The name Peaceful Betta may sound like an oxymoron. After all, the most common species from this genus is anything but friendly. However, not all Bettas fight for a living. Some are community fish, like this one. It may be harder to find, but if you want to keep more than one fish in a tank, it’s worth looking for this similar-looking species that can actually make a decent tankmate.
Table of contents
- Quick Facts about Peaceful Betta
- Peaceful Betta Overview
- How Much Do Peaceful Betta Cost?
- Typical Behavior & Temperament
- Appearance & Varieties
- How to Take Care of Peaceful Betta
- Are Peaceful Betta Good Tank Mates?
- What to Feed Your Peaceful Betta
- Keeping Your Peaceful Betta Healthy
- Are Peaceful Bettas Suitable For Your Aquarium?
Quick Facts about Peaceful Betta
|Species Name:||Betta imbellis|
|Color Form:||Various colors, with a red outline on the caudal fin|
|Lifespan:||Around 3 years|
|Minimum Tank Size:||3 gallons for a single fish|
|Tank Setup:||Artificial or live plants and a hiding place for cover|
|Compatibility:||Solitary or pairs|
Peaceful Betta Overview
The Peaceful Betta lives in the brackish waters of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. It inhabits the shallow waters of swamps, rice paddies, and marshes, not unlike its more popular cousin, the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens). As its name suggests, the Peaceful Betta is more docile and can live with others of its kind. The distinction is so dramatic that it has earned this nickname.
The Peaceful Betta isn’t as common as its cousin, perhaps because it isn’t a fighter in the same sense. However, it’s still advised to keep only one male in a tank. You can have a few females with it to create an eye-catching display of color in your aquarium.
How Much Do Peaceful Betta Cost?
Many specimens that you’ll find available online are wild-caught and come at a price. You can easily expect to pay anywhere from $20 and up for a single fish. That’s quite a contrast from the Siamese Fighting Fish, which usually are in the $5 price range. The scarcity of this variety commands a higher price.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
The Peaceful Betta is appropriately named. However, it’s best to follow the same practice as with other Bettas and stick to one male. A haram of one male and a few females can co-exist fine, without the drama. They can also live with other docile schooling fish.
Appearance & Varieties
You’ll find Peaceful Bettas in a wide color range. Its distinguishing feature is the red-outlined caudal fin, which almost seems misplaced. It seems to denote an aggressive nature, which isn’t as applicable to this species. Many of the available fish are wild-caught. That means you’ll find more drab-colored fish in keeping with its status as prey in the wild. Nevertheless, it is a handsome fish.
How to Take Care of Peaceful Betta
Like others in its genus, the Peaceful Betta is easy to take care of because it’s used to less-than-ideal conditions in the wild. It lives in shallow waters, where the vegetation is thick and the water slow-moving. That makes it a tolerant animal, ideal for first-time pet owners.
Contrary to what you may have seen, Peaceful Bettas and other of its kind fare best in a tank of at least 3 gallons for a single fish. If you want to have a male with a haram, you should plan on getting at least a 10-gallon aquarium. They are carnivorous and won’t eat plants, so you can add live ones to replicate a setting that is similar to what they’d live in their native habitat.
Peaceful Bettas prefer water that is of neutral pH, although they can tolerate brackish water conditions. The ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates levels should be 0 ppm. They can handle higher levels of nitrates, up to 40 ppm. They fare best with general hardness (GH) of 30-120 ppm and carbonate hardness (KH) of 80-120 ppm. We recommend testing the water at least twice a month.
Lighting and Heat
Peaceful Bettas live in warmer waters of their tropical native habitat and thus, prefer these water temperatures. You should plan on getting a 50-watt heater for a 10-gallon tank to keep it about 72℉-82℉. The higher the temp, the more active your fish will be. The significance of the heater is to keep the temperature stable, which is what they would experience in the wild.
Are Peaceful Betta Good Tank Mates?
You shouldn’t pair Peaceful Betta with aggressive fish, such as Tiger Barbs, that may nip at their tails. They’ll do best with docile schooling fish that will leave them alone. Likewise, you should avoid putting fish with long fins in your tank, like Fancy Guppies. A Betta will chase them.
What to Feed Your Peaceful Betta
Peaceful Bettas are carnivores that in the wild, will feed on various foodstuffs, from insects to invertebrates. In captive settings, they thrive on commercial diets that can enhance their colors for a more attractive display. You can supplement their diet with live food, frozen, or freeze-dried options. You should remove any uneaten food promptly to avoid fouling the water.
Keeping Your Peaceful Betta Healthy
The best way to keep Peaceful Betta healthy is to keep the tank conditions stable. In the wild, they live in larger bodies of water, where the temperature and water chemistry wouldn’t fluctuate dramatically. While they can handle low-oxygen conditions, drastic changes will stress your fish and leave them vulnerable to parasites and disease.
Peaceful Bettas are bubble-nest breeders, due in part to the labyrinth organ that enables them to breathe atmospheric oxygen. It’s best to breed these fish when they are young, preferably less than 1 year old. Warmer temperatures closer to 82℉ will create an ideal habitat. The male will make the nest and bring the eggs that the female releases to it. He will defend the site for a short time.
Like many species, the parents may eat the fry after they’re born. Providing cover with floating plants will give them the best chances of success. However, it’s best to remove the male from the tank after the fry have hatched.
Are Peaceful Bettas Suitable For Your Aquarium?
Peaceful Bettas are good-looking fish that will add color to your tank. While the name is something of a misnomer, they can get along with each other better than others of its genus. However, one male to a tank is still the best way to go. You may find them harder to get than others of their kind, with an equally higher price tag. Nevertheless, they are worth the search.
Featured Image Credit: Andrzej Zabawski, Shutterstock