channoides: based on the generic name of the snakehead fishes, Channa, some species of which have the same head shape as B. channoides.
Native to the Mahakam river basin in the province of Kalimantan Timur (eastern Kalimantan) on the island of Borneo, Indonesia, with type locality ‘unnamed blackwater stream entering Mahakam River on the northern side near Mujub, 0°01’S, 115°43’E, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia’.
The fish have been collected around Mujup, Sungai Merimun and Muarapahu with the most sought-after form originating from close to the village of Pampang.
Populations from the different localities are often labelled as such by collectors in order to maintain accuracy and preserve pure bloodlines.
Can be maintained in a fully-decorated aquarium although many breeders prefer not to use a substrate for ease of maintenance.
Driftwood roots and branches can be used and placed such a way that a few shady spots are formed while clay plant pots or lengths of piping can also be included to provide further shelter.
The addition of dried leaf litter further emphasises the natural feel and as well as offering additional cover for the fish brings with it the growth of microbe colonies as decomposition occurs.
These can provide a valuable secondary food source for fry and the tannins and other chemicals released by the decaying leaves are also considered beneficial for fishes from blackwater environments.
There is no need to use natural peat, however, the collection of which is both unsustainable and environmentally-destructive.
Like others in the genus this species seems to do best under fairly dim lighting.
You could add aquatic plant species that can survive under such conditions such as Microsorum, Taxiphyllum or Cryptocoryne spp., and a few patches of floating vegetation would be useful as well.
This species requires acidic conditions with negligible carbonate hardness and very low general hardness so a reverse osmosis unit or other method of obtaining soft water may need to be employed, and this can be further acidified using phosphoric acid or similar if necessary.
As it naturally inhabits sluggish waters filtration should not be too strong, with an air-powered sponge filter set to turn over gently adequate.
Keep the tank well-covered and do not fill it to the top as like all Betta spp. it requires occasional access to the layer of humid air that will form above the water surface, and is an excellent jumper.