Distribution: Peaceful bettas come from Southeast Asia, including the Malay peninsula, the island of Phuket off southern Thailand, northeastern Sumatra and western Borneo.
Size: Peaceful bettas can measure up to 2in (5cm).
Form: Male peaceful bettas have a blackish or blue body coloration overall, with a greenish sheen like verdigris over the gill covers. The caudal fin has a deep red crescent-shaped marking on it, which is especially prominent when these bettas are in breeding condition, with an outer black band. The body coloration of female peaceful bettas is brown, acquiring a lighter, more yellowish cross-banding when they are in breeding condition. This fish species’ fins are smaller in overall size and, although marked with blue and red, are less colorful. The depth of coloration also varies according to the population concerned.
Diet: Peaceful bettas eat prepared foods such as flake, plus live foods.
Natural habitat and behavior: Usually occurring in shallow areas of water, peaceful bettas are sometimes encountered in rice paddies, as well as ditches and ponds. These bettas are found in association with aquatic vegetation, where they can conceal themselves from potential predators, even where the water level is low. Peaceful bettas are a bubblenesting fish species, with courtship being much more gentle than in other members of this group. Spawning typically takes two hours, with the female betta remaining virtually motionless for part of this time, allowing the male betta to collect the eggs, numbering up to 15, once he breaks free from her. The female peaceful betta may help to gather them as well, spitting them out to her mate close to the nest.
Aquarium conditions: As its name suggests, this fish species is peaceful by nature, and so it is possible to house several pairs of peaceful bettas together in the same aquarium, although it is likely to be hazardous to introduce another male betta into an established group. Some disputes may occur close to a bubblenest created by a male peaceful betta but these territorial arguments do not result in serious fighting. Rearing requirements of the young are similar to those of other bubblenesting bettas.
Excerpt from Bettas and Gouramis, part of the Fish Keeping Made Easy Series, with permission from its publisher BowTie Press. Purchase Bettas and Gouramis here.