Plakat Betta fishes are so gorgeous that they can drive anyone to become an aquarist. Its bright and vivid body colors and large, flowing fins have made it an epitome of sheer beauty and elegance. If you are wondering that Plakat betta is some kind of highly exotic, unique species, then do know that it is not so. ‘Plakat’ is nothing but the Thai word simply meaning betta or the Siamese Fighting Fish. Oh yes, they are pretty aggressive and can knock each other out!
The beautiful Plakat betta is a freshwater fish that makes for a good aquarium fish. But, you need to take a lot of pains in taking care of its requirements.
To help you take care of this gorgeous fish, we have come with this highly informative guide that will enlighten you further on the preferences and living parameters of this long-finned creature. Let’s dive into the world of the vibrant betta fish!
What Is A Plakat Betta?
An indigenous fish species of the Mekon basin of Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, Plakat Betta fishes have a very robust body frame with strong jaws. Both short-finned and long-finned fishes come under this category of Plakat Betta.
While the short-finned fishes are called Plakat Thai, the long-finned fishes are known as Plakat Cheen.
Plakat bettas love to dwell in the floodplains, rice paddies, marshes, swamps, and ditches. They are excellent jumpers and can leap well. They use this skill while foraging for food and searching for their mates.
Apart from the gills, the plakat betta fishes have a labyrinth organ that lets them breathe easily when they live in waters where oxygen is not much readily available.
Usually, the plakat betta fishes with vivid colors and excessively long fins result from selective breeding. The betta fishes exhibit brilliant colors and long flowing fins only when they get aggressive or threatened.
You should purchase this betta fish only from a legitimate Thai breeder. Else, you may not get a proper betta fish of that beauty and elegance.
Unfortunately, the wild plakat betta fishes are on the verge of getting extinct. The IUCN has classified this beautiful fish as “vulnerable” to threats from humans and the ever-increasing pollution.
The plakat betta fish has this notorious habit of fighting with each other. No wonder why they have been given the name of “fighting fish!” If you place them in the same fish tank, they will not rest until they kill each other.
Quite an ordeal for the aquarists! That is why proper care has to be taken to ensure that the plakat betta fishes are well-cared after by following the proper rules.
Species Profile Of Plakat Betta Fish
Nick Names: Wild betta, Plakat Morh, Dragonscale Betta, Thai Betta, Shortfin Betta
Country Of Origin: Thailand
Scientific Name: Betta splendens
Minimum Aquarium Size: More than 2+ gallons. But, 5-gallon tanks are preferable.
Body Length: 2 to 3 inches
Appearance Of Plakat Betta Fish
The body structure of the plakat betta fish resembles the structure of the standard betta fish. The fish’s body is like a cylinder with no such notable curves in it. The first difference in the structure is the head that is a bit tapering and finally meets the upturned mouth.
The Plakat betta fishes are pretty sturdy and capable of tolerating attacks because of their compressed body form.
Just like an usual betta fish, the plakat betta fishes also have very wide anal fins. Their pelvic fins resemble a sword, and the dorsal fins look like fans because they are widespread. A plakat betta has a shorter tailfin than the general betta fishes’ long, exceptionally flowing fins.
In the entire aquarium trade, the male plakat betta fishes are in great demand because of their bigger body sizes than the female plakats.
However, it is a female plakat betta fish that has a more colorful body and attractive fins. But its small size makes the aquarists prefer the males as these are relatively bigger.
Thanks to the advent of selective breeding, you can now get betta fishes with brighter colors with a great variety. Apart from the plakat betta, Snakehead and Spoonhead are other varieties of the betta fish.
While the fins of the Snakehead variety are elongated and narrow with tiny fins, the Spoonhead has very long anal and ventral fins.
What Is The Body Size Of A Plakat Betta?
On average, the Plakat betta fishes have a size of 2 to 3 inches when they have grown to an adult. The tropical variant of this fish has a smaller body size than the long-finned plakat bettas.
