provide housing in single fish, pairs, groups, and communities. They do not need a large tank for keeping in single fish need a 5-gallon tank, and a couple requires the 10-gallon tank size. The 15-gallon tank size is required for keeping them in small groups or communities. Using an aquarium gives more spaces for them explored is to make the fish happier.
Choosing the substrate form is does not matter. You can use sandy substrate or gravel form. Using dark substrates will increase their coloration in the aquarium. Recommended using Fluval black soil or fine gravels for substrates. These substrates also help growth levels for your aquarium stem plants and foreground plants.
The wild picta bettas can live well in clean and blackwater environments. If you won’t keep them in the dark water conditions, adding leaf litters such as oak or Indian almond leaves into the tank to make water has tea-colored effects.
They tolerate low-medium light. But, they tend to prefer a low lighting system similar to the lighting in their natural habitat.
Keep the water movement at the slow-moderate level like their wild environment. Using a good-quality filtration system to control the water balance.
Adding some tropical aquatic aquarium plants will enhance the dissolved oxygen in the water, offer a hiding place and give more aesthetic display on your aquarium.
Put some hardscapes or ornaments into the aquarium to give more hiding places for the fish. The manzanita woods is the right hardscapes for the blackwater aquarium.
Covering the water surface with floating plants like Salvinia natans will add more shady areas to the tank.
Same with other wild betta fish types, they tend to prefer soft acidic water with a pH range between 5.5-7.0. Set the water temperature to tend to cool level around 24-28 degrees Celcius resemble hill streams which are their habitat. The water hardness should be arranged at 18 – 90 ppm.
Water change is required, do this regularly and change it at least 10 % weekly. It will control the water parameter stay balance.
Read Also: Ultimate Wild Betta Unimaculata Care Guide
Wild Java Fighting Fish Tankmates
These freshwater aquarium fish types known can live well together with other species. But, only the fish with calm, peaceful behavior and has similar body size can live with them. The aggressive, territorial, larger fin nippings and ridiculous fish species must be avoided.
Some small loaches and cyprinids which inhabit a similar nature habitat can be a good option for betta picta fish tankmates.
Read Also: How To Treat Dropsy In Betta Fish Instantly
Wild Betta Picta Feeding And Diet
They may tend to eat some aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates in the wild, same with most other wild betta species. When the wild types moved to the aquarium, in the first time, they may be a picky eater and only accepts live foods such as blood worm, brine shrimp and daphnia.
Different from the tank-bred specimens, which taking dried foods such as flakes and pellets easily to accept. You should be patient, and they need more time to appreciate all foods offered by you and consumed them.
Recommended to give them live or frozen foods as their main foods. It will enhance their coloration and be good for growth level. Offer them two small meals per day rather than one large sitting.
The foods that are not eaten by the betta picta should be taken out for the aquarium. If it’s not, it will decay and spoil the quality of water that may cause health problems to the fish.
Wild Betta Picta Fish Breeding
Their breeding behavior is similar to their cousin “Betta Albimarginata” and “Betta Rubra,” a mouthbrooder. To increase the chance of success in breeding betta picta, the best way is to set up a separate breeding tank.
The breeding tank should use a sponge filter, has slow water flow, and has enough aquarium plants. Use the aquarium lid or cling film to create a humid atmosphere above the water surface.
The parent fish should be fed the live food for a couple of weeks to stimulate breeding.
When first time moved to breed, the female and male will look darker. In courtship sessions, they will show interesting behavior on each other. After that, in the spawning moment, they will embrace each other.
At the same point, the female will release the eggs, and the male fertilized them soon. The eggs will fall and saving on the male anal fin. Then, the female will collect them by her mouth and blow them up around the male. The male will catch them quickly. If the eggs fall to the ground, the male will collect them and put them in his mouth.
This process may take two hours or more. Once the matting is finished, the male will start to incubate the eggs in his mouth. In this time, the role of the female is complete. You can move the female to another tank.
The incubation period can take up to 12 days. During this session, ensure do not make the male stressed or startled because it leads to premature releasing even eaten by the male.
Once that period is over, the male will start to release the free-swimming fry from his mouth. The fry can be fed with infusoria until they grow larger and eat larger food like brine shrimps.
Keep the food in the small portion, give them food several times is good rather than one with big portion per day.