Minimum tank specs for captive-bred wild bettas (imbellis, mahachai, etc.)?
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:01 AM   #1
Bonefish
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Minimum tank specs for captive-bred wild bettas (imbellis, mahachai, etc.)?


Hi all! Long time no post. Been out of the hobby for over two years due to moving/school/life, but I'm looking to get back into it. I'd like to get back into fishkeeping with ye olde betta... but this time, I'm ready to step my game up and try some of the more unusual types.

My main question is what the title says: what are the minimum tank requirements for some of the wild betta types, and do they differ depending on whether the fish are wild-caught or captive-bred?

I've found a local breeder who has both B. imbellis and mahachaiensis. His fry are F1 offspring from imported wild-caught parents. I'd love to get myself an imbellis or mahachaiensis as a "centerpiece fish" in a planted nano, but I've been unable to find good information online about tank requirements for these species.

Unfortunately, my countertop space is very limited and I doubt I can go much above the ADA 25x25x25 cm (4 gallon) tank. I might be able to get up to the 30x30x30 cm (8 gallon) tank.

- How similar is the care and keeping of wild bettas to that of splendens?
- Can a single male imbellis or mahachaiensis be kept in a heavily-planted 4 gallons? I've seen sites suggesting that pairs need at least 10 gallons, but I've found nothing about housing for single males.
- Do captive-bred wild bettas have different requirements than wild-caughts?
- Are tannins/almond leaves a necessity?
- What kind of flow and filtration to they need?
- How bold/shy are the wild types compared to splendens?
- Should I just say "forget it" and go with a very imbellis-looking plakat thai betta instead?

Thanks in advance. I appreciate all input, especially from folks who have experience keeping and breeding wild bettas.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
chelseab
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I have limited experience, but I'm happy to share what I know via that experience. I've kept imbellis, coccina, and pugnax now. The imbellis and coccina I kept together in the same 29g, both in groups of 4+ with no problems. They never ventured out from their little spots except occasionally for food. I now have them in a 55g and almost never see them.

We have a pair of channoides at work in a 2.2 gallon with no aggression.

I find them to be very easy to care for. I have better luck with them than splendens honestly. They do seem to be prone to certain infections. I have lost my entire betta population overnight a couple of times.

I haven't found tannins to be necessary. But both my tanks have wood in them and therefore some tannins.
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:24 PM   #3
Kehy
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I've heard a couple people say that a 5 is big enough for a pair of channoids or albimarginata, so if you only wanted one in a 4, I assume it would work.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:36 AM   #4
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chelseab - Thank you for the input! Interesting to know that imbellis are fairly shy and tied to their little spots in the tank. Were yours wild-caught? I'll have to think about channoides, given that both you and Kehy suggest them. They're gorgeous little guys. The only drawback is I have no idea where to find captive-bred ones. What kinds of food did you have your wild bettas eating?

Kehy - I'm adding those species to my list! Thank you for the suggestion. The male channoides and albimarginata have great colors.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:28 AM   #5
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I'm certain all my bettas are wild caught. They eat absolutely everything in sight and are fat little things. If you want to get wild caught fish, I can send you to a source that fattens them up and lets them acclimate before shipping them.
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