Betta Splendens, aka Siamese Fighting Fish
Fans just call them "Bettas"
Pictures of Siamese Fighting Fish, as Betta splendens are commonly called, most often show the male of the species. The males are the more brightly-colored with full fins that they expand for mating and fighting displays. Their unique habits, colorful appearance and low-care requirements make Bettas popular pets for the beginner or experienced fish owner alike. If you get really serious about owning bettas, there are endless variations in color or fin styles for to consider and collect.
Fins and Tails
Bettas have been bred to have specialized fin shapes and placements. The males are the half of the species with the fancy fins, some long and sleek, and others very frilly and rippled.
- Round Tail - this shape is found on wild Bettas.
- Veil Tail - a long trailing tail, like a scarf dragging behind.
- Comb Tail - the fin edges have little points that extend beyond the fin webs.
- Crown Tail - a longer more dramatic variation on the Comb Tail.
- Double Tail - a double caudal fin, which has two distinct tails.
- Fuse Tail - the caudal, dorsal and anal fins are all fused together.
- Half Moon Tail - the dorsal and anal fins are longer, so they line up with the caudal fin when spread, making a half moon shape.
- Heart Tail - partially fusing of the two caudal fins makes them appear to have a heart shape.
- Spade Tail - think of the shovel or card suit shape.
Books About Betta Splendens - Get fish care advice from the pros
The popularity of Siamese fighting fish means it's easy to find fish care books that focus on Bettas. I recommend that folks read up on Bettas *before* they purchase any fish, and not just get the fish and book and then go home. It often makes for a longer-lived first generation of pet fish, seriously....
Selective breeding has producing a rainbow array of colors for Bettas. Some of the options are listed below, but you can find more variations from breeders.
Red - red shades run from bright true reds to dark burgundy and brown
Apricot - sometimes called peach too. This is a soft pastel shade.
Yellow - from golden to lemon. A Betta that is a mix of yellow and black can be a Chocolate if pretty solid-colored, but if the yellow scales are outlined, it's called a Pineapple Betta.
Green - the color turquoise is a genetic variant on green. A very dark green is very rare and highly prized.
Blue - royal blue, cornflower blue, and steel blue shades are all available.
Purple - colors can be pale (lavender) to dark (violet).
Black - solid smokey or with lighter fins, called Black Lace.
White - this opaque color is not albinism, and you can tell as these Bettas will have black eyes.
Albino - a rare but natural occurrence like with other fish and animals. A true albino will have red eyes.
Multi-colored - these Bettas have mixed colors, and this name covers all fish that have no predominant color-tone.
Live Betta Sales - live betta fish for sale
Looking for something more exotic than what you can find at your local pet store? Here are auctions of live Betta fish. Be sure to check specifics of shipping before you bid!
Why I Love Bettas
I don't know what got my dad started with a fish tank, but when I was a kid, he kept one for many years. We'd get to go to the pet store and pick out fish we wanted for the tank. I also can't recall exactly how we first got a Betta splendens, but I wouldn't be surprised if my choice had something to do with it.
The males are flashy, with full fins and bold colors. The females are a bit smaller and have much plainer fins. My dad must have liked the Bettas too, as he got to breeding them. It's tricky and we wound up with more tanks as the population grew and we had to keep the males apart from each other.
I went away to college, and my dad moved on to other hobbies, but I still liked Bettas. In fact, I like them so much, there came a day when I decided to make them a part of my tattoo collection. Yep, that's my right shoulder with two male Bettas tattooed on it.
Care Advice and Info - Tips and suggestions for having a happy and healthy betta
- betta care
This is a must read for anyone who just brought home (or is about to) a betta.
- Betta Care Basics - Information on Caring for Your Siamese Fighting Fish
The First Tank Guide is a beginner's guide to setting up a new aquarium. If you have other questions, a convenient form will allow you to send questions to an experienced aquarist.
- BettaCentral.com - Betta Caring Page
This page is dedicated to those who are new to the betta world as well as those who are familiar with them.
- FAQ on Betta Care
Betta fish care faq.
- Betta fish care from ask-the-vet.com
Tips on how to care for your betta fish
- Welcome to BETTATALK, the ultimate betta site for all betta lovers...
welcome to bettatalk.com, betta capital of the world as featured on ANIMAL PLANET, BBC and the DAILY NEWS
- All About Caring for Betta Fish
Betta fish, also called Siamese fighting fish are one of the most popular types of fish found in homes across the world
- The Fish Bowl
keeping fish in bowls
- Nippyfish.net: The Site for the Modern Betta Enthusiast
In addition to our main pages, you will find articles that discuss some of the most common and controversial topics regarding bettas and fish care.
- The Betta Obsession
The Betta Obsession is a group where all of us who are obsessed with the Betta can come together with others who share the same obsession.
- Betta: A Guide for Proper Care and Living Environment
The Betta splendens (Siamese Fighting Fish) has unquestionably become one of the most popular freshwater fish in the aquarium trade. This article will help guide you in the correct care of your Betta.
- a Betta World - tribe.net
a place for the true B. splendens enthusiast... the breeder, the hobbyist, the NOOBIE, and the fancier.
- Siamese Fighting Fish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Siamese Fighting Fish (Betta splendens) is one of the most popular species of freshwater aquarium fish. It is a member of the gourami family (family Osphronemidae) of order Perciformes, but was formerly classified among the Anabantidae. It is nat
Betta Fish Videos - Short home movies of Betta splendens, courtesy of YouTube.com
The fin displays of courting or the quick movements battling Siamese Fighting Fish can be fascinating to watch. The mating rituals are often hypnotic and slow, spanning several hours.
Bettas And Beyond
- Augmented Fish Reality is a robotic fish tank driven by Siamese Fighting Fish
Augmented Fish Reality is a transpecies communication environment, which allow humans and fish a place to commune.
- Colby | Student Research Opportunities | Research Symposium
DIFFERENTIAL HABITUATION OF MALE BETTA SPLENDENS TO QUALITATIVELY DIFFERENT STIMULI Lauren Baard ('08), Biology
- MASSED vs DISTRIBUTED PRE-EXPOSURE TO MIRROR IN THE SIAMESE FIGHTING FISH (BETTA SPLENDENS), ACKERM
The Undergraduate Advising Office of the Department of Psychology keeps a librar y of all Undergraduate Theses which have been submitted for the PSY400Y - Thesis Course. All undergraduate and graduate students within our department as well as faculty
- Display Behaviors of Male Betta splendens
Experiment and web documentation by Jennifer Beavin
Tell us all about your pet siamese fighting fish!