Betta Ibanorum: Complete Keeping Guide

Betta Ibanorum
Table of Contents

If you are interested in fish keeping and plan to raise a pair or 2 of Betta Ibanorum, then there are a few tips and pointers to note before you dive right in.

Raising and taking care of the Betta Ibanorum requires some light research to provide them with the perfect environment and conditions, which will take you a long way. 

What is a Betta Ibanorum?

Betta ibanorum is a species of freshwater Betta that is commonly native to Sarawak, Malaysia. They are grouped under the Betta akarensis complex, together with 8 other Betta species. 

Common names for Betta Ibanorum

There are currently no common names for them. 

Where can Betta Ibanorum be found?

One can usually find Betta ibanorum in clear water streams where the water flows constantly. However, most of the time, these species can be found in blackwater domains and peat swamps. 

The Betta ibanorum also exhibit different types of features depending on where they’re found. 

Localities of Betta Ibanorum

The species of Betta ibanorum is native to the state of Sarawak, Malaysia. They are broadly distributed and span across the south to the western region of the state. In terms of specific localities, there’s not much information available that I could find.

Habitat of Betta Ibanorum

There are two main types of habitats – clear water streams and blackwaters. Both habitat types are always found under shade away from direct sunlight, with ample vegetation along the water bank.

In clear water streams, the environments where you can find them generally have an underlying sandy layer with some rocks. The blackwater areas are typically brown due to the decay of organic matter underwater.

How to take care of Betta Ibanorum

The Betta ibanorum requires more thought before you keep them in aquaria. As they can be sensitive to water conditions, you’ll need to replicate their natural habitat conditions as much as possible.

Otherwise, ask your seller to share with you the water conditions they’re kept in. This way, you can try to replicate your seller’s water, which could be easier.

Tank size for Betta Ibanorum

An optimal aquarium size for these types of fish should be at least 60 x 30cm (2ft x 1ft), which should be sufficient for 1 pair. Any larger group will require a bigger tank. 

If you can do so, the largest aquarium you can get would be best for these Bettas.

Aquarium layout for Betta Ibanorum

It’s best to use substrate to keep these fishes calm as it “tells” them that there is a bottom to the aquarium instead of seeing their reflections. The forms of a substrate can be gravel, sand, or soil, depending on your preference. 

Leaf litter consisting of oak leaves, beech leaves, catappa leaves, etc., will add a natural look to the tank and encourage them to swim in and out of it. 

The aquarium’s layout should be such that the fishes can have a place of refuge and hiding spaces scattered across the aquarium. You can spread out some driftwood roots and branches to resemble their natural habitat. 

Make sure to cover your aquarium, as all bettas are natural jumpers. Many wild betta keepers find that the usage of floating plants reduces the risk of jumps while providing shade and additional filtration.

A filter is always recommended. Set it to low flow as they are used to water movement in their natural habitats.

According to observations made, these fishes tend to be more comfortable under dim lighting. 

Water conditions for Betta Ibanorum

The water temperatures can range from 24-28C, or 75-82F. pH levels can measure from 4.0 up to 7.0. The pH levels depend on where they were collected from. Those found in blackwater tend to have more acidic water as compared to their clear water counterparts.

Water hardness is measured to be around 18-90ppm.

Always make sure you replace the water in the aquarium with fresh water at least once a week. 

What can I keep with my Betta Ibanorum?

As with many wild betta species, they thrive better when they are left alone.

Since they are still considered as a “small fish”, they will easily be intimidated and preyed upon by bigger fishes. Fishes smaller than them might be regarded as food as well. Thus, care and caution will have to be taken when putting them in a community tank.

However, some loaches and cyprinids are sometimes compatible with them because they share the same habitats in nature. You can try placing them with said species, but it is best to leave them separated from other species. 

Feeding Betta Ibanorum

The Betta ibanorum are naturally inclined to feed on small insects, worms, larvae, and other vertebrae. In general, larger mouthbrooding bettas are easy to be trained onto dried foods. However, there is no guarantee that yours will.

If you manage to train your wild Betta to eat pellets, it does not mean that you stop feeding them live food. It will help if you feed them with what they are used to eating in their wild habitats

Be sure to have a pattern of irregularities in feeding sometimes, as this will encourage them to step out of their comfort zones and look for food in different places. 

Sexing Betta Ibanorum

Males exhibit stronger shades of colour and also have extended fins with dorsals that are pointed. They are comparatively larger than females, and the head shape is wider. 

Breeding Betta Ibanorum

Betta Ibanorum species are paternal mouthbrooders. It would be best if you kept this species separated when they are breeding. 

The pair will begin with a typical Betta embrace, with a few dummy embraces being normal.

The eggs are then released during this process, where it will be laid out in groups. The female then collects the eggs and passes them to the male. 

This cycle is done until the female has no more eggs left and the male collects every egg in its mouth. 

The males can carry up to 60 fries, making the need for ample space very important. The males will release fully-formed fry after 14 to 21 days. 

Breeders usually remove the male and female fish after spawning to avoid them from eating the fries. Fries can be fed with microworms, vinegar eels, and baby brine shrimp.

Do not overfeed or change the water every day. 

Standard length of Betta Ibanorum

The Betta ibanorum species have a standard length of 75-86 mm (2.9 – 3.4 inches). 

Lifespan of Betta Ibanorum

I couldn’t find the estimated lifespan of the Betta ibanorum.

Similar Species

Similar species to the Betta ibanorum would be those in the Betta akarensis complex. Betta species in the akarensis complex look similar visually and grow to about the same size. 

I am not an expert on identifying fish, so I can’t provide you with much guidelines on how to properly ID them. It’s best always to ask a reputable breeder or take some time to learn how to do it yourself. 

Sources like IBCBettas and SeriouslyFish are great starts for you to do this!


If you are keen on trying out a new type of wild Betta, you may want to try your hand at raising the Betta ibanorum. But make sure you give them the right environment if you want them to grow and reach their potential fully. 

If you want to raise them in an aquarium, be sure to give them an environment that mimics their natural habitat. This is because they’ll feel safer and thrive on conditions that feel more natural to them. 

Even though they probably won’t be fussy eaters, my betta feeding guide and betta lighting guide should help you if you’re interested in learning more about general betta husbandry!

Have anything to contribute to this article? Reach out to me and I’ll add it in!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Posts you might like