I shared these photos on the 'Wild Betta World' FB group, but thought I would also share them here, along with some commentary from me.
These are just several of my wild betta tanks. Obviously, all of these tanks hold species from the coccina complex. These tanks range in size from 27 litres (approx. 7 gallons) and 40 litres (approx. 10 gallons).
In the beginning, each of these tanks would have contained a single breeding pair. However, as I don't remove any of the fry my pairs produce, the end result is tanks housing mixed groups of adult and immature fish.
I personally feel that coccina complex wilds show their best colours and more natural behaviour in heavily planted tanks. However, as I don't want to be doing a great deal of maintenance on my tanks, any plants I use have to be very undemanding in terms of lighting and nutrient requirement. Some of my favourites include Watersprite (often known as 'lace fern' here in Australia), Mayaca fluviatilis, Asian water grass, Java moss, Java fern, Duckweed, and Anubias.
I use IAL in my tanks to not only keep the water dark, but also to provide extra hiding spots for my fish, and to encourage the growth of infusoria, which are an important food source for my fry. I also have a stocking filled with peat moss in each of my tanks. I'm not sure how much of an effect this has on the water chemistry, but hopefully it's helping to keep the pH low.
Perhaps most importantly, is that I cover each of my wild betta tanks with cling wrap. This tends to fall apart over time so I have to regularly replace it, and it can be extremely frustrating to apply. However, before I started using cling wrap, I lost a great many rare and valuable fish to jumping. Since I started using cling wrap, I haven't lost a single fish, which makes the extra effort of replacing it, well worth it.
My wild-caught pair of Betta brownorum (particularly the female), are two of my favourite fish. Unlike my previous pair where the female killed the male, and was then later killed by one of her adult sons, most of the aggression between this pair is limited to display. Unfortunately, the male is rarely captured on camera looking his best, so most of these photos are of my female who is much friendlier. The reason she is facing much the same way in all the photos is because that is the corner where the food goes into their tank!
Hi, I'm a betta enthusiast and breeder from Melbourne, Australia. I keep and breed wild bettas from the coccina complex.