Max Size: 4cm

Toba Betta (Betta Rubra)

Toba Bettas are stunning and somewhat rare; however, these fish can be pretty shy, and they have particular needs when it comes to water parameters; therefore, they are not recommended for beginner aquarists or your typical community aquarium.

It would be best to keep Toba Bettas in a species only tank in either a pair or a trio. However, you can keep them with small Rasboras, Tetras, Barbs and Loaches that appreciate similar water conditions as long as there is adequate space and plenty of hiding places in the aquarium. You should avoid housing these Bettas with larger, more boisterous species as they will most likely be intimidated and outcompeted for food. Some chasing and squabbling over territories can arise, although no actual physical damage occurs.

These Bettas will not only thrive but will display their best colours in a well-planted aquarium with dim lighting and a gentle current from an air-powered sponge filter. You can also use driftwood roots and branches as long as you place them so that a few shady spots are formed. You can also include PVC piping and clay pots to provide further shelter for your fish.

You will need hardy aquatic plants that can survive in the same conditions as this fish's water, such as Microsorum, Taxiphyllum or Cryptocoryne; a few patches of floating vegetation would also be helpful. It would help if you kept this species in acidic conditions with very low general hardness

and negligible carbonate hardness.

The addition of dried leaf litter further accentuates the natural feel and Offers additional cover as well as bringing on the growth of microbe colonies as decomposition ensues. These colonies can provide a beneficial secondary food source for babies. The tannins and other chemicals discharged by the rotting leaves are also helpful as it gives a blackwater appearance like the fish's natural environment.

Male Toba Bettas typically have dark wine-red colouration on the top half of their body and brilliant red and blue bars on the bottom half. Their fins and tails are bright red, shimmering white or blue on the edges. Like many Bettas, they can quickly change colour depending on their mood. In spawning conditions, the colours can intensify, making the fish glow.

On the other hand, females of this species are less colourful and have a neutral, bland, greyish-brown body colour with a dark bar along their body. There can be a little bit of gold or red, especially along their face, and their fins are often edged with white. Both males and females have additional black barring on their heads and operculum and small dots on their heads in some individuals.

Tank Mates for the Toba Betta

1 ideal tank mate ideas for the Toba Betta include:

Skunk Corydoras(Corydoras granti)
Quick Facts
Scientific NameBetta Rubra
Year Described1893
Other NamesRed Sumatran Fighter
Aquarium LevelMiddle - Top
Best kept asPairs
Lifespan3 - 5 years
Water Parameters
Water TypeFreshwater
PH5.0 - 6.0
GH3 - 4
KH3 -5
TDS18 - 90
71 - 78℉
21.7 - 25.6℃

Photos of the Toba Betta

Toba Betta
Toba Betta

Natural Habitat

Toba Bettas are endemic to Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia, in Southeast Asia. You can also find these fish around the Singkil area located in the Aceh province as well as in Sibolga in North Sumatra.

These Bettas inhabit very slow-moving stagnant waters with a relatively low pH. As a result, the waters are usually stained dark from tannins. These fish are generally found in pools, hill streams, forest streams, and forest swamps. Sumatran tropical pine forests surround these habitats.

Lake Toba

What to feed the Toba Betta

Toba Bettas primarily feed on invertebrates and insects in the wild; however, in the aquarium, they will usually accept good quality dried products once they are identified as palatable. You should also regularly offer your Bettas plenty of small live, frozen or freeze-dried foods such as bloodworm, daphnia, and artemia, as this will keep your fish healthy and make them more colourful. In addition, small insects like Drosophila fruit flies or newly-hatched crickets are also suitable; however, make sure their stomachs are full before offering them to your fish.

How to sex the Toba Betta

It is easy to differentiate between the male and female Toba Betta. Males have more vibrant colours than females and have longer and broader fins. In contrast, the females are typically duller and have shorter fins.

How to breed the Toba Betta

The Toba Betta is a paternal mouthbrooder. The female will initiate spawning when she is full of eggs.

During spawning, the males will wrap their bodies around the females then eggs are released by the female and fertilised by the male. Finally, the female will spit the eggs out for the male to catch in his mouth.

The incubation period usually takes around 10 to 17 days, after which the male will release the fry once they are fully formed. After that, you can decide if you would like to leave the babies with their parents or separate them.

Make sure you cover the aquarium with a tight-fitting lid because the fry needs humid air to develop its vital organs. You may use clingfilm with holes poked in it for ventilation.

When they first hatch, the fry can feed on microworms, daphnia, and baby brine shrimp. However, make sure you do not overfeed them as this can lead to obesity.

Other Bettas of interest

Emerald Betta(Betta smaragdina)
Siamese Fighting Fish(Betta Splendens)
Snakehead Betta(Betta channoides)
Spotfin Betta(Betta macrostoma)
Date Added: 11/04/2022 16:02:56 - Updated: 11/04/2022 16:25:37