Siamese Fighting Fish Facts – Best Fish Keeping

Last updated on December 24th, 2022 at 11:04 am

As a Siamese fighting fish, you have to be quite a person in order to obtain the rewards of keeping it. If you have any questions concerning it, we will be able to provide you with the answers.

Siamese Fighting Fish: General Information

This fish is rare in Europe, but it has been bred in its homeland for centuries. It was introduced in the country for the first time in 1892, but since then, it has been showing up in shows and competitions ever since its emergence.

Wild fighting fish are usually reddish or brown and have flag-like fins different from those in cultivated forms, which are shorter, so the fish can swim well and persistently. Several colors are available in cultivated fishing, and new colors are constantly being added. 

They are generally 5 to 7 cm tall and reach an age of around four years. What makes them so unique is that they belong to a fish group known as Labyrinth Fish. These fish have an organ called the labyrinth that can take in oxygen.

Where does the name come from?

Kafis are very territorial and will not tolerate intruders. Based on their nature and temperament, they may behave extremely aggressively in such situations. Female rivals are fought even to the death (in aquariums even more than in nature, since the inferior cannot avoid). 

The female is also harassed, but it takes longer for the chase to begin. Under certain circumstances, this may make the female so stressed that it would actually die. There have been cases where male Kafi players have attacked their reflection in a mirror. 

The zone defenses may not only be directed at conspecific fish. Different kinds of fish, particularly those with bright colors and long fins, are also targeted.

The main characteristics of the Siamese fighting fish:

Rogue Siamese fighting fish

• The male () Siamese fighting fish is mostly reddish-brown and often has rows of green, shiny scales. Its anus and dorsal fins are enlarged like a flag, its pelvic fins are narrow, and long
• the females are mostly yellowish to brownish in color. They are smaller than the males and mostly not as colorful. The fins are usually considerably shorter than those of the males
• Cultivated forms of the Siamese fighting fish come in almost all color combinations, and fin shapes
• the mouth of the Siamese fighting fish is on top. This enables it to take in oxygen on the surface of the water


The Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) grows to a maximum of 6 – 7 cm in length.

Maximum age

The Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) is about 2 years old.

Way of life, habitat, occurrence

The Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) is native to Thailand and Cambodia. It belongs to the labyrinth fish, which are not dependent exclusively on gill breathing but can breathe atmospheric oxygen via the labyrinth organ. This enables this fish to survive in relatively warm and therefore oxygen-poor water.

Aquaretic info

  • Climate zone: Tropical
  • Temperature: 24 ° C – 30 ° C
  • PH value : 6.0 – 8.0
  • dGH value : 0 – 20 °
  • Aquarium: from approx. 50 liters

Wild And Cultivated Forms

Siamese Fighting Fish Facts

There are two types of Kafi species today: the wild and cultivated forms. The wild form – short fins with mostly “simple” colors – is useful for keeping with at least one conspecific because it is less aggressive than the breeding form.

In general, however, larger tanks with at least 54 l of water and two plants that are separated from each other are essential. Here, too, the fish suffer from a constant state of stress, which can often greatly reduce life expectancy. 

Different in both nature and appearance, the cultivated form differs from its conspecifics in all but one respect. They are defined by long fins, hidden in the rear like a veil.

The Attitude

Actually, the Kafi is an easy fish to keep, even for beginners. He does not make any requirements on his pool – neither in terms of size nor water values. 

The only conditions it requires are that the temperature be between 26 °C and 28 °C, that the pH level is between 6 and 8, and that the total hardness level falls between 5 and 15. Its habitat, stagnant water, does not require artificial current.

Let’s move on to the topic where opinion differs: the size of the aquarium required. Basically, a fish of this size requires an aquarium of at least 54 liters and an edge length of at least 60 centimeters. 

However, keeping fighting fish is usually done in smaller Nanos, which have a volume of around 30l. However, we advise against it for a simple reason: it is difficult to reach and maintain stable conditions in such a pool. 

The smaller aquariums are not in a position to continually provide consistently good water quality, especially when it comes to the fighting fish. Extremely experienced aquarists should only keep a very small tank.

The Ideal Pool

Getting the filtration right is straightforward: The substrate should consist of fine gravel that is not too bright. The plants should be quite lush and offer the fish enough hiding places since Siamese fighting fish like to burrow around in a real jungle.

 Nevertheless, they shouldn’t have so many plants that the fish can’t find a place to breathe any longer.

It’s also rather simple to get the kit together: You need a good filter, some heating rods, and the right lighting, which does not need to be too bright: Siam fighting fish like it a little dim.

