The Fish Guru

Plakat Bettas: The Colorful Fighters of the Freshwater World

Introduction to Plakat Bettas

Plakat bettas, or Betta Splendens, are a popular freshwater fish species native to Southeast Asia. Known for their vibrant colors and aggressive nature, plakat bettas have a rich history of being bred for fish fighting.

However, their popularity as aquarium pets has since overshadowed their association with fish fights. In this article, we’ll introduce you to Plakat bettas, describing their physical features, temperament, care, and more.

Description of Plakat Bettas

Plakat bettas are in the order Anabantiformes of the family Osphronemidae. They are also popularly known as betta fish.

Unlike other Betta species, Plakats have short, stout, and round bodies, making them look almost like mini submarines. They were selectively bred for their shorter fins, which makes them more streamlined and agile, aiding in their fighting abilities.

In the wild, their colors are usually brown, black, or gray, but breeding efforts have brought about a variety of brilliant colors such as red, blue, green, orange, purple, and multicolored patterns. These fish are territorial, especially towards their own kind and other fish species.

They have been known to exhibit aggression by flaring their gills, puffing up their bodies, and even charging at their reflection when they see it in a mirror. They can also exhibit some interesting behaviors, such as building bubble nests during breeding or sleeping on folded leaves.

Statistics and Facts

Plakats have a lifespan of around two to four years, with proper care and maintenance. They can grow up to 3 inches in length, and they do not require a lot of space.

However, their territorial nature means they need a minimum of 5 gallons for a single fish and 10 gallons for breeding pairs to avoid conflicts. Plakats prefer a water temperature between 75-80 and a pH range of 6.5-7.5. The water should be changed regularly, and their tank should be equipped with a filter, heater, and suitable substrate.

Their food requirements vary depending on age and health, but they mainly consume high protein foods like live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and blackworms. They can also eat betta pellets.

Appearance of Plakat Bettas

Body Shape

The body of a plakat betta is stout, short, and round. Unlike other Betta species, they do not have a long, flowing tail.

They have a streamlined body, making them faster and more agile. Plakats are sometimes referred to as “fighting fish” because they were selectively bred for their short fins and body shape.

Fin Quality and Head Shape

Plakat bettas have short and resilient fins, making them able to withstand any damage that may occur during fights or while swimming through sharp plants in their natural habitat. However, just like other Betta species, they can still develop fin rot, which is a bacterial infection that causes their fins to disintegrate.

It can be prevented by maintaining good water quality and providing clean water for them to live in. When it comes to their heads, plakats have a unique shape known as a tapered head, with a hooked jaw and slanting forehead.

Additionally, unlike other Betta species, plakats have a crown tail that resembles the spines of a crown.


In conclusion, plakat bettas are beautiful, agile, and territorial fish with a fascinating history as fighting fish. They have been selectively bred to have shorter fin lengths and stout body shapes.

Plakats have a unique appearance that sets them apart from other Betta species. They can be kept as pets in indoor aquariums or freshwater ponds.

Despite their territorial behavior, plakats are popular among fish enthusiasts for their vibrant colors and energetic nature. With a little bit of effort, proper care, and attention, you can enjoy having a plakat betta fish right in your home.

Tank and Water Preparations for Plakat Bettas

Plakat bettas, like most pet fish, require a suitable aquarium or fish tank with the right water conditions to thrive. This is crucial to their well-being and longevity.

Here are some things to consider when preparing a tank for your plakat betta.

Space Considerations

It is common knowledge that pet fish, including plakat bettas, can become restricted when kept in a fishbowl. Despite the myth that fish can survive in small bowls, the opposite is true.

Plakat bettas require sufficient space to swim around, and a restrictive tank or one that is too small can lead to stunted growth and premature death. The ideal tank size for a single plakat betta is a minimum of five gallons, while breeding pairs require a minimum of ten gallons.

Buying a larger fish tank may seem like a waste of money initially, but it is more economical and will ultimately save you money in terms of maintenance costs. A larger tank will also reduce stress for your fish, as they have enough space to swim and hide.

Substrate and Decor

Selecting the right substrate and decor elements are also important when preparing a tank for your plakat betta. Fine gravel with a diameter of 1-3mm is ideal as it offers a suitable surface for beneficial bacteria to grow, which helps to maintain water quality.

It also provides a feasible environment for aquatic plants. Decor options for a plakat betta include rock caves, driftwood debris, and organic decor such as coconut shells, bamboo roots, or ceramic structures.

Ensure that these decorations are smooth and do not have sharp edges that may harm your fish.

Live Plants

Live plants in an aquarium provide a more natural and stress-free environment for plakat bettas. Broad-leafed plants such as Anubias and Anacharis serve as hiding spots and offer a surface for biofilm formation on which your betta can graze.

Floating plants such as Duckweed and Hornwort can provide shade and safe retreats for shy bettas. Live plants also help to balance the ecosystem by purifying the water through the processes of photosynthesis and respiration.

