From the Heart of the Writer

 

Dear friend, thank you very much for your interest in reading the story of the fighting fish. I have put over 6 years of my time and effort (not to mention money) into the serious, intensive study of the practice of the fighting fish game in an effort to write down my experiences and share knowledge with you the reader. I would like to ask you to support my continued research by making a donation in exchange for reading the article below. Please contribute money as you see fit, it is much appreciated.

You may send a donation via Western Union, money gram or through a bank wire transfer, please use the information in www.plakatthai.com/donation.html

For those who contribute money to further my study project, I am happy to answer all questions regarding the fighting fish personally and if by chance you have a chance to visit Thailand, it would be my pleasure to take you to see the fighting fish as a friend.

Thank you for your kindness.

Precha Jintasaerewonge.

 

This essay was proofread and edited with the assistance of the Plakat International team, their enthusiasm and willingness to help is appreciated.

Introduction
 

There are three core components to this article that are discussed:

One - is the open up the world of the Siamese fighting fish and look at it from the perspective of the fighter and see how the trainer and the fish cooperate with the ultimate goal of transforming the captive Betta splendens into a great fighter. This article will illustrate step by step the selection of a good fighter and training to become a top condition fighter that is hard to beat

Two - to be the handbook or guidelines for the newcomer in this game. To set him on the right track in the game, and to help the newcomer avoid the common mistakes so as not to become simply an easy victim or a fool in a fighting game arena.

Three - to show that the fighting of fish is really a game. The fighter is the product of well-planned intensive breeding and raising the best fighter requires proper management. It is specific in it’s keeping and the training steps to be followed are similar to what one can find in football, boxing, tennis, badminton or any other game. All competitors that come into the game must be extremely complete, well trained and in top condition for fighting. This essay hopes to educate people that the fighting fish is a particular, unique variety of Betta splendens and they must not use any typical Betta splendens to fight.

The fighting fish game was originated and developed in Thailand many years ago. In Thailand, the fish has been raised in households since the Sukhothai Period, more than 700 years ago. Records from the reign of King Lithai of Sukhothai allude to fighting fish being reared for sport.

oldpic.jpg (418565 bytes) A picture of a fish fight from the book "Twentieth Century Impressions of Thailand" drawn by a westerner in the year 1908
  The picture shows the player engaging in an activity that one can well imagine was already popular for over 100 years. No matter when the practice began, the game of fighting fish has spread from South East Asia to all over the world, including the Australian continent, North America and also Europe.

The Value of the Game of  Fighting Fish

 

The outsider may not get the point or understand why people are so fascinated with this game but when we look closely at the player's activities, fairly and without prejudice, we may see some subject matter of interest and understand better the value of the game.

  • Fighting fish is an applied knowledge of both science and art. The player of this game has to know and apply biological science in the keeping and training of the fighter. As well, the player must be creative and use the art of manipulation over his opponent to deal with and eventually gain the advantage in the game. During training sessions and before the player carries his fighter into the ring to challenge he has to check over every aspect of the fish in detail, including the structural form, mouth, scales, skin and the way his fighter swims and acts.
  • Fighting fish is a mental exercise of the human mind. Fighting fish is also a game of both emotional enjoyment and sadness. Win or lose, during the time the player is watching the fight he is in a state of emotional balance. The players talk, laugh, make jokes and share in the highs of watching the various ways the fish fight and the lows of disappointment when his fish lose.
  • Fighting fish is about psychological self-control. In the fighting fish game there is a lot of challenging and boasting. Some people use bad words or resort to mockery and greed in winning the game. So it is said "there is no real friend or real enemy in the fighting fish ring". The player has to take control of his feelings and mind, feel confident, be himself and not allow himself to fall for the tricks played by his opponent. Once you enter the fighting fish ring you are playing the same game as your fighter.
  • Fighting fish is a social relationship. The fighting fish ring is the gathering place of people of various professions, different ages and views. People come to share their opinions, drink soft drinks and relax. Obeying the fighting fish rules and respecting the traditional practices is a must though.
  • Fighting fish are mirror opposite reflections of human life - Honest and pure, they do their duty with heart and without conditions. The fighter never escapes or avoids the fight, even when his opponent's size is much bigger than he is. He will fight until he can no longer fight. The fighter's responsibility is to do his duty to the best of his ability and never offer excuses or express an unwillingness to do his duty unlike humans, who have so many excuses for avoiding duty. We will try to avoid and bargain our way out of our responsibility and half-heartedly do our job. There are many times that the fighter has taught me to be more restrained and patient in the hard living of everyday life.
Basic Considerations Regarding the Fighting Fish Game
 

The following are basic considerations, which are derived from many years of experience in the fighting fish game. A lot of money was put up and spent to test my assumptions and the following are the warnings that I would like to share with the new fellowship:

