Exploring the Elegance and Beauty of a Crown Tail Betta

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By Linh Nguyen Updated on 14 Feb 2023

Are you interested in fish keeping and looking to add some unique flair to your tank? A crowntail betta is a great choice! This fascinating member of the Betta splendens family has an unforgettable, show-stopping appearance that will draw attention from all your visitors. What's more, their striking features are not even the half of it – beneath the arresting looks lies a deep mystery that both experienced aquarists and complete novices alike can appreciate. In this blog post we'll explore what makes the crowntail betta so special, as well as explain why they have such an intriguing history. Read on for insight into this remarkable creature's past and present!

Orange White Crown Tail Betta Fish

Orange White Crown Tail Betta Fish

1. Origin and history

The crowntail betta was developed from the sawtooth strain and is still being developed. Many generations of crowntail bettas have been successfully studied and bred, and recently the most stunning caudal fin colors and textures have been obtained.

Some experts share that the Crowntail betta is a variant of the Halfmoon betta line. After many processes of breeding and cross-breeding, the Betta Crown was born.

You may not believe it, but this betta is so popular that in 2004, the IBC issued its own set of standards for evaluating crowntail betta fish. It's surprising right?

You can learn more in the article: The evolution of the crowntail betta line

Introducing The Majestic Crown-Tailed Betta Fish

2. Crowntail betta fish facts

It is not an exaggeration to say that there are so many varieties of Betta fish that people cannot remember. Among the many varieties, why is the Crown-Tailed Betta still outstanding and attracting many people's attention? To answer this question, let us discover the mystery and irresistible attraction of this unique Siamese!

Below is a summary of the salient features of a Crown Tail Betta.

NameCrowntail Betta Fish
Another nameBetta Kuhlii
Species NameBetta splendens
Lifespan2 to 3 years, up to five years 
Size5 - 8 cm
HabitatThe tank of at least 10 gallons with plenty of plants, 6.5 to 7.5 pH
Temperature74 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit
DietOmnivore that needs a variety of live foods
Activity LevelVery active swimmer
Care LevelModerate to advanced and need for high-quality water conditions

2.1. Name

The crowntail betta, also known as the Siamese fighting fish, is an ornamental fish native to Southeast Asia. It gets its name from its long fins and unique tail shape that resembles a crown or a rooster's comb. This tail type is one of the most recognizable physical characteristics of this species and it is often  referred to as a "crowntail" in the aquarium hobby. Other names for this fish include crowned betta, Betta Kuhlii. This species is known for its vibrant colors and long fins, which make it a popular choice among aquarists of all levels of experience.

2.2. Size

The size of the crowntail betta is the same as that of other bettas: small, about 5-8 cm long (including the caudal fin), and possessing a solid body. The scales of the fish are thick and shiny, creating a distinct beauty. At the same time, the tail and gill fins are formed into strong, sharp, straight lines, which are the unique features that this fish possesses. The tail has an extremely solid structure, limiting its area and protecting it from damage. This helps to prevent tail breakage or tearing that can affect the fish.

2.3. Color

The color of the crown-tail betta is quite diverse, with the most common being blue, red, and black. These are all normal colors, but when shown on the crown tail betta they get an extra glow that looks extremely fresh and fun.

2.4. Classify

Based on the branching of their tails, Crown Tail Bettas have been classified into the following types:

Single Ray: The basic caudal ray, the primary rays, and the branch rays are all equally divided.

Cross Ray: The intersecting caudal rays are represented by pairs of rays extending and bending over one another.

Double Ray: The rays in the tail and gill fin have been slightly upgraded and divided into separate pairs, which is quite fancy.

Double-Double Ray: Instead of double-ray, this line is quadruple-ray, doubling the double-ray stream.

Free Ray: Free-ray is a type of Betta fish with a tail that is a mixture of double-rays, single-rays, and quadruple-rays. This strain has an unstable tail branching pattern.

