Black Samurai Plakat Betta - Betta splendens - Male
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The Shortfin Betta is also sometimes refered to as the "Plakat Betta" although this term doesn't have a standardized definition like most other tail varieties. These bettas are the closest in appearance to the wild betta but usually have the brighter colors associated with fancy bettas. They also grow larger than many fancier-tailed varieties and are sometimes sold as "Giant Bettas" or "King Bettas".
Bettas are one of the most beautiful of all the anabantoids (gouramis, or "air-breathers"). Their ability to breathe air directly from the atmosphere enables them to live in the stagnant pools and puddles in which they naturally occur.
Bettas have evolved a very intense territorial aggression to the point where they are best kept by themselves. They do not tolerate other males and females are only tolerated when breeding. This natural behavior and their ability to breathe atmospheric air makes them ideal for keeping in bowls and small aquaria. As long as the water is kept relatively warm and is changed regularly, they do very well.
Bettas are carnivorous fish and must be fed meaty foods. There are many special prepared Betta diets (flake/pellet) that are excellent foods. Blood worms, brine shrimp, and plankton are also excellent as treats. Keep in mind that a betta has a stomach about the size of it's eye. It should be fed an eyeful every day to maintain it's shape and health.
Visit That Fish Blog for more information from our marine biologists and aquarium staff on bettas and many other topics!
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