Betta Channoides Vs Betta Albimarginata

Betta channoides are very similar to betta albimarginata, and both make wonderful beginner fish. While both are colorful species of betta, betta channoides have a completely red-orange fin bordered on top by white, while betta albimarginata have dark or often black dorsal fins. 

The rest of this article will dive into the appearances, care, habitat, and breeding of these two beautiful fish.  

Betta Channoides

Betta Channoides get their name from the generic name of the snakehead fish, Channa. In fact, some snakehead fish have the same head shape as the betta channoides!

Betta Channoides mostly live in shallow forest streams and find shelter in brown, acidic water. Generally, they can be found among leaves and marginal plant roots at the bottom. 

A relatively easy beginner-friendly fish, Betta Channoides, can be kept in a fully decorated aquarium. Many breeders add driftwood roots and leaf litter since they can be considered a secondary food source for this species.

The chemicals released can also be beneficial for many fish from blackwater environments.  

Betta Channoides prey on insects and other small invertebrates in the wild, and many captive bettas will accept dried products from time to time. 

Betta Channoides Appearance 

Betta Channoides are a fairly small-sized betta. Males generally grow up to two inches long. 

While male betta channoides have a bright coloration all over their bodies, female betta channoides usually have a less-intense coloration. 

In both male and female betta channoides, their fins and ventrals are black, with a white border. 

Betta Channoides are considered to be mouthbrooders and have developed a distinctly large mouths because of this. 

Betta Channoides Care

Betta Channoides can be kept in pairs and groups. A pair can be kept in a ten-gallon tank, and a trio of one male and two females can be housed in a fifteen-gallon tank. If someone wants to keep four, they can be housed in a twenty-gallon tank, but there should be no more than two males in every tank. 

Although keeping them together is okay, betta channoides will always feel better and safer if they are alone in a tank. Because of this, creating a specialized tank would be best. 

When taking care of your betta channoides, you should make sure that they are the most dominant fish in your tank. They should only be kept with other small species since bigger fish will compete with your betta for food or even fight. This can cause stress that can be too overbearing for all. 

If you are looking to keep other fish in the same tank as your betta channoide, you can choose from Corydoras, kuhli, and shrimp. 

Betta Channoides are carnivores and eat a variety of meat-based food. They will eat anything that they can get into their mouths in the wild, like insects and larvae.

They have also been known sometimes to eat small fish and crayfish, considering their mouths are very large. In captivity, these fish can be fed frozen and dried foods and live as long as it is a variety. 

Your betta channoide needs food heavy in nutrients and feeding them much of the same foods every single day will end up with them lacking in many. When looking at dry foods to provide your betta channoides, you should look at high-quality pellets that consist of no fillers. 

If you are keeping a betta that used to be wild, you should know that they can be picky when deciding what to eat and may not take dried food for a long time. 

Betta Channoide Habitat 

Wild betta channoides are from shallow forest streams and can be found in their brown, acidic water. They often hide in leaf litter and plant roots scattered there. 

Betta channoides must be kept in a tank that is heavily planted. This will create a natural cover for the bettas to hide from each other, especially if they are in bigger groups. 

Although betta channoides don’t attack each other when they spot another one, males can still be aggressive and often fight if they invade another’s territory or feel threatened. A hierarchy will be created naturally, and small frenzies will be common.

Placing a plant in their tank will create a feeling of safety for betta channoides and is essential. Great plants to keep in their tanks include frogbit, anubias sp, java fern, and java moss. 

Since betta channoides naturally live in places with many leaves, it’s also good to include some Indian almond leaves, which provide bettas with many benefits, such as acting as a secondary food source and releasing wonderful chemicals for fish from blackwater environments. 

When looking at what to add to your tank, you should stay away from natural peat, considering it is unsustainable and environmentally destructive. 

Additionally, driftwood roots and branches can be put in the tank to create shady spots. It is also recommended to add clay plant pots or even piping in order to provide more shelter for your fish. 

Their habitat should include flowing water, so using a filter would be best and will help keep your water clean. If a filter cannot be used, betta channoides can actually do okay without them, but the water should be cleaned often.

Considering the fact that betta channoides generally inhabit sluggish waters, the filtration should not be wildly strong, and an air-powered sponge filter should be set to turn over gently. 

Your bettas should be kept in dim lighting, no matter how much shade you provide them. 

These betta fish are excellent jumpers, so their tank should not be filled to the top when creating their captive habitat. The tank should also be kept covered since they enjoy access to humid air at the top. 

Water in their tanks should be around 23-30 degrees Celsius, with a pH level of 4.0-6.5 and a hardness of 18-90 ppm. 

