Betta tanks designed to imitate ‘kost’ rooms perfectly encapsulate Indonesian obsession with the ornamental fish

Ikan cupang, or betta fish, has long been a popular pet fish in Indonesia. Many in the country keep betta fish for decorative purposes, while some less responsible among them would raise males as fighting fish for gambling, as the species is known to be aggressive and territorial.

While we’re all staying at home (mostly in our rooms) to help curb the spread of the coronavirus, some betta fish are doing the same, as seen in hugely viral TikTok videos by user @fishkinianofficial. The user, who also appears to be a betta fish breeder, has decorated their aquariums to look like miniature imitations of rooms for rent at boarding houses (kost), which are a popular accommodation choice for students and young employees.

The first video, which has been viewed 13.4 million times, opens with the text, “Betta fish’s kost room, check!” borrowing a TikTok trend that was started by teenagers saying “private school check” to show off high-end facilities in their schools.


#aquascape #aquascaping #cupang #ikancupanghias #fishkinian

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“There’s a photo of its father… It’s looking at its reflection in the mirror but it suddenly got angry,” the following text read. The video ends with the camera zooming in on the fish’s Fishkinian desktop wallpaper on its laptop.

The second video, which has been viewed 1 million times, shows another made-for-fish kost room in pink, this time containing a school of non-aggressive female bettas, along with a text notifying viewers that while the aquarium design is not for sale, the betta fish are.


Balas @ikoyunichi #betta #ikancupanghias #fishkinian #aquascaping #aquascape #samasamadaritiktok

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“As usual, women like to gather for curhat [confide] with each other… This is the guy they’re talking about,” the text reads at the beginning. 

“The book is about sholat (Islamic prayer). I’m laughing, everything is so detailed,” the camera pans from the book to the fish excrement on the mini seat, which explains that the fish took a dump there because there is no in-room bathroom.

@fishkinianofficial is not the first TikTok user to go viral due to their creative betta fish tanks. Last month, betta fish and aquascaping enthusiast Made Agus Darmawan gained some viral fame for his creative miniatures in the tank, which took the form of a housing compound, a living room equipped with a karaoke machine, as well as a kost room.  

Also Read Indonesian man grieves as father fries expensive arowana pet fish for lunch

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