Betta fish are easily one of the most well-known freshwater fish and they are one of the most popular fish in the US. Their popularity stems from their attractive colors and patterns, as well as their long, flowing fins. While many Bettas have been bred for brighter colors or more elaborate fins, Plakat Bettas swim against the current. These lovely fish have a wilder appearance than other varieties of Bettas, and they are often overlooked for their more elaborate counterparts. Don’t be fooled by their appearance, though! Plakat Betta fish can be a perfect centerpiece in your tank.
Table of contents
- Quick Facts about Plakat Betta
- Plakat Betta Overview
- How Much Do Plakat Betta Cost?
- Typical Behavior & Temperament
- Appearance & Varieties
- How to Take Care of Plakat Betta
- Are Plakat Betta Good Tank Mates?
- What to Feed Your Plakat Betta
- Keeping Your Plakat Betta Healthy
- Are Plakat Betta Suitable For Your Aquarium?
Quick Facts about Plakat Betta
|Species Name:||Betta splendens|
|Temperament:||May be peaceful or aggressive|
|Color Form:||Any color form|
|Minimum Tank Size:||5 gallons|
|Tank Set-Up:||Tropical freshwater planted tank|
|Compatibility:||Invertebrates too large to be considered prey|
Plakat Betta Overview
While Betta fish are prized for their long fins, Plakat Bettas are much closer in appearance to wild Bettas. This means that they tend to have shorter fins than other Bettas. However, male Plakat Bettas still have longer fins than females.
Plakat Bettas have been bred for centuries as fighting fish, and even today, they are bred in Southeast Asia for this purpose, as well as for the pet trade. They are a favorite for fighting because they have sturdier bodies than the ornamental Bettas that typically find their way into the pet trade. They are less likely to experience injuries to their fins in a fight than longer-finned Betta varieties.
Since these fish have been bred for so long to be fighting fish, they tend to carry more aggressive tendencies than many other Bettas. While some Bettas can be added to peaceful community tanks, Plakat Bettas are usually a poor choice for this setup. The good news is that although they are less ornamental than other Betta varieties, they are still very eye-catching fish, even when kept in a tank alone.
How Much Do Plakat Betta Cost?
These Betta fish are not particularly common in pet stores, making them more difficult to find than many other Betta varieties. Plakat Bettas typically cost between $25-60, although rare colors or patterns can cost more. Males are almost always more expensive than females. Keep in mind that you will likely have to pay shipping fees if you purchase a Plakat Betta from an online breeder or retailer, which can cost an additional $30 or so.
Typical Behavior & Temperament
Plakat Bettas are close descendants of the Bettas originally bred throughout Thailand as fighting fish. This means that they tend to have a more aggressive temperament than most other Betta varieties. They are typically loners, making them a good option for someone interested in only keeping one fish in their tank.
Like other Bettas, they can often be spotted swimming around in still or gently flowing areas within the tank. Happy Plakat Bettas may be seen building bubble nests on the surface of the water. The lower stress the tank environment is, the more active your Plakat Betta is likely to be. It should be noted, though, that Plakat Bettas are known for their attempts at jumping out of tanks, so your tank should have a fitted lid.
Appearance & Varieties
Plakat Bettas are recognizable in the world of Betta fish because of their stout bodies that lack recognizable curves. They have shorter fins than most Bettas, and their tail fins tend to be shaped like a D or a halfmoon, much like the tails of Delta Tail and Halfmoon Bettas. Plakat Bettas have a noticeably angular jawline. They come in all colors and patterns that Bettas are available in.
How to Take Care of Plakat Betta
Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup
It is a common misconception that Betta fish do not need more than a gallon or two of tank space. They are happiest in tanks that are at least 5 gallons, although they can be just as happy in larger tank setups as well. Plakat Bettas are not good candidates for bowls, vases, or tanks under 5 gallons.
Water Temperature & pH
Since they are tropical fish, Plakat Bettas prefer water temperatures from 72-82˚F. In most home environments, they require a heater in their tank to maintain this temperature range. They prefer a pH around 7.0, but they can thrive in a pH range from 6.0-8.0, as long as the pH stays relatively consistent.
Plakat Bettas are not picky when it comes to substrate. Sand and fine gravel are the easiest substrate options to keep clean and free of debris.
