Betta Nuluhon: What We Currently Know About This New Species

betta nuluhon
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If you are familiar with Betta fish species or are interested in learning, keep your heads up for this newly found variety in Betta fishes – Betta nuluhon.

Betta nuluhon is a newly discovered fighting fish species that belongs to the Betta akarensis complex. 

I’ve compiled my research to help fellow enthusiasts get to know the Betta Nuluhon more clearly.

Common names

Betta Nuluhon is its scientific name. Since it’s a newly discovered species, it still does not have many common names. 

It’s called ‘Nuluhon’, which means “hill” in the Dusun language. This is so-called because researchers found it in the clear, shallow hill stream habitat.

Where can we find Betta Nuluhon?

As of now, we can find this species in Malaysia. I believe as more of the Borneo jungles are explored, the species will be found outside this locality, and we may even discover new species!


Currently, its only locality is “Sabah”, a state of Malaysia. To be precise, in the waters of Crocker Range Forest Reserve (western Sabah). 


Based on its discovery site, the Betta nuluhon’s habitat includes overhanging vegetation with shallow clear waters that contains sand, pebbles, and silt substrates.

Standard length

According to the specimens examined, the Betta nuluhon can grow up to 39 -62 mm.

How to take care of Betta Nuluhon

The best way to take care of Betta nuluhon would be to maintain proper water and food conditions (preferably close to its wild habitat). These species are assumed to not be aggressive as most mouthbrooders. Thus, it can be easier to maintain. 

Tank size requirements

Though I haven’t owned Betta nuluhon, a minimum of 60 x 30cm (2ft x 1ft) aquarium should be suitable based on its size. Of course, a bigger sized tank would be preferable. If you plan on keeping more than one, you might need to get a bigger tank for them.

Aquarium layout

For now, the safest idea would be to replicate its natural habitat as much as possible. 

Maintaining clean water, keeping leaf litter, small caves, driftwood, and preferably painting three walls of the aquarium black (or letting it have dark areas) can be a great option.

Lighting should be kept between low to moderate as betta habitats tend to not be brightly lit and shaded by trees and riparian plants. Here’s where I talk more about light for betta fish.

Thus, non-demanding plants such as Java ferns, crypts, and anubias can be used as well. The use of riparian plants would make your aquarium look more natural.

Water conditions

Since this is also a mouthbrooding Betta species, a safe assumption would be to keep them in water temperatures ranging between 23 to 26 C (73 – 79F) and a pH between 6-7. 

What can you keep with Betta Nuluhon?

As there’s not much information on this species yet, we assume the same as other species in the Betta akarensis complex. Shrimps might be eaten, while smaller non-aggressive tetras and danios might be suitable. 

You can consider adding loaches and other cyprinids. Just be careful not to keep it with bigger fishes that could prey on it.


Since it’s a wild betta, the best feed option would be live food and maybe frozen bloodworms. Dry food may not be accepted.

The plants or leaf litter in their aquariums will decompose and can be a good source of secondary food – though you should be actively feeding them.

You can also read my wild betta feeding guide to have a better understanding of betta diets.


Betta nuluhon has a brown body that follows with a dark stripe in its upper jaw area. Males tend to display slightly turquoise iridescence, which the females do not.


The Betta nuluhon is a paternal mouthbrooder, thus you’ll notice the males taking care of the eggs in its buccal cavity after collecting them from the female. 

If the male can successfully incubate the eggs and hold to term, then the fry can quickly develop and mature between 12 to 21 days. 


The Betta Nuluhon is a new species that many fishkeepers would be excited to own. Not only do you get to keep a new species, but it is also potentially rare. However, you might not be able to find them in the aquarium trade easily. 

As they can only be found in the Crocker Range Forest Reserve, locating the exact spot will be difficult. The location isn’t disclosed probably to prevent humans from finding and catching them for commercial trade.

Well, even if you don’t get to keep them, knowing that more wild betta species are yet to be discovered can be fascinating. Maybe one day, we’ll get to see them in our aquariums. 

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