There are a ton of Betta fish varieties available, and each has its own unique characteristics. Black Orchid Bettas are no different! These dark beauties often have red undertones or iridescence on the body, giving them an eye-catching look. These handsome fish are easy to care for, and they are just as hardy as any other Betta variety but may be difficult to find. Here are the things to know about Black Orchid Betta fish.
Table of contents
- Quick Facts about Black Orchid Betta Fish
- Black Orchid Betta Fish Overview
- How Much Do Black Orchid Betta Fish Cost?
- Typical Behavior & Temperament
- Appearance & Varieties
- How to Take Care of Black Orchid Betta Fish
- Are Black Orchid Betta Fish Good Tank Mates?
- What to Feed Your Black Orchid Betta Fish
- Keeping Your Black Orchid Betta Fish Healthy
- Are Black Orchid Betta Fish Suitable For Your Aquarium?
Quick Facts about Black Orchid Betta Fish
|Species Name||Betta splendens|
|Temperament||Laid back (alone), semi-aggressive (community)|
|Color Form||Black with steel blue striping on the fins; often has red undertones on the body|
|Minimum Tank Size||5 gallons|
|Tank Set-Up||Tropical freshwater planted tank|
|Compatibility||Invertebrates too large to be considered prey;|
Black Orchid Betta Fish Overview
How Much Do Black Orchid Betta Fish Cost?
Although Black Orchid Betta fish may be unusual to accidentally come across in the pet store, they are not particularly rare or expensive, even though they are a highly sought-after variety of Betta fish. Typically, you’ll be able to find a Black Orchid Betta fish for $15-20. Make sure you account for the expense of shipping for special ordering a Black Orchid Betta if purchasing online. It is possible to find a Black Orchid Betta fish in a big box pet store, but they can be somewhat difficult to find.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
Like most Betta fish, Black Orchid Betta males are best kept in tanks alone or with invertebrates that are too large to be viewed as food or a threat, like Mystery snails. If kept with other fish, males are likely to become aggressive and can even kill other fish. Males should not be kept with females except under closely observed breeding circumstances.
Female Black Orchid Bettas can sometimes be kept in community tanks or sororities with other female Betta fish. However, this should only be attempted with a backup plan. It’s hard to tell how your female will respond to a community environment until she is settled into that environment.
Appearance & Varieties
Black Orchid Bettas have dark black bodies that frequently feature a red undertone or iridescent appearance. Their appearance is distinctive because the lovely body color is accompanied by steel blue streaking or striping on the fins. Sometimes, the colors and markings combined with the fin shape on this Betta fish variety create a butterfly shape. Black Orchid Bettas usually have crowntails, which means their fins and tails have an almost fringe-like appearance.
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How to Take Care of Black Orchid Betta Fish
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
Betta fish in general do best in tanks that are at least 5 gallons in size. They enjoy having lots of space to explore, so the larger tank you can manage to give your Black Orchid Betta, the better.
Water Temperature & pH
Your Black Orchid Betta will almost always require a heater to keep its tank between 72-82˚F. Ideally, the temperature should stay between 78-80˚F with minimal fluctuation. These fish do best with a slightly acidic to neutral pH from 6.5-7.5, although they can tolerate a pH up to 8.0. The main goal with pH should be to keep it stable.
These Betta fish do not have any specific substrate needs, but small substrates like small gravel and coarse sand are good options to make tank cleanup easy.
Black Orchid Bettas enjoy resting on large, flat leaves, which means that plants like Anubias and Java Fern are good picks. They also seem to enjoy floating plants, especially those with trailing roots, like Dwarf Water Lettuce.
While they do not have specific lighting needs outside of a regular day/night cycle, Black Orchid Betta tanks should have lighting that will support live plant growth. Depending on the plants you choose, this may be bright natural lighting or moderate to high lighting from an artificial light. Make sure your Betta has plenty of shaded places in the tank to escape the light if they want to.
Bettas need minimal water current in their environment due to their poor swimming skills. If the current is too powerful, they will become exhausted by attempting to swim against the current. Filtration should be powerful enough to keep the tank clean without causing undue stress to your Black Orchid Betta.
Are Black Orchid Betta Fish Good Tank Mates?
Male Black Orchid Betta fish should not be kept in community tanks. Their semi-aggressive to aggressive nature makes them poor tank mates. They can be kept with large invertebrates like snails and large shrimp. Be cautious pairing them with aggressive invertebrates, like crayfish. Small invertebrates, like Neocaridina shrimp, may fall prey to the carnivorous Betta.
Female Black Orchid Bettas may be able to coexist peacefully in community tanks with peaceful fish or in sororities with other female Betta fish. They should only be paired with other female Bettas or peaceful fish, though. Aggressive and semi-aggressive fish may cause undue stress to the Betta. Some female Bettas will become aggressive in a community tank environment.
What to Feed Your Black Orchid Betta Fish
These Betta fish are carnivorous, so they do not require plant-based food supplementation in their diet. The dietary base for your Black Orchid Betta should be a commercial Betta fish food to ensure they get all necessary nutrients. Floating pellets are usually the best option. Make sure you get Betta or carnivore specific food to ensure your Betta gets enough protein and doesn’t get anything they do not need.
Your Black Orchid Betta will also appreciate freeze-dried, frozen thawed, and live foods. Bloodworms, daphnia, and brine shrimp are all good options. You can also offer live red worms or chopped earthworms. Ensure any live food you offer is from a healthy environment and has not been exposed to any pesticides or dangerous chemicals.
Keeping Your Black Orchid Betta Fish Healthy
Betta fish are some of the hardiest aquarium fish, but they are susceptible to diseases when kept in poor water quality and an inappropriate tank environment. To maintain your Black Orchid Betta’s health, make sure your tank is fully cycled before adding the fish to it. Routinely perform partial water changes, monitor water parameters, and ensure adequate filtration is present in the tank.
To keep your Betta’s life stress free, ensure the tank is heated to a proper temperature and both the temperature and pH stay level. It is also important to ensure your Betta has plenty of swimming space and lots of plants. The more secure your Betta feels, the healthier it will be. Avoid introducing new plants into the tank without quarantining or performing a bleach dip. This will help reduce the risk of introducing parasites and infectious diseases.
To breed your Black Orchid Betta, you will need to slowly introduce a male and female to a breeding tank. It’s a good idea to make the breeding tank a separate environment from where both fish live permanently to prevent territorial aggression. You’re most likely to have breeding success with a pair of Bettas that were bonded at a young age.
Prepare your Bettas for breeding by feeding a high-quality, high protein diet. Once they are comfortable in the breeding tank, the male will build a bubble nest at the surface of the water. After spawning, the male will move all eggs to the bubble nest for safety. He will carefully guard the nest until the eggs hatch. After spawning, it’s a good idea to move the female back to her normal tank. You can move the male before or after the eggs hatch, but he may eat the newly hatched fry.
Are Black Orchid Betta Fish Suitable For Your Aquarium?
Black Orchid Bettas are a gorgeous variety of Betta fish that may be difficult to find in stores but shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg to acquire. They are highly sought after and increasing in popularity due to their attractive coloration. Their care needs are simple, but you will need to use caution if you intend to keep a female with other fish. Males should not be kept with other fish to prevent injury and stress to him and the other fish in the tank.
These Bettas are defined by their coloration and patterning, so if the black and steel blue doesn’t interest you, then Black Orchid Bettas may not be the best pick for you. There are plenty of Betta fish you can choose from to suit any color preference you have. Before bringing your Betta fish home, make sure you have a healthy tank set up and ready to receive your new finned friend.
Featured Image Credit: Bitberyl, Shutterstock