Crowntail Bettas are an absolutely stunning freshwater fish that appeal to many aquarists. With their lovely colors and flowing fins, they’re quite fun to observe!
But you’re interested in owning one, they do come with their own set of challenges that you’ll need to be prepared for.
This guide will teach you all about Crowntail Betta care, with some extra handy facts and tips to help make your job easy!
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Hailing from shallow rivers and rice paddies throughout Southeast Asia, the Crowntail Betta is one of the world’s most popular pet fish species! It’s readily available at most pet stores. Thanks to the wide variety of colors up for grabs, they’re a favorite among collectors and aquarists of all skill levels.
There are many types of “Siamese Fighting Fish” out there. However, the Crowntail is the most prevalent. As a result, many people refer to them as merely “Bettas.” You might also see them marketed with the larger scientific name of the Betta species, Betta splendens.
Whatever you call them, there’s no denying that these fish are real beauties! They do, however, have a bit of a reputation for aggression. For this reason, they can be a challenge to take care of if you don’t know what you’re in for.
Crowntail Bettas have a similar shape to typical Betta fish. The body is slender and long. It’s pretty uniform in shape, tapering down to a point at the mouth. Bettas have a supra-terminal mouth, which means that it’s upturned and hinged.
Just behind the head is the gill plate. Usually, the gills are smooth and flat against the body. But whenever the fish gets angry or territorial, don’t be surprised if you see those gills flare out! The fish do this to look larger and more intimidating.
Of course, the most defining characteristics of Crowntail Bettas are their fins! Males have an expansive caudal fin that can be three times as big as the body. It fans out, seemingly connecting to the anal and dorsal fins.
The anal fin is quite wide compared to other fish of this size, creating even more drama. The dorsal fin isn’t as wide. But it’s just as beautiful. Typically, dorsal fins are set farther on the back to add to the tailfin’s mass.
Author Note: So what makes Crowntail Bettas different from other varieties? It all comes down to the webbing between the fin rays. Crowntails have reduced webbing, which results in a noticeable separation between each fin.
The fins look spiky or crown-like, leading to their colorful moniker.
As always, male Crowntail Bettas have long flowing fins. The fins on females are significantly shorter. But, they still have some length and that signature spiked look.
As for color, there’s a lot of variety with the Crowntail Betta fish. Most feature a wide and vibrant spectrum, making these some of the most colorful fish around. You might see fish with splashes of neon blue, vibrant red, and deep purples. Subtle shades of green and some metallic glimmer are standard, too.
The typical Crowntail Betta lifespan is only around two to three years. These aren’t the longest-living fish in the trade.
As always, there are no guarantees when it comes to lifespan. They can live a bit longer with proper care or perish early due to disease or stress. The quality of care you provide matters a great deal, so make sure to be vigilant and dedicated if you want your fish to live as long as possible!
The average size of a Crowntail Betta is about 2.5 inches from the snout to the tip of the tail. Some may get up to 3 inches long, but those instances are rare.
Author Note: Most of this length comes from their long flowing fins. The body of the fish is relatively small. For this reason, females generally appear smaller than males even if their bodies are the same size.
Crowntail Betta Care
Crowntail Betta care can be an exciting challenge. These fish have a reputation for being feisty, which may make the process difficult for newcomers and owners without a lot of experience.
Like any fish, the key is to learn as much as you can about their requirements. Once you understand their basic needs, Crowntail Bettas can thrive. That’s true even with novice fishkeepers!
Here are some essential care guidelines you’ll need to follow.
Let’s talk about one of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to Crowntail Betta care. This species needs much more than a simple bowl or vase!
Many inexperienced owners think that these fish can get by in a filterless vessel because they are frequently sold in small containers at big-box stores.
It’s true that they don’t need a massive tank. Bettas are native to shallow rice paddies in Thailand, after all! However, you still need to provide ample space for the fish to swim around and get exercise.
At the very least, keep these fish in a 10-gallon tank with all of the standard equipment. You may see success in a smaller 5-gallon aquarium, but more space is always better. This is especially true if you plan on keeping the fish with others.
Author Note: When choosing a tank, try to go for a shallower model. Despite the massive size of their fins, diving deep is not their strong suit. They prefer shallower tanks that are longer and more spacious.
Like any other fish species, the key to keeping a Crowntail Betta fish happy and healthy is to mimic their natural habitat.
Now, this particular variant was bred into existence around 1997. However, they are a direct descendant of wild “Siamese Fighting Fish.” As a result, they prefer the same conditions.
Those fish are from the warm and shallow waters of Southeast Asia. Their homes are heavily vegetated and slightly murky, which impacts the pH level. Stick to these parameters, and your fish should be just fine!
- Water temperature: 76°F to 80°F (around 80 degrees is ideal)
- pH levels: 6.4 to 7.0 (stay close to neutral)
- Water hardness: 2 to 5 dKH
Author Note: As always, purchasing one of the best aquarium test kits is a requirement when it comes to keeping fish. This will allow you to quickly and accurately monitor the state of the tank so you can make adjustments when necessary.
