Bettas are popular among fish keepers because of their vivid colors and beautiful fins. They are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish because of their aggressive behavior. If you keep two bettas in one tank, both will fight each other until one dies. So, people tend to keep only one Betta in a fish tank.
Land of Origin
Bettas are native to Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. They generally live in ditches, rice paddies, shallow pools, and slow-moving streams in Southeast Asia. Discovered not more than 150 years ago, this fish became so popular among fish keepers because of its beauty.
Beautiful Betta Species
There are several Betta types, some are common, and some are rare. However, all of these species are beautiful regardless of their variation. Wild bettas have fewer color variations than fancy betta types. Fancy bettas are a result of mutation of common bettas. Some species are considered as rare betta species, which we listed below.
Rare Betta Varieties
Koi Betta is a specific variation of marble bettas. The colors of Koi Betta resemble koi fish. This fish variation is a selectively bred species in captivity. Therefore, you won’t find this fish variety in the wild. These bettas are usually short-tailed bettas with specific patterns of reds, oranges, and blacks against an iridescent white body that resembles a Koi fish.
Like other Betta Splendens, Koi Betta also grows up to 3 inches long. Although Koi Betta resembles Koi fish, their behavior doesn’t take after the koi fish. Koi bettas carry all the traits and personalities of Betta fish. They are aggressive as well as interactive like most other Betta Splendens species.
Koi Bettas, however, prone to more diseases and morphological problems than many other betta types because of selective breeding. They are also one of the rarest betta varieties of Betta world.
Double Tail Betta
As the name suggests, Double tail bettas have two distinct tails. This tail pattern happens due to genetic mutation, making caudal fins separate at the base and grow into two lobes. This fish species is rare because of the low survival rate of its babies.
Double tail bettas also have a large dorsal fin and come in all color variations. Common patterns are Solid, butterfly, dragon scale, piebald, full mask, grizzle, bi-color, marble, and Koi (very rare).
Like all other bettas, Double Tail Bettas also shows aggressive behavior. However, this aggression depends on the fish’s ancestry. Double tail betta’s mutation doesn’t affect their growth size. Like all other betta types, they grow up to 3 inches long.
Due to its mutation, Double tail Bettas catch up with diseases sooner than regular bettas. Fortunately, there are treatments available for many fish diseases.
Half Sun Betta
Half Sun Betta is a combination of Half Moon Betta and Crown Tail/ Combtail Betta. Half Sun Bettas have a large tail with a spread of 180 degrees plus slight crowning between the fin’s rays and webbing, resembling a stylized sun. Half Sun Bettas are available in all colors and are known to be aggressive than veil tail bettas.
Common patterns are Solid, butterfly, dragon scale, piebald, full mask, grizzle, bi-color, marble, and Koi (very rare). Half Sun Bettas grow up to 3 inches and have all other traits and personalities of different betta types.
As this fish species is just cross-breeding and not a mutation, they are healthy as common bettas making them less prone to diseases than mutated bettas.
The rarest type of Betta fish you could find is Fantail Betta. The fantail betta variety has two caudal fins that are side by side but fused at a small point at the top, which looks like a tail of fantail goldfish. There are no images or no any information on where you can find this variety anywhere, but many fish keepers know there’s this variety.
Some people think this is a mysterious fish species just like Unicorn. However, some claim that Fantail bettas can be sold for more than $5000 because they are the rarest.
Dumbo Ear Betta
Dumbo ear bettas are also known as Elephant Ear Betta or EE Betta. They have enlarged pectoral fins that are five times bigger than regular bettas and have giant ruffled edges. These pectoral fins resemble elephant ears, more precisely Dumbo (in the movie).
Dumbo Ear Bettas are quite aggressive than most other Betta species and come with any tail type. Most often, the tail type is half-moon. They come in all available colors. Dumbo Ear Bettas are more aggressive than veil tail Betta, and you can not easily find this Betta Specie in regular fish stores.
