Betta Fish Types – Many Options To Choose From

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If you are new to the betta world, you may be surprised to find out that bettas come in a wide variety of types.

There are so many Betta Fish types to choose from that you are spoilt for choice.

From the common veiltail to the double tail betta, here is an extensive guide with all you need to know!

Let’s begin with the domestic Betta called Betta Splendens (Siamese Fighting Fish) and then we will move on to wild Betta fish types.

Domestic Betta (Beta Fish)

The domestic Betta is the type typically found in most home aquariums and in pet stores around the country. Wild Betta Splendens were captured, bred and hybridized to create more aggressive and colorful fish.

The resulting bettas were still called Betta Splendens because they originated from the wild Betta Splendens.

Following are various types of Betta Slendens commonly found in the fish keeping hobby.

Veiltail Betta

The veiltail betta is one of the most popular and commonly found betta types.

Males have a long flowing tail that tends to hang downwards. These guys can be found in an array of colours and while they are common, that doesn’t take away from their beauty.

The popularity of these fish has declined slightly in recent years due to ‘fancier’ bettas (crowntail, Halfmoon, and even dumbo betta) being made more readily available to hobby fish keepers after years of selective breeding.

Veil tail betta
Veiltail Betta

Don’t worry, those guys are all covered in this list too. Regardless of these fancier fish being available, veiltail bettas will always remain a popular choice for fish keepers due to their availability and ease of breeding.

If you are buying your first betta, maybe consider going with a veiltail to learn the ins and out of betta care. It’s also worth mentioning that some experienced betta keepers feel that veiltails are more outgoing than other betta types!

Crowntail Betta

The crowntail betta is another common betta type and one of the most distinctive.

While domesticated bettas date back to almost 150 years ago, these bettas were first bred just 25 years ago by Ahmad Yusuf in Indonesia.

Crowntail bettas are easily identified by the long ‘spikes’ that flow from their fins. Males generally have a large caudal fin that is two to three times their body size.

Crowntail Betta
Crowntail Betta

They also feature a large anal fin that often appears to be a part of the caudal fin due to its size.

These fish have been bred for the dorsal fin to sit further back so that it adds to the appearance of the tail. Female crowntails are easy to spot because, while their fins are short, they too have that spiked appearance.

There is another type of betta that looks similar to the crown tail, the Combtail Betta. We’ll show you the difference when we discuss the combtail.

Halfmoon Betta

Halfmoon bettas are a personal favourite of mine.

Their name should instantly give you an idea of their shape. Their large tails create a half circle that resembles a half-moon.

Halfmoon Betta
Halfmoon Betta

These extravagant fins wouldn’t have made for an apex predator in the wild which is why you will never find a Halfmoon out of captivity. They were first bred about 40 years ago, in the 1980s, and soon became highly sort after.

It’s not hard to see why! 

You do also get over-Halfmoon betta fish. They are very similar to the Halfmoon but when they flare, the caudal fin fans over 180 degrees (hence the shape becomes larger than a half circle).

Over-Halfmoons do have a reputation for being more aggressive than your standard betta which is something to keep in mind if you want to keep one for yourself.

Double Tail Betta

At first glance, you may confuse the double tail betta for the halfmoon betta but if you look closer, the difference should be fairly obvious.

Instead of one caudal fin, double tail bettas form two separate tails.

Double Tail Betta
Double Tail Betta

Unlike the fish we have covered so far, the double tail isn’t a type of betta per se.

There is a specific gene that causes this unique trait which can be found in all betta types. This makes them very rare. Double tails are also sometimes called twin tail bettas or two-tailed bettas.

Dumbo Betta

Dumbo bettas are another of my favourite of mine. Unlike the other bettas, the dumbo betta’s wow factor doesn’t come from their tail but rather from their unique pectoral fins.

This is why they are also called Elephant Ear Bettas.

You may think these are all captive bred but dumbo bettas do occur in the wild though their colours are more muted than what we find in commercial stores.

Dumbo Betta
Dumbo Betta

Their ‘ears’ can either match the colour of their body or be a contrasting shade.

Like the crowntail, female dumbos also sport the male’s signature pectoral fins. Despite their unique look, dumbo bettas don’t require any different level of care from other betta types.

Plakat Betta

Unlike the other betta types, the plakat betta has a short round tail.

Despite a simpler look, plakats make a great option for fish keepers wanting a smaller betta type that looks more like the bettas that would be found in the wild.

Plakat Betta
Plakat Betta

They have shorter stouter bodies than other bettas which is why they are popular in fish fighting (something that is allowed in many Southeast Asian countries). Selective breeding has made it possible to find these guys in just about any colour you could imagine!

Combtail Betta

Remember the crowntail? Like them, combtail bettas have ‘spikes’ that attach to the webbing of their fins.

Unlike the crown-tail, this spiked look is much more subtle appearing and more comb-like (hence the name). These fish are very attractive and often feature a fanned caudal fin.