What To Put Inside Their Tank
As for decor, you have to be extra careful with Crowntail Bettas. The fins on this species are very delicate and prone to damage.
Steer clear of any decorative items with sharp edges or rough surfaces. Keep any items smooth, rounded, and safe.
Start decorating with a simple substrate of gravel or fine sand. You can even keep the aquarium bottom bare if you’d like. Crowntail Betta fish don’t have any preferences.
Next, add hiding spaces. You can use artificial caves and plants to provide security. Floating plants are beneficial, as they help shield the light and create a surface for nesting.
Don’t overcrowd the tank. Make sure there are plenty of spots for your fish to reach the surface. Crowntail Bettas are labyrinth fish, which means that they sip air from the surface!
Keep the lighting subdued and add all of the necessary equipment. They need strong filtration and adequate oxygenation.
Author Note: You may also want to consider adding Indian almond leaves. The leaves add natural tannins to the water, which is something these fish appreciate.
Common Possible Diseases
Crowntail Bettas are susceptible to all of the usual health problems that plague freshwater fish. They can suffer from parasitic infections, bacterial infections, and fungal issues.
If stressed or exposed to a sick fish, they may also suffer from Ich. Ich is a highly contagious disease that creates white spots all over the body. It’s a dangerous condition, but it’s also highly treatable with over-the-counter medications.
Crowntail Betta fish are also prone to fin rot. This is a unique infection that causes the fins to slowly decay. You might see the tips of the fins turn gray before sloughing off entirely. This ailment is treatable as well with the right medication.
Finally, Crowntail Bettas are known to suffer from constipation every once in a while. You can tell that your fish is constipated if their bellies swell, and they become lethargic. Typically, constipation resolves itself with some light fasting for a couple of days.
Food & Diet
Providing a proper diet is one of the most important parts of Crowntail Betta care, but it’s not always easy. These fish can be a little picky about their meals! On top of that, they have small stomachs that can fill up quickly. With their healthy appetite, this species has a high risk of constipation and overeating.
To avoid any potential health problems, feed your fish two or three times a day. Provide small meals with enough food to last two minutes.
Author Note: If there’s still food floating in the tank after two minutes, clean it up to avoid excessive bloating.
So what kinds of foods will they eat? These fish prefer protein-based foods above anything else. Foods like bloodworms, brine shrimp, and mosquito larvae are always favorites. You can provide both live and frozen foods.
Dry pellets are good too. However, you may need to mix things up every once in a while to keep your fish excited about meals. A little variety goes a long way!
Behavior & Temperament
Crowntail Bettas are bullies. There’s no denying that fact!
These fish are natural-born fighters. They will tear, bite, and push any fish that gets in the way. Highly territorial, Crowntail Bettas do not like it when other fish are around.
They have even more hatred towards fish that are around the same size as them. You’ll see these fish flaring their fins in an attempt to intimidate. Before you know it, they’ll start thrashing and biting until their perceived enemies are dead.
They will fight with their own kind and any other fish that’s unlucky enough to cross their path. Sometimes, males and females can get along. But even then, there are always risks.
With their penchant for aggression, Crowntail Bettas aren’t exactly great community fish.
Most aquarists keep these fish alone to avoid any aggression. However, there are a few suitable tank mate options if you want to have a lively tank.
Some tank mates to try out include:
- Neon Tetras and similar tetra types
- African Dwarf Frogs
- Ghost Shrimp
- Cherry Shrimp
- Fast-moving Guppies
If you notice any aggression when introducing the fish, abort the experiment and house them separately. Some Crowntail Bettas just need to be left alone!
Author Note: Only attempt to provide tank mates if you have a large tank. Don’t overcrowd the aquarium. Your Crowntail Betta will need plenty of space to ignore others in the tank.
Breeding Crowntail Bettas is possible, but you need to have a spacious tank to see success. A small aquarium is not conducive to the unique spawning process.
Bettas are bubble nesters. After conditioning the fish with high-protein foods, the males will blow bubbles that float to the top. They create little bubble clusters on the surface. Usually, it’s near the corners of the tank or under floating plants.
If the female is receptive to breeding, the fish will perform their mating ritual. As she releases her eggs into the water, the male fertilizes them. The couple will then collect them and move them to the bubble nest for protection.
Eggs will hatch in about two days. At that point, the baby fish will survive on the egg sac until they are free-swimming. Then, you can move onto powdered food or infusoria.
Needless to say, it’s vital to remove adult fish before the eggs hatch. Otherwise, the babies will become meals very quickly.
If you know how to navigate their aggression and maintain a healthy tank, Crowntail Betta care is nothing to be scared of. While these fish do have a little bit of a reputation, owning some shouldn’t be challenging if you’re prepared.
As long as you follow the recommendations in this guide, we’re confident that your Crowntail Betta will have a long and happy life!