If you wish to get a plakat betta of enormous size, make sure you purchase the fish from a branded or reputable seller and take due care of the fish after introducing it to your aquarium.
What Is The Lifespan Of The Betta Fish?
The lifespan of betta fish varies from 3 to 5 years on average. Moreover, the extent to which you take care of your plakat betta also determines its life expectancy.
If a fish tank contains several plakat betta fishes, they will start fighting to such a great extent that their lifespan will get shortened automatically.
It is also important to ensure that the fighting fishes don’t live in poor or substandard conditions.
This is because an unhygienic or poor quality environment in the fish tank may lead the plakat bettas to go into a state of stress, thus making them vulnerable to diseases and ultimately death.
Plakat Betta Care Guide
You can easily take care of your plakat betta if you are well aware of what needs to be done. They are not very demanding, but their aggressive nature often makes things difficult for hobbyists.
Under this heading, we will discuss everything that you need to know to take care of your aggressive long-finned fish. Starting from water parameters, fish tank size, to its diet, everything will be covered here. Let’s see what these are!
Though you will hear many people saying that plakat bettas can live well in small aquariums, it is not true because the minimum size for the tank in which they can live comfortably is 5 gallons.
They can be kept with community fishes and other fishes such as Chilli Rasboras and Celestial Pearl Danios.
Small aquariums make the water turn sour as filtration does not take place properly, and the ammonia and nitrate levels escalate in the water.
Thus, the water quality degrades and creates an unhealthy environment for the plakat betta. That is why you must use a large aquarium with a proper filtration system attached to it.
Plakat betta fishes love to dwell in slightly warm, tropical conditions.
- Water Temperature: 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
- Water pH level: 6.0 to 7.5
- Water hardness level: 2 to 12 dKH
Since the plakat bettas have an affinity towards slightly acidic water, adding almond leaves to the fish tank makes the pH level of the waterfall and makes it acidic.
Moreover, the rich tannin content of the almond leaves enhances the immunity of the betta. You can also use raw, untreated driftwood in place of almond leaves as this wood is also rich in tannins.
Plakats prefer warm conditions, so you may use a heater to ensure that the water temperature inside the aquarium doesn’t fall. Cold water triggers the affliction of several diseases in the betta fish, so ensuring that a warm condition prevails in the tank is essential.
Moreover, low water temperature conditions make them inactive and dull. You can quickly get water heaters at a meager price, so make sure that you are using an excellent heater to preserve the health of the plakat bettas.
Who doesn’t want to have a beautifully decorated fish tank? The way in which you wish to adorn your tank depends upon your personal choice.
Plakat bettas love to dwell in a region having multiple hiding structures. So, you can add caves, rocks, driftwood, and other plastic items to the aquarium.
Before adding these fish tank decor items, make sure that these don’t have any sharp corners to prevent your plakat betta fish from getting injured.
The best plants for a plakat aquarium include Anubias Barteri and artificial plants such as Betta shelves.
Make sure to leave some room near the water surface so that the plakat can take in air by using its labyrinth.
Tank Mates Of Plakat Bettas
It is crucial for you to note that male plakat bettas are highly intolerant of each other. If kept in the same tank, they are sure to put up a terrible fight and kill each other.
Thankfully, this fish is compatible with fishes of some other species. You can still keep female plakat bettas together, but obviously, not two or more males together in the same tank.
Fishes To Avoid:
- Neon Tetras
- Tiger Barbs
Both Neon Tetras and Tiger Barbs are fond of eating fins and biting other fishes. If you keep them with the plakat bettas together in the same tank, the attractive, flowing fins of the betta will tempt these fin-eating fishes to bite them and cause decay of the betta’s fins.
To prevent the occurrence of such a dire consequence, make sure not to keep them together.
Simply, the best thing that you can do is keep bottom-dwelling fishes in the tank because the plakat betta loves to swim at the upper surface of the water. So, both of them will go their separate ways. As a result, none of them will bother each other.
