Crowntail Betta Care Guide & Species Profile

The crowntail betta fish is one of the most popular small freshwater species in the US for one main reason: their beautiful caudal fins!

Crowntail bettas are one of the most common species of betta fish and are colloquially referred to simply as bettas, or their behavioral name, Siamese fighting fish.

The fish’s ancestors are known to be native to Thailand (formally Siam) and other parts of South-East Asia (e.g. Malaysia, Vietnam, and Indonesia). They are renowned for their beautiful, and often colorful, ray-finned caudal and their aggressive nature; this can make keeping them as a beginner challenging.

Keep reading to learn about their behavior, care requirements, dietary needs, optimum tank conditions, and ideal tank mates.

If you’re in a hurry, then take a quick glance at the summary table below for a brief overview of crowntail bettas.

Crowntail Betta Facts & Overview

Overview of Bettas

CategoryRating
Care Level:Moderate to high
Temperament:Very aggressive
Color Form: Multiple; typically blue and red
Lifespan:2-3 years
Size:3 inches
Diet: Carnivore (high protein)
Family: Gourami
Minimum Tank Size:5 gallons
Tank Set-Up: Freshwater: floating water plants
Compatibility: Aggresive

The Crowntail Betta is a small freshwater fighting fish that has origins back to South Asia.

The Crowntail was first bred by Indonesian breeder Achmad Yusuf in 1997 when he named the fish ‘Cupang Serit’ at an International Betta Congress.

They are known for their aggressive nature and specific fin characteristics; especially their huge caudal fin.

A male Crowntail Betta can become the centerpiece of any small home aquarium with its vivid red and blue caudal fin and large fin extensions. This fish is suitable for new fish keepers; however, it’s suggested if you’re looking to introduce tank mates that you have two years of experience.

The Crowntail originates from the shallow rice paddies of Thailand and other parts of South-East Asia (Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia), where its name was coined from its visibly spiky tail and caudal fins.

This distinguishing caudal fin was bred originally by Achmad Yusuf, an Indonesian betta breeder, in 1997. The native wild ancestors had smaller fin characteristics and less vibrant fin colors.

You should expect that your Crowntail Betta will grow to a maximum of 3”, more realistically 2.5” in length. With a lifespan of 2-3 years, a Crowntail Betta has a typical lifespan for a smaller tropical freshwater fish.

In terms of cost, expect to pay between $5-$30 for your Crowntail depending upon its size, sex, color vibrancy and dealer reputation.

Appearance

Crowntail Betta Appearance

The Crowntail Betta, despite only being 20 years old as a species, earned its famous name due to its vibrant tail fin.

Their caudal fin has large extensions and can sometimes be 8 inches in diameter; that’s 3x the size of its body!

What’s also impressive, is the significantly reduced webbing between the Crowntail’s rays on their caudal fin; giving a crown like appearance. This crown like appearance comes from the Crowntail’s spiky separate tips on their fins.

You should expect it to grow to 2.5 inches when fully matured, though some can grow to become 3 inches in size.

Whist they come in a mirage of vibrant colors; the most prominent colors have become dark shades of blues and reds.

Like other female betta fish, female crowntails will have smaller bodies and fins, and have more subdued colors than males.

The crowntail betta fish is just one of many types of bettas that have been bred to have a large variety of caudal fins;

  1. Veiltail
  2. Red Betta
  3. Half-Moon
  4. Rose Tail
  5. Delta and Super Delta
  6. Spade Tail
  7. Paradise betta

All of these Betta’s have a beautiful distinct appearance.

Typical Behavior

Behavior Crowntail BettaTo understand their behavior, you’re best first to understand their ancestors’ history. Crowntail Bettas originate from the Betta species, also known as Siamese fighting fish.

Siamese because they are a native of Siam (now known as Thailand) and fighting fish because they used to fight!

Known as a plakat, wild bettas are a tearing and biting fish, which were bred for their fighting tendencies.

People of South Asia used to collect Siamese fighting fish as a hobby, from rice paddies, and then conduct fish fights. This pastime has fostered aggressive behavioral patterns with all bettas; the Crowntail is no exception.

The Crowntail Betta is most certainly an aggressive species which frequently portrays behavioral problems of dominance, aggression, and territorial tendencies.

They like to live alone and have a very large territorial standing. Although aggressive, bettas can have tank mates; read the tank mates section for more information.

