3 Ways to Identify Different Types of Betta

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3 Ways to Identify Different Types of Betta
3 Ways to Identify Different Types of Betta

Also known as Siamese fighting fish, the betta fish is one of the most common pets among aquarium owners. In addition to being cute, the fish of the species are also super curious and friendly, as long as, of course, they have a space just for them. Learning to identify the physical characteristics of bettas will make the experience of watching the goldfish in the aquarium even more enjoyable.


Method 1 of 3: Examining the betta's caudal fin

Identify Different Betta Fish Step 1

Step 1. See if the fish has a short tail

Bettas can have tails of all kinds. A simple way to identify a betta is by the length of the tail fin. A short tail is common among wild bettas and among those bred for fighting.

  • Short-tailed bettas are also called plakat and may have a D-shaped tail fin.
  • Since female bettas tend to have a shorter tail than male bettas, figuring out the sex of a short-tailed fish can be quite difficult.
Identify Different Betta Fish Step 2

Step 2. Determine if the animal's tail is long

Some bettas have long, flowing tails, which are beautiful to look at. Long caudal fins can have different shapes, such as veil, crescent and delta. Veiled tail bettas are some of the most common on the market and are also often quite popular.

  • The tail of the veil tail betta is long and fluttering. The fin is arched upwards and falls over the fish's body like a veil. It is usually asymmetrical, with a wider base and a narrower tip.
  • Half-moon bettas, also called halfmoon, have a tail in the shape of a semicircle or a capital D. The crescent-shaped tail is exactly 180° from the bottom to the top. Sometimes, however, you can only see the entire tail when the betta flips its fins. The veil tail is usually quite fragile.
  • There is also the betta over halfmoon, or simply OHM, which has a tail with an angle greater than 180°.
  • Delta bettas also have a D-shaped tail, but it doesn't reach 180° in length. When the width of the extended tail is between 160° and 179°, the fish can be called a super delta.
  • The tail of deltas is usually rounded. However, super deltas generally have a wide tail base and a wide tip.
Identify Different Betta Fish Step 3

Step 3. Find out if the betta has a double tail

As the name implies, double-tailed bettas have two tail fins. This happens due to a genetic mutation. Fish of the type also have a shorter body, which makes them more prone to swim bladder disease. Ideally, the two tails should be well demarcated, separated at the base. Double-tailed bettas usually have odd (dorsal and anal) fins doubled or wider.

  • If the two tails separate at the base, they must be identical to the odd fins.
  • Double-tailed bettas are also called fullmoon, or full moon in English.
Identify Different Betta Fish Step 4

Step 4. Learn to recognize the betta comb

The crowntail or comb betta has its tail covered by a reduced membrane and several “tails” sticking out. Owners of mesmerizing beauty, comb bettas come in many colors and have become increasingly popular.

  • The comb tail spokes are usually straight and long. However, it is possible for them to curl up if the water is not in good condition.
  • Comb bettas can have either long or short tails. Typically, females have shorter fins than males.

Method 2 of 3: Observing the Color of the Fish

Identify Different Betta Fish Step 5

Step 1. See if the betta is monochromatic

There are all kinds of bettas, including black, red, blue and white. There are also variations within the same color family. A red betta, for example, can be either a bright shade or darker.

  • Due to a genetic mutation, young red bettas can lose color in adulthood.
  • The ideal shade for a black betta is very dark, or melano. The color is caused by a genetic mutation that increases the fish's melanin production. Melano females are unable to lay viable eggs as the mutation also kills the eggs.
  • Typically, black bettas have a smoky color.
  • Some monochromatic bettas have a metallic appearance due to the presence of pigment cells called chromatophores.
Identify Different Betta Fish Step 6

Step 2. Observe if the fish's fins and body are of different colors

A betta with a body of one color and fins of another is considered bicolor. Usually, the fish's body is dark and the fins are lighter, or vice versa. The boundary between the two colors must be well demarcated and the contrast accentuated. Bicolor bettas are divided between butterfly and Cambodian.

  • Butterfly bettas are solid-colored throughout the body, which may partially extend to the odd fins. The external part of the fins, on the other hand, must be of another color, forming a well-defined band.
  • Some butterfly bettas are three-colored and therefore cannot be exactly called bicolor. However, the three colors must still be well delimited. An example of a tricolor betta is the red, white and blue, which has the colors of the flag of Thailand.
  • Cambodian bettas, on the other hand, have a more beige color body and very red fins. With the appearance of other shades on the market, Cambodian bettas lost some of their popularity.
Identify Different Betta Fish Step 7

Step 3. See if the betta is spotted

Spotted bettas have various color bodies and fins without clear delineation. The different shades appear in the form of spots. Interestingly, the pattern of blemishes can change from one day to the next.

  • Most spotted bettas are two-colored.
  • Tricolor spotted bettas are called koi. Koi usually have a light body with red and black spots.
Identify Different Betta Fish Step 8

Step 4. Observe if the betta has a copper coloration

Coppery contains several colors (lilac, turquoise, purple, etc.) and is more visible with the help of a flashlight. Ideally, the distribution of colors between the body and the fins is more or less uniform. The body of copper bettas, or copper, is usually blue with a metallic coating.

Identify Different Betta Fish Step 9

Step 5. See if the betta has a different color of freckles

Betta fish with colored dots on their bodies are called grizzle. Grizzle bettas have colored sardines randomly scattered over their bodies and fins. The spots are usually iridescent.

Method 3 of 3: Differentiating Male and Female Bettas

Identify Different Betta Fish Step 10

Step 1. Note the color and shape of the fins

In general, female bettas are far less colorful than males. They also tend to have shorter, less showy tails. Female betta tails are also more likely to be rounded.

As young male betas do not have long fins, the shape of the fins cannot be used to identify the sex of the offspring

Identify Different Betta Fish Step 11

Step 2. Look for the beard

The betta's beard is not a real beard, but a membrane under the gills. In males, it can be seen with both open and closed gills. Female bettas also have a beard, but this is only visible when the gills open.

Male betas open their gills and expand their beards to appear larger to other males of the species

Identify Different Betta Fish Step 12

Step 3. Look for a white dot behind the pelvic fin (lower front fin)

The white dot is only found in females. It is the ovopositor, that is, the place where the females produce eggs. The dot is much more apparent in adult females. Keep in mind, however, that males can have false oviposers, so using this dot to determine a betta's sex may not be the most reliable method.

In younger bettas, the ovipositor can be difficult to identify, which makes defining the sex of the fish even more complex


  • There are over 30,000 types of bettas in the world, but only a few are sold as pets.
  • Finding out the sex of a betta fish can be quite difficult. Don't be discouraged if you can't separate males from females.
  • Male bettas typically have larger heads. Take this into account when determining the sex of the animal.


  • Only place a male betta along with a female at the time of breeding. The male can threaten the female and even try to kill her.
  • Male bettas are extremely territorial and shouldn't be together. If you put more than one betta in the same tank, they're likely to fight until there's only one left.

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