When you heard the word ‘Alien’ you might picture a monstrous creature. But this species got its name due to its ‘out-of-the-planet’ appearance. I really like alien betta species because of their unique coloration and body pattern. The Alien bettas are the hybrid version of the betta fish. There are not many recordings about their captive-bred status and it considers a cross-breeding of the B.Imbellis and B.Mahachai and other natural species of the bettas.
Alien bettas are not pure wild bettas, so they should not be considered or advertised as wild bettas. Alien betta fish traits have full facial masks, webbing on the caudal fin and widespread iridescent pattern in the body. They need a good quality environment in the Aquarium to maintain good quality betta fish.
Let’s find out more about this ‘out-of-the planet’ fish species.
Quick overview of the Alien bettas?
There are several types of alien bettas such as; hybrid grey alien betta and Alien Betta Blue Hybrid. When thinking of the Alien bettas, they are known for their less aggressive nature.The Alien betta fish is an average-sized fish. Most of the Alien betta fish are 2 to 2.5 inches long and they are found in different colors.
Good quality betta fish lives around four years. If we talk about the care, it requires keeping the Alien betta fish healthy. The important thing is, we do not have to put much effort into keeping this fish healthy. Apart from that, the Alien betta fish is mostly found in the Swamps, small ponds, and paddles in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand.
One look Care guide
|Scientific name||B. splendens|
|Common names||Alien Betta|
|Color||Royal blue, grey, black dots|
|Tank size||Minimum 10 gallons/40 liters|
|Preferred temperature||70-82o F|
|pH||6.5 – 7.5|
|Other water parameters (ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite)||Zero level (0)|
|Water Hardness||GH between 5 – 20 DH or 70-300 ppm|
|Size||2 -2.5 inches|
|Temperament||Peaceful when alone|
|Recommended tank mates||Poecilia, Black Tetras, Bloodfin Tetras, Catfish, Croaking Gourami, and Rasboras.|
|Preferred food||Frozen and dried foods.brine shrimp or blood wormsCyclops|
|Feeding frequency||Feeds around 12 hours apart, fast for 24 hours once every 10-14 days|
|Breeding||Bubble nest builders|
You should provide them sufficient space to roam around in the tank to freely swim and enjoy the environment. It is recommended to have at least 10 gallons of water per Alien betta fish. If you want to keep the other fish in the same tank, keep only peaceful fish such as Betta Imbellis.
Colors of Allien betta fish
There are two major colorations of these fish
Hybrid grey alien betta
This alien betta fish variety is silver to grey in color with black dots/stripes and red touch in the caudal fin. They are very beautiful to look at with their beautiful fins.
Alien Betta Blue Hybrid
They are sometimes known as Royal blue betta. This variety has deep blue color all over the body. All the fins have black color stripes and the caudal fin has a red color margin.
How to prepare the Alien betta Aquarium?
Like every other betta fish in the Aquarium, the Alien betta fish also need a perfect environment to thrive. If the water condition is not good, the Alien betta will develop a high level of stress. Here is the Alien betta fish care guide that would help you to keep your fish happy.
The first thing that you need to manage is the water condition. Most health problems occur when the Aquarium water condition is not good. Use the proper filter system to remove the waste product from tanks. Otherwise, the fish waste products can lead to bacterial disease in the betta fish.
Also, the filter system helps to circulate the water. Water circulation regulates the algal growth in your tank. Water changes are important in maintaining a betta tank. You should change the small portion of the water every week and add the freshwater to the tanks.
Every time you see the water getting cloudy or changing its color, it is a sign of dirty water. when you see such changes, clean your filter and see if that makes any difference in cleaning the water. If that doesn’t work, you should clean the entire Aquarium before it becomes a fish problem.
Since Alien betta fish is a wild betta fish hybrid they are very sensitive to water temperature. Therefore, the water temperature in the Aquarium must be in the range of 70 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. As an important fact, you must remember, that water consumes the temperature of the surrounding environment. Thus, the location of the tank plays a key role in regulating tank water temperature.