  • Don't take a sick fish to the fight. The handler has to very carefully check his fighter's condition. A sick fish will sometimes not show its unhappiness. One must check in detail such factors as whether there are tiny white spots present on any part of the fish, or a filmy plastic coating on the mouth or face of the fighter. Some professionals can even observe sadness in the fish by the way it swims. No fighter with these symptoms can hope to win in the serious fighting fish ring.
  • Don't take a fighter with faults or imperfections to the fight. The handler must carefully check the perfection of the fighter. Perfection has a two-fold meaning when discussing the fighter. One is physical perfection and the second is mental perfection. Physical perfection means the presentation of all the different parts of the fish being normal; pelvic fins, eyes, normal mouth shape, gill covers completely shut, free of scale defections and so on. From my many experiences time and again, once an opponent's fighter knew the weak points of a fighter he would hit that part again and again. I won a match once just because I saw a defective scale on my opponent's fighter and took advantage of that fault.
  • Don't take a fighter you have never seen fight before to a big stakes match. Although the reliable supplier already confirms that the fighter you got from him is of the best quality, the serious player should/must take one fish from the batch and test it with another fighter of the same quality and condition. Some hardcore players even test their fish against a bigger fish (5/4) in order to know what to expect from his fighter and estimate the potential and limits of his fighter. One must not let the fighter fight for just 10 minutes to see its fighting style and then take him out - once you test them, let them fight to an end.
  • Don't take a fighter to a fight if you only have chance and luck on your side. From my experiences, chance and luck favor only the careful player who is sensitive enough to see the chance and take the risk. Remember, chance comes not from the fish but from the holder. The holder must always keep the fighting fish regulations in mind. Try to find the best chance to use the regulations to your advantage when the situation is critical. There are many cases in which a disadvantaged fighter can turn around and become the winner simply because the holder sees an opportunity and takes a chance. However, luck sometimes comes into the game uninvited and twists all the fighting results.
  • Don't become over-confident in your fighter. Over-confidence in your fighter will make you blind and go into the game deeper and deeper. In the beginning, your fighter may fight very smart but there are also many fighters who will come back and make you pay in the second hour if you are too confident. The real professional holds this type of fighter most of the time.
  • Don't under-estimate your opponent's fighter. This goes hand in hand with the above statement. When matching fighters, many players simply consider only the person who holds the challenger and don't bother to check out the fighter as well. Sometimes you may even accept a match with a bigger fighter than your own simply because you think that he does not handle the fighter as well as you. You may not know it but there are many professionals who will let someone like him carry their fighters. He might not even train the fighter himself but simply buy an already trained fighter to fight with you. One should always consider the fighter that you are matching rather than the handler. There are many hardcore players who find it very hard to find a match and will let someone else carry their fighter for him.
  • Don't let your opponent's fighter be much larger than your own. This consideration comes from both the above statements. Since you are over-confident in your fighter and under-estimate your opponent's fighter, you may match his fighter even though it is much bigger than yours. Unless that fighter is severely sick, matching a much bigger fish than yours will mean a loss most of the time. Your fighter will lose energy battling the big fish and give up the fight from exhaustion in the end.
  • Don't fight fish with your close friends. Fighting fish is a challenging game. Friendships are often broken after one fight with a close friend. However, betting a small stake or simply testing the fighters for fun is an exception. In the fighting fish game, one needs a really sincere friend to share in the fish, knowledge and also fun. Though it is hard to find a real friend in the fighting fish ring they are there. Once you find a real friend in the fighting fish ring it's easier to realize the true meaning and enjoyment of this game.
  • Don't fight fish with the real hardcore player when playing for money. Most of the hardcore players fight the fish for money, and money alone is what they search for in the game. So, they will know all the techniques, strategies, and be able to convince you to follow their game if you are not careful. Of course, if you are a fighting fish fan strictly for fun and do not care win or lose, that would be OK.
  • Don't fight if you do not have the time to take care of your fighter. Fighting fish need human supervision such as regular training, regular feeding, cleaning and fish room temperature control. Lack of any of these activities will put undue stress on your fighter.

Fighter Form Type and Fighting Habit

 

A fighters structural form relates directly to it's fighting style. The more the holder of the fighter knows about its physical structure and fighting habits the better he will be in matching his fighter to an appropriate challenger. Two of the main factors in a loss are, not matching a fighter carefully and not understanding the fighter's physical structural form.

Channa Striata Bloch. The main structural form of Channa type is; the fish has a thick and round head with the trunk of the body being round and long. The overall body structure is very consistent and firm. When matching from the side, the fish may look small physically since it has short fins. One should take into account overall body meat though and not consider the fins as part of the size of the fish. The general fighting style of the fish is direct hit and double strike. When in top condition this fish has very good heart and rarely runs away even when badly injured. The Channa form type will attack an opponent using direct hits and quickly follow up all the time, or in other words, use offensive strategy to beat another fish.

channa.jpg (165286 bytes)  
fighter10.jpg (69541 bytes) These two fighters illustrate a very good example of the Channa ornata form type. From the mouth to the Caudal Peduncle, all parts are perfectly in balance. Mouth is firm and placed precisely on the large jaw support. The broad Caudal Peduncle shows the powerful drive and big punch of this fighter.
  Chitala Ornata form type: The distinguishing structural form of Chitala type is; a flat and slim body trunk. The pelvic fins (as well as the other fins) are longer, when compared to the other fighter form types. The unique characteristic of Chitala is a long, curving mouth. Overall, body structure is of very good proportion and balance. A non-experienced player may view this type of fish as "big" because of flowing fins and a very fast swimming style. In top condition, this type of fighter has very sharp teeth and has a very good stylish fighting technique. However, since its physical structure is flat and not composed of much muscle the weight it puts into attack means it's not a hard hitter. Nonetheless, this form type often fights very fast, attacking an opponent four or five times very accurately and consistently, opening big wounds while doing so. On the other hand, there are many weak points to this type of fighter. The mouth area is one the weakest parts of this type of fighter. It has the pin form and can easily be broken after a few mouth locks. The fins are rather long and become a big target and most importantly, the rear part of this form type is thin and weak.
  Anabas Testudineus form type: The distinguishing characteristic of this form type is; a flat but thick and short body structure with a neck that is thicker and more of an advantage than other form types. The mouth is short but with thick lips. When matching from the side, this fish may look big but when viewed from above may look smaller since it is short. Because of a shorter form, this fish may be slow. The fighting style is to counter-attack and extremely hurt an opponent at the eyes and mouth or molar, making it hard for the other to fight back. However, if the opponent of this fighter is fast and strong enough and hits at the mouth and neck, it could stop this type of fighter.
goliath.jpg (81125 bytes) This Anabas form type very well illustrates the above description on its form type. Many of these form types have big scales and are very tough. Because it has a big physical structure, it requires a diet in a heavy treatment of indian almond leaf water to slim down the fighter and it also needs a longer separation period.
  Besides the three main structural form types, there is another form type which is present mostly in the "fancy" fighting fish. This type of fighter is for entertainment as a pet and not for fighting purposes
 

Barbodes Gonionotus form type: The main structural form of Bardodes type is; a wide truck, small head and a long, shaped mouth. This is the newest strain that is seen mostly in the show strain type as opposed to fighting strain type.

Structural form is directly related to the fighting style. For example, the short structural form of a fighter like Anabas type gives it a fighting style that is slow but packs a heavy punch. He is short, flat and physically big which makes it difficult for him to circle around an opponent. The only effective fighting tactic is to counter-attack its enemy and most of the time it does a very heavy hit that can open a big wound right away. The Channa form type will use its physical advantage to go around an opponent and close in on the neck of an opponent all the time. So the chance of a round form structural type winning is by attacking an opponent fast as flash. The repetitive hits will open a wound little by little until an opponent cannot continue. But, its short fins are not good for defensive maneuvering. Whereas Chitala form type will make use of its long fins to swim very fast and double strike almost at the same time. Generally this fighter has very sharp teeth and is very fast. The problem with this fish is the mouth area. Since the mouth form is curved and slender it may easily tear off after a mouth lock. The fish also has a slim body structure so it could easily be penetrated to the bone. The winning factor of this fish though is it can penetrate an opponent and inflict more wounds in the first hour. In the long run this structural form type would slow down since its lack of physical strength is its disadvantage. Each structural form type has it's own advantage and disadvantage. A clever matcher should very carefully size up and estimate each type of fish by weighing the advantages and disadvantages of holding a certain fighter. The fighter is ready to fight all the time, no matter what size and structural form type. It's up to the holder though to help his fighter by giving it a fair match in the game.

