A very common family of fish is the betta. You can find them in almost every store that sells aquatic pets. They are beautiful fish with long fins flowing effortlessly as they swim in the water. Many beginner aquarists choose betta fish when they are starting off their new hobby since they are simple creatures and fairly easy to take care of.
A species well-known within the betta family is the Betta Mahachaiensis. It is a type of wild betta yet still very similar to the domestic betta fish. Before adding a Betta Mahachaiensis to your tank, it is important to know all the factors about this fish to give it a great home.
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Betta Mahachaiensis Care
Betta Mahachaiensis, also known as Betta Mahachai, is a type of wild Betta fish. It is a tropical fish that originates from the Samut Sakhon Province in Thailand, which is southwest of Bangkok. It is a newly discovered fish, found recently in 2012, and there isn’t as much information on them as other fish since scientists are still studying all about them. The betta mahachaiensis live in stagnant brackish and fresh waters such as ponds, swamps, and pools.
They are actually hard to catch and find due to their habitat. Nipa palm trees are all throughout their habitats, creating lots of hiding places for the fish. The nipa palm trees have phytotelmata, which are small cavities that are filled with water. The betta mahachaiensis like to nest within these phytotelmata, which is a common place to find the fish. Unfortunately, this fish is becoming extinct for two reasons: the damage humans have been doing to their habitat and the capturing and selling of this beautiful fish.
Tank Setup for Betta Mahachaiensis
Having the perfect tank setup for your aquatic pets is crucial to their well-being. Common betta is sometimes kept in jars, but it is not recommended to do the same with betta mahachaiensis. It’s best to put these fish in long tanks to keep the water level low. A single betta mahachaiensis is best kept in a 5 to 12 gallon tank. If you are adding a pair of fish to a tank, make sure to add them to a tank of at least 20 gallons to give them enough space and prevent them from fighting.
No matter the size of the tank, always secure a lid on top of the tank! If there is some sort of opening up on top, the wild betta mahachaiensis are known to find the opening and attempt to jump through it. Additionally, the lid will hold in moisture and maintain the water temperature and high air humidity. The perfect water for the tank of a betta mahachaiensis has a temperature of about 72°F to 79°F and a pH level in the range of 5-8.5.
Betta mahachaiensis are shy fish who enjoy low light and lots of hiding places. When setting up the new home for your fish, make sure to add plenty of caves. Lots of foliage should be included in the tank, especially floating plants. Some plants perfect for the enclosure of the betta mahachaiensis are java fern, java cryptocorynes, and anubias. Stones and wood are hardscapes that provide your fish with excellent hiding places.
Betta Mahachai Food & Diet
Betta mahachaiensis are carnivores and insectivores and can be fed all types of meat-based foods and insects. They enjoy critters such as bloodworms, mosquito larvae, aselles, daphnia, and red daphnia, which can improve the color of the fish. When it comes to dry food, flakes and pellets are just fine though they may not always accept it. No matter the food, make sure to feed your fish with high-quality products packed with vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
Tank Mates for Betta Mahachaiensis
This beautiful species of fish is cheerful when placed with most fish, though it is best not to add it to a community tank and keep it with its own species. They do well with other peaceful fish and fish smaller than them since they are not a threat.
Male betta fish tend to be slightly aggressive and have occasional fights amongst each other, so it is best to keep them separate if possible. If the enclosure is big enough for the males to stay separate from each other, then a few can be added to the same tank. You can also add Asian bottom like Kuhlii along with the betta mahachaiensis, as long as the tank is larger than 20 gallons.
Male vs. Female
Betta mahachaiensis are some of the more beautiful wild betta fish and are mostly sought out for their beauty. When comparing the male and female betta mahachaiensis, there are a few differences in color and fins. Both males and females have green or blue metallic scales.
The female has a brown body beneath the bright scales. The color of the body of the male fish is deeper than that of the female, almost black in color. The bright green or blue scales sit on top of the dark colors of both female and male fish and pop out so beautifully due to their iridescent color. Their fins are striped black with blue or green. Though they portray similar colors, the male is much brighter and more colorful than the female.
It is easy to distinguish between a male and female betta mahachaiensis, not only because of their difference in color but because of the difference in fins as well. The males tend to have more fins, and the fins are longer in size than that of the females. Additionally, the adult female betta mahachaiensis grows to be about 4.8cm, whereas the male reaches up to about 5.2cm in length. These fish can live for quite some time, with a lifespan of about 5 to 7 years.
An important and interesting fact about the betta mahachaiensis is that it has a complementary respiratory organ! It’s very neat because it allows the fish to breathe the surface air when oxygen is low within the water.
Betta Mahachaiensis Breeding
It is possible to find betta mahachaiensis online for an average of about $40 each or $65 for a pair. Of course, prices may vary due to location.
When attempting to breed your betta mahachaiensis, everything about the tank must be pleasant so that the fish are happy. The breeding amongst the betta mahachaiensis is an easy process, and it begins with having a completely separate tank just for breeding. Set up the tank using the tips mentioned above, so both fish feel at home, and make sure the top of the tank is tightly sealed, as tightly as possible! The fry will not be able to develop a fully functional labyrinth organ without the warm, humid air caused by the tightly sealed tank.
Prior to putting both male and female betta mahachaiensis in the breeding tank, you’ll need to condition the fish by providing extra proteins so that they are stronger for spawning. You will need to condition the fish for about one to two weeks before adding the male into the breeding tank.
Once the male betta mahachaiensis is in the tank, he will begin to make his nest out of bubbles to prepare for the eggs. Slowly add the female into the tank so she can reconnect with the male. The male will then start the mating process by swimming fast to show its effervescence and impress the female. He might even perform a type of “dance” by swimming on the spot and wiggling his fins.
Once they are ready to mate, you will see the pair of betta mahachaiensis go under the nest of bubbles. The female will release the eggs, and the male will pick them up and put them into the bubble nest. At times, the male will get overprotective of the eggs and might see the female as an intruder. If you notice the male causing violence towards the female, be sure to remove the female from the breeding tank and allow the male to care for the eggs.
The eggs will hatch within 24-48 hours and stay within the bubble nest for about 4-5 days. For the first 5-6 months of their life, you will need to feed the fry small live prey such as tubifex and daphnia. After that, they will naturally adopt the diet of adult betta mahachaiensis.
In conclusion, the betta mahachaiensis is a fairly easy fish to care for, which is why they are great for beginner aquarists. Though it is not as popular as Betta splendens, this beautiful iridescent fish is worth searching for. The Betta mahachaiensis will add a beautiful sparkle and pop to your tank!