This page is the place for Betta fanatics to share their experiences. If you have some interesting information, from reading books, or from your own observational experiences then please e-mail it to me and I will attach it to this page.

At the present, I have 3 sections open and I will add sections accordingly:

  • Mating
  • Disease
  • General



Making a good groom

New comers to Betta breeding may experience some difficulties with the male Betta not wanting to mate, even though you may have prepared the breeding tank well, or even very well. Even despite following all the steps the books tell you to. But your Betta does nothing but build his bubble nest and never goes under it. The female has even come to entice him, but he just chases her cruelly. Oh god, after 5 days he is still only nesting.

Now, here’s the secret. Before you send the male back to the breeding tank, let him fight with another male for 5-10 minutes. His fins and tail may tear off, but do not worry it will quickly grow back later. This time when you send the male back to the female, he will mate immediately. The logic behind this is that the male Bettas instinct is to fight in order to mate.

(12 April 1998)

Scared Bride

Some females are really scared of the males; may be she has had a bad experience with a male. Instead of mating when you put them together, she always runs away when the male approaches. This female is NOT CONDITIONED FOR MATING.

To solve this unexpected problem, you should prepare the female well before allowing her to mate. Place the pair in separate bottles. Use a piece of cardboard to block their view, so they cannot see each other. Remove the cardboard 3 times a day and let them spar for hour only. Do this for about two weeks. After two weeks you should see the female flaring her fins to the male. The next day transfer the pair to a square glass tank about 12" x 20" x 10". The female will approach the male, and the male will get excited and start flaring and showing off for the female. Some will even start to build the nest. Let them stay together for 10 minutes. Be careful to not let the male attack the female, after 10 minutes remove the male and put him back in his bottle. Keep doing this for seven days. The female will become totally acquainted with the male and the scaring symptoms will be greatly diminished. You will also observe that the eggs in the ovum will increase rapidly and the belly of the female will become slightly yellow. On the next day, place the female in a separate bottle and place the bottle in the middle of the breeding tank. Make sure to put in some floating plants for the male to build his bubble nest in. The male will flare his fins around the female and quickly build his nest. On the fourth day release the female with the male, they should mate within 1 hour. Some females will even help the male collect the eggs and put them in the bubble nest. 

(13 April 1998)



Swollen Eyes

Keep the affected Betta in a small glass containing a half-liter of water, with a dry banana leaf. Feed your fish as usual. You will see the water turn into a tea like color, it will also develop a bad smell, and be very murky. Just leave it as it is. From anywhere in the fourth to the seventh day you will find that the swollen eyes of your fish have recovered. 

(13 April 1998)

Jackson’s Thriller Disease

One day you may notice that your lovely Betta has changed his swimming style. From smart and gentle movements to thrusting around like a missile. Sometimes he will swim very fast to the surface of the water, and then hurry and dive right down, shaking his body and head like Michael Jackson’s Thriller "Break dance". He will jerk around and after a day or two you might see lots of little white spots spread all over your Betta. Yes, your fish has been attacked by Ich (Ichthyopthirius multiflis) or white spot disease. The experienced Betta keeper knows that just a drop a day of Methylene Blue for 3 days will cure the sick fish. But, once a Betta has been attacked by Ich it will lose its smart manner and become a weaker fish.

To prevent your Betta being spoiled by “Break dance” disease, try and make sure that the water temperature in the Betta tank does not change too fast. But, this may not be enough prevention. You should also put a foot of Alpinia Galanga in your Bettas bottle at all times. Alpinia Galanga provides chemical substances like steroids, Phenolic acids, terpenoids, and others. These substances help prevent and get rid of the disease, which comes from fungus.

Note: I got the tip about putting Galanga in the bottle from an old breeder by word of mouth. And the chemical substances listed came from a pet magazine.

(7 August 1998)



Returning Your Fish to its Natural State

An accident may damage the fins of your beautiful Betta. Normal feeding may not be enough to restore the damage. To grow the fins back to their former glory quickly, find about half a pint of mud from a lake and put it in the Bettas bottle along with some banana leaf. Within 5 days you will find the torn fins have quickly grown back to their former glory. After ten days you can shift your fighter to a bottle with clean water. You will have a new version of your fish, more alert and looking better than ever.

