Unraveling the Mystery of Black Gold Bettas

icon author linh nguyen

By Linh Nguyen Updated on 05 May 2023

Have you ever seen pictures of unusual bettas labeled as black gold bettas? Maybe you’ve heard stories about these elusive fish but were never sure if they actually existed. Now is your chance to discover the truth! Black Gold bettas are a unique type of pet fish that have captured the attention and admiration of many aquarists in recent years. In this blog post, we will talk about what makes a black gold betta so special and answer some frequently asked questions about their appearance, care requirements, and availability. Don’t worry — by the end of this post, you should feel very well-informed on whether or not these rare creatures are right for your fish tank.

1. Black Gold color structure on betta fish

I have heard about Black Gold since last year. A betta expert says Nemo and Black Blue are old now, the new star is Black Gold! Black itself is a dark background, while Gold is copper on a yellow background, meaning a light background. The factors negate each other; it seems this is not possible. But the betta world has seen "impossible" turn into "possible"! Let's take a look at history.

First, Dr. Pronger shines X-rays at fertilized betta eggs, and some of the hatchlings are black--that's Melano and the infertile female. There is a lot of old literature documenting research on the nature of infertility and efforts to get Melano hens to reproduce; all of which failed until Melano brought in the blood of marble to create Super Black. Super Black hens spawn normally, and their swarms often spawn some cellophane, the color of which can change over time--typical of marble.

Then red and non-red (yellow, orange) are mutually exclusive elements; if you have one, you cannot have the other, and vice versa. Until Dalmatian Orange with red spots on an orange background appeared. Then there was the crossbreeding of Vanda and Armageddon to produce Nemo & Flame.

They all have one common feature: the presence of marble. Marble turns the "impossible" into the "possible". Remember, marble does what it wants, where it wants, and when it wants!

All of this makes it necessary to re-examine the color structure of Black Gold seriously. In general, the overall color of the fish is black. Where the non-red gene is localized by marble, we see yellow. Non-red is a gene linked to Cambodian (light background), which causes the black to be exposed, so the innermost yellow layer is revealed.

In fact, we still see bettas with two black and yellow colors such as Yellow Fancy or Yellow Black MG. How to turn gold into gold? Just above the yellow exposure, there should be a copper layer. However, there is no guarantee that copper will appear in sync with gold; thus, you will most likely end up with black, gold, copper, and even a little gold if copper accidentally covers the gold!

In other words, if there were a magic wand to make things happen, the non-red gene would need to link up with the copper gene in order to form the associated gold color. Otherwise, the copper distribution might coincidentally coincide with the gold background, but forming it with a high density would probably be equivalent to hitting the jackpot.

Authentic Black Gold texture.

Authentic Black Gold texture.

Realistic Black Gold color texture.

Realistic Black Gold color texture.

2. Do Black Gold betta fish exist?

According to my color survey, a black-and-gold betta is really hard to come by. However, there are still pictures and videos of this rare fish on the internet.

Has Black Gold been around for a long time? To come to a final conclusion, we discussed this matter with a well-known expert who keeps a close eye on all developments in the betta world. We drew some conclusions about Black Gold betta fish as follows:

2.1. Light up

Copper (with the blbl++ gene) always shines gold under a certain angle, regardless of its background—whether it be dark, light, or opaque. We know an expert who takes pictures of the golden betta Copper and often jokingly calls him “genie” or “master of light.” This phrase was later applied to those authors of images that were color-enhanced by…illuminating! True gold (i.e., copper with a yellow background) looks even brighter when illuminated, but we don't have to try too hard.

2.2. Color correction

In some pictures, we can see that, in addition to the fish, the world around them is also yellow. It's possible that the author used a yellow light but doesn't exclude the possibility of color correction. The color correction appears to be similar to a yellow illuminator, but much faster, neater, and simpler.

23. Additional factor

We have some clips of Black Gold and Black Copper to compare the difference between the two tones. We recognize that there is a difference. Upon closer inspection, we assume it is either Black Copper with heterozygous opaque (heterozygous opaques) or an opaque allele (Opaque).

