Successful keeping of the Halfmoon betta fish lies in your knowledge of their natural habitat, care requirements, breeding process, and other facts. Of course, Halfmoon bettas are also known as Siamese fighting fish. They are called Halfmoon because their tails are in 180-degree curvature to their body.
If the reason Halfmoon betta fish doesn’t interest you is because of the lack of knowledge on how to maintain these beautiful species. I’m glad to inform you that, Halfmoon betta doesn’t require a great deal of care or attention. In fact, you can keep these fishes together and still have peace. Although, some are aggressive (especially the male type), and will require that you keep them separately in different tanks.
The Halfmoon betta fish differ in categories, especially as species of Splendens among other 70 species in the Betta family. Halfmoon bettas are also known as Siamese fighting fish. Therefore, there is so much more to learn about these species to give them a better aquarium life.
Halfmoon betta Color
Halfmoon bettas are usually captivating to the eye, for they are well known for their attractiveness while displaying their body. They come in diverse colors. Some are copper, chocolate, turquoise, black, red, white, green, etc. White Halfmoon betta is the most popular among other colors because it appears like ethereal when in a tank.
The type of tail possessed by Halfmoon betta fish
The Halfmoon is common for their two major types of tails, Plakat and long-tailed. These two types of tails both have the characteristics of Halfmoon betta. Although there are some tail types as rose tails, comb tails, crown tails and feather tails that give similar reactions like that of Plakat and long-tail when rotating, they are not Halfmoon betta. How do you then recognize Halfmoon betta fish by the tail? It is best you observe them when they are flaring.
As they extend their tail fully, and you can carefully determine the degree of expansion. Halfmoon betta fish usually expand their tail at 180 degrees when upset. It is always long in size and rounded in shape. Sometimes, the tail is likely to extend beyond 180degree. In this case, they usually call it an over Halfmoon. While in other cases, the tail extension is not up to 180degree. It’s thereby called a delta. Delta is a type of betta fish among all other types of bettas that ARE most people confuse with Halfmoon betta.
Female bettas mostly have a short fin, and this makes keeper to refer male bettas with very shortfin as “plakat”. As said earlier, long tail bettas are over Halfmoon betta. Over Halfmoon bettas rarely display their full fins unless when flaring. This is due to the fact that they are usually uncomfortable and weighed down. When purchasing Halfmoon betta, the main determinant of price is not the tail length, rather it’s unique coloration, and also if it’s in a good health condition.
Caring for Halfmoon betta fish
It’s of the popular belief that betta fish can survive in a small and unmaintained tank. This assumption is due to the presence of the labyrinth organ they use to breathe at the water surface, which is not totally true. They survive better in a large space. Also, they can live with other species, but you don’t want them to damage one another. Especially the male species, they tend to fight themselves when in the same space.
Would you like to take the fish home and nurture it? Here is how to go about it.
- Ensure to make proper research before making a purchase. Observe the size of the habitat of where you are buying the fish. If it’s not big enough, then it’s definitely not the right place to make a purchase. Be sure to check if the fish is in a bright and active state.
- Prepare a tank with rocks, water, and live plant. You should as well prepare the tank 24hours before placing the fish into it. Avoid using sharp objects to prevent harm to the male Halfmoon fin.
- The appropriate temperature for caring for Halfmoon betta fish is to heat their water in 78-80 degrees Fahrenheit.
- You should provide a filter so as to have enough bacteria that will help convert ammonia to nitrates, after 24hours. However, this usually takes close to a month.
- Fill the tank with at least 80 percent of the water before putting the fish inside. Also, you should measure and be at least 2 gallons in size. The size of the gallon, however, varies, depending on the sex, age and number of bettas).
- The PH level of the tank should be slightly acidic or neutral (5.8-6.7). Remove all the chlorine present in the tank and avoid adding salt to it, so as not to kill your fish.
- Ensure to change the water content in the tank, every 3-4 days. This does not imply that you change all the water at once. You can change like 60% of it to reduce the shock that your fish will feel.
- Get a cover for the tank if your fish likes to jump up and all over. And you sense there is a probability for the fish to jump out of water.
Should you care for Plakat and half-tailed Halfmoon betta the same way?
Caring for both Plakat and long-tailed Halfmoon is done differently by using different sizes of the tank. Long tailed betta is usually less active and has trouble moving around, due to their large size of fin. This gives them the ability to survive in a smaller space compared to Plakat that is very active and therefore needs a large tank for survival. Long tailed can live in a 3-gallon tank while Plakat is preferably placed in a 5-7-gallon tank.
