One of the more common and easier to keep wild betta species, the Betta imbellis is an amazing looking fish that you can get started with!
Raising and taking care of these fish species requires some form of initial research to give them the optimal environment and conditions that will help in the long run.
If you are keen and would like to know more about keeping the Betta imbellis, there are a few things to know and note before you get started.
Common names for the Betta Imbellis
The common names for the Betta imbellis are Peaceful Betta and Crescent Betta.
Where can you find Betta Imbellis
The Betta imbellis is a species of fish that is usually found in Southern Thailand of the peninsular region, northern Sumatra, Malaysian peninsula, and Singapore.
You can usually find the species of Betta imbellis in stagnant and sluggish waters, ditches by the road, and rice fields.
Habitats of Betta Imbellis
They are usually found in shaded waters with overhanging marginal plants, floating plants, and submerged plants alike.
The water conditions that they inhabit tend to change during the rainy seasons, so the substrates can vary depending on the season.
The substrates in their surroundings can include fallen leaves, sand, and mud.
Water conditions for Betta Imbellis
Betta imbellis, like the Betta splendens, are tolerant to any type of water composition and chemistry as long as they are properly acclimatised.
However, the water should be clean and fresh enough for a decent aquarium.
Despite their hardiness, if you have a wild-caught Betta imbellis or want to give them the most comfort, you should try to replicate their water conditions in the wild.
The temperatures should measure around 20-28 degrees Celsius, and the pH levels 5.0-7.5.
The dissolved magnesium and calcium, which means ‘water hardness’, should measure around 18-179 ppm.
Due to the stagnant waters they live in, their habitat tends to have low dissolved oxygen.
How to take care of Betta Imbellis
You can take care of the Betta imbellis by trying to mimic their natural habitat and water conditions.
Fishes from the Betta imbellis species live better in environments where there’s proper shade with lots of vegetation for them to hide and retreat into.
The types of vegetation can be any type of plants that are okay with low-light, as Bettas like low light environments.
Here are my recommendations for the best plants for betta fish.
Placing pipes and empty cases across the tank can also act as an alternate form of shelter for them.
Placing additional dried leaves and branches can also serve as a platform for shelter.
These botanicals will release tannins that reduce the tank pH while staining your tank in a light tea colour, making it a more natural habitat for them.
The leaves will decompose and microbes will grow, further becoming a secondary source of food for the fishes and fry.
Since these fishes tend to live in stagnant natural water, you should have low water flow, perhaps a sponge filter with the air pump set to low.
Here’s my answer to whether betta fish tanks need filters.
Oh yes, do not fill the water fully up to the surface, since the fishes need a certain level of air humidity on the water’s surface.
Tank Size for Betta Imbellis
A decent aquarium size for the Betta imbellis to live comfortably should measure at least 45 x 30cm. This sizing should be able to house a pair easily.
But if you’re keeping a pair in the same, make sure to have lots of plants that will break lines of sight.
Many fish keepers keep them separate, so a smaller tank of maybe 30cm in length should suffice for an individual fish.
Of course, the bigger you can get, the better.
Aquarium layout for Betta Imbellis
The aquarium should have a decent area for free movement and adequate spacing for territories to be established.
This will allow the fishes to search for shelters and refuge whenever they want to.
You should also spread stems, roots, and branches across the aquarium so that it gives them a feel similar to their natural habitat.
What can be kept with Betta Imbellis
Despite being called the Peaceful Betta, the Betta imbellis are usually not compatible with coexisting in a community aquarium so it’s best that you place them separately.
If you wish to place them with other species, make sure that you have loads of swimming space and places for all fishes to hide.
Bottom-dwelling loaches or snails might be a good option.
Prior research for this matter is important before you go ahead and place them in a community aquarium.
If you are placing more than one male (not recommended), be sure that there’s enough space for the fishes in order to avoid conflict.
Feeding Betta Imbellis
Betta imbellis species feed on aquatic and micro vertebrae that are found in their natural habitats.
They will also feed on commercial pellets when they’ve recognised them as food. They should also be fed frozen foods such as bloodworms and brine shrimp on a regular basis.
Check out my Betta feeding guide here.
Sexing Betta Imbellis
Males display stronger and brighter colours on their scales and also have longer fins. The females will have more like a drab brown colour where they display an ovipositor.
Breeding Betta Imbellis
The species of Betta imbellis species are bubblenesters.
If you’re keeping a pair in a big enough tank, make sure both are well fed. If there are floating plants or a stagnant water surface, they will find them and potentially breed in that space.
Otherwise, you can set up a separate breeding tank for the pair.
You should also place tubes, an inverted styrofoam cup cut in half, and empty film canisters so that they use that as nesting space to build their bubble nest.
The male then engages in a breeding process where he wraps his body around the female after which the eggs are released.
The eggs are then hatched after a few days where the fry remain in the nest for an additional 3 to 5 days to become fully swimming.
The aquarium should have a tight covering as the fry need humid air to fully develop their organs.
Once the fry steps out and swims freely, they are left independently by the parents.
The Betta imbellis species have a standard length of 50-60 millimetres.
If you are keen on learning how to keep wild bettas, you could try your hand at raising the Betta imbellis.
They are not only fascinating to grow and breed, but they are also fairly easy to keep as compared to other wild Betta species.
Make it a point to give them a proper living space in the aquarium so that they may grow to their full potential.
They will also feel more comfortable if you place them in a tank that’s similar to their natural habitat.
With all the right amount of attention and care, you’ll have a fun learning experience and get to see the fishes in your aquarium prosper.