An Exclusive Care Guide to Plakat Betta

Differently coloured Plakat Betta swimming, facing each other.
By Garrison Hickles Updated

Plakat Betta fish, also known as Siamese Fighting Fish, attracts fish lovers of all ages and from all over the World. These fishes come in different colours like orange, white and blue. The breed is designed for fighting and stands to be the most aggressive among all Bettas. You can make proper planning in their residence, tank mates and diet, which is expected to keep their aggression to a minimum. In this exclusive piece of care guide, we are going to discuss different aspects of keeping a Plakat Betta in a home aquarium. So, let us start.

Key Specifications of Plakat Betta

Before discussing their different living habits, we will look into some key specifications of this incredible breed of fighters.

Scientific NameBetta splendens 
OriginThailand and Southeast Asia
LifespanUp to 3 years
ColourDifferent shades
TemperamentAggressive
SizeUp to 3 inches
DietCarnivorous
FamilyOsphronemidae
CompatibilitySingle or only shoaling species
Tank Size10 gallons
Care LevelModerate planned care

Overview

This brilliantly-coloured, freshwater species grows interest in many fish lovers and has an amazingly distinct character of fighting. They are scientifically named Betta splendens. These predominantly gorgeous fishes with significant personalities gaudily swim and enhance the beauty of your aquarium.

They derive their name from Plakat Thung, which actually stands for “fighter fish” in Thai and were originally a specific breed. The real fighter origin is black, but, round tail Plakat Betta are of various colours. They come from the family of Osphronemidae and are bred originally as a fighter group of fish.

There can be two types of Plakat Betta, namely Snakehead and Spoonhead. Snakehead Plakat Betta fishes are narrow and long in structure with small fins that create the exactly snake-like body, perfect for fighting. The Spoonhead Plakat Betta fishes have long anal and ventral fins. They sport a curve in their mouth, which is ideal for aggressive attacks.

These species of fishes are in high demand, despite their less dramatic tail and robust structure. They will owe you a pocket pinch of $10- $40.

Origin and Habitat of Plakat Betta

They originate from the Mekon Basins of Cambodia, rice paddies in Thailand and are very densely clustered in the Chao Phraya River in Thailand.

These fishes preferably live in low current water with a stealthy movement in it and typically dwells in rice paddies, marshes and ditches. They prefer to live in puddles during the dry season, for which, they have a labyrinth. Labyrinth enables the fish to inhale fresh oxygen even in oxygen-depleted water and helps the fish to thrive in a challenging environment.

They dwell in the middle and upper part of the water level, to take oxygen directly from the atmosphere. However, they prefer warm water and ample vegetation in their vicinity, so keep the temperature of the tanks according to their needs.

Appearance of Plakat Betta

Plakat Betta fishes are known for their aggressive fighting nature and magnificent beauty of colours. As they feed on upper levels, they have a curvy mouth and powerful jaw.

The reason behind the extraordinarily small length of their fins is that they fight a lot and the fins tend to tear apart. Furthermore, the short length helps to keep them safe. The Plakat Bettas can have long fins but these are mostly kept in a home aquarium. They possess a beautiful ray in their tail and dorsal fins, which makes them stronger.

Size of Plakat Betta

An adult Plakat Betta can grow up to a length of 3 inches. The females are relatively small in size.

Colour of Plakat Betta

Plakat Betta fishes come in a different array of colours, but their male counterparts are generally brighter than females. The females change their colours during breeding. The body of the fish is of one colour and the fins are differently coloured.

You can have a white Plakat Betta with orange or black fins or even a multicoloured body with multicoloured fins.

Behaviour of Plakat Betta

As we have mentioned earlier, Plakat Betta fishes maintain aggressive nature and are bred to be fighters. They prefer to stay alone and if any fish is kept with them they will fight to defend their own territory. Plakat Betta maintains a slow, easy and head-bobbing movement to catch their prey. This head-bobbing is a unique process that involves sustained mouth occlusion, which helps to grab their prey directly.

These fishes are highly skilled in jumping and often jump out of one puddle to another to find food, by avoiding their male counterpart. Plakat Betta shows off a very feisty temperament with some unique behaviour within the tank that surely adds activity to your setup.

Lifespan of Plakat Betta

In captivity, Plakat Betta fish can live up to 3 years, but you have to take good and planned care to keep them in a fresh environment. They can sustain in marshes and puddles, but if they get habituated to a homely atmosphere they cannot withstand outer ambience.  

Diet of Plakat Betta

Owing to their aggressive carnivorous nature, they gorge on meat and naturally have a huge requirement for protein. If you want to keep your fish healthy, opt for diverse nutrition for them. They like live insect larvae and tiny fishes.

You can give them a choice of frozen or live food and notice they would go for live ones. Moreover, you are free to provide them with dried foods, but these are of less nutrition, so supplement them enough.

Always remember to give them food that they can finish within two minutes. The best foods for this Betta fish are as follows:

  • Daphnia
  • Blood-worms
  • Brine Shrimp

Tank Requirements for Plakat Betta

If you plan to keep a Plakat Betta in a tank, then make sure you do not make the environment claustrophobic. Recreate natural habitat with ample vegetation and plantation. To know the best Betta fish tank requirement for this Plakat, you have to go through the following necessities.

Tank Size

Keeping Plakat Betta in a 5-gallon tank is enough but they are aggressive and tend to jump out of their residence. So it is better to keep them in a 10-gallon tank. They are aggressive and produce waste, but since only one Plakat Betta is recommended in one tank, there will not be much waste.

