Schaller’s mouthbrooder - Betta schalleri
Scientific name: Betta schalleri
Common name: Schaller’s mouthbrooder
Usual size in fish tanks: 4 - 5 cm (1.57 - 1.97 inch)
Recommended pH range for the species: 4.6 - 5.8
Recommended water hardness (dGH): 2 - 10°N (35.71 - 178.57ppm)
0°C 32°F30°C 86°F
Recommended temperature: 24 - 26 °C (75.2 - 78.8°F)
The way how these fish reproduce: Spawning
Where the species comes from: South America
Temperament to its own species: peaceful to females
Temperament toward other fish species: peaceful
Usual place in the tank: Top levels
Schallers-mouthbrooder is an Asian betta species that originates from Indonesia and Banka where they inhabit the flood plains and small vegetated waterways.
This species is one of the rarer Betta species to be found in the aquarium trade so if you are lucky enough to get hold of some specimens they may demand higher prices. They belong to the family of Osphronemidae along with many other species from this family. Adult specimens will only reach an adult size of just under 2 inches making them ideal for the smaller aquariums but if kept in a group then allow for this with the water volume. Sadly too many Betta are kept in small containers which is cruel to the fish and a very bad practice. Their main body colouration is a grey or reddish brown main colour although the lighting in the aquarium may distort this and on the edges of their scales there will be a green tinge. They will also display a vertical dark barring on their head which runs through the eye. They are classed as a peaceful species and will do well with other tank mates of a similar size and who require the same water parameters but the males will display aggression during the spawning periods.
If cared for correctly Schallers-mouthbrooder should have an average lifespan of at least 3-5 years.
Betta schalleri can be housed in a small aquarium if kept as as single pair, a 10 gallon tank is ideal however if you are keeping a group of these fish then you will require a larger aquarium of up to 30 gallons. A tight fitting lid will need to be used and keep the water level a couple of inches lower than the top of the aquarium. The water temperature should be set between 24 -26°C (76-79°F) and the pH should range between 4.6-5.8. These fish are quite hardy but they do require high water quality and should never be added to an immature tank setup.
These are not a difficult fish to feed and ig healthy will have a voracious appetite. It should be remembered that they only have small mouths and stomachs so the size of the food should relate to this. Use a quality commercial flake or small pellets for the staple diet and this should be varied with treats of live or frozen foods such as brine shrimp or bloodworms.
Mature males will have a broader head shape and develop a caudal spike on their fin. Their pelvic fins will also elongate as they mature.
Like most of the Betta species, Schallers mouthbrooders are a paternal brooder with the male taking on all parental responsibilities. It is best to use a separate breeding tank and take care when introducing the female. If too much aggression is shown by the male split the pair and try again in 2-3 weeks. The female will mostly encourage the spawning and once the eggs have been deposited by the female and fertilised the male will scoop them up for brooding. At this stage it is advised to remove the female to prevent her getting harassed by the male. Incubation normally takes 8-10 days and when the fry are released then can be fed on newly hatched brine shrimp or Infusoria. Remove the male once the fry are free swimming and carefully perform small water changes in the fry tank on a daily basis to keep the water quality as high as possible. It is best to give the fry 3-4 small meals per day rather than a couple of larger meals.