If your tank is located near a window, a fireplace, or a kitchen door; the temperature will rise from time to time. As you can understand, it will generate stress in betta fish. Not only high temperatures but low temperatures also create stress in fish.
When betta fish expose to high temperatures you can observe behavioral changes in them. For example, If they stop eating suddenly that could be due to sudden temperature changes in water.
Therefore it is vital to track the temperature to keep the Alien betta in excellent health. The best way to track the temperature is to use water temperature monitor. You can buy custom-made temperature measurement equipment from an aquarium store. When there is a rise in the tank’s temperature, replace some part of the water with cold water and perform a similar activity and vice versa. Apart from that, high water temperature lead to increase ammonia concentration in the water in turn making Alien betta stressed.
3) Food types:
Alien betta fish are carnivorous fish that loves live food like; blood-red warms, black warms, and shrimp, etc. It requires a fair amount of calories to survive throughout the day. Mixing the food with a different available choice would make the Alien betta calm and happy. You should practice them to eat different types of food. Because, If there is no regular food left, the Alien betta will not eat the new food. It would create trouble for you and develop health problems.
4) Space in the tank:
It is recommended to have at least 10 gallons of water per Alien betta fish. As you know Alien betta is known for its large size decorative fins. The fins could become more significant than the actual size of the Alien betta fish. However, the fins are delicate, and they easily break when it comes into contact with the decorations that are kept in the Aquarium.
Therefore, the Alien betta needs sufficient space in the Aquarium to swim. if you place too many decorations, plants, and other equipment in the small size tank It may restrict them from moving around the tank. The Alien betta would find it difficult to swim in the small space.
Also, if the Alien betta’s fins get stuck in the decorative, they will be damaged. The fish would look awful without their fins. You may not like the Alien betta with the broken fins or the no fins at all. Also, sometimes the skin damage can cause Alien betta ill. If you do not take care of them properly, they will die due to injuries. So you must provide space for them to swim peacefully.
5) Tank mates:
The Alien betta would love to stay in a group. When the fish find there are other fish in the tank, they find it comfortable. If you keep Alien betta alone in the tank, they will always be in alert mode due to their natural tendency to stay awake to avoid any danger. They find it challenging to remain calm in the tank, it may seemingly develop a high-stress level.
Betta males are aggressive and they tend to fight. Therefore, fish with large flowing tails, like guppies, should be avoided. Fish like Oscar, parrotfish, killifish, or Acaras should be avoided. Betta is compatible with Poecilia, Black Tetras, Bloodfin Tetras, Catfish, Croaking Gourami, and Rasboras. If possible, keep 4 to 5 fish together, that will make your betta happy and will add beauty to your tank.
The appearance of the alien betta and how to manage them?
The alien betta typically grows up to two inches. They are found in a wide variety of colors. The most attractive part of the alien betta is the large-size fins that look magical. In the right lighting condition, the alien betta fins look beautiful. Usually, the skin color of the betta is black or dark brown.
The brighter fins of the alien betta exhibit blue, red, and green colors. Some bright red alien betta looks fantastic in the aquarium tank.
Males are more colorful than females, and also, they are smaller than the female alien betta. The rounded shape of the fish with the long tail makes the Alien betta look bigger. Alien betta is a very small fish and they look bigger than their actual size because of their larger fins.
Differences between wild betta and Alien betta
Alien betta or Betta smaragdina is a hybrid of wild betta fish. There is a suggestion that alien betta is a cross of Betta imbellis and Betta mahachaiensis. Although they are genetically similar to wild betta they cannot consider a wild betta type. There is not much difference between wild betta and alien betta. But most betta enthusiasts consider Alien betta is less aggressive than wild betta fish.
How many years does alien betta live?
