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Betta edithae

This one’s a rarity, but it’s well worth trying to find. Betta edithae wins Fish of the week, not particularly because of its colour, but because of its reproductive strategy. Many of the well-known ‘labyrinth’ species, such as the Siamese fighter (Betta splendens) or dwarf gourami (Trichogaster lalius), build a nest of bubbles to protect their eggs. However, the male B. edithae takes egg protection a step further and incubates its eggs in his mouth! This strategy is more commonly observed in cichlids, so to find this behaviour in non-cichlids makes this species ideal for those seeking fish curiosities. In a good setup, this fish will breed reasonably readily, so observing this behaviour isn’t limited to advanced fish keepers. The male of the species is delicately coloured and can reach approximately 7.5 cm (about 3 inches) in length. Much like the Siamese fighter, males can be a little territorial, especially when brooding eggs, so if you just so happen to have a spare aquarium and want to dedicate it to a single species, maybe B. edithae is the fish for you…

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Tagged in: Fish of the Week Archive - Freshwater