Betta Types – What is the Difference?
By Elizabeth Christopher
Identifying the different betta types can be a daunting task. They have been bred for over two hundred years, and this has caused several of the breeds to resemble each other in many ways. Generally, though there are certain things you can look for when attempting to identify the different betta types. The betta tail is the easiest way to recognize which type of betta you are looking at.
Betta types differ in size, shape, and color. Betta mating for the last two centuries has been used as a way to breed betta fish for temperament, plumage, and other desired characteristics. A betta tail may be rounded, heart-shaped or jagged. The body may be only one and a half inches when full grown, or may be three inches long and stout. And the color permutations are off the chart. Let’s take a quick look at some of the more common bettas.
There are generally seven recognized betta types, and all are identified by the shape of their betta tail. (Consult a comprehensive betta guide for pictures and more details):
1 – Veiltail Betta
Veiltails are the most popular bettas with long flowing betta tail fins which are longer on the bottom. This is the most common fish found in pet stores.
2 – Half Moon Betta
Halfmoons are actually a subset of Delta. They have long straight rays and their betta tail fin opens to a 180 degree semi-cirlce (like a half moon).They will have multiple rays with many offshoots.
3 – Crowntail Betta
One of the most loved of all betta types, they have a tail which fans out, resembling a crown.
4 – Delta Tail Betta
The delta has even length tail rays, but they can not extend to more than one-hundred twenty degrees.
5 – Super Delta Betta
This betta has straight tail edges, and a triangular shaped tail.
6 – Double Tail Betta
This came about as a genetic freak, with two tails emanating from the betta tail base. You can have permutations of the above fish with double tails. Example: Crowntail Double Tail, Half Moon Double Tail, etc.
7 – Plakat Betta
This is the short-finned betta, closest to its natural ancestors. It has a very short tail. Male plakats are sometimes confused with female bettas because of their shorter body, and similar tail.
Since breeding for coloration, ray design, and fin display is an ongoing process, there are literally dozens of offshoots of these seven main betta types. There are combtails, spade, pintail, roundtail and rosetail just to name a few.
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