Page Navigation


male betta albimarginata in breeding colours.

Male Betta albimarginata.

Betta albimarginata are one of those fish who have character.

My daughter, who is not in the least interested in aquariums, finds them curious and often stops by their aquarium to watch.

They are inquisitive and intelligent fish, who will come up to the glass and watch you.

When happy, they will court and breed in the aquarium without any trouble.

They are also mouth brooders who don't eat their young. The male will carry his clutch of eggs and fry for two to three weeks before he spits them out. The fry will live amongst the leaves of floating plants. Ceratopteris thalictroides (Indian water sprite) left to provide a surface cover works very well for this.

My suggestion is a larger aquarium of say 60 liters with plenty of plant cover and let them form a colony.


The albimarginata come from Borneo, Indonesia. They live in quiet, shallow streams along the edge. They don't need a deep aquarium

I use the same strategy for keeping albimarginata as I do for all my blackwater fish. Very clean soft acidic water at 26 degrees Celsius. Though I find albimarginata are happy enough with a pH of 5 to 6, albimarginata don't do well in less then clean water.

The males will retire to a quiet secluded location when brooding. So provide thickets of plants in the corners of the aquarium.

If you provide a layer of coarse floating plants for the fry to hide in, such as Ceratopteris, the young will stay there for the first month or so of their lives.

Lighting should not be overly bright.

I find albimarginata are happy with both live and frozen foods.

If you have a pair and they are well looked after, breeding should not be a problem. They will simply breed as a matter of course.


Sexing Betta albimarginata is easy.

The male is more colourful and the white stripes along the edges of the tail and anal fins are much more distinct in the male.


Female betta albimarginata.

Female Betta albimarginata

Female betta albimarginata.

Male Betta albimarginata

Courtship and Spawning

The photos here are from my own aquaria and taken myself.

When the opportunity to photograph the courtship and spawning presented itself, I carefully set up my camera and tripod. The courtship originally began at the front of the aquarium in full view. I then went about my day, returning to check progress regularly.

Then, an hour later when I returned to check on progress, I found that the two fish had disappeared from view.

They had retired to the rear of the aquarium behind the rocks and leaves. They were already spawning. Luckily, there was just enough room to squeeze in the camera with tripod and get a few photos.

I am sure they did this on purpose; they are not normally what I would describe as "shy fish".


Female betta albimarginata.

The male does a tail stand.

Female betta albimarginata.

The pair embrace.

Female betta albimarginata.

The female will then pick up the eggs and swirl them about within her mouth for a few minutes.

Female betta albimarginata.

Then follows a game of catch as the female teases the male into catching the eggs by spitting out a few at a time and catching them again.


Newly emerged fry about 4mm or so.

It was twenty days from spawning to when I saw the first fry hiding in the Ceratopteris (water spite) floating on the surface.

I find that the fry stay at the surface among floating plants for the first week or two.

With perhaps six or so spawnings since they arrived, I have never known the parents to be interested in eating the fry.

I just leave them all in the same aquarium with out trouble. They do well in a colony.

The fry are easy to raise with newly hatched brine shrimp and micro worms.


Juvenile about 2cm long.


Top of Page




Suggested Reading

parosphromenus project logoParosphromenus Project (external link)

Parosphromenus Project (external link)

The Parosphromenus Project was founded in 2005 in Germany and has grown to be a worldwide project to study and preserve the licorice gourami within the aquarium hobby.

There you will find everything about the keeping and breeding of the licorice gourami.

Highly recommended as essential reading if you wish to keep the Parosphromenus.

The Science of Aquariums (external link)

An easy read practical explanation of the science behind aquarium keeping and water chemistry. Written by a chemist who is also an aquarist.


You can contact the author of this website by emailing: Albert Sluik.



This website is my little corner of the web where I can indulge my interests of coding websites, breeding challenging tropical fish and taking photographs of said challenging subjects.

It is also a place where I can share knowledge gained.

I am enjoying myself.

That is what this website is all about.