The Crowntail Betta is one of the most spectacular freshwater fish around.
Their wide tail has the appearance of a king’s crown.
Not only do they look regal, but they have the personality to match. They will assert themself as the king of the tank and become the center of attention.
Although they are one of the most iconic Bettas they do not work well with others and cannot be kept easily in a community.
Are you considering this fabulous fish for your aquarium?
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the Crowntail Betta…
|Other Common Names:||Siamese Fighting Fish|
|Scientific Name:||Betta splendens|
|Minimum Tank Size:||10 gallons|
|Tank Mate Compatibility:||Single species only|
Table of Contents
About Crowntail Bettas
The Crowntail Betta is a morph of the Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens).
All Bettas come from the Osphronemidae family and are actually a type of Gourami. However, what makes the Crowntail special is their stunning tail that looks like a king’s crown.
This variety is kept entirely for their beautiful appearance.
They are not recommended for beginners because of their aggressive temperament.
Crowntail Bettas grow to about 2.5 inches long and only have a lifespan of 2-3 years. This is shorter than the typical Betta’s 5 year lifespan.
The average price is about $10 per fish, although some of the more exotic color morphs can sell for higher prices.
- Experience Required: Freshwater fishkeeping.
- Nicknames: Siamese Fighting Fish.
- Color Forms: Various.
- Size: 2.5 inches.
- Tank Size: 10+ gallon tank size.
- Tank Temperature: 76°F-80°F.
Betta Fish were first domesticated almost 1000 years ago, back in the 13th century.
They were initially used as a status symbol for Thai royalty and nobility.
However, in the 19th century they became popular with the general public were placed in brutal aquatic fighting rings. The fish would fight to the death as spectators placed bets on the winners. Eventually, the King of Thailand declared these fighting rings illegal, and the fish were kept for purely ornamental reasons.
In the mid-1800s these fish were introduced to Japan and China. Here they were selectively bred to create original color varieties and morphs.
By 1910 they had finally reached the United States.
The International Betta Congress was established in 1964 and this is where the Crowntail got their start. In 1997 the beautiful wide-finned Crowntail Betta debuted at an IBC expo.
It did not take long for onlookers to fall in love with this new variety and they quickly became a must have.
Pros and Cons
- Lots of colors and patterns to choose from
- Very intelligent and inquisitive
- Fits into a small or large tank
- Very aggressive
- Fins can be injured easily
- Limited compatibility in communities
The Crowntail Betta is named after their uniquely shaped fins.
Between their fin rays is a thin webbing that creates a spiky, crown-like appearance. Their caudal, dorsal, pelvic, and anal fins are all spiked, but the paired pectoral fins are not.
They have a small and thin body with a slight hump at the dorsal area.
The fish grows to a maximum of about 2 and a half inches.
You can find them in a wide variety of spectacular colors and patterns. Black, red, yellow, and neon blue are particularly popular. One fish can have up to 3 colors at once and the fins can be two-toned or bordered by a darker color.
Their pelvic fin is not fused with the anal fin, and the two fins can even be different colors. The anal fin is long, wide, and runs parallel to the dorsal fin on the ventral side.
They also have a huge caudal fin that is up to 7 inches in diameter.
All in all, Crowntail Bettas have six fins.
Males and females are easy to tell apart. The males have the brightest colors and the largest, widest fins. Females have spiked fins too but they are shorter and have thicker webbing than those of the males. Females are also larger by at least half an inch.
You can find the Crowntail Betta in the following colors:
- Black: Black is one of the most common colors and it makes the fish look very elegant.
- Blue: A bright turquoise or neon blue is one of the most iconic hues. Blue can occur as a solid color or a base for a bicolor morph.
- Red: Red can occur in many shades from sunset to magenta.
- Yellow: This is another iconic solid color that grabs attention even in the most boring tank.
- White: They can be albino, or a simple pearl white morph. Albino fish are very pale with spots of pink or yellow across their bodies.
- Green: Green Crowntail Bettas comes in many shades from neon green to peacock. It is often accompanied by deep red fins.
- Multi: A multicolored fish can have up to 3 colors at once. Their tail or fins can have 2 hues in an ombre or bordered pattern.
It is much safer to keep a Crowntail Betta on their own.
If you keep them in a community tank then there is a very real risk of aggression and fighting.
This fish asserts itself as the ruler of the tank and challenges anyone that gets in their way. Fights can be brutal and even deadly.
If you are adamant about keeping this fish in a community then you should keep them in at least a 40 gallon tank. There are only a few other species that are safe to keep with them:
- Tetras are small and tend to travel in large groups. Their shoaling formation will deter the Betta’s temper. Try keeping a school of Neon, Cardinal, Glowlight, or Red Phantom Tetras.
- Guppies are also too small to pose much of a threat. They are generally safe with Crowntail Bettas, but you should keep an eye out for fin nipping.
- Your Betta will be rather indifferent to bottom dwelling fish like the Cory, Oto, Kuhli Loach, or Bristlenose Pleco. These fish are peaceful and will not enter into the Betta’s territory.
- Glass Catfish are another possibility due to their tendency to keep out of the way of other fish. These also travel in large groups, which gives them an added defense.
- You can include just about any kind of non-fish you want. Nerite Snails, Amano Shrimp, and even African Dwarf Frogs are all perfectly safe picks.
Apart from these few fish, it is best not to keep your Crowntail with anything else.
Other Bettas and Gouramis are at particular risk, as well as any other fish that resemble the Crowntail in either size, appearance, or even personality.
You should not attempt a community setup if this is your first time keeping this fish.
Crowntail Bettas cannot be kept together.
A group of these fish will quickly turn into a fighting ring. Even pairing them is not a good idea unless you are planning to breed them. Females and males can both display aggression towards each other and to their tank mates.
