Crowntail Betta Guide (Tank, Diet, Care, Breeding)

Crowntail Bettas are gorgeous freshwater fish that have become extremely popular across the globe throughout the years. It is mainly due to their stunning appearance and relatively low maintenance.

If you are thinking about adopting such a beauty, there are a few important things that you have to bear in mind.

How to take care of Crowntail Bettas, what food do they prefer, how to avoid aggressive behavior, and, ultimately, how to tell that your fish is happy and healthy – you’ll find the answers to all these questions below.

About Crowntail Bettas

The beautiful Crowntail Betta is a type of Siamese fighting fish that is native to Southeast Asia. In the wild, you will be able to find these creatures in the fresh waters of Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, and Thailand.

Thailand is the main breeder and exporter of bettas in the world. The fish has even become the country’s national aquatic animal.

Due to their appearance and relatively low maintenance, the Crowntail Bettas are among the most widespread aquarium fish in the world. By the way, these species have been domesticated over a thousand years ago, which makes it one of the ‘oldest’ pet fish.

All bettas are highly territorial and can be aggressive . In fact, these fish were initially bred for gambling purposes. In the mid-1800s, fish fighting became so popular that the King had it regulated and taxed.

Did you know that there is a secretive fighting fish society with a set of strict rules in Thailand?

Thanks to King Rama III, bettas became popular outside of Thailand. He gifted a few to a renowned Danish zoologist and botanist, Theodore Cantor, and the beauties appeared in the West in the 19th century.

Throughout the long history of selective breeding, plenty of varieties with different characteristics have been created.

The Crowntail was bred in 1997 by Achmad Yusuf. The most distinct feature of this type is the noticeable separation between each fin, which makes it look like a crown or dozens of spikes.

What Do Crowntail Bettas Look Like?

Just like all the other bettas, the Crowntail has a slender and long body. The shape is relatively uniform, but it does taper down to a point at the supra-terminal mouth (that’s an upturned mouth type) with tiny, sharp white teeth.

The gill plate is located just behind the head. Whenever the fish gets angry, the gills flare out to make the creature look more intimidating.

The Crowntail Betta comes in a wide range of colors. You might even spot a fish that has splashes of deep purple, vibrant red, neon blue, or even black. The most standard shades, however, are dark shades of red and blue.

An adult fish typically is around 2.5 inches in length, but some can grow up to 3 inches.

Of course, the things that make the Crowntail Bettas so impressive are their fins. And those are also the features that are a bit different in males and females.

Males

The ‘boys’ have a long caudal fin that can sometimes get three times bigger than the actual body – up to 8 inches in diameter. It fans out and seamlessly connects to the other fins – the anal and dorsal ones.

The anal fin, in its turn, is relatively wide if compared to other fish of the same size. Males also have long flowing fins and an opercular membrane (or beard) that can be found under the gill plate cover.

You can spot the beard when the fish is relaxed, but you’ll get to fully enjoy the feature once the fish is flaring.

Females

The fins of the females are not as long as those of a male but are certainly not short.

Moreover, all Crowntails have reduced webbing between the fin rays. You will notice that each fin is separated from the other, which makes them look like spikes or a crown (hence the name).

Generally, the females are less colorful than the males.

How Do You Care for A Crowntail Betta?

A Crowntail Betta is a labyrinth breather. Such fish have a special organ named ‘the labyrinth,’ which allows the creatures to breathe air from the water’s surface. The organ usually develops in fish that are used to living in locations with water that has low oxygen levels.

Bear in mind that your betta is going to rise to the top of the tank from time to time to gulp some air.

What to Put Inside the Tank?

We are going to talk about tank mates and water requirements a bit later. For now, let’s find out what things you can put inside a tank with a beautiful Crowntail Betta in it.

  • Decorations

The fins are extremely delicate and can easily be damaged, so don’t choose any decorations with sharp edges and rough surfaces. Opt for round and smooth objects, like resin ornaments, for example.

You can choose to keep the bottom bare or simply add a layer of fine sand or gravel.

Don’t forget to add hiding places (like caves and non-plastic plants). This will help the fish feel more secure. You can also go for floating plants as they create a surface for nesting and shield the light.

Tip: add Indian almond leaves. Those release natural acids that the fish will appreciate.

