Betta Fish Varieties: Exploring Species, Tail Types, and Color Patterns

Betta fish are not just one of the most popular aquarium pets, they’re also incredibly diverse!

With so many types to choose from, it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start. In this post, we’ll break down the different ways you can categorize Betta fish—from species and tail types to color patterns and behaviors.

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned Betta enthusiast, you’ll find everything you need to know to appreciate these stunning fish even more.

Let’s dive in!

6 Betta Fish Types By Species

1. Betta Splendens (Siamese Fighting Fish)

Betta Splendens, commonly known as the Siamese Fighting Fish, is one of the most popular and recognizable Betta species. Renowned for their vivid colors and elaborate fins, these fish have captivated aquarists and pet enthusiasts around the world.

Habitat and Origin

Betta Splendens are native to the shallow waters of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They thrive in warm, slow-moving waters like rice paddies, floodplains, and canals, where there is plenty of vegetation and low oxygen levels.

Appearance

Betta Splendens are celebrated for their striking physical appearance. They come in a dazzling array of colors including red, blue, green, yellow, and even iridescent shades. Their fins can be long and flowing or short and stout, depending on the variety. Typically, they grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length.

Behavior

This species is known for its aggressive nature, particularly among males. Males are highly territorial and will often fight other males, hence the name “Siamese Fighting Fish.” Because of this aggression, they are best kept alone or in carefully monitored community tanks with non-aggressive species. Females are generally less aggressive and can sometimes be kept together in sorority tanks under the right conditions.

Interesting Facts

  • Betta Splendens have a labyrinth organ that allows them to breathe air from the surface, enabling them to survive in low-oxygen environments.
  • In their native habitat, Betta Splendens build bubble nests on the water surface to protect their eggs.

2. Betta Imbellis (Peaceful Betta)

Betta Imbellis, commonly known as the Peaceful Betta, is renowned for its less aggressive nature compared to other Betta species. This makes it a popular choice for community tanks and hobbyists seeking a more harmonious aquarium environment.

Habitat and Origin

Betta Imbellis is native to the freshwater habitats of Malaysia and Thailand. They are typically found in slow-moving streams, swamps, and paddy fields with dense vegetation, providing ample hiding spots and a stable environment.

Appearance

Betta Imbellis boasts a metallic sheen, often displaying greenish-blue or turquoise colors. Unlike the flamboyant Betta Splendens, they have shorter fins that are less elaborate. They grow to about 2.5 inches in length, and their bodies are streamlined and elegant.

Behavior

True to their name, Peaceful Bettas are much less aggressive than their counterparts. Males can still be territorial but are generally more tolerant of other fish. This makes them suitable for community tanks with other non-aggressive species. However, it’s still advisable to avoid keeping multiple males together.

Interesting Facts

  • Betta Imbellis populations are under threat due to habitat destruction and pollution. Conservation efforts are important to maintain their natural populations.

3. Betta Mahachaiensis

Betta Mahachaiensis, commonly known as the Mahachai Betta, is a lesser-known but fascinating species of Betta fish. Named after the Mahachai region in Thailand where it was first discovered, this species is prized for its striking appearance and unique adaptations to its brackish water habitat.

Habitat and Origin

Betta Mahachaiensis is native to the brackish waters of the Samut Sakhon Province in Thailand. These fish thrive in environments with a mixture of fresh and saltwater, such as coastal swamps, mangroves, and tidal areas. The slightly saline conditions of their natural habitat make them quite distinct from other freshwater Betta species.

Appearance

Betta Mahachaiensis is known for its iridescent greenish-blue body that can sometimes have a metallic sheen. The fish typically have shorter fins compared to Betta Splendens, which contributes to their streamlined appearance. They usually grow to about 2-2.5 inches in length. Males are more vibrantly colored than females and exhibit a more intense iridescence.

Behavior

In terms of behavior, Betta Mahachaiensis are relatively peaceful compared to Betta Splendens. While males can still be territorial and aggressive towards each other, they are generally less combative. This makes them somewhat more suitable for community tanks, provided there is enough space and hiding spots to reduce territorial disputes.

