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Betta tussyae, , 19

Origin: Pahang, Kuantan, Rompin.

Etymology: Named in honour of Ms Tussy

Synonyms: None

First European import: Unk

Description: Two varieties exist, a completely red variety, and a variety which generally shows two longitudinal stripes, as can be seen in the picture.

Care: Unfortunately the species is rare and scarcely available. This is a strange fact considering this tiny red betta isn't hard to keep. This Betta is on average not aggressive, and in an aquarium 60 x 30 x 30 it is possible to keep two couples.

The normal biotope should be copied to provide optimum care. These fighting fish reside in peat swamp forests, underneath trees where hardly any sunlight penetrates the canopy. Many roots and branches with hardly any plant growth. The pH should be low, between 4 and 5, with a hardness of gH 1 to 2. Temperatures in the lower region, 21-24 degrees. A dark soil, some floating plants, and some leaves and branches will create a suitable tank for Betta tussyae. In such a setup the fish will quickly loose their shyness, and can be seen more often. Adding plants to the tank is also beneficial, although it will be hard to find plants that will survive these values. Javafern, Javamoss, and some Najas species can be used. The fish can jump extremely well, and precaution should be taken! A lowered waterlevel is beneficial for the fish, and reduces the risk of the fish jumping out of the aquarium.

Temperature: 21-24 degrees.

Feeding: Live and sometimes flake food is also accepted.

Size: Up to 5.5 cm.

pH: 4.0-6.0

Breeding: Can be done in a tank as described in the care section. The male will build a bubblenest underneath a floating leave, or in a floating plastic pipe. It's best to have only a single couple in the tank for breeding, as othe fish may disturb the pair. Mating takes between 2 and 3 hours, during which time around 40 eggs are laid. The female can remain in the breeding tank, since the male will exhibit no aggression towards her at all. After 2 days the eggs will hatch, and the fry will be free swimming 3 days later. The fry grow after three monts are approximately 2 cm.

Sexual dimorphism: Males more colorfull, with elongated dorsal and anal fins.

Prices: Unknown

Additional:

Picture references: Picture 1 by Klaus Weissenberg. Other pictures: E. Naus

References: Http://iglnl.netfirms.com

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