freshwater community4


Penang Betta

penang betta

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Scientific Name:   Betta pugnax      
Min. Tank Size:   30 gallons      
Personality:   Peaceful/Males not as likely to fight      
Temperature:   72-82°F      
pH:   6.0-7.5/0-10°dGH      
Size:   4"      
Diet:   Carnivore/May take flakes      
Breeding:   Egglayer      


Alone or with medium-sized Rasboras, Barbs, and other Anabantoids. Consider any tankmates small enough to be eaten as food.

Penang Betta

Also known as the Forest Betta, the Penang Betta has a large natural range. These fish tend to live in shallow streams in Asia, Malaysia and Singapore where the substrate is sandy and there is limited vegetation. The Penang Betta is one of the larger species of Betta, though females tend to be smaller than males of the species. This species is relatively devoid of coloration, having a silver to light brown body ornamented by a pale stripe through the eye.

Tank Set-up

This species is not recommended for a community tank - it is best kept in a species tank or with other peaceful species such as small Cyprinids and Loaches. In the home aquarium, Penang Bettas prefer fully decorated tanks that incorporate some natural elements such as driftwood branches to provide shelter. The addition of leaf litter to the tank will provide extra cover and will also help to mimic the natural environment of this species.


Penang Bettas are largely carnivorous, feeding on insects, small invertebrates and zooplankton in the wild. In captivity, these Bettas will generally accept Betta pellets as a staple diet. Supplement this diet with small live foods such as bloodworms, Daphnia, Artemia and small gut-loaded insects. For optimum health feed a varied diet on a regular basis.


These fish are a mouth-brooding species and are not difficult to breed in either a group or pair. The female of the species may be more likely than the male to engage in courtship behavior and may also defend the spawning area against other fish. The male, however, will keep the eggs in his mouth until they hatch 9 to 16 days later. After the fry have been released, the pair can be removed from the tank and the fry raised on their own.

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