Interesting Facts

  • One of the most unique aspects of Betta Mahachaiensis is their tolerance to brackish water, which is uncommon among Betta species.

4. Betta Smaragdina (Emerald Betta)

Betta Smaragdina, commonly known as the Emerald Betta, is a striking species of Betta fish recognized for its vibrant, metallic coloration. This species is a favorite among Betta enthusiasts for its unique appearance and relatively peaceful nature.

Habitat and Origin

Betta Smaragdina is native to the freshwater habitats of Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand and Laos. It is commonly found in slow-moving streams, rice paddies, and shallow waters with dense vegetation, which provide the cover and calm waters that It prefers.

Appearance

The Betta Smaragdina is known for its stunning metallic greenish-blue body, which shimmers under the light, giving it the name “Emerald Betta.” It has shorter fins than Betta Splendens, making it look more streamlined. Typically, it grows to about 2 to 2.5 inches in length. Its fins and body often display intricate patterns and iridescence, adding to its beauty.

Behavior

Betta Smaragdina is generally less aggressive than Betta Splendens. While males can still be territorial, they are more tolerant of conspecifics, making them somewhat easier to keep in pairs or small groups under controlled conditions. They are relatively peaceful and can be kept with other non-aggressive fish, provided there are plenty of hiding spots and space to reduce stress.

Interesting Fact

An interesting fact about Betta Smaragdina is that they are capable of changing their color intensity based on their mood and environment. This color-changing ability is a natural response to stress, dominance displays, or mating behavior, making them fascinating to observe in a well-maintained aquarium.

5. Betta Albimarginata

Betta Albimarginata is a lesser-known but captivating species of Betta fish, prized for its distinctive appearance and peaceful nature. Unlike the more commonly known Betta Splendens, Betta Albimarginata are more docile and make a unique addition to the aquarium of any Betta enthusiast.

Habitat and Origin

Betta Albimarginata is native to the blackwater streams and peat swamps of Borneo, specifically in the regions of Kalimantan. These environments are characterized by soft, acidic water, often tinted dark with tannins from decaying plant material.

Appearance

Betta Albimarginata are easily recognized by their vibrant red bodies and striking white fin edges. They are smaller than many other Betta species, typically growing to about 2 inches in length. The males display more intense coloration and slightly larger fins compared to the females.

Behavior

Betta Albimarginata are known for their peaceful demeanor, making them more suitable for community tanks than their more aggressive relatives. They are less likely to engage in fights and can coexist with other non-aggressive species. However, they do appreciate having plenty of hiding spots and plants in their environment to feel secure.

Interesting Fact

One unique aspect of Betta Albimarginata is their breeding behavior. Unlike Betta Splendens, which build bubble nests, Betta Albimarginata are paternal mouthbrooders. This means that after the female lays eggs, the male will carry the eggs in his mouth until they hatch, providing a fascinating glimpse into their unique reproductive strategies.

6. Betta Macrostoma (Brunei Beauty)

Betta Macrostoma, commonly known as the Brunei Beauty, is a highly sought-after species among Betta enthusiasts due to its striking appearance and unique care requirements. Unlike the more commonly seen Betta Splendens, Betta Macrostoma is prized for its rarity and the distinct beauty of its coloration and finnage.

Habitat and Origin

Betta Macrostoma is native to the clear, slow-moving waters of Brunei, a small country on the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. These fish are typically found in shaded, forested streams and peat swamps with soft, acidic water. The natural habitat of Betta Macrostoma is characterized by leaf litter and fallen branches, providing ample hiding spots and creating a dark, tannin-rich environment.

Appearance

Betta Macrostoma stands out with its vibrant orange-red body adorned with black markings, particularly around the gill area and on the fins. Compared to other Betta species, it has a more streamlined body, with both males and females displaying elongated, graceful fins. Males are typically more colorful and exhibit more pronounced markings than females. The average size of Betta Macrostoma is around 3 to 3.5 inches.