They also absorb excess nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous that can otherwise lead to water pollution. Adding plants to a tank requires additional lighting, so consider using a fluorescent bulb, LED grow light, or natural sunlight.

Care Guide for Plakat Bettas


Plakat bettas are carnivorous freshwater fish and require a protein-rich diet. Live foods such as brine shrimp, daphnia, and bloodworms provide essential nutrients that help to boost coloration and immune function.

Frozen foods such as mysis shrimp, krill, or mosquito larvae are also suitable choices for feeding your plakat betta. While live and frozen foods are great, they can be more expensive than commercial foods.

Commercial foods such as high-quality betta pellets are also an excellent choice for feeding your plakat betta. Pellets should be fed in small amounts in the morning and evening to avoid overstuffed or bloated fish.

Care Pointers

Heaters are crucial in maintaining a suitable water temperature for your plakat betta. A heater, with a temperature setting between 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, helps to ensure that the water remains within the recommended range for your plakat betta.

Tannins are organic compounds found in some aquatic plants, most notably in Indian almond leaves. These compounds help to maintain healthy water quality by lowering the pH and increasing hardness.

Additionally, they reduce stress levels in bettas, thus improving their overall well-being. It is advisable to keep plakat bettas alone or with compatible tank mates to reduce stress levels.

Suitable tank mates for plakat bettas include small tetra species, Corydoras catfish and snails. However, avoid adding other male bettas, as they are territorial and will fight one another.


Plakat bettas are colorful and active fish that require suitable water conditions to thrive. Preparing a suitable aquarium that provides ample space, decor, and live plants is relatively simple and affordable.

Aiming to maintain the right water temperature, quality, and diet is also important, as it helps ensure the health and well-being of your plakat betta.

Breeding Notes and Suggestions for Plakat Bettas

Breeding plakat bettas is a fun and rewarding experience for fish enthusiasts. However, breeding fish can be challenging and requires effort and knowledge.

Here are some tips on breeding plakat bettas.

Choosing a Breeding Pair

Choosing the right breeding pair is crucial for the success of breeding plakat bettas. The selection process should consider the fish’s physical attributes and health status.

Ensure that the male and female plakat bettas are healthy and well-bonded. The male should have bright and vibrant colors, while the female should have a round and full belly, indicating good health.

Moving the Bonded Pair

To prepare the breeding tank, you should first move the well-bonded breeding pair to an undisturbed and separate tank. The breeding tank should be large enough for the pair to swim comfortably around without disturbing their surroundings.

The tank should also have plants or a spawning surface, such as a sponge filter, for the male to build bubble nests on.

Conditioning the Breeding Pair

Before breeding, conditioning the breeding pair is important. This helps to promote optimal breeding conditions.

Ensure that the pair is well-fed with protein-rich foods such as live or frozen brine shrimp, bloodworms, and blackworms. You can also add egg yolks or minuscule amounts of vitamins to their diet.

Additionally, maintain the water temperature between 78-84 to simulate their natural breeding environment.

Waiting for Bubble Nest

When the breeding pair is well-conditioned, the male plakat betta will start to build bubble nests. The male defends his nest, indicating that he is ready for breeding to occur.

The nest is built on the surface of the water and can be identified as small bubbles connected together in a cluster. Once you see the bubble nest, it is a sign that your male betta is ready for breeding.

Removing the Parent Plakat Bettas

Once the breeding has occurred and the eggs have hatched, it is essential to remove the parent Plakat bettas from the breeding tank. This gives the offspring a chance to mature without any interference from the parent bettas.

The eggs will hatch in 24-36 hours, and then the fry will transition to consuming infusoria or baby brine shrimp.


Plakat bettas are a beautiful and vibrant freshwater fish that originated from Thailand. They are known for their fighting abilities and beauty.

Keeping them as aquarium pets is popular worldwide, and breeding them is a fun and rewarding experience for fish enthusiasts. Caring for Plakat bettas involves providing them with ample space, a well-rounded diet, suitable water conditions, and proper maintenance.

Breeding them requires patience, knowledge, and effort. Understanding their traits, breeding habits, and conditions essential for breeding them can significantly increase the success rate.

In conclusion, Plakat bettas are peaceful freshwater fish that can make a stunning addition to your aquarium while providing an opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in the world of fish breeding. In conclusion, Plakat bettas are a colorful, active, and territorial fish that requires a suitable habitat to thrive, including space considerations, substrate and decor, and live plants.

Care guidelines for plakat bettas also include maintaining optimum water temperature, quality, and diet. Breeding Plakat bettas requires patience, knowledge, and effort, with specific attention paid to selecting the right breeding pair, conditioning the breeding pair with proper nutrition, and waiting for the male to build a bubble nest before removing the parent Plakat bettas.

These tips will ensure success in breeding and caring for Plakat bettas, making them a beautiful and rewarding addition to your home aquarium.

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