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Belontia hasselti, Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1831

Origin: Malaysia; Malakka, Indonesia; Sarawak(Borneo), Sumatra, and Java, in the vicinity of Jacarta. Here the fish occur in lakes and clear, slow moving waters. The fish is also reported from Singapore.

Etymology: Named after Hasselt.

Synonyms:Polyacanthus einthovenii, Polyacanthus hasseltii, Polyacanthus helfrichii, Polyacanthus kuhli, Polyacanthus olivaceus.

First European import: Germany, 1968, exported from Singapore, Verführt and Schaller bought the animals in several shops in that year.


Care: Species tank, or together with other large fish. Requires a large planted tank, minimum 90 cm, with lots of hiding places. The fish can be very aggressiv towards other fish of it's own species, so it's best to keep only a single pair in a tank. Towards other fish only aggressiv during breeding, otherwise even a bit shy. The fish are not very particular in their water requirements, pH between 6.5 and 8, hardness up to 30 dGH. Well filtered water and frequent waterchanges are required.

Temperature:22-28 degrees.

Feeding: Omnivorous, flake, pellet, frozen and live food are taken. Larger fish can be fed with eartworms, and will also eat small fish.

Size: Up to 20 cm, females a bit smaller, 17.5 cm.

pH: 6.5-8.

Breeding: Bubblenester, will only breed in larger tanks. The animals, if ready for mating, will show a variety of different colorpatterns prior to breeding. Usually a banded pattern can be observed if both animals are ready, and shortly afterwards a small bubblenest will be build by the male(sometimes no bubblenest) usually in a corner of the tank, under which the animals will mate. Up to 800 orange eggs, 1.5mm diameter large, will float towards the surface, and are collected after mating has finished by the male. Eggs will hatch in 2 days(at 25 degrees), and be free swimming after another 3 days. The female should be removed immediately after spawning. Failed breeding attempts can be caused by females that don't have any eggs, prior to breeding she should be conditioned with large amounts of live food(Earthworms, insects). Fry are relatively large, and can immediately be fed with artemia and microworms.

Sexual dimorphism:Full grown animals can easily be distinguished, males have elongated fins and are thinner and larger than the females.

Prices: Unk, rarely imported.

Additional:The fish have strange sleeping habits, where they will rest motionless on the bottom of the tank, sometimes even lie on their side

Picture references:No picture currently available.

References:Richter, H. J. (1979): Das Buch der Labyrinthfische. Verlag Neumann-Neudamm, Melsungen, Germany.

Baensch, H. A., Riehl, R.(1982): Aquarien Atlas I. Mergus Verlag, Melle, Germany.(click on the link to buy this book)

Linke, H.(1980): Labyrinthfische - Farbe im Aquarium. Tetra Verlag, Melle, Germany.

AAGB, species information sheet Belontia hasselti, p.p. 1-2, 1993.

If you are interested in this fish please join our anabantoid board

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