Types of Betta Fish
The Betta genus includes more than 100 different species. The
similarities amongst these species include small size, colorful bodies and ray-shaped fins. All of the types
of Betta fish can be placed in one of two groups, based on their breeding habits: Betta Pictas (mouth
brooders) and Betta Splendens (bubble nest builders).
Betta Pictas are believed to have evolved from Betta Splendens, adapting to fast-moving currents. They are often
larger in size, less colorful and have shorter fins.
Betta Splendens are the types of Betta fish sold in pet stores. While there are seven distinct breeds of Betta
Splendens, breeders have been playing with this group of fish for more than 200 years, making many of these types
of Betta fish hard to classify. With all the different combinations of Betta breeding, its no wonder the genus now
includes more than 100 different species!
Because all Betta Splendens are colorful with long-flowing fins, it can be hard to distinguish the species. The
easiest way to identify a Betta Splenden species is by examining the tail. Here are the eight most popular and
easily identifiable Betta Splendens:
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This Betta’s tail looks like a king’s crown. The can extend to 180 degrees. The separated ridges of the “crown”
almost appear as if there are several prong-like fins extending from the base. A more appropriate name might be
The ridges on this Betta’s tail are even and connected like webbed feet. Though in a fan shape, it does not
reach more than 120 degrees.
The Double Tail Betta is exactly that: a fish with two tails! The Double Tail Betta has two tails protruding
from the tail base. This Betta’s tail can also exhibit traits of other Betta Splendens, such as a Double Crown Tail
or a Double Delta Tale.
Half Moon Tail
Similar to the Delta Tail, the Half Moon Tail simply extends to 180 degrees, resembling the shape of a half
moon. The tail almost seems to merge the caudal, dorsal and anal fins, into one seamless flowing fin.
The beautiful fins of the Halfmoon Betta make it one of the most popular and valuable types of Betta fish. A
true Halfmoon Betta (fins completely extending all 180 degrees) are fairly rare and as a result these fish can be
These Bettas have short tails, resembling a small semi-circle emanating from the tail base rather than wrapping
around the Betta’s body. These Bettas tend to be more active, can swim faster and have strong immune systems. Due
to their strength, these types of Betta fish are unfortunately often subjected to fish fighting.
This tail exhibits round edges, unlike any other Betta Splenden. It extends from the tail base, creating a round
shape without hugging the body.
Super Delta Tail
These Betta’s also have a fan shape tail reaching up to 120 degrees, but the ridges are straighter and the tail
is shaped like a triangle.
This is the most popular Betta Splenden and the most common found in pet stores, perhaps because it is the most
colorful and has the longest fins. Its tail arches and then slopes downward, like a wedding veil. It only fans out
when it is frightened or trying to impress its mate. The tail is often longer than its body and appears to drag
Due to the length of this Betta's tail, it can be easily damaged. Be sure not to put any sharp decorations in
its tank and use soft plants. While it is one of the most attractive types of Betta fish, it is also one of the
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