Female Betta Fish Types?

Among aquarium enthusiasts who keep bettas, it is usually the male fish that are known as the “colorful ones.” Oftentimes the males are favored over the females not only for their color but also because males have longer tails and more dominating personalities. But this doesn’t mean that the females are all drab, colorless fish.

Jaturapat Pattanacheewin / Getty Images This is a traditional plakat yellow dragon female, a variety of betta with shorter fins. Many plakats are more active than the long-finned version of bettas because they aren’t held back by excessive flowing fins.

This type is also quite resistant to disease , making it a favorite among betta collectors and pet owners. When these traits are combined, it produces a fish that can still zoom around in the water even though it has a partially flowing, ornate tail. Overall, this female betta shows all the colors of the rainbow in subtle tints within her metallic sheen.

Daniella Vereeken The half moon bettas were developed by Peter Goettner, an American breeder. Half moon males are bred for fuller tails, which have a wide span and flowing shape. For this red female, the darkest tinge begins at the base of her tail and fins and extends until it reaches a band of silvery white on its edges.

Are there different types of female bettas?

These are the most common types of Betta fish: PLAKAT BETTA, CROWNTAIL BETTA, DOUBLE TAIL BETTA, COMBTAIL BETTA, ROSETAIL BETTA, VEIL TAIL (VT) BETTA, HALFMOON (HM) BETTA and other.

What fish can I put with a female betta?

“Bettas tend to be sedentary due to the weight of their fins and prefer to be in their own tank, where they will spend a good deal of time sleeping and resting quietly,” Dr. Tepper says. But don’t feel bad for your betta fish. Just because he is alone doesn’t mean he is lonely.

What is the prettiest betta fish?

One of the prettiest betta breeds, the halfmoon Betta has a 180-degree, fan-like tail that resembles a “D” when fully flared. This long-finned Betta also has unusual coloring.

When it comes to betta fish, males are the more popular sex. Their long, flowing tails and bright colors are what come to mind when most people think of a betta fish, but that isn’t really fair to the female of the species. Female bettas may not be as flashy, but they are just as beautiful as their male counterparts.

The mix of blues, pinks, purples, and opal-like white looks like a faraway galaxy and is even more gorgeous when it catches the light. zygotehasnobrain / Getty Images
A female alien betta has full scales on the head, cheeks, and body with a half-moon tail.

Females vary slightly and can be cream, rose gold, platinum, or pale yellow, to name a few. Double-tails come in a range of colors, including silver and olive with red accents around the edge of the tail fins.

Theyre also relatively easy to maintain, appealing to aquarists at all stages in their career. However, such simplicity has prompted several misconceptions to arise.

Bettas entered the domestic scene approximately 150 years ago. Children noticed a particular fish in the rice paddies setting up individual territories.

Recognizing a chance for profit, he set out to regulate the matches and placed a tax on betting. Bettas are intelligent, and they only engaged in spars until one male is tired or elected to retreat. Advancing to 1840, the King presented a specimen to Danish doctor Theodore Cantor.

Dr. Cantor studied the fish, mistakenly classifying them as Macropodus pugnax . Their name quickly ended up corrupted to Beta as in the second letter of the Greek alphabet. (Bettas were initially named bet-tah after the Asian Bettah warrior tribe)

Aquarists combined hybrids with the original wild-type to create the fish you find today. Few resemble the actual stock you find in ditches, slow-moving streams, or shallow pools. Plakat female wild type Theyre native to the tropical waters of Cambodia , Laos , Thailand , and Vietnam .

Of course, youve seen myriad colors in the pet store, and maybe you noticed subtle differences here and there. Wild bettas might have short tails, but selective breeding has created a variety of dramatic options. Tail types are classified based on shape and size, and the name usually provides a clue.

What sets this type of betta apart are the webbing and rays that extend through the tail fin itself. This enhances the spikey appearance, so your betta looks like its wearing an impressive crown across its back. For some reason, double tail bettas are more prone to swim bladder disorder.

Just take it easy on their water current as those fins make it difficult for them to swim correctly. They also tend to have longer dorsal and anal fins than other types of bettas a side effect of the selective breeding for their beautiful tails. However, they also have a strong jumping ability, so keep a firm lid on the aquarium to prevent accidental escapes.

The branching creates a ruffled appearance similar to the folded petals of a rose hence the name. Spades make an excellent compromise for aquarists that want a betta thats unique but has some speed behind them. The bettas you find in the pet store are almost always going to fall into the veiltail type.