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Behavior

Betta Macrostoma is known for its relatively peaceful nature compared to Betta Splendens. While males can still be territorial, they are less aggressive and can sometimes be kept in pairs or small groups if provided with adequate space and hiding spots.

However, they are best kept in species-specific tanks to avoid stress and potential conflicts with other fish. Betta Macrostoma is also a bubble-nester, with males building nests and caring for the eggs until they hatch.

Interesting Fact

One unique aspect of Betta Macrostoma is its ability to adapt to slightly brackish water conditions. This adaptability makes it quite different from many other Betta species that typically require strictly freshwater environments. This trait reflects its natural habitat, where the water can have varying degrees of salinity due to tidal influences.

6 Betta Fish Types By Tail Type

1. Veil Tail (VT)

The Veil Tail Betta, commonly abbreviated as VT, is one of the most recognizable and traditional Betta fish types. Known for their long, flowing tails that drape gracefully behind them, Veil Tails are a popular choice for both novice and experienced aquarists.

Habitat and Origin

Veil Tail Bettas, like other Betta Splendens, originate from the shallow waters of Southeast Asia. They are native to countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. In the wild, these fish thrive in rice paddies, slow-moving streams, and stagnant ponds, where the water is warm and dense with vegetation.

Appearance

Veil Tail Bettas are distinguished by their long, downward-draping tail fins, which resemble a veil—hence the name. They come in a wide array of vibrant colors, including red, blue, green, and even iridescent hues. These Bettas typically reach a size of about 2.5 to 3 inches in length. The elegance of their fins makes them a favorite in the aquarium hobby.

Behavior

Veil Tail Bettas exhibit the same territorial and aggressive behaviors as other Betta Splendens. Males, in particular, are highly territorial and will fight other males, making them best suited for solitary living. They can, however, coexist with certain peaceful fish species in a well-planned community tank. Female Veil Tails are generally less aggressive but still require careful tank mates selection.

Interesting Fact

One unique fact about Veil Tail Bettas is that they were the first type of Betta to be selectively bred for the pet trade, leading to the wide variety of colors and fin shapes available today. This selective breeding began in Thailand over a century ago and has significantly contributed to the popularity of Bettas worldwide.

2. Crown Tail (CT)

The Crown Tail Betta, often referred to as CT, is one of the most visually striking Betta types due to its distinctive fin structure. Developed through selective breeding, Crown Tails are a favorite among Betta enthusiasts for their unique and dramatic appearance.

Habitat and Origin

Crown Tail Bettas do not have a natural habitat per se, as they are a product of selective breeding rather than a naturally occurring variant. However, like other Betta Splendens, their origins trace back to the shallow, warm waters of Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. In these regions, they inhabit rice paddies, slow-moving streams, and ponds where they thrive in warm, still waters with plenty of vegetation.

Appearance

Crown Tail Bettas are easily recognizable by their fin rays, which extend beyond the webbing, creating a spiky, crown-like appearance. This unique fin structure can be found in various colors, including red, blue, green, yellow, and even multi-colored patterns. Typically, they grow to about 2.5 inches in length. The degree of “crowning” can vary, with some having more pronounced spikes than others, adding to their dramatic look.

Behavior

Like other Betta Splendens, Crown Tail Bettas are known for their territorial and aggressive behavior, especially among males. They are best kept alone or with very peaceful tank mates that do not have long, flowing fins that could trigger their aggressive tendencies. Crown Tails can be kept in community tanks with caution, ensuring that tank mates are non-aggressive and do not resemble other Bettas.

Interesting Fact

One unique and interesting fact about Crown Tail Bettas is that their fin extensions can vary significantly in length, sometimes exceeding half the length of their body. This dramatic fin structure not only makes them visually appealing but also requires careful maintenance, as their delicate fins can be prone to tearing and fin rot if not kept in optimal conditions.

3. Halfmoon (HM)

Halfmoon Betta, known for its stunning tail that forms a perfect 180-degree semicircle when fully flared, is a popular choice among Betta enthusiasts. This type is prized for its striking appearance and elegant fin shape.

