Alien betta is a crossbreed of the Siamese fighter and the wild betta. There are many different varieties of alien betta, but any number of them will show traits from both species, such as long dorsal and caudal fins.
One might have long finns with few stripes or have no dorsal fin at all. Their colors range from dark to light, with reds, oranges, yellows, browns, whites, and combinations possible on any given specimen.
Types Of Alien Betta
The black form of this fish is sometimes also sold as “Betta xanthoptera“. This color morph can be very aggressive and has limited possibilities in captivity.
The black form seems to be less common than the normal fish. It is sometimes sold in the trade as “reticulated“, which is another way of saying it has scales all over its body in a pattern that looks like reticulation on a snake’s skin. This color morph can also be very aggressive and has limited possibilities in captivity.
This particular fish variant is possibly a natural hybrid between Betta maxima and Betta ornata, called by some “Betta esculenta“. It is not yet clear whether it is a new species or a color morph.
This fish is also called “Betta macrostoma“. It is a giant Betta with a body that can measure almost 4 inches when fully grown.
Betta Imbelis has a distinctive snout and the tail is not as rounded as other members of the Betta family.
The dorsal, anal, and caudal fins are similar in size and are longer than half the length of the body.
The first ray of these fins contains spines, but there are also some unspun rays, and it has 30-34 lateral line scales.
This wild fish can be found in the southern part of Thailand, and it is also called “Betta ocellata“.
It is an aggressive, territorial fish that will put up a very serious fight when defending its territory or young.
The male will sometimes have bright red to orange coloration around its eyes, which can appear larger than usual for the flower betta species.
What Makes Alien Betta Different From Other Fish?
Alien betta is unpredictable, so it is hard to predict what traits they will inherit from the Siamese fighter or the wild betta.
While most fish can be kept in groups as long as there is plenty of space and enough hiding spaces, an alien betta is active and prefers solitude.
The only exception to this might be a male and female pair. They will spawn often enough that they can get crowded in a tank with no hiding spots at all, which will make them stressed out.
This stress affects the shape of the fins and body of the fish, making it distorted and less attractive than normal specimens.
Why Do You Want To Keep Alien Betta?
The alien betta is an unusual pet that is relatively inexpensive but has a lot of personalities.
The most common reason for bringing one home for the first time might be their rare and unusual appearance.
Some people might want to get a normal fish but aren’t sure what species they like the best, or maybe they think the alien betta is strange looking, yet would still like one as a pet anyhow.
In either case, bringing an alien betta home with this in mind is best.
Many alien bettas will show off stripes for a few days after being introduced to their tank mates and might settle into more subdued colors and patterns.
Some will be very shy at first and will only show up after several weeks or months with this shyness gone, possibly even when spawning.
Can Alien Betta Recognize Their Owner?
In most cases, an alien betta should not be kept with fish that it does not know.
The wild betta is a natural predator of the Siamese fighter, so an alien from that species should not be kept with one too.
An alien betta from another species might be kept with a Siamese fighter fish without any problems.
The most important thing is to ensure that there are plenty of hiding spots available so the alien can get used to its new surroundings before becoming too stressed.
One of the best ways to keep an alien betta is in a setup where it can be alone. A small aquarium with no other fish and lots of hiding spots will do the trick.
Screens are beneficial as they prevent the fish from being stressed out when it first shows up, and giving it plenty of places to swim throughout the tank should also help eliminate some shyness.
Can Alien Betta Spawn?
Alien betta do not need a lot of space to spawn. In the right situation, some will complete the entire process in just a few weeks.
When they aren’t spawning, they should be left alone, possibly in the back of the tank by themselves.
If they are kept with other fish, something like airstones should be used to keep enough oxygen in the water for them and their mates to spawn without being smothered by other fish.
How To Tell If An Alien Betta Is Male or Female?
It is very rare to find an alien betta that is a female, but it can be done if the breeder does not get enough males out of the picture.
The male betta is usually more brightly colored and has a longer caudal fin.
If an alien betta that is a female has spawned, she might look different after her eggs are laid.
She might look smaller in size or show signs of stress, and sometimes they must be kept in isolation to help them preserve the eggs after they hatch.
How Long Does The Breeding Process Last?
In the wild, it is hard to tell exactly how long breeding takes, as it depends on many different factors.
A tank with a lot of space is best for breeding as they are very territorial and need a space they can spawn in and a place to hide afterward.
This isn’t the easiest thing to do in an aquarium, so it might be better to try breeding them seperately.
The breeding process goes like this:
Once the male alien betta has found and claimed a spawning area or site he will fan out his fins and develop a dark coloration around his eyes.
He will intensify this coloration if another fish approaches him, and this is used to warn other fish off and attract the female alien betta when she is looking for a male partner.
The female alien betta will show much interest in the male, and both of them will flare their fins as a sign of interest.
The male will fan out his fins more than the female, and eventually, she will jump on him from below.
At this point, the male will start to flare his fins even more and display bright coloring around his eyes and on his dorsal fin, and then he is now ready to spawn!
Either one can be chosen by the female for spawning at any time during this process, and it does not matter which one it is after this point.
Both can spawn multiple times throughout the breeding process, and can be aimed for as long as she wants.
The male will start to fan out his fins in preparation for spawning, and the female will show interest in him and jump on him.
If he is ready to spawn, he will open his fins more and make a loud buzzing sound while he passes sperm over his body onto the female’s belly, which she then lays on the ground in front of herself.
After this, both fish return to hiding as a precaution against other males approaching.
Once they have spawned, they must be separated immediately because they will eat any laid eggs while still inside their bodies.
The alien betta is a carnivore and eats what it hunts in the wild.
Even though it is old enough to hunt, some of its diet still comes from things it finds in the water column above.
In captivity, the alien betta will still eat worms and insects but should be fed other things.
It should have a lot of space so it can hunt for its food more easily and might not even need to eat as much when it isn’t boring or stressed out by cramped surroundings.
Anacharis or some other green plant should be in the aquarium as many bettas love lettuce and leafy greens, so they might also eat these.
Other vegetation types like eel grass might also do the trick. Some fish will hunt in groups, while others live alone.
It is also possible that the alien betta can be kept alone since it is a fairly solitary creature in the wild.
It should have plenty of hiding spots throughout its home to escape predators and stressful situations without losing precious energy.
An alien betta’s life expectancy is about two years.
It will begin to show signs of stress if it lives in a too-small tank, or if its food is not varied enough.
The alien betta’s best features are its large profile, interesting patterns and colors, and large size.
Because of the nature of the fish, these characteristics make it quite popular among betta hobbyists and collectors.
The alien betta can be kept in an aquarium with other Betta species as long as they have enough room to move freely.
However, this can be a problem because, unlike other Betta species, the alien betta is a very aggressive and territorial fish.