The colors you see in individual types of bettas depend on the combination of the pigments and how deeply the chromatophores lie within the scale. Unhappily, domestic bettas dont retain this ability (a result of selective breeding). However, when you set out to add a blue betta to your collection, you have three different options to choose from.

Just as the veiltail shows a dominant trait in all types of bettas, so does the red color. Bettas of other color types may even have a red wash due to the prominence in their genetic code. Albinos are exceedingly rare, and they lack pigmentation, appearing dull rather than bright white.

Youll see a wide range in the yellow hue, from a soft butter up to vibrant sunshine. These fish have the expected yellow color along with darker edges to their scales. This grants them the expected resemblance to the fruit, and it makes a more dramatic statement in your tank.

Iridocytes are cells that provide the metallic sheen to a fishs scales. And the main body needs to retain that pale pink shade to officially hold the Cambodian name. Or you can find dark-colored bicolors, where the opposite is true: the bodys darker than the fins.

This type has a single color, typically, which gradually fades from the body to mid-way along the fins. However, this is difficult to achieve, so as long as you get a beautiful change of color, you have a butterfly betta. The iridocytes play a big part in this type of betta, maximizing the scales metallic sheen .

Bettas, regardless of type, hold a reputation as easy-to-manage colorful freshwater fish. The simplicity surrounding their care has also prompted numerous assumptions to surface, leading to improper management. This specialized structure, located above the gills, allows all labyrinth fish to gulp air at the surface to provide supplemental oxygen to their bodies.

They favor ditches, rice paddies, and other shallow streams that may experience drought conditions. The labyrinth organ allows them to continue to breathe even in the absence of quality oxygen. Unfortunately, many people translate this to keeping bettas in tiny bowls or even flower vases.

Popular gifts include peace lilies containing a betta below the plants roots. The roots deny your betta the high levels of protein their diet demands! ParameterRangeTank Size 5-10 gallons (19-38 l) Temperature 76-84F (24-29C) pH 6.5-7.0 Water Hardness 5-35 dH Nitrites 0 ppm Ammonia 0 ppm Nitrates <20 ppmBettas are tropical species, and they CANNOT survive in a tank without a heater .

Bowls or vases sitting out at room temperature fall several degrees BELOW the thermostat reading. A betta in cold water ends up with a suppressed immune system and quickly falls ill. Wastes quickly build up when carnivores feed, and you dont want your betta to develop an infection.

The aggressive streak runs so strongly in some types of bettas, theyll even attack their reflection. If you maintain an aquarium with heavy plantings, and you provide the right amount of space, a betta tank IS possible. Ensure you avoid fish with a nipping habit , especially if you have types of bettas with luxurious fins.

Since you DONT want a betta trapped on the bottom of the tank (or stuck at the top), monitor the amount you sprinkle.

Searching for information about rare or unique betta breeds can be a frustrating proposition. Not because theres a dearth of information. Its actually the opposite problemthere are so many varieties of bettas that its overwhelming for novice fish keepers!

When you add in some of the newer crosses coming out of Thailand, your options for the prettiest betta fish become rather dizzying. To avoid confusion, heres a detailed list of bettas, broken down by color, scale pattern, and tail type!

Male bettas are especially coveted by aquarists for their elaborate, flowing fancy tails, unique patterns, and vivid colors. Breeders are constantly announcing new varieties, and types that were rare a few years ago may now be found in big-box pet stores. You may remember hearing about the scientific classification system in your high school biology class.

We know that theyve been bred for their aggression and fighting ability in their native regions for hundreds of years. The long and fancy tails and vivid, flashy colors we think of when we hear betta were actually created by Europeans . Since the 1800s, collectors and hobby breeders on the Continent have selectively bred generations with ever-more-diverse traits.

Oftentimes, these fish are prone to other health problems, such as swim bladder disease, that may be related to their genetic mutation. Fancy betta males, with those bright and flowing tails, would not likely survive in the wild today. Its the same for betta fishbreeders collect and carefully manage their stock to produce a wide variety of colors, patterns, and tail configurations.

Theres always a lot of excitement when a new inheritable mutation is discovered, even if these varieties of betta are more likely to develop health issues. Over the centuries, breeders have also introduced new traits to their lines intentionally by breeding their fish back to wild stock. They may be rare or difficult to find, and often have slightly different behavioral characteristics than the traditional varieties.