Habitat and Origin

Halfmoon Bettas, like other Betta Splendens, are originally from the shallow waters of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They thrive in warm, slow-moving, or still waters such as rice paddies, ponds, and slow streams, which provide ample vegetation and places to hide.

Appearance

Halfmoon Bettas are distinguished by their spectacular tail fin, which opens to a full 180-degree spread, resembling a half-moon or semicircle. They come in a wide variety of vibrant colors, including shades of blue, red, green, and iridescent variations. The fins are typically long and flowing, giving them a graceful and dramatic look. They usually grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length.

Behavior

Halfmoon Bettas are known for their territorial and aggressive behavior, especially among males. They are best kept alone or with very peaceful tank mates in a well-planted aquarium to reduce stress. Like other Betta fish, they are labyrinth fish, meaning they can breathe air directly from the surface due to their special labyrinth organ.

Interesting Fact

One unique fact about Halfmoon Bettas is that their impressive tail fin shape is the result of selective breeding. This fin shape does not occur naturally in the wild, but has been developed by breeders to enhance their aesthetic appeal. This breeding process requires careful selection and pairing to maintain the desired tail shape and health of the fish.

4. Delta Tail (DT)

The Delta Tail Betta, known for its unique fin shape, is a popular choice among Betta enthusiasts. Its name derives from the tail’s resemblance to the Greek letter delta (Δ), which spreads out wide but does not reach the full 180 degrees of a Halfmoon Betta.

Habitat and Origin

Delta Tail Bettas, like other Betta Splendens, originate from the shallow waters of Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They thrive in slow-moving waters such as rice paddies, ponds, and small streams where the water is warm and heavily vegetated.

Appearance

Delta Tail Bettas are renowned for their striking tail shape, which fans out from the body in a triangular form. The tail edges are straight and evenly spread, creating a symmetrical look. These Bettas come in a dazzling array of colors, from vibrant reds and blues to iridescent greens and multi-colored patterns. They typically grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length, with the tail making a significant portion of their overall size.

Behavior

Like most Betta Splendens, Delta Tail Bettas can be aggressive, especially towards other males. They are territorial and may display flaring behavior to assert dominance. While they can coexist with certain peaceful species in a community tank, careful monitoring and adequate space are essential to prevent conflicts. It’s often best to house them alone or with very docile tank mates.

Interesting Fact

An interesting fact about Delta Tail Bettas is that their fin shape is a result of selective breeding. Enthusiasts and breeders have carefully developed this tail type to achieve the perfect delta shape, showcasing the remarkable diversity that can be achieved through dedicated breeding practices.

5. Double Tail (DT)

The Double Tail Betta, often abbreviated as DT, is a captivating variety of Betta Splendens known for its unique double-lobed tail. This distinct feature sets it apart from other Betta types and makes it a favorite among enthusiasts.

Habitat and Origin

Double Tail Bettas, like most Betta Splendens, originate from the shallow, slow-moving waters of Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They thrive in warm, still waters with plenty of vegetation, which closely resembles their natural habitat.

Appearance

Double Tail Bettas are easily recognizable by their two distinct tail lobes, a result of a genetic mutation. This mutation causes the tail fin to split into two separate sections. They come in a wide array of colors, including vibrant reds, blues, greens, and multicolored patterns. Typically, they grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length. The double tail gives them a more dramatic and symmetrical appearance, making them stand out in any aquarium.

Behavior

Double Tail Bettas share similar behavioral traits with other Betta Splendens. They are known for their territorial and aggressive nature, especially males. They should be kept alone or with non-aggressive tank mates in a community tank. Females are generally less aggressive but still exhibit territorial behaviors. Providing hiding spots and plenty of space can help reduce stress and aggression.

Interesting Fact

A unique fact about Double Tail Bettas is that their double tail mutation often comes with a wider, more robust body structure. This makes them more prone to swim bladder issues compared to single-tailed Bettas, so careful attention to their diet and water conditions is essential to keep them healthy.

