Betta prima
Kottelat 1994

Betta prima [3]

Keeping Betta prima from an Aquarist View


Betta prima can be housed in pairs, species tanks, and community tanks.  Pairs can be housed in a 10 gallon tank, groups should be housed in a 30 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.  For best results remove a brooding male.

Water Conditions

Not critical, prima is very tolerant of water chemistry and thrives in almost any type of water as long as it is clean and well filtered.  They should be kept at cool to mid 70s F.


Males have a broader head then females and have a caudal spike typical of pugnax complex and longer pelvic fins.  Females ovaries might be visible via spotlighting.


Prima is a paternal mouthbrooder and the male incubates from 8 to 10 days. Incubation time can vary with water temperature.  Females normally initiate spawning.

Similar Species Similar species would be pugnax complex members.

Articles on Betta prima

Mouth Brooder Betta of Thailand  Nonn Panitvong. 2002.

Articles on Related Species

I’ve Got a New Mouthbrooding Betta – Now What?.  Michael Hellweg.  2003.

Working with wild Bettas  Gerald Griffin.   Flare! 2006

Original Citation Kottelat, M. 1994. [54]
References Baensch, H.A. and R. Riehl, 1997 [27] Gonin, Herve and Jacques Laird. 2002.  [137] Panitvong, Nonn. Mouth Brooder Betta of Thailand. [78]
Type Locality Creek at ca. km 1 on road to Nam Tok Phliu, after leaving Chantaburi-Trat hwy, 12°32’N, 102°11’E, Chantaburi, Thailand.
Holotype ZRC [ex CMK 10798]
Paratype CMK 9738 (1), 10665 (5), 10691 (6), 10714 (2), 10723 (1)
KUMF uncat. (14)
MHNG 2158.52 (6)
NIFI uncat. (2)
ZRC 38250-51 (6, 5)
Where Found Countries: Cambodian
Known Occurrences: Cambodian: Kirikum
Cambodian: Sihanoukville
Cambodian: Stung Treng
Thailand: Siam: Klong Nakon Noi Nakon Sritamarat
Thailand: Chantaburi Prov.: creek at about km 1 on road to Nam Tok Phliu, after leaving Chantaburi – Trat highway (12 32.0 N 102 11.0 E)
Miscellaneous Information Max Size: 9.00 cm SL
Temperature: 24°C
Etymology: From the Latin primus meaning first.