  • Aeration systems

You shouldn’t use any aeration systems. First of all, the Crowntail Betta can breathe oxygen not only from water, but also from air, so it will be fine, as long as oxygen levels are okay. Secondly, the lovely fins can easily get damaged in strong currents created by aeration systems.

  • Light

The light level conditions have to be kept dim. Floating plants are a great choice for diffusing light.

Keep the tank out of direct sunlight.

All-in-all, it is relatively easy to take care of Crowntail Bettas as they are low maintenance. However, adding extra fish to the tank might cause aggressive behavior and that’s exactly when you would have to spend a bit more time taking care of your pets.

What Are The Best Water Parameters For Crowntail Bettas

The more the water in the tank feels like the fish’s natural habitat – the better.

Crowntail Bettas are used to warm, shallow waters that are heavily vegetated and slightly murky – this affects the pH level.

To make sure that the water parameters are on point, buy a special aquarium test kit. It will help you monitor the state of the water by performing quick tests.

Temperature

The temperature should be kept between 76°F to 80°F. Around 80°F is perfect. Keep a close eye on the temperature as sudden changes outside of 2 degrees might cause significant damage to the health of your beauty. Unfortunately, temperature shock is one of the reasons why a lot of bettas die.

You would also have to make sure that the temperature is kept constant around the tank. Simply put the heater close to the pump outlet.

Tip: place your tank thermometer at the part of the tank that is furthest away from your heater. If the temperature is constant and in the range mentioned above, you have done a great job.

pH

Bettas prefer pH levels that are close to neutral – between 6.4 and 7.0.

Water Hardness

Anywhere from 2 to 5 dKH.

Ammonia, Nitrites, and Nitrates

Check the levels every week and don’t forget to change up to 30% of the water. The nitrates should be under 20 ppm (parts per million) and the ammonia and nitrites should always be as close to zero as possible (at least under 0.5 ppm).

What Diet Should a Crowntail Betta Have?

In the wild, Crowntail Bettas would eat practically anything they are able to come across. Any insects and larvae would do, as the fish have a limited choice.

Unfortunately, domesticated beauties can be a bit picky about what they put in their tiny stomachs. Even though the guys usually have a healthy appetite, their stomachs fill up incredibly fast, so there is always a risk of overeating or constipation.

The two main signs of constipation are eyes popping out of the head and a body that looks swollen.

Did you know that Bettas have a stomach that is the size of their eye?

Provide small meals two or three times per day. Leave the food in the tank for about 2 minutes and then remove anything that is left to help avoid excessive bloating.

What food do Crowntail Bettas prefer?

Protein-based foods are a favorite as these fish are carnivores. You can feed the fish with both frozen and live foods. Some options include:

  • Brine shrimp
  • Black worms
  • Black mosquito larvae
  • Wingless fruit flies
  • Other insect larvae
  • White worms

Crowntails may also like dry pellets (made especially for bettas), but make sure to switch things up a bit every now and then. Otherwise, the fish will stop being excited about meals. Give the little guys 2-3 pellets per meal.

Tip: never restrict fatty amino acids if you want your fish to be healthy and have vibrant colors.

Some experts recommend not feeding your fish once a week. This will allow the digestive system to process any leftovers.

How Can You Tell Your Crowntail Betta Is Happy And Healthy

Vibrant Colors

Sick fish have colors that look dull and might even develop a ‘stress stripe’. A healthy and happy Crowntail Betta has vibrant colors and flowing fins. The latter should not look droopy, clumped, or ragged.

Effortless Swimming

These beauties can choose to slowly move around the tank or quickly swim from one corner to the other – such behavior is absolutely normal. But if you have noticed that the fish is struggling to swim, is leaning to the side, and appears uncoordinated, then something is wrong.

Unhappy and sick bettas may also find it challenging to swim away from the bottom, so you’ll always find them staying there.

Getting Along With Their Tank Mates

If you have managed to choose compatible tank mates, the little devil would be happy to interact with his friends in a non-aggressive manner. For example, the Crowntail Betta might be swimming around other fishes without chasing after them.

But if the Crowntail is flaring the fins and nipping at other fish, it means that it’s unhappy, and you might have to find another home for his tank mates.

Not Hiding

Every fish likes to rest in a hiding place once in a while. But a happy Crowntail Betta wouldn’t be staying in its safe space all the time; it would be excited to get out and explore the rest of the tank.