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Betta Channoide Breeding 

Breeding betta channoides is considered to be reasonably easy. While most domestic bettas are nesters, betta channoides are paternal mouthbrooders, meaning that males brood out eggs in their mouths.

The way they reproduce is a direct development from the habitat they usually live in in the wild. While the other species of betta fish use bubble nets, betta channoides habitat does not allow for it. A bubble nest would be seen and destroyed by the current. 

To breed, this species should be kept in pairs. A pair will naturally form between the males and females if kept together, but success is heightened if a pair is put in a secluded breeding setup. 

This setup would consist of fifteen to twenty gallons of water, with a lower pH level and higher temperature- around 25 to 27 degrees Celsius.

They are a small species, and though their mouths are large, they can only hold so many eggs. Because of this, their batches will be smaller, around five to twelve eggs. 

Each egg is around 1-2mm in diameter, which are much bigger than their bubble-nesting counterparts. Because of this, they take longer to develop. The eggs will be carried for two to three weeks, and after that, they will be released as fully developed and independent babies around 5mm. 

After release, male betta channoides can become very stressed, leading to them eating their eggs. It is essential when breeding to dim the light and add extra cover in order to help them become less stressed. It can even be beneficial to mask the glass of the tank. 

While being guarded by the male betta cannonade, the babies will feed on their yolk sack for a couple of days. After they are released and independent, they will be responsible for finding their own food. 

Suppose you are keeping the breeding pair in a separate tank. In that case, it is recommended that both male and female be removed from the tank after the male has released the fry- a term used to describe recently hatched fish whose yolk-sac has almost disappeared and has a fully operational swim bladder.

The fry will have the whole tank to develop further, which will be very beneficial to them. The babies should be fed brine shrimp while young, and later, chopped foods, whether live or frozen. 

Betta Albimarginata

Betta albimarginatas get their name from the Latin word “albus,” which means white, and margo, which means margin. This is in reference to the white fin margins they adorn. They have also been called the “whiteseam fighter” and “strawberry betta.” 

Mostly living in forest streams, these fish inhabit shallow water and can be found among plant roots and leaf litter, and can be found in Malinau and Sebuku in Indonesia, but can also be found in Malaysia. 

Betta albimarginata can grow from 25 to 30mm, and aquarium sizes should be 45 to 30cm. The fish can be housed as a pair or a small group. 

A relatively easy beginner-friendly fish, Betta albimarginata can be kept in a fully decorated aquarium. Many breeders add driftwood roots and leaf litter since they can be considered a secondary food source for this species. The chemicals released can also be beneficial for many fish from blackwater environments.  

Betta albimarginata prey on insects and other small invertebrates in the wild, and many captive bettas will accept dried products from time to time. 

Betta albimarginata were actually placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature list. Unfortunately, they are considered to be at a very high risk of going extinct in their natural habitat. 

Betta Albimarginata Appearance 

Male betta albimarginata usually have a bold coloration consisting of reddish-orange, their fins lined with a band of black and a seam of white. Female betta albimarginata have a generally ashy gray coloration with two black stripes. Their back fins are usually either clear or flecked with black. 

Both male and female betta albimarginata can change color based on their mood. The female’s fins will be flecked with black when they are in a neutral mood but turn black or dark brown, sometimes having a tan dorsal region with rust-colored fins and faded black edges when they are breeding. 

When breeding, both male and female betta albimarginata can sometimes develop rusty-colored vertical lines across the sides of their body, while stressed male betta albimarginatas change their pattern to resemble the coloration of the female betta albimarginata. 

Betta Albimarginata Care

Betta Albimarginata can be kept in pairs or small groups and prefer low pH, total dissolved solid levels, and harness levels in their water. 

These fish can live and breed at a pH of 4.0 to 7.6 and a gH of 18 to 100 ppm. It is best to keep the water at about 21 to 29 degrees Celsius when it comes to water temperature. For babies, temperatures below 21 degrees Celsius can be lethal. If needed, an aquarium heater should be used to prevent diseases like constipation and infections. 

A ten-gallon tank can keep a pair of betta albimarginata or a trio or two males and one female. If you have a group of them, they should be kept in a tank that is over twenty gallons. The tank should be heavily planted and have a tight lid since they are excellent jumpers. 

Betta albimarginata, like most betta fish, can be aggressive but less so than many. They are generally peaceful but have some displays of dominance and can sometimes have short bouts of aggression, which, like the betta channoides, is common and normal. 

For betta albimarginata, it is essential to have a ratio of two to three males for every ONE female. This is because female betta albimarginata are more aggressive and assertive than males! 

Betta albimarginata are great fish for community tanks that have small, calm species of fish. They are not likely to outcompete them for food. That being said, if these bettas are kept with small fry or very young shrimp, they will eat them! 