Unless you are planning to breed them, you should limit your tank to just one Crowntail Betta.
Wild Habitat and Tank Conditions
You will not find a Crowntail Betta in the wild, so we need to look at the wild Betta to understand what tank conditions they need.
Wild Bettas are found in freshwater habitats in Southeast Asia.
They are particularly common along the Chao Phraya river in Thailand, where they can be found in floodplains and drainage ditches. They are also known to live in rice paddy fields.
These areas have slow flowing water with a large amount of plants and algae. They can withstand areas of changing water quality and will establish themselves in both natural and man-made bodies of water.
Tank Set Up
- Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
- Tank Type: Freshwater planted
- Temperature: 76 to 80°F
- pH: 6.5 to 7.0
- Hardness: 3 to 5 dGH
- Flow: Light
- Substrate: Soft sand, gravel, or mud
All Betta fish thrive in small tanks.
You will need at least a 10 gallon aquarium to keep one Crowntail Betta.
The best substrate is either soft sand, mud, or smooth gravel. If your plants are not rooted in the ground then you do not need any substrate at all.
A gentle hang-on-back filter will help replicate the low flow these fish are used to. These have the added benefit of providing extra oxygen through bubbles. Even if you use a different type of filter, you should include a bubbler or an air stone.
Use a dim light intensity of about 3 watts per gallon or less, for 8 to 10 hours of exposure per day. Do not expose your tank to direct sunlight.
Finally you will need some decorations for your Crowntail Betta.
You can use natural or man-made decorations like rocks, logs, toys, statues, and artificial plants. Just make sure that there are no rough or sharp edges.
Breeding Crowntail Bettas
Breeding Crowntail Bettas is difficult.
However, it is possible in home aquariums and it gives you a look into their fascinating mating behavior.
A breeding pair should be kept in at least a 30 gallon tank. Without the extra space, the pair will be quite aggressive to each other when they are not actively courting.
The male will build a bubble nest on the surface of the water and attempt to entice the female by dancing around her and flashing his fins. His colors will become more intense during courtship.
When the female accepts she will allow the male to lead her to the bubble nest to spawn. If she rejects him, she must be removed before the male attacks.
If you look very closely at the female’s abdomen, you will see her egg spot and ovipositor. The egg spot is a tiny white dot just before the anal fin. The ovipositor, marked by the egg spot, is used to lay eggs.
When copulating the male will wrap his body around the female and squeeze her to stimulate spawning. She will lay up to 400 tiny eggs into the water. The male will catch about 50 of these eggs and place them in the bubble nest to be fertilized.
At this stage the female should be removed.
The male will defend the nest for the next 2 days until the eggs hatch. Once they hatch the male will care for the fry until they lose their yolk sacs.
Once the fry are free swimming you can remove the male and rear them on your own. Feed them infusoria and larval brine shrimp for their first 2 to 3 weeks of life.
First time keepers should not keep a Crowntail Betta.
Their aggressive behavior can make them challenging for anyone.
Your most important care task is cleaning.
To stop your tank from becoming a bacterial breeding ground you will need to change the water every week. In addition to performing a 25 to 30% water change, you should clean your aquarium glass and rinse your substrate once every week as well.
Crowntail Bettas’ large fins are quite sensitive, so fin rot is one of the most common illnesses.
Fin rot is caused by a bacterial infection and presents as a white or grey lesion along the borders of the fins. Over time these lesions will increase in size and take on a red, swollen appearance. They may bleed or ooze pus as they progress.
A fish with fin rot will die if left untreated.
Fortunately, general antibiotics are quite effective at treating the illness. You should seek medical attention if your fish has any sort of unusual marking or discoloration.
Diet and Feeding
Crowntail Bettas eat the same kinds of foods as any other Betta fish.
In the wild they gather in flooded areas where their favorite prey is abundant.
They are especially hungry after heavy rain and crave small worms, insect larvae, and zooplankton.
They will need a mix of live prey and high quality fish foods in captivity.
They will accept flakes, pellets, and gel foods that are blended specifically for Betta fish. In addition to this, they will need access to their favorite prey from their natural habitat.
Their prey should be given live most of the time, but can be given frozen or dried as a treat. They will eat bloodworms and other microworms, insect larvae and adult fruit flies, water fleas, and brine shrimp.
Here is a list of the different foods you can feed your Crowntail Betta:
- Brine shrimp
- Insect larvae
- Fruit flies
Just remember that Bettas are known for being fussy eaters.
They will not eat everything that they are given and you should change up the menu each day so that they do not get bored.
These fish will want to eat during the daytime when the aquarium lights are still turned on. You should feed adults one meal every day, and add an extra meal for young fish that are still growing.
This fish will dominate any tank you keep them in.
They do not get along well with others so it is best to keep them on their own.
Crowntail Bettas are usually found at the middle levels of the tank, but can be spotted at the surface as well. You might see them take in a big gulp of air before heading back down to the middle of the tank. They rarely spend time at the bottom of the tank.
They are very curious about both the inside and outside of the tank.
Although they are aggressive to other fish, they pose no danger to their keepers. They can learn how to recognize their owner, and can even be trained to eat from their owner’s hand.
Overall this is a very pretty fish to look at, and they will not shy away from showing off their beautiful fins. Their elegant swimming and fin flashing makes it look like they are dancing.
The Crowntail Betta is one of the most magnificent fish you can keep in a freshwater tank.
However, the decision to keep one should not be taken lightly. Their aggression makes them a very poor choice for a beginner.
If you have some experience keeping Bettas and are looking for a centerpiece in a single species setup, then look no further. These Bettas will mesmerize you with their elegant swimming and amusing tricks.
What is the most magnificent Crowntail Betta you have ever seen?
Let us know in the comments section below…