If you’re looking for a beautiful fish that has the potential to liven up any aquarium, look no further than the Crowntail Betta. This gorgeous fish has elegant caudal fins and is regarded as the world’s most popular Betta fish.
Also referred to as the Siamese fighting fish, this fish is difficult to house in a community tank as it can have a tendency to be a bit aggressive. Because of their aggressive nature, it can be somewhat challenging to raise them as a novice fishkeeper.
Don’t let fear of the unknown scare you away, however – these fish are so much fun to raise, you’ve absolutely got to give it a try. We’ll give you all the information you need about their behavior, dietary needs, and tank requirements so that getting started will be a breeze.
Interested in learning more? Read on to find out everything you need to know about the Siamese fighting fish in this ultimate guide to raising the Crowntail Betta.
Crowntail Betta Background
Crowntail Betta fish are native to Thailand and nearby areas of southeast Asia. They were bred voraciously in captivity in Indonesia by the breeder Achmad Yusuf starting in 1997. This fish was first named Cupang Serit at an International Betta Congress.
In the wild, these fish occupy a unique habitat. They live in vegetation-filled waters, typically in slow moving streams and rice paddies. This vegetation helps to filter the water, but also has required the Crowntail Betta species to become labyrinth breathers. Bettas are unique in that they have the ability to breathe oxygen from both the water and from the air.
Known for their prominent fins and aggressive behavior, these fish were originally found in the shallow rice paddies of Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Gaining its name from its spiky caudal fins and tails, this fish isn’t found naturally with bright colors and large fins. These characteristics were bred into the species over generations by Achmad Yusuf and other breeders.
Bettas are gorgeous fish that are often chosen for that reason alone by newbie fishkeepers. While you can easily keep a Crowntail Betta as an inexperienced fishkeeper, you should not introduce new companions to the tank unless you have more experience in doing so, as this can be a significant challenge.
That being said, most Crowntail Bettas are affordable and easy to find, which is another reason why they are so popular. You will usually pay anywhere between $5 and $30 for one of these fish, with prices varying depending on where you purchase the fish, what gender it is, and what size and color patterns it has.
Crowntail Betta Appearance And Behavior
Despite being a relatively young species as a whole, this fish has certainly earned a prominent reputation. This is due largely to its dazzling appearance. It has an impressive tail fin that can be up to eight inches in diameter – three times the size of this fish’s body! Crowntail Bettas only grow to about two and a half or three inches in length.
While the tail of the Crowntail Betta is impressive enough on its own, what really makes this fish’s appearance remarkable is that the caudal fin has minimal webbing between the rays. This makes the fin look not unlike a crown, as the fin also has spiky individual tips.
Crowntail Bettas come in a variety of colors, although the most popular shades are red and blue. In addition to crowntails, there are other kinds of Bettas you can choose from, all of which have similar behavior and care requirements but very different appearances. The most popular varieties of Bettas include delta and super delta Bettas, rose tails, red Bettas, veil tails, half-moons, and spade tails.
When you are shopping for a Betta, pay attention to the specific requirements that they have in terms of care. While these fish aren’t difficult to feed or clean up after, they do have certain behaviors that can make them a bit trickier to raise. Native to Siam, these fish are known as Siamese fighting fish because, as the name implies, they like to fight! These fish will bite and tear and were actually bred specifically for this reason.
The people of southeast Asia used to gather Siamese fighting fish and then conduct fish fights. If you’ve heard of cock fights, the tradition of fighting fish is quite similar. This hobby indoctrinated certain traits into Betta fish, with aggression among crowntails being a major result.
As an effect of this intentional and unintentional breeding, the Crowntail Betta exhibits aggressive behavior. These fish will show aggression when they are trying to show dominance or are territorial. A common misconception is that these aggressive tendencies make the crowntail impossible to raise with other fish in a community setting. They can have tankmates, but their ornery dispositions make it necessary to exercise caution when you are selecting the best options.
Crowntail Betta Tank And Water Requirements
Consider the Crowntail Betta’s natural habitat when you are preparing to set up its tank. You should incorporate a tank that is at least ten gallons, as anything smaller than this will cause your crowntail to injure himself frequently. This can lead to extensive fin damage that will not only compromise the health of your fish but will also make it more difficult for him to swim.
