Species Spotlight - Betta burdigala
A native of Indonesia, Betta burdigala is part of the coccina complex of betta species. According to SeriouslyFish.com, its name is derived from the Latin term for "The French city of Bordeaux which is famous for its red wines".
It is a truly striking species, very near in appearance to the closely-related Betta uberis, with its high dorsal and rich colouring.
Like all coccina complex species, Betta burdigala thrives in blackwater conditions with a water temperature in the mid twenties (°C). With all of these species, I have found that a liberal use of tannins in the water will result in the best colouration.
A tank measuring 30 x 30 cm is suitable for housing a pair of Betta burdigala. However, a larger footprint may be necessary if housing a group of these fish, as the dominant pair or male, may become aggressive towards lower ranking conspecifics.
Based on my experiences, the Betta burdigala is quite a prolific species. While individual spawns are not particularly large (especially when compared to bubblenesters from the splendens complex) the frequency with which they spawn more than makes up for it. It is not uncommon for my pairs to spawn once or sometimes even twice, a week.
In most cases fry can be successfully reared alongside their parents. However, predation may occur amongst sibilings. Therefore, it is best to remove any fry that may be big enough to cause problems. I have found that a single juvenile is capable of wiping out an entire spawn of newly free-swimming fry.
With an IUCN Red List species status of vulnerable, it is important that hobbyists continue to maintain this species in captivity. I have found it to be a a very easy fish to work with, and would advise any enthusiast of the 'clarets' to give this species a go.
Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, I currently keep and breed a number of species from the coccina complex.