Betta or Siamese fighting fish is considered as one of the most colorful and vibrant freshwater fish. Any hobbyists would like to keep this enchanting, colorful creature with voluminous fins. It’s incredible that there are around 100 kinds of betta. You can also differentiate betta fish types by species, tail type, the pattern of fins, and colors.
Basically, the types of betta fish fall under two categories:
- Betta Splendens
- Betta Pictats
While Betta Splendens are bubble nest builders, Betta Pictats are mouthbrooders. Betta Splendens are available in local pet stores and Betta Pictats evolve from Splendens.
Classification of Betta fish on the basis of their Beautiful Tail Types
Veil Tail (VT)
It is the most common type of tail which is gorgeous, long, and flowing that droops from the caudal peduncle. The tail is asymmetrical with also long and flowing anal and dorsal fins.
It results from a crossbreed between a crowntail and any other type of betta. It looks like a comb with a fan-like caudal fin and the spread is less than 180 degrees. The rays – long, thin, and extended beyond fin webbing give a slightly spiky look.
Crown Tail (CT)
This striking tail type is easily recognizable with largely extended rays, reduced webbing, and spiky tips of the fins that appear like a crown. Its huge colorful caudal fin sometimes extends to even 8 inches in diameter making it three times its body. Crowntails are also found in three types the single, double, or crossed ray.
Delta (D) & Super Delta (SD)
The tail is like the Greek letter “d” on its side, and the end part is rounded. The tail is evenly spread, and no crowning or combing rays are visible in the tail.
Double Tail (DT)
In Double Tail betta, the presence of a double caudal fin due to genetic mutation differentiates its tail from other bettas. It means a distinctly double tail containing two caudal peduncles. Above all, the vibrant color variety makes them a unique piece of art.
Half Moon (HM) / Over Half Moon (OHM)
In this stunning-looking betta, the caudal fin has a full 180-degree spread like a half-moon with larger dorsal and anal fins than average. In the case of over half-moon, the spread is more than 180 degrees.
In this case, you can see a full 180-degree spread with extended rays beyond the caudal fin’s webbing like crown tail.
Traditionally it has a short, rounded, and slightly pointed tail with elongated rays. It thus gives a spiky appearance. There are also other two varieties like the half-moon and the crown tail. In the case of a half-moon, the tail has 180 degrees spread like a half-moon while the crown tail has extended rays and less webbing.
The caudal fin spread more than 180 degrees. The excessive branching with ruffled edges looks similar to ruffled rose petals.
When the tail has more extensive branching giving an extreme ruffled effect and seems zig-zag, it is called a feather tail.
The tail is fully rounded. It is more like a basic plakat, but the tail is longer and fuller.
In spade tail betta, the tip of caudal fins meets in a single point. The tail spread evenly on both sides.
Classification of Betta Fish according to their Dynamic Patterns
In this type, the color of the body is different from fins, mainly of two types – ‘light bicolored betta’ and ‘dark bicolored betta.’ The dark contrasting colors are most preferred.
These bettas can be either blue or white. These patterns have single body color and two-tone fins. There is a 50/50 split on fins with two colors.
The body is pale, flesh-colored, white or light pink and fins are of bright solid color.
This pattern is very new with a striking metallic appearance. The rich and bright base color full of dense, opaque white, metallic, and iridescent armored scales simply gives an impression of a dragon.
It has a splash-like or irregular blotchy pattern all over the body. There is marbling on the body but not on fins, always. The patterns in a bold, solid color, like red or blue on a pale base, look great. Surprisingly, the patterns keep on changing throughout their lives.
There is a single uniform color from head to the base of a tail, but the face remains darker than the main body. It’s mostly found in turquoise, copper, and blue varieties of betta.
Its body has three or more colors and usually with an endless number of variations.
This betta fish type has a solid dark color on the body with white or slightly pink skin flushed face. The fins have a butterfly-like or marbling pattern.
As the name implies, the full body of this betta variant has only one solid color.
It is identical to Betta Splendens found in the wild mostly with dull red or brown color. The fins may have some blue or green or red scales in males.
Classification of Betta Fish on the basis of their Vibrant Colors
Albino betta is extremely rare. It is usually solid white with absolutely no pigmentation. The eyes are either pink or red. The betta which is white with black eyes can be any white type but never albino.
These bettas are of three kinds – Melano (plain and deepest black and infertile), Black Lace which is fertile with nice deep black color and Metallic (or copper) with some iridescent scales.
Blue / Steel Blue / Royal Blue
It is found in different shades of blue such as Royal Blue, Steel Blue, and Blue-wash type color.
Clear / Cellophane
This betta with translucent skin and no pigments gives the fleshy and pinkish appearance. The fins and tail are also translucent with black cellophane eyes.
It is brown-bodied, and the color of the fins is either yellow or orange.
It is hugely iridescent in light gold, or deep copper with some red, purple, and blue metallic shine that sparks under stronger light.
True green or dark green betta visible in naked eyes is a rare and highly prized variety.
This is a bi-colored variety with dark blue, steel blue, or green colored body and fins of yellow or orange.
Opaque / Pastels
It has a pastel hue due to a gene that overlays milky white color over another color.