These fish prefer well planted tanks, including floating plants and plants with broad leaves they can rest on. Any plants that thrive in their preferred water parameters will work well for your Plakat Betta. This includes Java fern, mosses, Anubias, Amazon Sword, Amazon Frogbit, and Salvinia.
Bettas need a regular day/night lighting cycle, which can be achieved with tank lighting or natural lighting. Too much light can be stressful, so ensure your Plakat Betta gets lights-out for around 12-16 hours per day.
Bettas are not particularly strong swimmers and are stressed by strong water currents. They require filtration to maintain healthy water quality, but the current produced by their filtration should be minimal. For a single Plakat Betta, a sponge filter is a great option for low-flow filtration.
Are Plakat Betta Good Tank Mates?
Plakat Bettas are not good tank mates to the majority of fish! Their aggressive nature means they are likely to attack tank mates. Male Plakat Bettas are best kept alone, although they can happily coexist with invertebrates that are too large to be perceived as food, like Mystery snails. Female Plakat Bettas might be able to be kept in sororities or peaceful community tanks, but it is hard to predict how your Betta will react until they are already in the tank. It is best to keep these Bettas in their own tank without tank mates.
If you’re dead set on keeping female Plakat Bettas in a community tank, ensure they are kept with peaceful fish that will give them their space. Livebearers, like Guppies and Mollies, and fish that stay in the lower portions of the water column, like Corydoras, are good options for this type of tank setup. Ensure there is plenty of space and lots of plant cover if attempting to keep a sorority or community tank containing a Plakat Betta.
What to Feed Your Plakat Betta
All Betta fish are obligate carnivores, which means they do not require plant matter in their diet. The best dietary base for your Plakat Betta fish is a commercial Betta or carnivore pellet. Floating pellets are best for Bettas since they are not likely to scavenge food from the bottom of the tank.
Your Betta will appreciate regular feedings of live, freeze-dried, or thawed frozen foods. This can include bloodworms, black soldier fly larvae, daphnia, brine shrimp, and other marine proteins that are small enough for your Betta to eat. Avoid giving your Betta proteins from land animals, like chicken and beef. Marine proteins and insects are the types of foods that Bettas naturally encounter in the wild.
Keeping Your Plakat Betta Healthy
The best way to keep your Plakat Betta healthy is to provide a low stress environment. This includes keeping your water quality high through regular water changes, substrate vacuuming, and routine testing. You should also aim to keep the pH and temperature stable. Maintaining a low stress environment also includes avoiding stressful encounters with other fish.
A high-quality diet is necessary to maintaining the health of your Plakat Betta as well. It’s not uncommon for people to purchase the first fish food they spot at the store, which can be detrimental to the health of Bettas. Fish foods that are formulated for community tanks or goldfish tanks are usually formulated for omnivores. This can lead to your Betta getting too little protein in their diet, which can lead to malnutrition and poor health.
Successfully breeding Plakat Bettas can be difficult due to their aggressive nature and should not be attempted by someone inexperienced in their care. Males and females may bond at a young age, which makes them a better match for breeding than non-bonded males and females. However, this means you run the risk of having a male and female Betta together, which can lead to injury and death, especially in the female.
If you choose to breed your Plakat Bettas, you should slowly introduce them to a breeding tank and feed them high protein foods to stimulate breeding. Males will create a bubble nest on the water’s surface, which he then uses to contain the eggs after spawning occurs. Male Plakat Bettas will ferociously guard the nest until the eggs hatch. Once they hatch, the adults must be removed as soon as possible. Otherwise, they may eat the newly hatched fry.
Are Plakat Betta Suitable For Your Aquarium?
Plakat Betta fish are a uniquely beautiful variety of Betta, which can make them a great Betta option for someone looking for something a little out of the ordinary. They can be a handful, though. Under almost all circumstances, they should not be kept in community tanks. Attempting to keep male Plakat Bettas in tanks with any other fish can be unnecessarily dangerous, and females may also make poor tank mates.
These fish require a secure tank with a fitted lid that does not allow them to jump out. They should also be kept in a tank with low flow but good filtration, as well as plenty of plant cover. A low stress environment and proper diet are necessary to keeping a Plakat Betta healthy and happy for years. With proper care, though, Plakat Betta fish can be a great addition to the empty, well-planted tank you have in your home.
Featured Image Credit: Eyeshot Creative Studio, Shutterstock