Additionally, if you keep Plakat Betta in the community, you must provide them with large tanks so that they can have their own territory.

Tank Lid

As we have said earlier in the article, Plakat Bettas have the tendency to jump out of their living space. Being skilled jumpers, they can even end up in untimely death by falling from the aquarium. Moreover, if kept with any other fish they will fight and eventually might come out of the tank.

You must keep a sturdy lid on the tank. Also, the lid protects the tank from dirt and dust because cleanliness is a must for these fishes.

Substrate

While you are prepared for their aggression, you must be prepared for caring for them also. Keep algae level at a minimum and keep changing the water once or twice a week. You must keep a shallow water level with plenty of hiding space. They prefer to lay on a flat surface so substrates must be even and soft.

You can use pebbles, driftwood, rock caves and any plastic decor, but remember they must not be with a sharp edge. Do not use any artificial colouring as it might impact their skins.

Filter

Definitely use a filter to keep the tank clean and oxygen level safe. But these fishes prefer stealthy water with very little movement, so preferably keep filters with very low water movement.

Ornaments

We have mentioned in the ‘Substrate’ sub-segment, that, these fishes like to lay on a flat surface so sand and pebbles must be very fine. Always keep areas for them to hide by installing rock caves and vegetation.

Lighting

Lighting is not much significant for these fishes. However, these are freshwater fishes and we know they generally prefer a shallow environment where there is very low light. Keep the ambience of the aquarium soft and cosy. Since the Plakat Bettas are not very fast swimmers, they do not need an ample amount of space and light.

Presence of Flora

These fishes love vegetation and wildflowers in their vicinity. A few water plants are suitable for them, among which, Java Ferns and Chinese Evergreen are best. You can also choose peace lilies and philodendrons for them. However, make sure there is no overgrowth of Ferns and Chinese Evergreens because this would restrict their free movement.

You can also add some broad-leaf plants like Anubias Barteri or some floating and artificial plants like Betta Shelves. This is entirely your choice how to decorate but abide by the rule of providing vegetation to them.

Cleaning Method

The tank must be cleaned once or twice a week so that the fish do not catch any infection. Even if they are hardy in nature, they are prone to diseases like fin rot, dropsy, mouth fungus and velvet.

You should not use any soap or chemicals for cleaning the tank body, rather use a soft cloth dipped in warm water to clean the walls of the tank. In order to keep algae levels at minimal, keep the tank under running water and remove the wastes from substrates.

Water Types for Plakat Betta

Let us shed some light on the water type needed for your Plakat Betta. You need to clean the tank very minutely before keeping your pet there. Be aware of the required water type and temperature for the fish.

Temperature

Plakat Bettas prefer a slightly warm temperature, which is around 18-20 Degrees Celsius. Moreover, they are tropical freshwater fish and cannot withstand rapid fluctuations in water temperature. This stresses the fish and leaves footprints of unwanted health disturbances.

Hardness

You should keep the carbonate water hardness from 2-12 dKH and maintain the general hardness from 5-20 dGH.

Mineral level

The water needs to be a bit acidic and should not contain any ammonia or nitrate. 

Replacement Procedure

As previously stated, clean water keeps them safe and healthy, however, you must not remove all the water to clean the tank at one go. Put a mechanical and biological filtration system. This can produce beneficial bacteria in water and keep the water aerated.

Carry out a partial water change of almost 25% once a week and every time you change the water, you should adjust the filtration system. During the whole water replacement procedure, keep the fish in a bowl with the same water temperature.

Compatibility of Plakat Betta

These fishes are not at all compatible with any other fish and keeping two males together is very much dangerous.

Remember to keep them in singles or with deep water fish so that their territory of upper water level does not interfere. 

Suitable Tankmates for Plakat Betta

You should keep other peaceful fishes with Plakat Betta, that would not come across their territory. Fishes that swim in low water can be the best option:

Apart from them, a small group of females can be kept together.

Unsuitable Tankmates for Plakat Betta

No male Plakat Betta can be kept with another male Plakat. Avoid keeping them with any other aggressive species or extremely small fishes, because that might lead to severe aggression and death of the other fishes.

Breeding of Plakat Betta

You should create a separate breeding tank and at the time you are planning to make them breed, provide them with high-protein food 3-4 times a day. Let the female and male get comfortable with the new space. Gradually, the male Plakat Betta will create bubble nests and will release the bubbles to the upper surface.

This is an amazing process, as, during breeding, the females change their colours into darker shades. The males follow them and they eventually mate. The female will release the eggs and it is the duty of males to fertilize the eggs to fries and nurture them till they are not vulnerable any further. However, you should remove the adults during the hatching of eggs as they might eat that. Babies will consume egg sac for a few days. Then provide them with infusoria and gradually baby brine shrimp.

The whole process must be allowed to happen in peaceful conditions with no interference.

Disease and Treatment of Plakat Betta

Fin rot is the most common disease, which is commonly mistaken as tail biting. However, you must keep notice if your fish develops body swelling or any visible holes above the eyes. This can be symptoms of dropsy or hole-in-head.

In any case, call a veterinarian and provide proper medication to your pet.

Summary

Caring Plakat Betta is not at all tough, but yes, they need planned care. If you are a novice in fish keeping then do not go for Plakat Betta. However, as you insist on buying that, you must buy only one and keep it in a tank with utmost care.

In case, there is any cut mark on the fin or melting of a tail, immediately consult a veterinarian because this might be starting of fin rot disease, which is very common in them.

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