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Siamese Fighting Fish Page

 

The Betta Kombat

This page is nothing to say the fighting fish is the righteous or vicious activity. Also this page is nothing to say how to selecting and how to training the good fighter. The purpose is to write the existing reality of a Siamese fighting fish habitat in an aggressive side. There are hundred of articles in the Internet wrote about Siamese fighting fish but none of them discuss in the very nature of this fish. This gap has enough room for me to fill in, to offer an already existing available knowledge to whom that may interest. Secondly, I want to write this article to be the historical documentary source, by mean of an English language in the Internet I hope it can be contributing to the universal knowledge. Nowadays we were suffered enough to try to study and giving an explanation to an ancient existing being. This is because we are lacking the primary source I myself born and lives in the country whose own such a splendid fish should contributing something about it. Thirdly, the readers of my homepage unintentional push me to write this article. I got a lot of questions about how to keeping Betta splendens, the nature of its aggressiveness and so on. I hope this article may reply some of my readers' problems either directly or indirectly. If so, this could be my most joyous work I have done.

 

How wild caught Betta become an aggressive fighter

I am not a biologist so I can not tell you the deeper explanation WHY the wild caught Betta become an aggressive creature. What I could tell you is only HOW the wild caught Betta become a fighter combat. What I have been observed that most of the eggs layer fishes are aggressive. Because they have to protect theirs' nest and theirs' fry. The protection duty always is the male. The very true nature of all living creatures is to spread its specie as many as its can. In Betta splendens when the male is separated alone he may assume that this separated place belonging to him, his territory authority. He will start to build the bubble nest preparing for his bride. The Betta splendens must be very aggressive because:

  1. He has to fight for mating, only the winner has the right to mate. The grouping of the bubble nest showing the healthy condition of the male, and also the declaring the new place as his territory authority. (When you do change the water or shifting the male to the new place the healthy male will build his nest by overnight. However, it should be in the breeding season)

  2. He has to protect the bred eggs or the fry. In this period the male may or may not eat any food. So the season of breeding by naturally is a rainy season. That is the male can have food enough to prepare himself for a long period of heavy duty. This could be the most aggressive period of the male. (For the breeding purpose breeder should feed the male as healthiest as it can).

From the two above, there are two automatic cause Betta splendens is so aggressive. One, fight for mating. Two, fight for protect his family. Betta splendens, when we taking a pleasure to see its splendid colors and the flaring gorgeous. Whether or not we are watching its expressing the nature of aggressiveness. An experienced breeder can easily distinguish his fish between the will to fight and the will to mate. When the fish willing to mate he will flaring and swims around with joyous. He will wave his tail as pride as a waving flag. He will stop beneath the flooding plant or any corner of the tank and starting to build the bubble nest (by building the bubble nest he is declaring his territory authority). The body will made the good slope, the head will pointing to the water surface waving his tail by using the caudal peduncle muscle persuade the female come in. Like a young man showing off to the girl. In this period if any male enter into his scene he will fight like a crazy (I am thinking a man fight to die for a girl, such a romantic endless story). The will to fight is expressed differently, the male will spread his cover gill and thrusting to his enemy. His eyes focusing to the head of an enemy and taking the long breath like the soldier taking the breath ready to fight. The body does wave but firm and try to push an enemy to lose control. If one hit to another the battle is just beginning and the one must immediate pay back.

As an observatory station, Thai farmer could observe from the rice field cabin the wild Betta splendens behavior. With the habit of playful and an enthusiastic of Kickboxing or Mouy Thai the Thai national art of self-defense, is residing in every blood scale of the Thai young man. He did easily net the wild Betta beneath the bubble nest. Keep him in the earthen jar (in those times all containers were earthenware) and took him to fought when he was finished the hard work in the rice field. The earthenware in Thai word calls "Morh". The Betta splendens that kept in the earthenware call "Plakat Luk Morh", or the fighting fish in the earthenware (Luk mean the child, come from, belonging to...). Where as the Bettain the wild called "Plakat Luk Pah" or "Plakat Luk Thung" (Pah mean jungle and Thung mean flooded land area). Plakat Luk Morh was developed to be more aggressive. The selection process made them bigger the colors darker. Along with these developments the fighting style habitat was developed.

 

Breeding the fighter

An imagination of the breeder with the natural born logical thinker being, lead Thai breeder learn to use several breeding method to produce the harder and darker of the colors, shaping its form and its fighting habit. There are three techniques of breeding.

  1. Inbreed.

  2. Line breed.

  3. Imported breed.

Inbreed technique. The farmer took Plakat Luk Morh to fight to his friend's fighter. The loser will release back to the flooded land or river. The winner will be kept as a specimen to breed with the female in the same area. By this method it can ensure the reproduction of the new generation of the fighter same as its parents. An old Thai proverb "The fallen fruit goes not beyond its root", could be the rule of thumb of the Thai breeder as knowledgeable comparable to the modern science of breeding. This process of breeding call Inbreed or breeding among its family, say father breed with its offspring, the male with the female in the same batch. All fighter in the batch have the same colors pattern, same shape and same fighting habit. The breeder can predict the fighting style and know the matching tactic that which fishes he should fight with. The famous breeders 40 years ago were the breeders that could identified their fighters the fighting style. The best batch (knowing by fighting result) will be preserved as cornerstone specie of his place. The female will keep in secret; the male will sell very expensive or gave free to the very closed friends.