6. Plakat (PK)

Plakat Betta, often abbreviated as PK, is a type of Betta fish known for its short fins and a more natural, wild-type appearance. Unlike the long-finned varieties, Plakat Betta resembles the original wild Betta species and is favored for its vigorous health and active behavior.

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Habitat and Origin

Plakat Betta originates from Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. In the wild, they are found in shallow waters such as rice paddies, slow-moving streams, and ponds. These environments are often warm and densely vegetated, providing ample hiding spots and breeding grounds.

Appearance

Plakat Bettas are characterized by their short, sturdy fins and robust bodies. They exhibit a wide range of vibrant colors, including red, blue, green, yellow, and even metallic shades. They typically grow to about 2.5 inches in length. The short fins of the Plakat Betta reduce the risk of damage and infections, making them appear more similar to their wild counterparts.

Behavior

Plakat Bettas are known for their active and aggressive nature. Males, in particular, are highly territorial and will fight with other males if housed together. However, their short fins allow them to move quickly and efficiently, making them more agile than their long-finned relatives. They can be kept in community tanks with careful monitoring and proper tank mates, usually non-aggressive species.

Interesting Fact

An interesting fact about Plakat Bettas is that they are often the preferred choice for Betta fish competitions in Southeast Asia due to their agility and fighting prowess. The word “Plakat” itself comes from the Thai term “Plakad,” which means “fighting fish,” highlighting their historical significance in Betta fish fights.

6 Betta Fish Types By Color

1. Solid color

Solid color Betta fish are a popular choice among aquarium enthusiasts due to their striking and uniform coloration. These Bettas display a single, consistent color across their entire body and fins, creating a visually stunning and elegant appearance.

Habitat and Origin

While solid color Bettas can be found in a variety of Betta species, they are most commonly seen in Betta Splendens (Siamese Fighting Fish). Betta Splendens are native to the shallow waters of Southeast Asia, specifically in countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They thrive in warm, slow-moving or still waters with abundant vegetation.

Appearance

Solid color Betta fish exhibit a uniform coloration that covers their entire body and fins. Common colors include vibrant reds, blues, greens, yellows, and even black. These Bettas typically grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length. Their fins can vary in shape, including Veil Tail, Crowntail, Halfmoon, and Plakat, depending on the specific variety within the solid color category.

Behavior

Solid color Betta fish, like other Bettas, are known for their territorial and aggressive behavior, particularly among males. They are best kept alone or in carefully monitored community tanks with non-aggressive species. Female Bettas can be more social and may coexist in groups, known as sororities, but require careful observation to prevent aggression.

Interesting Fact

One unique fact about solid color Betta fish is that their coloration can change slightly based on their mood and health. For instance, a stressed Betta might appear duller, while a healthy and happy Betta will showcase its most vibrant hues. This makes solid color Bettas not only beautiful but also a good indicator of their overall well-being.

2. Bi-color

Bi-color Betta fish are a visually striking variation of Betta Splendens known for their two distinct color sections. This vibrant color pattern makes them a popular choice among Betta enthusiasts who appreciate unique and eye-catching fish.

Habitat and Origin

Bi-color Betta fish, like other Betta Splendens, originate from the shallow, slow-moving waters of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They are typically found in rice paddies, ponds, and slow-flowing streams where vegetation is abundant.

Appearance

Bi-color Betta fish are characterized by having two distinct colors on their bodies and fins. The body is usually one color, while the fins are another, creating a striking contrast. These colors can range from red, blue, green, yellow, and more, with countless combinations. They typically grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length, with long, flowing fins that add to their allure.

Behavior

Bi-color Betta fish exhibit the same behavior as other Betta Splendens. Males are highly territorial and aggressive, often fighting with other males and even similar-looking fish. They are best kept alone or with very peaceful tank mates in a well-monitored community tank. Females tend to be less aggressive but still require careful tank mate selection.

Interesting Fact

One unique fact about Bi-color Betta fish is that their coloration can sometimes change with age, health, and mood. Stress, water quality, and diet can all influence the intensity and vibrancy of their colors, making proper care essential to maintaining their beautiful bi-color appearance.

