Betta Splendens

Improved Essays
Recently, Betta splendens, otherwise known as bettas or Siamese fighting fish, have grown into one of the most popular ornamental fish (Monvises et al. 2009). More and more fish enthusiasts are adopting betta fish, meaning the fish are being kept in aquariums away from their evolutionarily fundamental habitats. These fish are originally from rice paddies and swampy areas in Thailand and other Southeast Asia countries (Jaroensutasinee and Jaroensutansinee 2001). Consequently, they have evolved in a manner that allows them to thrive in the swampy, humid environment. Bettas have developed a unique form and function to allow for their persistence in these areas. While this adaptation is beneficial to surviving in their native habitats, when bettas …show more content…
In the wild, B. splendens have a tendency to jump from water source to water source, especially when conditions in one become too stressful (Barrington 2013). As previously mentioned, the size of a betta aquarium affects the temperature stability of the water. Moreover, bettas in small aquariums will feel stressed, which may cause an increase in jumping behavior (Barrington 2013). This stress is caused by a lack of space to swim around. By jumping to another water source in their normal habitat, betta fish can escape shrinking or too small paddies or swamps. However, in captivity, bettas do not have multiple water sources and can potentially die if they jump out of their aquarium. Another element that affects the stress a betta fish feels is the condition of their aquarium water. Water parameters must be checked and maintained to prevent bettas from trying to escape due to stressful water conditions. High levels of ammonia in water sources have been linked to a decrease in growth and negative effects in the nervous system (Randall 2002), which will increase stress in the fish. Again, in nature, the fish could escape from this ammonia toxicity by jumping to another water source. In an aquarium setting, the owner must be proactive to keep levels within the correct range to prevent the fish from becoming stressed and to reduce the jumping behavior of the betta. Unfortunately, betta …show more content…
splendens is a species of fish that evolved in hot and humid rice paddies and swamps. As such, the betta fish has a unique form that serves various functions in its home habitat. In captivity, owners must provide a suitable environment to account for and meet the requirements those adaptations create. In order to care adequately for a betta, owners must be aware of the form of the fish. They must know that wild bettas developed labyrinth organs; subsequently, captive bettas need to be able to reach the surface to breathe oxygen. They must know that wild bettas evolved in warm climates; consequently, captive bettas cannot adjust their bodies to cold water or unstable temperatures. They must know that wild bettas jump from paddy to paddy when the environment no longer suits them; therefore, captive bettas often jump out of their aquariums if the water quality or the size is not sufficient to support their growth. All of these traits allowed the ancestral betta to thrive in its territory. However, in a foreign, inescapable environment, bettas must rely on their human owners to meet their needs and provide them with an appropriate

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