Good Structural Form of a Fighter
  What is the best structural form? The best is the fish that possesses all three form types together in one fish. That is to say, the best fighter should have a round form like Channa type. He should also have a thick neck and thick body like Anabus type and swim fast like Chitala type. The overall structural form should be in balance. The Caudal Peduncle and head should keep to the proper ratio. Each physical part should not be too big or too small either. The head should be one third of the body length. So, the fish's length is not too long, and not too short. Too long and too short a structural form causes the movement of the fighter to not be in balance.
fighter5.jpg (156213 bytes)

This fighter has a mix of all 3 form types together with a balanced physical structure. It has large fins, thick head and thick body with a well-formed Channa mouth. This is a big boned fighter, which will preserve its structure even if it has been kept in the dry indian almond leaf water for a month. However, a good structured fighter does not always imply a winner in the game. It simply gives a fighter a better chance of winning the game.

Checking the Fighter

 

The purpose of investigating the fighter is to check the readiness of the fighter before he is chosen to take a course of training and eventually fight. There are two parts to the investigation that should be made:

  • Physical examination - to check the completeness of the fighter and make sure that no part of his body is deformed.
  • Mental examination - to check the psychological strengths of the fighter.
 

Physical examination:

The physical completeness of the fighter should be the primary consideration when selecting a fighter to take the training course. The following physical parts of the fighter must be checked:

  • Mouth
  • Gills
  • Eyes
  • Pectoral fins
  • Scales
  • Meat
  • Overall body structure

Mouth: The mouth is considered the most important organ of the fighter because it is used as a weapon to hurt an enemy. If anything is wrong with the mouth, the fighter rarely wins the game. Anytime he tries to hit an opponent he ends up hurting his own mouth. Furthermore, since the mouth is connected with the nose, it often happens that when there is a bad wound on the mouth the fighter often goes into shock in the water and suddenly loses the game. So, you will see the fighter often avoids attacking and just pretends to attack and in turn goes into a defensive role.

The following are the mouth deformities that you must not take to a fight.

The mouth of this fighter does not close as it should. Please also observe that the upper lip is protruded into a twisted deformation. Its lips should close properly with a bit of a gap.
  Gills and gill covers. The gills are the organs that take in air to live. Another important aspect of the gills is that the fish use the gill covers to scare an opponent. It is used as a sign of showing power over an opponent. In the fighting fish ring regulations, the fighter that can open its gill covers fully is considered to be on the advantaged side even though he may be more injured. Whereas the fighter that has fewer wounds but cannot open the gill covers properly is in consideration of being the possible loser. If there is something wrong with the gills, the fighter cannot hold long and easily runs away. The gill covers must also close back into their proper positions. Each side of the gill cover must be complete and clean. they must open freely and not be obstructed. The gill rakers are considered the weakest part of the fish; they must keep well under the gill covers. If the gill rakers show it would be easy for an opponent to nip them off. In a normal situation the gills should move in and out smoothly. If the gills of the fish are moving in and out quickly especially during relaxation time it shows that the breathing system of the fish is not normal. You should not take him to the arena.
 

Deformations of the gills.

unclosedgill.jpg (35543 bytes)

The gill covers of this fighter do not completely close. It is similar to a gaping door that invites an intruder to attack its gill rakers, the most sensitive part of the fighter.

 

Eyes: Eyes are considered the lamp of life. If anything is wrong with the eyes, the fighter cannot target its opponent in the proper way. The fighter will immediately slow down if his eyes are attacked. Some fighters will just simply run away once its eyes are hurt. Eyes must not be cloudy and must reside in the proper position. You can test the sensitivity of the fighter's eyes by moving a black object such as pen tip around and close to the fish bowl. Most healthy fish should become active and approach the pen tip and begin to flare.

Pectoral fins: Pectoral fins are considered the legs of the fighter. They are used for control and support the swimming direction of the fish. So, if the fighter has pectoral fins that are too short he will have some difficulty in moving his body towards his opponent. The pectoral fins should be placed in the proper position. The movement of the fins should be firm and powerful. The fin nape must not be swollen and should keep tight with the fish trunk.

Scale: Scales are the armour of the fighter and mucus coats the scales. There are two kinds of scales, big scales and small scales. Both are good in their own regard. The big scales will not break easily. However, once broken, the nearby scales are also easily broken. The small scales look rather soft but since each scale is closely bound to the other it will not easily break and does not have as much effect on nearby scales. Whatever type of the scale the fighter has, they should be positioned in a uniform manner. The scales should be closely knit to each other and look neat. Their color should be as dark as possible as this shows the completeness of the mucus.

Meat: Meat is the core of the scales and it holds them together. So, if the fighter has good meat and is full of muscle it will better support the conformity of the scales. The fighter that has good meat will not wound as easily, injuries will not spread out as much, and will not lose as much blood. Good muscle density is comprised of many factors; parents bloodlines, captive environment, food, rearing style, age and training methods. The same parental stock bred by different breeders will produce different fighter qualities and even a different physical structure. This is why most of the best fighters would come from the hardcore breeder. We cannot see the good meat of the fighter except when we test it by letting it fight with another fighter of the same quality. Good meat means the wounds the fighter receives do not extend and get worse when an opponent is able to break its scales. Furthermore, it is also able to recover itself to almost a normal state after a fight much faster.

Overall body structure: Overall, the fish structure should look in balance. All the fighter's external organs should be strong and performing symmetrically. The trunk should be not too short or too long either. Both are capable of causing the movement of the fish to slow and make it difficult for him to slip away when an opponent fighter approaches too close.

curvemouth_small.jpg (9290 bytes) This is an example of the fighter that does not have a good structural form type, otherwise known as Bardodes gonionotus form type. The fighter looks big because of it’s flat body structure and is full of meat but looks weak. It is a big target that is easy for an opponent to hit. The small and curved face shape and pin form mouth of this fighter is the weakest point of the fighter and can easily tear off after a few mouth locks. It is also obvious that this type of face is often water shocked because the bone in the face area is not supported by a big jaw bone.
Mental check.
 

