The most beautiful fish in the world, the orange betta fish comes from a tropical region in Southeast Asia. It is usually found living around rice paddy fields and stagnant water. The betta fish are harvested for their brilliant colors which bring them high prices at aquarium shows and pet shops.
These striking colors come from pigments called carotenoids that are found only in the wild betta fish. Their coloring is not brought about by artificial food additives like other ornamental fish.
In an article published in “Science Digest” September 1986 it was reported that breeders were able to produce blue and green colored bettas in a laboratory but could not get them to turn orange as they do naturally.
The orange betta fish can be identified by its high body and large fins, which give it an elongated look. They have a pair of thin, whisker-like appendages below their mouths and bright blue irises at the center of their yellow eyes. Their coloring comes from carotenoids found in crustaceans and algae.
They reach a maximum length of 3 inches (8 cm) and live for about 2 to 3 years, while the larger betta splendens , also known as the Siamese fighting fish, will grow up to 5 inches (12 cm).
These interesting fish are found in rice paddy fields in tropical regions of Asia and they come close to shore during the spawning season. This is when their colors are brightest because they can be seen by potential predators from a distance.
The orange betta fish have an unusual way of reproducing. The female lays her eggs on plants near ponds or paddy fields which will become flooded with water when the rainy season arrives. When this happens, most of the eggs hatch and the young bettas live for a short time on small shrimp.
When these young fish are about 10 to 20 days old, they leave their pond and begin living in stagnant water such as streams with very few predators. This is when they turn orange because it will make them less visible to predators and easier to spot them through murky waters while hiding from larger fish.
As adults, the male betta fish tend to be territorial and aggressive towards other males of its species by fighting each other over territory or access to females. During this fighting, the only thing that distinguishes one betta fish from another is its coloration but since there is no shedding of scales like snakes do, injuries don’t usually heal completely after fights and scars on the skin will be visible.
Bettas live for about 2 to 3 years and grow up to 3 inches (8 cm), while the larger betta splendens , also known as the Siamese fighting fish, reach 5 inches (12 cm) and may live up to 4 years.
The orange betta fish is a popular ornamental aquarium fish that has been bred in all sorts of colors and sizes from 1/2 inch lengths which sell at pet stores for 99 cents apiece, to giant 6-inch tropical community tank specimens that can cost more than $100 each. [