A Complete Guide to Raise Betta Macrostoma in the Tank

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:05 am

Betta Macrostoma is excellent aquarium fish that is a dream for every betta enthusiast. It comes in many color ranges, fin types, and dazzling patterns. They are relatively easy to keep in the tank in a controlled environment.

Although Macrostoma betta is a dream for every betta lover, it is not for everyone. Due to its endangered status from environmental and local factors, it is not readily available. They prove to be a massive financial investment but having them in your tank is a fascinating experience.

The literal mean of Betta Macrostoma translates as “big mouth.” They are beautiful fish having big jaws and mouths. These bettas are also known as Ikan Pelage Brunei and Brunei Beauty. Later on, in 1981, they were found in the local waterfalls of the Brunei area.

Betta Macrostoma Overview

  • Scientific Name: Betta macrostoma
  • Common Name: Peacock betta, Brunei beauty
  • Origin: Brunei Darsm, Indonesia
  • Family: Osphronemidae
  • Caretaking: Experienced
  • Body Size: 10 cm
  • Feeding habit: Omnivores
  • Movement Type: Everywhere
  • Behavior: Peaceful
  • Lifespan: Up to 10 years
  • Temperature Range: 20 – 25 C
  • Minimum Tank Size: 20+ gallons (Max 80+)
  • pH Range: 6.0 – 7.0
  • Water type: 0 – 5 dKH
  • Breeding: Challenging but doable
  • Compatibility: Pencilfish, White Clouds, Cherry Barb

Origins and Habitat

The Betta Macrostoma is native to the Brunei and Sarawak areas. They are only native to the limited number of waterfalls of these regions. The wild betta habitat is mainly composed of shady pools of Brunei and Sarawak in the rainforest waterfalls.

They like relatively fast and agitated water, but some specimens inhabit the river and tributaries’ still water. Macrostoma fish got the protected species status in Brunei due to its extinction status. It became difficult to get them and raise their values in the hobbyists.

Related Post: How long do Betta fish live?

Physical Appearance

The Betta Macrostoma is one of the beautiful and colorful Betta in its genus. 

Both males and females have different body patterns and schemes. Males have black lines that run horizontally on each side. The dorsal fins represent a black color spot with orange patches in the surrounding.

Female Macrostoma shows horizontal orange bars in the flanks. They are not as colorful as the male and contain a simple brown color scheme.

Nature and Life Expectancy

The Betta Macrostoma are peaceful fish. But due to their value and breeding purpose, it is better not to mix them with other fish types. 

They can live up to 10 years in suitable tank conditions.

Betta Care Sheet

Betta Macrostoma care is not very difficult for species like Betta albimarginata and Betta channoides. If you are looking for the Betta, some other species like Betta Unimaculata and Betta Pineconing can generate some capital. 

Betta albimarginata and Betta channoides are an excellent choice due to their endangered status and easy-to-care nature.

Food Type and Intensity

Betta Macrostomas are very selective in their food choice. They don’t like dried food, even if they are captive breeds. They readily take live and frozen foods like white worms, nematodes, mosquitos, bloodworms, and daphnia.

Betta likes beef heart, Mysis shrimp, krill, copepods, and brine shrimps in the frozen items. A mixture of live and frozen food is good for feeding Betta Macrostomas.

This Betta requires feeding only 1 to 2 times a day. Serve them the quantity that they can utilize in a few minutes.

Compatibility and Tankmates

Generally, we recommend not to keep Betta Macrostoma with other teammates. However, if you are going to keep them with other fish, two things need your consideration. 

  1. Never place them with the boisterous and large fishes. They compete with them for food. 
  2. Put them with small fish with small mouths to prevent fry preying.

The best suitable species for Betta Macrostoma include Chili Rasboras, Rasbora sarawkensis, Ember Tetra, Red-Tailed Rasbora, Cherry Barb, White Clouds, Toucan Tetras, and Pencilfish.

There are not enough Betta from this species in the market. I would suggest you breed them and sell them in the market.

Tank size:

For keeping the Betta Macrostoma happy and well sustained, a 20 gallon or more is a good choice. Bettas are good jumpers, so a tank with taller dimensions with a tight lid retains them very well. 

To prevent them from stress and separate the fry from the parent, keep them in more oversized 40s or 75s. A more significant 90s or 120s would be a better choice but expanding the choices increases the costs. Also, large tanks are more expensive and difficult to find in the market.

Substrate and Decorations:

When breeding, the Macrostomas always choose a substrate that keeps the bottom easy to maintain. Any additional things like plants, caves, and leaf litter are better to avoid. For a better setup, you can paint the three walls of the tank in black color. This color addition will let them feel more secure and let them remain peaceful.


Betta water parameters need regular monitoring as they love oxygenated and toxics-free water. Change the water every week for a better routine. Either set the routine for changing 10% of water daily or 25% of water weekly.