How you can prevent your Halfmoon fish from contracting disease
If it worries you that your Halfmoon betta will develop sickness over time, it’s a pleasure to let you know that with basic care, you are safe. Various diseases can invade the tank, but avoiding this from happening to your fish is best done when you leave no traces of soap in the tank after cleaning or better still, a complete withdrawal from using soap to clean. However, you can treat infected fish with anti-fungal medication.
How to identify a sick Halfmoon betta
Here are the tips that will help you discover if your betta fish is healthy or otherwise. However, this should not scare you, as a basic measure to prevent your betta fish from contacting disease is discussed earlier. Also, proper treatment in a case of severe sickness will be discussed further.
Observe your betta eating pattern
Your betta may stop eating if there is a serious infection. In this case, he will try to scrub or rub against the tank and will avoid eating any food.
Observe your betta color
When bettas contact disease, their color begins to fade.
Observe the fin position and identify spots
For unhealthy bettas, holes will appear on their fin and they are not usually fanned out properly. Also, your betta is likely infected with a parasite, called Ich, if there are white spots around his head.
Identify if there is a breathing problem
Bettas sometimes, move towards the top of the tank to take a breather. But, when you do this frequently, it is not a good sign.
How to treat a sick Halfmoon betta
Treating Ich in a betta
You can prevent Ich by adding a teaspoon of aquarium salt into the water. However, One teaspoon of salt is the right measure for a 2 ½ gallons. Also, for large tanks, you can increase the temperature to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, to help destroy the parasite.
Treating Popeye in a betta
The symptom of Popeye disease in an infected betta is bulged eyes. In this case, you can treat the problem with the addition of ampicillin into the water after cleaning the tank every 3 days.
Sudden swelling of a betta body is a sign of constipation. The way to treat this is to stop feeding the betta with the regular diet for a while, in order to digest food through his system. After a while, you can start feeding the betta again, but it’s better to feed him with live food first.
Treating a fungal infection
When you notice the symptoms of infection in your fish, the first thing to do is to change the water. You will need to remove your fish from the tank for the cleaning process. As this disease is a result of dirty water. When the fish is finally placed back into the tank, you will need to apply fungus eliminator, which will stop the growth of the parasite.
Tips on cleaning a Halfmoon betta tank
- Ensure to wash your hands before cleaning the tank. And rinse the soap off your hands completely.
- Unplug all electrical appliances before cleaning.
- Gather materials that you will need for cleaning. These materials include net, scrubber, sieve, plastic cup, paper towels, plastic spoon, and water conditioner.
- Prepare the fish new container and add sufficient water from the tank you want to clean.
- Scoop 60-80% water out of the container with a cup, and set it aside for later use.
- Remove the fish carefully, using the same cup and place him in the container you already prepared.
- Drain all the water out from the tank using a sieve. This sieve will help prevent gravel from going down the sink.
- Scrub the glass with a soft scrubber. Rinse the tank and decor with warm water and dry it with a paper towel.
- Fill the tank back with plants and gravel, and then pour new water. Pour conditioner into the new water as directed on the package.
- Mix the conditioner well with the water by using a plastic spoon. Then, pour the original water that you reserved. Stir all together thoroughly.
- Wait for 24 to 48 hours and check if the water has settled to room temperature. This should be 72 to 80 degree Fahrenheit.
- Introduce the betta back to the tank using a cup, without hurting his fins.
Size of Halfmoon betta fish
Halfmoon betta varies in size, but they are mostly 2 inches in body frame and 3 inches plus their tail length. Plakats are sometimes smaller in size due to their shorter tail length.
How to tell the difference between the sexes of Halfmoon betta fish
For an appropriate selection of breeding mates, there is a need for a better understanding of male and female betta differences. With this, you definitely will no longer have difficulty in selecting your preferred mates;
Male bettas are well known for their aggressive expressions. However, both male and female bettas flare when they see bettas of the same or opposite sex. Some females are sometimes, just naturally aggressive. There are differences in the way male and female bettas flair. Male bettas flair sideways in an opposite direction, while crossing their ventral fins. While, Female bettas tend to flair in submission, as they bow their head towards male bettas. You see this reaction from the female betta after you must have observed them for a while.
Body type is a striking difference that is mostly found among bettas. The males mostly have longer and fuller ventral fins than the females. Looking at their body shapes, male betta tends to be long and thin in shape, while female bettas are usually shorter and thicker.