This rare type of betta usually found in a rich tangerine type shade that is visible in full-spectrum illumination.
In this type, both body and fins are of pale orange, but the fins have all over bright deep orange streaks or spots.
Purple / Violet
True purple betta fish is not yet heard of; what is available is bettas in rich violets or purplish-blues along with copper iridescence.
Red betta is the most common yet they are gorgeous and striking.
This betta is somewhere between blue and green and more green looking than blue.
It contains an iridescent green or blue body with fins of red and/or blue color.
Yellow & Pineapple
It is non-red named with an extremely light to rich yellow color and buttery hues.
Classification of Betta fish as per their Wild Species
Emerald Green Betta
Also known as Betta Smaragdina, native to Thailand and Laos. It belongs to the Osphronemidae family and grows to about 7 cm in length. It is available in the aquarium trade.
It is also known as Crescent Betta, Betta Imbellis. It is the natural habitat of stagnant shallow waters in swamps, rice paddies, pools, and ditches. It can grow up to 2 inches. It eats live as well as prepared food. Several pairs of these fish can be kept in an aquarium.
It comes from the area of Mahachai, southeastern Bangkok. It is mainly found in marshy brackish water, however, can survive in freshwater too. The maximum standard length is 50 – 60 mm. It can be kept in a shady and well-planted tank. This betta eats plenty of frozen or small live or foods like Artemia or bloodworm, Daphnia, etc.
Spotfin Betta or Betta Macrostoma
Spotfin betta is a paternal mouthbrooder and also familiar with other names like Brunei Beauty or Peacock Mouthbrooder or Orange cheek Betta. This omnivorous is listed as vulnerable in the IUCN Red List and can be kept in tanks covered with plants and caves. Male Macrostoma has more intense colors like brilliant black and orange to red compared to females. The females have two lateral bands which are missing in the case of males.
Also known as snakehead betta, it can be kept in pairs in species, and community tanks that are shaded with plants and caves. This paternal mouthbrooder can tolerate all types of clean and well-filtered water, but soft acidic water is best for it. Channoides males have more intense color whereas females look like washed-out males.
These are white seam fighters. Males are intensely colored, and females appear as a washed-out male. They are housed in pairs in tanks in any clean and filtered water.
Krabi Betta or Betta Simplex
These are redfin mouth-brooding betta. Males have a broader head than females and darker anal fin. Females are either with a faint stripe or no stripe on the anal fin, and their ovaries might be visible through spotlighting.
Betta Pugnax or Penang
It can tolerate any clean filtered water. Males are usually with a broader head compared to females and much longer pelvic fins. These also have spikes on the anal and caudal fins and develop “green cheek flashes.”
It is a species of ray-finned fish in the family gouramies from upper Barito in Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia. The standard length is 6.6 cm, and streams are their natural habitat.
Betta Picta or Spotted
These can tolerate any types of water which are clean and well-filtered. A broader head is found in males with the darker stripe on the anal fin whereas females lack any stripe or have the faint stripe on the anal fin. You can house these species in pairs.
This is a red dwarf fighter in brown. It is primarily a bubble nester but in certain situations known to be a mouthbrooder. These bettas can be kept in pairs.
It is a reddish dwarf fighter that can be placed in pairs in well planted and caved tanks.
It comes from a clear water environment and requires well-filtered soft neutral water. However, these bettas can also tolerate blackwater environments. Males usually have an intense color with pointed dorsal fins and females have ovaries visible in the spotlight. These can be placed in tanks in pairs.
It is from a blackwater environment. The males are bright green from the sides while the females are bland red with egg tubes. These can be housed in tanks with plants and caves.
It is a ray-finned fish that belongs to the family gouramies. It is listed as endangered species of Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia by IUCN. The habitat is the peat swamp. The standard length is 3.6 cm.
It also originates from the blackwater environment, and it requires well-filtered soft acidic water. The pair can be housed in tanks and given a cover of caves and plants.
This ray-finned fish from the family gouramies are originally from Pulau Bintan, Riau Archipelago, Indonesia. This small fin fighter is listed as critically endangered by IUCN. It is found in freshwater. The standard length is 2.4 cm
This paternal mouthbrooder belongs to blackwater environments and can survive in well-filtered soft acidic water. These bettas are housed in species or community tanks with plants and caves in pairs. The males have more intense colors than females. While red opercula bars are found in males, females are usually with gold opercula bars.
These are green throat paternal mouthbrooder. Like other bettas, these can be housed with well-planted tanks with caves. Intensely colored males have pointed dorsal and anal fins, but females have round fins.
These are identified based on face stripes. These paternal mouthbrooders can be housed like any other betta species. The soft acidic water would be required for them.
The face stripes would help you to identify these species which is a paternal mouthbrooder. Pairs need a cover of plants and caves in tanks.
It is a paternal mouthbrooder and needs well-filtered soft acidic water. The pairs are housed in tanks with caves and plants.
These are paternal mouthbrooder and housed in pairs. Males have a more intense colors with pointed dorsal and anal fins whereas females have round fins.
This list still doesn’t include all, and there are many more. The charm of these endless types of betta fish is truly magical, and betta lovers from around the world love to fill tanks full of bettas to display different kinds of beauty and variety together.