Plakat, also known as Plakad or short-finned Betta, is a variety of Siamese fighting fish that has been a popular choice among enthusiasts of the fighting fish world for many years. These fish are known for their aggressive behavior and their ability to endure brutal fights in small containers, often leading to death or severe injury.
The fighting strain of bettas has been around for centuries in Southeast Asia, specifically in Thailand, where the sport of Betta fighting has a long and rich history. In fact, Betta fish have been used in Thai gambling since the early 1800s, where they were pitted against each other in small glass bowls to fight to the death. In Thailand, Plakat was one of the most popular fighting fish varieties, prized for their short fins and aggressive temperament.
As the popularity of Betta fighting spread beyond Thailand, different countries adopted their own unique versions of the sport. In the Philippines, for example, Betta fighting became a popular pastime during the 1960s, and Plakat became a favorite choice among the locals due to their hardiness and durability in fights. In Indonesia, Betta fighting is called “Adu Cupang” and is still a popular sport today. In Malaysia, Betta fighting is known as “Tanding,” and the fish are often bred specifically for their fighting ability.
In the United States, Betta fighting has been outlawed for many years, but the fish are still bred and sold for their aesthetic appeal in the pet trade. However, the roots of the fighting strain of bettas can still be seen in the fish’s genetic makeup, and enthusiasts of the Plakat variety often look for fish that exhibit the same aggressive and hardy traits that were valued in the fighting fish arenas of Southeast Asia.
In recent years, there has been a growing movement within the Betta fish community to promote responsible breeding practices and to discourage the use of these fish for fighting. Many breeders are now focusing on developing new color varieties and improving the overall health and well-being of the fish, rather than solely breeding for fighting ability.
Despite its controversial past, the Plakat variety of Betta fish continues to captivate enthusiasts of the species around the world. Its history in fighting arenas may have contributed to its popularity, but it is the fish’s beauty, hardiness, and unique personality that keep it a favorite among Betta lovers.