Heres a highly simplified version that will help you understand how color and scale patterns are related. The color of a betta is partially determined by the combination of pigments expressed in their chromatophores, and how deep under the scales the cells are. The pigment cells in wild bettas alter size and shape constantly, so the fishs appearance is ever-changing.

They further alter the fishs appearance and create many of the patterns betta collectors find so desirable. Depending on the depth of these cells, a fish may seem to have metallic highlights or stripes, or may even appear nearly white. The color and scale pattern of betta fish is dependent on their genetics, but its also influenced by their diet and the environment in which they live.

The trait that makes the male betta stand out among other aquarium fish is his elongated tail. Female bettas are pretty, but have a duller color than the males and lack the elaborate tail or fins. Several varieties may be known by multiple names throughout the world, so in those cases, I defer to the most common usage.

Its merely meant to give someone new to fancy bettas a solid idea of the many fascinating variations they might consider for their tank. Bettas come in a rainbow of solid colors, from bright reds all the way to the deepest blacks and the purest whites. Of course, many betta fish are not simply one color but show several distinct areas of pigmentation.

In the wild, albino animals are at a great disadvantage, because the UV light from the sun causes a high rate of damage, often resulting in blindness and cancer. This might not sound very impressive, but the detail you can see on the body and fins of a pure white betta is absolutely stunning. Black Lace bettas have a dark body, but not as vivid as the melano variety.

Black Orchid bettas are a type of bi-color crowntail, with a dark body and a slight amount of iridescence. A chocolate betta has a brown or tan body that fades to orange or yellow-colored fins and tail. Mustard gas bettas are very common and typically appear as a bi-colored fish with a blue or green body that shades orange or yellowish fins.

A pastel betta has a pale pastel-shaded body and fins with a whitish wash overlaying the primary color, giving it a paler appearance. Solid orange bettas are fairly rare and are usually a bright tangerine color. Bettas come in an ever-widening variety of patterns, from solid colored fish to those who look decked out for a party.

Some fish have a prominent metallic wash overlaying their scales, giving them a shimmering appearance. Solid bettas are very beautiful fish and make a good choice for breeding stock. Although this variety can also be bred with the marbled trait, its considered undesirable in the betta show world.

Cambodian-style bettas are classic bi-color fish with a white or pale pink body and deep, bloodred fins. Dragon scale is a particularly beautiful trait and can mix with solid colors or other patterns of pigmentation. It causes their primary color to darken and splotchy pale patches to develop on the body and fins.

Most bettas have a head that is a different color than their bodies unless they are bred for the full or half-mask gene. These fish dont carry the albinism trait, unlike the piebald coloration in other animals. Now that Ive passed on everything I know about the colors and patterns of bettas, its time to talk about their fins.

The most common type, and the variety most of us think of when we hear the word betta, is the Veil Tail or VT. The VT betta has a long, drooping tail that streams out behind him when he swims like a sail dragging on the seas. They are named after the Greek letter delta, because their extended tails are triangular in shape, with straight edges.

Deltas are a popular and beautiful variety of fish and come in a wide selection of colors and patterns. They are prone to the typical betta health problems but are otherwise considered a healthy variety to own. Over Half Moon is a variety of betta where the tail extends past the 180-degree mark.

If you prefer bettas with the longest, most outrageously wide tails possible, then youll likely love the rosetail. Their fins are so wide they almost look slightly rumpled along the edges, similar to a flower petal as it starts to wilt. Since they have been heavily bred for these flashy fins, they may develop tumors and issues with their swim bladders.

The plakat is a newer variety of betta thats recently become a phenomenon in Thailand and other parts of Asia. Plakats have the same color and pattern variations seen in the long-finned varieties of betta, and many also have similar tail configurations too. But the plakats tail is much shorter and resembles the wild type instead of the fancier, domesticated bettas.

Similar to both the half-moon and the delta, the round tail is a popular and common betta often found in big-box pet stores. Their tails dont come from their bodies in a straight line, like the delta, and have a rounded appearance instead. Otherwise, they are generally a healthy variety with no special or unique health concerns beyond the typical betta problems.

Elephant ears are the one variety where fishkeepers tend to prefer female betta fish over males. Since the males dont have the elaborate tails common to the other varieties (other than the plakat, of course), they tend to look rather drab. While different varieties may be prone to health issues, based on their genetics and tail configurations, keeping your tank warm and clean will go a long way to maintaining a healthy betta fish.

