Betta fish, or Siamese fighting fish, is one of the most common fish among novice aquarists. They are small and magnificent fish with unique personalities.
Due to their popularity, betta fish have been selectively cross-bred over many years to create a range of betta fish with different shapes and colors. Betta fish exist in many variations and are often classified by their tail type, colors, and patterns.
In this article, we’ll discuss the different types of bettas to help you find the best fish for your aquarium.
Different Types of Bettas
1. Tail Types
Betta fish are usually classified by the size and shape of their tails. You will find all tail variations, from long and flowing fins to short but striking fan-like tails.
Here are the common betta fish tail types on the most available varieties.
a) Veiltail Betta
The Veiltail, also known as VT betta, is one of the common variations of the tail types you will find in most aquarium and pet stores.
A male Veiltail betta features a long, flowing downwards swooping tail, which comes in many different colors, and the general appearance is remarkable.
The female Veiltail betta, on the other hand, is relatively different. It doesn’t have any of the amazing characteristics of the male but, in some cases, has bright colors. Female Veiltail bettas tend to have lighter colors and short tails and fins.
Veiltail bettas are not strong swimmers, and they do well in a tank with a gentle current. They are also less aggressive compared to short-finned varieties.
b) Crowntail Betta
The crown tail betta is another prevalent freshwater fish. It’s perhaps one of the easiest tail types to recognize since the reduced webbing and broad fin rays give the fish a distinctive spiky appearance. However, when the webbing gets more than 2/3 up the tail, it’s classified as the Combtail Betta.
The males have striking colors with long a tail and fins, but females appear relatively different. Often, the female shows lighter coloration with a shorter tail and a less stunning general appearance.
Crowntail bettas are stronger swimmers than Veiltail bettas, but they do best in a tank with a subdued current. This variety can be quite dominant and territorial, but it depends on the individual fish and its lineage. They are also much more delicate regarding injuries and diseases, so keeping them in good water condition is important.
c) Comb Tail Betta
Like the Crowntail betta, the Combtail also features rays on its fins, but its webbing is remarkably larger, getting up to 2/3 way up to its tail. Though it’s not preferred, the tail can have a hang, often seen with Veiltail bettas.
2. Dumbo/ Elephant Ear Betta
Dumbo ear betta is not necessarily a tail type, but it deserves a spot on the list due to its beauty. It shows extra-large pectoral fins that resemble the ears of an elephant.
Elephant ear betta has one of the most attractive betta fin types, though it can be relatively aggressive. In addition, their large fins may scare other fish in the aquarium, so it’s crucial to choose the right tankmates.
Dumbo bettas usually swim with pectoral fins, continuously fluttering these ruffled fins. It appears nearly like a dancer with a large feathered fan.
Some bettas may have uniform colors, while others will be a mixture of many different colors. The standard colors are:
- Translucent skin
Another way to classify the different types of betta fish is through their color patterns. Colors may be arranged in different patterns on their body scales and fins, making the fish remarkable and appreciated by fish-keeping enthusiasts.
Here are some of the commonly known patterns of betta fish.
a) Butterfly Betta
A butterfly betta shows a pattern that resembles the fluttering wings of a butterfly. It is among the most beautiful betta types, especially when the fish is happily swimming.
Butterfly bettas feature a single color that extends from its body to the base of the tail and fins. However, this color eventually fades and is replaced by a paler and iridescent color. The tail and fins are usually white or transparent.
Another variation of this pattern is that the edges are white, while the outside fins have a different color from the body.
b) Marble Betta
Mable bettas have irregular and blotchy or splash-like patterns all over the body. Typically, the base color of the fish is light pale, and the patterns are in a bold, solid color such as blue or red. Fins may have marble-like or solid translucent colors.
The strange thing about Marble bettas is that their patterns may change throughout their lifetime, a process known as marbling. Sometimes you will notice a particular color one week, and the following week a different color will appear. However, this ability will reduce as the fish gets older.
c) Koi Betta
The Koi betta is a variation of Marble betta fish, carefully selected through breeding. As the name suggests, this species of betta was bred to mimic the most popular Koi pond fish.
This species is not present in the wild population and was carefully bred over the years by aquarists to preserve the most amazing features and characteristics. There is no distinct coloration for Koi bettas, and their richness, brightness, and colors vary considerably.
FAQs About Different Types of Bettas
What is the Rarest Kind of Betta Fish?
The albino is the rarest type of betta fish. Since the albino betta usually has a lot of health issues and complications, they are quite difficult to breed for, and breeding for them purposely is considered irresponsible.
Breeding for a type known to have health problems is rather immoral. Other rare types are the purple betta, although orange and true chocolate species can be difficult to find.
Why Is My Betta Turning Blue?
One of the main causes of color changes in bettas is stress. Just like people change color during a stressful situation, like having a bright red face when angry or turning white when shocked, your betta fish reacts the same way.
However, if your betta is gradually changing color but seems otherwise healthy, it is likely to have the gene of the jumping Marble.
How Do I Choose a Friendly Betta?
Look for a freshwater fish with smooth, bright scales without visible abrasions or lumps. The eyes should look bright and clear, and the fish should react when you gently place a finger near it.
In addition, learn about all the different types of bettas you can find at the pet stores to get the best fish for your aquarium.
National Centre for Biotechnology Information [NCBI]: Visual Reinforcement in the Female Siamese Fighting Fish, Betta Splendens