(13 April 1998)

Warm Alive, Cold Die

I have been reading about your experience with  Betta with great happiness. I have been taking care of Betta in a Pet Shop for 13 years. I learned from my customers about using plants to make them well. Since my customer could not find the plants he used in Thailand, he picked out a plant we call Bacopa for me to use. I have tried other plants but they do not have the same effects. Most Americans feel that fighting Bettas is a cruel sport. I was one of them until I asked Thai people to tell me about Bettas. I learned that the fight is not to the death of the Bettas. I was told that the Betta that quits or swims away is taken out of the fight so that it is not killed. I learned from you that the fight is for better health and breeding. One young man told me that he conditions his Bettas before a fight by putting them in salty water. He says that it hardens the scales and that his fish are not easily injured. I found that I lost most of my Bettas when they were shipped to us during our cold months. I could not getting any help from the shipper. It was so sad to see all these beautiful fish get a white film on their bodies and eyes. They could not eat or breathe. They usually died within 48 hours. I discovered how to keep them from getting sick. The reason why the shippers could not help me is that they did not have to take the fish out of the little bags and put them into containers. The only people who know of this problem would be people who live have cold winters. Cold water carries more oxygen than warm water. I knew this but it took a long time to discover what could make that a bad problem for Bettas. I discovered that if I made up a container of mixed cold and hot water that there were tiny air bubbles in the container. They did not dissolve for days!! Those little tiny bubbles were covering the Bettas bodies and their gills. When the bubbles dissolved they caused damage to the gills. So what if I try to just use a little cold water and let it sit? Still the same problem. I tried filling the container with only hot water faucet. No bubbles!! I let the water sit till it was room temperature. The Bettas still died a few days later. I tried again. I let the water sit and filled dup the cups with warm water. I pour out the extra water from the bag and pour the Bettas into the cups of warm water. Never touching their bodies with NETS! None died. They loved the warm water! The temperature can be up to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. None of them sink to the bottom. They swim around and They eat good. They did not get sick. I find that Bettas get sick if they suddenly get chilled. I tell people to keep their Bettas in the warmest and quietest place in their home. I have been doing this for many years. If someone else in the store has to put the Bettas in cups or moves the Bettas to a bright and noisy location in the store, the fish die. They think I have magic with Bettas.

 From Gail Beebe, The Delphi Pets Forum.

(9 July 1998)

The Mantra for Fighting Fish

The following ancient Thai verse is a magic spell to use when you feed the fighter. The magic verse wills your Betta to become the winner. I don’t know the beginning of this verse; I got it from a Thai aquarium booklet. I will try my best to translate it into English verse. I know that the result will not be the same when translated into English. So please just read this for fun.

This verse is meant to tell the fighter keeper is looking after his fish well. When feeding his fighter the keeper will focus his eyes on his fish. The spell in the verse is to trick the keeper into concentrating on his fighter. Then the fish becomes the center of focus, not the owner. In that moment the owner may observe the readiness of his fighter.

Thai Script

"นะกัดตัง กะขะชนะ
ตัวข้ามีกำลังดังพระยา ปลาในมหาสมุทร
พุตากะเก เขี้ยวแก้วทั้ง 4 ดุจตรีเพชร
หนุมาน มะอะอุปลา ใดมารอนราน วินาศสันติ"

Paraphrase Script

"Na Kad Tang Ga Ka Chana
Toa Khar Mee Kham Lang Dank Phra Ya Pla Nai Maha Samut
Su Gu Yo Grade Kaw Manee Hum Haw Toa Ka Dank Krax Phet
Pu Ta Ka Ge, Keow Kaw Tank See Duj Tree Phet
Hanuman Ma Aa Au Pla Dai Mar Ron Raan Vinas Santi"

The Translation into English Verse

"Oom you are the real fighter, the Superior.
You are the Mighty Mega-power Worrier, the LORD of all fish in the Oceania.
Your dynamic crystal scale is as tough as armour diamond.
The four quartz teeth as sharp as Shiva's spear
Hanumana, Oh the great fish, no one can defeat you, the Destroyer."

(21 May 1999)

You come I'm so please, I'm regret when you leave.

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