Strawberry Betta (Betta channoides)
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The Strawberry Betta is one of the most popular wild, social Betta species, and it is also one of the rarest!
The Strawberry Betta (Betta channoides), also known as the Snakehead Betta, is a labyrinth fish of the Betta genus that is fairly uncommon in many ways. It is not commonly seen in the aquarium hobby, but has a reputation as a wonderful aquarium inhabitant when given the right conditions. Unlike the common Betta splendens species, both sexes of the Strawberry Betta are generally peaceful with their own kind, even when males are kept with other males. When kept in groups, this species will often show fascinating courtship behavior, especially between males competing for the attention of females. Like all labyrinth fish, it possesses an air-breathing organ that supplements its gills and allows it to live in aquatic areas that are poor in oxygen. As with virtually all bettas, males have larger size, longer finnage, and more intense coloration than females.
The Strawberry Betta requires an aquarium with dense vegetation and plenty of cover. A darker substrate will result in the most vivid coloration for this fish. Slow to moderate water movement is preferred, so turbulent conditions should be avoided. This fish is typically timid and peaceful with other fish, but males and breeding females can be somewhat territorial in smaller aquariums, especially during spawning. This behavior is easily mitigated by providing plenty of hiding places and coverage. This is much less of an issue in larger aquariums. While it is possible to keep this fish with most peaceful invertebrates, it is also possible that it will prey on dwarf shrimp. Due to its timid nature, the Strawberry Betta should not be kept with boisterous or aggressive fish that will outcompete it for food. It might be best kept in a species-only setup, or with very peaceful fish such as small rasboras, Kuhli Loaches, and similar species. This species can be easily stressed by too much activity from its tankmates.
The Strawberry Betta should be offered meaty frozen and live foods at first. Once acclimated to the aquarium, it will likely also accept dry foods as well. Variety is key to longterm health. Like most bettas, this species will overeat and become obese if given the opportunity
What We Like About This Fish:
- Much more peaceful with its own kind than most other Betta species
- Beautiful coloration in males
- Peaceful disposition
- An excellent, graceful addition to nano and planted aquariums
- Thrives in a heavily planted aquarium
- Temperature: 73.4° - 86° F (23° - 30° C)
- pH: 4.0 - 6.5
- KH: 1 - 5 dKH
- Minimum tank size: 15 - 20 gallons for a pair or small group
- Diet: Live and frozen meaty foods. Will also likely accept dry foods once acclimated
- Social behavior: Peaceful and timid. Can be kept in groups as long as plenty of space and cover is provided.
- Origin: Borneo, Indonesia
- Average adult size: 1.2 - 1.6 inches (3 - 4 cm)
- Average purchase size: 1 inch (2.5 cm)