Alien betta lives around four years. The lifespan can be a little extended when they are kept in good care and with a high-quality diet. A nutritious diet helps the alien betta develop a robust immune system that protects them from diseases and virus attacks. On a special note, even in low-quality water conditions, they can survive for days. But you should not keep your betta fish in low-quality water for much longer. That can be lethal for them. To keep your fish healthy, you should provide your fish healthy diet and good water conditions as mentioned earlier in this article.
Can Alien betta fish live in tap water?
Tap water pH range lies between 6.5 – 7.5 which is considered a neutral range for betta fish. wild bettas also prefer this neutral range of pH. Furthermore, tap water’s trace mineral content is high and mineral content is very important for the growth of betta fish. Not only that, you can easily change the temperature of your aquarium water (tap water) using a heater or cooler according to your preference. But You should be aware of the chlorine content of the water. The tap water contains excess chlorine amount, you can always check that with the nearby aquarium. They have test kits to check the chlorine level in the water.
Most importantly, you do not have to spend an extra amount of money to collect the water for your aquarium.
Also Read Elephant Ear Betta Care Complete Guide 2021
Do Alien Bettas like light?
All betta fish including wild betta and alien betta require light for half of the day.
Do Bettas like the sun?
Betta is a tropical fish, therefore their likeness to sunlight came from their genes. If it is possible to provide sunlight to your tank, it has a great many uses other than keeping your betta fish happy. sunlight provides free 12 hours of light supply for your aquarium, which improves the growth of the plant in the aquarium.
you can place your aquarium close to a window and let the natural process take its course and save you money from expensive light as well as electricity bills. Due to better lighting, your aquarium plant will thrive well and give enough oxygen to your betta tank.
It is important to mention that, sunlight will not damage your alien betta fish eyes. These fish naturally adapt to tolerate sunlight and they can survive by changing their eye according to the sunrise and dawn.
Alien betta can adjust to artificial light very easily, but it is always easy for them to grow with natural light. If you use artificial light give them some time (around 30 minutes ) to adjust, before turning the lights on.
Are LED lights bad for betta fish?
If you have access to sunlight there is no problem with lighting as we discussed earlier. But if you can not access enough sunlight, you have to provide artificial light to your betta fish tank. LED is the best solution for your tank. some larger and more professional aquariums use UVB lights. But LED is more than enough for your standard-size planted aquarium.
To mimic natural light, the LED light should be white in color. As you may know, betta fish need light only for 12 hours. Therefore you can use a blue LED for the night, or turn off the light at night. Betta fish prefer a completely dark environment for half of the day.
Do they like planted aquariums?
The Alien bettas are generally found in densely planted areas. It is important if you tried to mimic the tank’s atmosphere to make them feel at home. As a starter, you can put some naturally found water plants in the tank. Ensure that you are not using the ground plant in the water, as these plants’ leaves would react with the water and may rot. Sometimes they produce harmful chemicals in the water.
Use only water plant that suits the aquarium water. Providing plenty of plants in the tank would make them comfortable. Usually, fish look for a hiding place when they get afraid. The non-availability of a hiding place may stress them out. The aquarium plant would help their hiding places when they want to hide. Also, build small caves made of stones, put rocks, or add decorative toys into the tank.
You have to ensure that the Alien betta gets plenty of plants, natural hiding space to hide, and sufficient space to swim. If you can fulfill these three requirements, and your Alien betta would find the Aquarium perfect for living. If you have a pair in the tank, the female may require hiding space to stay away from the male Alien betta. The male Alien betta sometimes becomes aggressive when they want to mate. We will discuss this behavior in the next section.
Allien betta breeding
Tank setup for breeding
You need at least two tanks if you are willing to start breeding Alien betta. One tank is a permanent resident tank and another one is for breeding. As we discussed details about the resident tank before in this article, here I am only going to talk about how to set up a breeding tank for Alien betta. As a norm use a peaceful, quiet area to set up your betta breeding tank.
