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Betta splendens

Betta splendens
Fighting Fish
Red Veil Tail Betta
Blue Veil Tail Betta
Green Veil Tail Betta

Yellow Veil Tail Betta

Assorted Double Tail Betta
Assorted Plakat Betta
Assorted Half Moon Betta
Assorted Crown Tail Betta
Assorted Female Betta

The Siamese love fish (Betta splendens, /ˈbɛtə/), also known as the betta (particularly in the US), is a popular species of freshwater aquarium fish. The name of the genus is derived from ikan bettah, taken from a local dialect of Malay. The wild ancestors of this fish are native to the rice paddies of Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia and are called pla-kad in Thai or trey krem in Khmer.
B. splendens usually grow to an overall length of about 5 cm. Although known for their brilliant colors and large, flowing fins, the natural coloration of B. splendens is a dull green and brown, and the fins of wild specimens are relatively short. Brilliantly colored and longer finned varieties (i.e. Veiltail; Delta; Superdelta; and Halfmoon) have been developed through selective breeding.
The fish is a member of the gourami family (family Osphronemidae) of order Perciformes, but was formerly classified among the Anabantidae. Although there are nearly 50 other members of the Betta genus, B. splendens is one of the most popular species among aquarium hobbyists.
The people of Siam (now Thailand) originally started collecting these fish, Known as "pla kat," which means tearing or biting fish, prior to the 19th century.
In the wild, bettas spar for only a few minutes or so before one fish backed off. Bred specifically for fighting, domesticated betta matches would go on for much longer, with winners determined by a willingness to continue fighting. Once one fish retreated the match was over. Large amounts would be wagered on these fights, with potential losses as great as a person's home.
Seeing the popularity of these fights, the King of Siam started licensing and collecting these fighting fish. In 1840, he gave some of his prized fish to a man who, in turn, gave them to Dr. Theodor Cantor, a medical scientist. Nine years later, Dr. Cantor wrote an article describing them under the name Macropodus Pugnax. In 1909, Mr. Tate Regan realized that there was already a species with the name Macropodus Pugnax, and renamed the Siamese fighting fish to Betta splendens

Max. Size (最大大小) 7 cm
pH 6.0 - 7.0
Temp. (水温) 22 - 28 degrees celsius
Water Hardness (水的硬度) 5 - 10 dH
Salinity (盐度)  
Stocking Ratio (放养比例) 1 Male:1 Female, (1雄:1雌)
Diet (饮食) Carnivore (肉食性)
Life Span (寿命) 3 - 5 years , (3 - 5年)
Males are larger, far more colourful and have elongated finnage (much more so in the domestic forms)
Origin Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam
起源地 泰国,柬埔寨,老挝和越南
Tank Compatibility/
Environment Specifications
Best housed alone since, as their name "fighting fish" implies, they will aggressively attack and kill (or be killed by) another male in their territory. Putting female and male specimens together is not recommended either (except for breeding, in which the female should be removed immediately after the process) as they will often attack each other. Female bettas can sometimes be kept together in groups of three in larger tanks with hiding places for the less-aggressive females. Male bettas have been successfully housed in large community tanks with other fish that have similar tropical temperature and water quality requirements. Bettas might harass and nip at other species that are colorful or have long, flowing fins, and may be nipped at by aggressive tank mates. Careful research should be carried out before selecting tank mates.
Diet/Feeding Regime Will accept most foods offered but for the best colour and condition dried foods should not be fed exclusively. Use a good quality flake as staple and supplement this with regular feedings of live and frozen foods.
Breeding Male bettas flare their gills, twist their bodies, and spread their fins if interested in a female. The female will darken in color, then curve her body back and forth as a response. Males build bubble nests of various sizes and thicknesses at the surface of the water. The act of spawning itself is called a "nuptial embrace", for the male wraps his body around the female; around 10–41 eggs are released during each embrace, until the female is exhausted of eggs. The male, in his turn, releases milt into the water, and fertilization takes place externally. During and after spawning, the male uses his mouth to retrieve sinking eggs and deposit them in the bubble nest (during mating the female sometimes assists her partner, but more often she will simply devour all the eggs that she manages to catch). Once the female has released all of her eggs, she is chased away from the male's territory, as it is likely that she'll eat the eggs due to hunger. The eggs remain in the male's care. He carefully keeps them in his bubble nest, making sure none fall to the bottom, repairing the bubble nest as needed. Incubation lasts for 24–36 hours; newly-hatched larvae remain in the nest for the next 2–3 days until their yolk sacs are fully absorbed. Afterwards the fry leave the nest and the free-swimming stage begins. It is common practice in the aquarium hobby to remove the male at this point, so that he would not eat his young (although it has been suggested that this danger is overrated). In this first period of their lives, B. splendens fry are totally dependent on their gills; the labyrinth organ which allows the species to breathe atmospheric oxygen typically develops at 3 to 6 weeks of age, depending on the general growth rate, which can be highly variable. B. splendens can reach sexual maturity at an age as early as 3 months.
B. splendens can be hybridized with B. imbellis, Betta sp. Mahachai and B. smaragdina, though with the latter the fry tend to have low survival rates. As well as these hybrids within the Betta genus, there have been reports of the inter generic hybridizing of Betta splendens and Macropodus opercularis- the Paradise Fish.

