Thought I would do another profile on wild betta
I introduce you to:
Common name:Green Betta
Betta Sp mahachai can be found in one place in the wild,Mahachai,which is a half hour from Bangkok.
It has not been listed with the IUCN,however,it is in critical danger of becoming extinct.
Betta Sp.mahachai,is a slender "dolphin like"fish.they have a very strong caudal,and when mature,the caudal takes on a spade shape.The dorsal fin will have stripes,which can be found only on a mahachai.No other fish of this complex with have such stripes.
The color is a greenish blue.They have a striking iridescence about them.Females of course are less colorful,but I have found in perfect setups,they will be almost as dark as the males.
Two males facing off.
The lighter colored fish is a female,the other two are males.
Mahachais are very similiar to domestic bettas in the sense of housing.They enjoy temps to be in the mid 80's.They come from brackish areas so a little salt in the water will do them some good,though not always necessary.Mine are kept in full fresh and breed in it just fine.
They would appreciate a well planted tank,and are exceptional jumpers,so a tight fitting lid is a must.They are bubblenesters,so try to avoid a strong current.They water must be filtered and kept clean.Use a baffle for the flow,if necessary.A pair should be housed in ten gallons and groups in 29 or larger.As with any fish,the larger tank,the better.The can be housed in pairs or even groups,but they will fight,so take caution when housing several males.Be sure to have territories for every male in the tank.
Mahachai is not a picky fish and will readily accept pellet,frozen and live foods.Be sure to feed them a meaty diet as they are insectivores.A high quality pellet is suggested as the staple diet.
Mahachai breed the same way as splendens.The male will blow a bubblenest,and entice the female to the nest.They will then wrap around each other in the typical betta embrace.The female will be stunned and the male will gather the eggs off the ground,and place them in the bubbles.The female will help when she comes to.The male is not as violent to the females,as domestic splendens are.Instead,the male actually lets the female hang by the nest and care for the eggs.
The pair hanging out in a breeder trap.This will keep the eggs safe from other fish.
Closeup of the eggs in the nest.
Mahachais are known to build two nests.One for spawning,and then a second or even third to move them to after the spawning.
Raising the fry is very much like splendens.Some will let the father raise the fry and others will raise them without the male.I have yet to raise any myself so I cant advise on this.but I do know they grow slower than the pet store bettas.
Given the Mahachais are found in one area it is very important to conserve this species.The brackish swamp in which they come from,is the only place these fish are found,and its undergoing construction to build up the economy.As a result,the species will most likely suffer,with the chance of their waterway being remove permanently.
This in turn means there is a very good chance this fish will only be found in aquariums,and never again roaming free in its natural habitat.I encourage anyone who wants to try a wild betta,to give these wonderful fish a chance,and help preserve them in the long run.