After everything that happened in 2020, one would not be surprised to hear about Aliens. However, one need not be scared of these Aliens. Alien Betta is one of the newest addition to the Betta family. Its evocative black undertones and metallic sheen make its appearance completely different from the other Bettas available in the market.
Alien Betta (Betta splendens) are hybrids of various other Betta varieties. Most of the Alien Betta grows up to 2 to 2.5 inches in length. These fish do not exist in the wild and are known for their unique appearance.
Even though these fish are new, it has already become a favorite with a lot of breeders. While Alien Betta are not as aggressive as other fish belonging to the other family, they are still aggressive nonetheless. While the expected lifespan of an Alien Betta is considered to be five years, keeping them alive for that long is a task of its own and needs to be done with the utmost care
Overview of Alien Betta
|Scientific name||Betta Splendens|
|Common names||Alien Betta|
|Native Place||Thailand, Laos|
|Fish Type||Freshwater fish|
|Color||Blue, Grey with fins showing colors of red, blue and green|
|Aquarium size||10 gallons or bigger|
|Preferred temperature||25.5 to 26.7°C (78 to 80°F degrees Fahrenheit)|
|pH level||6.5 – 7.5|
|Fish Size||2 to 2.5 inches|
|Behaviour||Peaceful when alone and towards other freshwater fishes|
|Recommended tank mates||Croaking Gourami, Black Tetras, Catfish, Bloodfin Tetras, Poecilia, and Rasboras.|
|Preferred food||Frozen and dried foods. shrimp or blood worms and betta specific food.|
|Feeding time period||Feed 12 hours apart, make the fishes fast for 24 hours once every 10 -14 days|
|Breeding||Bubble nest builders|
Origin of Alien Betta
Alien Betta is a new breed to come out of cross-breeding from the Betta family. While the precise origin of this subspecies is not known, it is believed that they are a hybrid between Betta splendens and other wild species, like Betta smaragdina, Betta mahachaiensis, and Betta stiktos.
We do know about the Betta splendens being involved in the cross-breeding as these fish tend to be aggressive towards other male betta fish, though not as aggressive as the rest. They also come in a torpedo-like shape, which is a characteristic feature of yet another Betta species. These fish are not pure wild Bettas and should not be considered as one.
Certain pet stores name the fish as ‘Wild Alien Betta,’ and this does not mean the fish was in the wild at one point or another it might just mean it has a lineage to a wild species of Betta.
There is no clear reason as to why the name ‘Alien’ was given to this breed of Bettas as they certainly do not come from outer space. It could be because of the iridescent characteristic shown by this fish in certain lights.
The appearance of Alien Betta
They are average in size for a betta fish; however, they are still small fishes that grow up to a length of 2 to 2.5 inches. Its appearance is different from that of the regular bettas. Even though they come in various colors, this group of fish often comes in two colors, mainly blue or grey.
The most beautiful attribute of the Alien Betta is its magnificent large fins which look magical. In the right light, the fins look stunning. The bright fins of Alien Betta show red, blue and green colors.
They can often be confused for the wild species as they resemble the true wild betta species. Some portion of the Alien Betta’s body shines brightly under the right light.
These are small fishes, but they look bigger than their actual size because of the large size fins. The females are bigger than males, but the male fishes are also more colorful than the females.
There are two main colorations seen in these fishes.
Hybrid Grey Alien Betta
This variety of the Alien Betta has a silver-greyish color with black patterns such as dots or stripes seen on the body and a hint of red on the caudal fins.
Alien Betta Blue Hybrid
This variety is also sometimes known as Royal Blue Betta. This variety has a deep blue coloration seen throughout its body, and the fins have stripes of black and red color that can be seen at the tip of the caudal fins.
How to take care of Alien Betta
There are certain things one needs to keep in mind before they decide to own an Alien Betta.
The aquarium size, the water conditions, the food, and the feeding of the fish are some of the basic things to be aware of before owning an Alien Betta.