2.5. Male

The male Crowntail Betta is a beautiful and vibrant fish that adds color and personality to any aquarium. They have long, flowing fins with rounded edges. Their tails are made up of many pointed rays that resemble the shape of a crown, hence their name. Male Crowntail Bettas can grow up to 3 inches in length and come in a variety of colors including red, blue, green, yellow, orange, and more. Their personality is often described as bold and territorial, making them ideal for single-fish tanks. These fish are also hardy and relatively easy to care for, requiring only a clean tank with regular water changes.

2.6. Female

Female Crowntail Bettas are generally smaller than males, with shorter fins and a more rounded body shape. The female will usually have brighter colors that appear to be more iridescent, while the male's head is often darker in color and his fins are longer and sharper. They also have less of an open-mouthed expression compared to their male counterparts. Despite this difference, both sexes sport the distinctive “crowntail” finnage which gives them their namesake. They are typically calmer fish and make great companions for a peaceful aquarium environment. In comparison, male Crowtail Bettas can tend to be more territorial and thus require ample space for swimming.

2.7. Lifespan

The lifespan of a crowntail betta can vary greatly depending on the environment and care that it is provided. In an ideal environment, with optimal water conditions and a healthy diet, a crowntail betta can live for up to five years or even longer. On the other hand, if not properly cared for, the lifespan of a crowtail betta may be considerably shorter. With proper maintenance and care, these fish can provide you with many enjoyable years of companionship and colorful displays in your home aquarium.

2.8. Behavior and habitat

Crown-tailed Bettas differ only in appearance, but their nature and reproduction are still characterized by that of wild Siamese (betta) fish. They are aggressive and warlike. When raising this betta, water, space, and stability are the deciding factors for their growth. The water source needs to be cleaned weekly, the space should be cool, with a temperature of about 25 degrees, avoid harsh sunlight, and the fish tank should be placed in one spot, and not moved or placed in an area frequented by people. These are some of the major points to keep in mind when raising a healthy, strong, and beautiful crown tail betta.

For more details, please read the article: Breeding and Raising Crowntails Betta.

2.9. Are crowntail bettas rare?

Crowntail bettas are not particularly rare, although they may be harder to find than other varieties. They have been increasing in popularity in recent years as more people become aware of their unique beauty and personality traits. The coloration and finnage of crown tails are what makes them stand out from the rest, so if you’re looking for something different then a crown tail could be the way to go. Unfortunately, many pet stores don’t carry crown tails due to their short lifespans. Therefore, it’s often best to look online or ask around among experienced hobbyists in order to track down a healthy crown-tail fish. Despite this difficulty in finding one, there are still many crown tail bettas in existence, so their rarity should not be a major concern.

2.10. Are crowntail bettas aggressive?

In fact, they tend to be quite peaceful and docile fish that get along well with other non-aggressive species. That being said, some individual bettas may display aggression towards tank mates or their reflection in the mirror, so it is important to pay close attention when introducing new fish into an existing aquarium. Additionally, larger male crowntail bettas can become territorial if housed with multiple males that are of similar size or shape—so make sure to keep an eye out for any signs of bullying or aggressive behavior and take action if necessary. Finally, don’t forget to provide plenty of hiding spots and decorations throughout your tank which will help create a sense of security for your betta to thrive in. Overall, crowntail bettas make great additions to any peaceful aquarium and can live happily with other non-aggressive species if given the right environment.

2.11. How do crowntail betta fish sleep?

Crowntail betta fish generally sleep for several hours at a time and are most active in the morning, evening and night. In wild environments, they prefer to hide away in vegetation or other hiding places during daylight hours. They have been known to rest among plants or drift listlessly near the surface of the water when sleeping. Since bettas are tropical fish, they require warm water to remain healthy and active; temperatures below 75°F can cause them to become sluggish and less energetic. During their sleep cycles, it is important that their environment remains warm enough for them to get quality rest. It is not uncommon for betta fish to sleep with their eyes open due to their sensitive nature; this is perfectly normal behavior. Furthermore, bettas are known to "play dead" when threatened or startled; this is a defense mechanism and not a sign of sleep. All in all, crown-tail betta fish require regular sleep cycles for optimal health and well-being.