Whether you prefer to choose your fish by color, intricate scale pattern, or for their amazing and beautiful fins, theres a betta on my list thats probably perfect for your tank. If you want a fish thats pretty but inexpensive and easy to find, stick with a more common color and variety, like :

History of the Betta

Bettas entered the domestic scene approximately 150 years ago.Before becomingWhen placed together, these fish would spar. (Hence the origin of the name “Siamese Fighting Fish)Betting on the duels sprang up, catching the attention of the King. Recognizing a chance for profit, he set out to regulate the matches and placed a tax on betting.Mythology led people to believe that bettas fought to the death. This wasn’t the case. Bettas are intelligent, and they only engaged in spars until one male is tired or elected to retreat.People placed bets on the bravery of one fish or another, not the fish that was likely to survive.Advancing to 1840, the King presented a specimen to Danish doctor Theodore Cantor. Dr. Cantor studied the fish, mistakenly classifying them asIt turned out there was already a fish by that name, though. (No one claimed doctors were brilliant)Dr. Tate Regan later discovered the mistake. Seeing the stunning drama of the fish, he renamed themThe name means “

The Modern Betta

Bettas migrated to the U.S. inThe correct pronunciation got lost. (Bettas were initially named “bet-tah” after the Asian Bettah warrior tribe)Selective breeding grew in interest. Different colors, patterns, and tails came into favor. Aquarists combined hybrids with the original wild-type to create the fish you find today.Few resemble the actual stock you find in ditches, slow-moving streams, or shallow pools.Wild bettasThey’re native to the tropical waters of

Bettas: Tail Types

If you’re new to the world of bettas, you may only consider that single species. Of course, you’ve seen myriad colors in the pet store, and maybe you noticed subtle differences here and there.But did you realize each difference represented a specific type? Believe it or not, there are overEach species is classified based on their:(Or all three – just to keep things interesting)

Combtail Betta

Combtail bettas don’t have an unusual shape or size to their tails. You usually see a full, glorious tail in a typical round shape.What sets this type of betta apart are theThe rays are quite prominent, with webs that extend at least two-thirds of the way between each ray.It creates an effect similar to the coxcomb on a rooster’s head, which is where the name comes from. You’ll see a slightly spiked appearance as a result.

Crowntail Betta

How to tell a crowntail from a combtail? It’s confusing because they’re very similar.Both have the same rounded tails. You’ll also notice the same prominent rays and the webbing between the rays. It’s theThe webbing on a crowntail is LESS thanThis enhances the spikey appearance, so your betta looks like it’s wearing an impressive crown across its back.Some people think these types of bettas look insect-like due to those prominent rays.

Double Tail Betta

The gene for the double tail betta exists in every type of betta. What results is a betta withIt isn’t a simple split in the tail. There are two caudal peduncles for the tail to attach to, as well. The tails aren’t always identical in size, though (for show bettas), that’s the ideal.While dramatic and beautiful, this type of betta comes at a price. For some reason, double tail bettas are more prone to swim bladder disorder.

Elephant Ear Betta

Elephant ear bettas break the mold. They AREN’T named for their tails, colors, or patterns.However, they usually fall into the tail category for simplicity’s sake. Instead of tail fin shape, they earn their name from theSome people fondly refer to this type of betta as aThey resemble fanciful Flamenco dancers. Just take it easy on their water current as those fins make it difficult for them to swim correctly. They need a much gentler water flow than other types of bettas.

Halfmoon Betta

As you might expect, halfmoon bettas have tails in an elongated crescent of 180 degrees.They also tend to have longer dorsal and anal fins than other types of bettas – a side effect of the selective breeding for their beautiful tails.Halfmoons come with a few warnings. Those long, flowing fins areAlso, for some reason, this type of betta is

Plakat Betta

If you’d like a more “These colorful fish most closely resemble the wild version. They have short, rounded tails, and some people mistake them for females.Plakats have aHowever, they also have a strong jumping ability, so keep a firm lid on the aquarium to prevent accidental escapes.

Rosetail Betta

Rosetail bettas developed out of the halfmoon betta. The difference is extensive branching of the rays within the tail itself.The branching creates a ruffled appearance similar to the folded petals of a rose – hence the name.While stunning in appearance, rosetails require careful monitoring. This type of betta is prone toNo one’s figured out the cause yet, but tail-biting DOES result in infection and possible loss of the tail.