Line breeding technique. The fighting fishes games were rather complexes when they concerning to gambling and an egoistic of the breeder. The winner and the loser could not avoided. The all the time winner fighters turn to be the loser not only one or two times but many times. The improvement of next generation came about, the breeder took the best of another family may be from his own stock or exchange among his associate group (surely it must also the very best) to bred with his cornerstone family. The outcomes of the breed were expected to be the good fighter but unexpected fighting style. It may be better or worse. The breeder must taking 2 - 3 sampling to fight to see their style. The purpose of breeding was to improve the stock. This technique was also applicable to the random selection. Among the hundred batches it must be at least 2 - 3 batches that are the best. The rest the breeder may sell them in the very lower price.

Imported breeding technique. The fighting fish cross from one village to another, from one province to another, from one part of the country to another, and from country to another. Each part or each country has been developed the fighter according to their desired image. The Thai breeder took some specimen, for example from Southern, North East of Thailand (the center of the breeding places are the provinces around Bangkok). They may importing from neighbor countries such as Malaysia, Cambodia, or Vietnam crossing breed to his own stock or may took several pairs to rebreed in the different environment. This breeding technique took place in the very recent and combining the above two-technique altogether.

 

The selection attribute of the fighter

The following are the selection attributes of Plakat Thai that the breeder focusing on. (There is no significant sequence of the list)

  1. Fighting style

  2. Sharp bite

  3. Prolonging fight

  4. Tough scale

  5. Size

Each breeder may consider each attribute more significance than others. Whether or not it seems to me that, it is fascinating to discussing the styles of fighting. And I think it is also seem to be exciting (or may be hated) to the reader.

Whether using which technique to breed Siamese fighting fish. The passage of selective breeding process made Plakat Thai possess the qualities of unique of fighting skill. Amazingly Siamese fighting fish have certain pattern of fighting. Some randomly hit an enemy, some hit only the targeted position may be only one position or fixed two or three positions together.

Below is the picture of an attacking position that can be generally observed.

 

Picture of attacking positions

 

Attacking Positions table

Code

Position

Percent

Note

1

Mouth

50

Interlocked and Reiterate hit

2

Molar

10

Reiterate hit

3

Gill Cover

80

Reiterate hit

4

Stomach

20

Reiterate hit

5

Pectoral Fin

20

Random hit

6

Caudal Peduncle

50

Reiterate or Random hit

7

Fin

80

Reiterate hit

8

Body

20

Random hit

9

Head

10

Very rare and random hit

 

Fighting styles table

Style

Description

Direct hit

This is basic fighting style similar to the boxer jab. This style of fighting normally taking in the first 15 minutes. It is the trickery observational period of the fighter. Some fish will use this style of fighting until to an end of his fight.

Double hit

This is a stylistic fighting talent; any time he hit he will always make double strike or triple strike. He will using direct attack in the first hit. When his opponent lost control he will immediate thrusting to his enemy and strikes one or two more times.

Turn back hit

This is also a stylistic fighting talent. The fish is in the defensive style of fighter. He will kick or push an opponent to be losing control and suddenly he will turn back to attacking his challenger one or two times and then to become the defensive again. If his opponent is the stupid one he will never learn this tricky fight.

Persistent hit

This is the most aggressive fish. Immediately when he is shifted to the bottle he will immediately combat to his enemy even in the first one or two second. No dancing, no trickery tested to his enemy, no warm up needed for this fish. However I have observed that, this fighting style's fish do not like prolonging fighting. I think he has very high percentage habit of Betta from a wild.

 

Where have all the fighters gone

Either win or lose both of the fighters were hurt and wounded. The owners will keep his fighter in a small cup with a little water and some drops of Acriflavine solution. Some owner use Indian almond water as a medicine to cure his fishes. The owner of the winner goes home with glory whereas the loser with a bit sad (the real breeder bet very small sum, but the gambler play a lot). The winner fish will be considering to breed with another good female or giving to his friend. Some were sold if they were offering the good price. Surely the buyer take the winner to breed with his good stock.

The loser after the recovery (normally it takes 5 days). The owner will consider to releasing him to the river or keeping them in the big tank and taking care them as a pet. Some breeder keeping them in the bath room tank and let them enjoy with the mosquito larvae. Some breeder may consider his loser to breed if he think his fighter have some good quality suitable to breed. Some fighters are crossing bred to the long fin type to improve the strength of the next generation stock. Not amazingly the long fin type were developed to be the better shape increasing the hardiest and are the appetizing breeding creature. Finally the long fin type is the aquarium fish showing in the pet shops.

 


  precha@asiaaccess.net.th

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