|Distribution||Laos and Thailand.|
|Sexual Dimorphism||Mature males more colourful and with extended finnage.|
|Maximum Size||7cm (2.8")|
|Temperature||24-27 deg C (75-81 deg F)|
|Water Parameters||Soft & acidic. pH: 5.5-7.2, dH: up to 10 degrees.|
|Compatibility||Softwater species aquarium|
|Lighting||Dim (can be brighter if diffused by plants)|
The Emerald Betta is known from heavily vegetated, sluggish ditches, lowland swamps, rice paddies, and stagnant pools. The substrates vary from leaf litter, mud, sand, and silt, and there is often minimal dissolved oxygen in the water. The aquarium should be mature and the water soft and acidic (peat filtration suggested). Provide a dark sandy substrate and dense planting with additional hiding places amongst tangles of driftwood. Dried Indian Almond leaves (Catappa terminalia) could be scattered on the substrate for a natural effect - these will also aid in sustaining the required water conditions, but will require periodic replacement. Filtration and water movement should be very gentle, and small partial water changes will help to keep nitrate to a minimum. These fish have the ability to take in warm air from above the water’s surface, so a small gap must be left between the surface of the water and the cover slides in order for the fish to accomplish this. The Emerald Betta is not suitable for the general community aquarium and is best maintained in a species-only environment. More than one pair may be kept if the aquarium is spacious and there is an abundance of hiding places/visual barriers, but do observe carefully. Never attempt to house with other Betta species. May also be seen on sale as the Blue Betta or Emerald Green Betta.
Small frozen foods such as bloodworm, white mosquito larvae, vitamin-enriched brineshrimp, daphnia etc. Will also take flake and ‘Betta formulas’ from the surface of the water.
This species has been bred in the home aquarium. When ready to spawn, the male will build a bubble-nest at the water’s surface amongst floating plant cover, and will take on intense colouration as he tries to entice the female underneath it. As the eggs are expelled and fertilised, the male catches any that stray and places them in the safety of the bubble-nest. Once spawning is over, the female takes no part in brood care, and it is the male who tends to the nest. There is normally no need to remove either of the adult fish as they do not usually eat their eggs or fry. The eggs should hatch in 24-48 hours and the fry are usually free-swimming 3-5 days later, at which time they may be offered tiny foods such as infusoria. It is of extreme importance to maintain a warm layer of air between the surface of the water and the coverslides at all times whilst the fry are developing their labyrinth organ, critical during the first few weeks of their life.