crescent betta

The Beautiful Crescent Betta: A Comprehensive Guide

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The Crescent betta, also known as Betta imbellis, is a magnificent fish quickly gaining popularity among fish-keeping enthusiasts.

Their vibrant colors and interesting personality make them highly sought-after in the aquarium hobby. But there are a few things you need to know before you add one of these beautiful fish to your aquarium.

In this care guide, I will discuss everything you need to know about keeping these beautiful fish!


Crescent Betta Info
Scientific NameBetta Imbellis
Common NameCrescent Betta, Peaceful Betta
OriginSouthern Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia
Minimum Tank Size10 gallons
Length2.0 to 2.5 inches
Ease of CareModerate
BreedingFairly easy
pH5.0 to 7.0
AggressionLess aggressive than other bettas
LifespanUp to 4 years

What Is the Betta Imbellis?

The Betta imbellis, often known as the Peaceful betta, is one of the six betta varieties within the splendens complex.

But don’t let the name fool you; this fish is less aggressive than other species of betta, but it can still be territorial and fight.

People used to keep Betta imbellis for the sole purpose of fighting in local arenas. Fish fighting was popular for many generations across all wild betta fish species in Thailand, resulting in the species’ decline. Only in recent years have people bred them to revive the species.

Betta Imbellis Origins

This species of fish comes from the warm and humid climate of southern Thailand, northern Sumatra, Malaysia, Singapore, and other parts of Southeast Asia.

They usually live in the still, sluggish waters of rice paddies, swamps, and streams. These shallow ponds are often shaded by surface leaf litter and submerged, or marginal vegetation, and have low dissolved oxygen levels.

What Are the Features of the Betta Imbellis?

Appearance & Colors

Betta imbellis fish come in various colors, depending on their habitat.

They may have black or brown bodies with splashes of blue or green scales near the gills. The fins are often a brighter blue, and the edges may be red. Some of them appear emerald green, while others look more teal.

They also have a round caudal fin with a conspicuous red crescent. This is what gives them the name “Crescent betta.”


The Betta imbellis is one of the smallest types of bettas. Adult males usually grow between two and two and a half inches long.

However, females are often much smaller, only growing up to two inches in length.

Keep in mind that tank water quality and diet can affect your betta’s size, so ensure you are providing them with the best care possible.


This fish has an average lifespan of around three years. However, your Betta imbellis can live up to four years with good care.

Provide them with a high-protein diet and a proper environment. Consistent feeding schedules are also proven to help increase their lifespan.

How To Care for Betta Imbellis

Betta imbellis are beautiful fish that require some special care to remain healthy and happy. Just like any other type of fish, it is important to create an environment that mimics their natural environment as closely as possible.

Here are a few tips on how to do so:

Tank Size

If you want to keep a Crescent betta, you will need a 10-gallon aquarium. Look for a long rather than tall tank, as it will mimic their natural habitat better.

Remember bettas dislike deep waters and prefer swimming near the top or middle of the water column.


Betta imbellis prefer warm water, so you should keep the water temperature of your betta fish tank between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

You will need an aquarium heater to do so. An aquarium heater will help maintain your fish’s health and increase their lifespan.

pH Level

Betta fish prefer slightly acidic water conditions, with a pH level of 5 to 7. This is the range where most tap water falls, so it should be easy enough to maintain.


Betta fish prefer slow-moving water because it provides a similar environment to their natural habitat.

In nature, these fish live in sluggish streams and ponds, so an aquarium filter that creates strong water movement can be stressful and even dangerous for them.

If you’re looking for a filter for your betta tank, choose one that produces a gentle water flow.

I recommend using a sponge filter for a 10-gallon tank or smaller. Sponge filters provide mechanical and biological filtration, as well as moderate water agitation, which is good for bettas. Also, choose a low-pressure pump so that it won’t knock your betta around.

For a larger tank, I recommend going with a canister filter with all three mechanical, chemical, and biological filtration stages. Also, use a water baffle to block the water flow from being too strong for your bettas. Without it, they’ll get knocked around by the currents created by the filter.

It is essential for the health of your fish that you perform regular water changes. I recommend changing 25% of the water every two weeks. Still, you can do smaller water changes weekly if you prefer.

Tank Decoration

Adding lots of plants to your betta tank is a great way to create a natural and comfortable environment for your fish.

You can use plants like Salvinia or duckweed that provide plenty of shade and create an environment that resembles their natural habitat. This will help to reduce stress and make your fish happier and healthier.

