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Animal Photo: Dead Betta Fish

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Betta Fish

Betta is a large genus of small, often colorful, freshwater ray-finned fishes in the gourami family (Osphronemidae). The type species is B. picta, the spotted betta. By far the best known Betta species, however, is B. splendens, the Siamese fighting fish.

All the Betta species are small fishes, but they vary considerably in size, ranging from under 2.5 cm (1 inch) total length in B. chanoides to 12.5 cm (5 inches) in the Akar betta (B. akarensis).

Bettas are anabantoids, which means they can breathe atmospheric air thanks to a unique organ called the labyrinth. This accounts for their ability to thrive in low-oxygen water conditions that would kill most other fish, such as rice paddies, slow-moving streams, drainage ditches, and large puddles.

The various bettas can be divided into two groups, based on their spawning behaviour: some build bubble nests, like B. splendens, while others are mouthbrooders, like B. picta. The mouthbrooding species are sometimes called "pseudo bettas", and are sometimes speculated to have evolved from the nest-builders in an adaptation to their fast-moving stream habitats.

The Betta is native freshwater fish from Thailand (formerly Siam) and Cambodia (formerly Kampuchea). Wild Betta can often be found in a small pond, river and drain. As Betta can survive in a low-oxygen level of water, Betta can live anywhere and mostly in Asia.



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