Blue Orange Crowntail Betta Fish

Blue Orange Crowntail Betta Fish

3. Defining a good crowntail betta fish

Let's start by providing a definition of what a good Crown Tail (CT) should look like, using the new IBC Crowntail Standards published in the March/April 2004 issue of Flare! magazine as a medium of reference. It should be kept in mind that the standards only apply to male CT bettas; females are judged in the standard color classes for their respective color types.

For the purpose of showing in the CT class, Crowntails are defined as bettas exhibiting at least a 33% reduction in webbing versus ray length in each of the three primary fins (caudal, anal, and dorsal). This requirement must be demonstrated in all three primary fins but does not need to be exhibited between all rays to meet the minimum requirement to be classified as a Crowntail betta.

For the purpose of judging CT in IBC-sanctioned showing, these are the desired traits judges are encouraged to look for:

  1. 33% reduction in webbing material for each primary fin is the minimum. A 50% reduction in webbing material in all three primary fins is ideal.
  2. Ray extensions to be uniform in balance, length, and spacing (symmetrical).
  3. Double and 4 ray extensions in dorsal and anal fins to match caudal extensions.

Undesirable traits for Crowntails:

  1. Less than 33% reduction in webbing material in 2 or all 3 primary fins is a DISQUALIFYING FAULT.
  2. Less than 33% reduction in webbing material in 1 primary fin is a SEVERE fault.
  3. Ray extensions of different lengths are MINOR faults unless the rays are in an even, repeating pattern.
  4. Random rays, for example, single protruding rays in a double ray or 4-ray Crowntail, should not be regarded as more than a MINOR fault and ignored if there is only a single ray protruding ray.
  5. Curled or bent ray extensions are each a MINOR fault.
  6. Non-symmetrical spaces between ray extensions are each a MINOR fault.
Blue Diamond CrownTail Betta Fish

Blue Diamond CrownTail Betta Fish

Crowntail bettas are some of the most beautiful and popular fish in the aquarium hobby. With their unique finnage, bright colors, and vibrant personalities, it’s no wonder why they’re so sought after by aquarists. Crowntail betta fins can come in a variety of forms, from the classic single row of rays to multi-rayed fringes, and even some with elaborate threads or lace. The colors of crown tail bettas have just as much variety, from bright reds to blues, greens, yellows, and purples - you can find almost any color combination imaginable! Crowtail bettas are known for their hardy disposition and intelligence as well - they’re notoriously curious fish that will explore their environment if given the chance. All of these traits make them a fantastic choice for an aquarium beginner or experienced hobbyist alike. 

Please visit the article, "A Collection of the Most Beautiful Crowntail Bettas Today," for more photos and videos of this wonderful fish.


If you have been inspired by authors, books, and websites to be curious about Crowntail Betta Fish, then I hope this post has enlightened your spirit of exploration into the world of these awe-inspiring creatures. As fascinating as they are beautiful – and with those vibrant colors who could deny their splendor? – it is no wonder so many enjoy owning one or more if possible. This article is proof that keeping a fish healthy and happy in captivity can broadly depend on the living environment, diet, and level of interaction with its seasoned guardian. If you’re considering getting a Crowntail Betta Fish for yourself or someone you care about, do not forget to do your research! Additionally, please remember how important it is to think holistically when selecting an animal companion and never purchase impulsively; these animals deserve respect. Overall, there are numerous other factors worth noting before making such a commitment but always make sure it’s done out of an educated love that will only deepen over time. Whether you were already aware of these details prior to reading this post or consider them newfound knowledge now, I thank you for taking the time to learn further and would love to continue this conversation — let me know in the comment below!


IBC Standards: 2009-2010 | Betta Breeding Forum


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