Mental stability is also one of the main factors in the readiness to fight of the fighter. There are many cases where an advantaged fighter simply runs away even though he was beating an opponent and severely hurting him. Some fighters with very good records have been known to back down 10 minutes into a fight. Some hardcore players will try to give an explanation for this that is simply myth: That the fighter is "down-grading", that the fighter was not kept alone in indian almond leaf water long enough etc.

The good fighter requires mental strength. In the fighting ring there are a lot of mental disturbances such as sudden loud noises and moving objects. If the fighter does not obtain a quality of good mental strength, it may not be able to stand the long brutal fight. The mental weakness may show in the form of an expression of panic or frayed nerves in the fighter. Once the fighter is lost in a cloud of confusion it will throw away all its fighting habits and most importantly, it's protective coating of mucus will burst. Once the fighter's mucus shield has broken, nothing is left to protect him from the knife-sharp teeth of an opponent.

Mental weakness in the fighter can come from various factors. It can begin at the breeding farm, the fish room environment or the way you treat the fighter during its training sessions.

 

Breeding farm environment. The fighting fish breeding farm is sometimes hard to keep private from intruders and disturbers. Snakes, reptiles, or cattle egret birds are the most dangerous and their shaking and bumping about can cause whole batches to crash to the ground, leaving the remainder of the batch in a traumatic, psychotic state. Some fighters will always reside in the corner of the tank or hide themselves in the middle of a plant. Another annoyance even worse is the cat that is always chasing the rat on the galvanized sheets that the breeder uses to cover the tanks. The sudden noise above the tank can cause the fish to become stressed and panicked. The fighter may not show signs of mental weakness in normal circumstances but may run away when disturbed in a similar situation. However, most of the fighters can resist the depression caused by these disturbances and never show signs of weakness.

 

Disturbances in the fish room. Sometimes mental weakness in the fighter can be found in the fish room of the owner who does not manage his room in the proper way. Cats or rats running around can make the fish room a playground especially at night when the fighter should be resting fully. The noise from the intruding animals and the sounds of crashing glass and other falling objects in the fighting fish room will scare the fighter and drive him mad and crazy.

 

The owner who does not treat his fighter in the proper way. From the time the fighter is first netted from his pond he has to get used to the changes in environment that occur from moving him from place to place. The physical and the mental stamina of the fighter has to be very tough and he has to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Some fighters though can have problems with sudden changes and can go into shock if you are not careful. For instance, when conditioning with dry indian almond leaf, the fighter is normally kept in a dimly lit place. The trainer, deciding to shift the fighter for the training session suddenly opens the bowl and nets the fighter into a new bowl with new water and bright daylight. The fighter begins to feel anxiety and shock from the new environment, becoming pale and sad. It needs a full day to adapt itself to the new environment. However, a few fighters may act in the opposite manner, showing their instinctive aggressiveness by flaring and hitting the glass all the time, something that could end up hurting the fighter's mouth.

 

The trainer should check the mental status of the fighter during the training sessions. Checking mental strength is one of the most critical decisions to make when deciding whether to take the fighter to the ring or not. He must delay or postpone his decision to take the fighter to the ring if the fighter expresses fright by swimming into a corner when you try to transfer him to a bottle to take to the game.

The following are the signs of mental weaknesses in the fighter that indicate to the trainer that he should not take him to the fight.

  • When you walk by the fighter bowl - the fighter jumps around on  the water surface like crazy.
  • When you let the fighter chase the female in the big bowl - the fighter is unwilling to chase the female and instead hides himself near the edges of the aquarium tank or in a water plant.
  • When you point a black object such as the pen tip of a whiteboard marker - the fighter gets scared and runs away like a coward.
  • When you shift the fighter to a new bottle for taking him to fight - you should check the physical completeness and also mental readiness of the fighter. You should look very closely to find any faults on the fighter. You should also test its aggressiveness by slowly pointing a black object (pen tip) at and around the bottle. The fighter should flare back at it. This shows the readiness of the fighter. You may also observe that if the fighter expresses fright at the new environment and the pen tip you should reconsider taking him to the fights.

The following are the treatments to prevent mental madness in the fighter.

  • Manage the fish room so that you can prevent intruders such as cats and rats coming in and disturbances such as noise and sudden light flashes.
  • Moving the fighter from the Indian almond leaf state of separation to the training course can be achieved in two ways; if you want to do it in the daytime you should take the fish bowl, place it in the fish room and open the cover to get the air circulating. Let him get used to the natural daylight, and noise for a few hours to adapt to the new environment. Then, gently use the palm of your hand to hold the fish with a little bit of water before transferring to the new bowl. You should also prepare the water in the new bowl 2 days in advance, furnishing with some plants, small pieces of dry banana leaf and a piece of dry Indian almond leaf. Gently holding the fighter in your hand, the fighter will absorb the good feelings of human care. So, the fighter will adapt quickly to the prepared water and new environment of the bowl. Small pieces of dry banana leaf and plants to hide in reduce the flash of light and reflections in the glass bowl. If however you have no time during the day, you may shift the fighter in the evening and feed him a full serving of live food. The darkness and food will calm down stress an anxiety in the fighter. He will slowly adapt himself to the new environment during the early hours of the morning.
  • In the fighting fish room you should have a radio that you turn on for enjoyment while working. Voices and music from the radio are useful in getting the fighter acquainted to the human voice, he will not get as stressed when you bring him to the noisy and crowded environment of the fish fight.
  • When you enter the fish room you should move in a gentle manner. One should not storm into the fish room suddenly as the fighter may get scared and dive down to the bottom.

Priming a Fighter, "Mak Pla"

 

There are three functions used to transform the fighting fish into a real Fighter, all done in the same period of time.

  • Priming the fighter
  • Putting the fighter on a fitness regime
  • Building up the toughness of the fighter.

The player needs to complete these three functions before taking the next step in training the fighter.

  Priming the fighter:  To transform the fighter for a fight in the ring, we need a short period of time for preparation. This step of preparation is one of the most crucial steps to cultivate the fighter into the best fighter and is called priming the fighter; in Thai we call it "Mak Pla". What is priming the fighter? The basic idea of priming the fighter is to separate the fighter from its spawn. The fighter will develop in maturity from just a normal fish into a real fighter. In nature, when the male fighter has grown up he will separate himself from the spawn and find his own territory to build a nest in and wait for a female to mate with. During this period the male will protect his territory by chasing away any other creature that he is physically capable of. So, the separating of himself for mating is directly related to the aggressiveness of the fighter. We borrow this idea and apply it to the captive fighting fish. This is what we mean by priming the fighter or Mak Pla. We may observe that if we separate the fighter to an appropriate environment and water conditions, the fighter will build a bubble nest in a fish bowl just overnight. The bubble nest is the symbol of readiness to mate, aggressiveness and protection.
 

