Keeping Siamese Fighting Fishes As Pets

Hello Everyone,

I have been keeping Betta splendens. (also more commonly known at Siamese Fighting Fishes) since June 2011 and I would like to share with you my experiences. In this blog entry, I will introduce you to this exotic-looking fish and how you can start keeping them as a pet.

Why Keep Fighting Fish?

If your parents or spouse dislike you keeping big pets like dogs or cats or even keeping furry pets like hamsters, then having fighting fishes as pets might be an excellent idea afterall. Fighting fish is easy to maintain and does not cost much. They are pretty hardy and can live for very long (around 2-5 years). Not only that, they can really entertain you for ages. The downside to keeping fighting fish is probably the fact that they are very aggressive, hence, there are not many compatible tank-mates if you wish to have a wide variety of aquarium pets in one tank.

What Are the More Common Types of Siamese Fighting Fishes Based On Their Tail Shapes?





How Long Can Siamese Fighting Fishes Live?

If properly kept and fed a correct diet, they can live approximately 2-5 years in captivity.

Where Can You Get Siamese Fighting Fish?

If you are starting out and would like to keep fighting fish as a hobby or pet, you can get a normal one which usually costs less than $5 at most aquarium pet stores.

  • There are many pet stores in Serangoon North and they have fighting fish that costs $1 to $3. “Better” ones are about $5.
  • There are also other premium pet stores such as those situated in upscale shopping centres like Plaza Singapura, The Central @ Clarke Quay, and etc, and they sell fighting fishes that cost around $15-$30.

However, if you are planning to breed fighting fish and go for show competitions, you might want to consider getting quality fighting fish from reputable breeders. One of the very reputable local breeders I know of is Kelson. He has a wealth of experience in breeding fighting fish and he has a store situated at Roxy Square. The fighting fish he has are top grade and some of them don’t come cheap. To find out more, you can visit his website <– here

What to Look Out for When Buying Fighting Fish?

  • While selecting a betta fish, look for one that shows energy and has its fins unharmed.
  • A healthy betta fish will show awareness during feeding times.
  • With sufficient space, betta fish will swim around energetically, flaring their gills and showing off their fin display in order to be a focus for mates.
  • An unhealthy fish will not swim around a lot and will not show awareness in food. The state of its fins may also get worse.
  • Do not purchase a fish that appears to be less healthy, even if all of the fish in the store that day appear lethargic and unwell.

What Do You Need to Keep Fighting Fish?

  • An aquarium or bowl (don’t really have to be a big one)
  • Water conditioner (anti-chlorine chemical to remove chlorine chemical in tap water)
  • A fish net (to scoop up your fighting fish when doing water change, I will generally recommend a Betta Scoop as it does not damage the fins of fighting fish)
  • A small plant (for your fighting fish to have some privacy but do select one where the edges are not sharp)
Some people do add some gravel stones or decorating stones to enhance the appearance of the tank. Generally, that is not recommended as it may tear the fins of your fighting fish. Also, tt is recommended to avoid metal decorations. Since metal reacts with water, it can pose serious threat to the health of your fighter fish.

What Do You Feed the Fighting Fish?

You can feed the fighting fish a variety of food and they are classified mainly into two categories. Live food and Non-Live Food.

Live food can be bloodworms, daphnia (also known as Ang Boon in Hokkien), or baby brine shrimps. However, live food are really expensive and are not able to last more than a few days. The worst thing about feeding live food to fighting fish is that diseases can be easily spread and once the fighting fish has gotten used to eating live food, they might reject non-live food.

Non-live food are food pellets that are made from brine shrimp meat or white fish meat. There are many brands out there but the one I strongly would recommend is the Atison’s Betta Pro which you can purchase from Petsmart at Serangoon North. The Atison’s Betta Pro can be considered the best food available in the market for fighting fishes.

My Fighting Fishes

My Yellow Black Plakad (Male)


My Red HalfMoon (Male)


My Red Halfmoon (Female)


My Red Crowntail Which Unfortunately Died After Mating


If I have garnered enough interests from you readers about these beautiful exotic fighting fishes, my future blog entries would include topics such as Breeding Fighting Fishes, Common Diseases for Fighting Fish and How to Tackle Them, Best Practices and Tips from Local Breeders.

Should you have any queries about keeping fighting fish, please do not hesitate to drop me an email or an sms.

ps. I have just bred some baby fries and there are about 20 of them which I intend to give away if you’re interested. These are bred from both my red halfmoons (pictures as above) and they were bought from Kelson, so you can be assured that its of a high quality breed. Let me know if you’re interested to keep them as a pet.

Also, if you are interested to breed fighting fish, check out my blog post about breeding fighting fishes.



  1. Kevin Cheong says:

    Hi melvin. After reading this it kinda rekindles my childhood interest in FF. I used to spend weekends at the balcony with my daddy just to watch him feed the fish. I’m interested to breed siamese bettas but I would like to rear a male one first. Do you happen to have an adolescent to give away? Would greatly appreciate it. You can whatsapp me at +6590700859

    • Melvin Lee says:

      Hi Kevin,

      Thank you for dropping by our blog. I’m really glad that the article sparks up your interest to rear fighting fishes. Unfortunately, I do not have any adolescent male fighting fish. However, I could suggest you to purchase them from aquarium shops or betta specialists stores. The price ranges from $1 [the cheapest but of poor breed and quality] to $100+ [expensive but very beautiful and used for competition].

      If you have any questions, do feel free to let me know and I will be glad to assist. Have a great day!