It is best to keep the Alien Betta in a 10 gallon or larger tank as the Bettas are known for their big fins, and if they live in a smaller tank, they could easily get stuck in one of the decorations, and their fins could get broken which could lead to health problems.
Like all other fish in the Betta family, Alien Betta also prefers to live in water with no current or movement. They generally live in stagnant, hot water with very low dissolved oxygen. However, one should never let the Betta live in completely stagnant water as it could lead to bacterial and various other infections. What can be done is one could adjust the filter outflow and reduce the current in the aquarium. The filter could help remove the waste and keep the tank clean and prevent algal growth in the tank.
Water changes are important to ensure the safe survival of the Betta. One could do that by changing a small portion of the water every week and adding new water. One needs to keep an eye on the water in the aquarium and see whether it is turning cloudy as that is an indicator of dirty water. If that happens, immediately clean the filter and if it still does not help, change the water before it affects the fish.
Since the Alien Betta is a wild betta hybrid they are incredibly sensitive to water temperature and because of this the water temperature always needs to be in between the range of 25.5 to 26.7°C (78 to 80°F degrees Fahrenheit)
One needs to be careful about where the tank is placed as water absorbs heat from the surroundings, leading to the water temperature rising above the desired level. It is vital to make sure the temperature is at the desired level to ensure the proper survival of the Betta.
Food & Feeding
Like other betta fish, Alien Betta is also carnivorous. It requires a fair amount of calories to get through the day especially considering its large-sized fins make it tiring to swim for a long time continuously. Mixing the food and giving a variety of them could make the fish happy and calm.
The best Betta diet consists of a variety of shrimp, insect larvae, and blood warms mixed in food specifically made for Betta. They should only be fed once or twice a day with 1 to 3 pellets or one pinch of the flake, which would help the fish maintain the right weight. It also helps the fish remain healthy.
Alien Betta loves to stay in a group and they find staying with other fish comfortable. However, if you keep the Betta alone they will always be alert as that is their natural tendency and will stay awake to avoid danger and will find it hard to remain calm and that would result in the Betta having stress.
Just like other Bettas the male Alien Betta, though always not aggressive can be seen to show aggressive traits so fishes with large flowing tails such as guppies should be avoided if possible. Catfish, Black Tetras, Poecilia are some of the fish that are compatible with Alien Bettas.
Add four or five fish to the tank and keep them together to make the Betta happy and to add beauty to one’s aquarium.
Also Read | Floating Petal: The Rose Petal Betta
Commonly Asked Questions
Are Alien Bettas aggressive?
While generally considered to be less aggressive than the rest of the Bettas, male Alien Betta can be seen showing aggressive behavior, and one cannot provide a blanketed statement as to whether an Alien Betta will exhibit this behavior or not.
Where does Alien Betta come from?
Alien Betta’s exact origin is not known however it is said to be a crossbreed between Wild species and the common domesticated betta. They are a species of Betta native to Thailand and Laos.
How to know if my Alien Betta is happy or sad?
If the Betta fish appears to be colorful with all the colors bright and has a good appetite and is active, and swims around freely in the open spaces of the tank with open fins, then the Betta is considered happy. However, if the fish appears lethargic with faded skin color trying to hide and keeps its fins closed, the fish is sad.
Do Alien Bettas Like Light?
Like all the other betta fish, Alien Betta also requires light for half of the day and prefers to spend the other half in complete darkness. If natural light is available, that is the best option; however, if it is not available, one will have to provide artificial light for the required duration.
Can Alien Bettas be kept together?
Like all other Bettas, they can be quite aggressive towards each other, but they tolerate most freshwater fish communities of the same size or smaller.
Alien Betta is a new breed of Betta and fish, and because of this, they will be costly and hard to find. However, if one does have an Alien Betta, their requirements don’t have much of a difference from the other Betta Fish. If one does happen to have an Alien Betta, make sure they live in a big enough tank with other fish buddies to ensure they live a happy and comfortable life.