Male betta typically has brighter colors, such as red, green and bright blue, when you compare them to female Betta. Female bettas mostly exhibit a dull color, especially in their body. However, their state of living can also determine their color. A properly kept female betta will be brighter than a poorly kept one.
The ovipositor tube is usually present on the underside of female bettas. This spot usually looks like a grain of salt. However, this is not enough attribute for judging a betta gender. Sometimes, male bettas exhibit a fake ovipositor tube as a camouflage against another male that they sight.
How to breed your Halfmoon betta
In the wild, female bettas choose the male beta for breeding. This is as a result of the male size, color and their bubble nest quality. However, in most cases, they are usually captivated for breeding. Breeding a bettafish can be your favorite hobby, depending on the available time and resources, your commitment and your level of knowledge. If you take their breeding lightly, without applying appropriate knowledge, it can be otherwise frustrating and appear too demanding. In this article, How to breed halfmoon betta is in three stages for better understanding.
Stage one – Pre Breeding
Selection of breeding pair
After going through proper preparation of your new fishes habitat, as stated earlier, and engaging inadequate research on how you can care for your Halfmoon betta, the next step to take is the selection of breeding pair. It’s advisable to obtain two pairs, just in case a pair doesn’t fit in. Selecting young betta for breeding gives a better result than older ones because male bettas breed best when they are not more than thirteen months old. Also, any male and female bettas you choose should be of similar size, and their genetic background should be well known, to confirm compatibility.
Introducing the breeding pair
The male and female have still separated habitats, but at this point, you can move them closer, so they can see each other clearly. You can enhance this by placing their tanks next to each other. You can also introduce the female into the male tank, but ensure to place a divider between them. Allow them to watch each other for a few days, and then remove them again. While at this, you should observe if they interest each other. If they interest each other, the male will show off his fins and flair by swimming around. The female will also put her head down submissively. It is normal if they are aggressive towards one another on the first contact.
However, if this takes longer than expected or they try breaking the divider between them, it is better to try another pair or try again later, if you insist on working with the same pair.
Stage two – Breeding
Bring them together
The male produces many tiny bubbles when it’s about to breed. When you notice this, turn off the filter and place the female into the tank. At this point, the male betta will likely chase the female around and nip her fins. This is just normal, as long as none of their lives is in danger. During the courtship period, you have to watch over the pair, as this may take days. Be sure there is enough hiding place for the female when she is being bullied.
The female begins to release eggs
When the male eventually gets the female in his bubbles, even for a few times, the female produces eggs, which later fall from her ovipositor. The male is the one, who usually scoop the eggs up to one by one into the nest, and also watches the eggs and ensures they are safe. Female bettas are mostly not involved in caring for the eggs at this point. After the female recovery, some tend to eat the eggs, so you need to watch them closely.
This female act is due to the fact that they get hungry and feeds on whatever is available. Not necessarily because they want to hurt their eggs. The male and female may embrace again, but at a later end, the female will stop producing eggs. They can produce several eggs from single copulation, so, be well prepared to nurture them.
Stage three – Egg fertilization
Separate the male and female
After the female has stopped producing eggs, the male will try to bully her again, while she hides. Remove the female, and place her in a tank already treated with maroxy to help heal her fins. You can also treat the breeding tank with maroxy, to prevent the fungus from damaging the eggs.
After about three days, the eggs will start hatching. You should not remove the male from the tank until the fry eventually hatch. The male fertilizes the egg externally by releasing milt in the tank. At this phase, it is advisable not to feed the male too much, so as to prevent them from eating the eggs and fry. When the fry first hatch, they usually hang from the nest, and the male fish replaces any fry that falls. After a few days, the fry will be able to swim freely, as they begin to swim away from the nest. However, they are unable to feed themselves at this phase, so they rather feed on the egg yolk remnant.
How do you care for the fry?
When the fry eventually swims around, remove the male carefully from the tank and place it in another tank that is treated with maroxy if he needs that you heal it. Some male still retains their normal life and feeding method.
Feeding the fry
You need to feed the fry with a very small amount of food and watch closely to determine the amount of food eaten. Some of the foods you can give include;
- Infusoria – For the first week, you should serve it to the fry.
- Microworms – This is very good for fry between 10 to 38 days old. When feeding the fry with live micro worms, give little at the same time. However, if you notice a lot of dead micro worms in the tank, it shows there is a need to reduce the quantity of food given.
- Baby Brine Shrimp – These are the easiest to control when it comes to regulating the quantity to feed the fry. Although, when you give too much, it mostly results in swim bladder disorder.
