Plakat Bettas are brilliantly colored freshwater fish that any aquarist would love to own. We consider them as lesser-known Betta fish that can greatly transform a boring aquarium, and it’s hardly surprising they are now gaining deserved attention from fish lovers around the world.
Generally speaking, many aquarists who breed any freshwater fish do so because of aesthetic appeal. And for Plakat Bettas, their colorful bodies with free-flowing fins and beautiful tails will blow you away.
In recent years, Plakat Betta care has become more and more of a favorite pastime, with many aquarists keen to understand how to make the most of the fish’s charming personality.
In this detailed guide, you will learn everything you may have wanted to know about Plakat Betta care. We will introduce the fish and its origin before discussing other crucial aspects like the general tank setup, diet, behavior, tank mates, breeding, and more.
So, what is a Plakat Betta?
Plakat Bettas are gorgeous freshwater fish that complete the broader Betta family. They are not the most famous Betta species, but anyone who knows these fish understands what a magnificent addition they can be to a dull aquarium.
Like most Betta fish, the Plakat species are dominantly found in specific Asian regions, including Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. In many regions where Plakat Bettas are a dominant species, like Vietnam, they are specifically used as fighter fish.
As controversial as it may sound, fish fighting, just like bullfighting, is some people’s favorite pastime, earning the government’s recognition in specific Asian countries like Thailand.
Now, the fighting aspect aside, the biggest question might go like, “but why Plakat Bettas?” Well, you already have the answer, and it has nothing to do with the fish’s size.
While they are naturally smaller in size, Plakat Bettas are natural fighters with strongly built stouts specifically designed for small battles. They are perceived to be stronger than the more delicate, conventional Bettas, which is why they are widely recognized as Plakat fighting fish.
As you approach the European countries, Plakat Bettas will have a more acceptable role as aquarium pets. Throughout this region, these Bettas are viewed as stunning aquarium fish that can liven up any tank, no matter the chosen tank mates.
|Lifespan||Up to 3 years|
|Behavior & Temperament||Aggressive|
|Compatibility||Kept singly or with peaceful shoaling species|
|Food and Diet||Carnivores|
|Size||Up to 3 inches|
|Tank Setup||Freshwater with plants and caves|
|Tank Size (Minimum)||10 gallons|
The average life expectancy of a typical Plakat Betta depends on the tank water conditions. And in the best possible environment, a typical fish will live for about 3-5 years.
That’s not as impressive as many species out there, but it’s a solid lifespan considering Plakat’s behavior in captivity.
Naturally, these are aggressive species, with the increased risk of shortened lifespans due to fighting. But with the highest quality care, they will easily reach the 3-year mark.
We can’t tell if you will love Plakat Bettas at first sight, but we know them as one of the cutest looking Betta fish in the market. A typical variant boasts a more familiar look, and it may be difficult to separate them from other Betta species.
Typically, these fish have simple, cylindrical bodies, with heads tapering towards the mouth. Unlike most Betta fish, Plakats have short, compressed bodies that can easily endure minor injuries.
Also, the fish’s fins bring out the difference between Plakat Bettas and most other species. Usually, Plakats boast expansive anal fins, with beautifully elongated dorsal and pelvic fins.
On the other hand, the tailfin appears shorter than many fish and is sometimes only noticeable with an up-close look.
When it comes to sex, the male fish are larger and more conspicuous than the smaller females. While gender selection depends on personal preferences, many aquarists prefer the male fish over the females because of size differences.
In terms of general body coloration, selective breeding has created endless color options within the Betta community, saving aquarists from the hassles of putting up with the naturally dull color combinations.
Today, you can also find other Plakat varieties like the Spoonhead and Snakeheads, depending on what’s suitable for your aquarium.
In terms of average body size, it’s fair to say Plakat Bettas are on the lower end of the growth spectrum. These fish will only grow to a maximum size of 2-3 inches in captivity, which, again, is never guaranteed.
