Betta Albimarginata Complex
Bettas of the Albimarginata complex are among some of the most beautiful and best beginner mouth brooding wild type bettas. Mainly from the Kalimantan Timur Province, Indonesian, Borneo.
They are typically found in shallow acidic blackwater streams. That will have low to moderate flow. They will be found in the roots of marginal plants and leaf litter.
Optimal conditions will be slightly acidic water with very low carbonate hardness and low general hardness. Generally a PH range between 4.0-6.5 with hardness range of 18-90 PPM. They prefer a temperature range starting in the 70s up to the mid-80s Fahrenheit. A sponge filter will be more than enough water turn over as they prefer lower flow. Water flow should be 4 times the volume of the tank. They generally are very tolerant of water chemistry. Just make sure it is kept in clean and well filtered water.
Size will range from 1.1 inches to 2.5 inches in general for bettas in this complex.
A Pair can be housed within a 5-10 gallon tank and groups within a 20 gallon or larger. Interesting territorial behavior can be viewed with group setting.
Males are more intensely colored than the females so it is easy to distinguish when mature.
Breeding setup can be a separate tank for breeding purposes or if they have their own aquarium. Be sure to have the tightest fitting lid possible as they are master jumpers. The tight lid also allows for a humid layer of air that is crucial for the development of the labyrinth organ for fry.
Following a protracted courtship, eggs and milt are released during an ’embrace’ typical of anabantoids in which the male wraps his body around that of the female.
Several ‘dummy’ embraces may be required before spawning commences.
Fertilized eggs are caught on the anal fin of the male then picked up in the mouth of the female before being spat out into the water for the male to catch.
Once the male has all the eggs in his mouth the cycle is repeated until the female is spent of eggs, a process which can take some time.
Brood size is quite small, with even 10 eggs being considered a good number.
A brooding male may swallow or release the eggs prematurely if stressed or inexperienced, so it’s preferable to leave the female and any other fishes in situ.
The incubation period is 10 – 21 days at the end of which the male will begin to release fully-formed, free-swimming fry. The number of days in incubation correlates to the temperature of the water.
At this point the fry can be removed or left to be reared alongside the adults, which will not normally harm them. (Dependent on individual fish personalities) The fry are large enough to accept motile foods such as baby brine shrimp and microworms immediately, though it should be noted that there exist reports of young Betta developing health issues if fed excessive amounts of the latter.
Offer small amounts of different foods 2 -3 times per day for optimal growth rate, and don’t change too much water at once, with regular, small changes preferable to intermittent larger ones.
Edited by: Henry Diep