Betta picta (Sumatra)
There are currently at least 2 locations for the
B. picta - Java and Sumatra. Of these, the population from Java
seems to be more widely distributed among the hobbyists. Betta
picta is a pretty non-descript fish. It shows some iridescence
on the gill area and some reddish brown on the anal fin. Again, like
in most Bettas, the male is the more colorful of the sexes.
Last year, I was able to acquire a young pair of
B. picta (Sumatra) through a friend from Germany. Much to my
surprise, three days after I received them, they spawned. The
spawning tank was a 15-gallon with a substrate of fine gravel.
Filtration was through a sponge and box filter. The water was a
50-50 mix of regular Milwaukee tap water and de-ionized, peat
filtered water. The pH of the water was around 6.6-6.8 and driftwood
and Java moss provided cover and ornamentation. Two pairs of B.
foerschi (Kubu) and some Corydoras habrosus were the
other occupants of this tank.
The pair of B. picta stayed close to each
other since I introduced them in to the tank. Courtship began the
following day and continued until spawning the day after. These fish
spawn very similar to any of the other smaller mouthbrooding
Bettas such as B. edithae and B. prima. The
mouthbrooding male, with his distended jaw full of eggs, retired
inside a clay pot that was turned on its side. After 5 days he was
still "holding", so I moved him in to a 2-½ gallon tank for him to
continue his brooding undisturbed by the presence of other fish. I
expected him to cough up the eggs while in the net, as this has
happened several times while moving B. edithae into brooding
tanks. To his credit, he kept his mouth shut and didn't show any ill
effects from the move. On the 12th day after spawning, the male
released 36 fry. At this point, I moved the male back into the
The fry were the size of newborn guppies and took
baby brine shrimp immediately. At about 3 months of age, the
B. picta were sexable.
One of the notable aspects of this Betta from
Sumatra, at least in my experience, has been the male's tendency to
brood the eggs for the full incubation period rather than eating
them, as is the case more often than not with most mouthbrooding
Bettas. I have spawned three generations of this line of
B. picta and I am happy to say that this trend has carried over.
This is a fish that is not very particular about the water
conditions, eats both live and flake food, is a ready spawner and
will reward its keeper with a group of fry without too much effort.