Betta Fish Behavior
Betta fish, or more commonly known as Siamese Fighting fish is a popular household aquarium pet mostly because of its bright attractive colors. These fish species are called fighting fish because of their behavior and the history surrounding them. Before the start of the 19th century, the Siams back then found these fish in the wild and observed that when two of the fish fought, one of them would back off when it had had enough. Seeing this, they caught this fish and domesticated it. They then used these fish as objects of gambling, pitting one fish against the other and seeing which fish would back off first. Most of the time, one of the fishes died as a result of the fight.
In modern society, they are still used as a gambling object and a lot of money is involved. But they are also kept as household pets by experienced aquarium keepers. These keepers usually breed them and sell them to potential buyers.
Siamese fighting fish are famous mostly for their behavior. Most of the time, when two males of these fishes are put in the same tank or aquarium, they show aggression for one another. This is almost always fatal when the betta tank is too small as they will try to assert their dominance over the small space. That is why most keepers and owners will separate the two males from each other by putting them in separate tanks or by placing a divider in a single tank.
Even when putting male fishes in their own tanks or compartments, their aggressive behavior still shows when they see their own reflection in the glass. Oftentimes, the male will attack or charge at the reflection until it finally gives in, tired and probably realizing that the reflection was his own.
The aggressive behavior of these fishes is not always present and it is possible to put multiple fishes in the same tank provided that the tank is large enough. When the tank is large enough, one can put a fair number of males and females in the tank without the risk of the fishes killing each other.
A most notable behavior of these fishes is their ability to flare their gill covers in an impressive display of colors. This is to either intimidate rivals or to attract a mate, much like other animals. This is not always the case though as they can flare up their gill covers indicating that they are either startled or stressed by a sudden change in their environment.
Not only do they flare up their gill covers. They also change color and show their stripes indicating that they are willing to mate and breed though this is exclusive to the females.
Like most other fishes, Betta fish will respond to the presence of humans and sometimes can even be trained by them with cues and stimuli. When feeding, for example, the owner can wade his hand on the water surface signaling the fish that it is time to feed. Betta fish are also very curious, sometimes observing the humans during their daily activities.