Crowntail betta fish are a relatively new variety of the beloved pet and have recently become more popular among betta enthusiasts who appreciate their unique beauty. From vibrantly-colored fins to remarkable shapes, crowntails bring something different to the table that regular-finned variations just can't compete with.
It was a surprise to find out, crowntail betta is a type of fish that has been developed from the halfmoon betta through complex breeding and hybridization processes. In this blog post, we take a look at the process behind how a Crowntail evolves from spontaneous mutation to competition level double-double ray (DDR). We also share insights from experts on this fascinating species. Read on to learn more!
A Blue Mustard Gas Crowntail Betta
Many enthusiasts still wonder about the different types of special fin variations, but none has ever generated as much excitement as the Crowntail. It is difficult for many to believe that Crowntail was (and still is) created by selectively crossing cubs with longer caudal ray extensions than those of the previous generation.
Often in a non-fringed flock, you will have several individuals that exhibit abnormal ray dilatation, which is most noticeable in females. Many of them resemble the crowntail in terms of spikiness and elongation of their caudal rays. This anomaly is captured and exploited by breeders, who enjoy promoting sawtooth-fin bettas to a super extreme level: the Crowntail.
To illustrate the evolution of a serrated fin Betta into a quality Crowntail, top breeder Phil Ngo has posted a series of photos of his breeding process on the Betta Club Singapore forum.
First, the breeder will select a single-tailed male with a certain tail-ray dilation. Note that this is a round-tailed, double-rayed betta instead of a multi-rayed Halfmoon. This not only contributes to the neatness and uniformity of the serrated fin effect, but also helps ensure that future generations maintain the double-rayed tail.
The next step is to breed it with a suitable hen from its flock (i.e., one with a similar serrated tail elongation). This will result in more individuals with serrated fins having greater ray elongation.
Crossbreeding and selection up to the fourth or fifth generation will produce the first "authentic" Crowntails, although these have not yet reached competition level. However, now that the crowntail trait has been established, breeders can begin to focus on carriage, uniformity, and form.
The next generation shows remarkable progress, not only in beam extension but also in the overall shape of the fish. The rays present a neat uniformity, and although there is still room for improvement, it far exceeds the fish that were used to begin the test.
In February 2005, almost two years since Phil had started his line of crowntails, he was able to exhibit these individuals. At that time, the line was not only producing good crowntails, but the founder had also given them a unique full-mask feature.
The fish in question is a true Double Ray (DDR) with 33% reduction in the fin, ideal for the genre. A regular Double Ray will appear to its greatest advantage with 50% webbing withdrawal. But on a Double-Double Ray (DDR), this much contrast can make the fish look "sloppy" and uneven. You can easily see how well combined in this fish, it creates a symmetrical halfmoon tail on a very well-proportioned and attractive fish.
I hope that, in the very near future, we will see more rare forms of crowntail take over, such as melano or true oranges. Anything is possible for persistent and consistent breeders; those are the people who want to contribute the right "vision" and years of hard work to create an even more amazing fish.