This species was described in 1993 by Professor P.K.L. Ng. Betta chini is named after Dr. Phui Kong Chin. The genus name Betta comes from the Malaysian local name ikan betah for this type of fish.
The first specimen of this species (type specimen) was caught at Beaufort, Sabah, Borneo. Betta chini is only known from the Sabah region on Borneo.
Betta chini was found in less than half a meter deep peat bogs. The soil consisted mainly of leaves and peat. In general, this is a quiet species that can best be kept in small groups. Peace within the group depends on the females; cases have been described where nothing happened but there are also cases where the males were chased and even injured by the females. This behavior differs per individual and only shows itself during reproduction.
Betta chini requires a reasonably sized aquarium that must be densly planted. Floating plants are also very important, especially to dampen the light; this species does not like much light. In brown or tea-colored water this species shows the most beautiful colors and makes them feel most comfortable. As they occur in peat bogs, the water plays an important role. The values measured in the natural biotope must therefore be simulated; pH 4.5 to 5, GH lower than 3 and the measured temperature was 26.4 ° C.
It is a fairly small Betta species. They can reach a maximum length of around 6 centimeters.
Breeding Betta chini
Betta chini is a mouthbrooder. After 1 to 3 successful encirclements during reproduction, the male and female will stand side by side. Then there is an interesting “ball game;” the female spits a few eggs to the male 1 to 8 times. Immediately the female picks them up again, unless the male is faster. In the end the male has all the eggs in his mouth. The total number of eggs varies between 40 and 50 which are spit out after 12 days. At that moment the fry have a length of 6 milimeters. The male loses his interest in the fry at that moment, but they can simply remain in the same aquarium as the male and female; Betta chini shows no cannibalism. This is only possible if the container is large enough, with a smaller container it is advisable to first remove the female and after spitting out the fry also remove the male from the aquarium.
Stefan vd Voort – Nederlandse Vereniging van Labyrintvissen
Professor P.K.L. Ng