The powder makes the copper brighter, increasing the gold effect. If it is a homozygous opaque (OpOp), then the powder will be too much and overpower the copper, making it just glimmer; the gold effect will be worse. Of course, Black Heterozygous Opaque Copper is the “Realistic Black Gold”, not the Authentic Black Gold as we have shown.

Above is what we noted when observing actual Black Gold individuals; this does not negate the possibility of a true Black Gold appearance in the future, although we all know it is extremely difficult.

Picture of a Black Gold fish on the internet.

Picture of a Black Gold fish on the internet.

3. Breeding Orientation

The same expert said there is currently only one domestic Black Gold breeder. He was surprised that no one else had made Black Gold, even though this fish sold very well. Maybe they haven't done it yet or have given up? But the situation seems to be heating up recently. Some friends have asked us how to breed Black Gold. Secretly, we advise trying to breed Super Black with Gold and praying until Black Gold appears. With the new information gathered, the aim is now to breed copper-scale black fish bearing an opaque allele (Opopblbl++). There are two directions of hybridization.

Breeding Samurai with "Copper Gold" can produce Black Gold if you are lucky, according to the information from the breeder above. "Copper Gold" is described as copper with a gold tone. Our guess is that it carries an opaque allele. As we are researching Dragons, we have a lot of these; it's brighter than normal copper. Copper spawned from Dragon swarms sometimes has an opaque allele already; is that Copper Gold?

Samurai (copper scales) crossed with Black Copper Galaxy is what we recommend if you can find the material. Samurai, according to us, is fun to call a "poor quality" black dragon; the scales are only on the back, not covering the whole body. We prefer broken scales like Black Mamba.

In terms of color, there are three types of scales: opaque copper bronze (OpOpblbl++), opaque turquoise-turquoise (OpOpblblnm+), and opaque white-pure white (OpOpblblnmnm). These tones are subtle, but people who are familiar with them still recognize them. Black Copper Galaxy (opopblbl++) is hoped to spawn from swarms of Black Blue Galaxy. By breeding them together, eventually the whole Black Heterozygous Opaque Copper (Opopblbl++) or “Realistic Black Gold” can be achieved.

The Black Mamba with copper dragon scales on the head and back is often called a Samurai, but it is not a real Samurai;

The Black Mamba with copper dragon scales on the head and back is often called a Samurai, but it is not a real Samurai; "Samurai geno" is more correct – by Yang betta.

The preferred form is a Black Mamba with broken scales, like a Galaxy – by Yang betta.

The preferred form is a Black Mamba with broken scales, like a Galaxy – by Yang betta.

Fancy Copper can be dropped from swarms of Black Blue Galaxy, along with a Broken Scale Black Copper – by ThaiThang.

Fancy Copper can be dropped from swarms of Black Blue Galaxy, along with a Broken Scale Black Copper – by ThaiThang.

Realistic Black Gold  – By Ty Chuot (Mouse Betta).

Realistic Black Gold – By Ty Chuot (Mouse Betta).


Surveying the color structure of Black Gold betta fish shows that the yellow layer plays a dominant role in color. The copper layer's contribution to the yellow is very weak, except for the sparkle effect. Once the lack of a yellow layer—i.e., red or black—is present, the color we see is "copper" with a bit of gold and a lot of browns. Brown itself is a collection of many different wavelengths, both red, green, and blue, in a certain proportion depending on the tone.

Is it possible to selectively breed copper bettas in the direction of reducing browning and increasing yellow? This is, in our opinion, feasible in terms of increasing the thickness of the iridescent layer. As for filtering the crystal plates according to the direction of yellow light reflection, that is unknown, but it will certainly be very time-consuming and labor-intensive. If successful, we will have real copper gold (brass, brass) without needing to activate the lights too much.

There are many ways to reach the goal; the way discussed here is not necessarily always the only one. For those who have ever wondered about Black Gold, hopefully, this article will provide some relief. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments section below this article.


1. If brown isn't in any light spectrum and it has no wave length, is it really a color?


2. Samurai Betta (Sabrina LJ Dichne aka Züri-Betta)


3. Samurai vs. Genotype Samurai (The Labyrinth)


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