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Maximum size : 5 cm

Snakehead Betta - Betta channoides : Complete Fish Profile & Care Guide

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The elusive and striking Snakehead Betta (Betta channoides) is a species that requires specific care and attention. These fish have a delicate disposition and should be kept alone or with small, peaceful species. Housing them with larger or more active fish may intimidate them and create competition at feeding time. In their natural environment, Snakehead Bettas are found with small Cyprinids and Loaches. Thus, keeping them with similar species would be ideal. In addition, adding driftwood, bogwood, and plants to the aquarium will provide shelter and create a natural habitat. Adding dried leaf litter will also help promote the growth of microbe colonies, providing a more realistic environment. Aquatic plants such as Cryptocoryne, Microsorum, or Taxiphyllum that can thrive under dim lights will benefit these Bettas. Floating plants will also be helpful. When it comes to filters, a sponge filter set to turn over gently is sufficient. Strong water filtration should be avoided. The Snakehead Bettas have elongated and slender bodies with white-edged caudal, anal, and ventral fins. The body is reddish-brown, and the fins are dark brown, with males being more vibrant than females.

Snakehead Betta Photos

Sexual Dimorphism

It is discernible to differentiate male from female Snakehead Bettas with ease. Males display a more vivid colour and wider head structure than their female counterparts. Meanwhile, females have a relatively lighter body. In addition, through spotlighting, it is possible to observe the female's ovaries.

Quick Facts

Scientific NameBetta channoides
Year Described1994
Other NamesSnakehead Fighter, Cherry Betta
OriginsPhilippines Indonesia
Max Size5 cm
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
DifficultyBeginner - Intermediate
Best kept asLoners
Lifespan3 - 5 years

Water Parameters

Water TypeFreshwater
PH4.0 - 6.5
GH10 - 15
TDS18 - 90
73 - 86
22.8 - 30

Natural Habitat

The mesmerizing Snakehead Betta is a stunning fish that is native to the beautiful island of Borneo, Indonesia. You can find them lurking in the Mahakam River basin in the province of Kalimantan Timur, as well as Sungai Merimun, Muarapahu, and Mujup. However, the most sought-after form is collected near the enchanting Pampang village. In the wild, these fish inhabit the serene and shallow forest streams that are lined with lush vegetation and leaf litter. These slow-flowing, soft acidic waters are stained with tannins and are the perfect haven for these stunning fish.
 Mahakam River - Indonesia
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Breeding Snakehead Bettas can be a rewarding experience, but it requires specific conditions to succeed. It is best to set up a separate breeding tank with a tight-fitting cover to maintain the warm and humid air necessary for the fry to grow their labyrinth organs. Lowering the pH level can trigger spawning, and maintaining a high temperature of 78°-82° is essential. Once a pair of fish have successfully formed, the male initiates courtship by curling his body tightly around the female. The couple will then release their respective eggs and milt for fertilisation. Spawning may require up to three attempts before success, and the male diligently collects the eggs. Therefore, Snakehead Bettas typically do not produce many eggs per spawn, and five to twelve eggs are considered a good number. The male will hold the eggs/fry for several weeks before releasing the fully developed free-swimming fry. During this time, the male provides care to the fry, protecting them and fanning them with his fins. When the fry is ready to eat, offering microworm or paramecium for the first few days is best before progressing to newly hatched brine shrimp several days later.

Diet & feeding

In captivity, Snakehead Bettas have proven to be adaptable and hardy fish. They readily accept high-quality dried products like flakes and granules, and supplementing their diet with live or frozen foods such as artemia, daphnia, and bloodworms is also recommended to provide a well-rounded and nutritious diet to promote their optimal health.

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