3. Marble

Marble Betta fish are renowned for their unique and ever-changing color patterns. Unlike other Betta fish types, the Marble Betta’s appearance can change dramatically over time, making them a fascinating choice for aquarists.

Habitat and Origin

The Marble Betta, like other Betta fish, is originally from Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. In the wild, these fish are typically found in shallow, slow-moving waters such as rice paddies, ditches, and floodplains. The Marble coloration is a result of selective breeding in captivity rather than a natural variation found in the wild.

Appearance

Marble Bettas are characterized by their distinctive, blotchy color patterns that can include a mix of white, black, blue, red, and other colors. These patterns often resemble the marbling seen in marble stone, hence the name. The fins can be of various shapes, including Veil Tail, Crown Tail, and Halfmoon, and they typically grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length. The unique aspect of Marble Bettas is their color-changing ability; they can shift colors over weeks or months due to genetic factors known as “jumping genes.”

Behavior

Marble Bettas, like other Betta fish, tend to be aggressive and territorial, especially males. They are known to flare their gills and fins as a display of dominance or when threatened. It is generally recommended to house them alone or with very peaceful tank mates in a well-monitored community tank. Providing plenty of hiding spots and visual barriers can help reduce stress and aggression.

Interesting Fact

One unique fact about Marble Betta fish is their ability to change color throughout their lives. This phenomenon is due to a genetic trait where transposons, or “jumping genes,” cause the activation or deactivation of pigmentation genes. This means a Marble Betta can look completely different at various stages of its life, adding an element of surprise and excitement for their owners.

4. Butterfly

Butterfly Betta fish are a stunning variety of Betta Splendens, renowned for their distinctive fin pattern that resembles the wings of a butterfly. This pattern makes them a popular choice among Betta enthusiasts for their aesthetic appeal.

Habitat and Origin

Butterfly Betta fish, like other Betta Splendens, originate from the shallow waters of Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They are found in rice paddies, slow-moving streams, and shallow ponds where the water is warm and heavily vegetated.

Appearance

Butterfly Betta fish are characterized by their unique fin pattern, where the fins have a solid base color that transitions to a contrasting color at the edges, creating a two-tone effect that resembles butterfly wings. They come in various color combinations, such as blue and white, red and white, or even more exotic hues. These Betta typically grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length and have long, flowing fins that enhance their butterfly-like appearance.

Behavior

Like other Betta Splendens, Butterfly Betta fish are known for their aggressive nature, especially males. They are highly territorial and can be hostile towards other Betta fish. It’s best to house them alone or with very peaceful tank mates that do not resemble Betta fish. Despite their aggression, they are active and curious, often exploring their environment and interacting with their owners.

Interesting Fact

A unique feature of Butterfly Betta fish is that the intensity of their fin coloration can change based on their mood, health, and water conditions. When they are stressed or unwell, their colors may appear duller, while optimal conditions and a healthy state can make their colors vibrant and striking.

5. Dragon Scale

Dragon Scale Betta fish are a stunning variety of Betta Splendens known for their thick, metallic-like scales that give them a dragon-like appearance. These fish are highly sought after by enthusiasts for their unique and striking look.

Habitat and Origin

Dragon Scale Bettas, like other Betta Splendens, originate from Southeast Asia, specifically in countries such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They thrive in warm, shallow waters, such as rice paddies, slow-moving streams, and ponds. These environments provide plenty of vegetation and hiding spots, which are essential for their well-being.

Appearance

The most distinguishing feature of Dragon Scale Bettas is their thick, iridescent scales that resemble dragon scales. These scales often cover the entire body, including the face, giving them a unique, armored look. They come in various colors, including red, blue, green, and gold, with the scales often appearing as a contrasting metallic overlay. Dragon Scale Bettas typically have long, flowing fins, similar to other Betta Splendens, and grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length.

Behavior

Dragon Scale Bettas exhibit similar behavior to other Betta Splendens. They are known for their territorial and aggressive nature, especially males. It’s best to keep them alone or with very peaceful tank mates that won’t provoke them. They can live in community tanks with careful selection and monitoring of other fish, but they thrive best in solitary settings where they can be the centerpiece of the tank.