Habitat and Tank Requirements

Caring for your crowntail betta starts with the habitat. You must choose the best betta fish tank given your unique situation and which other species you plan to use as tank mates for your crowntail.

As a minimum, if you aren’t thinking of introducing tank mates, we would suggest you use a 10-gallon tank. Anything smaller than a 10-gallon tank will cause your crowntail to crash frequently and damage its fins.

Betta Tank Requirements

If you’re using a 10-gallon tank, then make sure to change the water every 2-3 days, but don’t destroy the beneficial bacteria by replacing all the water in the aquarium at once.

Their natural environment in South-Asia is filled with vegetation, paddy rice fields and slow moving streams which naturally filters the water. When it comes to water in their aquarium, you will want to add Indian almond leaves. This will release plenty of beneficial natural acids for your betta.

The Crowntail Betta is an active freshwater species; also, they are notoriously good jumpers.

So much in-fact, they can leap out from the tank to their death. Due to their jumping nature, it is necessary to keep a well fitted lid on your tank.

Finally, Crowntails, and bettas in general, are labyrinth breathers. This means they can breathe oxygen from both the air and water. This means you shouldn’t use any aeration systems in your tank. This will also prevent your bettas beautiful caudal fins from becoming damaged in strong tank currents.

Tank Conditions

The specific tank conditions for your Crowntail are very important as it’s a freshwater species. You should control three variables within your tank.

You will need to stay within a pH level between 6.4 to 7.0, with water hardness of 2 to 5 carbonate hardness (dKh) and a water temperature between 76°F to 80°F.

With crowntails you will need to keep a close eye on the water temperature. This is essential as it will ensure the betta’s metabolism is correct. Sudden changes or movements outside of +- 2°F of the suggested range can cause harm.

Tank-Tip: The tank’s light level conditions should be dim.

Floating plants are some of the best plants for betta fish. They will help your crowntail to build a more natural habitat with betta bubble nests.

As for substrate, gravel, fine sand or a bare-bottom are all great for bettas. Bettas are best suited to sand as this can replicate their traditional habitat.

Compatibility and Tankmates

Crowntail betta fish are aggressive towards other fish, so it’s important to choose the right tank mates. Luckily, betta fish tank mates are fairly consistent across betta species.

First rule, don’t overcrowd the tank.

Bettas love to be territorial and have their personal space.

As a rule, never place more than a single male Crowntail in a tank with another. As adults, they will fight against each other until one dies.

Crowntail Bettas typically like to live alone; however, if you’re looking to introduce friends, and populate your aquarium with some diversity, then you have a few options.

Top-tip: Crowntails will fight with any fish that mirrors its own behavior; dominance, aggression, territorial and larger in size.

If you’re looking towards compatibility then look specifically towards fish species that like to swim in a different stratus of the aquarium. As Crowntails dwell in the middle and upper stratus of your aquarium, we’re specifically looking for bottom-dwellers that are peaceful and calm:

If you are introducing a betta to an existing aquarium, don’t place them into the tank straight away.

Use a betta cup, or plastic cup, floating on-top of the tank for 30 minutes with your betta inside.

Watch how it behaves around other fish. If your Crowntail Betta is overly aggressive (e.g. gills puffing) then it shouldn’t be in the tank.

Once in the tank, make sure the betta isn’t overly aggressive to other fish.

Diet and Feeding Requirements

Betta fish care and feeding requirements can range from moderate to high. A crowntail betta is a carnivorous fish that requires a high protein diet to thrive.

As they have small stomachs you will want to feed them small portions frequently. Ideally, three times per day. At a minimum two. Avoid large feeding sessions.

You will want to aim to provide a maximum of 2 minutes’ worth of food to your Betta in each feeding session.

So, if it takes your betta more than 2 minute to devour; you’re overfeeding them. Remove any food that your betta hasn’t finished during a 2 minute time period.

A common sign of overfeeding is your Crowntail will become constipated which will show two symptoms;

  1. Body looks swollen
  2. Eyes popping out of their head

Overfeeding will lead to an incorrect nitrogen cycle and will make your Crowntail fish sick and ultimately constipation, which is a major killer for bettas.

Like for all tropical fish, variety in food is always a good thing.

