|Common Name||Alien Betta|
|Scientific Name||Betta splendens complex (Betta splendens, Betta smaragdina, Betta mahachaiensis)|
|Origin||Bred in Captivity|
|Temperature Range||75 to 85°F|
|Adult Size||2 to 3 inches|
Alien Betta Fish Facts:
- Alien Bettas are unique fish that are created when two types of Betta fish are cross bred.
- Alien Bettas are not found naturally in the wild, but they do share their genes with wild Bettas.
There is no doubt that Betta fish are popular in the aquarium hobby. They offer a wide range of color and are relatively easy to care for in comparison to other fish out there. Alien Betta are a type of Betta fish that is created by mixing two other species of Betta fish together. They do this for the striking patterns, and the vibrant color. As a hybrid specimen, it is very unlikely that they exist naturally in the wild, but they are bred from wild bettas.
Alien Betta fish often have a black or dark brown body with a vivid metallic sheen. It has a stunning iridescence and pattern. In fact, the coloration is what typically helps you identify Alien Bettas. They come in a variety of colors, but the pattern and vibrancy remains the same. The female Alien Betta fish is typically much more brightly colored than most other female Betta fish. The females are noticeably smaller than the males, and they tend to have a body shape that is round in comparison.
Alien Betta Fish Care
Food and Diet
Alien Bettas require the same types of foods as all other Betta fish. They are described as a micropredator, and when it comes to feeding time, they enjoy invertebrates much more than other foods. They will eat brine shrimp, daphnia, tubifex, and bloodworms. They will readily accept live or frozen foods, but they can be conditioned to eat high quality flake or pellet food. When trying to breed your Bettas, reverting to live and frozen foods is recommended. It provide them with the necessary nutrients and helps condition them for spawning. Betta fish are typically fed once or twice a day depending on how much food you are giving them at each feeding. If you feel like your Betta fish is overeating, you can reduce the number of feedings to only once per day.
Size and Lifespan
Alien Betta fish can grow anywhere from 2 to 3 inches in length, and if cared for properly, they can live in captivity for around 4 years.
Alien Betta can thrive in a tank as small as 5 gallons if it is set up properly. However, keep in mind that the water parameters will fluctuate much more rapidly in smaller tanks. You would need to monitor a small tank much more closely than a larger one. If you are planning on keeping your Alien Betta with tankmates, a larger tank will be required. While they are typically a peaceful fish, the males can become aggressive. The aggression is typically observed towards fish that are the same color as he is.
Alien Betta tanks also require an aquarium heater. They thrive in temperatures ranging from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Keeping their aquarium at a constant temperature toward the higher end of this range will keep your Bettas more active, display brighter colors, and more likely to breed. Captive bred Betta fish can tolerate a wider range of pH, and they prefer neutral to slightly acidic water. Alien Betta require a pH of 5.0 to 7.0.
In the wild, Betta fish live in shallow waters with dense vegetation. They feed on tiny invertebrates that also live in these environments. Choosing an aquarium setup that mimics their natural habitat is ideal. In addition to aquatic plants, consider adding driftwood. Driftwood is great for Betta tanks because they release tannins in the water over time. Tannin rich waters can help mimic the waters that the Betta fish are adapted to in the wild.
Breeding Alien Bettas
Alien Betta fish breed in a similar way as other species of Betta fish. Like others, they are bubble nesters. The male builds the bubble nest and allows the female to release her eggs. After the eggs are released, the male picks them up and places them in the nest. He will then care for the eggs until they hatch.
While male Betta fish can not be housed together, female Betta fish are more compatible. In fact, multiple female bettas can be housed together. If you are planning on breeding Alien Betta fish, you will want to keep a few females in with your male so that when he is ready to spawn, there is a female that is available for him to spawn with. If a male is ready to spawn and the female is not, this can lead to the male becoming aggressive towards the female. He will then chase and bite her. So, having multiple females in a tank not only increases your chance of having your Bettas spawn, but also gives the other females a break.
If you are trying to breed your Alien Betta Fish, you need to first condition your water in your tank. Raising the temperature to a higher degree, and feeding them a high protein diet will entice them to want to breed. If that does not work, you can then try isolating the male from the females for a few days.
When the male decides he is ready to spawn, he will build a bubble nest in your tank in a quiet corner using a plant or other decor as an anchor. Once he has his nest finished, he will then try to entice a ready female to meet him beneath it. They will then begin a courtship dance. Once your Bettas have embraced, they will release eggs into the water. The male will scoop them up and place them in the bubble nest. The Betta fry will develop over the course of 36 to 48 hours. Once the fry begin to hatch, you will want to remove the male Betta so that he doesn’t try to eat the fry. Betta fry are extremely tiny, and you will need to provide them with small enough food that will fit in their mouths. After that, it is only a matter of waiting until they are large enough to accept the dried flaked foods.
Alien Betta Genetics
Alien Bettas are a hybridization of different types of betta fish, which includes wild type Betta splendens, Betta smaragdina, and/or Betta mahachaiensis. Traits of Alien Bettas include full facial mask, iridescence that cover the fins and the body, as well as webbing on the caudal fins.
Blue is the result of having a Betta fish with a homozygous metallic gene over a heterozygous iridescent gene. Homozygous is a pairing of alleles that are identical, where heterozygous means that the allele pairs are not identical. This is useful information to know when breeding your Alien Betta Fish as it will determine the coloration of your Betta fry.
Like the color grey, the colors of the Alien Betta Fish do not change color depending on the angle of light. An important thing to note, because they are heterozygous they do not breed true, thus the breeder will have a stock of turquoise, steel blue, and Royal blue Non-metallic offspring when breeding their Alien Bettas. When it comes to breeding your Betta fish to get Alien Betta fish coloration, it can be rather difficult.
Types of Alien Bettas
There are a few different types of Alien Betta fish, but they are all equally beautiful. Plakat Alien Betta Fish are a shorter finned variety of Betta. They have large, strong bodies, large fins, and small jaws. They were picked out of rice paddies and bred for their fighting abilities, but they have the same pattern and colorations as other Alien Bettas. Alien Betta Fish are usually named in conjunction with their coloration. So, the Green Alien Betta Fish have a vibrant green color, the Copper Alien Betta Fish have a coppery patterned sheen, as do the blue and black etc. These strikingly beautiful fish are not found in the wild, and have instead been selectively bred for their colorations. This makes them a pricey fish to obtain, but there are several breeders online that you can purchase them from.
Are Alien Bettas Aggressive?
Alien Betta males can be very aggressive towards each other, but can tolerate most freshwater community fish of the same size or smaller. Alien Betta fish inhabit all levels of the aquarium, but they typically ignore bottom dwelling fish. As with all community tank setups, it is important to monitor the behavior of your fish to ensure that there aren’t any problems. Fish that are overly aggressive, or fish that are out competing each other for food should be removed and housed separate from others. Keepers of Betta Fish recommend that males be kept in a single species tank by themselves, or in a tank with a sorority of multiple females and plenty of space.