You can take a massive step towards extending the fish’s average size by providing high-quality care and keeping them in a pristine environment.
Plakat Betta Care
Plakat Betta care is easy if you already know what to expect from these species. And as we always say, Plakat Bettas are a hardy species that have become quite difficult to understand in the recent past.
Keeping these fish at home is not challenging at all. However, the endless misinformation online has made many aquarists doubt their ability to maintain a healthy Betta community.
The fish’s aggressive behavior is a hotly contested topic among many aquarists. So, without further ado, let’s discuss the dos and don’ts of effective Plakat Betta care;
Plakat Bettas are a smaller species, but that’s not an excuse to keep them in a small tank. So, resist the urge to keep your fish in a small bowl or jar because it carries significant risks in the long run.
Beginner-level aquarists are always quick to keep Plakat Bettas in small tanks or tiny containers, failing to understand the impact of tank size on the fish’s average growth rate, size, and health in captivity.
In our experience with these species, you should go with a tank size of 5 gallons at the very least. A bigger size will be even better if you want to maximize your fish’s comfort in captivity.
The best thing about Plakat Bettas is that they are a less demanding species that prefer slightly acidic, warm waters both in captivity and the wild.
So, anything close to the murky wild environments is good enough to become their new home. However, that also means sticking to the recommended water parameters to keep your fish in top shape.
Your Plakat Bettas will be easier to please if you keep everything within the recommended levels;
- Water Temperature: 72°F-82°F
- Water Hardness: 2-12 dKH
- pH Levels: 6.0-7.5
We’ve always stressed the need to purchase a suitable aquarium kit to help aquarists measure and adjust the tank water status appropriately. And the same still applies if you keep Plakat Bettas at home.
What to Put in Their Tank?
Plakat Bettas don’t mind having a few or plenty of decorations as long as the general tank setup is perfect. So, this is your time to demonstrate your creativity by only prioritizing the most suitable tank elements.
Naturally, Plakat Bettas originate from shallow water bodies and want multiple hiding spots at any chance. So, you must consider that when decorating their new habitat.
Also, they will benefit from additional protection provided by floating plants or fine-leaf varieties like Anubias. Plants tannins are an excellent addition to help buffer the tank water and maximize your fish’s comfort inside the aquarium.
To mimic the natural river beds, consider additional decorations like caves, plastic décor, and driftwood that provide enough protection to your fish. Of course, you should avoid rough surfaces or any object with sharp edges that could inflict multiple wounds all over the fish’s body.
As usual, we can’t stress enough the significance of leaving enough swimming space inside the tank.
Thanks to selective breeding, we finally have a species that can effortlessly withstand most conditions affecting freshwater fish. Plakat Bettas are highly resilient fish in the wild and captivity, which explains why the Asian breeders view them as natural fighters.
But get this straight. Even with Plakats’ hardy nature, common fungal and bacterial infections will still make captivity life quite unbearable to your beautiful Bettas. The most common condition you will have to deal with in a Plakat Betta community is fin rot.
This disease usually targets the fish’s fins, causing them to either decay or fall off. There’s no need to panic if you spot fin rot symptoms in your Bettas because it’s easily treatable with simple medications.
Like most freshwater fish, maintaining stable tank water conditions will give you the best chance to keep a flourishing Plakat Betta population. Even with a busy working schedule, always dedicate enough time to monitor the tank water status to ensure everything stays within the recommended range.
What Do Plakat Bettas Eat?
Plakat Bettas are a predatory species in captivity and exclusively feed on high-quality protein-rich foods. They love meats, with live insects and bug larvae making an important part of their diet in the wild.
What’s more, these fish are happy with high-quality pellets only if they are protein-based. Effective Plakat Betta care guidelines disqualify plant-based foods from the fish’s diet because they don’t align with their dietary needs in the wild.
