Betta smaragdina, Ladiges, 1972
Origin:North-east Thailand (Korat plateau region, Non Khai/Nong Khoi)
Etymology: Smaragdina means looks like an emerald.
First European import: Germany;1970, by Dietrich Schaller.
Description:See picture. Iridescent green body with red anal and caudal fin.
Care: A well planted tank, not too much current with soft slightly acidic to neutral water. Cover the tank extremely well since they can and will jump through the smallest hole. They can be kept in a community tank with peacefull tankmates, but should'nt be kept with other fish from the splendens group. It's better to keep them in a species tank though. Temperature should be in the higher regions, 25 degrees and up, and some caves increase the well being of the animals. In larger tanks more than one pair can be kept.
Feeding:Live and frozen food.
Size:Up to 7 cm, usually a bit smaller.
Breeding:Spawns in a similar fashion as B. splendens under floating leaves, but will also spawn in caves. Not very difficult to spawn if the right environment is provided(T=28, pH=6.5, low lighting, no or little current, biweekly 20%waterchanges), and if fed well. Tiny white eggs are laid, and are guarded by the male. Eggs will hatch in 24 hours, and the fry will be free swimming after another 2 days. After this the parent(s) should be removed from the tank.
Sexual dimorphism:Females are less colorful, and have no red in the pelvic fins. Males have slightly elongated anal and pelvic fins.
Prices: Netherlands: 5-7€.
Additional: The fish can be crossed with B. splendens, and the eggs will hatch, but within a day all fry will die.
Picture references:Picture 1: Andrew Smith.
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