If you find it challenging finding your pet in the tank, it looks like the little guy is stressed out or sick.

Getting Excited About Food

Bettas are actually quite intelligent, and they can recognize feeding time. A healthy and happy fish would start swimming up to you whenever you approach the tank during feeding time. It would also eagerly move toward the treat and start eating it straight away.

Staying Active

A happy Crowntail Betta loves interacting with its surroundings. It will swim around the ornaments and any plants that you have decided to add to the tank.

If your pet always stays in one place and totally ignores its environment, then it looks like the fish is not happy.

However, don’t mistake unhealthy behavior and sleeping as the latter is, of course, perfectly normal.

Bubble Nests

This is one of the most obvious and cute signs that show that your Crowntail Betta is happy and thriving. Such fish would start building ‘bubble nests’.

Look for aggregation of bubbles on the water’s surfaces. Those can be created by females, but it’s usually the male who blows the nest. This happens when he is ready to mate.

In a nutshell, males build bubble nests when they feel comfortable and safe.

However, if you haven’t yet seen such a nest, that does not necessarily mean that your pet is unhappy. Every male has his own frequency of building such ‘constructions’. Some might do that every day, while others would need about half a year to figure out that they are ready to build their first nest.

How Long Do Crowntail Bettas Live & How to Improve Their Lifespan

Usually, Crowntail Bettas live for around 2 to 3 years. That is quite typical for a small tropical freshwater fish. However, if you manage to provide your pet with great care, the fish might end up living for longer (about 5 years).

Here are a few things that you can do.

  • Keep Your Fish In A Big Tank

The tank has to be at least 5 gallons. Otherwise, your Crowntail Betta can get bored and depressed.

  • Get A Filter

You have to keep the water in the tank filtered and free of ammonia and other toxins. Makes sure to set the filter on ‘low-flow’ as a strong current might disturb the little guys.

  • Get A Heater

If it gets too cold or too hot in the tank, the fish might die of temperature shock. The heater will help keep the water warm (make sure that the temperature is even throughout the whole tank).

  • Clean The Tank On A Regular Basis

Vacuum the gravel and change the water (at least 10-15%) every week. This will help reduce the chance of disease.

Warning! Never replace all water at once, as this will destroy all beneficial bacteria that are crucial for the well-being of your pet.

  • Keep The Fish Entertained

If the Crowntail Betta is bored or depressed, it might bite its own tail. So, make sure to add some plants and decorations to keep the fish entertained.

  • Provide A Healthy, Well-balanced Diet

Giving a mix of live food and betta pellets should be enough. But don’t forget to switch the menu from time to time.

  • Help The Fish Get Enough Exercise

Make sure to add live food to the tank so that the Crowntail has to perform some chasing.

What Size Tank Do Crowntail Bettas Need?

You might have heard that a Crowntail needs a simple bowl, but that is not true. In fact, these fish need plenty of space in order to thrive.

If you are not going to be introducing tank mates, go for at least a 10-gallon tank with a well-fitted lid, as bettas are great jumpers. The tank should also have plenty of surface area (as Crowntails are labyrinth fish), and ideally, it has to be shallow and long.

Crowntails will frequently crash in smaller tanks which will damage their delicate fins. If the tank is deep and tall, the fish will find it challenging to swim up to the surface to breathe because of their tail fin.

What Are Common Diseases That Affect Crowntail Bettas?

Ich

Ich, or the ‘white spot disease’, is caused by a parasite that can be present in a lot of fresh water tanks. It usually causes no trouble but can become an issue if the fish is weak.

A fish that is suffering from ich will be covered in tiny white spots. It may also start rubbing against the objects in the tank, clamp its fins, and hang at the top of the water.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to cope with this disease. Simply buy the right treatment that can be added directly into the water and raise the temperature to 82 F for 4 days – this will disrupt the parasite’s lifecycle.

Fin Rot

This infection will cause the fins to slowly decay. If the tips of the fins start turning grey, you should immediately seek suitable medication.

Constipation

The little guy might appear lethargic and swollen. Moreover, the fish will have no appetite. Such a state can easily be caused by overfeeding or by giving the fish incorrect food.

You can fast the Crowntail for around 2 days; this will help make sure that all the leftovers have been processed.