Feeding them live foods, pellets, flakes, and frozen foods are all good options as long as your bettas are fed in moderation. Betta fish are fussy eaters, so we have compiled a list of the best betta fish foods below:

Frozen Foods (Best for snacks and treats and not typical meals)

  • Blood Worms
  • Black Worms
  • Black Mosquito Larvae
  • Brine Shrimp

Live Foods

  • Wingless Fruit Flies
  • White Worms
  • Insect Larvae
  • Mosquito Larva

Pellets

  • Betta pellets (2-3 pellets per feeding session)

In the wild, Crowntail Bettas are very hardy and will eat most food sources in their environment; as there is a limited choice of food. Their typical diet in the wild consists of worms, mosquitos, larvae, and insects.

One final note.

Like with all juvenile fish. For vibrant colors and optimum growth, you will want to promote a varied diet, with high protein, and never restrict fatty amino acids.

Breeding

Breeding Bettas

As crowntails are part of the betta fish family, breeding them is very similar to breeding betta fish.

Where you have a crowntail betta you are likely to observe clusters of bubbles (i.e. bubble nest) floating on-top of the tank.

This is a positive sign for two reasons;

  1. It can indicate that your fish is healthy.
  2. It can also indicate your betta is now preparing for breeding.

Their breeding process is unique.

Your male Crowntail Betta will construct a bubble nest nearby the floating plants which they then later fertilize.

You will want a breeding pair of Crowntail bettas. Ideally, 14 months of age. If your betta is less than 2” in length, then it isn’t sexually mature yet.

Breeding Crowntail Bettas is entirely possible; however, their aggressiveness nature in confined aquariums can make the process more challenging. Breeding is also very time consuming and expensive!

You can expect to outlay over $2,000 for a single spawn of Crowntail Bettas and it will be hugely time consuming.

A full guide to betta breeding can be read here.

Should you get a Crowntail Betta?

The Crowntail Betta has become one of the most popular fishes in the U.S. Join the rest of the world and set-up a small planted tank for a betta! They are fun to keep and help improve your mental health.

Your crowntail betta should grow to a maximum of 3” and live for around 2-3 years, which is comparable to the normal betta fish lifespan.

Without a doubt, their beautiful caudal fins will keep you entertained as this active small freshwater tropical fish moves around the aquarium.

Whist Crowntail are known for their behavioral problems of dominance and aggression, they can co-exist with tank mates who are peaceful bottom-dwellers.

A crowntail can come in more than 25 different colors, so be sure to give yours a unique betta fish name!

Do you have Crowntail Betta in your aquarium? Let us know below in the comment section below…

About Robert 386 Articles
Robert Woods is the creator of FishKeeping World, a third-generation fish keeper, and a graduate in animal welfare and behavior. He is also a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Marine Aquarium Societies of North America, and the Nature Conservancy.

27 Comments

  1. Jenny says:

    Just got a Crowntail Betta guy about a month ago! He’s in a 10 gallon tank with a floating log, betta leaf, a couple decorations, and about5 plants. (Anubis, dwarf sword, buce deep blue, and Water Wisteria) gonna add a crypt wendtii soon! Nice interactive fish. Hopefully I have Merlin for a while

    • Mia says:

      How sweet I love betta fish ❤️??

  2. Jann Ford says:

    I bought a black crown Betta with huge fins at Halloween. He looks so creepy! My daughter called him Hannibal.
    He lives in a 60L tank with 5 balloon Mollies and 2 Bumblebees. They all do their own thing, exploring the caves, driftwood and rocks. They cohabit happily.

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Love that you bought him at Halloween and his name! Enjoy 🙂 Robert

  3. Cola de Lobo says:

    I read a lot about Bettas, for the time I have Bettas I could tell you that each fish has its own personality and character.
    Your feeding should be controlled varied 1 ball a day or 3 worms a day and ready.
    I have 3 gallons and silicone and natural decoration.
    The Betta plays a lot with the snails and they respect each other.
    I change the water 10 @ 15 Percent every fifteen days and I add a little bit to it and it’s ready.
    Do not think that your fish has to act as you want, they also have happy and sad days.

