Betta pulchra
Tan & Tan 1996

Betta pulchra
Photo by Eric Bourdier [12]

Keeping Betta pulchra from an Aquarist View


Betta pulchra 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, pulchra 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.


Pulchra is a paternal mouthbrooder and the male incubates from 12 to 18 days with 14 days being consistent. Incubation time can vary with water temperature.  Females normally initiate spawning.

Similar Species Similar species would be pugnax complex members.

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

Tan, H.H. and S.H. Tan, 1996. [106]


Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2002. [126]

Type Locality

Kampong Jasa Sepakat, Pontian, Johor, Malaysia


ZRC 28860


ZRC 17368-70 (3), 29123-25 (3), 39252 (5), 28861-99 (39)

Where Found



Known Occurrences:

Malaysia: Johor, Pontian, Kampong Jasa Sepakat

Miscellaneous Information

Max Size:

4.99 cm SL

pH range:

The pH of the waters range from 3.9 to 4.2. [106]


Found in blackwater habitats common only in the overgrown bank vegetation of the irrigation canals. [106]


Latin pulcher means handsome, alluding to the beauty of this fish. [126]

Differentiation From Similar Species:

In comparison with B. pugnax s. str., it is distinctly stouter (dorsal depth 25.9-36.9 vs. 24.8-32.1% SL), possess more iridescent scales on the body in life, the caudal fin is narrowly lanceolate and the dorsal, caudal, anal and pelvic fins are proportionately longer. [106]


A paternal oralbrooder, the fry are not molested unless adults are straved. Juveniles at about 15 mm long exhibit some iridescence on the body [106]

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