When kept in captivity, betta albimarginata will eat any living food that’s able to be swallowed and will hunt them. They can also be fed frozen foods like bloodworms and brine shrimp, and some may possibly accept processed foods like flakes, though most do not and should be kept on a meat diet. 

Betta Albimarginata Habitat 

Like betta channoides, betta albimarginata are from shallow forest streams and can be found in brown, acidic water. They also often hide in leaf litter and plant roots scattered there. 

Betta albimarginata must be kept in a tank that is heavily planted. This will create a natural cover for the bettas to hide from each other, especially if they are in bigger groups. 

The best way to do this is by placing driftwood roots and branches in the tank, creating shade. Clay pots and lengths of piping can also be used.

Leaf litter should also be added since it creates a more natural feel for the fish, offers additional cover, and adds the growth of microbe colonies that are great for these betta fish. This is because the chemicals released from them by the decay are beneficial to fish from the blackwater environment. 

Your bettas should be kept in dim lighting, no matter how much shade you provide them. 

Since the betta albimarginata inhabits slow-moving waters in the wild, the filtration system used should not be very strong. It is recommended that the tank’s water not be filled to the very top, since they do sometimes like to access the humid air at the top, and that the tank have a tight lid since they are known to jump through small spaces. 

Since these bettas prefer more acidic water, you can add almond leaves and moss balls to the water. Since they also like softer water, an osmosis unit may be needed. 

Betta Albimarginata Breeding 

Breeding betta albimarginata is considered to be reasonably easy. While other bettas are nesters, betta albimarginata, like betta channoides, are a mouthbrooding species. The male betta albimarginata are responsible for egg incubation. 

There should be an increase in temperature to 23 degrees Celsius to better trigger breeding. Sunrise has also been known to trigger more intense spawning activity, though most breeding pairs will also perform attempts throughout the day with lower temperatures. 

The female betta albimarginata usually initiates the courtship, and the male can be seen with an intensified coloration. They will also inflate their throat and can often be seen shivering their outstretched fins. The female will then release the eggs on the side of the male and transfer them to his mouth. This will be repeated until the eggs are fertilized. 

In ten to twenty-one days, the male will hold from three to forty eggs in his mouth. Over this period of time, he will not eat. Once in a while, the male will flush his mouth with water in order to oxygenate the eggs. After the incubation time, the eggs will be released. 

If a male betta albimarginata becomes stressed while holding eggs, he could swallow them before release. 

The male should be separated on the seventh day of incubation and should be given up to two weeks of isolation in order to recover his body weight. If this is not done, the female could possibly continue to breed him, and he will starve to death. 

When the fries are released, they are free-swimming with darker coloration. If they are still in the breeding tank, there should be a lid on it in order to trap moisture. This will help their labyrinth organs develop correctly. 

From the beginning, these baby betta albimarginata are relatively large and can feed on baby brine shrimp and micro worms, which should be provided to them from two to three times a day for two weeks. After about two months, they can be switched from live food to frozen food. 

These babies will reach adulthood after about six to seven months. 

Can Betta Channoides and Betta Albimarginata Live Together?

It is recommended that bettas be kept with only their species. Although these two species have many similarities, their temperaments are different. Betta channoides can be aggressive and territorial, and male and female betta channoides often have small fights. Betta albimarginata, however, are relatively calm, but females can be temperamental and very aggressive, unlike many other bettas.

That being said, there’s not much that says that these two cannot live together at all. Most information states that if you introduce new fish to existing fish in a responsible way, you should be able to keep them in the same tank. It’s essential to ensure that these betas are around the same size and that the number of males and females work together. 

Betta Channoides vs Betta Albimarginata: Which is Best for Me?

Both betta fish are very similar in so many ways, but if you are a beginner when it comes to betta fish, betta channoides may be a better option for you at first. 

This is because they may be the easier of the two. 

Despite their similarities, the betta albimarginata females tend to be more aggressive and also seem to breed their male partners to death if they can. If you are not looking to breed many fish, the safe bet would be getting a betta channoide. 

Additionally, when breeding, betta channoides have far fewer babies than betta albimarginata. 


Betta channoides and betta albimarginata are very similar in many ways, which isn’t surprising since channoides and albimarginata comprise the betta albimarginata group of closely related species within the genus. 

The two are mostly the same except for some differences, such as their coloring and their ability to change colors based on their moods. Additionally, female albimarginata bettas can be much more aggressive, which is much different than the betta channoides. 

They also differ in how they breed, as female albimarginata are aggressive breeders, and male albimarginata can generally hold more eggs than the male channoides. 

Although they are both excellent fish to own and breed, betta channoides may be a better start for beginner fish owners because of their few differences.