Spade Tail Betta

You’re familiar with a spade from a deck of cards, right? This is where this type of betta got its name.The shape of their tail looks precisely like a spade turned on its side. The taper gives it just enough difference to distinguish it from a rounded tail.Spades make an excellent compromise for aquarists that want a betta that’s unique but has someThe tail’s dramatic, but it doesn’t hinder their swimming ability as much as some of the more extreme tail designs out there.

Veiltail Betta

The bettas you find in the pet store are almost always going to fall into the veiltail type. It’s theWhile they can’t get considered “show bettas,” they rank at the top in popularity for aquariums.Veiltails have long, droopy tails. The upper and lower segments of the tail aren’t symmetrical, assuming you get your veiltail to flare the tail in the first place.That dragging weight makes these bettas

Blue Betta

As crazy as it sounds, there are only three pigments that reside in theThe colors you see in individual types of bettas depend on the combination of the pigments and how deeply the chromatophores lie within the scale. (The deeper they are, the darker the pigment expresses itself)In the wild, betta chromatophores change shape and size throughout their lives. This allows them toUnhappily, domestic bettas don’t retain this ability (a result of selective breeding).

Red Betta

Just as the veiltail shows a dominant trait in all types of bettas, so does the red color. It’s theBettas of other color types may even have a “red wash” due to the prominence in their genetic code.Solid-color red bettas look stunning in aquariums. The dazzling hue looks just as good as highlighted across the fins.If your red bettas appear “washed out,” quickly check your water conditions. The fading red color’s an indication of poor health.

White Betta

White bettas may seem plain and boring to some people.With one of the more dramatic tail types, though, these bettas look majestic against a planted tank.The stunning white color stands out against a mixture of colors in a community tank, too.White bettas differ from the albino betta. Albinos are exceedingly rare, and they lack pigmentation, appearing dull rather than bright white.Albino bettas are also notoriously unhealthy and prone to dying early. You’re better off with a white betta.

Yellow Betta

Due to the familiar presence of the yellow shade, yellow bettas may appear as “non-red” bettas. (Inventive, no?)You’ll see a wide range in the yellow hue, from a soft butter up to vibrant sunshine.Included in the yellow type of betta is a version known as theThese fish have the expected yellow color along with darker edges to their scales. This grants them the expected resemblance to the fruit, and it makes a more dramatic statement in your tank.

Bettas: Pattern Types

The expressions between the two create an entirely new grouping of bettas for you to choose from.

Cambodian Betta

The Cambodian betta arose from careful selective breeding of light-colored bicolor bettas.The body features aYou may see other color variations than red in your Cambodian.It’s not that common, though. And the main body needs to retain that pale pink shade to officially hold the Cambodian name.This type of betta is still relatively new, so they aren’t as easy to find.

Bicolor Betta

Bicolor bettas are common and easy to pick out. The fish sportBicolors can only have TWO colors to qualify as this type of pattern. If they have more than two, they’re known as multicolored bettas.There are light-colored bicolors, where the body is lighter in color than the fins.Or you can find dark-colored bicolors, where the opposite is true: the body’s darker than the fins.Contrasting colors are the preferred option (for show), but you can choose the colors you like.

Butterfly Betta

As you might guess, butterfly bettas resemble the fluttering wings of a butterfly.This type has a single color, typically, which gradually fades from the body to mid-way along the fins. The outside edge of the fin then remains white. You can see a second color on the outside of the fins in some butterflies.Ideally, the split of the shade should be around half-way to meet show standards.However, this is difficult to achieve, so as long as you get a beautiful change of color, you have a butterfly betta.

Dragon Scale Betta

Dragon scale bettas are one ofThe iridocytes play a big part in this type of betta, maximizing theThe pattern along their sides resemble lizard scales. (Which is how they got their names).The s

Betta Myths

Bettas, regardless of type, hold a reputation as easy-to-manage colorful freshwater fish. They make stunning centerpiece additions to aquariums.The simplicity surrounding their care has also prompted numerous assumptions to surface, leading to

Fish in a Bowl

Bettas share the sameIt’s an evolutionary adaptation in response to their native environments. In the wild, bettas inhabit oxygen-poor waters. They favor ditches, rice paddies, and other shallow streams that may experience drought conditions.The labyrinth organ allows them to continue to breathe even in the absence of quality oxygen.Unfortunately, many people translate this to keeping bettas in tiny bowls or even flower vases.Similar to goldfish,

The Lily Vase

Popular gifts includeAfter all, bettas survive in rice paddies, right? The plant vases must work equally well.Bettas areWhile such vases are beautiful, they’re