Bettas usually do swimming with their pectoral fins so are Dumbo Ear Bettas. Because they have large ruffled pectoral fins, they constantly flutter these fins while swimming. This behavior looks like a charming dance fascinating to watch.
Because of their heavy pectoral fins, Dumbo Ear Bettas need gentle current in the water. Otherwise, it will be harder for them to swim. Common color patterns are Solid, butterfly, dragon scale, piebald, full mask, grizzle, bi-color, marble, and Koi (very rare).
Marble Betta is a betta fish that have a physical blotchy appearance on their body. This marble appearance happens because of special genes they call Jumping Genes or Transposons. These transposons have the ability to jump from one place to another and change the color where it goes. This ability of Jumping genes causes the marble betta to change its color from time to time with various color spots. For some betta owners, this can be frustrating cause they lose their favorite color combination after some time. But, as we think it’s fun and exciting to own a betta that changes its color.
Marble Betta is actually a color pattern, not a specific betta species. Almost all betta species have this Jumping Gene in some fish, so marble bettas come with every tail type on rare occasions.
Albino Betta is a betta fish that completely lacks color pigmentation. An Albino betta should have whitish to clear-colored scales and fins and pinkish or red eyes. The muscles and internal organs are faintly visible through their scales.
This fish species is so rare because they are incredibly difficult to breed and have a low survival rate. Most reported Albino Bettas are either clear/cellophane or actually white varieties instead.
In the wild, Albino Bettas have little to no chance of survival because UV rays of the sun cause a high damage rate, resulting in blindness or cancer. Albino bettas usually have other mutation-related health problems as well.
Cambodian Betta is a classic bicolor fish with a white or pale pink colored body and deep, blood-red fins. Although the preferred fin color is red, there are some cases of other colors reported. However, true Cambodian Betta must have a white or pale pink-colored body to accept it as a Cambodian Betta.
Cambodian Bettas are not true albinos because Cambodian Betta’s eyes contain a full quota of melanin pigmentation. In some Cambodian betta types, you can see some black spots on adult fish bodies. This is known as an inherited strain, and it doesn’t develop until the fish is about 18 months old. Cambodian Betta species used to be quite common for some time, but they became rare in recent years.
General Care Guide
Bettas grow up to 3 years with proper care. Their average adult size is 2.5 inches, but some bettas grow up to 3 inches long. For one Betta, a minimum of a 3-gallon tank is needed, and they need fresh water to thrive.
Required water conditions are,
- Water temperature: 72-82°F
- Ph Level: 6.5 to 7.5
- Hardiness : 30-180 GH, 40-240 KH
Bettas prefer still water or water with a soft current because their fins get in the way while swimming making them hard to swim. Bettas can live with non-aggressive fish species that do not have long fins and tails. If you put a male betta with another male betta, they will fight to the death. Female bettas are known to be less aggressive, but male bettas are the ones with distinctive colors.
Bettas are carnivores species. Hence they need a diet consists of protein and fiber as primary sources. They prefer pellets and flakes specifically made for Bettas, frozen or freeze-dried brine shrimp, or tubifex worms. Bettas need two times feeding per day.
Betta is a very hardy fish that can live in small spaces and low-quality water. It can also survive without water for a short time, making them labyrinth fish. This hardiness makes them a great fish species for beginner fish keepers.
Bettas are prone to diseases like Fin rot, fungus, ich, and bacterial infections. You should check for any symptoms known for these diseases on your Betta regularly. If the tank is clean and has a proper filtration system, the chances of getting sick are very low.
Fancy type bettas explained above are prone to mutation-related diseases such as cancer, blindness, tumor, etc. So, the life span of fancy-type bettas is usually less than the usual life span of Betta fish.
Betta fish is an ideal type of fish if you like vivid colors in your tank. If you want some inexpensive betta as your first fish, you should try out more common bettas such as veil tail, crown tail, bi-color, delta, and half-moon varieties. The rare betta species explained in this article are more expensive than common betta types. However, some of them are super rare that you may not find one in your lifetime.