Slender Betta (Betta bellica)

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Slender Betta

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Slender Betta

Betta bellica

76 Litres (20 US G.)

8-10 cm (3.1-3.9")




4 - 7

27 -29 °C (80.6-84.2°F)

0-10 °d

1:1 M:F

Pellet Foods
Live Foods

1-3 years



Additional names

Slender Betta, Striped Fighting Fish, Slim Fighting Fish, Slim Betta, Bellicose Fighting Fish, Green Jungle Fighting Fish

Additional scientific names

Betta fasciata, Betta bleekeri

Native Range[edit]

Found in parts of Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia, usually in peat swamps but sometimes in clear water swamps. There has been discussion of splitting the Sumatran and Malaysian populations into separate species, as these populations have not been in contact with each other for tens of thousands of years; Sumatran and Malaysian fishes should not be mixed to avoid unintentional hybridization.

Tank setup[edit]

Ideally kept in a blackwater tank with soft, acidic water and ample cover; with that being said, this species is sometimes kept and bred in much harder water and is not as demanding about water quality as many peat swamp bettas. Like all wild bettas, they need a tightly fitting lid, as they are powerful jumpers.


These potentially 4 inch bettas are best kept in a species tank due to their rarity in the hobby, but if kept in a community they should be kept with peaceful, laid back species too large to be eaten. Best kept as a pair for breeding purposes; mixed results have been obtained with keeping larger groups in larger tanks, with some groups falling apart due to sustained aggression from the dominant pair. If the pair's fry are kept with the adults until they approach maturity, the adults will frequently stop spawning and become more reserved until the fry are removed.


Like most wild bettas, their diet should be chiefly composed of live and frozen food, though this species often takes pellets as well. A weekly fast is advised, as bettas in general are prone to obesity.


Males are somewhat more brightly colored and longer-finned than females. Unlike most large bettas, this species is a bubble nester that can produce a nest at the surface or in a cave. The female is best removed after spawning to prevent the male from turning on her; after about 4-5 days, the fry will leave the nest. Highly unusually for a bubble nesting betta, the newborn fry are immediately large enough to accept baby brine shrimp and microworms.


Readily confused with its close relative, Betta simorum; the two are best distinguished by subtle differences in physical proportions and scale counts. Mixing these two species is not recommended due to the high risk of confusion and resulting hybridization.


External links[edit]