Crowntail bettas are known for their spiky tails, which mimic the points of a king or queen’s crown. Along with Veiltail bettas, Crowntail bettas are some of the most popular fish to keep among betta enthusiasts.
Crowntail bettas are easy to find at local pet stores and online — and easy enough to care for.
That being said, bettas are not starter pets, so you should read our crowntail betta care guide to give your fishy friend the best life possible!
Are Crowntail Bettas Rare?
No. Crowntail bettas are extremely common, and fish keepers love them due to their long, flowing tails, which appear spiky at the ends. Crowntails were selectively bred from Veiltails, but they are the same type of fish — Betta splendens.
Unlike Betta mandor, who only live in the Mandor area of Borneo, Betta splendens live all over the rice paddies, ponds, marshes, and slow-moving streams of Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Laos, and Cambodia.
Still, crown tails look different from the Betta splendens you might find in the wild because they have been bred for their unique tails, bright colors, and aggressive temperaments.
What Does a Crowntail Betta Look Like?
Crowntail bettas look a lot like Veiltail bettas, but the membranes of their caudal fins do not connect all the way. This makes their tails look like crowns, hence the name “crowntail.”
Like Veiltail bettas, Crowntail bettas are about 2.5-inches long from tail to snout and have flowing fins that are about three times the size of their bodies. They also come in a variety of bright colors.
Because they are so territorial and aggressive, Crowntail bettas often flash their fins to look bigger and more menacing. This display is a true delight for Crowntail betta owners!
Crowntail Betta Temperament
Like other Betta splendens, Crowntail bettas are aggressive. In the wild, they are deeply territorial and will fight fish who invade their space. Wild bettas also have to fight for mates.
Also called “Siamese fighting fish,” Betta splendens were originally domesticated to amuse royalty in Thailand (previously called Siam). Humans promoted the bettas’ naturally aggressive behavior and would conduct betta fights for their own entertainment.
These cruel fights were very similar to cockfights. Fortunately, both cockfighting and betta fighting is now illegal in most countries.
Betta fish did not get the memo, so a male betta will still try to fight another betta in its territory. This is very common amongst adult fish, where their dominant behavior is prevalent when they don’t have compatible tank mates.
For this reason, you must never keep two male Crowntail bettas in the same tank! They will fight and could harm one another.
You may be able to keep a male Crowntail betta and a female Crowntail betta in the same tank for breeding, or you can form a sorority of female Crowntail bettas. Still, these housing arrangements are for advanced betta keepers only!
Unless you are trying to breed Crowntail bettas, keep them by themselves.
What About Tankmates?
Occasionally, a betta will tolerate an appropriate tank mate, like a snail, shrimp, or frog, but betta behavior can be unpredictable.
Keeping your betta solo is the safest bet unless you want to feed your betta an accidental shrimp dinner.
Once you know more about betta fish and your fish, in particular, you might consider experimenting with tankmates.
Adding tank mates is an activity for experienced betta keepers, so don’t try it unless you have at least two years of fish-keeping experience.
Crowntail Betta Natural Habitat
In the wild, your Crowntail betta would live in calm, shallow freshwater environments with plenty of plant life. It would carve out territory and swim amongst the roots of rice paddies or other aquatic plants, hunting for insect larvae and hiding in pieces of driftwood.
The best way to recreate your Crowntail betta’s natural habitat is to give it plenty of space, get the water parameters just right, and add plenty of live plants and hiding places.
Crowntail Betta Water Parameters
Before adding a Crowntail betta to your tank, ensure the water parameters are right. This includes choosing the correct tank, cycling the water, and regulating everything from temperature to acidity (pH).
Crowntail Betta Info
|Crowntail Betta Info|
|Common Names||Crowntail betta|
|Scientific Name||Betta splendens|
|Minimum Tank Size||10 gallons|
|Lifespan||2 to 3 years|
|Water temperature||76° to 80°F|
|pH level||pH 6.4 to 7.0|
|Water hardness||2-5 dKH|
A 10-gallon tank is appropriate for a single Crowntail betta without tank mates. Although Crowntail bettas can survive in smaller tanks, they will crash into the sides and damage their delicate fins, which isn’t ideal.
Be cautious when introducing tank mates, as your betta will act unpredictably if it does not have enough space to relax.
A small snail may be okay in a 10-gallon tank, but as a general rule, add five additional gallons to your tank for each tank mate you plan on introducing.
(Please see our previous section about tank mates, too!)
Heating and Filtration
Your water temperature should stay between 76 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. You will likely need a heater to help you maintain this temperature, and you should also keep a thermometer in your tank.
Do not let your betta get too cold, as it will become stressed and more vulnerable to disease. Keep your tank heater and thermometer on opposite sides of the tank to prevent cold spots.
In addition to being warm, your water should be soft and fairly neutral. Crowntail bettas like a water hardness of about 2 to 5 dKH and pH levels between 6.4 (slightly acidic) and 7.0 (neutral).
Filtering your water can help it stay soft and neutral, as can cleaning your tank regularly and introducing aeration with an air pump, air stones, or live plants.