What is the appropriate food for Halfmoon betta fish?
Betta fish feed on fleshy things, as they are sometimes choosy. Their diet should be rich but should contain no fish flake. They feed mostly on foods like meat, fried shrimp, blackworms, white worms, daphnia, soldier fly larvae, bloodworms, mosquito larvae, live brine shrimp and others. You should bear in mind that, betta doesn’t need you to feed it frequently as much as you think; serving them once per day is enough. As too much food increases their risk of death. But then, you need to feed them a variety of food. You can have a mix from those listed earlier.
Tips for nurturing a fry into Adulthood
- When the fry is 1.5week, turn the filter on but manage the flow with a gang valve.
- At two weeks old, start keeping the tank clean by changing 10% of the water every few days. You can also turn off the tank light at night.
- As the weeks pass, you can increase the flow of the filter. But try to do this gradually.
- When the fry is two weeks, you should move them to a larger tank, of at least 20 gallons (75.7L). Maintain the same temperature you exposed them to.
- At one month, begin to wean them off live food. Start switching their food to Frozen and then freeze-dried food. Also, ensure that you crush the food into tiny bits to enable them to feed on it.
- From six to eight weeks, the males start to be aggressive, and so they fight one another. You should separate them in different tanks at this point. But you should place the tanks together to hinder isolation.
- Some males might not eat within first few days of separating them. You can feed them with live food to stimulate their appetite.
- At 10-11 weeks, they begin to show their adult traits. At this phase, a lot of people tend to separate some fish from others based on the purpose to which they nurtured initially.
The lifespan of Halfmoon Betta
You are so connected with your fish, and you did want it to last for a long time right? You also keep wondering how long it is going to stay. In most cases, it takes roughly 3 years for a Halfmoon fish to survive. Most pet stores sell male Halfmoon after one year, this is when their fins have fully developed. They usually sell female Halfmoons when they are around six months old. However, some factors contribute to the length at which your fish can live for.
A betta can survive two weeks without food, but it is best that you put a caregiver in charge if you won’t be around to feed them. Females tend to live longer for a few months than male bettas. But they keep the male for a long time due to their bright colors.
The lifespan of Halfmoon betta in the wild
When betta fish are not in captivity and are in the wild, they live in shallow freshwaters. Such as rice paddies, ponds, and streams. In Thailand, they live in rice fields. They are commonly found in places like Cambodia, Brazil, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. The lifespan of fishes living in the wild is usually shorter than those in captive. The water in which they live in the wild is not usually clean. In lieu of this, their habitat is mostly filled with dirt and germs. Also, the chances of male being exposed to another male species are high, which makes them fight often, and therefore, causes injury to them and reduces their lifespan.
Tips on how to increase the lifespan of Halfmoon betta
Below are useful tips on how you can improve the lifespan of your Halfmoon betta.
Buying a healthy betta
It is important that you purchase a healthy and bright fish from a pet store before taking it home to nourish. Purchasing an already damaged betta will give you difficulty when trying to care for, and sustain their life. It may end up shortening their lifespan. Also, from their lifespan of roughly 3 years, they have spent some months in a pet store already. So their lifespan might not be up to 3 years anymore. Things to watch out for include,
- If there are no injuries or scratches on the fish body.
- If the color is bright or pale (Do not buy if pale).
- When they are active, and the fins are not torn.
- If the movement is smooth and gliding.
- If their eyes do not bulge already.
Keeping males in a separate tank
When a person put male betta fish together in a small space, they engage in fights in which none among them is ready to go to another space, due to the fact that the space available is small. Male species in the wild usually submit to each other after some moment of fighting, because there are available spaces for one among the two to go to.
Making use of a filter and heater in your tank
Using a suitable filter will help clean the tank water and keeps it aerated. It helps convert buildup ammonia and nitrite to nitrate. The fact that betta fishes survive in rice paddies in Thailand, doesn’t imply that Halfmoon can survive in an unheated tank. However, Thailand’s climate helps heat the water surface of wild betta fish habitats.
Some interesting Halfmoon betta facts
- Aggressive bettas ware bred from wild species in the 19th century for the purpose of entertainment (cockfighting).
- Betta fish fight became popular in Thailand in the mid -the 1800s.
- In the wild, bettas are usually dull brown or green in color. The bright color seen in pet stores is a result of selective breeding.
- With their possession of a special labyrinth organ, they can survive outside of water for a short period.
- Male bettas often guard their offspring, compare to the female bettas.