The species status of Betta strohi is controversial. It is a form from the species complex around Betta foerschi (see https://www.aquariumglaser.de/en/fish-archives/betta-foerschi-bred/). Some authors consider B. strohi to be a synonym of B. foerschi, others a valid species. “Technically” the two differ by a rather inconspicuous feature, namely the eye line. In Betta strohi the line runs from the gill cover through the eye, in B. foerschi it runs below the eye. In living animals this is hardly ever visible, but in preserved animals it is. A very important feature is the coloration of the gill cover in mating animals. It is bright yellow in B. strohi and bright red in B. foerschi. But also to see this feature you need patience. If they are not in mating mood, the fish do not show it. However: also this characteristic is controversial. In the original description animals of B. strohi have red gill cover stripes and B. foerschi yellow ones!
Anyway: we have splendid, fully grown German offspring of this species in our stock. The breeder has studied the fish intensively and is sure that it is B. strohi. All species of the Betta foerschi complex are found only in Borneo, B. foerschi in the Mentaya River drainage, B. mandor in the lower Kapuas River drainage and B. strohi is found about 30 km south of Sukamara; there is no major river named there (but nameless rivers do exist).
In any case, these fish are a splendid as well as interesting enrichment for well maintained blackwater aquaria. B. strohi is a reserved fish, which can be socialized very well with other peaceful blackwater fish, e.g. rasboras, chocolate gouramis, pearl gouramis etc.. The sexes can be distinguished quite well by the extension of the fins. If you like, you can also keep several males together, they bicker, if at all, only harmlessly with each other.
For our customers: the fish have code 391023 on our stocklist. Please note that we exclusively supply the wholesale trade.
Text & photos: Frank Schäfer