We recommend a healthy combination of high-quality live foods and commercial types to ensure your Plakat Bettas get all the important nutrients they so badly crave.
And sticking with daphnia, micro worms, brine shrimp, and bloodworms will ultimately pay off. In other words, you should build their feeding routine around live foods if possible.
If you are unsure of which feeding routine to follow, stick to a twice a day program, only providing the right amount of food every time.
Behavior & Temperament
What’s the typical Plakat Betta’s behavior? Your guess is as good as ours. Aggression.
But in fairness to them, most fish of the Betta family are known for their highly territorial tendencies and won’t be the best buddies for any fragile, defenseless fish.
In general, the primary cause of aggression in the Plakat Betta community is keeping multiple males together. A routine fight among the adult Plakat Bettas can be interesting to watch, but we strongly discourage it because of the significant risks it poses in the long run.
The greatest skill you can learn at home is to identify the early signs of aggression in a Plakat Betta community.
As the little squabbles begin, the infuriated Plakat fighter fish will flare up their gills, giving the clearest indication that everything’s not right. This strategy somehow increases the fish’s size, making them even scarier to the picked opponent, who is, sometimes, just a weak, defenseless species.
What follows next is a horrific attack on the perceived enemy, with persistent nipping at whatever body part they can find.
As far as their activity level goes, Plakat fish are an outright wild species. Some specimens within their family are the perfect escape artists, constantly looking for leakages inside the tank to break away from the captive life.
Usually, any aggressive behavior in Plakat Bettas has a primary cause, almost always a small tank. Sometimes, the Plakats will show an easy-going personality if kept alone in an ideal environment or with suitable tank mates.
Plakat Bettas Tank Mates
Despite their aggressive behavior, Plakat fish appreciate suitable tank mates. Don’t isolate them in captivity because that can only lead to loneliness and shorten their lifespan.
Also, keeping multiple species in the same habitat limits their aggressive behavior and can give you the most gorgeous-looking aquarium just yet.
The bottom line is to resist the urge to keep more than one adult male in the same territory. The worst possible tank mates for Plakat Bettas are fin nipping species and fast-moving fish of similar size.
On the other hand, Plakat Betta’s ideal tank mates are peaceful, bottom-dwelling species that won’t cross paths with your Betta fish. And a few such options are listed below;
- Peaceful Barbs
- Larger Tetras
- Cory Catfish
Plakat Betta breeding is trickier than you could imagine, but fortunately, not entirely impossible. All it takes is careful planning right from the start to ensure your fish have the best spawning conditions.
Usually, successful breeding rests on the fish’s ability to bond at an early age, which again depends on your commitment from the get-go. You should encourage pairing among the juvenile fish as soon as you introduce them to the aquarium.
If you manage to pull it off, the next step will be to introduce the fish into a new breeding tank, featuring the correct tank elements. That means you must make the breeding pair feel comfortable by providing a spacious environment and a constant supply of protein-rich foods.
Like most Bettas, the male Plakat Bettas will spread their bubble clusters on the water surface, with the female moving swiftly to release her eggs. After successful fertilization, the pair will transfer the eggs to the bubble nest for added protection.
Typically, the fertilized eggs only take about 3 days to hatch. Still, you can lose everything at this point if you leave the adult fish inside the breeding tank. Remember, they are not as parental as you would expect them to be and might snack on the eggs under no one’s watch.
The baby fish will feed on egg sacs for the first few days before later switching to infusoria and powdered fish food or even baby brine shrimp as they slowly become independent.
Plakat Bettas are exciting to have as a favorite pet. Caring for them is not as hard as many people argue, which is why we never hesitate to recommend them to aquarists of different backgrounds.
Everything else falls into place as long as you’ve mastered the basics of Plakat Betta care. But most importantly, be sure to understand how to navigate the fish’s aggressive temperament.
For any aquarist who’s had success with the Plakat Bettas before, we will be delighted to hear your beautiful story.