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The Whiteseam Fighter – Betta albimarginata

Hello everyone! This is Craig with another odd ball freshwater fish profile. This time we will take a look at a species of Betta that is quite different from the Fighting Fish that everyone knows and loves.

Betta albimarginata is a small fish that originates from the rainforests of Borneo, where it can be found amongst leaf litter and plant roots in very shallow water.  Barely reaching 2 inches in length, these little fish are shy, but curious. The males, especially when breeding, boast rich reddish brown body coloration with black fins. The anal fin and the tail fin are edged in white. This combination forms a striking pattern. The females are typically a bit more drab in coloration, but are still a very attractive fish.

When it comes to spawning, the Whiteseam Fighter is a bit different from the Siamese Fighting Fish.  It is the female of the species that initiates spawning and she will often stake out a bit of territory, flare up her fins and try to coax a male to come closer to her. When the male comes close, the typical side by side embrace ensues and as the female deposits her eggs. The male scoops them up after fertilization and holds them for safe-keeping in his mouth. The Whiteseam Fighter is a paternal mouthbrooder! After about 10 or 15 days, the male should be ready to release the fry. The Whiteseam Fighter will not feed on their young, so it is possible to house the parents with the fry if you are able to still provide food for the young. Baby brine shrimp is an excellent starter food for the little Bettas.

These Bettas can be housed in pairs or even in small groups. With enough plant cover in the aquarium, the territorial behavior is limited to a bit of chasing and displays where fully extended fins are meant to show off against rivals. An ideal set up would include a bit of wood, heavy stands of plants, and moderate water flow. Water temperatures can be somewhere in the mid 70’s, as long as they are stable.  The pH can range anywhere from 6.5 to 7.5, with slightly acidic water being the preferred.  All in all, you will find these somewhat rare Bettas to be very durable and a real joy to keep.

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