Putting the fighter on a fitness regime: The difference between the captive fighter and the fighter in the wild habitat is that captive fighters are fed regularly on a diet of high-protein live food in a controllable space. The average fighter has a large, fat physical structure. The priming period is the time to put the fighter on a diet. If the fighter is too slim though, it is also a good time to put some weight on him. We may classify the fighter into 3 overall shapes by looking at the fish from above.

Normal: we can observe that the head, stomach and rear part of the fish is a balance of big to small. However, we need to use common sense in deciding the optimum shape of the fish. Normal is the most desirable shape and easiest to control. We feed mosquito larvae (about 8 - 10 larvae) or other types of live food such as blood worm, artemia,  once a day only. The priming period should be around 7 - 10 days. So, during the training period we should diet the fighter until he is almost slim. This will make the fish fight quicker, become more flexible and not feel weighed down so much.
Slim: we can observe that the head and the stomach of the fish is not in balance and also the rear part of the fighter seems to have no meat. To make the slim fighter attain a good shape we just feed him more mosquito larvae and let some of the larvae remain in the bowl. The priming period should be around 5 - 7 days. During the training period we need to feed the fighter according to its shape.
Fat: we can observe that the head, stomach and the rear part of the fighter do not make up a balanced shape. The fish seems to have a lot of meat. The fat fighter needs the priming period to be a bit longer, around 10 - 21 days along with a controlled diet. We just feed the fish about 8 larvae every other day. However, during the training period we must feed him everyday. If the fighter is still fat we may feed him a smaller amount of larvae and if he looks slim we may feed him more accordingly.

Most of the fighters prefer to have a normal or slightly slim body form. However, keep in mind that this does not apply to all families. Some families fight very well if slightly plump, and some families prefer a slim form. The best source of information is the breeder who can inform you.

 

Building up the toughness of the fighter. The toughness of the scales comes mainly from age, the procedure of raising the fighter and the type of strain of the fighter. So we cannot magically change the normal scale fighter into a tough scale fighter in any way once netting it from the tank. But, during the priming period we may condition our fighter by using certain dry herbs, which produce a color similar to Chinese tea and help make the fighters meat and scales more fit. The use of dry indian almond leaf is widespread. However, we may use other leaves that condition with the same results or even better. The essence of certain types of herbs has a special smell that may frighten an opposing fighter. Some types of herbs can prevent the spread of bacteria and cure wounds.

The following are the leaves we use to prime the fighter.

  • Dry banana leaf. Sap from the stem has the ability to stop the growth of the bacteria Escherichia coli, which causes diarrhea and dysentery. It is also contains tannin which also can cure dysentery.
  • Dry Indian almond leaf.(Terminalia catappa L.)Indian almond tree is used to make an ancient Thai remedy used to cure diarrhea. The leaf can also cure rash and skin irritations and promotes sweating, which releases toxins from the body. The fruit is also used as a laxative.
  • Gruay. (Casearia grewiifolia)
  • Coconut skin, Dry coconut leaf (Cocos nucifera Linn.)
  • Rat - Ja - Plex, Coon (Cassia fistula L.). Use its dry pod or dry bark
  • Dry teak leaf. Use its dry leaf as Indian almond leaf.
  • Dry Sa - Mor - Thai leaf. (Terminalia chebula Retz)
  • Dry See - Sead. Cutch tree, Catechu tree (Acacia catechu (Linn.f.) Wild. See-Sead contains tannin which can cure diarrhea and dysentery.
  • Other dry herbs.

Normally, during the first week of the priming period we let the leaf produce the dark Chinese tea-like color. In the second week we reduce the color by removing half of the old water along with any dirty residue and add new water. The pH value of the leafy water is slightly acidic at, or around 6.5. This pH value may cease the spreading of bacteria in the water and assist the fighter in developing mucus. The essence of the leaf and its astringent will coat the fish and tighten the muscles of the fighter. On the eighth day, we shift the fighter to a new bottle with new water. We may notice that the fish looks slimmer and smaller than we saw on the first day. The fish will become more active, swim fast and become accustomed to being with the human. As well, the fish will act very aggressive and develop a very deep color in a short period of time.

Setting up a Training Camp and Illness Prevention

  The fighting fish is one of the most sensitive beings in the cold-blooded creature category. When the temperature or environment changes, the fish's biological makeup also changes and directly affects its emotions and fighting quality. The proper environment and setup of the training facility should be seriously considered. An effect of wrong setup of the training camp is stress and weakness in the fish, which can easily introduce any type of disease that could come in and spread to the other fish in the room. For example, if the fish room is too hot or too cold, the temperature in the room may fluctuate often in a day. This will cause the fish stress. From my fighting fish experiences I found that many matches were lost just because I did not manage the training camp in the proper way. If the training camp is properly set up and designed, it can promote a healthier fighter and improve its fighting talent. The general design ideal of a training camp is; the place should be an open-air environment and have natural light coming into the fish room morning and evening. It should have a slight breeze or blowing air and feel pleasant. The temperature in the fish room should not be suddenly changed, as this will make the fish stressed and unhappy. Poor setup of a fish room includes: no air circulating in the room or in a closed room. The temperature in the room is too hot or too cold; ie. temperature in the room varies more than +/- 3 C. The necessary equipment required should be provided and placed in a suitable place.
 

Setup of the training camp:

Proper setup of the training camp is the management of the fighting fish room environment and is one of a major factors in winning the fighting game. The following are the essential elements of the fish room.

  • Location
  • Equipment
  • Medication
  Location: The fish room should be located in an area with very good air circulation and natural light that comes in the morning and fades in the evening. For prevention of noise and light at night, the fighting fish room should be separated from the living room. The room should also be locked to prevent a cat, dog, rat or snake from coming into the room. It should not be disturbed by noise, vibration or flashing light. However, the fish room should also not be too far from the house, that is to say it should be located in a place you can go to anytime when you want to see your fighter. I myself will visit my fighting fish room every 2 hours in the daytime when I don't have to go anywhere  outside.
 

Space and design of a fighting fish room: It is difficult to say what the appropriate space is for a fish room. The space will vary with the number of fighting fish you have and the availability of space you have. The general idea of the fighting fish room setup is; the room should be open air and allow air and day light to filter in and out in a natural way. The room should be divided into 2 main parts, one is for the fish facilities and the other is enough free space for working in the room for extended periods of time (some breeders even prefer to sleep in the fish room). Regarding fish facilities, there are three spaces you should provide for - 1) an array of training fish for fighting in the ring. 2) space for the training tank. 3) space for keeping the fighters under consideration for future training (usually the fighters will be kept with dry indian almond leaf). For the sake of convenience when working, we should stack the fish tanks and fish jars on a shelf assembly as this will save space and make it easier when working. 