A regular water change is a better option as it keeps the toxins diluted. If the water is hard and unfit for the fish, set up a RO unit. It will keep the water checked for the right dKH and break the water hardness. The recommended pH for Betta Macrostoma lies between 6-7, but they can live in as low as 4 pH in the wild.

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Betta Macrostoma fish temperature requirements do not vary much between the species. Similar to other Bettas, it requires a well-maintained temperature for a stress-free environment. They thrive well between 74 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.


Betta Macrostoma is a species that like low lighting in the tank. In brighter light conditions, they have higher chances of getting under stress. Especially when breeding the wild Macrostoma, they are prone to stress in bright lights.

You can either use a dim light setup or plant the vegetation to reduce the light intensity and stress. 

macrostoma betta for sale

Best Plant for Betta Macrostoma:

While choosing a plant for the Betta Macrostomas tank, I prefer the good for acidic and lower temperature conditions. The perfect plants for this purpose are guppy grass and frogbit. They have long roots and thrive fast in the tanks. So they provide extra shelter in the tank. They grow well in low lighting conditions and are best fit for planting in the tank.

Choose fast-growing plant-like hornworts and water sprite plant. They keep the water clean and more oxygenated. Some other plants are suitable, like Sweet Potato, Salvinia, Water Wisteria, Hornwort, and Java Moss.

Betta Breeding

Breeding the Betta Macrostoma is not hard. But it requires a lot of patience sometimes, especially if they are not pairing. Betta fish breeding tank setup needs to be large enough to prevent stress on the mates. You have to allow the betta fish to live in the group and form the pair naturally.

Betta’s mating behavior is somewhat complex. On successful pair formation, males and females live together. They need some space, and once they get along, males need to hold the eggs for a complete cycle to get successful results. Getting a male for breeding is also tricky because most offspring are female in each generation.


Like other Betta species, Macrostoma exhibit similar spawning behavior. Female initiate the spawning, and it involves wiggling, flaring, embracing, and fin flashing. The male embraces the female, wiggling with fins out and open mouth response.

Later on, they wiggle around, open mouths at each other, and the female continuously wiggles the male until they start to orient themselves for the wrap position. The male comes in a position to wrap the female and fertilize the eggs that the female releases.

Next, they both start picking eggs in the mouth. The female collects the eggs into the male mouth, where he has to keep them for the full term. 

Both parents will work to pick up the eggs together, and the female will spit the collected eggs into the male’s mouth. Sometimes the male won’t take them, but she’ll hold onto them most of the time in these cases.

Betta Breeding


It’s a rare event to see macrostoma betta for sale in the shops. However, we see the betta macrostoma for sale more often in hobbyist circles. Mostly the fishkeeper that is skilled and devoted keep them for breeding and sale them.

The betta lifespan in captivity is less than we see in the wild. Still, it is the best way to get them going as desirable aquarium fish. They usually survive up to 10 years if the conditions provided to them are good. Being an expensive species, they cost around $200 for a pair.

Common Betta Macrostoma Disease

Betta Macrostomas are easy to care for and usually don’t get ill more often in the tank. In most cases, the illness is due to the keeper’s negligence and poor maintenance. They need a regular water replacement and lower pH; otherwise, they get fungal diseases.

Fungal Infection:

Fungal infection in bettas is common, and their symptoms are tricky to detect because of the large number of fungal infection-causing agents. Even they look strikingly similar to bacterial infections.

  • Symptoms: Cotton like growths on eyes, gills, fins, and body
  • Causes: Fungus by Flavobacterium columnare
  • Treatment: Erythromycin, Ich X

Skin & Gill Flukes:

Worm-like parasites cause skin and gill flukes in the Betta Macrostomas. They embed themselves in the fish body and are almost invisible to the human eyes. Because of their small size, they are challenging to detect.

  • Symptoms: Itchiness, redness on skin and gills, scratching, extra mucus, and difficult breathing
  • Causes: Stress, overcrowding, illness, and wrong water parameters
  • Treatment: Flukes are common in the most first fish tank. To avoid them, keep water parameters regulated and avoid excessive stress and overcrowding.

Fin Rot & Tail Rot:

The gram-negative bacteria cause fin and tail roots in Bettas. They give a choppy and ragged look to the fish by eating out its fins. More opportunities for fungal and bacterial infections open up, and the body starts to root if it gets severe.

  • Symptoms: Discoloration on fins, shrinking fins, chomped fins
  • Causes: Stress, poor water quality, open wounds
  • Treatment: Keep the water fresh and clean, avoid exposed wound in poor water conditions

Summing Up

Betta Macrostoma is the most desirable fish species for the aquarium. They represent themselves as peaceful, colorful, and easy to care bettas. In the wild, they are endangered and need proper protection laws. Therefore, their breeding in tanks is recommended for their survival and discourages their wild specimens’ illegal trade. They are expensive specimens for a tank and cost around $100 for single and $200+.

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