The Plakat, or Plakad, is a short-tailed Betta, and is the most closely related to wild Betta splendens or traditional fighting Bettas. Plakats can often be mistaken for female Bettas to the untrained eye, however, males will display elongated ventral fins, a rounded caudal fin and a sharply pointed anal fin. There are 3 sub-categories related to this tail type. There is the traditional Plakat where the tail is rounded, sometimes with a point. Traditional plakats will have two rays. Halfmoon plakats (HMPK) are the modern, show type plakat, and they have four or more rays with 180 degree tail. Hmpks come in asymmetrical (More common. Elongated, slanted anal fin is the main defining characteristic. See picture.) and symmetrical (should look like modern halfmoon with proper form, but with shorter fins).
Plakats are more resistant to fin rot and other fin ailments, and will not bite their fins unlike types with long tails. This makes them more desirable for some hobbyists.
- 5 gallons is recommended, 2.5 is the absolute minimum.
- Smaller tanks are more work, requiring increased maintenance.
- No bowls. Those are for eating cereal out of!
- Betta fish are jumpers, always secure a lid on your tank.
- Don’t restrict access to the water’s surface, or fill your tank to its maximum capacity.
- Betta fish need natural day and night light cycles.
- Tank mates are tricky, research before adding other species.
- Never place 2 males, or a male and female in the same tank unless breeding.
- Females can live together in a “sorority” of 5 or more.
- Maintain a tropical habitat at 76-81 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Betta fish prefer water in the pH range of 6.5-7.5.
- Ammonia should ideally be zero parts per million (ppm).
- Nitrate should be less than 40 parts per million (ppm).
- Nitrite should ideally be zero parts per million (ppm).
- Use water conditioner/dechlorinator to make tap water safe for bettas.
- Use an aquarium thermometer to monitor your tank’s temperature.
- Filter’s reduce ammonia, nitrate and nitrite levels, and preserve healthy bacteria.
- Avoid drastic changes in water temperature and water quality.
- Use test strips to monitor water parameters.