Floor: The type of floor and environment around the floor of the fighting fish room plays a very important role in keeping and maintaining the temperature in the room. The ideal fish room floor is made from wood built above water or earth. Water or earth will absorb and hold the heat and cool temperature steadily. The fish room would not get direct impact from any immediate changes in temperature. However, remember also that the best temperature for the fighting fish is around 28 - 30 C. with a humid atmosphere. Concrete floors are unavoidable in the present day and require a lot of adaptation. Since cement will absorb heat and slowly release heat back into the entire room over the whole day the fish room will become extremely hot. If your fish room is a closed room and doesn't have a good system for circulating air, this becomes a bad environmental situation for your fighter. Above all else, the room temperature should be around 28 C to 30 C. in the daytime. Slight changes in temperature should not cause the fish too much stress. The best place to setup a fighting fish room is under a big tree that provides a natural shelter and is surrounded by climbing plants. An ideal fish room floor is a dry dirt floor. This would make the temperature in the fish room more stable and in fact feel pleasant all the time.

Roof and shelter: Roof and shelter should be made from a material that can prevent or not keep heat and cold in for too long and is also able to release the temperature fast. So, the roof should not be placed too low in the fish room, as this would affect temperature changes faster than a roof constructed in a higher position. The appropriate position of the fish room roof would also vary from location to location. The criteria used to decide whether or not the fish room construction is in the right position is that if, around 2 PM you come into the fish room and feel pleasant then this will be ok. But, if you come into the fish room and feel hot and unhappy this also means that your fish are unhappy and much more stressed than you feel by many times. The materials used in roof or shelter construction are any of the types of palm leaves or wild grass commonly found on a tropical hut. Cement roof tiles or cement sheets are adaptable but should be placed a bit higher, say at least 3 meters above the floor and it would be best if you have a climbing plant on  the roof.

This is an example of poor management of the fish room. The roof is made from cement tile but the ceiling is low at about 2.5 metre from the cement floor. There is no big tree that can protect against the heat from direct sunlight, which will spread heat in the fish room the whole day. The plastic net is hung to prevent the hard sunlight that may come in the fish room in the late morning, but in turn it prevents the circulation of air and makes the fish room dim.

Inside, this fish room is narrow and has a very limited space for working in. One can easily guess that the owner would not stay long in this fish room environment. Notice that fluorescent lights are turned on even during the day which is an unnecessary expense.

You may observe also that there are wet blankets covering the fighter bowls, a wet cement floor and wet blankets under the fish bowls. All these are just to try to reduce heat in the fish room. So, unnecessary expense is spent, resulting in poor management of the fish room.

On the ceiling, the roof is made from cement tile. It absorbs and keeps the heat from the sun very long. This will influence the temperature in the fish room and cause it to be hotter for a longer period of time. The owner solved the problem by placing palm leaf tiles to protect against the sunny heat from the roof.

This is a picture of an ideal fish room. The floor is laid with colorful floor tiles. The roof is made from palm leaves sheltered with a climbing tree. Beneath the shelter is a big pond that provides a pleasant watery atmosphere.

Let's look close at the inside of this fish room. The floor is an area of relaxation for small groups who gather to drink and play cards. In this environment, the fighter would be close to the human living.

An array of fighters placed in an appropriate corner with plastic plates provided to prevent direct sunlight but it also lets the natural light in. This fish room is open air so there is no question of proper circulation of air.

 

Equipment: In other fish rooms, you may need only one or two nets to catch the fish. But in the fighting fish room you may need several types of equipment to catch your fighter and different types of fish bowls to keep the fish in. The following are the important types of equipment using in the fighting fish room.

  • Scoop. For removal of the fighter from one bowl to another bowl. The edge of the water dipper should be round and free of rough edges, which could cause cuts to the fish while transferring in and out.
  • Small net. For removing females from the fighter bowl. The material should be a soft fabric so as not to harm the fish.
  • Plastic bowl. For changing water. Should be of a size that can hold a pre-determined volume of water so that one always pours the same amount. This makes things easier when working.
  • Live food feeder. Used for feeding the fighter in appropriate amounts.
  • White board(non permanent)pen. For writing or marking details relating to the fighter etc.
  • Magnifying glass. For investigating any fault or defect in the fighter.
  • Plastic tube. For changing water and remove all tiny dirty object from the fish bowl.
  • Oxygen pumps. For keeping live food such as blood worms.
  • Training aquarium tank. The size of training tank should be around 50 liters. Many of professional trainer use oval form glass tank for training the fighter. They advice that there is no corner to hurt the fighter and the female can swimming around fast.
  • Cardboard divider. The color of card board divider should be gray, not glossy or cause reflection as the fish may get confused and think he is confronting another fighter and attack the glass, hurting his mouth as a result.
 

Medication:

Fighting fish are one of the toughest aquarium fish. Simple medicines are really all that is required in the fish room. However, always keep in mind that prevention rather than healing is the heart of keeping and training the fighter. Unlike the show Betta splendens, once the fighter is infected even from a very simple disease such as white spot or Ichthyopthirius multiflis, the trainer will down-grade that fighter to pet shop quality. One should know that the trainer already prevents the fighter from catching any disease since he keeps the fighter in dry indian almond leaf (or other type of herb) water during the separation stage, the essence of which has anti-bacterial properties. Most hardcore players always remark that they treat the fighter in the most natural way and avoid the usage of chemical solutions.