In a ten gallon tank, the water will need to be changed every two or three days. Don’t replace all the water at once, as this can remove beneficial bacteria that help keep the water clean and fresh.
Because Crowntail Bettas are labyrinth breathers, you should avoid using any additional aeration equipment in your tank. The fish don’t need it, and they can also create intense currents that can damage the gorgeous caudal fins of your Bettas.
Instead, just consider adding some natural live vegetation to help keep the water clean and to maintain proper levels of nutrients and microorganisms. Indian almond leaves, for example, are a great choice, as these will release natural acids that can improve the health of your Betta.
Crowntail Bettas are extremely active fish. They are good at jumping and can easily jump out of a tank that does not have a lid. Make sure you invest in a tightly fitting lid to prevent these fish from meeting an untimely death by leaping out of your tank.
Crowntail Bettas have specific requirements when it comes to water temperature, pH, and water hardness. You should try to keep the pH of your tan between 6.4 and 7.0, with water temperatures hovering around 76 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The water hardness should be maintained between 2 and 5.
Of these three variables, probably the most important is the water temperature. If the water temperature is too irregular, the metabolism of the Betta can be compromised. You should try to keep changes or fluctuations in the temperature minimal, as this can impact the health of your fish over time.
You should keep your tank dimly lit so that your fish will be housed in an environment similar to its well-shaded rice paddy. You can add plenty of floating plants to help create this environment, too.
The Crowntail Betta is not picky in regards to substrate – because they are not bottom-dwellers, your choice here will not be too damaging no matter what you select. The best option for substrate is sand, as this mimics the Betta’s natural habitat, but you can also opt for gravel or even a bare-bottom tank.
What Do Crowntail Bettas Eat?
Crowntail Bettas are carnivorous fish, meaning their feeding requirements are a bit more involved than are those of other freshwater fish species. These fish need high protein diets in order to survive.
Crowntail Bettas, like many other fish, have very small stomachs. You should feed them small portions three times a day. If three times a day is not compatible with your daily schedule, two feedings will work, but keep in mind that three is better. Do not feed your Betta all of its day’s food in one sitting, as this can be deadly.
Instead, give your Betta fish only about as much food as it can eat in two minutes. If your Betta takes more than two minutes to eat, you are overfeeding it. Remove food that the Betta has not completed within two minutes.
If you aren’t sure whether you are feeding your Crowntail Betta too much, watch its behavior and appearance carefully. Two symptoms of constipation include a swollen body and eyes that appear to pop out of the Crowntail Betta’s head.
Overfeeding isn’t just damaging to the Crowntail Betta because of its potential to cause constipation. It can also cause an imbalance in the nitrogen cycle of your tank. This can lead to a variety of other illnesses that can make your Crowntail Betta – as well as any other inhabitants of your tank – extremely sick.
When you are selecting the foods to feed to your Crowntail Betta, remember that variety is the spice of life. You can feed all kinds of food choices, including flakes, pellets, live foods, and even frozen foods, but remember to feed everything in moderation. Bettas can be somewhat picky, but there are a handful of foods that they will eat voraciously when given the chance.
Frozen foods like black and blood worms as well as brine shrimp and black mosquito larvae are both good choices. They can also eat live food like insect larvae, white worms, wingless fruit flies, and mosquito larvae. Pellets that are formulated specifically for Betta fish can also be good options.
Wild Crowntail Betta fish are very hardy and will eat just about anything, as there is much less food to choose from. They will eat anything from mosquitoes to larvae and even worms and insects. However, providing a varied diet to your Betta fish in captivity is of utmost importance. Not only will it help your Betta fish to grow strong and healthy, but it will also help the fish develop more vibrant colors and extensive growth.
Crowntail Betta Tank Mates
Crowntail Bettas are notoriously difficult to house with other fish, but this does not mean that it can’t be done. While you probably wouldn’t describe Crowntail Bettas as friendly or easygoing, you can keep them with other fish as long as you mind a few specific parameters.
For starters, Crowntail Betta tanks should never be overcrowded. Bettas can be territorial and like to have plenty of personal space. You should also avoid housing more than one male Crowntail Betta fish in a tank. Adult male Bettas will fight against each other until one meets his death.