Betta Tank Setup

People deem every type of betta as easy to manage. However, many bettas pass away from poor tank choices and water quality.If you want your bettas to remain healthy, take the time to do your homework and set up the best aquarium possible.Bettas are tropical species, and they CANNOT survive in a tank without a heater.Bowls or vases sitting out at room temperature fall several degrees BELOW the thermostat reading. A betta in cold water ends up with a suppressed immune system and quickly falls ill.Make sure you get a filter for your tank, as well.While it may sound like bettas are

Tank Mates or Living solo

Most people are familiar with the pugnacious habits of male bettas.TheMale bettas DON’T tolerate the presence of other males. That rings true. However, you CAN keep a single male with a group of females.If you maintain an aquarium with heavy plantings, and you provide the right amount of space, a betta tank IS possible. Community tanks aren’t out of the question, either.Depending on the type of betta you choose, they’re slow swimmers. Pairing them with one of the following groups is safe and makes for a colorful freshwater aquarium:Ensure youAnd skip guppies – bettas aren’t smart enough to figure out they’re not a betta!

Pet Bettas—What Species Do You Have?

The ever-popular betta is practically the runway model of the freshwater fish trade.Male bettas are especially coveted by aquarists for their elaborate, flowing fancy tails, unique patterns, and vivid colors. Female bettas are also very pretty but lack fancy fins and an aggressive attitude.I hope to cover as many betta varieties as possible here, but the truth is I’ll probably miss a few. Breeders are constantly announcing new varieties, and types that were rare a few years ago may now be found in big-box pet stores.The situation is constantly evolving, and there are so many different types of betta it can be hard to keep up!

Pigment Cells Determine Betta Color

The colorful and fancy type of betta you’ll typically see available in pet stores and online aquarium shops is theYour betta’s variety will depend on their colors, patterns, and/or tail configurations. Some varieties include the Red Veil Tail Betta and Bi-Colored Double Tail Betta, for instance. They may be different varieties, but they’re all the same species.

Wild vs Pet Betta Colors

Wild bettas are not generally as colorful as their selectively-bred cousins, although there are some stunning exceptions.The pigment cells in wild bettas alter size and shape constantly, so the fish’s appearance is ever-changing. Domesticated betta’s cells don’t change as much, and so their colors are more stable.Wild betta only shows their brightest colors when threatened or breeding, but domesticated varieties are always colorful unless they are sick or stressed. It’s one of the traits that make domesticated bettas so desirable.

How Are Color and Scale Patterns Related?

There are other types of cells that play a role in the color and pattern of your betta. They further alter the fish’s appearance and create many of the patterns betta collectors find so desirable.Fish also have cells called iridocytes, which give them a shiny, iridescent look.Depending on the depth of these cells, a fish may seem to have metallic highlights or stripes, or may even appear nearly white.Just to complicate things further, sometimes iridocytes and chromatophores combine to create new colors. If you take a xanthine-containing chromatophore and put it in an iridocyte, you’ll end up with a metallic, shiny gold-colored fish.

Why Don’t Wild Bettas Have These Traits?

Fish have several individual fins and a couple of pairs of fins around their body, and bettas are no different. They use these fins to swim and orient their bodies in three dimensions underwater.

List of Betta Varieties

I’ve tried to put together the most up-to-date list possible of the various types of bettas. Several varieties may be known by multiple names throughout the world, so in those cases, I defer to the most common usage.My descriptions of these varieties are not meant to convey show-standards, however. It’s merely meant to give someone new to fancy bettas a solid idea of the many fascinating variations they might consider for their tank.

Betta Fish Colors

Bettas come in a rainbow of solid colors, from bright reds all the way to the deepest blacks and the purest whites.Of course, many betta fish are not simply one color but show several distinct areas of pigmentation. I cover some of these cases in the patterns section.Some color varieties typically have a two-toned appearance, where the body and fins might be different colors or shades, like the chocolate betta.Here’s the widest-recognized list of bettas colors I could assemble, including facts and information about each color variety and any health concerns that might be known about them.

Albino

An albino betta completely lacks any pigmentation. An albino betta should have whitish to clear-colored scales and fins, and pinkish or red eyes. Their muscles and organs may be faintly visible through their scales.In the wild, albino animals are at a great disadvantage, because the UV light from the sun causes a high rate of damage, often resulting in blindness and cancer. They frequently have other mutations and health problems as well.True albino bettas are so rare, it’s actually questionable if they exist at all. Most reports are probably either clear/cellophane or actually white varieties instead. They are incredibly difficult to breed and have a low survival rate.