Betta splendens - variations

Veil Tail (VT)

The most common type of tail type you will ever come across in pet stores is the Veil Tail. This type of tail is long, with a long anal and dorsal fin also, and droops down from the caudal peduncle. In breeding, a veil is dominant over other tail types and is therefore undesirable when breeding show Bettas. The term "veil tail" is often abbreviated to "VT".

Plakat (PK)

The Plakat, or Plakad, is a short-tailed Betta, and is the most closely related to wild Betta splendens or traditional fighting Bettas. Plakats can often be mistaken for female Bettas to the untrained eye, however, males will display elongated ventral fins, a rounded caudal fin and a sharply pointed anal fin. The term Plakat is often abbreviated to "PK". There are 3 sub-categories related to this tail type. There is the traditional Plakat where the tail is rounded, sometimes with a point. Now, due to selective breeding and crossing, there is also the Half Moon Plakat (or "HMPK") where the tail has a 180 degree spread when flared and the Crown Tail Plakat (or "CTPK") has the tail is either rounded or with a 180 degree spread and with elongated rays giving it a "spiky" appearance.

Crowntail (CT)

The Crowntail, abbreviated to CT, has become a hugely popular tail type variation. It is unlike any other in the sense that the rays are extended to varying degrees on all fins giving the fish a "spiky" appearance. In show standards, for a fish to be classed as a Crowntail there has to a minimum of 33% reduction in webbing. The reduction on the webbing on CT Bettas also varies vastly, sometimes it can be quite full, some times dramatically reduced so only the rays are left. There are three recognised types of crowntail, the double ray, the single ray and the crossed ray. Crossed rays are the most desirable and the most expensive to purchase. There have also been lesser known variations such as the triple ray, even the quadruple ray! Crowntails can have their tails in a full 180 degree spread, or less than a 180 degree spread depending on their breeding. CT's are prone to fin curling, especially those with little webbing, if their water is not kept immaculate. Breeders are known to "sun bathe" their Bettas for an hour or so in order to keep their rays straight. It has been found also that when breeding, CT's have a heightened amount of aggression compared to other tail types, which can make it challenging to get a successful spawn.

Half Moon (HM)

The Half Moon, or "HM" is a very desirable tail type. It is characterised by having the full 180 degree spread when flared, forming a "D" shape with straight edging. Dorsal and anal fins are also dramatically larger than those on other fin types. HMs are prone to tail-biting and fin damage, their tails are large and unnatural and HMs often feel hampered down by their fins. This also means they're one of the hardest tail types to breed as the males find it hard to successfully wrap the females.

Deltas (D) & Super Deltas (SD)

Deltas (or "D") and Super Deltas (or "SD") are very similar to HM's but have less than a 180 spread when flared. Super Deltas are nearly an HM but not quite, Deltas are far less than an HM. Deltas and Super Deltas are differentiated from Veil Tails by the fact that if you drew a line from the nose to the tip of the caudal fin, on a Delta or Super Delta there would be an equal amount of fin on either side of the line, whereas on a Veil Tail there would be little tail at the top, and the majority below.

Double Tail (DT)

The Double Tail (or "DT") can be seen combined with Plakats, Halfmoons and even Crowntails. It is a genetic trait that causes the caudal fin to grow into two lobes rather than one. The genes that cause this also cause the body to be shorter and the dorsal and anal fins to be very broad. As the body is effectively stunted in length, DT's are more prone to swimbladder problems and this also affects fry survival rates.


The Combtail (no abbreviation) is a cross of a Crowntail and another tail type. With selected breeding a combtail can be bred into a crowntail, but may still carry a dominant gene such as the VT. They often have the typical droop of the Veil tail but combined with some extended rays on all fins to varying degrees.

Rosetail & Feathertail

A Rosetail (no abbreviation) is an extreme Halfmoon with excessive branching of the rays giving the tail a "ruffled" edge. If there is a huge amount of branching it can be referred to as a "Feathertail". These fish are hard to breed on as the excessive mutations that cause the branching can lead to other mutations such as poor scales and short ventral fins.

Round Tail

Not often seen, the Round Tail (no abbreviation) can be compared to a Plakat with a large tail, and mistaken for a Delta. The fin shape is round, rather than the straight edges of a Delta, but fuller and longer than that of a Plakat. This can also be referred to as a "Single Tail".

Half Sun

The Half Sun (no abbreviation) has come about from selective breeding of the Crowntail and Halfmoon, to create the spread of a Halfmoon with the slight crowning of a Crowntail.

