The Marine Betta or Comet one of the most interesting of saltwater fish!
The eyespot at the base of the dorsal fin fools preys 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. The comet or marine betta (Calloplesiops altivelis) is a species of reef-associated tropical marine fish in the longfin family Plesiopidae, most commonly found between 3 to 50 m deep in rocky crevasses. It is native to the Indo-Pacific Ocean. It can reach a maximum length of 20 cm
It is a hardy and disease-resistant fish. A predator by nature, it assumes a “head down” position, with its false “eye spot” near the tail resembling the head of a moray eel.
The Marine Betta is not commonly kept in a reef-style aquarium, but it is reported to be safe with corals and anemones, however, it will eat all small fish and shrimp. It is nocturnal and requires hiding places to provide it shelter from bright lighting, being more active at dusk.
Comets are known to be difficult to feed in captivity, as they will generally only accept live foods. When first introduced into the aquarium, live saltwater feeder shrimp should be used to entice this fish to eat.
Using live foods such as feeder fish or shrimp will help it adjust. Once acclimated, it can be fed meaty foods and frozen preparations 2-4 times weekly. Moreover, they require time to stalk their prey. Therefore, if they are in an aquarium with other predatory fish (e.g. lions and groupers), they might starve, as they are not fast enough to get a good share of the food. Unlike most predatory fish kept in aquariums, Marine Bettas are quite shy and reclusive and don’t like being around boisterous fish that will harass or out-compete them for food.
Captive bred marine bettas