Clear/Cellophane

The clear or cellophane betta, as they’re often called, also have whitish to translucent scales. Sometimes you can see the pinkish color of their muscles and internal organs through their scales. Their fins are usually clear to opaque. Their eyes should be a solid black.Unlike albino bettas, clear or cellophane bettas do have one of the three pigments in their chromatophores. The trait isn’t expressed, and so the fish appears nearly colorless.

White

White bettas should have solid white scales and fins, although the fins may be more opaque in some specimens. Unlike the cellophane varieties, a white betta’s body should not look pinkish.This might not sound very impressive, but the detail you can see on the body and fins of a pure white betta is absolutely stunning.

Blue

There’s a few different varieties of black betta fish, and they have subtly different appearances:

Copper

In the dim light, a copper betta looks brown or tan colored. But once you turn on the light, you’ll see the sparkling iridescence. These fish have highly reflective metallic scales and fins.

Chocolate

A chocolate betta has a brown or tan body that fades to orange or yellow-colored fins and tail. These are usually a bi-colored variety of betta.

Green

Green bettas are usually solid colored, but you have to angle the light just right to really see the green. Their bodies and fins may appear black, turquoise, or blue at certain angles. Nearly all green bettas have a metallic wash overlaying their color as well.

Mustard Gas

Mustard gas bettas are very common and typically appear as a bi-colored fish with a blue or green body that shades orange or yellowish fins. The edges of their fins may also be shaded to black. They resemble the chocolate betta but lack brown bodies.

Pastel

A pastel betta has a pale pastel-shaded body and fins with a whitish wash overlaying the primary color, giving it a paler appearance.

Purple

Solid orange bettas are fairly rare and are usually a bright tangerine color. They are much less common than red or blue bettas, but more common than the green or purple bettas.

Red

Red is a common color in the fish world and one of the most common colors of betta you can get. Many bi-colored and other patterns of betta have red highlights.

Patterns and Scale Designs

A yellow betta should have a bright lemon-colored body and fins. Yellow bettas are not terribly common and a bit challenging to breed.

Solid

A solid-colored betta is a single color. The color may appear deeper or more intense along the body than the fins because the pigments lie deeper, nearer their muscles.Solid bettas are very beautiful fish and make a good choice for breeding stock.

Bi-Colored

While a true bi-colored betta will have a body that’s one color and fins that are another, some people use the term “bi-color” to refer to any fish with two colors.This is one of the most common patterns to see in betta fish.

Butterfly

Butterfly bettas have a solid-colored body with their fins shading to cellophane. In higher-quality specimens, the line between color and cellophane will be stark and very noticeable. They may be two or three colors, with one-half to one-third of their bodies showing each color.Although this variety can also be bred with the marbled trait, it’s considered undesirable in the betta show world.

Cambodian

Cambodian-style bettas are classic bi-color fish with a white or pale pink body and deep, bloodred fins. This type used to be quite common but has become much harder to find recently.

Dragon Scale

This is a trait that was intentionally bred into theDragon scale is a particularly beautiful trait and can mix with solid colors or other patterns of pigmentation. Depending on the mix, a dragon scale betta can be quite the showstopper!

Mask

The marble is a unique betta with one very frustrating quality. The marble trait doesn’t show up right away. It’s activated suddenly during the fish’s lifetime, at random. It causes their primary color to darken and splotchy pale patches to develop on the body and fins.You’ll start out with a fish with one color or pattern of colors, and suddenly they change. It can be a very dramatic shift, too. This trait is undesirable when bred with certain others, like the butterfly betta.

Grizzle

The grizzle betta is a variety that has a 50-50 split between a lighter and a darker color. They often appear to have been painted with fine brush strokes.

Tricolored/Multicolored

Tricolored bettas have an uneven mix of three colors along their body and fins. Multi-Colored bettas have a mix of at least three colors and can have more than three. The mix tends to be random and unpredictable.

Piebald

A Piebald betta has a white or flesh-colored face and a darker body. These fish don’t carry the albinism trait, unlike the piebald coloration in other animals.