Caves will also provide your fish with more hiding places. This is particularly important for females that need a place to go if the male becomes aggressive or moody.

There are a variety of caves that you can use, both premade and constructed from securely placed rocks. Whichever you choose, it will make your fish feel comfortable and safe.

Betta Imbellis Diet

When keeping Betta imbellis fish, the diet is one of the most important aspects to consider.

In the wild, these fish are carnivores and will eat insects, larvae, and other invertebrates.

In captivity, they are not fussy eaters and will accept most pellet or flake foods. A varied diet ensures they get all the necessary nutrients and stay vibrant.

You can supplement their diet with frozen or live foods such as daphnia, bloodworms, or brine shrimp. These can usually be found at most local pet stores.

Feeding the fry

For the first two weeks, you should feed baby bettas with liquid fish food, crushed tropical fish flakes, and small live foods.

Once they’ve grown bigger, you can start feeding them bigger size foods like baby brine shrimp, daphnias, fairy shrimp, micro worms, vinegar eels, bloodworms, banana worms, grindal worms, and Walter worms.

Betta Imbellis Compatibility

Like any other betta, the Betta imbellis is generally incompatible with a community tank.

Even though they are named the “Peaceful betta,” they are still bettas and will be aggressive if threatened. This is especially true if they’re preparing to spawn or have a bubble nest to defend.

However, it is possible to pair them with others of their species or any peaceful, schooling species, including:

Note: Avoid adding fin nippers, such as an Angelfish or Red Tail shark. These fish will more than likely provoke your betta and lead to a lot of stress for your fish.

Goldfish and Dwarf gouramis should also be avoided due to their different habitat requirements.

Betta Imbellis Gender Difference

Male and female Betta imbellis are sexually dimorphic, meaning they have different appearances.

The males are typically more colorful, with bigger fins, while the females are browner and smaller.

The males are also more aggressive than the females, making them less ideal for community tanks.

Breeding Betta Imbellis

If you’re interested in breeding your Betta imbellis, you’ll need to set up a dedicated breeding tank. These fish are relatively easy to breed, and the male will build a bubble nest on the water surface when it’s ready to spawn.

Usually, these bubble nests are near plants or decorations to anchor the air pockets and keep them afloat near the water’s surface.

The male and female will lock themselves together in a kind of dance, and once they have embraced each other, the female will release her eggs. The male will fertilize them, then pick up each egg and place it in the nest.

The female is removed from the tank after she has laid eggs, and the male stays to take care of them until the baby fish hatch – which typically takes a day or two.

After another two days, the young bettas can swim on their own, and you’ll want to remove the male to prevent them from eating the fry.


Betta imbellis prices vary greatly. Depending on their color, you can find them for anywhere between $10 and $60.

Some fish have brighter colors and are more expensive, while others are less flashy but still beautiful.

How To Choose Betta Imbellis Fish for Your Aquarium

When choosing a Betta imbellis fish for your aquarium, you should avoid any stores or breeders with sick or dead fish in their tanks. These fish are likely riddled with parasites or diseases and could infect your whole tank.

Instead, look for healthy fish with bright colors and flowing fins. Check for white spots or ulcers on the fish’s body, as these can be signs of illness. The fish should also swim freely, and the gills on both sides should open without issue.

Choosing a healthy fish is essential to having a long and happy relationship with them. It also encourages breeders to take care of their stock, so you’ll always find healthy fish to choose from!


What Is the Most Peaceful Betta?

The Betta imbellis is a type of betta that is known to be very peaceful. This makes them a popular choice for fishkeepers who want a community tank with different fish species.

Can Betta Imbellis Live Together?

You can house more than one Betta imbellis in the same tank.

Just be sure to have a large enough tank with plenty of hiding places, so each fish feels comfortable and safe.

It is also important to keep the male-to-female ratio around one-to-five to avoid aggression.

What Is the Difference Between the Betta Imbellis and the Betta Splendens?

Betta imbellis and Betta splendens are two types of fish that are often mistaken for each other. They have a very similar body shape and iridescent sheen.

That said, Betta imbellis have shorter fins than Betta splendens, making them less likely to be attacked by fin nippers.

Last Words

The Betta imbellis is a beautiful fish that is perfect for beginner and experienced fish keepers alike!

They are pretty peaceful fish, and their vibrant colors make them a stunning addition to any aquarium. If you are looking for a new challenge or adventure, the Betta imbellis is the perfect fish!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this article. Let me know what you think about this fish in the comments below!

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