After you have chosen a location, move your tank there and fill 3 – 5 inches of water. Then check the water temperature. It should be around 78o F. if the temperature is not close to the expected number use heater or cooler to maintain the temperature.
Although some people use filters, my advice is not to use one in the breeding tanks. Because the flow created by the filter will disturb the bubble net. Breeding tanks do not need a bottom substrate, keep it bare. You must add some plants and hiding places in the breeding tank. Planets and hiding places will give plenty of hiding places for the female animals to hide during the mating act. Also, the floating plant gives a good surface for the bubble nest made by the Alien betta fish.
Select your pair
This choice is entirely up to you. You have to decide what type and color of fish you need. Apart from color, you have considered their,
- Age: best between age 4 – 12 months,
- Health: free from parasites, without fin damages, active, without fungus infections
- Size: male should be larger than female
Before introducing your pair to each other, you should condition the fish for at least two weeks, the longer the better. You can feed them with a high protein diet like bloodworm, daphnia, chopped meat, small insects, or frozen substitute. Let them store energy for the breeding act. Otherwise, they may not have enough energy to produce eggs or take care of their young.
Introducing the pair
At end of the conditioning period, you can introduce the female to the breeding tank In two ways. Those are using a divider or using a see-through container. Let the female adjust to the environment. Do not rush the process. Every step should be slow and careful. Now you may see the male fish start to swim around and flare his fin. Also, his body color changes into a darker shade. If you see that it is a good sign. That means he is interested.
You also have to check the reaction of female fish. If her color turns to a darker color and displays vertical stripes that indicate her interest in the male fish. Also, check for a small white tube protruding from behind the ventral fish. (It is called her ovipositor)
Building the nest
Usually, after this introduction within 24 hours males start to build the bubble nest. He makes this nest using air-filled bubbles produced by itself and bound these bubbles with its own saliva. after the nest is made, release the female into the breeding tank carefully. You should stay and watch the process cautiously.
Then the female approach the nest and will inspect the structure. If she likes it, she won’t do anything to it. But if she does not like it, she will destroy the nest. If that happens, immediately remove the female from the tank. Keep her away for an hour and introduce her again. If she destroys the nest again you should consider introducing another female to the process.
If all goes well, they start swimming side by side by flaring their fins. When a female is ready to spawn she normally swims toward the nest.
Then start the mating dance. In this special step, the male turns the female upside down and wraps himself around her, and squeezes. This squeeze will increase the likelihood of fertilization as their vets place close together. This embrace can happen while they are floating or while sinking to the bottom. After one squeeze male releases the female for a few moments and embraces her again. This mating act can last from a minute to hours.
Then the male releases the female and starts to gather all eggs and float them up to the nest. Sometimes females help send eggs to the nest, but sometimes they start to eat them. Thus it is important to remove the female once the dance is over. When the female has finished laying the egg male releases the milt into the tank for fertilization.
Over the next few days, male alien betta will take care of the eggs inside the nest by repairing the bubble nest and placing the falling egg in a new bubble.
After 2-3 days eggs start to hatch and fry began to fall from the bubble. The male will place the fry in the bubble again and provide oxygen inside the bubble for respiration. Once they are able to swim horizontally they leave the bubble and start to swim in the tank by the 4th day.
Once fries are old enough to swim up and down you should remove the male fish from the tank and place him in his resident tank.
How can I tell if my Alien Betta is happy or sad?
If you carefully look at your fish you can easily say whether your fish is happy or sad. These happy or sad behavior indicate their good or bad health status. you can use these signs as a guide
happy or healthy fish show these signs
- Colorful and colors are always bright.
- Good appetite and eat the food you gave
- Very active and swim around the tank freely
- Most of the time kept their fins open
- Always swim around in the open spaces in the tank
Sad or unhealthy fish show these signs
- Faded skin-color
- Avoid food or uneaten food in the tank
- Fins kept close
- Always try to hide
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