Crowntail betta fish (Betta splendens), also called Siamese fighting fish, are a very popular breed with fishtank owners. Deriving the name from their unique tail fin characteristics, male crowntail bettas create a dramatic first impression with their vivid colors and flashy fin extensions.
Betta fish originated in the warm waters of Thailand, formerly known as Siam, where they lived in shallow rice paddy puddles. Today's bettas look quite different from their wild ancestors because they have been carefully bred to enhance fin characteristics and scale and fin colors. Achmad Yusuf, a betta breeder from Indonesia, created the first crowntail betta fish back in 1997.
The crowntail earned its name due to its unique tail fin design. The webbing between the rays is significantly reduced, making the spikes appear more prominent and giving the tail fin a crown-like appearance. Crowntail bettas come in a wide range of vibrant colors, with deep blues and dark reds being the most common. You can also find male crowntails sporting pastel tones, metallic hues and even albino coloring. Crowntail bettas generally grow to just under 2 1/2 inches in length.
Just like people, crowntail males have different personalities. Some of the little guys are shy and easily stressed, while other males are more outgoing and sociable. Some male bettas patrol their tanks frequently, making a quick lap around the tank to make sure that no intruders snuck in while they were napping. Whatever your betta's personality, remember that male crowntails are very aggressive to other members of their species, which is why they earned the name "Siamese fighting fish." Never house two male bettas or a male and a female betta in the same tank.
Feeding Crowntail Bettas
Crowntails might look flashier than bettas of other fin types, but all betta fish require the same care. Feed your little guy betta fish food once a day, but don't give him more than he can eat in 5 minutes. Remove all food that your betta doesn't finish during that time period. Never allow uneaten food to rot in the tank or you risk making your betta sick. Occasionally give your betta a few freeze-dried bloodworms or brine shrimp, but remember that this is a treat and not a meal.
Crowntail Betta Care
Don't house your betta in anything smaller than a 1-gallon tank with a lid. Bettas are notoriously good jumpers and often leap out of uncovered tanks to their deaths. Use a tank thermometer to ensure the water temperature stays between 62 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Bettas are labyrinth breathers, which means they can breathe oxygen from both the air and the water. It's best not to use any type of aeration system because the crowntail's long, fragile fins often becomes damaged in strong currents. Include a live plant in the tank to help provide oxygen, keep the water clean and give your fish somewhere to rest or hide. Crowntail bettas who receive proper care typically reach 2 to 5 years of age.