Evolution, culture, and Care for Betta splendens
Photo of a male betta in a small aquarium.
view on EDIS

How to Cite

Watson, Craig A., Matt DiMaggio, Jeffery E. Hill, Quenton M. Tuckett, and Roy P. Yanong. 2019. “Evolution, Culture, and Care for Betta Splendens: FA212, 3/2019”. EDIS 2019 (2). Gainesville, FL. https://doi.org/10.32473/edis-fa212-2019.


The commercial betta, or Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens), is one of a group of fishes that live in fresh water in Africa and southern Asia. Today’s commercial bettas are selected for bright colors as well as elaborate fins because the ornamental hobby is the main market for this species. This 5-page fact sheet written by Craig Watson, Matthew DiMaggio, Jeffrey Hill, Quenton Tuckett, and Roy Yanong and published by School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences explains how to grow and care for these beautiful and fascinating fishes.

view on EDIS


Francis-Floyd, R. 2018. Stress-Its Role in Fish Disease. University of Florida Extension Circular 919. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa005.

Francis-Floyd, R., C. Watson, D. Petty, and D.B. Pouder. 2015. University of Florida Extension Circular FA16. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fa031.

Graham, J. B. 1994. "An Evolutionary Perspective for Bimodal Respiration: A Biological Synthesis of Fish Air Breathing." American Zoologist 34:229-237.


Hurtado-Parrado, C., C. Acevedo-Triana, and J. Pearl. 2019. "Aversive Control of Betta splendens Behavior Using Water Disturbances: Effects of Signaled and Unsignaled Free-Operant Avoidance and Escape Contingencies." Behavioral Processes 158:18-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.beproc.2018.10.021

Jaroensutasinee, M and K. Jaroensutasinee. 2001. "Bubble Nest Habitat Characteristics of Wild Siamese Fighting Fish." Journal of Fish Biology 58:1311-1319.


Monvises, A., B. Nuangsaeng, N Sriwattanarothai, and B. Panijpan. 2009. "The Siamese Fighting Fish: Well-known Generally, but Little Known Scientifically." Science Asia 35:8-16. https://doi.org/10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2009.35.008

Pleeging, C. C. F., and C. P. H. Moons. 2017. "Potential Welfare Issues of the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens) at the Retailer and Hobbyist Aquarium." Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 86:213-223. https://doi.org/10.21825/vdt.v86i4.16182

Saekhow, S., K. Thongprajukaew, W. Phromkunthong, and H. Sae-Khoo. 2018. "Minimal Water Volume for Intensively Producing Male Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens Regan, 1910)." Fish Physiology and Biochemistry 44:1075-1085. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10695-018-0495-z

Tate, M., R. McGoran, C. White, and S. Portugal. 2017. "Life in a Bubble: the Role of the Labyrinth Organ in Determining Territory, Mating and Aggressive Behaviors in Anabantoids." Journal of Fish Biology 91:723-749. https://doi.org/10.1111/jfb.13357

Yanong, R.P.E. and C. Erlacher-Reid. 2012. USDA Southern Regional Aquaculture Center (SRAC) Publication No. 4707. https://srac.tamu.edu/viewFactSheets.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) license.