So, most medicines in use during the fighting fish training camp are simple and of a preventive purpose, they include:

  • Acriflavine solution 0.1%. Used on the fighter after battle. Just 2 drops for 50 cc., according to the medicine usage guide. It is also useful for the prevention of disease, especially of the female that is used for training purposes and may get wounded during training sessions.
  • Methylene blue. Used to prevent both fungi and bacteria in the training tank.
  • Multivitamin in water solution. Use one drop for one litre of water or according to the usage guide. Multivitamin very useful during hard training session, the fighter would consume a lot of vitamin and other mineral to strengthen its muscle and maintain its physical.
  • Salt. The effects of using salt are unknown. In general we use salt to soften water and supply mineral in the water.
  • Dry indian almond leaf. (Terminalia Catappa) or other types of herb. Dry indian almond leaf plays a very important role in the keeping of fighting fish. It is used to prevent bacteria, it refreshes the fish and is used as a remedy for fresh or infected wounds. It can cure pop-eye and is very effective, but use more indian almond leaf so that the water becomes a dark brown color. Only 3-5 days and the fish's eyes should return to a normal state. In the breeding field it is used to condition water to a pH 6 value or more acidic. This has been proven to maximize the number of males in breeding spawns.
  • Dry banana leaf. Dry banana leaf usage is similar to dry indian almond leaf but not as effective, though it is very good when curing pop-eye. The main purpose of using dry banana leaf is to soften the water so as to be more comfortable to the fighter. The trainer tears the leaf into lengthy pieces so the fighter can hide easier in the fish bowl.
  • Riverside clay. Use sun-dried riverside clay to soften the water and also to refresh fish that have been living in the aquarium bowl too long. It is best when keeping fish during the winter season, the clay coats the fish like a blanket in the cold weather. The breeder also puts riverside clay in the breeding tank for the natural production of tiny live food during the first few weeks of the fry's life.
  • Other types of herbs.
 

Illness and the fighting fish:

Stress is one of the main causes of illness in the fighting fish. Stress comes from unstable changes in weather and ill management of the fish room. Always keep in mind that you should never train and fight an ill fish even if that fish has already recovered from an illness. When training, disease can spread to other fish that share the same training tank. The following are the main causes of illness in the fighter:

  • Unstable changing weather - The disease associated with unstable weather is Ichthyopthirius multiflis or white spot disease.
  • Training too hard - Disease can come after training your fighter too hard. The disease caused by the fungi Saprolegnia sp. happens during the training period when the fighter gets an injury and fungus invades the injured part such as mouth or eyes.
  • Too many environmental changes - Changing too many environments means we shift the fighter from one place to another place even in the same fish room. A fighter can get stressed when introduced to new environments such as new water, new size of fish bowl etc. Once a fighter feels tension, its immune defenses are low and disease can easily come in.
  • Females used for training - The use of females in training is one of the main causes of the fighting fish getting disease. When a fighter chases and hits the female she is getting injured and becomes susceptible to disease. When we shift the female back to her community tank, she could spread or get a disease from any other female which could then spread all over the fish room.
  • All objects in the fish bowl - All objects in the fish bowl such as dry indian almond leaf or water plants can convey disease. They must be cleaned by running water over them from the tap. The dry indian almond leaf must be moisture-free by placing it under strong sunlight until totally dry and crisp. Water plants should always stay with the same fish and be discarded after about 1 or 2 weeks or when you see that there are many rotten leaves. The rotten leaves make the water bad which in turn cultivates all types of disease. The fish net and scoop can also be a carrier of disease. They should placed under strong sunlight to dry at least once a week.

Illness is one of the main causes of losing the game, disaster in the fish room and on the fighting fish farm. Once a fighter gets a disease, he becomes weak and will never be the same fighter. Always keep in mind that you should never send your ill (or previously ill fighter) to the fighting ring.

 

The fighting fish bowl:

The fighting fish is a territorial creature and the bowl is its territory with the bubble nest as the central base of its surroundings. The bubble nest is a sign to others advertising the fighter’s aggressiveness. A healthy fighter will build a bubble nest (after finding a suitable point to setup his nest) in one to two days when placed in a new environment. So, the proper management of the fighting fish bowl plays a very important role in promoting the fighting talent of the fighter. The trainer should be careful to provide a good environment for his fighter so that the fighter is comfortable, happy and confident without sudden stress and fear.

 

Placing the fighting fish bowl:

Apart from the proper management of the fighting fish room discussed above, the correct placement of the fighting fish bowl is equally important. The fish bowl should lay on the shelf at eye level, depending on the manner in which you like to watch your fighter - either sitting or standing. I advise keeping the bowl at sitting level, this way you may enjoy watching your fighter for a longer period of time. When you watch your fighter in a relaxed and comfortable manner you may notice some of the subtle positives and negatives of your fighter. This knowledge is useful information when considering a course of training. I myself often use this occasion to decide which fighter to fight first or hold off fighting even though by schedule, both are technically ready to go to the arena. Some trainers use tables by raising them one foot higher and use solid cardboard to divide the table into two parts. This way he can watch his fighters on both sides of the table because the fish bowls are placed at the same level as his eyes. He also prefers to sit at the working table as it helps him concentrate on his fighter. All the professionals work in this manner when analyzing their fish. The number of bowls should follow an even number; 2, 4, 6...So, each fighter will display to one another when we take the cardboard cover away. The trainer should also cover the top of the bowl with a cotton blanket or cloth. If the temperature is above 28C you should soak the blanket with water when covering the top of the fighting fish bowl.  This prevents the bowl from heating up too much and keeps the temperature steady in the bowl. The blanket should also be wide enough so that you are able to cover the front side of the bowl at night (assuming that the opposite side is placed in contact with a wall or solid board). This method will prevent a flashlight or any intruder from disturbing the fighter at night and insures that he gets to take a full rest in a safe environment and comfortable temperature. The fighting fish bowl must be cleaned regularly to prevent all possible disease and it’s sides kept clear to make it easier to check the fighter’s condition and its completeness.

Changes in weather and temperature seem to be one of the main causes of downgrading and sickness in the fighter. The changing temperature in the fish bowl is derived from two factors - one is ill management of the fish room (as discussed above) and two - the weather changed which affected the temperature in the fish bowl. No matter what caused the change in conditions, the trainer should be able to control the temperature and provide good housing for his fighters.

 

Fighter Bowl:

There are two sizes of bowl that the trainer should provide for the fighter during training sessions. The first size of bowl is around 10 inches diameter by 12 inches height, round in form and containing around 10 - 15 liters of water. This bowl is using during the first week for training. The second is the actual bottle used to fight the fish in. In Thailand, the traditional tall glass jar is the standard for fighting jars, and holds 2 liters of water. 

The type and size of fighting fish bowl is directly relevant to the training activities.  We will go further into detail in the "training session" chapter.

A small sized bowl is suitable during the winter season or when the room temperature is around 25 C. The fighting fish does not like the temperature under 28 C as it is too cold for him. So, the temperature in a small jar is easier to control and keep at the right temperature.  Cold temperature affects the fighter as it lowers it’s activity and causes the fish to eat less food than it should. A small jar can also bring out the aggressive instincts of the fighter since the fighters are always in confrontation with each other.

A big bowl is good for the hot season or when the room temperature is higher than 28 C. During high temperatures, bacteria works faster and the fighter is more prone to stress. As well, the fish loses its weight faster so we should feed him as much as he can eat.  The big size bowl is also reduces the stress level of the fighter.