      Best Regards,
      Melvin Lee

  2. Don Kwong says:

    Hi Mel,
    I’ve had Buster for a week and a half now. Going to clean out his bowl in a little while.
    Recently bought him some Atison’s Betta Pro. Dropped him a couple pellets, which he ignored. He’s been doing that with most of the food I’ve been feeding him, except for Omega One Buffet pellets. He eats them with great gusto, on the day’s first feeding. The little twerp ignores them on a later feeding. His eating habits drive me up the wall. They make me want to pull out what’s left of my hair. Have also recently bought a scoop, as opposed to a mesh net. However, I think this scoop should be a little bigger. But, I’ll give it a try, when I place Buster in a temporary bowl, during the bowl cleaning/water change.
    He’s in a 1.5 gallon acrylic bowl. Besides him, the bowl contains cultured gravel, and a potted java fern, which he likes to hide in. Soon, I’ll keep Buster in a bowl w/o gravel. On, I’ve seen FF living in bowls that have bottoms with no gravel. I figure that’s better because the waste, uneaten food, and whatnot can then easily be siphoned with a turkey baster.
    Thanks a lot for your posts on betta fish. Wish I had run across your site earlier. Lots of useful info and advice I could have used. Could have saved me from making numerous mistakes. Keep up the good work.
    Take care,

    • Melvin says:

      Hi Don,

      its really great to hear that you enjoyed reading our Blog Posts about the Betta Fishes that we kept. Do you have pictures of your Betta Fish that we could look at?

      In Asia, most of us keep our FF in bowls that have clear bottoms i.e. with no gravel. This really aids us in siphoning whatever waste or uneaten food there are and thus keeps the water quality clean without affecting the FF. Personally, I think Atison’s Betta Pro is good for feeding FF but I’m not sure why yours has been ignoring it. Have you been feeding it with live food? You probably might need to give it some time to get used to the food I guess.

      Do let us know if you have any questions about Betta Fishes. Cheers! 🙂

      Best Regards,
      Melvin Lee

      • Donald Kwong says:

        Hi Mel,
        Sure, I’d like to post a pic of my betta. I’ll do it before too long. I’d like to think that it’s just a matter of copying and pasting. Well, I’ll find out.
        Been meaning to clean out the bowl and clear it of gravel. Instead, just now,
        I changed 20% of the water. Main factor holding me back is the scoop I recently bought off of ebay. It’s about 2.25″ x 2.25″. I don’t see how Buster can comfortably fit in it. I shall hunt for a somewhat bigger scoop. In the States, it’s extremely difficult to find a scoop. Easy to find are the standard mesh nets, unfortunately. My scoop was made in America. Wish the maker had made it 3″x3″, or thereabouts.
        Guess what? Buster likes Atison’s Betta Pro. He began vigorously eating
        the pellets a coupla days ago. Every now and then, he’ll ignore an Atison pellet (and, in the process, foul up the water). A week and a half ago, I fed him freeze-dried bloodworms, which were way too big for his mouth. He’d bite and then spit it out. Now, I only feed him
        Atison’s Betta Pro and Omega One Betta Buffet pellets. He’s ignored the Omega One pellets occasionally, too. I plan to give him Atison’s from now on.
        I also will be knocking off various other flakes and pellets. He didn’t like them, anyway.
        fwiw, I haven’t seen Buster jump, yet. Maybe that means he’s happy with the way I’ve been taking care of him? 🙂
        Have a nice day, type at ya later,

      • Melvin says:

        Hi Don!

        Sure, no worries, you could probably send me a link to your photo album or add me on Facebook too! 🙂

        Well, I’m really happy to hear that Buster is doing well and that you enjoy keeping him as your pet. Hmm, I see that you’re probably having an issue trying to clear the gravels and you might just want to consider scooping Buster up and keeping him in a temporary tank while you remove the gravels. Alternatively, you could still continue keeping him in the same tank and do the water change when it is cloudy and full of uneaten food.

        I bet Buster likes Atison’s Betta Pro a lot so continue feeding him that! In fact, FF love it a lot and I tried other flakes and pellets and it didn’t quite worked out that well for my FF. Anyways, if you see Buster starting to blow bubbles, it means that he’s getting really comfy and ready to mate. 🙂 Then, maybe you might consider breeding FF 😀

        Cheers and have a great day Don!

        Best Regards,
        Melvin Lee

  3. manj says:

    Hi there,

    I just came across your blog here and I had to respond. I bought my Beta fight in 2010 and he’s still kicking around. I love him so much! I feel the key to keeping a fish healthy is always keep the fish bowl clean! Anyway, great site! You have lots of great information. Thank you!

    • Melvin says:

      Hi Manj,

      thank you so much for dropping by A Winsome Life.

      I would love to learn more about breeding and rearing Betta Fishes from you. Maybe we can collaborate and work on a topic related to Betta Fishes together.


      Best Regards,
      Melvin Lee

  4. Nicky Lee says:

    Hi i am sort of a newbie in breeding fighting fishes I have two fighting fishes which I can’t really deduce which breed they are. I have a few questions though, how am I going to breed my fighting fishes I do not want them to die and I want them to reproduce and I also want the babies to live but all the babies dont really mature, they die first. Can you give me a few tips I really enjoy having fighting fishes as pets.

    Yours sincerely,

    • Melvin says:

      Hey Nicky,

      thank you so much for your comment. I’m glad that you enjoy keeping fighting fishes as pets and that you have the desire to breed them. Ok, tell you what, I will be putting up an exclusive blog entry about breeding fighting fishes just for you but you need to give me some time. I probably can get it done by this weekend, so do stay tuned to my blog! Thanks.

      Best Regards,

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