  4. Jennifer says:

    I have a new 10g tank (Less than 2 months), I started with a male Veiltail Betta and have since added 3 Cory catfish and 3 ghost shrimp along with 2 mystery snails. Everyone has gotten along great but for the last week my Betta has been eating my Cory’s food. Even if I feed him at the top at the same time he will go after their food before his. Of course then he overheats and gets fat.
    For him I have both Betta pellets and flakes, for the Cory’s and shrimp I have sinking shrimp pellets, and once a week I feed everyone frozen bloodworms (I do cut them up a bit as the Cory’s have a hard time with the full size).
    Any suggestions would be great, thanks.

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Jennifer, you could try using a screen to separate them during feeding time. Alternatively, Bettas love human interaction and they can be trained to come to your hand. Then you can place your hand on one side while the Betta comes to you, and feed the Cory’s on the other. Thanks, Robert

      • Jennifer says:

        I will try what you suggested, but I have been attempting to get his attention and he doesn’t seem to care what I do as long as there is food in the aquarium. I’ve even tried to scare him away from the food with the net and he gets mad and attacks the net then goes back to the food. I’m thinking I’m going to have to get a breeding tank and put him in at feeding time, or he’s going to have a short life where he’s always fat. I’ve even noticed him eating algae and stuff off rocks, whatever the Cory’s eat he thinks is fair game.

  5. Anne says:

    I purchased a bright red crowntail betta a week ago and ever since bringing him home he is more a dark purple colour. Will he regain the bright red colour?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Anne, you can help him to regain his color by keeping the water conditions optimal (as listed above) and feeding him a good quality Betta feed. Thanks, Robert

    • jenna says:

      i just got a blue crowntail male betta and his tank water is getting a little foggy and i barley set it up yesturday.
      why is it foggy and what should i do?

  6. Jennifer says:

    I woke up this morning to 1 less ghost shrimp and I’m positive my Betta killed and ate him last night. All three ghost shrimp were active and feeding when I went to bed last night but this morning the largest shrimp is now just the front of the shell with eyes. The Betta is fatter than he’s ever been (actually looks bloated this morning) and still went after the Cory’s food this morning. Does this mean the best thing would be to put him in his own tank?

    • Fishkeeping World says:

      Hi Jennifer, yes I would put him in his own tank to avoid accidents like this. Thanks, Robert

  7. Tia B says:

    I have 2 crowntails. Their names are Sushi and Sashimi. 🙂
    They both seem to be happy and healthy, however every so often Sushi acts a bit odd. It seems like he has problems diving to the bottom of his tank, and they will go back to the top and sort of tip to his side, like his fins are too heavy, or he wants to take a nap like we do. Then he will be acting normal later. Could it be a temperature thing? Or maybe tummy troubles?

  8. Jerry Hand says:

    May have Swimming Bladder! Need to give epsom salt bath. Look it up. Had a red one do exactly the same thing. After a few baths he got better. Thought we were gonna lose him until we gave him the baths. Hope this helps.

  9. Heather says:

    Just bought a beautiful little red and white female crowntail betta. Named her Poppy. I have had bettas before, but never a crowntail, and they have been the easiest fish to take care of so far. Her tank is next to my desk and she will be keeping me company when I study and work from home.

  10. Crystal Dreiling says:

    I work as housekeeping in some dorms and we recently confiscated a red crown tail male as pets are not permitted and we have to hold him for a week I plan on adopting him. He is in a small goldfish bowl with fake plants. I have been doing research and plan on buying a 5 gallon tank. He looks good right now but is there any suggestions for a first time betta owner

  11. Ashlen says:

    I had a orange crowntail betta named lucifer and I loved him, he was in a 3gal tank with his buddy Jiggy (he’s a Pleco) for Christmas last year I bought them a 5.5 gal fish tank. They loved it but sadly I lost Luci this Saturday and I looking to get another as I love their aggressive behavior. I was wondering if anyone has ideas on how to keep the warm temp where it’s suppose to be. His tank was always done at 19-21 c and I’ve gone through two heaters was on the third when he passed

  12. S A says:

    @Crystal Dreiling: I’ve had Bettas since my childhood and let me tell you that caring for them has definitely changed through the years since the 80s. It is definitely necessary for Bettas to be in a heated tank, plenty of plants, and maybe even a cave-like structure that the Betta can hide in from time to time. Each one definitely has its own personality. Some are very friendly and will get used to your hand and allow you to feed them, and some will run away no matter what you do. Currently my Crowntail Betta (white with touches of black) started out very friendly but extremely timid and was even terrified of my nehrite snail (these eat algae and are really good for cleaning your tank of all algae to the point that you might periodically need to put small pieces of algae pellets into the tank for them). However, over the last two months he’s gotten extremely aggressive and has taken to flaring and strutting his stuff against the snail who obviously takes no notice of him. Somehow he’s also able to see his reflection in the tank wall and flares for himself (not that he knows he’s trying to attack himself in the wall) but thankfully he’s never smashed himself into the wall, just swims back and forth and around the tank.

