Collecting wild Betta from Malaysia

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Collecting wild Betta from Malaysia

Postby avik » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:47 pm

People who are keeping fancy betta, might wonder to know that in this part of the world we can still find the wild (natural) form of betta (fighting fish). These are not colorful in beginner's eyes sometime, they do not have the finnage like hm bettas and unlike the fancy betta they are in hiding mode most of the time. But their behaviour, movement and rarity are what make them prize possession for many advanced hobbyists. On the other hand, Parosphromenus or the true dwarf gourami (the size being 3-4 cm) are also very rare in the wild and difficult to breed or even keep in captivity, and both the fishes are on the brim of extinction due to habitat loss. Last Saturday Faesz, Fadzil, Jeremy, Najib, Edmond and myself went to the primary forest of Tanjung Malim area to catch Betta Livida and Parosphromenus Harveyi. They are believed to be sharing habitat with Betta Hipposideros.
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Malaysian Tapirs road cross warning.
We gathered at Sungai Buloh KTM at around 10am and straightaway departed for the location (around 100kms). On the way, we first went to a roadside pond to collect Blyxa and few moss & Cryptocoryne sp. And then resumed our journey.
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When we reached the destination, water levels of most of the spots were too high due to the earlier night’s heavy rain. After looking for hours, we found out a suitable spot to get ourselves wet yet not drowned.
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The water was deep brown, if not pitch black. The soil around contained woods, leaf litters and other debris, not fully decomposed.
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It was surrounded by lowland rainforests and in a completely shady place. Contrary to common belief, the water was not stagnant, and there must be a source of peat soil nearby which maintains the high acidity.
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The floor was similar type of soil plus lots of bogwoods, half decomposed. It was difficult to move as my legs kept on stucking in that substrate.
The betta livida usually likes calm water and so chances are more around the banks, under the leaf litters.
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My first scoop gave us a big Channa Bankanensis. After several futile attempts, we first got a tiny specimen of Betta Hipposideros. After that, suddenly people started catching all the fishes we did not even hoping for. We caught around 20-25 P. Harveyi, more than 10 B. Livida. But the unexpected fishlist is quite huge..that day we got hold of
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Betta livida,
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Betta hipposideros,
Parosphromenus harveyi,
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Rasbora kalochroma,
Luciocephalus pulcher
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Climbing perch (anabas testunidius)
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Sphaerichthys osphromenoides(chocolate gourami)
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Silurichthys indragiriensis
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Chana bankanensis,
Halfbeak.

Quite satisfied we were, got out of the water and looked at watch. It was 4.30pm. So technically we were catching fishes for last 4hrs or so. We released back most of the fishes, specially the Paros since most of them were showing stress mark. I took back 2 pairs of Harveyi and 2 pairs of Livida, but unfortunately only a female parosphromenus and the bettas could make it to home. We collected water sample from the location, and the lab test showed pH 4.4 and conductivity 148 mV, slightly higher perhaps due to heavy rain.
We are trying our best to breed these two species in home aquaria and return back some broods to nature in future.These are some of us in action..
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Last edited by avik on Wed Jun 17, 2015 3:45 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: In Search for wild Betta Livida & P. Harveyi

Postby viper » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:18 am

Awesome experience :) nice story wid pics
If anyone says money can't bring happiness,then he has not brought an aquarium yet....
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Re: In Search for wild Betta Livida & P. Harveyi

Postby Abhirup.mecho » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:29 am

What a trip awesome!
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Re: In Search for wild Betta Livida & P. Harveyi

Postby el batty » Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:50 pm

detailed description.
Nicely documented.

Guess we in KAC should aim for another collection trip, bigger scale! :P
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Re: In Search for wild Betta Livida & P. Harveyi

Postby SanamMarik » Fri May 01, 2015 3:53 pm

This is superbly awesome \m/ ...
just a silly question-while you keep so many betta in the same container, dont they fight??

el batty wrote:Guess we in KAC should aim for another collection trip, bigger scale! :P

Surely Batty da, the fries and that tadpole have grown much...time to get new fries... :D
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Re: In Search for wild Betta Livida & P. Harveyi

Postby avik » Fri May 01, 2015 11:17 pm

I am keeping only 2m 2f livida in my tank..u can keep more than one male betta without damage depending on the sp and tank size.
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Re: In Search for wild Betta Livida & P. Harveyi

Postby Dipankar » Sat May 02, 2015 10:45 am

Superb ^:)^
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Re: In Search for wild Betta Livida & P. Harveyi

Postby abhirup » Mon May 04, 2015 11:19 am

Awesome trip...and very well documented..
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Re: In Search for wild Betta Livida & P. Harveyi

Postby avik » Wed May 06, 2015 1:25 am

Thanks guys. :)
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Re: Collecting wild Betta Livida & P. Harveyi

Postby suvrajit » Fri May 08, 2015 11:46 am

Nicely Documented trip
thanks for sharing :)
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