Betta Fish (Betta splendens), or Siamese Fighting Fish, is one of the most popular tropical fish available today. Found in most pet stores, they are well-known for their aggressive nature and astounding beauty.
Thanks to years of selective breeding, Bettas can be found in an assortment of tail types, patterns, and colors. It might surprise you that a single species can have so much variety!
Here is a closer look at the different types of Betta Fish and what makes them unique from one another.
The Plakat Betta Fish has the closest relation to the Wild Bettas found in Thailand and Southeast Asia. They are identified by their short fins, occasionally being mistaken for female Bettas by the untrained eye.
Plakats were originally bred for fighting, resulting in the sizable jaw, robust body, and short fins they have today. Their temperament is particularly aggressive, so it is recommended that they are kept on their own.
The Veiltail is the most common type of Betta, found readily available in most pet stores. Their popularity has dwindled over the last several years with fancy Bettas becoming more accessible to aquarium hobbyists.
You can identify a Veiltail by their flowing, asymmetrical caudal fin that swoops downwards giving the appearance of a veil.
The Crowntail has easily taken over as the most popular type of Betta Fish and it’s not difficult to see why! Admired for their beautiful, jagged caudal fins resembling a crown, they are showstoppers in any aquarium setup.
The caudal fin on a Crowntail can extend up to 8 inches in diameter, approximately 3 times the size of their body.
Combtail Bettas have a similar appearance to the Crowntail, but with narrower spikes, rays, and fringes. You can identify a Combtail by looking at the edge of their fins, they should have the appearance of a comb.
The rays on a Combtail’s tail comes in different shapes with rounded and pointed being the most common.
The Doubletail Betta is unique because it has two caudal fins that are separated at the base. This was a deliberate creation, accomplished through years of strategic breeding.
In addition to their beautiful tails, it’s not uncommon for them to have larger dorsal fins as well.
Spadetail Bettas are rarely seen, but you can identify them by the unique shape of their caudal fin. It starts with a wide base and narrows into a small point, giving a spade-like appearance.
Halfmoon Bettas have a spectacular appearance due to their large caudal fin that fans 180 degrees when flared. If you look carefully, you will see the shape of a halfmoon in their tail at this time.
An Over Halfmoon Betta is similar to the Halfmoon, but their caudal fin spreads over 180 degrees creating a shape that is much larger than the Halfmoon.
Delta Betta fish get their name from their caudal fins having the slight appearance of a sideways Greek letter D, but with more rounding at the end.
Super Delta Bettas look very similar to their Delta counterparts, but their caudal fins have a wider spread, reaching almost 180 degrees.
The Half-Sun Betta was created by selectively breeding Crowntail and Halfmoon bettas. Their caudal fin spreads 180-degrees and has rays that reach slightly further than the webbing.
Rosetail Bettas look similar to Halfmoon Bettas, with the same 180-degree spread observed on the caudal fin. The difference being, is their tails have more of a tousled appearance due to excessive branching on the rays.
Not to be confused with Rosetail Bettas, Feathertails have extreme branching on the rays on their caudal fin, causing them to have an extra tousled appearance.
Elephant Ear Bettas get their name from their remarkable fins and tail that resemble an elephant’s ears. Not just an interesting aesthetic, their oversized fins help them with swimming long distances.
Colors & Patterns of Betta Fish
As the name suggests, Bi-colored Bettas have two different colors on their body. Their fins will be one color and their scales are another color.
Butterfly Bettas have a solid colored body with fins that are divided into any two distinct colors.
Cambodian Bettas have red fins and a pale body.
The body of a Chocolate Betta is typically dark brown or black but can be dark blue or green too. Their fins are a beautiful gold or yellow-orange color.
Dalmatian Bettas are speckled just like their canine namesake. They have a white body with splotches of red or black throughout.
Dragon is a relatively new color type in bettas. You can tell them apart by their thick, metallic scales that look like they have been outlined in black.
Grizzle Bettas get their name from the grizzle patterning on their fins. While they are difficult to find, you’ll notice them for their soft-hued or opaque bodies with randomly placed flecks of iridescent color.
These Bettas look like miniature versions of Koi fish with the colors white, orange, and red marbled over their body.
Marble Bettas have a color pattern that resembles a marble slab. You’ll notice their splotches of color that might change from day to day.
It is normal for Bettas to have faces that are darker shades than their bodies, but not these guys! They have a face and body that are the same shade.
Multi-Colored Bettas have at least three different colors that don’t follow any distinct pattern. They are the easiest color to find at most pet stores and will sometimes be referred to as mutts by breeders.
Mustard Gas Bettas are known for having blue or green bodies with yellow or orange fins. This color scheme is particularly popular amongst breeders.
Orange is a rare color to find in Bettas, but it is described as being a bold tangerine color.
An Orange Dalmatian Betta has a pale orange body with pronounced orange spots and/or streaks on their fins.
Piebald Bettas can be any solid color or pattern, but their faces are always a pale flesh-tone.
Finding a true Purple Betta is a difficult task, but you will find them in shades of violet or purple-blue with shimmers of copper.
Pineapple Bettas have scales that have been engraved in black.
Solid Colored Bettas are the most common variety available. They are easy to distinguish because their bodies are one color, free of markings or patterns.
You’ll find them in shades of red, blue, yellow, cellophane (clear flesh tone), white opaque, copper, and black.
Wild-type Bettas are described as an iridescent blue or green with a touch of red and/or blue on the fins.