Betta Fin and Tail Types

Now that I’ve passed on everything I know about the colors and patterns of bettas, it’s time to talk about their fins. Those fancy tails are one of the key features that draw people to these magnificent fish.Let’s talk about the betta varieties in terms of their fin configurations:

Veil Tail

The most common type, and the variety most of us think of when we hear the word “betta,” is the Veil Tail or VT.The VT betta has a long, drooping tail that streams out behind him when he swims like a sail dragging on the seas. These fish are beautiful, fertile, and generally healthy, although they may nip at their fins when stressed.

Combtail

A newer variety is the combtail, which may also be called the half sun betta fish. Instead of having webbing that extends on the tail from ray to ray, the combtail has a dip between each ray. This gives the tail the appearance of a wide-toothed comb.This variety is generally fertile and healthy, but the tail sometimes suffers from a lack of support. Some combtails develop droopy tails, which are not very attractive. This isn’t a health concern but may make your fish look a bit sad.

Crowntail

Another related variety of combtail is the crown tail betta. These fish also have a webbing that does not extend all the way down each ray of the fin. But instead of looking like a comb, their tail looks spiky, or like an upside-down crown.Like the combtail, the crown tail is prone to breaking the rays of their fins, and even the shorter-tailed females can suffer from a bent tail. But otherwise, crowntails are usually healthy and fertile. They also don’t usually nip at their own fins, since the webbing is reduced compared to other bettas.

Double Tail

The delta betta is an interesting variety. When they fully extend their tails it makes less than a 180-degree angle from the base of the tail to the edges. They are named after the Greek letter delta, because their extended tails are triangular in shape, with straight edges.Deltas are a popular and beautiful variety of fish and come in a wide selection of colors and patterns. They resemble the half-moon bettas, and it’s actually difficult to tell them apart. Both the delta and super delta are usually healthy and no more prone to fin rot than other varieties.

Rosetail

The half-moon betta, as I previously mentioned, looks nearly identical to the delta variety. A true half moon has a full 180-degree tail and can be any color or mix of colors. Their tail makes a D-shape when viewed from the side.They are usually considered a long-finned betta variety, except when they are specifically listed as a plakat betta.Next to the VT variety, the half-moon is the most common type of betta. You’ll see many of these fellows in pet stores and aquarium shops. They are prone to the typical betta health problems but are otherwise considered a healthy variety to own.

Plakat

The plakat is a newer variety of betta that’s recently become a phenomenon in Thailand and other parts of Asia. These fish are bred from the Thai Siamese Fighting fish line and have been crossed back with their wild betta splendens forebears.Plakats have the same color and pattern variations seen in the long-finned varieties of betta, and many also have similar tail configurations too. But the plakat’s tail is much shorter and resembles the wild type instead of the fancier, domesticated bettas.Novice betta keepers often mistake male plakats for female long-finned bettas. Since the plakat has been selectively bred from hybrid species of betta, they have a different behavior profile than the other bettas in this list.Plakats are more aggressive, and usually can not be housed with other fish. They also prefer fresh food and many will not eat commercial diets. They are typically healthy and don’t suffer from problems with their fins like the long-finned varieties do.

Feathertail

Similar to the rosetail, the feathertail has long and wide, ruffled fins. Instead of being a half-moon shape, though, their fins and tail have triangles along the edges, which give them their “feathery” appearance. They are less common than the rosetail, and come in a variety of colors and scale patterns.Like the rosetail, the feathertail is prone to health problems. They often nip at their tails and swim bladder problems are common.

Round Tail

Similar to both the half-moon and the delta, the round tail is a popular and common betta often found in big-box pet stores. Their tails don’t come from their bodies in a straight line, like the delta, and have a rounded appearance instead.They are usually healthy fish but are still prone to the typical betta diseases and problems.

Spade Tail

The spade tail slightly resembles the VT betta but has a definitively spade-shaped tail. They are available in a wide assortment of colors and patterns too. Otherwise, they are generally a healthy variety with no special or unique health concerns beyond the typical betta problems.

Elephant Ear/Dumbo

The elephant ear, or dumbo bettas, are not classified based on the shape or length of their tails, like most of the betta on my list. Instead, it’s their pectoral fins we’re interested in; what you might think of as the fish’s arms if they were human.Elephant ears have broad and long pectoral fins, which makes them look like they have gigantic ears and are flying through the water with them. They usually have shorter tails, though. Elephant ears are the one variety where fishkeepers tend to prefer female betta fish over males.Since the males don’t have the elaborate tails common to the other varieties (other than the plakat, of course), they tend to look rather drab. The extended pectorals on the females, however, really make them stand out. This is a great option if you’d like to have a stunning female fish in your betta tank.