Betta Fish are one of the most popular freshwater fish.
Did you know that Bettas can have over 100 different types of tail, brilliant colors, and interesting patterns?
These fish come with tails shaped like crowns, card suits, halfmoons, and many more. They can also be found in just about every color of the rainbow!
Are you looking for the perfect Betta Fish to add to your tank?
In this article we share the 21 most popular types of Betta Fish…
Table of Contents
Types of Betta Fish
The Betta Fish (Betta splendens), or Siamese Fighting Fish, is a freshwater fish that is native to Southeast Asia. It comes from the Osphronemidae family, and is therefore actually a type of Gourami. They share this family with the Paradise Fish, Honey Gourami, Sparkling Gourami, and many others.
Over time, selective breeding has created over 100 different types of betta fish.
There are so many beautiful colors, patterns, and even unique tail shapes.
Betta Morphs Explained
You can find Betta morphs in unique colors, patterns, and even tail shapes.
Wild type specimens are reddish brown and this helps them blend in with the muddy sediment.
In the aquarium you can find them in just about any color.
The most popular colors are red, black, turquoise, and deep blue. Albino, pink, purple, and neon green are especially rare. Other possible colors include the famous blue and yellow Mustard Gas, the iridescent peacock green, and bicolor red and turquoise.
In addition to the different colors, there are also many different patterns of morphs.
Dragon is one of the most famous, and features thick white scales over a solid base color.
Koi is a calico pattern that resembles a Kohaku or Showa Koi fish. Butterfly is a particularly spectacular pattern that features a gradient over the caudal fin. The colors on the body extend to the base of the tail and are paired with a light colored border.
Bettas morphs can also have a unique or interesting tail shape.
Most have long, trailing fins that are rounded at the tips. This is called a Veiltail formation.
The Crowntail is another popular tail type. Here the tail is split into spikes, separated by very thin webbing between them. Halfmoons have wide tails that extend from the dorsal fin to the anal fin. The Plakat tail type is the kind that you would find on a wild specimen. Plakat tails are short and shaped like fans, and are accompanied by round dorsal fins.
You can even find a Betta with a tail shaped like a card suit. The Spade Tail is a variant of the Plakat that has a tail shaped like a spade in a deck of cards.
Best 21 Betta Fish Types
The Albino Betta Fish is a very rare Betta Fish color.
They have a white body with a slightly pink tint. Their scales, fin, and tail are completely white, looking particularly lovely on Veiltail and Halfmoon tail types.
Most albinos appear by accident and sell for very high prices.
They only occur when a very specific recessive gene is present. There is no way to guarantee that this gene will be expressed, even if you breed an albino parent. Most albino genetic lines can be traced back for decades, as many breeders will hold on to their albino in the hopes of breeding more.
2. Black Melano
Melanism is the opposite of albinism.
The Black Melano Betta has an excess of dark pigment which makes them a very dark black that can look blue or even green under direct light.
They are a fancier variety of the typical Black Betta.
These fish have no light pigmentation at all.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to breed a female Black Melano, but the males can breed with other varieties. To produce Melano offspring a male must be bred with a dark blue or peacock green female.
The Butterfly Betta has a brilliant gradient pattern that appears over their caudal fin.
A solid base color extends to the base of their tail and sometimes appears over the dorsal and anal fins. The color is bordered by a lighter color along the edges of the fins. Popular base colors include blue, red, orange, purple, and pink.
To keep this Betta healthy you will need to keep them in at least a 5 gallon tank with a temperature between 75-77°F.
Use soft water with a limit of around 5 dGH, and a pH between 6.5 and 7.5. The tank should be furnished with plants and the filter should be a sponge or a HOB.
Males are very aggressive and will pick fights with each other, but females can travel together in small sororities. They cannot be kept with other Gourami fish, but are compatible with peaceful bottom dwellers like the Cory Catfish.
The Combtail is a rather rare variety of the Crowntail.
They are bred by crossing a Crowntail with a Veiltail.
Combtail Bettas have thick webbing between their spikes and they can be found in lots of different colors.
The care requirements for a Combtail and a Crowntail are the same. Both should have at least a 10 gallon tank to accommodate the size of their fins. Although Combtails are slightly more mellow, they can still display aggressive behavior and should not be introduced to community tanks.
The Crowntail Betta is one of the most popular tail morphs around.