Before adding fish to your tank, filter and treat the water you add, introduce all the plants and decorations you want in your tank, and cycle the water several times.
Use aquarium test strips to help ensure you track the nitrogen cycle and get your water parameters just right.
You should generally test your water parameters each week and change up to 30% of the water in your tank to remove ammonia, nitrogen, and other debris. An aquarium test kit is a good fit for this role.
To make weekly tank maintenance easier, remove uneaten food every time you feed your Crowntail betta and keep live plants in your tank to help your tank cycle naturally.
Tank Decorations for Your Crowntail Betta
The best decorations you can add to your Crowntail betta tank are live plants. Live plants remove nitrogen from your tank and introduce oxygen, which is important because bettas breathe air through their labyrinth organs.
Crowntail bettas also love playing, hiding, and sleeping among live plants and their roots — and they will even nibble at plants if they need extra fiber in their diet or a snack before feeding time.
Most of all, live plants mimic your Crowntail betta’s natural habitat, which will help keep your betta buddy healthy and happy.
Other Decorations Include:
- leaf litter substrate (perhaps Indian almond leaves)
- driftwood (an artfully-carved piece of driftwood can make a great hideout for your betta fish and add style to your tank)
- a big rock to hide behind (or an aquarium ornament from your favorite pet store)
- moss balls
- oxygen stones
You can design your Crowntail betta tank however you want, but the more it looks like the bottom of a pond or slow-moving stream, the happier your betta will be.
You should also avoid rough, hard objects or objects with sharp corners, as these can damage your betta’s delicate fins.
Fortunately, some brightly colored aquarium decor is designed to make your tank look fun and be safe and comfortable for your betta, too.
You don’t have to go with a natural look to create a natural feel for your fish, as long as everything you buy is betta-safe.
Whatever you choose, just remember not to overcrowd your tank. Bettas need some open space to swim around; they could run into decorations and rip their fins if there are too many in the tank.
Crowntail Betta Diet
Crowntail bettas are carnivores, so they need a high-protein diet to survive. They also need to be fed carefully because they might overeat if you give them too much food or feed them too often.
Many bettas are picky eaters, and others will eat up everything you put in their tank. Get to know your Crowntail betta, then feed it appropriately.
One to two small meals every day should be more than enough, and bettas love variety.
Try supplementing a betta pellet breakfast with a bloodworm or mosquito larvae dinner to ensure your betta gets enough to eat.
Avoid overfeeding by remembering that your betta’s stomach is the same size as its eye. If your fish eats any more than that, they could become bloated or constipated.
Remove uneaten food after feeding, so your betta doesn’t make itself sick by having “leftovers” later.
In the wild, betta fish eat insect larvae and other aquatic organisms they find in the water. Betta pellets help mimic this variety by creating a nutritionally complete meal, but you can also give your betta its favorite food every once in a while.
If your betta seems bloated, do not hesitate to skip feeding for several days. If the problem persists, take your fish to the vet.
How Long Do Crowntail Bettas Live?
Crowntail bettas usually live for 2 or 3 years. However, if you take good care of your betta, it can live even longer. I once had a betta that lived all the way through college (4 whole years)!
On the other hand, overfeeding or poor tank maintenance can lead to health problems and disease. In severe cases, bloating, stress, or a dirty tank could shorten your betta’s lifespan.
Crowntail Betta Health and Disease
Just like you, your fish can get sick. Crowntail bettas can have digestive problems or catch fungal, bacterial, or parasitic diseases.
The most common problems for crowntail bettas include:
Keeping your tank clean and feeding your fish properly are the first lines of defense against disease and health issues, but you may also want to have a betta fish first aid kit on hand for immediate intervention.
With ich, cleaning and raising the temperature in your tank can help address the problem right away, and with bloating and constipation, a couple of days of fasting can help.
When in doubt, take your fish to a veterinarian who specializes in aquatic animals.
How Much Do Crowntail Betta Fish Cost?
So, you’re ready to get a Crowntail betta fish? Good for you! Crowntail bettas are some of the most affordable fish available.
You can expect to pay $3 to $5 for a standard Crowntail betta, but if you want to purchase from a specialty breeder, you might need to pay a little more.
Further, fish with unique color patterns can be more expensive. Nevertheless, you should not pay more than $30 for a Crowntail betta fish –unless you are a fish collector looking for a specific type or color of Crowntail betta, of course.
Should I Get a Crowntail Betta?
This is a tricky question because the choice is totally up to you. Crowntail bettas are not beginner’s fish due to their aggressive tendencies, but they can live for a few years if you keep them happy and healthy — and they are really smart.
Crowntail bettas can recognize their owners, and you can even teach them tricks. They are naturally curious and offer wonderful displays with their long, crown-shaped fins!
Before you get a Crowntail betta, be prepared to do a lot of work — and know that you will only be doing it for one fish.
Should you choose to add a tankmate or breed your fish, you will quickly get into advanced fish-keeping territory because Crowntail bettas are so aggressive and cannot be kept with each other or even tank mates without much preparation and supervision.