Depression

Yes, just like humans, Crowntail Bettas can get depressed. The signs include loss of appetite, lethargy, faded colors, irregular swimming patterns, stress stripes, etc.

Depression wouldn’t exactly kill the creature, but it will make your pet more prone to different diseases and infections. In the most severe cases, Crowntails might die of hunger.

To avoid that, try to keep your fish happy. These little guys thrive in big tanks with lots of toys.

How Do You Breed Crowntail Bettas?

You are going to need a female and a male Crowntail Betta and a spacious tank if you want to see success.

Bubble nests indicate that the male is ready to mate and if the female is receptive, the two will perform a mating ritual.

Tip: if you want your male Crowntail to start building a bubble nest, try giving the fish high-protein food.

The female will release the eggs into the water and the male will fertilize them. After that, the lovebirds will place the eggs on the bubbles.

At this point, you would have to remove all adult fish from the tank as they can end up eating the babies.

The eggs will hatch in only about 2 days. The babies will survive on the egg sac at first, but as soon as you notice that they are freely swimming – start adding some infusoria or powdered food into the tank.

Bear in mind that your adult Crowntail Bettas have to be at least 14 months old. If the little guys are smaller than 2 inches – they are not sexually mature just yet.

What Tank Mates Can Live with Crowntail Bettas

These fish like to live alone. But you can introduce a few friends if you really want to.

Warning! Never place more than one male Crowntail Betta into a single tank.

The rest of the rules are pretty simple:

  • Don’t overcrowd the tank.
  • Don’t get any other fish that are aggressive, dominant, territorial, or larger than the Crowntail.
  • Fast-moving and colorful species might trigger an aggressive reaction, so Guppies and Neon Tetras might not be a great option.

In a nutshell, you should be looking for bottom-dwellers that have a peaceful personalities.

Species Of Small Catfish

These are bottom-dwellers that won’t be showing any dominant behavior.

Large Species Of Shrimp

Ghost and Red Cherry shrimp can become a wonderful addition to the tank. These guys are entertaining to watch, and they help keep the tank clean.

Snails

Snails also contribute to the cleanliness of their home, and they won’t be interfering with the Crowntail Betta.

Frogs

African Dwarf Frogs can become lovely members of the tank’s family.

Female Crowntails

If you want your bettas to produce little babies, you would have to get both a female and a male. Sometimes it is okay to have more than one ‘girl’, but females can be aggressive towards each other as well.

Bear in mind that females and males should be mixed in one tank only temporarily for breeding purposes.

FAQ

How Much Do Crowntails Cost?

The cost would depend on a variety of factors – the color, size, sex, and the place where you decide to buy the fish. Usually, a typical red or blue Crowntail would cost you $5-$30.

However, there are extremely rare variations that can be sold for hundreds of dollars. Not that long ago, a unique betta was sold for $1.500.

Are Crowntail Bettas Aggressive?

Yes, these fish are incredibly aggressive and can get territorial and angry from time to time. The guys are natural-born fighters and, unfortunately, bullies—fun fact: a Crowntail Beta can even attack its own reflection in the mirror.

If you don’t want to deal with such behavior, leave the Crowntail alone in a big tank as it doesn’t like when other fish are around.

Can You Put Crowntail Bettas Together?

You should never put two males together as they might kill each other (these guys tend to get territorial). Putting a few females together might work, but the ladies can get aggressive towards each other as well.

A male and a female can be placed in one tank only for breeding purposes.

How Big Do Crowntail Bettas Get?

An adult fish typically is around 2.5 inches in length, but some can grow up to 3 inches.

Usually, all fish that have reached 2 inches are already sexually mature adults.

To Sum Up

It is safe to say that a Crowntail Betta is one of the all-time favorites of collectors and aquarists worldwide. This beautiful fish is relatively low maintenance and can be taken care of by fish-lovers of all skill levels.

Of course, there are a few important things that you have to bear in mind when adopting such a lovely creature.

Crowntail Bettas are notoriously known for their aggressive character, so finding the right tank mates will be quite a challenge. These fish might also get picky with food, but as long as you provide a well-balanced, healthy diet and don’t forget to switch things up a bit every now and then, there shouldn’t be any major problems.

As long as you follow the recommendations mentioned above, you will be able to take amazing care of this gorgeous fish.

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