The betta fish is a unique species, one that is enjoyed by fish lovers around the world. Because this fish is so well-loved, in this article we will explain the distinct senses and abilities bettas possess that make them similar and actually different than most fish today.
Unlike humans, bettas’ eyes are located on the sides of their head, which is known as monocular vision. While humans can only see straight in front of them, bettas have the ability to look in two separate directions at the same time! Unfortunately, this causes them to lack depth perception. In our eyes, the shape and curve of our eye lens is changing to achieve the right focus. However, in bettas’ eyes, the eye lens remains the same. Bettas find it difficult to adjust to brightness changes because of how slow their iris works, and as a result, they have relatively poor vision. To help this handicap, they have a “lateral line” which measures water pressure using its small holes which are connected to specialized nerve endings. This helps the betta to avoid obstacles in its way. The brain deduces those nerve signals as a picture of its environment so the betta can find food. This helps them compensate for their weaker eyesight.
Taste and Smell
Betta’s taste buds are on their lips, mouth and even his fins. Like humans, they inhale smells via the nostrils. Both senses help them because they react to chemicals in the water. Those chemicals let them know when there is food around, or if there is a predator nearby. However, bettas can only sense those chemicals within a short distance.
A Betta’s ear structure is pretty simple; it only consists of a sole inner chamber. A Betta Fish hears by listening for vibrations in the water. These vibrations enter the sensory mechanism in the chamber to supply sound. The swim bladder also helps the betta’s inner ear by distinguishing and heightening sounds.
Bettas originated from swamps and rice patties which were poorly oxygenated. The labyrinth, which means “maze”, is a special repertory organ that is found in Anabantoidei. This organ is important because it allows oxygen to be taken in from the air directly into the bloodstream. This is a huge survival advantage when fish are in waters that contain poor oxygen. It is located below the gills, inside of the betta’s head. It contains rosette-shaped plates that have thousands of blood vessels within them.
The negative downside to bettas having this unique organ is many owners believe Betta fish can be kept safely in overcrowded conditions. What they fail to realize is that bettas add the same amount of waste to the tank as any other fish and can just as easily obtain a disease. Bettas shouldn’t ever be kept in small bowls for a long time. It is better for their overall health to be in bigger aquariums or tanks, where they can swim freely in healthy water conditions.
Betta Types and Features
Betta fish have become one of the most popular finned friends. Whether you have a single betta as a pet, or you have many bettas brightening up your aquarium, having a betta is an exciting treat and they are a beauty to behold.
Below is a list of the most popular bettas and the features and colors of each.
The most common Betta fish are the Betta Splendens. Though this fish is exquisite, check out the many other types before you make your decision. Each fish is beautiful in its own way, but you may prefer one type over another.
A lot of times, pet stores will sell you a fish that they’ve had for over a year. Betta fish only have a life span of two to three years and possibly up to five if properly cared for, so it may be best to special order your new pet to ensure more time with your fish.
Bettas are notorious for their colors, and of course, quite beautiful to watch in any aquarium. It really does explain why they are so popular! However, there are a number of fish that most enthusiasts aren’t even aware of.
Here is a list of them below:
Painted Betta – this fish usually has a round tail and smaller fins. Most of the time they are a gold color and have three stripes that run down their whole body. They also have green edges on their fins.
Peaceful Betta – this fish is a stand out with a rounded tail and a dark body with green or blue markings. What makes it so recognizable is the bright red edge of its tail fin and the dorsal fin being a different color, usually a blue or green. It also has that same color stripes on its body and tail.
Edith’s Betta – Both the male and female of this fish have short fins and rounded tails. The female has white and dark spots, and is a muted orange. The male is a much brighter orange with dark spots.
Pearly Betta – the female is pinkish orange; the male is just orange. The males have some green spots as well, with gills that are bright orange.
Sarawek Betta – this fish has short fins with a round, small tail. The female is a muted bronze color while the male has a dark stripe along his body.
Siamese Fighting Fish – known to be the most common Betta fish in pet shops. These fish come in many different shapes, but the caudal fin is what sets them apart. There are fins that are fan shaped, and some make a D shape when fully flared.
Mouthbrooding Betta – this fish has a tail that is round and tiny fins. Their colors range from reds to greys, oranges to golds.
Emerald Betta – this Betta has large fins and a rounded tail. They usually have a green body with a black web looking overlay on them. They have red and green or blue lines on their fins.
Slender Betta – they have a tail that is spade-shaped and short fins. Most of them are pink.
Brunei Betta – this fish has a tail that is round with tiny fins and either a white, pink, or gold body with a red stripe on its tail.
There is a big selection when it comes to choosing the perfect fish! With the proper betta fish care, no matter which fish you choose, he is sure to be happy and healthy.