& Kottelat 1992
Betta livida Tanjong Malim
Photo by Ken Muller 
Keeping Betta livida from an Aquarist
Betta livida can be housed in pairs, species
tanks, and community tanks. Pairs can be housed in a 5 gallon tank,
groups should be housed in a 20 gallon tank or larger. Pairs should be
given cover such as caves and plants. In a pair or species situation it
is possible that fry could be discovered in the tanks.
Betta livida comes from blackwater environments
and should have soft acidic water that is well filtered. They should be
kept at mid 70s F.
Females have an egg tube. Females ovaries might be
visible via spotlighting. Males may be more intensely colored.
Males have more pointed dorsal fins and longer anal fins. Females
are rounder and may exhibit an egg tube.
Livida is a submerged bubblenester so large leafed
plants or black plastic film canisters are best for giving them a place
||Similar species would be all coccina complex members.
||Livida males may have a smaller side spot then coccina.
Females tend to be a bland red with egg tube.
Articles on Betta coccina
Articles on related species
Betta cf. burdigala ‘Kubu’ Stefan vd. Voort. 2002.
Betta burdigala Yohan Fernando.
I’ve Got a New Mouthbrooding Betta – Now What? Michael Hellweg. 2003.
wild Bettas Gerald Griffin. Flare! 2006
||Ng, P. K. L. and Kottelat, M. 1992. 
|Pinto, Tony. 1998. 
||Blackwater stream, north Selangor peat swamp, on
road from Tanjong Malim to Sungai Besar, Peninsula Malaysia.
||CMK 8032 (25)
ZRC 14439 (1), 15209-28 (20), 15254-73 (20), 15288-89 (2),
18836-40 (5), 18851-53 (3), 22764-67 (4), 22768 (1), 22829 (1)
||Malaysia: Blackwater Stream, North Selangor Peat Swamp
Forest, 800 M From 45 Km Mark, On Road From Tanjong Malim To
Malaysia: North Selangor Peat Swamp Forest
Malaysia: North Selangor Peat Swamp Forest, On Road From
Sungai Besar To Tanjung Malim
||3.63 cm SL
General notes on water chemistry:
|pH 3.5-5, water temperature not to exceed 75°F. 
||Habitat is highly acidic tea-coloured water of between pH
3.5 to 3.7. Found in a peat swamp forest, mostly in well shaded
shallow waters (less than a meter deep) or along the vegetated
banks of deeper streams. Occurs usually in slow flowing water.
Preferred substrate appears to be leaf litter or submerged
||Builds a bubble nest, with the male aggressively chasing the
female to below the nest. 
All that is necessary for the successful spawn is a compatible,
well-conditioned pair, a small floating tube for the male to
build his bubblenest in, and Java moss for the female to hide
in. B. livida appears to be a seasonal spawner with the
author's fish breeding from the end of September through the
middle of March. To induce spawning, either add a small amount
of water a few degrees cooler and with the same chemistry as the
tank water, or wait for the arrival of a storm. The male builds
a small bubble nest into which 20-50 eggs are deposited. Both
parents tend to the fry for the first few days. The fry become
free-swimming at around the fourth day and may be found all over
the tank, although most will be found hiding in the darkest
corners. They are too small to accept newly hatched brine shrimp
and need to be fed infusoria for the first week. The author has
been successful at feeding the fry artificial plankton rotifer
(APR) powder. By the end of the first week, the fry are able to
accept brine shrimp. Cannibalism of the fry by their parents was
not witnessed with this or other species in the B. coccina group
which the author has maintained. Therefore, he suggests keeping
the parents with the fry, which seems to eliminate the outbreak
of velvet usually occurring after the fry are removed from their
parents in the first 2-3 weeks. This has also been observed with
mouthbrooding species like B. picta and with B.
foerschi. A pair can spawn several times over a period of 6
or more weeks, leaving the tank filled with fry of differing
sizes. To reduce predation of the smaller fry, the older ones
should be moved to new quarters after they are sexed out, which
can usually be accomplished by the third month. The fish are
sexually mature soon after this, but it is generally recommended
to wait until they are older to start breeding them since they
will be better conditioned to produce larger and more robust
spawns. B. livida appears to be long-lived, with the
author's pair being well over 3 years old and still spawning at
the writing of this article. 
Latin for 'jealous' with reference to its green
|Differentiation from similar species:
||Both sexes of B. livida have a lateral iridescent
green spot but in B. coccina, only the male has this
spot. B. coccina has black-tipped pelvic fins, where
B. livida's are green-tipped. B. brownorum is a
smaller fish which has white-tipped pelvic fins and both sexes
also have the green spot. B. tussyae does not have the
green spot and has white-tipped pelvic fins. B. rutilans,
the smallest member of the coccina group, is very similar to
B. tussyae, except that B. tussyae tends to show
horizontal stripes and rutilans remains bright red with no
stripes. B. livida also has two vertical gold bars on the
operculum which helps to differentiate it from other species. 
||A compatible pair can be kept in a well-covered 5 gallon
tank with a dried oak leaf substrate and a water level of 4-5
inches. RO or rainwater with peat extract is necessary to
duplicate their natural water conditions. Since they are
light-sensitive and very shy, they should be placed in a
darkened spot in the fishroom and only low-light plants added,
such as Java fern or Java moss. They show a marked preference
for live foods and only the occasional frozen bloodworm will be
accepted. A 10% water change at least biweekly is recommended
and only with water of the same quality. 
|This species is on the
IUCN Red List as
Critically Endangered (A2c).
Last modification submitted by Tom Stubblefield