Marine Betta

Comet

Family: Plesiopidae Picture of a Marine Betta or CometCalloplesiops altivelis
Latest Reader Comment - See More
I've had my betta one year and almost everything I have read does not apply. My betta (comet) will eat whatever fits in his mouth. And will beat my lionfish... (more)  Chris Karmazin

   The Marine Betta or Comet is probably one of the most interesting of salt water fish!

   The eye spot at the base of the dorsal fin fools prey into thinking the mouth of the fish is at the wrong end! When the Marine Betta or Comet hunts it approaches its prey sideways (very neat to watch) and when the prey tries to escape by way of the tail, it turns out ot be the mouth and the fish is caught! Another theory is that the eye spot resembles the head of a moray eel, a very good defense against predators.

   The Marine Betta or Comet is harder to keep than other groupers since it much prefers live food and is slower to eat than many other aquarium fish. For this reason, It is recommended that this fish be kept as a single specimen or in a very sparsely populated tank!

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium


Geographic Distribution
Calloplesiops altivelis
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Plesiopidae
  • Genus: Calloplesiops
  • Species: altivelis
Marine Betta Fry Juveniles (Calloplesiops altivelis)

Report Broken Video
Video showing various stages of Marine Betta baby growth!

This video is from the company that has tank bred Marine Bettas! The fry at 16 days develop a big white spot on the sides of their bodies. This white spot is gone by 7 months old. These very peaceful fish only grow to about 7" and are compatible with most fish except the very small Green Clown Goby sized fish, aggressive or large fast moving fish that will keep them from coming out. A male and female will do well in a 75 gallon, but 2 males need a 6' tank!

Maintenance difficulty:    The Marine Betta or Comet is difficult to keep mainly because it needs special attention in order to eat. Although there may be cases where this fish will eat prepared foods, we have not seen it. Normally they will only eat live fish about the size of a guppy or very small goldfish.
   They also need plenty of time to stalk and capture their prey. If they are in a tank with other predaceous fish, like lions and groupers, they will most likely starve because they are not fast enough to get a good share of the food.

Maintenance:   Feed all kinds of live foods. If you are interested in trying prepared foods, squid, clams, shrimp, chopped fish, lancefish, or silversides. Although lionfish primarily eat live food also, many have been trained to eat lancefish or silversides in the aquarium.

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    Found in the Indo-Pacific.

Foods:    Like most groupers it is a meat eater that preys on small fish.

Social Behaviors:    This fish is a solitary predator that hangs out among the rocks waiting for prey.

Sex: Sexual differences:    Unknown.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Breeding/Reproduction:    Unknown.

Temperature:    No special requirements.

Length/Diameter of fish:    The Marine Betta or Comet grow to a length of 16 cm (6.5 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 50 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    No special requirements. Provide rockwork large enough for the fish to hide.

Availability:    This fish is readily available.

Author: David Brough. CFS.
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Lastest Animal Stories on Marine Betta

Chris Karmazin - 2012-03-03
I've had my betta one year and almost everything I have read does not apply. My betta (comet) will eat whatever fits in his mouth. And will beat my lionfish when eating. He is also free swimming, but alittle timid with sudden movement.

  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-03-04
    You are very lucky. That is extremely rare. Are you feeding live food? Whatever you are doing, keep doing it!
Reply
Robert - 2004-05-02
I have had a marine betta for about a year now and it eats frozen mysys shrimps without any problem. The product (which I have delivered by air courrier from British Columbia) is fantastic. I have other fishes that are difficult to feed (like a copperband butterfly) and this one also eats that frozen mysis shrimps like crazy. It is the only non-live food that they will eat.

Reply
James - 2004-10-08
i have had my marine betta grouper for more than a couple months :). i feed them frozen food like those saltwater variety packs, hoping they get all the nutrition. i get some tank water, put the frozen cube in there and stir it till it thaws out. I pour the contents on both sides of the tank. :) i really like this fish, very interesting :) and very shy but, have heard he is a predator.

Reply
David B. Romsey - 2008-01-20
I have a 150 gallon reef tank in which I have been keeping a Marine Betta (Calloplesiops altivelis) for over 2 years. The tank contains 150 lbs. of live rock with a number of caves and crevasses. Its tank mates are: 1-8" Vlaming's Unicorn fish, 2-5" Yellow Tangs, 1-6" Blue Tang, 1- 7" Sailfin Tang, 2 large Blue Velvet Damsels, 1-6" Picasso Tang, 1-4" Lawnmower Blennie and 1-2" Green Mandarin. All of these fish (with the exception of the Mandarin) including the Betta have been living and thriving on a diet of TetraMin flake food and dried Red Algae sheets for a couple of years. Every 2 weeks I toss in some chopped up smelt fish. There is no protein skimmer on this tank. The Betta waits in either back corner of the tank until feeding time and rises to the top to grab the flakes as they float by. So I guess the statement that Marine Betta are "finicky" about what they eat has at least one exception, which I believe is notable if it's that significant.

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Will - 2007-03-27
I have had my Marine Betta for a few months now and he is by far one of the most coolest fish I have ever had. We feed him frozen shrimp for the most part but once or twice a week we toss in about a dozen guppies! I like watching him go after them instead of some of the other predator fish we have because he is so tactical on how he hunts. Where some of our other fish just shoot across the tank to get them you can see him just watching and waiting then bam! Love this guy.

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