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Old 02-11-2012, 08:56 AM   #1 
Aus
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Beards?

A lot of the male bettas I've seen here have really long 'beards'. What are they? Is there a purpose for them? Why are some bigger than others?

My Sid only has a slight 'bump' on his chin. More like one of those silly little pseudo-goatees than a real beard.
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Old 02-11-2012, 09:04 AM   #2 
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All bettas have beards.. females are small, the males are bigger..

Basically they are to make them look larger and meaner when they see other bettas.. either like a peacock trying to get a mate, or another male who is stepping in his territory. Basically it's using psychological warfare, and hoping that the "bigger size" he "is" will be enough to ward off attackers, or impress a mate.
They will use their fins the same way- spreading them out big... combined with the beard and their fins open it is called flaring.

When the gill covers are closed, you may see a tiny bit of the beard (as you are seeing- the bump on the chin), but not until they open will you see the whole thing. Placing a mirror or another betta (in a separate tank) next to his tank will have them flaring, which a few minutes a day is actually healthy for them..
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Old 02-15-2012, 02:36 PM   #3 
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Thanks for that info. Myates! :)
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