Keeping Siamese Fighting Fishes As Pets

Hello Everyone, I have been keeping Betta splendens. (also more commonly known at Siamese Fighting Fishes) since June 2011 and I would like to share with you my experiences. In this blog entry, I will introduce you to this exotic-looking fish and how you can start keeping them as a pet.

Why Keep Fighting Fish?

If your parents or spouse dislike you keeping big pets like dogs or cats or even keeping furry pets like hamsters, then having fighting fishes as pets might be an excellent idea afterall. Fighting fish is easy to maintain and does not cost much. They are pretty hardy and can live for very long (around 2-5 years). Not only that, they can really entertain you for ages. The downside to keeping fighting fish is probably the fact that they are very aggressive, hence, there are not many compatible tank-mates if you wish to have a wide variety of aquarium pets in one tank.

What Are the More Common Types of Siamese Fighting Fishes Based On Their Tail Shapes?

How Long Can Siamese Fighting Fishes Live?

If properly kept and fed a correct diet, they can live approximately 2-5 years in captivity.

Where Can You Get Siamese Fighting Fish?

If you are starting out and would like to keep fighting fish as a hobby or pet, you can get a normal one which usually costs less than $5 at most aquarium pet stores.

  • There are many pet stores in Serangoon North and they have fighting fish that costs $1 to $3. "Better" ones are about $5.
  • There are also other premium pet stores such as those situated in upscale shopping centres like Plaza Singapura, The Central @ Clarke Quay, and etc, and they sell fighting fishes that cost around $15-$30.

However, if you are planning to breed fighting fish and go for show competitions, you might want to consider getting quality fighting fish from reputable breeders. One of the very reputable local breeders I know of is Kelson. He has a wealth of experience in breeding fighting fish and he has a store situated at Roxy Square. The fighting fish he has are top grade and some of them don't come cheap. To find out more, you can visit his website <-- here

What to Look Out for When Buying Fighting Fish?

  • While selecting a betta fish, look for one that shows energy and has its fins unharmed.
  • A healthy betta fish will show awareness during feeding times.
  • With sufficient space, betta fish will swim around energetically, flaring their gills and showing off their fin display in order to be a focus for mates.
  • An unhealthy fish will not swim around a lot and will not show awareness in food. The state of its fins may also get worse.
  • Do not purchase a fish that appears to be less healthy, even if all of the fish in the store that day appear lethargic and unwell.

What Do You Need to Keep Fighting Fish?

  • An aquarium or bowl (don't really have to be a big one)
  • Water conditioner (anti-chlorine chemical to remove chlorine chemical in tap water)
  • A fish net (to scoop up your fighting fish when doing water change, I will generally recommend a Betta Scoop as it does not damage the fins of fighting fish)
  • A small plant (for your fighting fish to have some privacy but do select one where the edges are not sharp)
Some people do add some gravel stones or decorating stones to enhance the appearance of the tank. Generally, that is not recommended as it may tear the fins of your fighting fish. Also, tt is recommended to avoid metal decorations. Since metal reacts with water, it can pose serious threat to the health of your fighter fish.

What Do You Feed the Fighting Fish?

You can feed the fighting fish a variety of food and they are classified mainly into two categories. Live food and Non-Live Food.

Live food can be bloodworms, daphnia (also known as Ang Boon in Hokkien), or baby brine shrimps. However, live food are really expensive and are not able to last more than a few days. The worst thing about feeding live food to fighting fish is that diseases can be easily spread and once the fighting fish has gotten used to eating live food, they might reject non-live food.

Non-live food are food pellets that are made from brine shrimp meat or white fish meat. There are many brands out there but the one I strongly would recommend is the Atison's Betta Pro which you can purchase from Petsmart at Serangoon North. The Atison's Betta Pro can be considered the best food available in the market for fighting fishes.

My Fighting Fishes

My Yellow Black Plakad (Male)

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My Red HalfMoon (Male)

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My Red Halfmoon (Female)

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My Red Crowntail Which Unfortunately Died After Mating

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If I have garnered enough interests from you readers about these beautiful exotic fighting fishes, my future blog entries would include topics such as Breeding Fighting Fishes, Common Diseases for Fighting Fish and How to Tackle Them, Best Practices and Tips from Local Breeders.

Should you have any queries about keeping fighting fish, please do not hesitate to drop me an email or an sms.

ps. I have just bred some baby fries and there are about 20 of them which I intend to give away if you're interested. These are bred from both my red halfmoons (pictures as above) and they were bought from Kelson, so you can be assured that its of a high quality breed. Let me know if you're interested to keep them as a pet.

Also, if you are interested to breed fighting fish, check out my blog post about breeding fighting fishes.