 

Inside the fish bowl:

In their natural habitat, fighting fish live within the messy plants and rotten leaves. It uses a live plant or floating object to group his bubble nest and the rotten dry leaf to hide in and secure himself. Plants in the fighting fish bowl do play an important role in reducing the stress of the fighter. It is also used as bedding by the fighter at night.  Plants also absorb and keep dust and dirty particles in one area. So, they help in keeping the water clear and make it easier to remove dirty objects from the fish bowl. Stones and other hard objects must not be present in the fish bowl as the fighter may get accidentally injured. To know your fighters condition, the trainer should observe the fighters behavior in the fish bowl. Most importantly, the trainer should provide an environment in the bowl that mimics as closely as possible the fighting fishes natural habitat. The components of the fighting fish bowl that the trainer should provide are:

  • Real wild or aquarium plants. No matter how small or big the size of fish bowl the trainer should provide a small piece of aquarium plant for the fighter to rest and hide in. The trainer should not use plastic plants in the fighting fish bowl, as the stem and leaves of a plastic plant will never be able to replace the benefits of a real plant. In fact, the fighter may get accidentally injured while training. The sharp edges of a plastic leaf may hurt the eyes and scales of the fighter. There are two types of aquarium plant, a soft type and a hard type. Soft types such as  Cabomba aquatica and Hygrophila difformis are excellent companions for the big bowl. The soft type has long, brush-like branches that spread all over the fish bowl. It is best for the female to hide in during training sessions. The weak point of using soft aquarium plants is that leaves easily rot and tear off from its branches. The suggested period of usage is about 2-3 weeks. Hard type aquarium plants, such as Dracaena sanderiana and Echinodorus sp."ROSE" are good for both large and small bowls. Many trainers use both hard and soft type plants in a big bowl. The advantage of using a hard type is that the period of usage is longer than the soft type but, it has less branches for the fighter to hide in. The unique characteristics of the aquarium plants must also be taken into consideration. The fighting fish has to be able to get air from the surface of the water. You must not put in Water hyacinth (Eichornia speciosa) the roots of which can expand taking up  the entire surface of water, causing the fighter trouble when trying to sip air (this situation is not a problem in the community tank. Consider the whole body of aquarium plant - the trunk and its leaves should reside at mid water level. Let some part (around 10 percent) be  present on the surface of water. Aquarium plants must be changed often either for reason of disease control or simply the end of effectiveness. No matter what you use - hard or soft type plant, it should be easy to get and available locally. The best is always free. You may even grow them in a big tank or in a small bucket. I myself simply use native grass, which is always available around the playground and I always use entirely new grass after fighting the fish.
  • Dry Indian almond leaf and/or dry banana leaf. Dry Indian almond leaf and/or dry banana leaf play a very important role in disease prevention and provide a hiding place in the fighting fish bowl. Put about 1 square inch of dry Indian almond leaf per liter of water. This produces a slight yellowish color. The fighter loves to live in this type of water condition. Some trainers use dry banana leaf by tearing the leaf length-wise into small pieces. Dry banana leaf also softens water like dry Indian almond leaf does and can be a replacement in case aquarium plants are hard to get.  The trainer may also consider using other types of leaves mentioned in the above section. The general guideline when selecting leaves is; the leaf should be crisp and not easily rotten in 3 days. The banana leaf also is selected from the species that gives the solid leaf.
This is a 10 inches round form glass bowl, looking from above. You may observe a fish swimming around the curve of bowl. Round form glass bowl encourage the fighter swimming around. The native grass and small piece of dry banana leaf would prevent the flash light or any thing that may disturb the fighter from above.

Bobble nest is a sign of healthy and aggressive fighter. The multi-layer of bubble should better than the single layer. The trainer should destroy the bubble nest in the morning and observe the next day whether the fighter build the new bubble nest. It is show his strength and aggressiveness.

With dry indian almond leaf, dry banana leaf and aquarium plant the fighter would express relaxation and swimming around with confidence. The water color is  yellowish chinese tea like.

The trainer should write down the family name and date of training on the fighter bowl. It is a must information that help you remember to change water, the training period and not confusing with other family.  Knowing that difference families having the same color and body structure but fighting style may be far difference.

 

Changing water:

New water makes the fighter fresh and alert. But changing water without good direction may lead to more harm than help. Changing water is also relevant to the size of the bowl.  Small sized bowls should have water changed more often than bigger bowls. The trainer should prepare water and furnish the fighter bowl at least 1 day in advance with 3 days being preferred. The essence of dry almond leaf or dry banana leaf together with the new water should be mixed up into an appropriate solution. Regardless of if you use a small bowl (2 liters) or bigger bowl (15 liters), for the first 2 days there is no need to change the water.

By the third day the color of water should be something like the hard color of Chinese tea. Use a small plastic tube to remove all the dirty debris that lays at the bottom of the bowl and dust that hangs around on dry Indian almond leaf and aquarium plants, eventually draining about 30 percent of water in the bowl.  Then add the new water from the prepared tank to the same level as before. You should change the water during the evening; say 5-6 pm since the water temperature will not change much during the night. By now the color of Indian almond leaf water should be faded to a slightly yellowish color, the same as the second day; which is a good percentage of water mixture. You may observe that the swimming manner of the fish is very active and more aggressive when you take out the cardboard to let him approach the opposite bowl. While he’s flaring you should add a few drops of multivitamin solution into his bowl. Some trainers may add a bit of dry Indian almond leaf in case the water seems too clear.

On the fourth day you should remove about 10 percent of the water in the small jar, adding new water to the same level. There is no need for the larger jar at this time but on the sixth day 30 percent of the water in the larger jar should be changed. 

However, changing water should be considered case by case. The water quality in the fish bowl also reflects the quality of things you put in the fish bowl, such as dry Indian almond leaf, dry banana leaf or aquarium plants.  They should condition the water clear. The dry Indian almond leaf especially has a function in collecting tiny particles and grouping them on the bottom of the bowl. If the water looks cloudy, its safe to assume that the dry leaf was not completely sun dry. If you leave it a few days you may see a thin greasy smear on the surface of the bowl, this indicates that the dry leaf or rotten aquarium plant is reacting to bacteria. In this case you should completely change to new water and supply only crisp sun dry leaf. Or, if the water plant simply goes rotten in a few days this indicates lack of oxygen in the water.

First upload 15/10/2004
Latest upload 23/02/2005 

To be continued

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

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