Their tail, anal fin, and pelvic fins are split into spires with thin webbing between them. On females, the webbing is thicker and the spires are shaped like a starburst.
The most popular colors for the Crowntail include black or Black Melano, turquoise, turquoise and red bicolor, and solid red.
Crowntails are well known for being one of the most aggressive varieties. They are not particularly community friendly and are best kept in a single species tank.
If you want to keep your Crowntail in a community tank then bottom dwellers make the best tank mates. The Cory Catfish and Kuhli Loach are two good choices.
6. Delta Tail
The Delta Tail morph has a tail shaped like a triangle, or the Greek letter delta.
You can even find a Super Delta variant whose tail extends to nearly 180°, starting at the base of the dorsal fin and ending at the base of the anal fin.
Super Deltas can grow up to 3 inches long, but regular Deltas reach around 2 inches. They must be kept in at least a 10 gallon tank to accommodate their unusual fin shape.
7. Dragon Scale
The Dragon Scale is one of the most spectacular patterns around.
These fish have thick iridescent scales that are linked together like chainmail. They can occur alongside any base color other than blue or turquoise, due to genetics.
On a True Dragon, the white scales are layered over the base color. A False Dragon does not have this over-layer, but is simply a solid colored fish with large scales.
Just like lots of other types of Betta, Dragons are quite aggressive and the males are known to pick fights with each other. They are best kept in single species tanks, while females can be kept in peaceful communities.
Unfortunately these fish are susceptible to a condition known as Diamond Eye.
This is when their scales grow large enough to cover their eyes. While it cannot be prevented or cured, it can be managed by allowing the fish more room to swim without bumping into things.
8. Elephant Ear
Although the Elephant Ear is not technically a tail type, it is considered as such by many hobbyists.
Elephant Ear morphs have wide, trailing pectoral fins that look like elephant’s ears. These pectoral fins are usually a different color than the rest of the body.
Popular colors include red or magenta with white pectoral fins, purple with pink pectoral fins, and blue with pale blue or white pectoral fins. A solid white variety is also possible.
You can find Elephant Ears on all the tail types.
Green Bettas are a solid color morph.
There are lots of different shades available but one of the most popular is peacock green.
Peacock green is a derivative of the turquoise color morph. It is particularly popular on Dragon Scale Bettas.
You can also find Bettas with a neon green color, a radioactive-looking electric green, or even a glow in the dark green. In some cases the Mustard Gas morph will be green instead of blue.
The Halfmoon Betta is one of the most popular tail types.
Their tail extends from the base of their dorsal fin all the way to the base of their anal fin which creates a moon shape and a 180° angle.
Only the males have these wide, moon-shaped tails.
This tail type can be found in all colors and patterns, including Mustard Gas, Dragon, Butterfly, and every solid color.
Because of their large fins, Halfmoons are more susceptible to fin rot and other bacterial infections. They are not compatible with other fish, and are better off with a tank all to themselves.
Koi Bettas come in the orange, red, and black colors of a Kohaku or Sanke Koi. They are not particularly common, but are sure to grab attention when you do find them.
This pattern is particularly popular on Halfmoons, Plakats, and Veiltails.
The intensity and order of the colors depends on genetics.
Although this Betta looks like a Koi fish, it is certainly not as friendly as one. They behave aggressively toward other fish and should be kept in a planted tank on their own.
Females can travel in small sororities of their own kind, but may not get along well with other species.
The Lyretail is a common tail type on many types of fish, including Mollies, Platies, and Guppies. However, it is not as common on Bettas.
A Lyretail is simply a Veiltail that has split into two.
This tail type is not very popular.
13. Mustard Gas
Mustard Gas is a spectacular color combination.
The body color can be dark blue, black, green, or purple in rare cases. The tail is bright yellow with a border that matches the body.
This color is very popular. However, to be a true Mustard Gas, the fish must be descended from the original 1999 line. Many Mustard Gas fish in stores are only knock-offs that do not come from this line.
However, they are just as colorful and there are no real drawbacks to keeping one.
This color combination can occur on a Crowntail, Halfmoon, Plakat, Elephant Ear, and many other tail types.
The Plakat is the tail type that is found on wild specimens.
Their tail is short and shaped like a fan and they have a round dorsal fin.
Although any color is possible, most of the time the colors will match Wild Types and be reddish brown or tan with blue spots.