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Interesting Fact

One unique and interesting fact about Dragon Scale Bettas is that their thick scales can sometimes cause vision problems. The scale growth can cover their eyes, leading to partial or complete blindness. Despite this, many Betta owners find their resilience and adaptation to be quite remarkable, as they can still navigate their environment using other senses.

6. Koi

Koi Betta fish are a popular and visually striking variant of Betta Splendens. Named for their resemblance to the colorful and patterned koi fish, these Betta are known for their vibrant and varied colorations that make them a favorite among aquarists.

Habitat and Origin

While Koi Betta fish are a selectively bred variety and not found in the wild, they originate from the same species as other Betta Splendens, which are native to the shallow waters of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. These environments are typically warm, slow-moving, and rich in vegetation.

Appearance

Koi Betta are characterized by their unique, marbled coloration that often includes patches of red, orange, black, yellow, and white, much like the patterns seen in koi carp. They typically have shorter, more rounded fins compared to the long, flowing fins of other Betta types, making them resemble the wild Betta more closely in terms of fin shape. They generally grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length.

Behavior

Like most Betta Splendens, Koi Betta fish can be aggressive, especially males. They are territorial and will often fight with other males, so they are best kept alone or in community tanks with carefully chosen, non-aggressive tank mates. Female Koi Bettas can sometimes be housed together in sorority tanks, but monitoring for aggression is crucial.

Interesting Fact

Koi Betta fish have a unique ability to change their color patterns over time, a phenomenon known as marbling. This means that their appearance can continue to evolve, making each Koi Betta truly one-of-a-kind throughout its life.

3 Betta Fish Types By Fin Type

my betta swimming

1. Long Finned

Long-finned Betta fish, often referred to as “fancy Betta,” are popular among aquarium enthusiasts for their dramatic and flowing fins. These Betta are selectively bred for their impressive fin length and vibrant colors, making them a striking addition to any aquarium.

Habitat and Origin

Long-finned Betta fish are descendants of wild Betta Splendens found in the shallow waters of Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. In their natural habitat, Betta fish live in slow-moving waters such as rice paddies, ponds, and marshes. The long-finned varieties are a result of selective breeding in captivity, rather than a specific natural habitat.

Appearance

Long-finned Betta fish are renowned for their extended, flowing fins that can come in a variety of shapes, such as veil tails, halfmoons, and crowntails. They exhibit a wide range of colors including reds, blues, greens, and purples, often with iridescent scales. Typically, they grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length, with fins that can be nearly as long as their bodies.

Behavior

Long-finned Betta fish are known for their aggressive nature, particularly males, who will fiercely defend their territory from other males. They are best kept alone or in carefully monitored community tanks with peaceful fish that do not nip fins. Females are generally less aggressive and can sometimes be kept in groups known as sororities.

Interesting Fact

Long-finned Betta fish have been selectively bred for their fin shapes and colors for over a century, leading to the vast array of fin types and color patterns seen today. This selective breeding has not only enhanced their beauty but also made them one of the most recognizable and beloved aquarium fish worldwide.

2. Short Finned (Plakat)

The Short Finned Betta, commonly known as Plakat Betta, is a popular choice among Betta enthusiasts. Unlike their long-finned relatives, Plakats are known for their short, robust fins and vibrant colors. These Bettas are often favored for their more natural and wild appearance, as well as their active behavior.

Habitat and Origin

Plakat Bettas originate from Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia. In the wild, they are typically found in shallow, slow-moving waters such as rice paddies, ponds, and streams. These environments provide plenty of hiding spots and vegetation, mimicking the conditions they thrive in when kept in aquariums.

Appearance

Plakat Bettas are characterized by their short, sturdy fins and strong, muscular bodies. They come in a wide array of colors, including vibrant reds, blues, greens, and even multi-colored patterns. Plakats generally grow to about 2.5 inches in length. Their shorter fins give them a more streamlined appearance, allowing for more agile and active swimming compared to long-finned Betta varieties.

