Betta Types – What is the Difference?

March 26, 2013

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.

“Want to know the Betta Facts for keeping your bettas happy, healthy and long-living? I have enjoyed raising healthy, happy bettas for over 20 years, and when you head to this amazing web site for some incredible betta care tips (and a limited time offer with some freebies) I know you will be blown away, just as I was. See you there!”

Elizabeth Christopher
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Let’s save as many Betta Fish as we can, and give them the best lives possible.


Plakat Betta – The Hearty Short Finned Betta Fighter

April 18, 2010

Plakat Betta – The Hearty Short Finned Betta Fighter
By Elizabeth Christopher Elizabeth Christopher

The term “pla kat” actually means “fighting fish” in Thailand. The term was shortened to plakat betta somewhere many moons ago, and is used to refer to any short-finned mouth brooding bettas. Plakat betta are closer in genetics to nature’s betta fighter, and their shorter fins and betta tail allow them much better movement in the water than their more dramatic long-finned cousins.

Any time you make a copy of a copy, you get a watered down version of the original. After literally hundreds of years of breeding for just the right fin design and betta tail style and coloration, the result is a long-finned fish that swims very little and very poorly due to its outrageously long fins. A by-product of selective breeding for certain non-critical characteristics is the fact that long-finned bettas are much more susceptible to betta diseases.

A stronger immune system, leading to less bacterial infections and disease, and greater ability to swim has caused the plakat betta to be a favorite among tropical fish owners. Everyone knows how prone to sickness the long-finned bettas are, and enjoy the relative ease of raising the hearty plakat betta.

The short-finned bettas are also much easier to breed. Since they are mouth brooders – the male keeps the fry in his mouth until they are strong enough to swim on their own – they generally have a better chance of survival than the bubble nest bettas that can be snatched up by any passing fish as they sit in their bubble nest near the surface of the water.

Since a betta tail must be powerful to help the fish maneuver in a betta fight, the shorter finned varieties are much more in demand where enthusiasts actually fight bettas and bet on the outcome. This is a huge “sport” in Thailand and Viet Nam, and is where the term Siamese Fighting Fish comes from.

The plakat betta can be found in any number of color combinations, so they are every bit as beautiful and splendid as their over-bred family members. If you are looking for a fish that is more resistant to the many betta diseases, is easier to care for, easier to breed and has a longer lifespan, consider the beautiful plakat betta with the shorter fins and betta tail as your next pet.

Hi guys,
Elizabeth here.
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