Combtail Betta
Combtail Betta

Combtails are the result of selective breeding between crowntail and Halfmoon bettas. They are sometimes called half sun bettas and are considered to be quite an aggressive type of betta.

Be cautious if you want to add tank mates in with your combtail betta.

Spade Tail Betta

The spade tail betta is similar to the veiltail in appearance but their caudal fin comes to a point.

This spade-like appearance is what gave them their name. It is very easy to spot a spadetail. These bettas were more popular in the 90s and have subsequently become harder to find.

Spade Tail Betta
Spade Tail Betta

If you are an avid betta keeper, make sure to snap up a spade tail if you ever come across one!

Delta Betta

Delta bettas are a more unique betta type.

They have a fairly large tail that starts narrow at the base and widens to a distinct triangular shape. It resembles the Greek letter d (∆) and therefore was named after the letter.

The edge of a deltas tail has a uniform edge and will never feature any combing.

Delta Betta
Delta Betta

Like the Halfmoon has the over-moon, deltas also have a variation known as the Super Delta. Their tail flare reaches between 120 and 160 degrees (if it reaches 180 degrees it’s considered a Halfmoon). 

Rosetail Betta

The Rosetail betta is a variation of the Halfmoon betta. Their caudal fin spread is larger than 180 degrees and this sometimes leads to the caudal fin overlapping their other fins.

This exaggerated tail gives them a rose-like appearance and makes them popular among betta lovers.

This variant was first developed in 1989 by Rajiv Masillamoni and Laurent Chenot. They got the name ‘rosetail’ after another breeder, Jeff Wilson, joined the group in 1991.

Rosetail Betta
Rosetail Betta

When rosetail bettas first popped up in Halfmoons spawns they were thought of as undesirable. They were however used by breeders to improve the tail spread of their fish. 

While they are now sold as their own betta type, some warn that you should think carefully before purchasing a rosetail betta. Why is that?

Many photos of rosetail bettas are of young fish that aren’t fully grown.

As rosetails age, they can develop worrying health problems which causes them to live an uncomfortable life.

Here are a few things that they can battle with.

Lethargy: bettas with extensive fins can grow tired of swimming due to the weight of their tails. Rosetails are obviously more prone to this due to their exaggerated features.

Breathing problems: depending on how familiar you are with bettas, you may or may not know that they are labyrinth breathers. This means that they are able to breathe air from the water’s surface.

In fact, they need to breathe air from the surface to reach their oxygen requirements. As with swimming, this ability to easily reach the surface for air is made significantly harder by their tails.

Stress: this inability to function as they should normally will inevitably lead to stress on the fish. If you know a thing or two about fish keeping, you will know that stress = big problems! A stressed fish will suffer from a weak immune system that makes them more susceptible to illnesses.

Wild Betta Fish Types

There are over 75 species of wild bettas that can still be found in the wild today. Every one of these species differ from the domestic Betta Splendens.

Most of them are striking fish that are just as wonderful to keep as the domestic betta fish.

Wild bettas tend to have shorter tails than there domestic counterparts but on the plus side, they seem to be more peaceful and not as aggressive.

Here is a list of the most popular wild type bettas:

  • Betta imbellis
  • Betta foerschi
  • Betta rubra
  • Betta channoides
  • Betta hendra
  • Betta macrostoma
  • Betta coccina
  • Betta uberis
  • Betta pallifina
  • Betta mahachaiensis
  • Betta smaragdina
  • Betta Albimarginata
  • Betta hipposideros
  • Betta brownorum
  • Betta pugnax
  • Betta persephone

Final Thoughts About Betta Fish Types

Hopefully, you have come away from this list with a new favourite betta type (or two) and some more knowledge of these special fish. 

If you are wanting a fish that will stick around for as long as possible, consider something like a plakat or a veiltail as these two types are hardy and stunning to look at!

Once you have choosen your perfect Betta fish then the next question is – Can you put other fish with Bettas?

FAQ’s About Betta Fish Types

What is the best type of betta?

The best type is the veiltail betta because of it’s ease of keep as well as it’s stunning colors.

How do I identify my betta fish?

The shape and size of a Betta’s tail is the first step towards identifying which type of Betta you have. Color also plays a role.

What is the rarest type of betta fish?

The fantail Betta is very rare. What makes this variety so different is that the two caudal fins are fused by a small point at the top.

What type of betta is least aggressive?

You might be surprised to know that the least aggressive betta is one of the wild types namely Betta Imbellis. This species is calm and quite peaceful.

What type of betta lives the longest?

The veiltail is said to live the longest.

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AUTHOR

Irma Bense is the founder of BetterFishkeeping.com. She has over 42 years of experience in keeping fish.She has kept both freshwater and saltwater fish through the years.She has extensive knowledge in breeding numerous species of fish from Show Guppies, Cory Catfish, German Blue Rams to Apistogrammas.You can learn more about Irma on the 'About' page.

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