Betta splendens, also known as siamese fighting fish, are aptly named for their grand appearance and tough temperament. They were originally used as a means of gambling back in Siam which is now Thailand. Betta fighting became so popular that the King started to tax and regulate the sport. Those who bet on the game would go as far as odin99 family members and homes! The fish were trained very vigorously to become more assertive. After the fight, the winner was retired and allowed to breed. Contrary to belief, the losing fish did not die. The fight ends when the weaker fish retreats.
Back then, bettas were not nearly as gorgeous as the ones we see at our local pet stores. Now they can be seen showing off in little cups at pet shops. The “labyrinth” is what enables betta fish to survive in a small amount of water by acting as a lung. If you watch them for a while you will see bettas go to the surface for air.
When deciding whether to purchase a betta fish, I suggest you do some research. Despite what some may say, a lot goes into the care of bettas. This causes many people to mistakenly shorten the life of their betta drastically. Just like any other pet, owning a betta is a commitment. Consider all of the costs and time that goes into caring for a betta fish before making a final decision.
You can usually expect to get two to three years of life from betta splendens. Bettas have a relatively short life span. This is mostly attributed to poor care. Betta fish are very sensitive to their living conditions and many are misinformed. One thing you may not have thought of is the age of bettas sold in stores. When you go to purchase a betta look at their variety of long fins and bright colors. Though they are very beautiful, it also means these fish are already one year of age or more.
Don’t let this prevent you from giving a betta a good home. There have been bettas known to live 15 years or more! With better care and attention your betta fish could live a long and healthy life as well.