Over Halfmoon (OHM)

The Over Halfmoon (or "OHM") is the extreme end of the Halfmoon where the spread when flared is over 180 degrees. It can apply to both long-fin Halfmoon and the Halfmoon Plakats.

Spade Tail

The Spade Tail (no abbreviation) has an equal spread on either side of the fin, similar to a Round Tail, but with tail finishing in a point rather than a rounded edge.


Pattern Types


Solid colours are exactly how they sound, when the fish is just one colour from nose to the tip of the tail. This is often seen mostly in Reds.

Cambodian or Bi-Coloured

A Cambodian Betta is when the body is pale, almost colourless, and the fins are a solid colour, often red or green. It can also be referred to, more traditionally, to red Bettas with deep red fins and a pale pink body colour. This can work the other way which is when the fish is named Bi-Coloured, when the fins are translucent and the body is one solid colour.


A Butterfly has a solid body colour which extends into the base of the fins finishing with an abrupt strong edge with the rest of the fins being transparent or white. May also be referred to as variegated.


The gene that creates marble patterning is becoming more common, it is usually a colour such as blue or red on a pale base. A marble Betta has irregular patterns throughout the body and fins, that can change with age. It is a partially dominant gene meaning that if a solid Betta is crossed with a marble it is likely to get many fry in solid colours that carry the marble gene.


A piebald coloured fish has a pale flesh-coloured face no matter what the body colour is. The rest of the body should be fairly solid, some other butterfly patterning may be present. Piebald fish carry the Marble gene.


The term "mask" is mainly applied to Copper, Blue and Turquoise colours and refers to the face being the same colour as the body rather than what it would naturally be which would be darker than the body.


A relatively new pattern that is proving to be exceptionally striking and popular. It features a rich strong base colour, often red, with the scales on the main part of the body a pale iridescent, sometimes copper colour. Both silver dragon and gold dragon strains have been created.


A multi Betta is that with 3 or more colours on the body that does not fit into any other pattern category.



The colour red is dominant in Bettas, and can show in other colours as the undesirable red wash.


There are several shades of blue seen in Bettas. These are Steel Blue, where the blue is cold and greyish in appearance, Royal Blue, where the blue is rich, deep and vibrant and Turquoise, where the fish can appear both green and blue in certain lights. A Baby Blue is also available, but not often seen. Blue Bettas often have a dark blue or black face. The colour blue can show in red Bettas as "blue wash".


True green is not often seen in Bettas, it is more often to be Turquoise.


Wild-type Bettas' colouration consists of a green or blue iridescent body with blue rays in the fins and all fins otherwise mostly red. Wild-Types can often also be hybrids with other types of Betta including Betta imbellis.


Cellophane Bettas have a colour-less body and translucent fins with black eyes. Pastel Bettas have the almost-translucent fins with hints of colour including blue, red or green, and the characteristic black eyes. The Grizzled Pastel has smatterings of broken colour in some of the scales on the body.


Opaque Bettas are a misty white in colour with hazy eyes. The gene that makes Bettas this colour also causes internal organ problems. A true pure opaque white is rare, and often there will be imperfections.

Yellow & Pineapple

Yellow Bettas usually carry the desirable red-loss gene that causes Bettas to not have redwash. They will often also carry and throw fry that are iridescent Blue and Green. Yellow varies from very pale yellow to rich buttery yellow. Pineapple refers to yellow Bettas with darker definitions around their scales on their body, giving them a slightly "dirty" appearance.


Not often seen, Orange Bettas are usually a rich tangerine colour and can appear red in bad lighting.

Orange Dalmatian

Again, this is not often seen and can also be referred to as Apricot Spots. It is when the body is a pale orange as are the fins, but throughout the fins are much richer orange-red spots of varying size and shape.


There are 3 classes of Black Bettas. The first being Melano which are generally infertile, fertile Blacks or Black Lace/Black Orchid, and copper Blacks (with iridescence).


Pure purple Bettas are almost unheard of but those close to it have been seen including rich violets, or blues with copper iridescence. Some purples may look blue or red in certain lights, and only show their true colour under bright light.

Mustard Gas

This strange name refers to Bettas with a green, blue, or steel blue body and yellow or orange fins, it is a bicolour pattern.


Chocolate Bettas are so called as they do appear a rich brown in colour, and will often have yellow colouration through the fins. Not often seen.


This is a highly iridescent strain of Betta that is proving to be very popular. It is silver or brown when under weak light, but when under good lighting it will shimmer a copper colour with purple or blue highlights. This colour originates from wild type Bettas who had a gold sheen to them. The copper gene has now been bred into various colours and new patterns are emerging all the time.


The Holy Grail of Bettas. Albino Bettas are very rare, only a few have been confirmed. They do not have long lifespans and will go blind fairly early on in life, making it near impossible to breed them.