Siamese fighting fish tattoo

The Siamese fighting fish, also known as the betta (particularly in the US), is a popular species of freshwater aquarium fish. The name of the genus is derived from ikan bettah, taken from a local dialect of Malay. The wild ancestors of this fish are native to the rice paddies of Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia and are called pla-kad in Thai or trey krem in Khmer.

The people of Siam (now Thailand) originally started collecting these fish, known as “pla kat,” which means tearing or biting fish, prior to the 19th century.

In the wild, bettas spar for only a few minutes or so before one fish backs off. Bred specifically for fighting, domesticated betta matches can go on for much longer, with winners determined by a willingness to continue fighting. Once one fish retreats, the match is over. Large amounts of money are wagered during these fights, with potential losses as great as a person’s home.

Seeing the popularity of these fights, the King of Siam started licensing and collecting these fighting fish. In 1840, he gave some of his prized fish to a man who, in turn, gave them to Dr. Theodor Cantor, a medical scientist. Nine years later, Dr. Cantor wrote an article describing them under the name Macropodus Pugnax. In 1909, Mr. Tate Regan realized that there was already a species with the name Macropodus Pugnax, and renamed the Siamese fighting fish to Betta splendens.

Siamese fighting fish has upturned mouths and are primarily carnivorous surface feeders, although some vegetable matter may be eaten. In the wild, they feed on zooplankton, crustaceans, the larvae of mosquitoes and other water bound insect larvae. Typically, commercial betta pellets are a combination of mashed shrimp meal, wheat flour, fish meal, brine shrimp, bloodworms, and vitamins. These fish will also eat live or frozen bloodworms, mosquito larvae, brine shrimp or daphnia.

Hatching brine shrimp is a popular method used by many in the aquarium hobby to obtain live food for their Betta fish. Brine shrimp are the easiest live fish food to procure, hatch and cultivate and are particularly nutritious when they are in their early stages still attached to their yolk sack. Some aquarium fish are reluctant to accept dried or flake foods therefore live food is occasionally necessary. Siamese fighting fish tattoo design done in morbid tattoo parlor in cash and carry mall Makati Manila, Philippines.

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