In addition, the air above the water must not be significantly colder than the water temperature: This prevents the fish from getting cold while breathing. A suitable cover should accompany the lighting: some kafis like to jump.

An environment for the Siamese fighting fish to feel good

It prefers settled water to more rapidly circulating water, so it does not do well in currents in the aquarium. Ideal for keeping individually or in pairs, a tank with 54 liters or more of water volume is ideal, and above 100 liters in volume is ideal. 

No matter how you choose to do it, you should make sure that the water is nice and warm, as the labyrinth is surrounded by water. The water level should not be more than 30 cm, as it emerges to breathe. 

Additionally, the Siamese fighting fish require lush vegetation beneath the surface. In fighting fish, the females tend to hunt the males. Once a male finds a quiet area in the aquarium, it will begin building a foam nest. 

Females lay their eggs here, which are guarded by males.

In their home country Thailand, slowly flowing or stagnant waters such as rice fields or ponds belong to the biotopes in which the Siamese fighting fish  (Betta splendens) feel good. 

The males are very aggressive towards each other and sometimes fight other males to the point of death. In small tanks, males and females should be kept separate, as the males can also be very rough with female conspecifics. 

Siamese fighting fish must be kept individually for long life. Aquarium enthusiasts can enjoy their Siamese fighting fish for up to three years. In larger aquariums, Siamese fighting fish are very peaceful to other fish. 

Therefore, most fish that are not too small or predatory is suitable for socialization. Fish that could occasionally pull their long fins, such as B. different barbels, one should not socialize with the Betta splendens.

The Siamese fighting fish loves meaty delicacies

The Siamese fighting fish will definitely feel at home if you keep them in such an aquarium and feed them worms, river fleas, and insect larvae regularly, in the form of live and frozen food or pellets.

Typically, the breeding specimens live two to three years old, after which they die. However, there are some exceptionally beautiful fighting fish that will live four years old after being hatched.

The feeding

Siamese fighting fish are omnivores in nature, so they should be offered live or freeze-dried food to ensure they are receiving enough protein. In addition, there are both flake feed and granulated variants specifically for cofis.

Breeding Of The Siamese Fighting Fish

Siamese fighting fish can reach a length of up to 7 cm. A distinction between the sexes, in all the forms that have emerged from the breeding program, is made by their larger fins. This characteristic is not so pronounced in the native Betta splendens. 

The fish makes no great demands on the water parameters. Low-nitrate water with pH values ​​between 6 and 8 and a total hardness between 5 and 15 ° is sufficient for the animals to feel comfortable. 

They love live food but also eat dry food. Put on lush planting in the aquarium so that the fish have plenty of opportunities to hide. However, not so many floating plants should be used that the Siamese fighting fish can hardly find free areas on the water surface to breathe.

When the male wants to reproduce, it builds a foam nest, lures the female underneath, and mates with him there. Reproductive activity can extend over several days.

The laid eggs, some of which sink to the bottom, are collected by the male, spat into the foam nest, and carefully guarded. If the aquarium does not offer enough alternatives, the female should now be caught out.

The willingness of the Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens) to mate can be recognized when the milker builds a foam nest. He anchors this to plants on the water surface.

In the Rogner (female), the willingness to mate is shown by vertically running spawning strips, which stand out brightly.

The milkman lures the Rogner in the so-called “lead swimming” under the foam nest, where there are initially several false pairings in which the partners are sexually synchronized. This enables both sperm and eggs to be released at the same time later. In the end, the “real” pairing takes place.

Here the milkman wraps around the Rogner, who is turned on his back. With trembling body movements, eggs (50-300) and sperm are released. Here, both partners are in paralysis.

Since the eggs are heavier than water, they fall on Rogner’s stomach and anal fin and to the bottom of the water. Shortly before the rogner, the milkman breaks out of the rigidity of spawning and gathers the clutch with his mouth, and then immediately spits it into the foam nest. 

After mating, the rogner is driven out of the nest area by the milkman. And the milker takes care of the brood.

 About ten days after hatching, the fry switch from gill breathing to labyrinth breathing. If the water level in the tank is too high, much young fish die during this time because they have to constantly go to the surface of the water to take in oxygen.

Successful socialization

It is important to choose the right fish in order to avoid socialization becoming an additional food unit. The fish must not be too small. Otherwise, they would be considered prey, nor must they behave territorially, e.g., typical of perch. 

Further, a fish with large fins will tend to be territorial, so Kafi squid fish (like long-finned guppies) are protected. It is also beneficial to avoid overly lively fishes (like many danish eels), as they cause additional stress for their kitties. On the other hand, a lot of calm schooling fish and catfish can be used as socializing fish.

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