Plakats are excellent for beginners because they are healthier than the genetically fragile captive morphs. They also have longer lifespans of up to 5 years.
The best habitat for this fish is one that closely resembles their natural home. Create a low flow riverbed with a pH of around 7.0 and a temperature of about 77°F. Include lots of floating plants too.
The Tyrian purple is considered the rarest Betta color of all.
To create solid purple offspring, the parents must be genetically pure red and blue fish. Since genetic purity is so rare in modern lines, a solid purple specimen is hard to come by.
Most attempts to breed a purple fish will result in red or magenta, but it is possible to have a purple-colored fish that is not a pure Tyrian purple.
A genetically pure purple fish will look deep purple when you shine a light on it. Otherwise, it will turn blue or red in the light.
Expect to pay at least $150 for a pure purple specimen.
In contrast to purple, red is one of the most common betta fish colors.
You can even find Red Betta in the wild.
This color occurs on all tail types and can accent many other colors such as turquoise or green. Males have much brighter red colors than females. Because this color is so common, it is often the go-to color for beginners.
Their care requirements depend on their tail type.
A 5 gallon tank is suitable for red Plakats, Veiltails, and Spade Tails. Halfmoons, Crowntails, and other long finned varieties should have at least a 10 gallon tank.
These fish thrive in heavily planted habitats. Their tanks can be decorated with Anubias, Java Ferns, and Marimo Moss.
The Rosetail Betta is a beautiful variation of the Halfmoon and was first bred by accident in the late 1980s.
Just like the Halfmoon, their tail extends from the dorsal to the anal fin at a 180° angle, and there are ruffles like a rose’s petals at the tips.
Rosetails are known for being extremely fragile. They are prone to fatigue and their fins are very delicate and susceptible to injuries. They are also very susceptible to fin rot and bacterial infections.
Because of this they are not beginner friendly.
You should use at least a 15 gallon tank to give a Rosetail plenty of room to swim without dragging their fins. The substrate and decorations should be soft, with no rough or jagged edges. Filter intakes must be covered with a sponge, and the tank should be cleaned at least once a week.
18. Spade Tail
The Spade Tail Betta has a tail shaped like the spade in a deck of cards.
This is a rather unusual variation of the Plakat and can only be produced by breeding 2 wild caught Spade Tails.
You will usually find this fish in red or reddish brown.
Sometimes a Spade Tail can lose their tail shape as they get older. The tail can revert to a regular Plakat.
Turquoise is one of the most common Betta colors.
It is a common base color for the Veiltail, Butterfly, Crowntail, and Halfmoon. It can also occur on a Dragon as a peacock green shade.
A bicolor Turquoise Betta can have red, yellow, green, black, or orange as an accent color. This color is widely available and excellent for beginners. Most Turquoise Bettas can be kept in a 5 gallon tank.
The turquoise color will change to reflect the health and mood of your Betta. You can tell if they are in distress by checking the intensity of their color.
Veiltail is the most common tail type that you will find in most stores.
Along with the Plakat, it is the best tail type for beginners.
Although the Veiltail might look like a lady’s dress, only the males have the long trailing tails. Females have short tails that are shaped like fans. Males flash their tail fins when they are trying to attract mates, when they are feeling playful, or when they are trying to warn other fish to stay out of their way.
Veiltails are fairly community friendly, but should not be kept with other Gouramis or other fish that look like them in size and shape. Females can live in sororities of up to 5.
21. Wild Type
Wild Type Bettas are not nearly as colorful.
They are reddish brown with tiny blue spots and usually have a Plakat tail shape.
These fish are most commonly used to create more authentic looking river biotopes. They are either harvested from the wild, or bred from wild lines.
Wild Type fish are excellent for beginners and they tend to be much healthier than captive bred varieties. Although males will be aggressive to each other, females can live peacefully in groups of up to six.
There are so many different breeds of Betta fish.
Beginners should pick healthier, hardier, and less aggressive varieties like the Plakat or the Veiltail. Experienced keepers can try their hands at more difficult breeds like the Rosetail.
Many varieties have different temperaments or personalities too.
The Plakat and other Wild Type morphs are much more mellow, while the Crowntail is so aggressive that a community may not be possible.
No matter which type of Betta you choose, they will enhance your underwater world in their own way.
Which is your favorite Betta Fish? Let us know in the comments section below…