Betta sp. Mahachai

Betta Mahachai male (Mah001)
Photo by Ralph Tran [9

Keeping Betta machachaiensis from an Aquarist View


Betta sp. Mahachai 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 pair to a breeding tank with little to no filtration.

Water Conditions

Not critical, Mahachai 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 mid 70s to low 80s F.


Males are more intensely colored and might have longer fins while the females will be a browner in color however females should display an ovipositor or egg tube.


Mahachai is a surface bubblenester however the male may make a nest under objects on the surface of the water.  Males normally initiate spawning and entice females to the nest for spawning.  Mahachai will often build a second nest and move the fry to the second nest after spawning is complete.  The female also clamps her pelvic fins preventing the eggs from falling and the male retrieves the eggs from her fins to place in the nest.  This is significantly different then rest of the complex.

Similar Species Similar species would be all splendens complex members.
Identification Mahachai have green or blue gill plates with no wild spots on the tail rays.

Articles on Betta sp. Mahachai

Bettas in Peril, the Mahachai SituationGerald Griffin.  Flare 2005

Articles on Related Species

Spawning Betta smaragdina – the “Emerald Betta Yohan Fernando.

Betta smaragdina Ladiges, 1972.  Michel Dantec.  Communauté Internationale pour les Labyrinthidés [internet]. France; c.9 August 2002.

Care and Spawning of Betta smaragdina.  Gerald Griffin.   Flare! Mar/Apr 1990

Working with wild Bettas  Gerald Griffin.   Flare! 2006.

References Panitvong, Nonn, 2002.[116]