    I feed him Aqueon Betta Food (pellets) twice a day and a tiny pinch of freeze dried blood worms for his final evening meal. He devours them all. And he knows when I’m about to feed him because he’ll swim to the side of the tank I keep the food bottles on and stares at my hand as I grab the bottle and then comes up to the top of the tank where I drop a few pellets or blood worms into the water through the hole in the lid. He’s definitely interesting. He was not my first choice of a Betta this time around but I wound up feeling really sorry for him because he was lying on his side in the little cup in the shop and I figured he was probably going to die soon, and I just felt really sorry for him and didn’t want him dying in a little cup in a store. He was on sale so I bought him. That was eight months ago…

    I will say that my favorite Betta was a turquoise colored Betta (no idea what type) which I had in a one gallon rectangular tank (no lid) on my desk at college. He was special. I was able to train him to come to the top of the tank where he’d stick his head out so I could pet him. Seriously. And I would travel back and forth with him at holiday time or returning home for the summer for six hours on a train in a jelly jar with holes poked into the lid (I made sure the holes poked out so that the smooth part was on the inside so that if he hit the lid, he wouldn’t get hurt). He never ever stressed out during the train rides. He was an awesome Betta. I’ve never been able to train another Betta to be like him. I’m lucky at this point if I can keep them from freaking out at seeing my hand or fingers at the top of the tank for feeding.

    Anyway, good luck with your new Betta!

    Oh, one other thing. As all Bettas are different, you might try an air stone for water circulation. I know the care instructions on this site say not to, but this particular Betta likes to play in the bubbles and doesn’t like when the water is too still. So just try different things and see what your Betta likes best. I have a Whisper air pump and I keep a binder clip on the tube (I have the tube bent a bit) to keep the tube from releasing too much air into the tank.

  13. Amanda says:

    My mom gave me her Crowntail betta. She kept it in a super small box tank ( like what you see them in the store.) It always made me so sad. He just sat at the bottom of the “tank” and looked dead. Finally she let me have it. I added it to my 10 gallon tank with 4 guppies and 4 neon tetras. It’s a whole new fish! Very lively and co habits with the other fish peacefully. I thought it was a girl because the fins were small and dull. Now the fins are huge and vibrant! Might be a boy. I can’t tell. Either way it’s a happy fish and I’m happy

  14. Anaka says:

    I just bought a male Crowntail betta he’s a black and Royal blue with these like aqua/mint tips on his fins he’s beautiful and his name is king ? I’m going to keep him by himself but I do have a LED Light how is that going to affect him?

  15. Hein Htet Zaw says:

    Yes, I’ve got one male crowntail and one female. However, I’m not sure that I’m the only one who gets this experience or not that my male betta is less active than female. It’s digestive system is good I think. But sometimes, it just lays down at the bottom of the tank with all the fins down astraight.

  16. Taylor says:

    My fish Raptor is like sinking to like the bottom everyday 24 7 what should i do?
    Pls respond need help imediatly!!!

  17. Zoie says:

    Hi! I have a female red and orange betta fish named Macy, she’s kept me company for a few months now and I was thinking to give her a mate for her birthday(I don’t really know when she was born so I just mark it as the day I got her). I’ve done a lot of research but I can’t find the information for the conditions the baby bettas have to be in when they are hatched 🙁 help me out?

  18. Izzy says:

    Is there any good bottom feeders to be kept with the Crowntail fish

  19. Jamie joy says:

    Have a jet black crown with white tipped fins, such a cool personality lives with my clown pleco and currently 3 tiny baby pigmeys that came from our adults, mainly because we can’t catch them yet. We did have another fan tail too that was white blue red and purple we rescued and had major fin rot at the time, we got him back to health and had him another 3 years, ended up being 5 before he passed away, such a cool little dude he was. You really can’t beat male bettas they all have their own personality it’s brilliant

  20. Kailey says:

    My fish is not eating the fish flakes we got her what should I do

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