Max Size: 5cm

Snakehead Betta (Betta channoides)

The stunning, rare Snakehead Betta, Betta channoides needs specific requirements and has a delicate disposition; therefore, you should keep these fish alone or with small, peaceful species. Housing these fish with much larger or more lively fishes are likely to intimidate and outcompete them at feeding time.

Ideally, Snakehead Bettas should be kept with small Cyprinids and Loaches that live in the same natural environment. However, proper research is crucial.

Bettas can be kept in a well-decorated or bear-bottomed aquarium, although driftwood, bogwood, and plants will provide shelter for the fish.

Adding dried leaf litter not only promotes the growth of microbe colonies as they decompose but also provides the fish with a realistic habitat.

Adding aquatic plants that can survive under dim lights, such as Cryptocoryne, Microsorum or Taxiphyllum, will benefit Snakehead Bettas. Floating plants would also be helpful.

When it comes to filters, water filtration should not be too strong. A sponge filter set to turn over gently is sufficient.

The bodies of Snakehead Bettas are elongated and slender. Its caudal, anal, and ventral fins are white-edged, while its body is reddish-brown with dark brown fins. Females are also duller than males.


Snakehead Betta
Quick Facts
Scientific NameBetta channoides
Year Described1994
Other NamesSnakehead Fighter, Cherry Betta
OriginsIndonesia, Philippines
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

Mahakam River


In the home aquarium, the Snakehead Betta will readily accept most good quality dried foods such as granules, flakes and sinking pellets. These modern food products have been developed to provide all adequate nutrition to maintain your fish's health and dietary requirements.

Providing additional foodstuffs such as live, frozen, and freeze-dried meals such as bloodworm, daphnia, and tubifex once or twice a week will provide additional benefits to your fish's health and well-being but is not a must for this fish.

It should be noted that bloodworms should only be given as an occasional treat and should not be used as the staple diet as they are difficult for fish to digest and can potentially cause blockages.

This fish is an omnivore in the wild, meaning it will consume some vegetable matter. Although most modern fish foods take this into account and include them in their products, you can still supplement your fish's diet with blanched vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, and zucchini. Ensure you do not overfeed your fish and remove any leftovers the following day.

Tank Mates

1 interesting tank mate ideas for the Snakehead Betta could include:

Chocolate Gourami(Sphaerichthys osphromenoides)

Sexual Dimorphism

It is relatively simple to differentiate male from female Snakehead Bettas. Males are usually more intensely coloured than females and have a broader head, whereas females have a lighter body than males. You may also be able to see the females' ovaries via spotlighting.

Other Bettas of interest

Emerald Betta(Betta smaragdina)
Red Skirt Betta(Betta Falx)
Siamese Fighting Fish(Betta Splendens)
Spotfin Betta(Betta macrostoma)
Toba Betta(Betta Rubra)
Date Added: 19/01/2021 - Updated: 11/08/2022 16:11:17