The Fish Guru

Beyond Betta Splendens: Exploring Unique Betta Fish Species

Betta fish, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, are one of the most popular fish species among aquarium enthusiasts. These fish are popular due to their vibrant colors, display of aggression towards males of their own species, and their hardy nature.

However, while Betta splendens is the most well-known betta fish species, there are several other less popular species worth exploring, including wild betta fish. Wild betta fish come in many different species, each with their own unique characteristics and requirements.

One of these species is Betta brownorum, also known as the scorpion betta. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of Betta brownorum, examining their appearance, care requirements, and other details that make them a unique species for any aquarium enthusiast.

Betta brownorum: Description and characteristics

Betta brownorum is a unique species of betta fish, known for its bright red coloration and its bluish-green side spots. The males of this species have a blue-green sheen on their body, while their fins and tails are bright red, a stark contrast that makes them stand out in any aquarium.

Their elongated body distinguishes them from other betta species, as well as their sharp teeth and fierce demeanor.

This betta fish species is also known for its small size, with males ranging from 1.2 to 1.6 inches in length, while females are slightly smaller.

They possess a labyrinth organ, a unique characteristic of all betta fish that allows them to breathe atmospheric air in addition to oxygen from the water. As a result, they do not need as much oxygen in their water as most fish, making it easier to maintain their aquarium.

Betta brownorum: Water requirements and tank set-up

When it comes to taking care of Betta brownorum, it is crucial to create an environment that mimics its natural habitat. They are native to the acidic blackwater streams, coastal swamps, and peat swamps of southern Borneo.

As such, they require low pH water, around 5.0-6.5, with a temperature range of 74-82F. To replicate their natural habitat, Betta brownorum also requires a good amount of tannins and leaf litter.

Tannins are found naturally in decaying plant material, such as leaves, and can be introduced into the aquarium through the use of Indian almond leaves. This helps to create a more naturalistic look while also providing the water with a tint that mimics the blackwater streams of their natural habitat.

Because Betta brownorum is a territorial species, it is important to provide them with lots of hiding places, such as caves, plants, or driftwood. The aquarium should also be equipped with a filter, although the flow should be low since they prefer calm water.

A filter sponge can be used to further reduce the flow while providing a place for beneficial bacteria to grow. Additionally, it is essential to keep Betta brownorum in a species-only tank or with other peaceful species that won’t threaten them.

They can become quite aggressive towards other males of their own species and may even attack larger fish.


Betta brownorum is a fascinating and unique species of betta fish that requires specific care and attention to thrive. Their fiery temperament, bright red coloration, and bluish-green side spots make them a fantastic addition to any aquarium.

Ensuring that their aquarium replicates their natural habitat is essential, and owners should provide plenty of hiding places while allowing them to have a territory to defend. Maintaining optimal water conditions, including a lower pH, tannins, and a suitable temperature range, is vital to their health.

By properly caring for Betta brownorum, aquarium enthusiasts can enjoy their beauty and vibrant personality for many years to come. Betta fish are known for their beauty, aggression, and hardiness, making them a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts worldwide.

However, not all betta species are as well-known as the popular Betta splendens. In this article, well explore two less popular betta species, Betta macrostoma and Betta hendra.

Betta macrostoma: Description and characteristics

Also called the Brunei Beauty, Betta macrostoma is a stunning and rare species of betta fish. They have a unique silver and blue coloration on their body, with dark fin markings that make them stand out in an aquarium.

These fish are characterized by a large, iridescent spot on their sides, which makes them even more striking. Betta macrostoma is often considered one of the most beautiful species of betta fish.

However, while visually appealing, Betta macrostoma can be challenging to keep. They require acidic water with a pH between 4.0 and 6.0 and a lower temperature range between 75F and 83F.

Their water needs to have a tannin tint from leaf litter, and the aquarium should be darkened with a low light to mimic their natural habitat. They are also best kept alone, as they are territorial and may injure any fish that shares their aquarium.

Betta hendra: Description and characteristics

Betta hendra is a unique species of bubble-nester that gets its name from its blue-green coloration and red cheek bars. These fish are a rare sight in the aquarist community and are highly sought after by enthusiast because of their uniqueness.

