From the Heart of the
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
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.
This essay was proofread and edited with
the assistance of the Plakat International team, their enthusiasm and willingness to help
There are three core components to this article that are
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 its 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.
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.
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.
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
- 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
- Pectoral fins
- 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.
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 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.
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 its 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
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
- 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Coconut skin, Dry coconut leaf (Cocos nucifera Linn.)
Rat - Ja - Plex, Coon (Cassia fistula L.).
Use its dry pod or
- Dry teak leaf. Use its dry leaf as Indian almond
Sa - Mor - Thai
leaf. (Terminalia chebula Retz)
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Live food feeder. Used for feeding the fighter in
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
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.
- 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.
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:
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.
- 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.
Illness and the
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
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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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