Compatible Tank Mates
- Peaceful Barbs
- Large Tetras
Food And Diet Of Plakat Betta
Since plakats are carnivorous, they love to draw their nutrients from small animals or aquatic organisms such as seed shrimp, water fleas, small fishes, and other tiny creatures. Bugs, larvae, and varieties of insects also fall under the group of ‘foods’ for the plakat bettas.
Ensure that you provide them with proper protein because it is the primary nutrient they need to absorb in their bodies in large quantities.
Brine shrimp, worms such as bloodworms, micro worms, and Daphnia are rich protein sources for the plakat betta.
You can feed any of these food items to the plakat twice a day. While you can give frozen food to your betta, try to provide them with live food to ensure the plakat bettas’ better health.
Avoid feeding them with processed food as it is detrimental to the health of the long-finned fish. Never offer them potato, wheat, starch, etc., as these provide no natural nutrition to the fish.
Temperament Of Plakat Betta
As we had mentioned before, plakat betta is aggressive and jumps to fight with fishes that belong to the same species as theirs. They will start combatting with fishes that have an appearance akin to theirs.
You must acquaint yourself with the signs that show the plakat bettas are switching to an aggressive mode. Firstly, they will swell or raise their gills to create a shape of mane. It will seem that their body size has increased, and they will put on an angry appearance with the swelled body.
Then, they will start colliding with other fishes and may even bite other fishes. You will be shocked to know this, but plakat bettas can jump to such great heights that if you don’t use a proper lid and keep the aquarium covered, it’s undoubtedly going to come out of it and lie on the floor.
They can even create ravages by destroying the plants and other aquarium decorations. At other moments, they stay peaceful and won’t disturb other fishes that don’t look like them.
Common Diseases Of Plakat Betta
Since plakat betta fishes are an outcome of selective breeding, they are pretty hardy and resilient by nature.
However, certain common diseases may afflict them. One of these is fin rot, in which the bacteria and fungi attack the gorgeous fins of the betta and make the fin decay. But, don’t worry!
There are several medicines available in the market that can cure fin rot in plakat betta. You can prevent the occurrence of fin rot by keeping a proper check on the conditions in the aquarium and ensuring the removal of all kinds of impurities from inside the tank.
Breeding the plakat betta fishes can be an arduous task because the females stay elusive and shy to the advances of the male plakat betta. The females will prefer to hide or swim around in quiet corners before participating with the males in the mating process.
To make the breeding of the plakat betta an easy task for yourself, try to pair off the fishes at an early stage when they are young.
First of all, take a separate fish tank for breeding. Add the male and female bettas into it and give them some time to acclimatize with the tank environment.
Now, provide them with protein-rich food items. Now, you will see that the male betta has started creating a nest of bubbles. The bubbles will gradually begin to rise to the water surface.
Note that if your tank has any plants or other decorations, the process may be slowed a bit. Slowly, the females will start producing eggs into the tank water. The fertilization process will start, and the male betta will show the way towards the nest of bubbles.
About three days will be taken for the eggs to hatch. Make sure to remove the adult betta to some other tank. Else, they may prey upon the fish fry.
Initially, the baby bettas will derive nutrients from the egg sac for about two more days. After they gather enough strength, they will start swimming around freely in the tank.
Now, you can provide it with foods such as powdered items or infusoria. As time passes and the babies start maturing, you can feed them with baby brine shrimp.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Koi Betta a Plakat?
Koi betta is just one of the variations of Betta splendens, and since koi betta fishes also have highly pigmented bodies with an attractive look, they can be said to belong to the group of plakat betta.
Are Plakat Bettas healthier?
Yes, plakat bettas are healthier because they are produced due to selective breeding that makes them resistant to several diseases and enhances their immunity.
Are Plakat Bettas more aggressive?
Yes, plakat bettas are way more aggressive than the general bettas because they were actually produced via selective breeding to make them participate in competitive bouts.