Betta hendra is a small, bottom-dwelling fish that is quite peaceful towards others. They are easily intimidated, and it is not recommended to keep them in standard community tanks as they may get bullied by more aggressive fish.

In addition to their stunning coloration, Betta hendra are known for their bubble-nesting behavior. They create nests from bubbles that they form in their mouth when they feel the need to mate.

Hence, keeping Betta hendra requires providing them with adequate hiding places, such as caves and plants, to create a bubble nest. Furthermore, their water should be kept clean and well-cycled to avoid any health issues.

Water requirements and tank set-up for Betta macrostoma and Betta hendra

Proper care of Betta macrostoma and Betta hendra requires replicating their natural habitat as close as possible, which includes specific water conditions and a suitable tank setup. It is vital to get all the essentials right to ensure these fish are healthy and live long.

Both Betta macrostoma and Betta hendra require acidic water, and maintaining the appropriate pH range is crucial. For Betta macrostoma, the water should be purified, with a low pH between 4.0 and 6.0, and a temperature range between 75F and 83F.

Conversely, Betta hendras water should have a pH range between 6.0 and 7.0, and a temperature range between 78F and 84F. Both species also prefer leaf-littered tanks, as this replicates their natural habitat.

Adding Indian almond leaves can also make the water naturally tannin-stained as they offer a range of beneficial properties for aquariums. A dark aquarium is also preferable to both species as it mimics their natural habitat.

For example, this can be sued by adding a black background to the aquarium. Finally, both Betta macrostoma and Betta hendra prefer lots of hiding places to reduce stress in their aquariums.

This can be in the form of plants, driftwood, or caves, while avoiding sharp edges that may harm them. In conclusion, Betta macrostoma and Betta hendra are stunning and unique species that require specific care and attention to thrive.

While these species are rare and challenging to keep, aquarium enthusiasts who are ready and willing to provide the right environment will be rewarded with their beauty and charm. Proper care includes replicating their natural habitat as close as possible, including water conditions, tank setup, and providing lots of hiding places.

Betta fish are fascinating creatures with a wide range of species to choose from. Betta imbellis and Betta albimarginata are two less popular betta species that are equally worthy of aquarium enthusiasts’ attention.

Betta imbellis: Description and characteristics

Also known as the peaceful or crescent betta, Betta imbellis is a fascinating species that is native to Southeast Asia. These fish are relatively small in size, with males growing up to 2 inches, while females are slightly smaller.

Unlike their aggressive relative Betta splendens, Betta imbellis are peaceful. They tend to get along with their own kind and are less likely to fight unless with very similar-looking fish.

Betta imbellis have a unique appearance, with their body being a subdued grayish-green with a bluish tinge. Their fins are translucent with red or green striations, making them a visually interesting addition to any aquarium.

These fish can survive in fresh and brackish water conditions, making them more adaptable to different aquarium environments compared to other bettas.

Water requirements and tank set-up for Betta imbellis

When it comes to providing the ideal environment for Betta imbellis, it is essential to mimic their natural habitat. These fish require a darker aquarium with plenty of hiding places.

They prefer low-light plants like java ferns and Anubias as they provide cover while also maintaining a darker atmosphere.

In addition, because these fish are relatively peaceful, they can be kept in pairs or groups with one male and multiple females without causing issues with one another.

The males might still display some aggression towards one another, but it is usually mild. It is recommended that the aquarium be at least 10 gallons or more, while providing plenty of hiding places or plants to help reduce stress.

Betta albimarginata: Description and characteristics

Betta albimarginata, also known as the whiteseam fighter or strawberry betta, is another unique species of betta fish. As their name suggests, they have a white seam along their body, creating a visually striking appearance on their reddish-orange bodies.

In addition to their distinctive body coloration, their fins are black and edged with white, enhancing their aesthetic beauty.

These fish are small, generally reaching up to 2 inches in length.

In addition to their beauty, Betta albimarginata is unique in that they are a polygynandrous species, with a trio containing one female and two males. If keeping multiple Betta albimarginata, it is essential to have more male fish than female fish, ensuring enough for all males to mate.

