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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I have been setting up a blackwater tank in a ~12 gallon aquarium (approximately 12x12x18") and I was finally able to get a female wild betta (sold to me as a "ninja betta"). I've been researching betta species and haven't had any luck identifying her to species. I think she might be in either the B. coccina or the B. foerschi complexes, but the spots on the pelvic fin is throwing me off.

Does anyone have any ideas on her species? Thanks so much!

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Let me know if other angles would be helpful :)
 

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What size is she? Because there's a huge difference in size between coccina complex species and foerschi complex species.

The spots you are seeing on her anal fin are common in wild bettas. I don't know what their cause is, but they are harmless and only appear when fish are stressed out and not showing their full colouring.

I hate when stores or sellers use made-up names like 'Ninja Betta' because it makes identification difficult.

It's also hard to correctly identify them when they're not at their full colour. Then you have to go by size, body shape, fin size and shape etc. as they tend to all look the same.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Her total length is 4 cm.

I'm glad to hear that the spotting is normal, hopefully they'll fade before too long. Her stress stripes have faded so that's a good sign at least.

Yeah, I asked multiple times if they knew what species she was and all I could get was "ninja betta", they were also selling two other wild females as "pink pearl bettas" which is not helpful if you're trying to figure out what water temperatures they want...

That aside, yeah, I'm hoping she will color up and look more like however she is suppose to look. The tank has a fair amount of plants and leaf litter so she's warming up, just not quite there yet. I finished scaping it less than 12 hours ago so I'm hoping she's just settling in still ^^
 

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I remembered that the wholesaler here used to use weird names for wild bettas. I managed to find the list where someone who worked there broke them down into species.

Ninja betta seems to be Betta foerschi, although Betta hendra is described as "Green Neon Ninja" by some wholesalers. Pink Pearl is apparently Betta smaragdina, although I'd be dubious of purity on some of the splendens complex species unless I was buying from a reputable breeder or a very knowledgeable store.

She just doesn't 'feel' like a Betta foerschi female to me. Just something about the head, mouth, and eye size. It could just be the angle of the photos. It may be that she is a B. hendra female as she's the right size for a coccina complex wild, and a bit on the smaller size for one of the larger mouthbrooding species. Perhaps the 'Green Neon' just got omitted.

I also wanted to add, as a long-time keeper of wild bettas, please ensure your tank is completely covered. As in there's not even the smallest gaps around things like heater cords, or filter cords and tubing. I use cling wrap on all my wild betta tanks, and haven't lost a wild to jumping in years. Except for one time I briefly left a tank uncovered following feeding.

It's not a matter of if wild bettas jump, but when they jump, and you only have to go on the wild betta FB group to see that it's one of the leading causes of death for captive kept wild bettas.

If you've already done so, that is great. I just offer this advice to every new wild betta keeper, and I wish someone had done the same with me, as it would have spared me a lot of heartache.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry it's been a while! I have a lid over the tank, I've learned from other friends who keep bettas that they can be very jumpy so I try to avoid any possible accidents.

The first couple of days she was still showing a lot of signs of stress (I'm pretty sure she was wild caught unfortunately) but she has been doing great now-- she's much more adventurous, has taken well to frozen foods, and wow has she colored up! I'm really enjoying this silly long fish and I'm glad she has grown to like her home. Here's a photo of her today (she was moved into one of my more established planted 10 gals).
 

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I'm not sure if you said 'unfortunately' because you're concerned about the ethics of wild-caught bettas. Their issues are habitat destruction and hybridisation, not overfishing like some species. In fact some localities such as Betta persephone 'Ayer Hitam' have been completely destroyed and examples of these fish exist only in captivity. So don't feel worried if that's your concern.

Based on that photo I'm leaning towards B. hendra.
 
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