I will be working on some profiles of wild betta
species.This is to help show our readers,theres many more types of betta
,not just the pretty ones in the cups.All of them are beautiful in their own rite!So without further ado,I introduce you all to:
Mac=Big Stoma=Mouth and its very fitting!
Common names are Brunei Beauty,Peacock mouthbrooder,Spotfin betta,and Orangecheek betta
Betta Macrostoma come from slow moving streams of Brunei,where collection of the fish is illegal,and the bordering Sarawak,where they are usually caught for export.
I have read they will reach upwards of five inches,but it seems to be the norm for them to be closer to four inches total length.
They are a very striking fish,males being more colorful than the females.Sexing is very easy when mature,as the males will sport a very rich orangish brown tint,with black striping on the caudal,anal and dorsal fins.The caudal will have a very nice spot,outlined in iridescence of yellow or orange,and sometimes blue.I have noticed the outer edges of the top of the caudal dorsal and ventral tips have a bluish iridescence glow to them as well.This irid is also on many of the females.
Females are brownish color,not near as striking as the males.I have found some will indeed have a black spot on the dorsal, but it will not be as easy to see as the males.Also I have seen females with a red tint to their fins.
Male macrostomas.Note the orange cheeks
Female macrostomas.See the black dorsal spot on the last picture.
Betta Macrostoma is a very strong swimmer and a very accurate jumper.If you plan to house these beauties,you must be sure to have a heavy,secure lid.It is highly advised that any hole be covered with craft canvas,instead of the larger egg crate found at local hardware stores.Though they do reach lengths of four inches,they are slender and can easily navigate a way through a hole.Also note they have been found to knock the plastic lids up,so its encouraged to have a heavy glass lid.
These bettas enjoy their water on the cooler side,about mid 70's.The Ph range isnt really too important as long as acclimation is done right.I have housed mine in PH of 6.8 to 7.5,with not adverse effects.The water must be kept well filtered and plants are a huge plus to this fish.The addition of live plants and plenty places to hide,will make them feel more comfortable,though they are not a shy fish,we strive to make them as happy as can be.Tank size is important.Pairs should be kept in no less than twenty gallons of cycled water,and groups 29 up.40 is preferred,and as with any fish,the more room,the better.
Macrostomas are voraciuos eaters and will almost eat anything offered.A meaty diet is a must for the health of these fish.Variety is the spice of life and they enjoy a number of frozen from Bloodworms and daphnia to brine shrimp and beefheart.Pellets are a good staple.I feed mine Atisons Betta PRO,a high quality pellet along with many other betta pellets.
I have found these fish to breed fairly well in captivity as long as they are in good health and happy.The holding,however is not as easy.
Betta Macrostoma is a paternal mouthbrooder,meaning the father cares for the eggs and carries them in his mouth until they are able to care for themselves.They spawn much like any other betta,with the typical embrace.The female initiates the spawning,by dawning horizontal stripes along her body,and clamping her fins in submission.
Male flaring for the female.
Female with clamped fins.She will move side to side for the male to show she is ready.
The male will then flare for the female,turning to a very intensely bright orange,flaring out his fins and arching his body,almost fanning her with his pectoral fins.
Once they wrap,the male will stay arched,catching most of the eggs on his anal fin,where the female will pick them up.
Female picking up the eggs.
She will then begin to pass them to the male.This will continue for some time.Once done the male will lose some of his color and most will go into hiding for the next 12 to 16 days.The parents will not eat the fry upon release.
A male mouthbrooding.Note the extended pouch on his lower jaw.
Once released,the fry will need a variety of high quality foods to grow.They can be fed freshly hatched baby brine shrimp from day one,and gradually moving onto other live foods,then frozen and pellets.The fry grow very slow,reaching full maturity close to a year old.
Betta macrostomas are a very sought after betta,because of the intense coloration and ability to be housed with others of its kind.It is my hopes to see more of these fish in the tanks of hobbyists,and bred here in the aquaria,instead of taken from their natural habitat.