Behavior

Plakat Bettas are known for their lively and active behavior. They are generally more aggressive than other Betta types, displaying strong territorial instincts. Males, in particular, should be housed alone or in carefully managed community tanks with non-aggressive, fast-moving fish that can avoid conflict. Despite their aggression, Plakats are highly interactive and can recognize their owners, often responding to feeding and interaction times.

Interesting Fact

An interesting fact about Plakat Bettas is that their name “Plakat” is derived from the Thai word “Plakad,” which means “biting fish.” This name reflects their historical use in Betta fighting, a traditional sport in Thailand where these fish are bred and trained for their fighting prowess. Today, while the practice of Betta fighting is controversial and less common, Plakats remain prized for their strength and resilience.

3. Feather Tail/Rose Tail

The Feather Tail, also known as the Rose Tail Betta, is a stunning variation of the Betta Splendens. Known for its extravagant, ruffled fins that resemble the petals of a rose, this type of Betta is a favorite among hobbyists who appreciate its unique and dramatic appearance.

Habitat and Origin

Feather Tail/Rose Tail Bettas are a selectively bred variant of Betta Splendens. They do not occur naturally in the wild but are bred by aquarists through selective breeding programs. The original Betta Splendens species is native to the shallow, warm waters of Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. These areas typically feature slow-moving or stagnant waters rich in vegetation.

Appearance

Feather Tail/Rose Tail Bettas are characterized by their large, flowing fins with extreme ruffling, giving them a feathered or rose-like appearance. This ruffling can be so pronounced that it almost looks like the fins are melting into each other. They come in a wide range of colors, from vibrant reds and blues to iridescent greens and purples. These Bettas typically grow to about 2.5 to 3 inches in length, including their elaborate fins.

Behavior

Like other Betta Splendens, Feather Tail/Rose Tail Bettas can be aggressive, especially towards other males. They are territorial and may not get along well with other fish, making them best suited for solitary living or carefully monitored community tanks with non-aggressive species. Due to their heavy fins, they are not strong swimmers and prefer environments with minimal water flow.

Interesting Fact

One unique aspect of Feather Tail/Rose Tail Bettas is that their heavily ruffled fins can sometimes lead to health issues. The extra fin weight can make swimming difficult and can cause stress on their bodies, leading to potential problems like fin rot. Therefore, they require special care and attention to ensure their well-being.

2 Betta Fish Types By Genetic Trait

1. Standard Genetics

Standard Genetics Betta fish, often simply referred to as “regular” Betta Splendens, represent the typical genetic makeup of this popular species. These Betta fish are what you commonly find in pet stores, showcasing the natural beauty and characteristics that have made them a favorite among aquarium enthusiasts.

Standard Genetics Betta fish originate from the shallow waters of Southeast Asia, specifically in countries like Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They thrive in slow-moving or stagnant waters such as rice paddies, ponds, and slow-moving streams. These environments are typically warm and have plenty of vegetation, providing cover and breeding grounds for these fish.

2. Mutations

Betta fish with mutations exhibit unique genetic traits that set them apart from the more commonly seen types. These mutations can result in fascinating and unusual physical characteristics, making them highly prized among Betta enthusiasts.

Mutations can affect various aspects of a Betta’s appearance, including color, fin shape, and scale texture. Some common mutations include:

  • Albino Betta: Pure white or pinkish body with red or pink eyes, lacking pigmentation.
  • Piebald Betta: A mix of different colors in a patchwork pattern, often with a distinct white face.
  • Elephant Ear Betta (Dumbo): Enlarged pectoral fins resembling elephant ears.
  • Dragon Scale Betta: Thick, metallic scales that give a dragon-like appearance.
  • Rosetail Betta: Excessively ruffled and feathered fins, often creating a rose-like effect.

Most mutations are a result of selective breeding in captivity rather than natural occurrences in the wild.

Mutated Betta fish often require more specialized care due to their unique traits. For instance, Rosetail Bettas are prone to fin tearing, and Elephant Ear Bettas may struggle with heavy fin weight.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of AcuarioPets.com. I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.

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