Mythbuster :Do bettas really live in "tiny" puddle

Okay, folks, after a research breakthrough and reminiscing of memories on how I often see people suggest to use vases and bowls for bettas considering "they live in tiny mud puddles", I decided to crash this myth in an effort to put a stop on what we call betta abuse simply by placing them in a container with no heater, no filter, etc at all. I've read plenty of books and discovered there is a lot more than what you see on a betta. It has always been a misconception that bettas live in mud puddles. Everytime I see people saying this, I keep thinking to myself "Is this possible?" Even the mud puddles dug by animal hooves would be quite horrible for a betta. What were those labyrinths for?

Before I go further, please note there are several betta species more than you can think of distributed around Asia, however, the human developments have seriously depleted their habitats with some species already lost and feared extinct.

While roaming around on forums for possible summaries, I discovered this paragraph (I don't own a lot of books however I do spend plenty of time in bookstores but I cannot copy every important bit without purchasing the said books which are expensive.)

Information is taken from Labyrinth Fish: The Bubble Nest Builders written by Horst Link and published by Tetra in 1991.

"In my opinion, the natural distribution range is very much smaller than had been supposed until now and is, in fact, restricted to central, western, and northern Thailand...Betta splendens lives in paddy fields and associated ditches, in marshes and flooded grass pits and in theklongs (canals) of the residential parts of towns and villages. At different times of the year, they may be very numerous."

A very important advice...
The view that fighting fish often live in mudholes and therefore can be kept in such conditions is not really tenable. The fish will exhibit their full finery in a well-established, balanced aquarium and it is only under such conditions that their keeper will be able to appreciate their beauty at its best

So the questions now are..

What paddy field are we talking anyway?
Is this really a mud puddle? Is it really small?

What is your conclusion on the whole?
Going to back to the above, I've shared to you my thoughts. Now to answer the question, What were those labyrinths for?, this doesn't mean all anabantids can live in mud puddles as previously suggested by several people but this means it allows them to survive in warm, shallow, slow moving waters with very low oxygen levels.

So like other fish, we should treat the bettas with great care. Efficient filter, heater, etc just like what other tropical fish deserve.

1 comment:

  1. Do not forget that, in their natural habitat anabantidae fish are subjected to drastic seasonal changes in water levels, water temperatures and physical/chemical composition. Their capacity to gulp air maybe essential to their survival under very stringent or even rare conditions, for instance moving from one pool of water to another when water is too hot or water levels is returning to dry season level.