This also prevents the males from overcompeting, leading to painful injuries.

Water requirements and tank set-up for Betta albimarginata

Betta albimarginata prefers a similar environment to Betta imbellis, with a dark aquarium, plenty of hiding places, and appropriate water conditions. They require leaf litter or Indian almond leaves in the aquarium to maintain their water quality.

The water should be between 74-80F with a pH range of 6-7, also containing tannin-stained water that mimics their natural habitat.

Additionally, Betta albimarginata prefer a scape with plenty of plants and hiding places.

However, unlike Betta imbellis, Betta albimarginata are territorial and may fight for space. It is crucial to provide plenty of hiding places and enough aquarium space to prevent these types of issues.

In conclusion, Betta imbellis and Betta albimarginata are less popular but fascinating species that aquarium enthusiasts should consider if looking to branch out from the popular Betta splendens. Both species have unique characteristics and require specific care to thrive, including a darker aquarium, leaf litter, hiding places, and appropriate water conditions.

Proper care can ensure that these beautiful fish remain healthy and vibrant throughout their lives. Betta fish are a fascinating species that comes in a wide variety of colors and characteristics.

Betta picta and Betta mahachaiensis are two less popular species that offer a unique addition to an aquarium enthusiast’s collection.

Betta picta: Description and characteristics

Betta picta, commonly known as the painted betta, is a species of betta fish that is native to Southeast Asia.

These fish are generally plain in color, with shades of white, pastel blue, or greenish-gray. Although this species may seem less visually striking than other betta species, they make up for that by their ease of breeding, making them an excellent species for those interested in betta fish breeding.

Betta picta can grow up to 2.5 inches in length and exhibit a less aggressive nature than some other Betta species. In an aquarium, males tend to be territorial and can become aggressive towards other males.

Hence, it is best to keep a single male Betta picta or a small group of females.

Water requirements and tank set-up for Betta picta

Betta picta requires a tank that measures at least 24×12 inches, with a tank capacity of approximately 10 gallons. These fish require a less aggressive environment, so it is essentials to avoid pairing them with species that are aggressive as well.

Peaceful or smaller fish such as cories and tetras can be potential tankmates.

Furthermore, they require an aquarium that has a low current and a good filtration system to maintain the water quality.

It is crucial to add driftwood, rocks, and suitable plants for hiding, including floating plants, to provide cover for fish. Also, maintaining temperatures between 75-84F is essential for ensuring their health.

Betta mahachaiensis: Description and characteristics

Betta mahachaiensis, commonly known as Mahachai fighter, is a less popular species that is native to brackish environments. These fish are characterized by their brown or black base color with blue-green iridescence, making them a sight to behold in an aquarium.

Betta mahachaiensis is a relatively small species with a maximum size of 2.5 inches. Betta mahachaiensis is a unique Betta species that is threatened in their natural habitat.

Hence, there is typically a low supply of these species in the aquarium trade. If one wants to add this species to their collection, it is important to look for reputable breeders and obtain them legally.

Water requirements and tank set-up for Betta mahachaiensis

Betta mahachaiensis is a species that prefers brackish water, which is essentially a blend of both freshwater and saltwater. Salt levels can range from 2-10g/litre, and unlike other Betta species, they can tolerate water salinity.

It is also recommended to have a good quality filtration system in place.

Betta mahachaiensis requires an aquarium that is well-planted, while also ensuring that it has adequate hiding places.

These fish prefer to establish territories and may exhibit aggression against other males, making it best to keep only one male fish or just a pair. Also, the aquarium should contain water shallow enough for them to swim comfortably, less concern about plant roots breaking, and gentle water movement avoiding salt build-up.

In conclusion, Betta picta and Betta mahachaiensis are unique species within betta fish that offer additional beauty and diversity to aquarium enthusiasts. Proper care of these fish requires specific attention to water conditions and tank set-up suitable for their species.

Betta picta is a great choice for those looking to breed betta fish, whereas Betta mahachaiensis is a rare species from brackish environments, requiring particular care. By providing the appropriate environment, these fish can thrive, displaying their unique characteristics to aquarium enthusiasts.

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