Crowntail Bettas can thrive on their own, so don’t feel as though you must include other inhabitants in the tank. Remember that crowntails will fight with any fish that are similar in aggressive behavior or territorial displays. They will even go after fish that are larger than the crowntail.
Instead, look for fish that will inhabit a different section of the tank. These will be the best Betta tank mates. Crowntail Bettas tend to hang out in the upper and middle levels of the water column, so bottom-dwellers can be a good choice if you are looking for a calm community tank environment.
The guppy is a great choice for a community tank, as it is very fast and can easily get out of the Betta’s way. Neon tetras, too, are a good option. You can also add non-fish species like ghost shrimp, cherry shrimp, or African dwarf frogs.
The best way to add tank mates is to make sure the Crowntail Betta is established in his tank first -before you add new tankmates. However, if you can’t do this, avoid placing your crowntail Betta in the tank right away. Instead, use a plastic cup and float the fish on top of the tank for half an hour with your Betta swimming inside the cup.
Don’t just leave the cup there. Instead, watch it carefully. Observe how your Betta acts around the other fish. If it is exhibiting aggressive behavior (which usually consists of puffing gills at this stage), then you will know that the Crowntail Betta should not be introduced to this tank.
If all signs of aggression are missing, then you will know that it is safe to add the betta to this environment. However, you should still be vigilant for any signs of aggression later on, as they can emerge unexpectedly.
Common Crowntail Betta Diseases
Betta fish, like most tropical freshwater fish species, can suffer from a variety of health problems. Luckily, these conditions are both easy to identify and easy to prevent. They are also relatively easy to treat. Most diseases can be categorized as bacterial, fungal, or parasitic. All of these conditions are almost always caused by poor water quality or fish handling methods and can easily be addressed.
Fin and tail rot is one of the most easily detected diseases in a Crowntail Betta tank. This is because it causes the elegant fins and tails of the Crowntail Betta, this fish’s namesake, to appear to melt away. While fin and tail rot can be treated by antibiotics, it is easiest to prevent by maintaining a clean fish tank.
Columnairs is another common ailment. This bacterial disease causes the fins to look ragged, but it can also result in skin ulcers or lesions. It can cause breathing difficulties and death if not treated within 72 hours. Prevent this disease by treating any open wounds or fungal infections right away. Overcrowding and limited oxygen can also cause this problem.
Another common disease is redmouth, known formally as hemorrhagic. This causes intense bleeding inside the mouth and eyes of the fish, and is the result of a growth of Yersinia ruckeri bacteria inside the tank. There’s not a lot you can do to prevent this disease other than by maintaining good water quality, but you can treat this disease with antibiotics.
Finally, dropsy is also common among Crowntail Bettas, as it is with other tropical freshwater fish. This disease causes your fish to develop swollen abdomens as their insides (particularly their kidneys) fill with fluid. It can cause your fish to develop sunken eyes and scales that appear to bulge outwards.
You can treat this bacterial infection with medications like Betta Revive, but preventing the disease is a better idea, as dropsy is almost always fatal. Keeping your aquarium clean and providing lots of vitamin-rich foods is the best way to prevent dropsy from becoming a problem for your Crowntail Betta.
Breeding And Life Spans Of Crowntail Bettas
Crowntail Bettas have a unique breeding process that is exceptional to observe. When your fish is ready to breed, you will likely observe clusters of bubbles, also known as bubble nests, floating on top of the tank. This is because Crowntail Bettas have a habit of producing bubble nests near the floating plants in your tank. These nests are clusters that will later be fertilized.
If you are interested in breeding your Crowntail Bettas, make sure you have a breeding pair. They should be around fourteen months of age before they are ready to breed. If you aren’t sure how old your Betta is, examine its length. Bettas that are shorter than two inches in length are not yet ready to breed..
While Crowntail Bettas are not necessarily difficult to breed, their aggressive behavior can make the process a bit more daunting. It can be quite time consuming and, over time, can be expensive, with many breeders spending thousands of dollars to achieve this process.
Crowntail Bettas have life spans that are comparable to those of other tropical freshwater fish. On average, you can expect your fish to live for about two to three years in captivity if cared for properly.